I read John Mahama saying on his belated “thank you tour” that NPP wants to break the 8 in order to protect itself from corruption. The simple response to that must be that the NPP wants to break the 8 in order to protect Ghana and the gains being made for Ghanaians from the likes of “Mahama the Disaster”. The evidence is still fresh in our minds why John Mahama was a disaster and I shudder to think how he would have handled the Covid-19 crisis and its disastrous impact on the economy today.
Our problems are, of course, many and varied. Our struggle is historic, deep, real and naked. So, it is easy to be convinced by an acerbic and sweet tongue that can hit hard and promise paradise. But, we must be guided by what such a tongue does with its mind, heart and hands when given the opportunity. My simple response to John Mahama on why NPP must break the 8 is because it is clear to Ghanaians that the NDC doesn’t seem to see any alternative to present to Ghanaians in 2024 but him, John Mahama, and it is obvious from what he did to what he inherited from his own boss, President John Atta Mills, that he would destroy what NPP was fixing if returned in future.
Mahama destroyed what he inherited from Mills in July 2012 and handed over the running of Ghana’s oil-rich economy to the IMF when there was no crisis. Simply put, he himself was the crisis! He home-grew a crisis and outsourced the solution. That is the record of “Mahama the Disaster”. It should be more than clear to Ghanaian voters that in 2024, the National Democratic Congress intends to bring back John Dramani Mahama. Yes. It is what it is. Why else is he embarking on a “thank you tour” nearly a year after being rejected for the second comprehensive time by Ghanaians?
Unless, of course, his mission is to thank Ghanaians for rejecting him. So it appears that the choice for 2024 is between the NPP and John Mahama’s NDC. We are less than a year in Akufo-Addo’s second and final term. I am confident that once the next leadership dye is cast, the NPP will go knocking on doors to break the 8 with confidence that they have delivered largely on the mandate given and there is the need to protect and build on what has been delivered they deserve to be maintained (under a new leader) who can be trusted to protect the gains made and add onto that his or her own new ideas, style, competence, vision and leadership to take Ghana up to the next level.
The record shows that NPP builds for NDC to destroy. You don’t need to look further than to compare 2008 to 2016, and 2016 to now. I will say this with all the evidence available and will dare any analyst to challenge and, please, do so with facts and not propaganda. Since the First Republic, no government has done more to put or keep money in people’s pockets than the NPP. If in doubt over how and where your money is being spent look no further beyond the evidence around you. Things are clearly not where we all want them to be, but, I dare say in all modesty that even with all the social and economic struggles that the country and the people are battling under this pandemic, this Government has performed at least creditably better than John Mahama’s record shows he would have been able to manage.
And, I say this with all humility. Bills left by the NDC, including GHS20 billion a year in interest rates and growing because of new commitments are being paid and being honoured without fail, as the NDC prays without success for the NPP to run into the arms of the IMF!Free SHS, the most significant social intervention since NHIS, is being funded without fail and with taxpayers’ money. That is cash being left in the pockets of parents. We have a strong and vibrant banking sector today because this Government spent GHS21 billion of taxpayers’ money to save the financial sector and help solidify it to grow. Two of the untold success stories of the last few years are a remarkable way and manner the CBG and the GCB have both gone about the responsibility of building on the legacy crisis of the collapsed banks.
CBG was created from scratch from the ashes of some of those banks and the success story should be now a major course taught in business schools. Simply fascinating. It took a leadership of courage and foresight to make it all happen. Just imagine how Ghana would have handled the COVID-19 pandemic if our financial sector was left in its weakened and collapsing form before 2020. The banks would have collapsed and there would have been no money to protect depositors! We have a lot to be grateful for and to thank ourselves for voting wisely. You voted for a government in 2016 and 2020 that has taken off more taxes than any other government in our history and it has abolished more taxes than it has itself imposed.
When in our history did that ever happen? This is a fact. Until Akufo-Addo, when in our history did any government reduce electricity prices in both real and nominal terms? This Government has ensured that electricity prices are cheaper today than they were in 2016. Protecting better the cash in your pocket. This is a fact. Water prices today are cheaper in real terms than they were in 2016. Another fact. This means that the Akufo-Addo Government has collected less in water and electricity revenues than the Mahama Govt in the nearly four and a half years that the latter was in power. It is money in your pocket.
