Feature: When a Thief is Being Pursued, Thieves Will Join in the Pursuit Re: The NDC and Sale of State Assets.

When will Ghanaians rise up against the deceits of some politicians? This, ideology of it-is-only-wrong-when-my-opponent-is-doing-it, is complete nonsensical and must not be encouraged.

In this day and age, the NDC and socialists are saying that it is wrong to sell state assets to political office holders and those linked to the corridors of power. Like seriously? Yes, this confirms what I always say that, “when a thief is being pursued, thieves will join the pursuit.”

I cannot believe that the NDC will today rise up against the sale of state assets to the private sector.

Let us go down memory-lane. And since it is now about SSNIT, let us begin with SSNIT:

SSNIT and its Assets: The National Youth Organizer of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), George Opare Addo on behalf of the NDC has voiced strong opposition to the proposed sale of SSNIT hotels, urging all Ghanaians to recognize the gravity of the situation as it directly affects their investments and rise up against the sales of shares of some SSNIT hotels to a private company owned by Hon. Bryan Acheampong, MP and Minister of Food and Agriculture.

“I am a shareholder of SSNIT, you are a shareholder of SSNIT; anyone who contributes to SSNIT is a shareholder. You should be worried about how your investment is going,” he stated. The question is when did the NDC realise that sale of SSNIT assets affect the Ghanaian contributor to the SSNIT Pension Fund?

Jesus Christ in Matthew 7:5, is telling the NDC to first remove the log in its eye before attempting to remove the speck in NPP’s eye.

SSNIT was established in November 1972 to take contributions from workers into a pension fund. With lots of funds, coming in monthly to play around with, SSNIT invested into real estates, medical facilities, hospitality business and a bank. In the real estate business, SSNIT built the SSNIT Flats across the country and sold it out to people at prices well above the reach of the ordinary SSNIT contributor.

SSNIT also went into putting up hotels and rest houses, using the workers’ contribution. If today there are financial problems in the administration of these businesses which will adversely affect the workers’ contribution, it is only proper for the Trust to offload its assets to a company that can lift up the business and make the workers’ contribution safe and sound.

How did the NDC make workers lose their investments in SSNIT? Let us look at the Social Security Bank.

SSNIT established and solely owned the Social Security Bank (SSB) which was officially opened on January 17, 1977, and used workers’ contributions as its capital. This bank which became one of the leading banks in the country, generated enough funds for the Trust to be able to pay good pensions.

But, the NDC in July 1995, made SSNIT divest 20% of its shares in the bank. And by December 1999, foreign corporations took over 72% of the bank’s shares and changed its name to SSB. SSNIT lost control of the bank and with that the Ghanaian worker lost his life-time investment. The bank was now fully private.

In March 2003, Société Genérale stepped in and took over 51% of the shares and changed the name of the bank to SG-SSB in March 2004. With its shares going up to 52.4%, Société Genérale had the bank’s name changed to Société Genérale – Ghana in March 2013. Today, Société Genérale, holds 56.70% shares in the bank, which was established to invest in the ordinary worker’s future. Today, SSNIT holds only 19.40% shares and cannot take final decisions of the bank it funded with workers’ contributions.

Nana Akomea of the NPP came public to say that, the minority shareholder in the SSNIT hotel in Cape Coast is a high ranking NDC member; the SSNIT catering rest houses in Tamale, Sunyani and Kumasi now belong to another high-ranking NDC members and they all bought them when NDC was in power. He added that unlike the NDC bigwigs who know next to nothing about managing hotels, SSNIT is selling shares of some of its hotels to Bryan Acheampong who has proven that he can turn around hotels that are not making profit.

Because of the NDC, the Ghanaian worker today has lost his investment in SSNIT and retires into pension only to receive monthly allowances that is far below the national minimum wage.  The money he spends on transportation to the bank for his monthly pension, is half of his pension. It is the NDC that destroyed the workers’ contribution, not the NPP.

Ashanti-Goldfields: Before 1994, Ghana had 55% shares in Ashanti-Goldfields, making us the absolute decision maker. But Rawlings and the NDC sold out 30% of its shares in 1994 to private entities, most of which fronted for people in power or were European cronies. Only $400 million was gained from the sale and which was never felt our pockets, since the cedi devalued seriously in that era.

