Record Borrowing and Record Corruption

Sat, 12 Oct 2013 Source: Nkrumah-Agyapong, Kwame

– Is NDC up to the task?

Prior to National Democratic Congress (NDC) coming to office they kept reminding Ghanaians how corrupt the NPP was. Before they took office on 7 January 2009, they set up the Committee for Joint Action (CJA) with Kwesi Pratt ostensibly to do something about the corruption and hardship experienced under the previous government.

Fast forward to 2013, if you replace the DC with PP, we have NPP part two in government. Only this time, the corruption has been institutionalised and the cost of living has sky rocketed. A case in point is the government’s disinterest in pursuing and retrieving the sums which have wrongfully been paid to individuals and institutions as judgement debts. The same disinterest or reluctance in pursuing and punishing those individuals and institutions that have siphoned off money from GYEEDA is also deafening. Are they going to protect their cronies as usual?

All these are happening when government borrowing is at an all-time high:

1. Record borrowing with absolutely no development projects to match the lavish and reckless borrowing;

2. Salary arrears for civil servants is on the increase;

3. Non-payment of contractors is on the increase;

4. Unlawful increments in water, electricity and petrol prices. Water and electricity tariffs are projected to increase by 70 to 100 per cent;

5. Government has taxed all possible goods and services, including condoms, thus depriving citizens of at least one guaranteed ‘free’ form of entertainment; ,

6. In response to the increase in corruption, teachers, nurses and other public service staff who suffer unfairly the effects of corruption, have also been going on strikes on a regular basis;

7. Euro bonds flown to Burkina Faso like the guinea fowls;

8. The economy is in sharp decline;

9. Unlawful increments in road tolls, school fees, medical bills and many services;

10. University and secondary school admission crises

The acts of impunity and utter contempt this government has for the citizens is beyond belief! Accountability is non-existent, probity is non-existent. Instead of the government being afraid of the people, the people are afraid of the government and watch helplessly as the former siphon the State’s scant resources without any probity and accountability.

As I write this piece, open defecation is rife on the streets of Accra, Kumasi and all the major cities, because public toilets have become a rare facility in Ghana. Poor health services, lack of water, improper disposal of sewage, and a low awareness of how cholera is spread constitute an ideal recipe for public health catastrophes.

With the exception of dividends from the oil as the only real income to provide these basic services for its citizens, surely, the least this government can do is to refrain from stealing from that pot in addition to all the taxes they generate from us. Instead, they and their allies continue to pilfer from state coffers and watch unconcerned as sector by sector the rest of the economy falls into steady decline.

The question we would like to ask is, is the government up to the task of structuring the economy and running the country for the benefit of all? If the government is responsible for nation building and development and is unconcerned with provision of basic services for which it taxes us; and not interested in eradicating corruption by its ministers, appointees and agents, then the NDC have no business being in government! They should not expect us to continue paying the increases in tariffs and taxes which benefits only a few people! We have tried both NDC and NPP the value is the same, the time has come for Ghanaians to consider Convention People’s Party (CPP) or threaten huge protest vote if concerns over corruption and hardship are not dealt with.

Kwame Nkrumah-Agyapong


Columnist: Nkrumah-Agyapong, Kwame