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If the lessons of the last 23 months could be distilled into a single sentence it would be this: The Akufo-Addo government has been undeniably and gravely harmful to our nation’s health. On every conceivable metric, it has failed and every Ghanaian had to pay a heavy price for Akufo-Addo’s brand of misgovernance.
Let’s take a look at the economy, one of the biggest casualties of President Akufo-Addo’s tenure. He has lumbered on from one ill advised and poorly thought out decision to another. The issuing of bonds, imposition of taxes and hastily implemented policies is suffocating businesses. The banking system which was hailed for its resilience in the face of the 2013-15 global financial crisis, are collapsing under this administration because of feeble oversight, poor policy planning and failure on the part of government to pay contractors and drop in capital expenditure. All the above has made an already inept government all the more desperate for revenue. Government is taxing item including kenkey and koose. Since 2017 international oil prices has jumped up and Ghana, an oil producing country gets huge revenue from oil sale. Any other government, with the barest of concern for its people would have passed on the benefit to the public by reducing the prices of petrol and diesel.
Instead, this government chose to increase prices of fuel making fuel costlier than it has ever been.
The shortage of jobs continues to be the biggest challenge facing government. Having misled the public on the creation of jobs, the Akufo-Addo government has finally acknowledged the need to tackle the unemployment menace with scientific policies than vague populist rhetoric.
There are no constituencies that President Akufo-Addo has failed in greater measure than farmers, traders, the health sector, education etc. Fertilizer the farmers received freely under the previous administration is being sold to the farmers, free seedlings government distributed to farmers has stopped and construction of cocoa roads has been abandoned. As we enter the last third year of this government’s unenviably lacklustre term , it is clear that the public is fatigued by the relentless self promotion, the constant prioritising of selections over administration and overall, the emptiness of a man who promised so much and delivered so very little.
In my personal opinion, there have been two separate issues muddying analyses of President Akufo-Addo’s 23-24 months in power. For one, much of the media has misdirected its focus on largely irrelevant issues while ignoring those that deserve far greater scrutiny. Secondly, the government itself must be assessed on not only its plan for growth but for the steps it is taking towards development. The focus should have been more on the performance of the government headed by Akufo-Addo rather than the trivialities.
This government seems to have forgotten all about health and education infrastructures. Government has increased our debt stock to about Ghc 172 billion (added about Ghc50 billion) with 23 months and our media and civil society organizations are not interested in finding out how the money was used.. We live in a generation where the media creates demigods and villains out of public figures. President Obama in 2015, in his state of the Union Speech when he noted that sensible leaders, being representatives of the common people, should use their heads instead of “reacting to headlines”
President Akufo-Addo and his Finance Minister must be told that, Ghana needs development more than growth. This means acknowledging that the money necessary for developmental spending, other than reducing leakages, cannot come without an increase in tax revenue, and therefore without higher growth rate in terms of real infrastructural development and real growth.
It is evident that to compete in the global economy, investment in education is essential, South Korea has been similar to Ghana in the early 1960s and Ghana was ahead of many of the countries in Asia in most socio economic indicators until the late 1960s to 70s. Where these nations focused on universal primary and secondary education. Their governments focused on infrastructure and teaching and learning equipments and made sure adequate provisions were created to absorb graduates from the various levels of their education.
Government has borrowed close to Ghc 50 billion apart from other support it has received from donors, revenue from the oil, revenue from gold and other natural resources and the media and civil society organizations are not interested in where the monies were channelled into. This is the luckiest administration in the history of Ghana. It inherited a stable power situation, enough power (generation), atuabo saving the country Ghc 500 million annually, the stabilisation fund and huge investment in the oil and gas sectors.
Source: Ohenenana Obonti Krow