Feature: The Untold Truth in the NDC’s True State of the Nation Address (2)

Did the NDC miss what the president said in his SONA, when he talked about how to end the economic crisis and how he associated himself with the hardships Ghanaians are going through? If no, then why did they make those irresponsible statements about the president?

Talking about this government’s discredited attempt to evade responsibility for the economic atrocities and having Ghanaians to deal with the daily consequences of a collapsed economy, the NDC should be truthful and tell Ghanaians, what happened to this country during the nineteen straight uninterrupted years of Rawlings’ regimes?

Were the poor in Ghana ever made rich?  The NDC knows that while they left Ghanaians to deal with managing poverty, Rawlings and his cohorts rose from cooked food debtors to rub shoulders with the rich, high and mighty in Africa.

While the poor cannot afford to pay GH¢900.00 advance for a two-year rental apartment, Rawlings was given a 4.5-acre plot of land, by the previous NDC government, at a leasehold of GH¢10.00 per year for ninety years. With just GH¢900.00, Rawlings was able to pay for the full term of the lease.

What exactly do the NDC refer to as useless and reckless governance of the last five years? Of course, we are in trying times with all these hardships, but this is not the worst time. In 1982/1983 there was no food in Ghana. The excuse was drought however it rained during that period. The excuse was famine, but there was plenty to eat in neighbouring countries. And there was no global economic crunch.

Today there is and yet food is in abundance and the 11th Global Food Security Index of 2022, Ghana ranked 83rdin the world and 3rd in Africa with score of 52. Compared to 2016, when Ghana ranked 6th in Africa and 72nd in the world with score of 47.8.

When talking about useless and reckless governance, it cannot be the NPP. This current government encountered a new global pandemic, Covid-19, and it managed the disease so well and better than advanced nations like USA, Great Britain, France, Canada and others to make it among the top three nations. Some of Ghana’s innovations to check the spread of the virus were adopted by nations like the United Kingdom.

On the other hand, with a local and annual epidemic like cholera, when it struck in 2014 the NDC government could not manage it and that year, Ghana recorded the highest cases at 28, 922 and 243 deaths in the history of cholera in this country. What is more reckless than this?

It is agreed that the current dept to GDP ratio is the highest ever recorded, but it is at 91% and not 103%. At any rate, in 2001, the NPP inherited a Debt to GDP ratio of 80.2% from the NDC in 2001 and exited in 2009 with a Debt to GDP ratio of 24.6%.

The NDC government left with a ratio of 55.9% in 2017. (Ref:https://www.worldeconomics.com/grossdomesticproduct/debt-to-gdp-ratio/Ghana.aspx) Today, with less than two years to January 2025, what will happen if the current NPP government hands-over to another, with a Debt to GDP Ratio much lower than what it inherited?

And at any rate the NPP borrows money and uses it judiciously. The NDC borrows recklessly and uses it recklessly. The NDC used over $260 million to build the Kwame Nkrumah Interchange, whereas the NPP used $94.8 million to build the largest interchange in West Africa at Pokuase.

Inclusive with three other interchanges across the country, it cost the NPP government $280 million. Ghana would have borrowed over $1.0 billion if the NDC were to build the other four interchanges.

Reckless borrowing and reckless spending made the NDC use $274 million to build Terminal 3 at the Kotoka International Airport which Ethiopia would have used $80 million to build.

And while Ethiopia in 2015 used $64.5 million to build three airports, each bigger in size and capacity than the Tamale airport, the NDC government spent $100 million to expand the Tamale airport, and another $28 million fixing the runway and aeronautic lights at the Kumasi airport.

Then we come to the Saglemi Housing Project which according to consultants would need $200 million to build 5,000 housing units. In the end the NDC spent all the money to put up only 164 housing units. Talking about reckless borrowing and reckless spending, when one sees the NDC, he need not look further.

The NDC is saying that there are only minor road repairs going on and not new road construction.Maybe with road construction, we all need to take tape-measures and go measuring the new roads constructed by the NPP. By the NDC statement, would they classify the Accra-Tema Beach Road project as a new road or simply put, road repairs? Are the NDC blind to road constructions going on from Accra to Nsawam, from Accra to Ningo and many other parts of the country?

On inflation, the NDC should be honest enough to take us through from 2013 when President John Mahama started his full term as president, through to 2021 at the peak of the global pandemic with its resultant global economic crunch.

Inflation rate was 11.67% in 2013, then to 15.49%, then 17.15% and 17.45% in 2016, even under the supervision of the IMF. NPP took the inflation rate down to 12.37% in 2017, then to 7.81%, then to 7.14%, then 9.89% and 9.97% in 2021, when due to global economic crunch, the economy was crumpling.