Between 1993 and 1997, the cedi depreciated 228.85% from ¢520.00 to ¢1,277.50 to $1.00. During Rawlings’ tenure as a democratically elected president, from 1993 to 2001, the cedi depreciated 1,277.50% from ¢520.00 to ¢7,163.00 to a dollar. And during his total of nineteen years as head of state of Ghana, Rawlings with the PNDC and NDC made sure the cedi depreciated 260,372.73% from ¢2.75 to ¢7,163.00 to $1.00.

Going on, after offloading the 30% shares, the NDC went ahead and sold the remaining 25% shares Ghana had in Ashanti Goldfields. Today, even though Ghana is the number one gold producer in Africa, the country holds no shares in AngloGold Ashanti, which bought Ashanti Goldfield. No Ghanaian is member of management of AngloGold Ashanti but on the board, a Ghanaian, one Kojo Busia can be found, joining on December 31, 2022.

Because of the NDC, even though Ghana is producing more gold in Africa, we have no say in that sector. We must be back to the colonial era, for this is what the NDC has done to Ghana. Recklessly disposing of national assets all in the name of enriching-the poor-by-impoverishing the rich, and today as a result of this insanity, Ghanaians in general are poorer now than in 1981 when Rawlings bust unto the political scene.

In summary our Ashanti Goldfields was sold on silver platter and we never felt it in the economy. Meanwhile, some people were shot and killed for economic mismanagement and abuse of power.

GIHOC Nsawam Cannery: This factory was in full operation, processing foods, especially fruits in a zone where fruits like pineapple and oranges were cultivated on a very large scale. It was however sold out for agbeli kalaklo, to Rawlings’ wife the First Lady, Nana Konadu Agyeman Rawlings through her political NGO, the 31 DWM. What is the state of the factory now?

GNTC Supermarkets: These were state owned, retail shops which competed on the same level with foreign owned shops like Kingsway and UTC. Then, the NDC made sure they were giving away for pocket change to cronies and politicians. Today, the GNTC Supermarkets are empty and serve as shelters for the homeless.

GIHOC Tema Boatyard: This was once the most vibrant boatyard in the whole of West Africa with most shipping companies using this base to service their vessels. This was sold to an NDC guru and since then, its operations had dropped, making it a museum piece.

State Hotels: Let us remind ourselves of what happened to the Star Hotel in Cantonments, Accra. This hotel went to a crony of the then First Lady, Nana Konadu Agyeman Rawlings. The hotel which was fully in operation was closed down, demolished and the land used to put up residential apartments.

These are but a few of what the NDC did to Ghana with state assets, so, if today, SSNIT is finding it difficult operating its hotels due to lack of adequate funds and decides to offload majority of its shares to the private sector, the NDC and socialists should just shut up. Shame unto them.

I want to believe that on top of the agenda of the NDC, it plans to sell SSNIT hotels to its members, as it did in the past, if by the unlikely event, it wins the 2024 Elections. But, NPP jumped the gun, hence this useless, hypocritical protest.

Some people would say, what I presented is to seek equalisation. The NDC always uses this word, equalisation, when it is referred to acts it committed while in power but complaining against same, when out of power.

Before the NDC should use that word as an escape route, it must be bold and honest enough to admit it did wrong in past, apologise to Ghanaians and come out with advice. I say, advice, not to arrogantly condemn. I am in no way seeking equalisation, but only going along with the teachings of Christ in Matthew 7:5.

Now what is it all about protecting state assets that are failing? Government losses lots of money when it continues to maintain assets that are running losses and yet the socialists will want these to be protected and maintained.

Work ethics in most of the state sector, is far removed from ideal acts of principle and professionalism. In most cases, from management down to the low-ranking staff, commitment is normally not a functioning word. So, whether the work progresses or not, once, every month salary will be paid, life goes on.

The private sector is a different ball game, where discipline ranks high. If Ghana is to make it, I will suggest that most of state assets should go to private hands, with government holding very minimal shares in them. At the end of the fiscal year, these companies will pay good dividend to government and the state and it is Ghana which will be the winner.

On the sale of shares of SSNIT hotel, all the NDC is doing now confirms my saying that, when is thief is pursued, thieves will join in the pursuit.

Hon. Daniel Dugan


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