The opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) is taking advantage of the ongoing power crisis in the country to gather thousands of its supporters, labour unions, market women and disgruntled supporters of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) to demonstrate over the government’s handling of the precarious electricity crisis.
The General Secretary of NPP, Kwabena Agyapong, who announced in Accra yesterday that the demonstration, dubbed ‘Won Gbo’, is expected to take place Wednesday, 18 February, 2015. He called on all Ghanaians to come on board
He stated: ” We call on all Ghanaians of different shades of opinion including our NDC brothers, civil societies, labour unions, market women, unemployed youth, barbers, tailors, hairdressers, etc to join us on that day in order to send a clear message to the government that indeed, ‘Won gbo’, we are dying”.
At the beginning of the year, the largest opposition party made a pledge to the good people of Ghana that, they shall be holding the Mahama-led government accountable, by ensuring that, the country’s scarce resources are utilized in a manner that will benefit all and bring relief to Ghanaians.
On that score, Mr. Agyapong disclosed: “This morning, we caused a letter to be sent to the Minister of Transport, requesting for the full details of the Kumasi Airport rehabilitation project. I am sure most of you know all about that project.
“Exactly a week ago today, the NPP expressed our deepest disappointment with the lukewarm response of the government to the power crisis. “Ghanaians have watched in horror as their socio-economic lives continue to deteriorate,” the NPP chief scribe stated.
According to him, the Cedi has depreciated almost 300% since 2009 when the NDC took over the reins of government, adding the cost of borrowing has rocketed to over 30%with extremely negative impact on the major sectors of the economy like manufacturing and agriculture.
In addition, Mr. Agyapong noted that: “Ghanaians today are paying one of the highest ex-pump prices for petrol in the world despite the fact that the world market price has plummeted to below $50 a barrel. “The government continues to show their inability to deal with the energy crisis. When we were leaving in 2009, we bequeathed them with enough generating capacity. So the question cannot be that of generating capacity. It is more of poor management of our power sector.”
This situation, he says, becomes all the more mind boggling when they consider the massive amount of resources that has been available to this administration over the last 6 years.
Mr. Agyapong and his colleagues re-echoed to journalists that some of the data the party’s running mate, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia put out in Tamale recently indicated that between 2009 and 2014, the ruling government borrowed the equivalent of some $27 billion, which was more than four times the amount of money the NPP borrowed during its eight years in power.
The NDC government collected GH¢62 billion as tax revenue in the last six years, which is in contrast to the NPP’s GH¢15.2 billion between 2001 and 2008. A similar comparison can be made with regards to Gold and Cocoa exports. In the same period (6 years), the NDC has exported $14.5 billion worth of cocoa as against $8.7 billion in the 8 years period of the NPP.
The export of Gold in the eight years of the NPP amounted to $9 billion, whereas, in the 6years of the NDC, Gold export amounted to $25billion.
Moreover, Mr. Agyapong maintained that no government in the history has had the benefit of oil revenue, except the current NDC administration. The total amount of revenue accruing from this source is something they (NDC) are uncomfortable to clarify. However, it is estimated that Ghana has exported some $13.7billion in the last 4 years.
Despite these significant inflows, he lamented that the Mahama-led government continues to default in statutory payments like the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), Ghana Education Trust Fund (GETFund), and the District Assembly Common Fund, which are all several months in arrears.
And to cap it all, the country is experiencing energy crisis of monumental proportions with no end in sight despite countless assurances from President Mahama since 2012, he noted. “The businesses of artisanal Ghanaians, seamstress, tailors, vulcanizers, welders, sprayers, barbers, printing presses and many others have been hit extremely hard. At our health facilities the situation is extremely precarious with several death attributed to the frequent outages.
“As a responsible political stakeholder, the NPP considers it a national duty to bring the deep suffering of the Ghanaian people and the intolerable state of affairs today to the attention of this government, which is obviously incompetent, insensitive and uncaring’, Mr. Agyapong observed.
Source: The Chronicle
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