If NPP has really failed Ghana, is NDC the perfect redeemer?

The NPP And NDC Flags67 File photo

Tue, 19 Apr 2022 Source: Kwaku Badu

I am of the opinion that the topmost goal of every political party is to work strenuously to win power and form a government with a view of putting pragmatic policies and programmes in place to impact the lives of the masses.

We can, therefore, draw an adverse inference that a political party must have a sense of purpose and direction in order to be taken seriously in its pursuit of winning political power.

In theory, therefore, a political party should have a philosophy, or a set of ideas and values to serve as a guide in the delivery of its political mandate.

In Ghana, the two largest political parties, the NPP and the NDC boast of divergent political ideologies. Whereas the NPP believes in liberal conservatism (centre-right), the NDC claims to be social democrats (centre-left).

The overarching question however is: which of these two political parties is much more competent in the delivery of its mandate?

For the purposes of fairness and to situate the annotation in the right perspective, the article will grub into the relevant summary of the economic statistics between NPP and NDC from 1993 to 2021.

Truth must however be told, it would be absolutely wrong for anyone to suggest for a moment that every sound adult Ghanaian can prudently steer the nation to the right direction if given the opportunity.

If you may recall, prior to the 2020 general elections, the reputable Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) reported that the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) was going to retain power in the 2020 general elections largely due to better economic performances (see: ‘2020 election is yours to lose-EIU predicts NPP victory’; myjoyonline.com/ghanaweb.com, 15/09/2019).

Interestingly, the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) concluded in its country report that former President John Dramani Mahama was going to find it extremely difficult to convince discerning Ghanaians into accepting that he is the preferable custodian of Ghana’s economy, given his average economic performance and the country’s fairly strong economic growth under President Akufo-Addo.

There is no denying or ignoring the fact that Ghanaians became fed-up with the extreme harsh conditions amid corruption allegations (Bus branding, Brazil World Cup, SADA, SUBA, GYEEDA, SSNIT, MASLOC, NCA, Ford Expedition Vehicle, amongst others).

In fact, a competent court of jurisdiction has since convicted and sentenced to prison four officials of the Mahama administration who were accused of the involvement in some of the aforesaid corruption scandals.

Besides, credible sources have it that more than twenty-five suspects in the preceding corruption scandals are facing trials in various competent courts of jurisdiction across the country.

Unsurprisingly, on 7th December 2016, discerning Ghanaians found in the septuagenarian Akufo-Addo, a redeemer, in whom they reposed their absolute trust to set them free from the Mahama administration’s unpardonable economic enslavement.

Apparently, observers believe that Ex-President Mahama wilfully mismanaged Ghana’s economy by moving the economic growth of 14% in 2011 to 3.4% and single digit inflation to 15.4% by December 2016.

Take, for instance, a chunk of Ghana’s scarce resources was wasted on dubious judgement debt payments, purported to be around GH800 million, including the GH51.2 million to Woyome, $30 million to the Waterville and $325,000 to Isofoton which resulted in the drastic reduction of capital expenditure, and as a consequence, most contractors were not paid by the erstwhile NDC administration.

What is more, Mahama’s government could not mobilise our revenues efficiently as the likes of former President Mahama’s brother, Ibrahim Mahama, was allegedly caught evading import taxes to the tune of GH12 million.

Besides, the Mahama’s government wilfully misapplied $175 million loan facility secured in 2012 which was to provide seven district hospitals.

In fact, the good people of Ghana were shocked to the bone when over GH200 million SADA funds invested on trees burnt down and guinea fowls mysteriously flew to the nearby Burkina Faso without a trace.

As if that was not enough, in 2012, the then NDC administration secured a loan of 200 million United States dollars to build 5000 affordable housing units but woefully used the entire amount to build a purported 668 housing units.

As I write, the Attorney General has arraigned about five suspects before a competent court of jurisdiction over the suspicious Saglemi housing project.

More so, but for President Akufo-Addo’s timeous intervention, Mahama’s administration would have shockingly given away over 58% of Ghana’s bauxite to family and friends just about a week before exiting power.

Thus, observers cannot be far from right for suggesting that if discerning Ghanaians had not graciously intervened by showing the dreadful economic managers (the NDC) the exit through the universal adult suffrage, the terrible errors in decision-making and the rampant corruption would have wiped out Ghana off the world map without a trace.

It is well-documented that during the year 2001, at the end of the late President Rawlings’s regime and just before the NPP administration took over, “debt as a percentage of the GDP was not only unsustainably high and crippling but also deprived Ghanaians from money which could have been used for needed developmental and social projects”.

The fact though, is, the benefits of the HIPC were “unprecedented during the Kufuor’s regime from (2001-2008).

Macroeconomic indicators begun to stabilize and Ghana’s debt stock was significantly reduced by about $4 billion within that period (BOG).

There were Rapid infrastructural developments as well as social and policy reforms. Ghana was then moved from an HIPC economy to a middle income economy under the Kufuor administration (Mutaka Alolo, 2012).

By the end of 2008, Ghana's economy had been quadrupled to US$ 28 billion, a period of eight years under the NPP. The average GDP growth of the NDC from 1993-2000 was 3.8% while that of the NPP from 2001-2008 was5.2% with economic growth reaching 6.3% in 2007 (Daily Guide, 2016).

