View Full Version : Why NPP Cannot Do It In 10 Years

17th March 2011, 08:22 AM
The following is a revamped version of a comment made by this writer on Nana Akufo Addo's promise to transform Ghana into an industrial country within 10years. It explains while the NPP cannot be trusted to do what they are promising:

One cannot stop watching and laughing at these desperate NPP people as they search in futility for what they can hoodwink voters with to vote them back to power. On the 3rd of this month, we called the bluff of Nana Akufo Addo and his gurus-of-doom to show their hand. Given the immense PR problems his 'All-Die-Be-Die' gaff was causing his prospects of being voted Ghana's next president, we expected that he would soon come out with 'policy' ideas after we advised them to ask their Professor Okoampa to cool it and instead let Nana to come out and tell us what he would do if he became president. And lo and behold, the NPP did not just take the bait, it actually decided to benchmark Brazil of all places. Very interesting indeed!

You see, President Lula of Brazil is not just another president of Brazil; he was first a trade union leader, a real socialist, before opting for the presidency. His ideas and policies that changed Brazil could not have been developed from anywhere but socialism. In other words, the NPP, the so-called capitalist party, now wants to copy an economy created by a socialist? Well, Professor Okoampa and all those misguided NPPist in the US, eat your heart out.

But wait, this is serious. If Nana Akufo Addo and his NPP are telling us that they want to copy from a socialist leader, can they explain to us why they called Kwame Nkrumah a communist and still call him a communist? Or are they confused as we have always said or they are trying to deceive the good people of this country? What is clear is that the NPP are so desperate, that they will do anything to come to power.

They are now promising us that they would turn Ghana into an industrialised country in just a decade. Really? Let us look at their history on transforming this country industrially. We know that the CPP under Kwame Nkrumah started rapid industrialization but this was destroyed by the UP/PP/NPP government that came in after the 1966 coup complaining that Nkrumah should not have developed state firms. In their misguided so-called capitalism, they run down GHIHOC and what was left of it was sold off so if they have now seen sense and they want to implement a rapid industrialization program, let us find out what the UP/PP/NPP did in that area before.

The nearest one could get to anything that the Danquah-Busia-Dombo-Lamptey tradition did in industrial development in this country, if you would call that industrial development, happened in Busia's time and later in President Kufuor's time. During Busia's rule, the UP/PP/NPP came up with an idea known then as 'Small Business Loans Scheme?' Under that program, Busia dished out taxpayers money to his cronies to 'start businesses' but not a pesewa of this money was paid back by any so-called businesses and there are no businesses today in Ghana that anyone can point to that developed out of that scheme. While that was going on, Busia allowed $billions of national development projects started by the CPP under their rapid industrialization program to go to waste.

Up to this day, the NPP and its supporters have never stopped blaming Nkrumah and the CPP for using the so-called £250million they claim was left by the colonial government to Ghana on developing the infrastructure of this country including the building of several hundreds of primary schools, several secondary schools, technical, commercial and vocational colleges, universities, polytechnics, hospitals, polyclinics, industries, palm oil plantations, rubber plantations, Tema Harbour, Tema Industrial City, the Tema-Accra Motorway, Tema Oil Refinery, etc. The list is endless and we have not even talked about free and compulsory education, free healthcare etc. All these have been consistently condemned by the NPP as waste, calling them communism.

Now, the NPP is telling us that that money used by the CPP government of Nkrumah was actually left to Ghana by the colonial government. They give this as a reason why all the other governments that followed Nkrumah could not develop the country as Nkrumah did because they did not have the golden egg that Nkrumah was left to start with. As the saying goes, it is a liar who always says his witness is in London when he is accused in Ghana because he knows that such a witness cannot be called. So, let us look at what actually happened and where the CPP got their development funds from to develop the country within 9years.

The US$600million or so used by the CPP for its development programs was capital that the CPP actually initiated and developed by itself by creating a development fund through the taxation of cocoa revenue at 60% just as the CPP has been advocating to be developed from the new petroleum oil revenues now coming on stream. At the time, as usual, despite the fact that cocoa was grown in the Ashanti, Eastern, Central, Volta and the Western regions, which meant that all growers in all those areas were bound to contribute towards the fund the CPP proposed, the Matemaho objected to it, claiming that Asantes were being cheated. It was just like what Nana Akufo Addo and his gurus-of-doom are now saying that Akans are being cheated by non-Akans, the reason why according to them, 'All-Die-Be-Die' and for which reason the NPP must go to war with the 'non-Akan' come the 2012 election. These people never change!

