Saturday, 26 November 2016

If It Wins Power How Will The NPP Fund Its Many Campaign Promises - In A Nation Drowning In Debt?

As Ghanaian political slogans go, "One village, one dam" and "A million dollars each year for every constituency in Ghana",  are hard to beat. Very clever marketing narratives, indeed. Literally.

The question is: How many villages are there in Ghana precisely - and will they all actually have dams built in them: as that New Patriotic Party (NPP) election campaign slogan marketing it to voters seems to imply?

And have those who came up with the idea already worked out the amount of money needed to build  all those dams - and where exactly will the funds to build them be sourced from? Will annual tax increases pay for the maintenance of those dams, for example?

And what time-frame is envisaged by the NPP,  for the construction and completion of dams in all the villages located on the surface of the Ghanaian landmass - from the date when its presidential candidate is sworn into office as Ghana's next President on 7th January, 2017: if  he wins the 7th December presidential election, that is?

One also wonders whether the genuises in the NPP who dreamt up the idea - of forking out one million dollars to each constituency from Ghana's oil revenues annually - intend to use the participatory-budgeting model, whereby all the residents of each constituency, in the country, meet to discuss and decide how to utilise their one million dollars, upon its receipt each year?

Or is it the case that the disbursement  and utilisation of the funds will be egregious examples of the opaque  NDC/NPP duopoly's pork-barrel machine politics in which local party bosses dispense patronage -  designed to create wealthy contractors who supply goods and services to the public sector at profiteering-prices: who will fund party activities?

We live to see the actual outcome of that particular NPP power-grab-wheeze.

Some of us have not forgotten that when it suited the perfidious Kufour & Co - at the time their regime was giving away Ashanti Goldfields for private-greed-reasons - they justified that betrayal of the masses of the Ghanaian people by saying their regime did not believe in governments running businesses (its response to those critising Ghana ceding its golden share in Ashanti Goldfields when it was taken over by AngloGold).

So why is the NPP now proposing to build "one factory in every district in Ghana"? The question is: Does the NPP have a list of all the factories it intends to build across Ghana - "one in every district" of our Republic? Presumably it does - or it wouldn't make it a campaign promise, would it?

Will feasibility studies be conducted before they are built - and who will pay the consultants undertaking them, one wonders? Is that yet another ruse to create an avenue for the enrichment of a powerful and greedy few?

For example, who exactly will appoint the board of directors and managers who will run those factories - and will  such appointments be based on experience,  track-record, competence and qualifications only? And where exactly will the capital for those factories come from, one wonders?

Above all, will those positions be advertised nationwide - or is the idea indeed a clever scheme to provide employment for NPP members across the country: as some of the cynics and conspiracy theorists in our midst insist is the case?

There are far too many contradictions in the case being made by the NPP's leaders to be given the mandate to govern Ghana again.

How can they reconcile proposing tax-cuts, whiles making promise upon promise to spend vast amounts of taxpayers' money on all manner of promised initiatives and sundry policies?

Under the next NPP regime, taxpayers will apparently be bailing out greedy individuals in the Brong Ahafo Region, who lost money when they fell for what amounted to a something-for-nothing ponzi scheme, by the defunct savings and loan company,  DKM.

Furtheremore, taxpayers will also pay for the government to provide "low electricity tariffs"; pay for government to "lower the price of fuel" for vehicles;  pay for the provision of allowances to groups of public-sector professionals, such as nurses and teachers; provide free senior high school education; pay for free healthcare;  pay for the building of auditoriums across the country to serve as creative arts performance venues; pay for salary increases for all manner of public-sector employees holding Mother Ghana hostage through strike actions; etc., etc. Ebeei. Haaba. How extraordinary.

As someone who believes that the most effective means of fighting high-level corruption in Ghana, is to force politicians to publicly publish their assets and those of their spouses, as well as publicly publishing all the sources of their parties' election campaign funds, I simply don't trust most of the members of our nation's political class.

It is therefore pretty  hard for one to resist the view that those who now dominate the NPP have adopted a deliberate policy of making empty promises - just to enable their party  win power.

Who has ever heard the loquacious Dr. Bawumia discussing how to grow a debt-distressed economy - in a nation that foolishly spends nearly 70 percent of its total tax revenues paying mostly unproductive public-sector employees: who are  forever embarking on strike action for yet more pay and allowances, instead of earning their salaries?

Yet, it is an issue that needs addressing by feckless and amoral politicians making endless pledges to spend  taxpayers' money in order to win the votes of people who seldom do any critical-thinking  - and whose motto, when it comes to politics, is invariably: "My tribe, my party, right or wrong!"

Finally, if it wants to convince skeptics like myself that it is not simply making empty promises in order to win power,  the NPP must state clearly and unambigously, how, if it wins power in the December presidential and parliamentary elections, it intends to fund its many campaign promises.

The question we must all ponder over  is: Is the harsh reality facing Ghanaians, not the brutal fact that this is a country with productivity challenges, which is also addicted to the importation of cheap and  shoddy goods from abroad, which, alas, is also lumbered with a massive debt:  that needs servicing regularly regardless of the nation's circumstances - such as this being an African nation drowning in debt that is also dominated by a super-ruthless vampire-elite?

Hmm, Ghana, enti yewieye paa enei? Asem kesie ebeba debi ankasa.
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