If you believe Akufo-Addo has performed ‘abysmally’, is Mahama really a capable alternative?

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo And Former President John Mahama?resize=700%2C400&ssl=1 President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and Former President Mahama

Sun, 20 Feb 2022 Source: Kwaku Badu

I remember in the wake of NDC’s 2016 humiliating election defeat, some sympathisers argued somewhat impetuously that Mahama provided Ghanaians with some infrastructural projects and social amenities, including the Circle and Kasoa interchanges, schools, and hospitals, and therefore it was quite unfair for Ghanaians to vote him out of power.

The overarching question we should be asking then is: is governance all about the provision of social amenities and infrastructural projects?

In fact, I was in acquiescence with former President Mahama for poignantly suggesting sometime in 2008 that it is an exercise in mediocrity for any government to take delight in infrastructural projects.

Somehow, Ex-President Mahama meant to suggest that every lousy government could easily undertake that role of governance. By inference, the provision of infrastructural projects is as easy as ABC.

No offence intended, though, Madam Akua Donkor of the Ghana Freedom Party (GFP) could put up more infrastructural projects if given the opportunity.

More so, since discerning Ghanaians are obliged to pay taxes, it would be boundlessly unconscionable for any government and its teeming supporters to hide behind social amenities and infrastructural projects such as public toilets, schools, roads, water, electricity, amongst others.

It is absolutely true that we have over the years been electing terrible economic managers who cannot see their backsides from their elbows and have only succeeded in sinking the economy deeper and deeper into the mire.

I do not intend to be condescending, far from it. But if governance is all about putting up infrastructural projects and social amenities, then I will dare state that even my unlettered and untrained mother can perform exceedingly better.

Some of us, as a matter of fact, cannot gleefully clamour for the return of someone who woefully allowed Ghanaians to sleep in darkness for well over four years and collapsed businesses.

In fact, I, for one, cannot sing the praises of someone who wilfully collapsed my business due to the economic meltdown and the irritating dumsor.

Delightfully, the NPP administration has admirably taken care of the unspeakable dumsor and businesses are back on track.

Obviously, it is extremely frustrating to listen to the views of inflexible NDC supporters, whose lives did not transform under the NDC administration, contrary to what their leaders would want us to believe.

Truly, I thought I was on planet Mars when former President Mahama audaciously and evocatively claimed during the NDC’s 2020 Manifesto launch that he unfortunately inherited a tattered economy on 7th January 2013.

Even if it is true that Mahama inherited a meltdown economy, who did he succeed on 7th January 2013?

The fact of the matter is that the late Mills and Mahama govern Ghana from 7th January 2009 until the sudden and mysterious demise of Mills in 2012 and Mahama took over the presidency.

In synopsising, it does not take superior powers of the mind or transcendental powers to come to a conclusion that Mahama passed the economic shambles to Mahama on 7th January 2013.

So, why was the NDC 2020 flagbearer complaining bitterly?? Did he want to shift the blame onto the late Mills?

If that was to be his intention, then it was quite unfair on the late Mills who did his utmost best and improved upon the economy.

The fact is, the late Mills did his utmost best and improved upon the booming economy left by former President Kufuor and his NPP administration.

Take, for example, former President Kufuor quadrupled Ghana’s GDP to a staggering GH28 billion in 2008. While the late Mills inherited oil in commercial quantities and managed to increase the GDP to GH47 billion in 2011.

Unfortunately, President Mahama reversed the GDP to an incredible GH40 billion as of October 2016.

Besides, the late Mills left an economic growth of around 14%, but Mahama succeeded to asphyxiate the economic growth to an amazing 3.4%.

What is more, President Mills left an agricultural growth of around 7.4% in 2012, while President Mahama reversed it to around 2.5% as of October 2016.

It is also true that President Mahama obliterated the late mills “unprecedented” single digit inflation and replaced it with double digits (15.4% as of October 2016).

Last but not the least, the late Mills left a fairly stable currency exchange rate-it was around GH1.65 to 1 U.S Dollar in 2011. But former President Mahama left the exchange rate at around GH4.35 to 1 U.S Dollar by December 2016.

The previously single digit inflation and budget deficit regrettably doubled astronomically. The GH9.5 billion debt which former President Kufuor and his NPP government left in 2009 ballooned to GH122.4 billion as of December 2016.

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

In addition, 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).

Unsurprisingly, therefore, during the epoch of Mahama’s maladministration, some concerned patriots like the late Jake Obetsebi Lamptey of blessed memory lamented: “Ghanaians are worried because the economy is being handled in a manner reminiscent of the NDC’s mishandling of the economy in 2000. “We do not need to return to HIPC status.”

As a matter of fact, former President John Dramani Mahama’s government failed terribly to initiate expedient policies to overturn the failed policies of agriculture, poverty reduction and resource allocation in the areas of healthcare, education, finance, supply chain management and security sector planning, amongst others.

K. Badu, UK.


Columnist: Kwaku Badu