PPP rates state of nation, poor, without leadership

BY: Enoch Darfah Frimpong

The Progressive People’s Party, PPP, has said that Ghana is still one of the nations made poor by clueless and mediocre leadership.

According to the PPP, the country’s current leaders are unprepared to meet the challenges of the day with the use of forward looking vision and self-determination, to overcome the challenges facing the nation.

The PPP said “Our nation is divided along ethnic lines and by politics of hate and winner takes all. Ghana is locked in a death struggle between the National Democratic Congress and the New Patriotic Party and which struggle defined every problem and opportunity in the land.”

In a statement signed by Mr Kofi Asamoah-Siaw, National Secretary of the PPP, it said the State of the Nation was one where the leadership was disputed through an election that was discredited and the results contested in the highest court of the land, the Supreme Court. 

It said when the President sidesteps that and said, “Mr Speaker, our recent Presidential and Parliamentary elections have been adjudged by both domestic and international observers as by far the most​ credible, transparent, free and fair since 1992.  This ​shows that each ​step of our democratic journey has been marked by improvements.  As Ghanaians, we must be proud of this achievement.”, then he wanted to play games with the people and one that was dangerous.

According to the PPP, there is political tension in the land and as a result, many business and economic interests are on hold pending the outcome of the disputed presidential election. 

“Whatever the outcome, these four years will not provide the confidence the presidency needs to push through the kind of agenda needed to make Ghana a high performing economy,” it stated.

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It argued that, the State of the Nation was one coming from a prior year 2012, where the country inched closer once again to unsustainable foreign and domestic debt fueled by election spending ostensibly to “buy” votes. 

It further stated that this had made the economy vulnerable saying Ghana in 2012 had worse-than-expected deficit outturn that triggered a 40 per cent increase in the stock of public debt, which went up from GHC 24 billion (42.6 per cent of GDP) in 2011 to GHC 33.5 billion (46.7 per cent GDP) in 2012.

“The President John D. Mahama presented a State of the Nation address that denied this situation and pretended that all is well”, the PPP stated.

In the view of the party, the  State of the Nation was one of high petroleum prices, unstable power supply and water supply that was at its unreliable best. 

Yet according to the PPP,  the President’s address ignored this situation by not providing a solution to be relied upon.

It said petroleum pricing was completely ignored by the President contending that “obviously, he does not have a solution or is unwilling to confront the impact and effect of the recent rise in petroleum prices that has imposed hardship of all types on the working poor in Ghana.”

“During the 2012 elections, the PPP promised to implement national solutions with a sense of urgency.  Now President Mahama has discovered the need for urgency.  He talked about adding kindergarten to the public school system; the election of district chief executives at the local level; implementing the compulsory element in FCUBE; building a sports facility in every district; and using the purchasing power of government to support local enterprises.  But we are not buying any of this.  There is no doubt about the need for fundamental change on all fronts to change our fortunes in Ghana,” the PPP stated.

In the PPP’s view, the President did not present us the sincerity that would enable us to believe that he would or could implement those initiatives and added that a look at the NDC manifesto presented for the 2012 elections showed clearly that the President lacked the foundation strong enough to compel him to implement those PPP promoted initiatives “with a sense of urgency”.

The PPP also said the President and the NDC blamed the difficulties they were facing in managing the economy on the implementation of the Single Spine Salary Scheme and asked “When in Ghana especially since 1993 did the wage bill not present a challenge to the ruling administration? 

“We should say to the NDC, enough of the excuses! Single Spine did not just happen.  Election spending to buy votes is what has made the economy become precarious and has put our future in danger despite record levels of government revenue including the contribution from oil and gas.  The budgetary challenge is gross mismanagement not as the President puts it,” the PPP stated.

It added that the ​challenge facing us​ now ​was a misalignment​ of ​the ​expenditure​ categories ​in the budget namely,​ emoluments​ (i.e.,​wages,​salaries ​and​ allowances), goods​ and​ services​ (including debt​ service),​and ​investment​ or​ capital​ expenditure.​

“Empty promises and an ungodly approach to push our hopes and problems to “divine” and unforeseen circumstances will not help President Mahama or the NDC.   These are empty promises with no road map, deadlines or words that show appreciation for what it will take for implementation to happen”, the PPP declared in the statement.