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Friday, August 7, 2009

NDC economic policies: non-NDC’s to bear wrath.

Six years ago, I met an old man who approached me for assistance to enable him continue his journey to the Western Region of Ghana, when he got stranded here in Accra, after he had run out of money.

I did assist him to continue his journey. The old man left me with these words of wisdom, “there are some people only history can pass a final judgment on; and what shall be left for you and I, is to report or recount what we have seen and heard.” Certainly, its history that would judge the NDC government and the rest of their actions and inactions shall be reported or recounted to our children and grand children.

The NDC government recently sent to parliament under a Certificate of Urgency, the National Stabilization Levy bill to be passed into an act to enable government to tax companies in the communications, mining, banking, brewery, and insurance sectors five per cent of their profit before tax.

The Finance minister explained that the tax was to enhance fiscal stabilization of the economy. The tax we are being told is going to last 18 months. It is without any doubt that, the National Stabilization Levy’s propensity to truncate the sectors growth is very high. It is first and foremost going to erode their profit, thereby strangulating their investment capacity. What it then means is that, their ability to plough back profit for growth and expansion would be significantly hampered and that would incapacitate the sector’s ability to employ more.

A consequence of this levy is the passage of the cost to innocent consumers. Ghana is now in hot waters, as the NDC is steadily dragging the country into a state unsuitable for investment due to some of these tepid growth stimulations. I heard one of the so called finance gurus arguing that the levy would not cause unemployment because most of the sectors are computerized. But, for I am that I am sake, is the mining sector computerized? It is obviously no and it is labour intensive. The same disappointed Minister of Works, Housing and Water Resources justified the imposition of the National Stabilization Levy on the above listed sectors as being the result of the credit crunch.

The NDC stabilization strategy is wrong. The NPP government era saw the entry into Ghana, a lot of companies, especially in the banking and telecommunications sectors of the economy. That feat was achieved on sound economic incentives for investing in Ghana and that led to the absorption of the large number of university graduates in the country into the banks and telecommunication companies. For instance, a certain amount of tax incentives were given to financial institutions which absorbed a substantial amount of Ghanaian graduates into both auxiliary and management positions.

The current and future state of the Ghanaian economy under NDC can not free the toiling millions of Ghanaian youth from poverty, unemployment, hunger and humiliation as the NDC has done significantly little to empower the private sector to employ the teeming unemployed youth who the government has failed to employ and would continue not to be able to employ until someone dies, resigns or retires in the public sector as a result of the freeze in public sector recruitment emanating from the World Bank conditionality for granting Ghana a $1.2 billion loan.

The current and future state of the Ghanaian economy under NDC means that thousands and thousands of tertiary school graduates would suffer in the cellars and garrets of the big cities in search of non-existent jobs as the current World Bank and IMF support to Ghana are for stabilization and not for growth. Meanwhile, the NDC took over an already stabilized economy ready for growth.

The cry for employment and better conditions in Ghana, especially among the youth has swept through the length and breath of the country. The spate of robbery in the country, is laying bare all the weak economic policies of the NDC and their inability to improve the lives of the vulnerable Ghanaian; is tearing off all the false disguises it used to come to power; is revealing all the inner rottenness of the government and is making the preposterousness of the NDC government.

Under the NPP saw the emergence of one of the most efficient and effective waste management company in Ghana, Zoomlion Waste Management Company Limited. This company has not only created employment to the youth of Ghana, but has substantially reduced the waste pileups across the country and as well improved the rating of Ghana on the table of flirty states.

The deliberate targeting of entrepreneurs and companies in the AFRC and PNDC era is resurfacing in the current NDC government as in the case of Zoomlion Ghana Limited. In the PNDC era for instance, Appia Menkah Company, producers of Apino soap was targeted and run down. In 1979, the Jerry Rawlings led Armed Forces Revolutionary Council (AFRC) under the “so-called house cleaning exercise” targeted entrepreneurs and confiscated the following companies; A.S. Electrical Clips, Darkmak Farms, Darmak Housing Properties, Kool Bottling Factory, Trans Africa Engineering and Motors, Track Trading Company, United Soaps Industries (Ghana), Whab Incandescent Lamps Enterprises and West African Chemical and Metal Industries.

The case of the Zoomlion issue started when an ex-convict of the NDC called for an audit into the activities of the company with a litany of allegations ranging from non-payment of taxes, employment of NPP sympathizers, to the NPP government giving it undeserving leverage over the other waste management companies. And recently, the company has been accused of including the vice-president of Ghana and other government officials in its “pay role.” The spirit of entrepreneurship is limited among Ghanaians due to the country’s history of deliberate target and influence of companies and entrepreneurs by governments in the past negatively.

Nigeria is ahead of Ghana on the lists of entrepreneurs and a private company because, governments during their turbulent political past and even now have allowed individuals to pursue their economic activities without any fear of being targeted when there is a change of government. Governments in the past and now have pursued and continue to pursue companies wickedly with the intent of collapsing them as is being seen in the Zoomlion case. Mr. Fiifi Atta Mills, please talk to the political hawks in your government to leave Zoomlion Ghana limited and other entrepreneurs alone to create employment for the over two hundred thousand Ghanaian youth who would not be employed for the next two years.

The NDC is struggling for popular support within Ghana and the NDC itself. NDC is under fire as its youth wing goes mad over lack of jobs and the so-called better Ghana promised by Mr. Atta Mills. Ghana is yet to see another era of lawlessness as witnessed in the PNDC era, where members of the revolution took the law into their own hands to settle personal scores with others. NDC youth were heard and seen seizing toilet facilities from its current managers because they are unemployed and the only way to get employed is to sack another Ghanaian from his or her post.

This is widely employed by the NDC government itself, in the current mass sacking and withdrawals of employees of the National Security outfit, the Ghana Armed Forces and the National Health Insurance programme to pave way for NDC people to be put there. Just recently, a group of 24 disappointed NDC MPs in the 2008 parliamentary elections wrote a strong worded petition to the president and the party, expressing their repugnance about what they described as the animal farm treatment meted out to them.

Unemployed graduates also, on daily basis throngs the depleted NDC party headquarters in search of non-existing jobs. The question I want to ask is that, if the NDC members are feeling the heat of the fire stoked by the NDC government through its un-astute economic policies, what about the ordinary and non-NDC Ghanaian? The NDC is telling Ghanaians that the period of worse hardship has not yet struck, but is not far off now.


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