Let’s give Akua Donkor a chance: She can’t get it wrong with 14% growth and single-digit inflation

Akua Donkor Sldkei Akua Donkor, flagbearer GFP

Sun, 22 Nov 2020 Source: Kwaku Badu

The vast majority of aggrieved Ghanaians, who unfortunately found themselves in the doldrums of poverty, rightly voted against the NDC and Ex-President Mahama in the 2016 general elections largely due to the unresolved business crippling dumsor, the wanton corruption (4 out of innumerable suspects have since been convicted and sentenced), and the unpardonable incompetence (moved economic growth from 14% in 2011 to a miserable 3.4% and a single-digit inflation to 15.4% by December 2016).

Given the circumstances, it is quite ironic to hear the former president, who happens to be the 2020 flagbearer of NDC, Mr John Dramani Mahama, to claim, albeit anecdotally, that Ghanaians are not happy with Akufo-Addo’s leadership style, which has allegedly led to high socio-economic standards of living.

But contrary to former President Mahama’s assertion, the previously asphyxiated economy and the business crippling dumsor have since been brought under control by the NPP administration under the able leadership of President Nana Akufo-Addo.

More so, if we were to draw an adverse inference on Ex-President Mahama’s disposition, we could then conclude that the 56% of electorates were not happy with former President Mahama, and hence showing him the exit in the 2016 general elections.

The overarching question then is: what will make the unhappy 56% of electorates change their mind and repose their absolute trusts in Mahama in 2020, given the encouraging signs of auspicious economic growth under the Akufo-Addo’s leadership?

Let us however remind ourselves once again that in a fairly stable democracy such as ours, governments pop in and out, and, given the political dynamics in Ghana, it is a trend we can expect to continue unabated.

The all-important question we should be asking then is: should we trust every political party to form a government with an excuse of steering the nation to the right direction?

The good people of Ghana, so to speak, were extremely concerned when out of unpardonable dereliction of duty amid unbridled corruption, Ghana’s debt ballooned dramatically from GH9.5 billion in 2009 to an incredible GH122.4 billion as of December 2016.

Unsurprisingly, therefore, discerning Ghanaians ventilated their arousing disgust when the erstwhile NDC administration disastrously collapsed the social interventions such as the School Feeding Programme, the National Health Insurance Scheme, the Metro Mass Transit, the Free Maternal Care, SADA, GYEEDA amongst others.

Why should any patriotic Ghanaian jump for joy over the GH800 million dubious judgment debt payments, including the GH51.2 million to Woyome which resulted in the drastic reduction of capital expenditure?

It is, however, worth stating that in spite of the seemingly insuperable odds, since assuming power, the Akufo-Addo’s government has taken commendable strides to improve the social mobility through implementation of poverty reduction policies such as free SHS, one district one factory, one million dollars per constituency, tax reductions, a dam per village in the northern part of Ghana, among others.

Mind you, individuals have different reasons for going into politics. Some people enter into politics for their unconditional love for their nation. Others just view power as an excellent opportunity to amass wealth and enjoy other trappings that come with the job.

It would, however, appear that some politicians do not care about the plight of the masses; they only scramble for power in order to pursue their parochial interests.

If that was not the case, what else would make former President Mahama dole out large portions of our scarce resources to inveterate NDC apologists like the founder of Ghana Freedom Party (GFP), Madam Akua Donkor, who in all honesty, contributed nothing meaningful towards Ghana’s wellbeing, and yet received a melodious gift of two four wheel drive vehicles and a luxurious bungalow purported to cost a staggering $475,000.

Honestly stating, Ghana, to be quite honest, cannot entertain a Father Christmas who would carelessly give away our hard earned resources. But Ghana rather needs a serious, a committed and a forward-thinking leader who can utilise our scarce resources judiciously to the benefit of all Ghanaians.

Suffice it to stress that a judicious distribution of national resources is the implementation of social interventions such as Free SHS and the School Feeding programme.

Dearest reader, considering the enormous benefits therein education, it is, indeed, prudent and somewhat forward-thinking for any serious and committed leader to seek to bridge the ever widening social inequalities gap through rational distribution of national resources in the form of free SHS and other social interventions.

I have always insisted that governance is a serious business and as such it requires forward thinking, serious and committed group of people to bring about the needed advancement.

Nevertheless, it has not been always the case in Ghana’s democratic ambiance. The emergence of multi-party democracy has given birth to both purposeful and maladaptive political parties.

As a result, we have over the years been electing dreadful economic managers who cannot see their backsides from their elbows and have only succeeded in sinking the economy deeper and deeper into the mire through corrupt practices.

Truly, the rampant corruption and the crass incompetence under the erstwhile NDC administration will long be stencilled on the mental sheets of succeeding generations.