It was the same way the UP/Matemeho opposed most, if not all, major development projects proposed by Nkrumah's government including the building of the Akosombo and the proposed Bui Dam by the CPP government which they never built before Nkrumah was overthrown. The UP's (now NPP) objection was also the reason while the Akosombo Dam Project was actually scaled down for which reason we have inadequate power today. At the time, there was a wider feasible area around Adjina rather than the much narrower area at Akosombo where more turbines could have been installed but the Danquah-Busia-Dombo-Lamptey group objected to it, complaining that the project, as originally proposed, was too huge and was going to be a waste because Ghana did not need that level of power.

Today, the NPP makes all sorts of ridiculous claims about Nkrumah being a dictator who was only interested in power, but the scaling down of the Akosombo Dam Project and the putting on hold of the construction of the Bui Dam Project by the CPP government of Kwame Nkrumah are living proof that contrary to the lies the NPP had orchestrated about Nkrumah being a dictator, who somehow could not be reasoned with, he actually listened to them and backed off from using his huge majority in parliament in driving certain objectives through, come heaven come high-water. As we have been saying, the truth of what happened in our political history is there for objective analysts to unearth and most of the time, it points to the fact that the Danquah-Busia-Dombo-Lamptey tradition lied to the good people of this nation and continues to tell lies and half-truths.

Fast forward, to President Kufuor's time. Before the elections that would take him to his second term, the NPP came up with fantastic industrial development ideas under the President's Special Initiative Program, just like the one Nana Akufo Addo is now talking about. At the time, Ghanaians thought the NPP would transform this country into a highly productive nation, latest, within 5years, with jobs all over the country for the youth.

The first of those ideas was the Cassava Development Project. Unknown to most at the time, the starch industry was huge but the market was supplied by starch produced in Europe and other places from potato, which had lower starch content compared to cassava. The 'plan' was that Ghana would develop cassava as a source of starch production for export. There were conferences at the International Conference Hall in Accra attended by several stakeholders.

Facilitators were brought in from around the world and the US to talk and explain the starch market and the huge financial benefits it could bring to Ghana. In the same conference, was presented another fantastic project, the Textile Development Project. The idea with the Textile Development Project was that the private sector of Ghana was to be moved into textile production to be facilitated by government. They would bring in large scale manufacturers from Asia to partner with Ghanaians to produce to supply to the US on the AGOA Program. The AGOA Program allowed developing countries, like Ghana, to export certain products to the US without attracting tariff.

None of the above programs initiated by the NPP government actually took firm root in this country. There were a few cassava farms and community oriented processing plants. Those farms and processing plants were shown on TV but nothing really happened after that to write home about. The same happened with the textile development program. There were talks about Ghanaian businesses partnering with Mauritian textile producers in an African-African partnership. A lot of noise was made about that as well while we moved gradually toward the elections but absolutely nothing concrete came out of the proposed Ghana-Mauritius partnership. Apart from a company that succeeded in manufacturing socks for export to the US, there is not much to write home about. What Ghanaians expected from the huge propaganda by the NPP government did not materialise. As usual, the NPP government of which Nana Akufo Addo was a lead member left Ghanaians holding the baby after raising their hope with so much propaganda.

The starch and textile programs failed all right but the NPP promise-and-fail about industrial development did not stop there. Immediately prior to the 2004 election, they came up with another idea, which formed an integral part of their apparent program to transform Ghana into a private sector oriented industrial base from the rural areas. This time, it would be based on using the competitive advantage of the districts in the country as a basis for rural industrial take off.

The idea, like the starch and textile ideas before, was great but we must say, sorry about the implementation. The way it was supposed to work was this: each district would identify which product they wanted to produce based on which they felt they had competitive advantage for. Advisers were recruited and paid with taxpayers' money to go out to help the District Assemblies to come up with their proposed products and plans etc.

The problem with the Rural Enterprises Development Project, from the start was that it was a rushed-up-job, poorly planned and resourced and it gave the impression that the lead persons, some flown in from, wait for it, the US did not really know what the hell they were talking about. Only about 4weeks was allowed from the start of business ideas generation by the District Assemblies to the production of feasibility studies and business plans and the sourcing of international buyers for the products to be produced by the District Assemblies for export. It was an absolute joke, if it was not pure madness or rather a well orchestrated deceit of the electorate! It did not take much to realise that there was no way such rushed-up programs would work. The program failed completely. It later became very clear that the whole thing was a ruse, aimed at hoodwinking the electorate to vote for the NPP in the then coming elections.

The proposed textile, starch and rural enterprises programs definitely made the NPP popular but after the election, the whole idea of Rural Enterprises Development Program, like the Cassava and Textile programs before them went through the window. Today, it will be hard to find any District Assembly in Ghana that had moved forward with any of those projects and it is employing the youth in the locality as anticipated.

