Ghana would have been in a better position without NDC

Ndc Flag 1 File photo

Thu, 17 Aug 2017 Source: Kwaku Badu

I belong to the schools of thought that contend that if not for the unfortunate interference of the NDC tradition in the governance of the country, Ghana would have developed meaningfully by now.

I must admit, I cannot get my head around why some people would choose to bypass the worst culprit, the NDC Party and would blissfully upbraid the likes of CPP, PNP, NLC, SMC, and NPP for Ghana’s economic collapse over the years.

Given the circumstances in which the NDC Party was formed, one would have expected a true probity, transparency and accountability within the elected NDC government, nonetheless that has never been the case.

The fact is, since the attainment of the independence from the British in 1957, the NDC tradition (PNDC and NDC) had governed the country more than any other government I can think of. In fact, that tradition had governed Ghana for approximately 27 years out of Ghana’s 60 years.

The CPP tradition (CPP and PNP) governed the country for approximately 12 years.

Disappointingly, the last ‘Nkrumaists’ government formed by the PNP, and led by Dr Hilla Limann, was deposed by the founders of the NDC Party which was spearheaded by Ex-President J. J. Rawlings on 31st December 1981.

The military regimes of the NLC, SMC 1 and 2 ruled Ghana for about 10 years before the founders of the NDC supplanted power on 4th June 1979.

The UP tradition (PP and NPP) total share of the day-to-day management of the country is about 11 years to date.

In my humble opinion, in terms of useful infrastructural projects which put the country at a substantial and propitious position, Dr Nkrumah’s CPP government did exceedingly better than any of the administrations that followed.

“Although Prime Minister Kofi Abrefa Busia’s government lasted for less than three years, there is no community in Ghana where traces of his development initiatives cannot be seen.

“Notable achievements of Busia's government include the building of roads, housing, provision of healthcare facilities and water.

“Dr. Busia was the first Ghanaian leader to establish a ministry responsible for rural development, a move, which was in line with his commitment at raising the living standards of the rural dwellers (Daily Guide, 11/07/2013).”

Generally, I detest coup makers, but General I. K. Acheampong (The Head of State from 1972-78) was an exception to my odiousness. I had a great deal of respect for the man, primarily because of his great sense of foresight.

In my humble opinion, General I. K. Acheampong was an estimable leader who initiated pragmatic policies such as operation feed yourself and affordable housing units.

“The Limann government assumed office at a time when the economy was stagnant; all credit lines to the country had gradually dried up and were finally blocked due to brutalities and confiscations at the harbours and other points of entry into Ghana.

“Through very careful negotiations, preparations and honest presentation of well thought-out programmes, government worked out a pragmatic approach to the solution of our economic problems.

“Laudable efforts were made to repay our short-term debts and demonstrated the ability to meet our debt obligations.

“DrLimann’s government was able, within 18 months, to restore virtually all traditional credit lines” (Source: PNC).

Disappointingly, however, Rawlings and his cohorts did not give Dr Liman and his PNP government the breathing space to govern the country, as they relentlessly breathed down the neck of President Liman.

As a matter of fact, Rawlings and his conspiratorial plotters unfairly kept criticising Dr Limann’s administration for what the coup makers perceived as economic mismanagement, until Rawlings and his jailbreaking geezers decided to depose Dr Limann.

Subsequently, J. J. Rawlings and the other obstreperous jailbreakers took arms and succeeded in deposing the democratically elected government of Dr Hilla Limann on 31st December 1981.

Apparently, Rawlings and his friends formed a government which they called the Provisional national Defence Council (PNDC) and appointed Rawlings as the chairman.

After imposing himself and despotically ruling the country for over 11 years, J. J. Rawlings retired from the military and bizarrely metamorphosed into civilian president in 1992.

Ex-President Rawlings 96 months democratic rule came to an end in January 2001.

Disappointingly, former President Rawlings memorable achievement was to send us to the membership of the Highly Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC).

President Kufuor took over the presidency in January 2001.

He exerted dint of critical thinking, worked strenuously for eight solid years, laid an auspicious economic foundation by stabilising the macroeconomic indicators and retired honourably in January 2009.

Ex-President Kufuor passed on the baton to the late President Mills on 7th January 2009, following his 28th December 2008 election round-off victory.

It is worthy of mention that the late President Mills inherited a total debt of GH9.5 billion and a favourable economic growth of around 8.4 per cent in 2009.

Let us admit, the late President Mills was extremely fortunate to have taken over a very good economic foundation laid by the zestful enthusiast, former President Kufuor and his equally ebullient team.

Take, for instance, three years after former President Kufuor’s NPP government had discovered oil in commercial quantities, the late President Mills turned on the valve at an offshore platform in December 2010 to pump the first commercial oil.

It is worthy of note that Ghana soon joined the petroleum exporting countries. And believe it or not, Ghana started to export crude oil and thus boosted the economic growth.

Gratifyingly, the economy grew from around 8.4 per cent to around 14 per cent by 2011 and Ghana reached the Lower Middle Income status.

Delightfully, Ghana’s GDP grew from $28 billion to a staggering $47 billion in 2011.

Unsurprisingly, Ghana was earmarked as the world's fastest growing economy in 2010 (Economy Watch, 2010).

“Ghana's economy is growing at a blistering 20.15 per cent” (Economy Watch).

The late President Mills prudently continued to improve upon the excellent economic foundation laid by former President Kufuor and his NPP government.

Unfortunately, President Mills mysteriously departed from life in July 2012.

Per Ghana’s 1992 Constitution, Vice President Mahama was the next in line to take over the presidency.

Bizarrely, things started to fall apart. It went from bad to worse following President Mills sudden and mysterious death.

Ghana’s total debt rocketed astronomically following the unbridled spending in the 2012 general election and the numerous corruption scandals involving GYEEDA, SADA, SUBA, Bus Branding, dubious judgement debt payments and many others.

Thus, it did not come as a surprise to some of us at all, when President Nana Akufo-Addo hinted during his first state of the nation address that Ghana’s total debt has ballooned to a staggering GH122 billion as of December 2016.

Unsurprisingly, following President Akuffo-Addo’s state of the nation address, the disputatious NDC apparatchiks came out fighting their way through in a desperate attempt to present their version of the conspicuously gloomy economic outlook.

What were they trying to defend? Actually, there was nothing to defend; they were just exhibiting their prowess in the propagation of propaganda.

In fact, they could only resort to propaganda when questioned about the GH9.5 billion debt in 2009 which rocketed to GH122 billion in just eight years.

How can they convince some of us of their ability to govern the country futuristically when they woefully shrunk Ghana’s GDP from $47 billion to $37 billion in five years?

How can they prove their innocence when they abysmally dragged an economic growth of more than 14 per cent in 2011 to an incredible 3.5 per cent as of December 2016?

Let us face it, the NDC Party has worsened Ghana’s socio-economic development since its inception.

Truly, of all their 27 years in governance, the successive NDC governments have not done enough to improve upon the socio-economic standards of living of Ghanaians.

K. Badu, UK.

Columnist: Kwaku Badu