Comparatively, in terms of burdening consumers, this Government has collected less and done more in delivering and replacing decrepit infrastructure in the utilities sector. This Government has never once failed to pay wages and salaries. Even when in 2020 more public sector workers had to stay home or work less because of Covid-19, none was sacked and all got paid and in full. That is where your money goes as a taxpayer. This Government has spent more on educating our children (in terms of GDP share and in real and nominal numbers) than any other government in our nation’s history.
This Government also feeds more school children, both boarders and day students, than Ghana had ever managed previously. It is all funded with your taxes. Still on social interventions, this Government has spent more money and reached more people with LEAP (Ghana’s version of social welfare handouts) than any other government since President Kufuor introduced it. It is taxpayers’ cash. As if like a socialist party, this NPP Government has even created NABCO which has given employment opportunities to some 100,000 young people. That is where your taxes go. On top of that, the ¢100 billion GhanaCares programme is designed to put more money into enterprises of young people than any previous government managed to do.
That will be done with your taxes to grow and expand the economy and create jobs. This Government has employed more people in the public sector, including doctors, nurses, teachers, police officers, immigration officers, armed forces personnel, etc, in four and a half years than John Mahama managed to accomplish. It is a fact that Akufo-Addo has created more jobs than John Mahama did when the latter had no global coronavirus pandemic to deal with, except the crisis he himself created through his incompetent and disastrous handling of public funds in particular and the economy in general. He even allowed a foreign body to ban him from employing Ghanaians!
This Government within five years has built more roads than any previous government under a similar period. The only other leader who can also beat his chest is President Kufuor. The NPP has fixed more roads than any other party. That is where your taxes go. Whether on roads or on flyovers, this Government has done more public thoroughfares with your money than Mahama, who is now boldly talking about corruption, ever did. This Government has given communities up and down the country value for their money, whether through the provision of roads, irrigation systems, water systems, school facilities, agric extension workers, ambulances, etc than John Mahama could ever dream possible. This Government has facilitated the setting up, expansion and rehabilitation of more factories than any other government since Independence, including the revered Kwame Nkrumah.
This is a fact supported by verifiable evidence. Again, no other government since Independence has invested more in rebuilding and expanding the railway sector than this Government. This is a fact. The evidence is there. Obviously, no other government has invested more in e-infrastructure to digitise Ghana than the Akufo-Addo administration. This is taxpayers money being used to enhance efficiency and also create more job opportunities for young Ghanaian entrepreneurs. Digitization is opening up the economy to a new, wide range of job opportunities than ever before. The response of the NDC government under Mahama to the dumsor crisis was to go on a spree to impose on taxpayers billions of dollars worth of contracted excess take-or-pay power purchase agreements.
Even as this Government perseveres to terminate some and renegotiate others, hundreds of millions of dollars (taxpayers’ money) are spent annually to pay for power we don’t use by this Government. John Manama was pretty good at awarding contracts he had no clue how to pay for them! This Government has been good at settling the billions in arrears it inherited and still manages to go about the business of implementing its own flagship programmes. This Government has managed to reduce the percentage of contracts that are either sole-sourced or done by restrictive tender and, by that, saving hundreds of millions every year through the PPA by reducing the costs of such contracts to the taxpayer.
NDC, under Mahama, made ZERO savings in such situations. This is a fact. It bothers me how NPP can allow the NDC to attack it on corruption when the NPP evidently does more for the people with taxpayers’ money than the NDC did under Mahama. Clearly, corruption is such an easy cane with which to whip a government whether it is supported by facts or propaganda. Corruption effectively means resources meant for public expenditures are going into private pockets.
Surely if a government is doing more than any previous one in spending public funds on the people and their communities and also getting more in return than the previous government, then why should that ruling party allow that opponent to confidently feel that corruption is rather the ruling party’s Achilles heel? Last but by no means the least, Mahama built a district hospital for over $35 million. Akufo-Addo is building 101 district hospitals for less than $17 million. As for civil society groups, their standard is understandably higher, and so must it be. But not the NDC!