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The Case for the Nutcracker.

Sun, 18 Jan 2015 Source: Rii, Jedd

It is now clear that an NPP government will have to embark on a massive asset reclamation program when it comes into power in the next election, The apparent rot, looting and plunder which has left the population frustrated, overwhelmed and in dire straits shows no sign of being over in the life of this government. There is the incessant reports of involvement by the government or personalities of government in excesses and abuse, flagrance and theft of property or money belonging to the people. Schemes devised and perpetrated or in motion to rob the nation and its people to enrich a cabal of powerful and influential personalities and their cronies.

In spite of the massive procurements of loans, the value of any discernible infrastructure or program does not appear to amount to what could be achieved by the national income of revenue and taxes. Neither is there any tangible examples that the people can be told about. If anything it is the claim of the general population that their standard of living has dramatically deteriorated under this administration.

The Mahama government either by design or otherwise is saddling the nation with the biggest and largest responsibility for debt ever in the history of the nation. It is also by the same token slated to be the worst value for money scenario that the country has ever known. The impetuous drive of the administration, has left even party stalwarts, National Statesman Flt Lt Rawlings to openly sound a note of warning. It was on the back of such excesses, abject corruption and descent into anarchy which prompted his now infamous June uprising, which was aimed at putting a stop to the plunder of the nations resources. As bad it was then, it is his claim that the cause for the popular uprising was miniscule compared to what now exist under this government.

This deplorable state of affairs is compounded by the fact that the government is very lethargic, apathetic or frankly unwilling to punish or prosecute any instances of exposed criminality which involves the elite and influential members of its ranks. This is an issue which is a big bone of contention for the masses who see petty criminals handed stiff penalties for their crimes, while state prosecutors on cases involving members of the government or those associated with it, cannot even conclude basic legal preparations necessary to prosecute or dispose off such cases.

A new government should robustly institute an audit into the dealings, handling or disbursement of state funds or assets whether generated or acquired. Such a policy must be prosecuted with due process and transparency and those found or unable to give a judicious account or any person who resorts to vague, preposterous or improbable explanations which is now a staple for spokespersons, must be subject to the due process of law with or including restitution or the retrieval of assets as the case may be.

$27 billion in loans should under no circumstance leave masses of a nation impoverished or worse off than what they were before. Unless a new mega city has been built somewhere in the nation that no one is aware off, it will mean that the bulk of the loan procurements and revenue from the nations taxes and resources cannot be accounted for.

It must be said that a few isolated personalities in the government are notably baulking against this looting trend. They have come under relentless and withering attacks from others within the ranks. These few good men are probably in too deep to just walk out. Their inclusion in the whole scheme of things was probably to employ their skill in papering over the rot, so as not to make it obvious to the nation. It is a entrenchment they did not know at first and no doubt bitterly regret.

In addition to the uncertain whereabouts of the billions in loans, the only buffer for the masses in terms of pensions that the people have worked for, has also been subjected to the governments unclear management scheme, by forcibly placing it under independent entities away from any scrutiny of the masses. Caveats or warnings have already been issued, that such monies may turn out to be lower than the people anticipate.

The bombshell in all this, is the upgrade of two airports to international standards and the addition of a national airline. None of these will be built with parts of the $27 billion, a fraction of which will suffice. Instead the government claims it is seeking private investors who will hold majority stakes in all these endeavours. Three of the most lucrative or profitable endeavours in the life of this government of which the nation should own and benefit and government claims it is going to give those to private investors because the nation is incapable of managing it.

If there is any indictment of a governments capability, this is it: that it is good for nothing except managing a few market stalls and distributing feminine products. For those, no private investors are needed.

We can launch into a comprehensive analysis to explain the following, but the simple version point to the fact that the most probable reason that the government has taken such a stance is that, the alleged “private investors” that the government is seeking will be itself or more specifically people who are likely in government and or associated with it. Shrouded in private equity anonymity such as that employed in the Merchant Bank Saga, there are people who have determined that the new airports and national airline will serve as their retirement package. It is therefore imperative that the identity of those behind this scheme is not known. Such a revelation will attract anger and the question on how the “investors” came by so much money.

These projects will most likely be built with the unknown whereabouts of the peoples pensions and the unknown whereabouts of the billions which is now a debt for the people. These vast sums will most likely metamorphose into private equity for private investors. These “investors” will retire and start raking in money from these endeavours. Monies which should rightly go to the people. They [the investors] will be drawing obscene amounts that clearly do not belong to them.

Keen observers would have noticed the trail of evidence stretching from the scheme leading to the forcible takeover of the Merchant Bank in a manner which allowed access to the entire pension portfolio of the nation. The scramble by associates utilizing high level diplomatic channels to smuggle drugs for money probably to be part of this one-time investment offer - ref. high-level diplomatic drug mules Nayele Ametefe and others.

One thing that these audacious projects will need in abundance is finance, which a pension pot and billions in unaccountable loans will suffice. The next thing will be a company which has the know-how in the construction of complex infrastructure. Again we can place a tick against that, since few companies have that pedigree of which one company clearly stands out and likely to win the contract in a closed bid.

Finally you will need a management company which will ensure that the trail of profits from these projects cannot be traced back to the individuals involved. Again we can place a tick against that, because there is clearly a private equity firm which can ensure that. Finally, just in case anyone is even contemplating bringing a challenge to any of these, you will need an influential lawyer or legal firm which can put a stop to that or make it extremely difficult to do so. It will be even more worthwhile if such a notion is backed by a statutory indemnity clause; sealing the whole scheme air tight.

A hard nut to crack.

It has all the markings of a master plan. There is nothing amateurish about this. Such schemes take time to plan and great resolve to execute. The questions is - Is the NPP ready to be the nutcracker. Because without taking that role, any win by the party will be plagued with managing a huge debt in an ever worsening scenario and they will take all the blame for it while the perpetrators enjoy their airports and fleet of airplanes.

Jedd Rii.

Columnist: Rii, Jedd