I don’t want to call them the real names which these two hotheaded and grossly misguided men deserve to be called, but Mr. Samuel George Nettey, the longtime Mahama lickspittle become the National Democratic Congress’ Member of Parliament for Ningo-Prampram Constituency, in the Greater-Accra Region, can be forgiven for roguishly thinking and believing that there could be any viable straitjacket development blueprint as the sort of 40-Year Development Plan that has been allegedly crafted by Drs. Kwesi Botchwey and Nii Moi Thompson (See “NPP Ditching 40-Year Development Plan for a 10-Year Plan – Sam George” CitiNewsRoom.com / Ghanaweb.com 10/28/18).
Well, I am neither an economist nor a social scientist, but common sense tells me that no expert worth the serious designation of an “Economist,” with a capital “E,” would either craft or put any purchase on such preposterous idea as a reliable 40-Year Development Plan. The very vagaries of our labile economic dynamics, especially in a Third-World country like Ghana, makes the very notion of a 40-Year Development Plan at best criminally suspect and at the worst plain madness. I have also noted in several previous columns that it is nothing short of criminally scandalous to expect the free-market-oriented operatives of the Akufo-Addo Administration to facilely buy into the inexcusably obtuse concept of a frozen two-generational economic development agenda. Only faux-socialist ideologues like Messrs. Botchwey and Thompson could cook up such strategic poppycock.
It is also quite obvious that these two Mahama-appointed operatives of the National Development Planning Commission (NDPC) put this economic straitjacket together as a ruse to sabotage the incoming Akufo-Addo Administration in the wake of the massive electoral defeat suffered by unarguably the most incompetent Ghanaian leader in the postcolonial era. You see, they don’t do even a 20-Year Development Plan in either Beijing or Moscow, or any of the other dyed-in-the-wool socialist and communist countries around the globe. So it beats my imagination – and I readily confess to having the most poetic imagination – that Messrs. Botchwey and Thompson would cook up such national development farce. These men are clowns who lack any remarkable sense of common decency and shame; and that is their inalienable right, alright, to be certain. But, of course, the rest of us are not so privileged.
Besides, it is quite understandable for Dr. Botchwey, who literally “botched” Ghana’s economy for some 13 years, under the Rawlings-led Provisional National Defense Council (PNDC) junta, and blindly imported for us the suicidal IMF-World Bank-sponsored Structural Adjustment Program (SAP), to presume to play Nintendo games with the destiny of his countrymen and women. After all, wasn’t this what the Cash-and-Carry political gymnastics concocted by the Rawlings Posse about? On the part of the Convention People’s Party (CPP) crossover Nii Moi Thompson, there is not much for me or anyone else to comment on other than the fact that he may be a much better journalist and a writer than an economist. Besides, unlike Dr. Kwesi Botchwey, who, from my reliable understanding, is more of a legal academician than a crackerjack economist of Vice-President Mahamudu Bawumia’s mold, Nii Moi Thompson has yet to creditably acquit himself as a heavy-lifting economist or social scientist.
This may be the reason why both men have been desperate to see President Akufo-Addo adopt their so-called 40-Year Development Plan. It is also significant to note that not even the Nkrumah-led Convention People’s Party pushed such quixotic economic agenda, other than the infamous Soviet copycat 7-Year Development Plan. Quite amazing, Dear Reader, isn’t it?
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By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.
English Department, SUNY-Nassau
Garden City, New York