Disappointingly, however, during the Mills/Mahama’s eight years, they managed to uproot the good foundation laid by President Kufuor and his NPP government.

Take, for example, under Mahama’s government, Ghana’s total debt ballooned from GH¢9.5 billion to a staggering GH¢122.4 billion by the end of December 2016 with a little to show for.

This means that about 93% (i.e. GHC113 billion) of Ghana’s total debt since independence was accumulated under NDC government from 2009-2016.

It is important to note that the previously single digit inflation and budget deficit doubled astronomically.

Ghana went into the throes of economic collapse due to mismanagement and wanton corruption under the leadership of Ex-President Mahama.

Take, for example, Ghana’s economic growth slowed for the fourth consecutive year to an estimated 3.4% in 2015 from 4% in 2014 as energy rationing (dumsor), high inflation, and ongoing fiscal consolidation weighed on economic activity (World Bank, 2016).

Moreover, the high inflation rate remain elevated at 18.5% in February 2016 compared to 17.7% in February 2015, even after the Central Bank’s 500 bps policy rate hikes (the inflation stood at 15.8 per cent as of October 2016).

Besides, President Mahama’s ambivalent administration dragged the economic growth from around 14 per cent in 2011 to around 3.4 per cent as of December 2016.

Nevertheless, before the insidious coronavirus, the Akufo-Addo’s government efficiently raised the economic growth. Ghana’s economy grew provisionally by 8.5 percent in 2017 compared to 3.7 percent in 2016 (Ghana Statistical Service, 2018).

Indeed, Ghana’s economic growth, just before the pernicious coronavirus, stood at around 8.5% from 3.4% in December 2016.

To be quite honest, it will be quite unfair to put Akufo-Addo and Mahama in the same basket. This is because, the former has prudently introduced important policies and programmes such as Planting for Food and Jobs, One District One Factory, One Constituency One Million Dollars, One Village One Dam, One Constituency One Ambulance, the Free SHS, the National Builders Corp (NABCO), amongst others in a little over four years in power, while the latter failed to introduce a single social intervention in eight years.

In addition, before the pernicious coronavirus, the Akufo-Addo government managed to move Ghana’s economic growth from a disappointing 3.4% under former President Mahama to around 8% and the previously double digit inflation (15.8 in December 2016) was reduced drastically to around 7.5% within a short space of time.

As I write, despite the ecumenical economic decline as a result of the insidious coronavirus, Ghana’s economy is growing steadily.

In fact, Ghana’s economy received thumbs-up from the likes of the Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Ms Christine Lagarde, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, Philip Alston, and other reputable international organisations, who had earlier commended the Akufo-Addo administration on its excellent economic performance in the two and half years in office.

In 2017, the Bloomberg News, for example, predicted Ghana to become “Africa’s fastest-growing economy in 2018 “and Ghana was proclaimed “Star of Africa in 2018 Lenders’ Economic Forecasts”.

In reporting on the same fiscal policy achievements, Le Monde pointed out that “Ghana’s economic success is not just as the result of an oil-driven boom, but is also due to prudent economic management, an entrepreneurial population, the role of traditional leaders, and good governance.”

The next on the list of observers on Ghana’s auspicious economy was the Nigerian scholar, who gave a presentation at the NDC’s forum, in which he emphasised Ghana’s thriving economic growth under the Akufo-Addo administration.

The Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Ms Christine Lagarde’s observed that the Ghanaian economy, before the pernicious coronavirus, was in a better place than it was in the previous years under the John Dramani Mahama’s administration.

Ms Lagarde opined that the Akufo-Addo government made important gains towards macroeconomic stability, including inflation, which declined to a single digit and within the Bank of Ghana’s (BoG’s) tolerance band; buoyant growth, averaging about five per cent between 2015 and 2018, and, over six per cent in 2017-18) and a primary surplus in 2017 for the first time in 15 years (IMF 2018).

The Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, Philip Alston, observed: “Ghana met the targets for halving extreme poverty and halving the proportion of people without access to safe drinking water, and it achieved the goals relating to universal primary education and gender parity in primary school.

The seasoned journalist, Kweku Baako Jnr hit the nail on the head when he pointed out on Joy FM’s political show (News File) on Saturday 6/04/2019 that the NPP administration led by President Akufo-Addo has performed exceedingly better than the erstwhile NDC government led by former President Mahama.

Juxtaposing the state of the economy in first two years of the two administrations, Kweku Baako Jnr aptly concluded that the economy is in a better shape under the Akufo-Addo administration than it was under Mahama’s administration.

Baako Jnr, therefore, asserted poignantly: “There’s no doubt that the Akufo-Addo administration has done far better than the Mahama administration; it’s as simple as that, the figures and the records support it (myjoyonline.com, 6/04/2019).”

In ending, we can confidently deduce that discerning Ghanaians made the right choice on 7th December 2016 and 2020 by electing the septuagenarian Nana Akufo-Addo and retiring the sexagenarian John Dramani Mahama.

K. Badu, UK.


Columnist: Kwaku Badu