Kufuor Replies NDC

I have read with amusement your Press Statement on aspects of what former President JA Kufuor said during his 72nd birthday last week.

You seem to take issue with his assertion that the NPP government, which he led, has been the best in Ghana so far.

I submit humbly that former President Kufuor was assessing the performance of his government over their eight-year tenure.

I recall that not too long ago President JEA Mills in assessing his performance gave himself the high mark of 80%.

At the time the NPP came to office in 2001, Ghana’s international ranking had sunk so low it was classified as a ‘Heavily Indebted and Poor Country” (HIPC); national reserves stood at only $233 million; GDP which was $4 billion, grew at a lowly 3.7% per year; there was no National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS); no School Feeding Programme; no free school busing for pupils and the aged; no free school fees for pupils from Kindergarten to Junior High School level; inflation stood at a high of 40.5% and interest rate was hitting the 50% mark, just to mention a few.

By the time NPP was leaving office in 2008 Ghana had graduated from International Monetary Fund (IMF) oversight-ship to borrow from the EURO-Bond market where its share-value of $750 million was over-subscribed by more three times; national reserves had risen to $2,036million; GDP shot up to over $44 billion and was growing at 8.4%; the NHIS was running smoothly and efficiently; a pilot scheme to give at least one hot meal a day to school children fro mfour years to 14 years was progressing well and on course; Inflation stood at 18% and interest rate had  dropped to 23 percent.

Indeed with the rebasing of the GDP growth rate for 2008 from 7.3% to 8.4%, it is now clearly established that Ghana has attained the Middle Income status. The NDC had envisioned that this would be possible by 2020. The NPP believed this could be achieved by 2015 and succeeded in achieving it by 2008.

I fail to see the logic when you state: “within the first four years of the NPP administration … they could for instance complete any of the roads for which the preceding NDC-led government had already secured funding and parliamentary approval.”

At least you are not claiming that the NPP did not complete the roads at all but only that they could not complete them within their first term! The logic turns on its head and we leave to Ghanaians to judge.

We maintain that former President Kufuor ordered and secured a hire purchase agreement for one aircraft.  There was only a tentative agreement to buy a second one in future, resources permitting.  No commitment was made.  The idea was to enable Ghana, should government decide to go ahead with the purchase, to beat the long waiting period of about three years from order  of an aircraft to when delivery was made.

It is disappointing that after the 19 years rule of former President JJ Rawlings, you mention only one report by the Institute of Statistical, Social and Economic Research (ISSER) commending him.  We could cite numerous documents attesting to successes chalked by former President Kufuor.

Former President Kufuor has the highest respect for the late President Kwame Nkrumah and he has not sought in any way to denigrate him. He acknowledges the enormous work he did for Ghana and Africa which has led to his being voted the ‘Best African Personality of the 20th Century.’

As regards your reference to the so-called ‘top 50 achievements’ of the NDC, the least said about it the better. The document is flawed in many places and is a clear exercise in desperation of a government seeking to be acknowledged, willy-nilly. Apart from its many contradictions it sets very low standards for Ghana as even projects that have just been ‘put on paper’ or are going for tender are cited as achievements. If this is what the NDC wants to be credited with, so be it.

Again you refer to the now worn out Gizelle Yartze issue.  Obviously it serves the NDC’s purpose to continue to follow a discredited lady who at every turn has embarrassed them by her penchant to twist words around and her inability to match her words with deeds.

We again reiterate that all former President Kufuor sought to do was to encourage his party to defend and trump up the achievements of the government that he led which are plentiful, indeed, to assure the people of Ghana, that it was ready to resume government for the betterment of the nation come 2012 .
Frank Agyekum
Office of former President JA Kufuor

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