Opinions Sat, 21 Jul 2012
By Margaret JacksonJuly 18, 2012
If I go out and release information which turns out to be false, I could be forgiven based on the circumstances and the recipients. But if you are a doctor of economics, a former deputy governor of the Bank of Ghana and you are running as the number two of a major opposition party for the second time and you continue to spew out incorrect information, you not only make a mockery of yourself but you shoot your ignorance to gargantuan proportion.
Nobody knows what Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, NPPs Vice-Presidential Candidate for the December 7 elections, wants to proof, because he goes out and say things that make people conclude that either this man is alien to what is happening in Ghana, or he says those things without any research to issues on the ground or he simply lies about them.
Ghanaians have not forgotten what Bawumia said the other day when he went all the way to Saamni in the Nalerigu-Gambaga Constituency and inform the people there that the NPP would provide them with free education to the Senior High School (SHS) level when the people in that area since Dr. Kwame Nkrumah’s time have been enjoying that facility up to today. Yet, when I exposed this huge ignorance on the part of Bawumia, instead of his cohorts just sitting him down to school him; they rather resorted to heaping of insults on me.
But since history is always bound to repeat itself, and many political neophytes who call themselves fully fledged politicians have little time to learn on the ropes, Bawumia flew all the way to the United States and goofed big time. The ignorance that Bawumia portrayed clearly shows that he has a long way to go because probably during his days at the Bank of Ghana he was just picking up his salary and other pecks without taking the pains to learn about the economic structure of the country. A detail of Ghana’s Import Duty structure is not too difficult to find. You can easily get it if you walk to any of the Ghana Revenue Authority offices. And even if you have difficulty in getting the details, the Ghanaweb is the place to go. They have the information on their Import Duty page. Therefore, before Bawumia went to the United States and spoke to the Ghanaian Diaspora that the next NPP administration under Nana Akufo-Addo is going to abolish import duty on equipment, he could easily have crossed check to see if indeed imported equipment currently generates import duty in Ghana.
Before I proceed I want to emphatically inform Bawumia that for his records there is no import duty on imported equipment. Imported equipment currently generates zero import duty; therefore, it was a waste of time and energy for Bawumia to travel all the way to the United States and inform Ghanaian residents that in their desire to support massive technology acquisition, an NPP led government will abolish import duty on equipment when this facility currently exists.
Hear Bawumia in his own words, “The next NPP government is looking at providing incentives including duty free imports on, equipments that would support sectors such as agriculture, education, health, ICT, construction and manufacturing.”
But a critical look at the country’s tariff structure for imports clearly shows that Agriculture and Industrial Machinery, Solar, Wind and Thermal Generating Set, Electrical Generating set 375 KVA, Solar Cells and Panels including Educational Materials attracts zero import duty. Even Motor Vehicles which fall within the H.S. Code numbers 8705, 8701 and 8703 and ambulances also do not attract any import duty. When you veer to the mining sector, Plant, Machinery and Equipment are also imported into the country duty free.
This is a ton of information that Bawumia who is running for the second highest office of the land cannot afford to miss. There are many people in this country who do not come close to Bawumia’s so-called educational credentials, but they know about the tariff structure. I bet if Bawumia had gone to Abossey Okai, many of the spare parts dealers would have schooled him on the tariff structure and saved him from this unacceptable embarrassment.
If such a highly educated ignorant is all what the NPP has got and is being paraded as the man with the magic wand to turn the country’s economic fortunes around, then Ghanaians have already got a peek at the whole Bawumia package which is nothing to write home about.
I do not know the kind of people managing Bawumia, but I am inclined to conclude that so far Bawumia’s campaign has been anything but impressive. With Akufo-Addo keeping mute on sensitive issues that can cost him the presidency and Bawumia commenting on issues he has little or no knowledge of people are beginning to see that the NPP ticket for the 2012 elections has nothing credible to run on and that they are simply beating about the bush with the hope that the soft-ball campaign they are doing will coast them to victory.
Columnist: Jackson, Margaret