Every Generation has its Herod and Three Wise Kings

In Ghana, this generation has produced it’s fair share of a Herod to complement his counterpart in the US. In the Bible, Herod was a cruel and a cunning King, whose Kingdom stretched all over Palestine of the Bible times.

King Herod was infamous for one thing. Three Wise Kings, guided by a star which reading spoke of the birth of great person, visited his court and broke the good news to King Herod. After making presents of gold, myrrh and frankincense to the infant, who laid in a manger where he was born, an angel appeared in a dream to the three Wise Kings not to return to King Herod.

The angel also told the father of the infant to flee to Egypt with the family, away from the tyrant Herod who had plotted to murder the infant. In his rage, King Herod ordered the killing of all male infants born at the time of the visit of the three Wise Kings, after he discovered that the three Wise Kings had returned without reporting the particular place, where the infant was born, as promised.

This generation in Ghana have met their Herod, who promised to build a stronger economy, fight corruption using Anas Principles, build 1V1D, 1D1F, provide each Constituency with US $1 million, etc. Having borrowed far in excess of his predecessors, the government of President Akufo-Addo has no hencoop to show for such funds and revenue receipts for the tenure of office, since January 7, 2019.

In a desperate attempt to cough up a decoy, NPP communicators, comprising of Ministers and government functionaries, are falling head over heels to showcase products purported to come from Ekumfi Pineapple Factory. This stampede in the NPP to outdo each other in the embellishment of Ekumfi Pineapple Factory, has exposed the charade of numerous existing factories which preceded this announcement that were listed as achievement of government flagship of 1D1F.

This Ekumfi Pineapple Factory has capacity to employ 150 workers out of a population of 30 million people in Ghana with 60% unemployment rate. Meanwhile, Komenda Sugar Factory, built at a cost of US $35 million and has capacity to employ about 3,500 workers to cut down an annual import of US $350 million worth of sugar, was abandoned for three years. In its current deplorable state, the factory has been sold out at a knockdown price of US $12.5 million to what the government called a strategic investor.

Speculations that Bank of Ghana was busy printing new currency notes and minted coins, has now been confirmed. Which robust economy with micro economic fundamentals stability, single digit inflation and lower interest rates, will print new currency notes? This is a note of confirmation, that when the NPP in opposition said borrowing was a lazy man’s approach, it had no idea of the direction of the economy before it took office.

That explains reasons behind several inordinate decisions taken by government in desperate attempt to shore up shortfalls in state coffers plundered by the looting brigade called government functionaries. King Herod of Ghana used state capture power to kill all banks and media houses deemed hostile and leading in competition of the domestic financial market space and in electronic media, respectively. In the wicked scheme to abandon several infrastructural facilities built by the previous government, health workers, especially unemployed nurses, which figures run into a hundred thousand, are still at home.

SHS students were moved into makeshift spaces in the wake of the unbridled roll out of free SHS, in spite of available 123 E-Blocks which needed completion and complemented with dormitories to ameliorate the situation. So what informed government obstinate decision to introduce free SHS, if it is on this old structure it planned to run the free SHS programme; after the touted credentials of 40 years political ambition to become a President “at all cost?”

Ghanaians in their usual cool, to a larger extent, agree to the challenges confronting government; but not to this obstinate lavish spending spree of government indication that it needs US $92million to relocate the Passport Office to make way for the building of a National Cathedral. Meanwhile, the same government says it can’t find money to develop a holistic drainage system to handle the perennial flooding cycle in Accra and in other fast developing cities across the country.

If this current layer of government is a demonstration of what King Herod of our generation has to show for 40 years of planning, it is sufficient evidence that this government lacks ability for another tenure to think on its feet, or work under pressure. No wonder 59% of Ghanaians are convinced Ghana is on a wrong direction in the reins of President Akufo-Addo.

Isaac Adongo, NDC MP for Bolgatanga Central Constituency, has on numerous occasions hinted government intentions to print new currency notes. Also, he has consistently kicked against government’s whetted appetite to borrow for consumption, an expenditure in a manner outstripping revenue. All his predictions of the economy has come to pass, and yielding the negative results he warned against in his predictions.

Thus far, government huge spending on the above, usually are meant for countries with fundamentals that allows for balanced growth development. Consider government excessive spending on creating newer regions and a referendum on December 17, 2019, which experts slam as unnecessary. For a developing country confronted with numerous challenges in infrastructural deficits, why will government prioritise borrowing to hold referendum create newer regions, build a National Cathedral, print new currency notes?

For 40 years, when King Herod was dreaming to become a President “at all cost,” did he never hear about government commercial investments for unbalanced growth development such as government borrowing to finance the construction of the Akosombo Dam, the establishment of Ghana Industrial Holding Company, the construction of Atuabo Gas Processing Plant, the construction of KIA Terminal 3, expansion of Takoradi and Tema Harbours, and numerous government programmes that absolves the taxpayer and posterity from the burden of debt servicing and loans repayment?

Or when King Herod inherited the 7th government of the Fourth Republic, didn’t he take note of instruments and special purpose vehicles such as the Energy Sector Levy Act, Ghana ExIm Bank, the Heritage Fund, and the newly discovered oilfields at Cape Three Points, especially the latest after the TEN blocks, Springfield? What about the three FPSOs and government deliberate investments in the oil and power sector of the economy, does that remind him of lessons he took at Legon, where he received Third Class in Economics?

Aluta continua! Merry Christmas to all Ghanaians.

By Comrade Shmuel Ja’Mba Abm

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