So what happened to the cassava, textile and over 100 or so planned Rural Enterprises Development Projects? Simple! They vanished into thin air. There was also the Palm Oil Development Program initiated by the NPP. It is hard to know how far this has got because, it is not on the lips of people as such projects used to be when the CPP was developing the sugar cane plantations, rubber plantations, palm oil plantations etc. So one can only presume that not much is happening in that area either.

Given the litany of NPP failures in industrial development in this country, one naturally worries when Nana Akufo Addo and his NPP come again just as they are looking for votes and start promising us rapid industrial transformation in 10years; for we have been there several times before. It would be nice if they could be trusted to bring it into fruition, but given their track record of countless failures in that area, Ghanaians would be justified to believe that this is yet another electioneering gimmick from the NPP just as they did in all the once before. Once they are voted into power, all that will be thrown overboard while they dig their dirty hands into the oil.

Yes! The oil is the target for these people. They never knew they would be rejected by the people when Nana Akufo Addo 'unexpectedly' failed to beat Professor Atta Mills in the 2008 election. At the time, they thought they were riding high on the crest of the global economic boom, which allowed Ghanaians in the Diaspora to bring a lot of money home they made in property. Though the NPP created no employment for the people at the time, they later tried to hoodwink the public by claiming that the property boom was all their work and they even had the temerity to propose a so-called ‘property owning democracy’ hoping to win votes from unsuspecting Ghanaians by their meaningless false promises. But we stood up and challenged the Danquah Institute or was it the Danquah-Busia Institute on that false claim and quietly put the nonsense to bed.

Now they want to come back to complete what they could not get to before they were thrown out so they have started promising us heaven and earth again, even from the works of a socialist or shall will say, a ‘communist’ since as far as those misguided NPP lot are concerned anything that is not NPP is communism. Their so-called 10-year industrialization plan is just another ruse to keep our eyes away from the oil while they rob us blind. Industrial transformation of the type that the NPP is talking about needs more than the hope of some yet to be identified business men taking the country by the scruff of the neck and turning it around in no time.

A casual review of the Brazilian industrial transformation led by President Lula, the former trade union leader, reveals more than just private sector involvement and since the NPP does not believe in socialist ideas and state involvement in companies, how are they going to do it? Nana Akufo Addo cannot just come out and promise us heaven and earth because he needs our votes to become president while saddling himself with bad advisers and unnecessary ethnocentric gaff. He must explain to the good people of this country why the Starch, Textile, Palm Oil and the general Rural Enterprises programs failed under the NPP government of which he was a lead member and what they are now going to do differently this time that would ensure that their so-called 10-year industrial transformation succeeds or they should go back and think of another electioneering gimmick because this one will not wash! They have never succeeded in transforming industry in this country and they cannot be trusted to do it no matter how sweet they try to sweeten their pills of deceit issued by their gurus-of-doom.

The reason why the NPP cannot be trusted to do the job they are promising Ghanaians they would do, is very simple and they, incidentally know it. As a member of Nana Addo’s communication team, Yaw Buabeng Asamoah, clearly stated,'... that can be done with a focused leadership with an eye on transformation.' Well, that is exactly the point! Change management at the level that is being proposed is more than fine words. It requires total commitment, consistency of purpose and 'stickability!' NPP have never clearly demonstrated the capability for any of the above and neither have they demonstrated 'focused leadership with an eye on transformation' in industrial transformation in this country and they cannot do it because the philosophy required to achieve that in the short 10years time, according to them is neither understood nor acceptable to them. In the end, they will just bastardise the critical principles needed to succeed and end up in failure as they have always done, after wasting huge taxpayers' funds.

As for making Ghana the financial hub of West Africa, well, Ghana is already the financial hub so it is not a new idea. The reason for this is that the West African Central Bank is located in Accra, Ghana, not Abuja or Abijan. For this reason, all financial institutions in ECOWAS would, by need, like to locate in Ghana. Of course, this will not necessarily happen without us planning and ensuring that we take advantage of the location of the ECOWAS Central Bank in Ghana to make Ghana, truly the hub of financial services in the ECOWAS.

The point is that like our suggestion that Ghana be made a low taxation area, making Ghana the financial hub of West Africa is not a new idea because some of us have been writing about these ideas for sometime now. It is just like the NPP's so-called idea of 'property owning democracy', well, we all know what came of that when we told them that Ghanaians had been building and owning houses and property before they, the NPP, knew what was politics. Turning Ghana into an industrialised country in 10years is another promise from Nana Akufo Addo and his NPP gurus-of-doom but what is it all really about? Your guess is mine!

Source: Noko Bi