The NDC is in its sixth term in office, after winning the 2008 presidential elections. Currently President John Dramani Mahama leads the Party in government as they prepare to face the NPP in what many consider to be the mother of all Presidential elections. The obvious alternative to the NDC, the NPP will be presenting Nana Addo Dankwah Akufo-Addo to the good people of Ghana, for the third consecutive time.
Beyond all the noise and the cooked-up stories, meant to shift the agenda from the bread and butter issues, and that meant to assassinate the character of a noble politician, it is worthy at this point, to assess the handiworks of the NDC, especially under John Dramani Mahama, since they assumed Office six years ago.
In his September 2012 ?Critical Policy Statement? to the good people of Ghana, following the eventual demise of his predecessor, Prof. John Evans Atta Mills, President John Dramani Mahama outlined the priorities that will define his first term.
Among his priorities, he pledged to hold down inflation; maintain macro-economic stability, maintain discipline in government expenditure so as to avoid unbudgeted expenditure that can distort the economy; effectively implement the Single Spine Salary Structure; stimulate growth in Agriculture and Industry with a view to generate jobs especially for the youth; accelerate infrastructural development; ensure wise utilization in a transparent manner of oil revenues; ensure proper governance of our natural resources; ensure local content as a cross sectorial imperative; address social development in health, education and sanitation; fight corruption, and address relations with development partners, among others.
It should be clear to all Ghanaians by now that more than six years into the administration of the NDC and President John Dramani Mahama, he has failed in addressing his own priorities set for the nation.
Since his pronouncements in September 2012, inflation has moved from single digit to double digit. The cedi has experienced very steep decline in value, and in 2014, became the worst depreciated currency in the whole world. Even with the stability in the cedi since September 2014, it is still the worst depreciated currency in the whole of Africa.
Government expenditure recorded double-digit-deficit in 2012, 2013, and 2014, the worst in the Fourth Republic.
The incompetent implementation of the Single Spine Salary Structure has generated so much worker demonstration in 2013, than at any other time. The bad faith shown by the Mahama administration in the Tier 2 pension saga worsened the situation.
Agriculture and Industry have been recording declining growth before and after 2012 when President Mahama spoke.
The use of oil revenues according to the Public Interest and Accountability Committee, a legal committee set up to report on the use of oil revenues, states that there has seen scant transparency in the use of oil resources. As for wise utilization, it is instructive to note that the government committed GH?750Thousand to so-called Capacity Building in 2011, and the same government committed GH?112Million, in election year 2012.
On governance of our natural resources, the severe devastation of our countryside, forest reserves, cocoa farms, river systems, through Galamsey, shows up the government?s record and commitment.
Local content as a cross sectorial imperative? The very Parliament where the President Mahama reinforced those policy as a cross sectorial imperative, saw the commitment of millions of dollars to buy imported furniture.
On social development, government has crippled health delivery by the non-payment of health insurance funds; educational standards have been stagnant, and in 2014 the country (Ghana) saw the biggest outbreak of cholera not seen in the last 30years.
Corruption has become the gravest concern of Ghanaians across the spectrum. One Supreme Court Judge describes the situation as one of ?create loot and share?. A second Supreme Court Jurist describes it as ?unspeakable and at a tipping point?. A retired senior military officer says corruption under President Mahama, has reached epidemic proportions.
On relations with our Development Partners, these Partners since 2013 have been very reluctant to provide us with the necessary support due to Government failures, and corruption.
In 2014, President Mahama promised us a year of transformation i.e. fundamental change in our economy and in our welfare. However that year of transformation in 2014 saw the imposition of huge tariffs and more taxes by this NDC government on Ghanaians. Electricity tariffs went up 80%. Water tariff went up 60%. VAT went up 20%. Petrol price went up by over 50%. Taxes have been imposed on virtually everything. Despite all these revenues accruing to government, our debt to GDP has crossed the 60% mark. To top it up, we have had to go cup in hand to the IMF to seek economic salvation. All of these have caused a rise in cost of living and hardship levels, inconsistent with an oil producing economy.
Dumsor has persisted for almost three years and is getting worse. We are only inundated with stories of T1, T2, T3, and illusionary deadlines.
The Mahama-led government claims it has achieved massive infrastructural development. The top 25 projects identified in the 2015 budget do not add up to $4billion, yet this NDC government has borrowed over $14billion in just six years; a truly unprecedented borrowing rate. The question that one has to ask is: which government did not do infrastructure, from Colonial days, through Kwame Nkrumah to President Kufuor? Yet they did not borrow $14billion in 6 years, and they did not receive over $2billion in oil revenue, in 5 years.
Unemployment rate continues to soar, while government continues to tinker with the NYEP, now GYEEDA. With the GH?20billion in 2011 increased to over GH?200billion in 2012, GYEEDA failed to live up to its purpose. SADA has become an illusion, leaving behind it, a tale of wild guinea fowls which have flown to Burkina Faso, and ?dead? trees planted in the Harmattan. President John Mahama, who was seen as dependable to implement SADA to the letter, has turned out to be a disappointment to his kith and kin.
Indeed, the future under the Mahama-led NDC administration is bleak, and in the famous words of Mr. Ivor Greenstreet, ?nobody, N O B O D Y, is feeling the Better Ghana Agenda?, no matter the elevation!
BY YAW P. K. MANU