NPP-Canada On The $10m Diaries Affair
October 22, 2015
Whilst in Amsterdam, Holland, attending the International Conference of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), the flagbearer of the NPP, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo in his address made mention of a $10 million expenditure by the Ghana government for printing presidential diaries. This point was particularly poignant against the backdrop of the threat by Nigeria Gas to cut off gas supplies to Ghana. Why the threat by Nigeria Gas? Because a down-payment of $10m on an overdue debt of over $100m had become a nightmare for the Mahama Administration.
Predictably, the government and the NDC Party, through their numerous mouthpieces, came firing back on all cylinders, using in some cases rather choice words. In essence, the government flatly denied the accusation. Whilst the government did not deny that presidential diaries were being printed, spokespersons of the government insisted that the cost was borne by sources outside government. In other words, the tab was being picked up by Corporate Ghana or the private sector.
Given what we know about what constitutes Corporate Ghana particularly when it comes to sponsorship of projects dear to government, the response by the Mahama Administration was disturbing to say the least.
Readers may recall that some of the names in “Corporate Ghana” that contributed to the Mahama for President Campaign in 2012 included the Ghana Investment Promotion Center (GIPC). The GIPC is a government agency. And yet it was one of those corporate entities that under the umbrella of Corporate Ghana had donated money to The Mahama for President Campaign in 2012. Of course, when the lid was blown and there was public outcry, the word out was that the President had directed that any such donation be returned.
Quite a number of the players in the world of Corporate Ghana are companies that are either wholly owned by the State or have significant holdings by the State. What is more, such companies have Boards and Chief Executives comprising almost exclusively of card-bearing, senior members of the ruling NDC party. Indeed, in the case of the aforementioned donation by GIPC, the Chief Executive then Mr. George Aboagye was also the NDC Parliamentary Candidate for Ahanta West. A major player in Corporate Ghana is The Bui Power Authority whose Board Chairman is none other than the General Secretary of the ruling NDC, Mr. Johnson Asiedu-Nketiah.
In the real sense, Corporate Ghana does not necessarily mean “outside government” in the Ghana context as the mouthpieces of the government would like Ghanaians to believe. Certainly not in the context of the $10m presidential libraries.
For the 2015 Presidential Diaries, there are advertisements by 17 entities from Corporate Ghana who supposedly paid for the cost of the Diaries project. Of the 17, only 5 are wholly private sector. The rest, 12 of them, representing 71% of Corporate Ghana sponsorship, are government entities. These government entities included: Agricultural Development Bank (ADB); Ghana Investment Promotion Center (GIPC); Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA); Volta River Authority (VRA); GRIDCO. Monies belonging to the Ghanaian Tax Payer have been invested in these companies. A cursory look at the Board composition of these companies would reveal a list of “Who is Who” in the ruling NDC Party.
It is highly insensitive and irresponsible of the Mahama Administration, through corporate entities owned wholly or partially by the government, to be investing millions of dollars in the printing of Presidential Diaries while Ghanaians experience unprecedented economic hardships and deterioration in their standards of living.
NPP-Canada hereby applauds Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo for highlighting such an important matter.
Gilbert Adu Gyimah Director of Communications, NPP/Canada NPPCanada@outlook.com www.nppcanada.org Tel: 587-708-9915 / 647-800-3585