In 2022, inflation recorded 54.1% which was much lower than the NDC’s 59.46% in 1995 and the PNDC’s 122.87% in 1982. All these high figures were recorded when there was no external pressure, but just reckless management of the economy.

When there is talk about cedi depreciating, the NDC better go hiding. What was the rate when the PNDC came into office in 1981 and what was the rate in 1992? The cedi started in 1981 at ¢2.75 to $1.00 and in 1992 it was ¢ 520.00, on average.

Over the eleven-year period, the depreciation rate was 18,809.1% at an average annual rate of 1,710%. Going on, by December 2000, the rate went up to ¢6,875.00 to $1.00 at a depreciation rate of 1,222.12% over the eight years of NDC government or an average annual rate of 152.8%. (https://www.moneyratestoday.com/exchange-rate-history-us-dollar-to-ghana-cedi.html?date=2000-12).

From 1991 to 2000, under Rawlings, the cedi depreciated 249,900% at an annual depreciation rate of 13,153%. So, with this record what moral right has the NDC to talk about depreciation of the cedi?

Even assuming that Rawlings managed the economy so well and the cedi depreciated nineteen times over his nineteen years of reign, from ¢2.75 to $1.00 in 1981 to ¢52.25 to $1.00, the currency would have depreciated by 1,800% at an annual rate of 94.74% over the period, so what is the fuss about an alleged 54% depreciating over eleven months?

Talking about total freeze on public sector employment, the NDC cannot be serious to point fingers at the current NPP government who employs annually into the public sector. During the NDC era, an IMF conditionality which was accepted without question, put a lid on all public sector employment.

The truth is, Planting for Food and Jobs which a former NDC MP, Hon Alhaji Mohammed IssifuPangadu benefited from and was honest enough to come out publicly to praise the current NPP government, had growth rate of agriculture increase from 7.4% in 2020 to 8.4% in 2021.

The NPP government inherited an agriculture growth rate of 3.0% (2016) and by 2017 the growth rate rose to 6.1%. Today, in their True State of the Nation Address the NDC are lying that the agriculture growth rate is 0.7%.

The truth is the manufacturing sector grew from 7.9% in 2016 to 9.5% in 2017 and had a steady annual growth of 7.99% over a five-year period to 2021. In 2022 the steady growth continued even at 1.8% over 2021 growth by September 2022.

And with the construction sector, a growth rate of 8.5% was recorded in 2017 compared to 3.7% in 2016. Where did the NDC get their figures from? Thanks to the suppressing of dumsor, manufacturing and construction growth rates have recorded annual increases.

Maintaining single digit inflation from 2018 through to 2021, clearly indicates that the economy was sound then. I will not belabour this issue about the economy collapsing before Covid-19 broke.

Spending recklessly for election purposes, we had inflation rate of 40.24% in 2000 from 4.87% in 1999; 11.19% in 2012 from 8.73% in 2011 and 17.45% in 2016 from 17.15% in 2015, all during NDC eras, and these speak for themselves.

In 2020, Nigeria recorded a budget deficit of 63.58%; Burkina Faso was 24.3% and Senegal was             16.7%. Apart from the Cote d’Ivoire figure of 5.4%, one would wonder where the NDC picked their figures from.

Let us answer NDC’s question with a question about how come our neighbouring nations did not record inflation rates higher than the over 50% Ghana recorded in 2022. Let me just pick Burkina Faso. This country recorded inflation rate of 8.15% in 1983 while we recorded 122.87%; 7.46% in 1995 while we recorded 59.46% and 0.44% in 2016 while we recorded 17.45%. How come?

During the beginning of the Russia-Ukraine war, Western economies collapsed. The Euro depreciated against the US Dollar and at one point, for the first time the USD became stronger than the Euro. In the UK, the inflation rate rose from the negatives to over 12%, making life very unbearable. In Ghana, we would have found 12% very cool and easy to live with, but not in the UK.

I will not bother discussing the NDC address any further, or I may be repeating myself and bore readers. I will only advise the NDC that next time they must come out with the truth.

This party when in government lied about the state of the economy in their financial report to the Bretton Woods Institutions, and Ghana was fined $36 million, which President Kufuor had to pay. If the NDC can lie to the IMF, then we should not be surprised if they can lie to us about what we already know.

But wait the NDC is defining the current state of our nation as a case of hopelessness, recklessness, corruption and leadership paralysis, and accusing the NPP government of gross mismanagement of affairs. The question is, what is the current state of the NDC today?

There is a clear case of reckless and hopeless internal management of the party to make MPs go against their party’s directives. Because they see the leadership bereft of ideas and full of corrupt and dictatorial minds. We shall visit this issue later. So, if the NDC leadership cannot manage their own party affairs, how can it manage this country?

Hon. Daniel Dugan


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