From Issah Alhassan, Kumasi
The MP for Old-Tafo/Pankrono & former Minister of State at the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning, Dr. Anthony Akoto Osei has expressed confidence that the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) would return to power in 2012.
Dr. Akoto Osei said the poor performance of the NDC administration and the hardship Ghanaians were going through gives him enough impetus to believe that the days of the NDC were numbered.
Addressing party delegates at an end-of-the-year strategic meeting at Tafo, a suburb of Kumasi, the former Finance Minister said the NDC administration had woefully failed Ghanaians and that there was no way the electorate would extend their mandate, come 2012.
“Many Ghanaians have now regretted voting for the NDC, they are now calling for the NPP to come back, because they have noticed the differences,” Dr. Akoto asserted.
The former Minister, who is a renowned Economist of international repute and stature, took the audience through major parliamentary processes and on the on-going debate on the 2011 budget before the house.
He stressed that the country risks going back to HIPC by 2012, if care and caution were not taken by the NDC on the incessant borrowings from development partners.
Dr. Akoto Osei said the NDC government was treading without caution, stressing that it is making certain decisions without recourse to future repercussions.
“Ghana went to HIPC and by the time Kufuor left office, Ghana was a middle income country, but the quantum of loans that this government has contracted from Korea and China are likely to whittle down all the gains chalked, and will make economic resuscitation efforts very challenging and difficult in 2013,” the MP noted.
According to Dr. Akoto Osei, a whopping some of $10 billion for the Korea STX housing deal, $16 billion from China, which sums up to $26 billion is far in excess of what the economy is able to generate in a year.
“It is therefore irrational economics to borrow more than one can produce, it puts you straight into debts, this is the point I am making,” he quibbled.
The former Minister further noted that “government’s debts are about $4.6 billion in just 2 years! And wages and salary arrears of teachers amounts to GH¢ One billion, with GH¢ 200 to be paid this year, and there are arrears in statutory payments of DACF, GETFUND, NHIS.
Government says inflation is falling but when contractors are not being paid, it makes life pitiable for Ghanaians, and creates a sad state of affairs for the welfare of the people”.
He noted that the government cannot fulfill its promises on the Single Spine Salary Structure for about 300,000 teachers in the country, and this will make life difficult for teachers and their immediate families in the run up to 2012.
“Ghanaians will by now see the difference in governance of the NPP and that of the NDC now, this dichotomy should impress upon the electorates decision to vote the NDC out and bring back the NPP to power,” he asserted.
He said the NDC government was suffering from political myopia, and they lacked the sensitivity that a government that promised ‘Better Ghana Agenda’ for its people should adopt, adding “they actually do not care about Ghanaians”.
He further asserted “if you had a per capita income of $ 1,238 in 2007/2008 under the NPP and now it is $1,108 in 2009/2010, then a discerning mind can see the level of prosperity that NPP created and the hardships under the Mills regime”.
In a related development, the MP visited the Old-Tafo Methodist church and donated GH¢ 800 towards the building of a health facility to cater for the church by the Susanna Wesley Mission.