NDC Fails Ghanaians

The minority in Parliament has accused the John Mahama’s government of completely losing direction and focus on how to solve the country’s economic crisis which has left many Ghanaians in a state of despair and anguish.

The minority wondered why the Mahama government with the unprecedented level of loans contracted amounting to GH¢43.9 billion, all the donor grants, all the monies realized from tax increases, the $1 billion Eurobond, the $3 billion Chinese Development Bank loan and the huge oil revenues no other government has been privileged to have, it cannot meet statutory payments such as the District Assembly Common Fund (DACF), the National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF), the Ghana Education Trust Fund (GETFund) and the Road Fund as required by the constitution to bring development to the grassroots level.

The minority, led by its economic team, made the accusation yesterday at a press conference addressed by the Spokesperson on Finance, Dr. Anthony Akoto Osei.

“In February this year, President Mahama admitted to the nation that Ghana’s economy was in distress and that the meat was down to the bone. It was a face saving admission that, having been in power for four years, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) government was presiding over bad economic management. Seven months on things have even got worse. There is now a consensus, even within government, that the economic situation has deteriorated into a complete crisis and the signs are everywhere to see,” Dr. Akoto Osei noted.

Huge Arrears

The minority spokesperson explained that the DACF, which is used to provide social services to the Ghanaians people, was in arrears of GH¢652 million from the beginning of the year, the Road Fund was in arrears of GH¢400 million, NHIF was in arrears of GH¢350 million while the GETFund was also in huge arrears yet the government had borrowed a whopping GH¢8.8 billion from the beginning of the year, which had not had any impact on the economy.

He revealed that the irony of the situation was that while the government was claiming there was no money to make statutory payments as mandated by the constitution, it was gleefully issuing instructions for the release of money to pay other non-statutory obligations meant to benefit the people in government and their cronies.

“Every year, government collects various taxes and levels, income tax, value added tax (VAT), National Health Insurance Levy (NHIL), petroleum taxes, communications service tax (talk tax), condom tax, taxes on outboard motors and cutlasses etc and the government is required by law to lodge some in specific accounts such as the DACF, NHIL and the GETFund and use it to provide services to the taxpayer, that is, you and I yet we are not seeing this obligation being carried out by the president,” he underscored.

Dr. Osei Akoto said the government, which prides itself as social democratic government and professes to be the ‘defender’ of the poor and the underprivileged, had rather now turned against the very poor people in the society denying them of the social services that they needed and on top of it too, increasing astronomically electricity and water tariffs.

“Government’s insensitivity to the plight of the ordinary Ghanaians means garbage is not collected regularly at Bole, nor potholes patched in Cape Coast and also roofs of public schools ripped off by storms at Akatsi cannot be replaced,” he pointed out stressing that most development programmes and local government initiatives had come to a standstill because the government had failed to transfer the needed resources to the local level.

Bounced Cheques

He said during President Kufour’s time when these statutory payments delayed for just a month or two the then opposition NDC would make a huge capital out of it and now for almost 10 months with just a month or two to present government’s budget for the year 2013/2014, no single payment had been made by the NDC government for the year.

“About two weeks ago, several government cheques bounced at the local government level because accounts on which the cheques were to be drawn had been quietly closed upon the instructions of the government”, he said.

He indicated that most contractors who had executed GETFund projects were either out of business or reeling under huge debts while educational infrastructure from the basic to the tertiary level was not being upgraded and general logistical support for our educational institutions was not being prostitutions was not being procured.

He said the minority would have a bone to pick with the government over the astronomical increase in electricity and water bills which would further unleash more hardship on the suffering Ghanaians adding that by next week the government would know the minority’s next ‘action’ on the new tariffs.

Dr. Mark Assibey-Yeboh, a member of the Minority economic team and MP for New Juaben South, who was present at the press conference, said for the government to commit itself to paying money to companies contracted under the Ghana Youth Employment and Entrepreneurial Development Agency (GYEEDA) despite its failure to make statutory payments, underscored the fact that there was an ‘invisible’ hand from the presidency which was benefiting directly or indirectly from the operations of these companies.

Massive Corruption

He said massive corruption, mismanagement of public funds and excessive-expenditure on the part of the NDC government had brought Ghana to this sorry state and that something urgently had to be done about corruption, mismanagement and over-spending by the current government.

Present at the press conference were the minority leader, Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu and some minority MPs including the MP for Tano North, Freda Prempeh and MP for Okaikoi North, Elizabeth Sackey.

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NDC Fails Ghanaians

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