Why does the EIU think the NDC cannot come to power with Mahama?

John Mahama1212 John Dramani Mahama

Thu, 28 Apr 2022 Source: Kwaku Badu

The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) recent forecast on Ghana, released on April 13, 2022 stresses that unemployment, economic downturn, corruption among others under the Akufo-Addo administration can compel Ghanaians "to seek change"

“Our baseline forecast is that ongoing public dissatisfaction with the slow pace of improvements in governance—such as infrastructure development, job creation and easing of corruption—will trigger anti-incumbency factors and push the electorate to seek a change.”

The Economist Intelligence Unit thus predicts that the situation will most likely favour the opposition NDC but not with former President John Dramani Mahama as the flagbearer.

If you may recall, prior to the 2020 general elections, the same reputable Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) reported that former President John Dramani Mahama was going to find it extremely difficult to convince discerning Ghanaians into accepting that he is the preferable custodian of Ghana’s economy, given his average economic performance and the country’s fairly strong economic growth under President Akufo-Addo.

Interestingly, in its 2022 report, the EIU dwells largely on three thematic areas, namely, slow pace in development, job creation and corruption.

The overarching question then is: did Mahama and NDC perform exceedingly better on those indices?

Dearest reader, your guess is as good as mine.

By January 6 2025, both NPP and NDC would have governed Ghana 16 years apiece and the electorates will have the opportunity to assess the well-performed political party during the fourth republican constitution.

I must however confess, I do not want to go with those who think that since the baton changes hands every 8 years, an NDC presidential candidate will most likely be sworn into office on 7th January 2025.

Of course, that has been the convention. But it is bound to change sooner rather than later.

More so, as elucidated by the reputable Economist Intelligence Unit, the NDC’s 2024 chances will depend largely on the calibre of its presidential candidate.

Well, I would like to believe that the EIU lack of confidence in Mahama as a leader stems from his economic performance (moved economic growth of14% to 3.4% and single-digit inflation to 15.4%), and the catalogue of alleged bribery and corruption cases, such as the Ford Expedition Vehicle, SADA, GYEEDA, SUBA, SSNIT, MASLOC, NCA, STX housing deal amongst others (four persons have since been convicted and sentenced to prison).

Obviously, a leader of a country is a lifetime privilege which comes with juicy trappings and enormous responsibilities. Thus, someone with vast life experience, a catalogue of suitable employable skills, a portfolio of relevant qualifications, tried and tested competencies and requisite knowledge should always be a suitable candidate for the position.

That being said, the emergence of democracy has energised every sound adult Ghanaian to seek to compete for such an important position.

Regrettably, however, we are, more often than not, been electing ‘a semicircle’ of negligent officials whose only preoccupation is to sink the nation deeper and deeper into the mire through incompetence and unbridled corruption.

It is an undeniable fact that we choose to exercise our voting rights by electing a president in anticipation that the said leader will form a formidable government to run the affairs of the country to the benefit of all and sundry.

But all said and done, it would be absolutely wrong for anyone to suggest for a moment that every leader can prudently steer the nation to the right direction if given the opportunity.

That being said, it would be unfair for sceptics to argue that all politicians are the same when in power and therefore there is no need to change from one to another.

The fact however remains that politicians have different levels of temperament, competence, experience, knowledge, skills and abilities, so they are never the same, as a matter of fact.

Take, for example, the current NPP administration took over a tattered economic growth of 3.4% and uninspiring inflation of 15.4% in December 2016.

However, the Akufo-Addo administration, before the insidious coronavirus, managed to raise the economic growth to around 8.6% and reversed the inflation to 7.5% in a little over two years in office.

With all due respect, if we fail to acknowledge the painful fact that Ghana’s economy was in shambles under the erstwhile NDC administration, then we are somehow reinforcing Mahama’s assertion that Ghanaians suffer from memory loss.

Indeed, against all odds, Ghana’s economy grew provisionally by 8.5 percent in 2017 compared to 3.7 percent in 2016 (Ghana Statistical Service, 2018).

Truly, Ghana’s economic growth, just before the pernicious coronavirus, stood at around 8.6% from 3.4% in December 2016.

Interestingly, in the first two years of the Akufo-Addo administration, the Industry sector recorded the highest growth rate of 16.7 percent, followed by Agriculture 8.4 percent and 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 who says that all politicians are the same when in power?

As a matter of fact, it would be most unfair to put for instance, Dr Osagyefo Kwame Nkrumah and J. J. Rawlings in the same basket and compare their achievements.

If for nothing at all, Dr Nkrumah was a chivalrous industrialist who built hundreds of factories and only for President Rawlings to off load all to his cronies through his somewhat infelicitous Economic Recovery and Divestiture Implementation Programmes.

In the same vein, it would be boundlessly unreasonable to put President Kufuor and President Mahama on the same pedestal in terms of the implementation of social interventions.

The fact is, President Kufuor and his NPP government pragmatically 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.

Likewise, it will be incongruous to put Akufo-Addo and Mahama in the same basket. This is because, the former has prudently introduced important policies and programmes in a little over five years in power, while the later failed to introduce a single social intervention in eight years.

In addition, before the pernicious coronavirus, the Akufo-Addo government managed to move Ghana’s economic growth from a disappointing 3.4% under former President Mahama to around 8%.

And the previously double digit inflation (15.8 in December 2016) was reduced drastically to around 7.5% within a short space of time.

My dearest reader, would you be sincere enough and name just a single social intervention that has been implemented by President Mahama and his NDC apparatchiks who claim to be social democrats?

Ghanaians should not make the calamitous mistake by putting all politicians in one basket and thereby unfairly ‘crucifying’ a charismatic leader who can put forward expedient policies such as one district one factory, one village one dam, one constituency one million dollars, Free SHS, amongst others.

K. Badu, UK.


Columnist: Kwaku Badu