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

Sadly, however, the inflexible apologists won’t depart from their so-called loyalty.

What is more, despite their leaders much touted social democratic ideals, the successive NDC governments failed to implement a single social intervention, but the die-hard supporters are unmoved by such an unpardonable dereliction of duty.

Apparently, it was the NPP under the able leadership of President Kufuor that introduced the free Maternal Care, the School Feeding Programme, the National Health Insurance Scheme, the Mass Transport System, the Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty (LEAP), the National Youth Employment Programme, now known as GYEDA, and many other social interventions.

As a matter of fact, the NDC leaders have been manipulating their way into power all the time. For they usually resort to vague rhetoric and political gimmicks.

Yes, they are cunning lots who are ever so desperate to secure power for their own vested interests. For if that was not the case, how come they turned their back on almost all the promises they gave to the unsuspecting Ghanaian electorates?

Ironically, with all the promises, former President Mahama and his NDC government failed to end the dumsor, failed to implement the one-time NHIS premium, jobs were not readily available for the jobless, the economy sunk deeper and deeper into the mire, they reneged on their promise to keep ‘lean’ government, Ghanaians became poorer and poorer, sleazes and corruption escalated to immeasurable proportions, endless borrowings amongst others.

It is also worth pointing out that agricultural growth was around 7.4 per cent in 2012, but the erstwhile NDC government nauseatingly reversed it to around 2.5 per cent as of October 2016 (GSS).

But as I write, the Ministry of Agriculture, under the able leadership of Mr Akoto-Osei, has rolled out flagship programmes such as planting for food and jobs’, Planting for Export and Rural Development, Rearing for Food and Jobs, which are expected to boosts the agricultural growth.

It is also worthy of mention that the Mahama’s government could not hold on to the late mills “unprecedented” single digit inflation, as he somehow managed to move the inflation to double digits (15.4% as of October 2016).

However, before the insidious coronavirus, the Akuffo-Addo’s government commendably reversed the inflation rate to a single digit (GSS).

More importantly, the Akufo-Addo’s government efficiently raised the economic growth within a short space of time. Ghana’s economy grew provisionally by 8.5 percent in 2017 compared to 3.7 percent in 2016 (Ghana Statistical Service, 2018).

Interestingly, in the first two years of the Akufo-Addo’s administration, the Industry sector recorded the highest growth rate of 16.7 percent, followed by Agriculture 8.4 percent and the Services 4.3 percent.

Services share of GDP decreased from 56.8 percent in 2016 to 56.2 percent in 2017. The sector's growth rate also decreased from 5.7 percent in 2016 to 4.3 percent in 2017.

However, two of the subsectors in the services sector recorded double-digit growth rates, including Information and Communication 13.2 percent and Health and Social Work 14.4 percent.

The Industry sector, the highest growing sector with a GDP share of 25.5 percent, had its growth rate increasing from -0.5 percent in 2016 to 16.7 percent in 2017.

The Mining and Quarrying subsector recorded the highest growth of 46.7 percent in 2017.

The Agriculture sector expanded from a growth rate of 3.0 percent in 2016 to 8.4 percent in 2017. Its share of GDP, however, declined from 18.7 percent in 2016 to 18.3 percent in 2017. Crops remain the largest activity with a share of 14.2 percent of GDP.

The Non-Oil annual GDP growth rate decreased from 5.0 percent in 2016 to 4.9 percent in 2017. The 2017 Non-oil GDP for industry recorded a growth rate of 0.4 percent, compared with 4.9 percent in 2016. Growth in the fourth quarter of 2017 reached 8.1 percent compared to 9.7 percent in the third quarter (GNA, 2018).

So, to the diehard NDC loyalists: engage in a carefully considered reflection and consider voting instead for Madam Akua Donkor since you love to hate NPP for no apparent reasons.

As a matter of fact, Madam Akua Donkor, who has no classroom education will not even go for unreasonable loans and then resort to IMF stringent conditionalities.

More so, Madam Akua Donkor, who is a devoted farmer, knows the importance of agriculture in the economic growth of a country like Ghana.

So, Madam Akua Donkor will definitely pay attention to the agricultural sector and ensure that the sector does not grow 0.04 as happened in Ex-President Mahama’s government.

It is quite bizarre that the brassbound NDC faithful who are currently enjoying uninterrupted electricity, low inflation, tax reductions, favourable economic growth, gargantuan savings on free SHS, amongst others would have the temerity to censure the NPP administration.

In sum, Ghana under the erstwhile NDC administration, so to speak, went into economic meltdown which regrettably brought to pass harsh socio-economic standards of living.

Given the circumstances, it would be somewhat unreasonable for anybody to suggest that to err is human and therefore the insensitive NDC must be given another chance so soon.

K. Badu, UK.


Columnist: Kwaku Badu