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Opinions Tue, 24 Jul 2018

Mid-year budget review blues and bruises

The mid-year budget review for 2018 has been presented in parliament by the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori Atta, and obviously, many experts in government policy and programs, governance and economic development have pronounced their reservations. However, the average Ghanaian can also decipher sound government policies, governance, and economic development as against propaganda and populist gimmicks. This is so, especially when people are presented with the unique opportunity to listen to the professionals and experts in the field of governance and economic development.

One cannot in all sincerity, imagine how supposedly intelligent radio/TV program hosts/hostesses tend to ask bankrupt questions as if government policies and programs, governance and economic development of a given country is an event, and not complex processes influenced by the exigencies of time. This is unfortunate and sad, especially when professionals who should know better fail to do proper and sensible analysis.

It is unfortunate when radio/TV hosts, panelists, social commentators, and some social media patrons spew falsehood, and advertize their ignorance and appreciation of government policies and programs. Counteracting these falsities to give meaning to better governance and economic development trajectories, the likes of Dr Gideon Boako (Technical Economic Advisor to the Vice President of Ghana, Dr Bawumia), represent a voice of reasoning and knowledge through a professional lens, and that must be applauded.

The dexterity, ease, competence and confidence with which Dr Gideon Boako’s responds to policy direction questions are amazingly refreshing (UPfront, JoyNews, July 19, 2018). Dr Boako’s impeccable delivery is commendable, and other government appointees must learn from him to explain government policies to our people, an important task, which is lacking in this government's communication strategy. The government's communication department needs to be revamped to educate and inform Ghanaians, and it should be without ambiguities.

It beats my imagination, how high quality and people with extensive education, and are of higher calibre within the NPP government are not rising up to the task to defusing the many vile propaganda and outright lies often emanating from opposition forces in general, and in particular the National Democratic Congress (NDC), a political party which by all standards, measurements and benchmarks, was responsible for the current deplorable state of the Ghanaian economy through corruption and procurements infractions purposely pursued, as it were, to dupe Ghana millions of dollars.

To juxtapose a formidable understanding of government policies and programs, governance and economics, excellent performance, delivery and explanation of the issues and questions raised by people of dubious character in the former NDC government, it is much easier to figure out their voodoo theatricals that have become the norm in their arguments, debates and explanations. It has become a popular adventure of falsity patronized by such propagandists as Fifii Kwetey, Ato Forson, Dr Ayine, and others who are failing a country and their party supporters. They feed their supporters with nothing of substance, but lies well planned through the mill of mischief and political opportunism.

It is obvious, the NDC as a political party is crest falling, in view of their embarrassed posturing which sought to suggest a Value Added Tax increase prior to the mid-year budget review presentation. They are now shamelessly proclaiming “robbing Peter to pay Paul” as if Robin Hood was not their hero in their early days in school. The question is that "since when did it become a crime to ask the rich in any society to pay a little more or help to assuage the suffering of the poor, needy, vulnerable, deprived, marginalized and/or minorities? Surprisingly, the NDC is a political party that touts social democratic principles, but practices the opposite, and it is important Ghanaians examine their modus operandi vis-a-vis the problems they claim to have solved during the tenure of John Dramani Mahama. Ghanaians should wise up.

The NDC since its inception in 1992 had proclaimed, standing on roof tops and reminding Ghanaians of its social democratic credentials, which has turned out to be a palpable frivolity. Is social democracy not the basic pillar around which socialism revolves? The NDC should explain its principles, whether the principles of socialism have changed in the past few days, most recently, after the Helsinki meeting between President Trump and the Russian leader, Putin.

The humble advice is that, Ghanaians should not listen to the empty effusions and vituperations of people in an opposition political party, and others who have an agenda to make the NPP government, and the indefatigable finance minister of Ghana, Ken Ofori Atta unpopular.

We must congratulate Dr Gideon Boako for the solidification of the beliefs of many Ghanaians in the mantra that "the NPP has highly competent women and men, endowed with the principles, philosophy, and ideals through the values of the Busia-Danquah-Dombo tradition of political pluralism, prudent social interventions, and economic development.

The NPP should reinvigorate itself for Ghanaians to appreciate its great works for the country just in 18 months that it took over power in Ghana through a democratic process. It will also be good for the party if the likes of Dr Gideon Boako will continue to provide appropriate education on government policies, and provide answers to complex government initiatives, governance and economic development issues, which invariably can defuse the deceptive NDC voodoo economic analysis and self-serving governance lessons.

This is the best way to save Ghanaians from another rough ride from a political party, which was formed on the foundation of twisted revolutionary frugality, deception and trickery, sad attributes that the politically savvy cannot behold. "We must look sharp and think faster".

Columnist: Kakraba Emmanuel
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