Opinions of Tue, 16 Apr 201910

Please Ex-President Mahama, wouldn’t it be disastrous if Akufo-Addo follows your footsteps?

MAHAMA CONGRESS 696x569 Joh Mahama

In fact, some of us are extremely flabbergasted to hear His Excellency Ex-President Mahama evocatively counseling President Akufo-Addo to follow his (Mahama) footsteps so as to offer exceptional governance to Ghanaians (emphasis mine).

While addressing the people of Komenda during his recent tour at the Central Region, former President Mahama is reported to have offered an advice to his successor, President Akufo-Addo: “I will urge the government to follow the path that we took” (citinewsroom.com/ghanaweb.com, 13/04/2019)

Well, for the sake of balanced annotation and to set the records straight, we shall earnestly grub into a few facts and figures in order to draw His Excellency Ex-President Mahama’s attention to how and why it will be a big mistake for Akufo-Addo to take a cue from the erstwhile NDC administration.

In fact, if we are to go by the revoltingly ugly events which took place under the watch of former President Mahama, we can rightly draw an adverse inference that the NDC as a party does not have individuals with the wherewithal to hit the ground running.

It was, therefore, not surprising that after taking over the mantle of leadership of the country from the NPP government in 2008, the NDC government managed to collapse former President Kufuor’s ‘brainchildren’-the NHIS, the Free Maternal Care, the Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty (LEAP), the School Feeding Programme, the Metro Mass Transport, GYEEDA, SADA, amongst others.

How can anyone then cite such an appalling record as a hallmark of good leadership that deserves emulation?

Indeed, it would only take a doubting Thomas to contend the fact that the NDC faithful, who have consuming desire for power, are not in the business of managing the country to the benefit of the masses.

We cannot, therefore, deny or hide the fact that the NDC has a penchant for running down or cancelling crucial social interventions. It is a sad case of self-proclaimed social democrats who do not know how to initiate and manage social interventions.

It is an open secret that the erstwhile NDC government disappointingly cancelled the crucial social interventions such as the Nurses and Teachers Allowances.

However, upon taking office, the Akufo-Addo government took prudent measures and restored the Nurses and Teachers Allowances which were regrettably cancelled by the erstwhile Mahama administration.

So does former President Mahama want to tell the good people of Ghana that the restoration of the Nurses and Teachers allowances is a sign of bad governance?

Surely, it cannot be a sign of coarse governance if the Akufo-Addo’s government decides to distribute the national resources in the form of Free SHS to pave way for more than 400,000 children a year, including the over 190,000 children who otherwise would not have the opportunity to enter senior high school.

In fact, if anything at all, parents are reaping tremendous benefits from the Akufo-Addo’s Free SHS policy.

The good news is that the government will spend a staggering amount of GH5532.83 over a period of three years on each student.

This means that parents with three children in SHS will be pocketing not less than GH16598.49 over three years.

How can former President Mahama then convince some of us that the Free SHS scheme is a bad policy?

How could anyone make references to bad governance if the incumbent NPP government decides to relieve Ghanaians of over eighteen nuisance taxes introduced by the erstwhile Mahama administration which had hitherto crippled businesses?

More recently, the sensitive Akufo-Addo government commendably slashed the import taxes (30% on cars and 50% on goods) to the utter delight of importers, and Ghanaians as a whole.

Suffice it to stress that since the announcement of the reductions of benchmark values, some beneficiaries have attested to considerable discounts.

That, to me, is an example of prudent governance which deserves commendation and emulation.

Apparently, many well-meaning Ghanaians rightly harbour a strong view that Ghana’s economic meltdown came about as a result of poor decision-making, the unbridled sleazes and gargantuan corruption which took place in the erstwhile NDC administration.

Take, for example, the previously single digit inflation and budget deficit doubled astronomically. The GH9.5 billion debt which former President Kufuor and his NPP government left in 2009 rocketed artificially to unpronounceable figures. Our total debt ballooned to GH122.4 billion as of December 2016 with a little to show for.

To be quite honest, Ghana went into the throes of economic collapse due to mismanagement and wanton sleazes and corruption during the NDC administration.

So, why is it that His Excellency Ex-President Mahama has somehow found it convenient to beseech the NPP government to take a cue from the maladaptive NDC administration?

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, the Mahama coarse government dragged the economic growth from around 14 per cent in 2011 to around 3.4 per cent as of December 2016.

How can such a woeful performance be deemed as a cynosure of outstanding governance?

The outgone NDC government, so to speak, performed abysmally. They did not do enough to improve on the socio-economic standards of living.

Take, for example, former President Kufuor quadrupled Ghana’s GDP to a staggering $28 billion in 2008 and the late Mills inherited oil in commercial quantities and managed to increase the GDP to $40 billion in 2011.

Suffice it to state that the erstwhile NDC administration disappointingly reversed the GDP to an incredible $37 billion as of December 2016.

Where is the exceptional governance that former President Mahama would like President Akufo-Addo to emulate?

By and large, the successive NDC governments have proven to be worst economic managers who can never improve upon the socio-economic standards of living of Ghanaians.

K. Badu, UK. k.badu2011@gmail.com

Columnist: Kwaku Badu

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