The Deception, Propaganda, Lies and Reality – My first experience with 419 scammers

This article is not meant to be a pleasant one to the “Dela Kofies” in every party that Lydia Forson mentioned in her long but sweet as honey write – up; I however do not expect anybody to come to me with insults without facts. I will try my best to remove emotions and write as someone who has Ghana at heart – so much that when I saw NDC going astray in 2016, I abandoned my support for it, for the betterment of Ghana.

During the campaign season, NPP preached against several actions of the then ruling part (NDC), and promised the direct deposit when given the mandate. Then vice presidential candidate and current vice president, Dr. Bawumia went round the country and in fact the world, preaching against such actions – and vowed by the laws of economics that they shall not happen under his watch. Unfortunately, the senior man is doing more than what he saw and cried!

To be honest, I did not believe him regarding most of the things he preached about, because he prepared political speeches and titled them as academic ones. He knew exactly what he was doing – because such a learned and intelligent man cannot make that mistake without knowing. Let us look at exactly what NPP with Dr. Bawumia as the Messiah is doing.

Borrowings and debt

The learned Dr. called the entire NDC and the unborn babies in the bellies of NDC supporting pregnant women incompetent because of the level the nation was borrowing. At some point, I understood him. He was not actually against borrowing; he wondered where the monies were going. But then he came back saying Ghana should stop borrowing or we will fall into the cliff.

Thankfully, Ghanaians listened and gave him the mandate to handle the economy without debt. What are we seeing? As at March 31st 2017, just 3 months in office, NPP had moved Ghana’s domestic debt from 53.4 billion Ghana cedis to 55.2 billion Ghana cedis; the external debt ran to 71.9 billion from the 69.2 billion it was resting at when NDC took the comfortable lead. The total debt stock migrated from 122.6 billion Ghana Cedis to a comfortable 127.1 billion Ghana cedis under the competent economic prophet who hated debt. With a competent vice president who is a known economic guru, NPP borrowed more than 4 billion Ghana cedis (not measured at current rates) in less than 100 days!

I am not really bothered about the movements (both in direction and magnitude) of our debt stock. I however want to ask the learned man where the increase came from; what did we use that amount for? Is there a single capital project to show for all the debt issued by the NPP government? I need someone to draw my attention to that. Or by the mere change of government, debt is not more evil for Ghana?

We shall actually be calculating the borrowings of NPP using current rates as the Dr. proposed and used to judge NDC. If you look at the table above, there is a 2.7 billion cedis increase in external debt. If we measure it using the current rates that Dr. Bawumia used in calculating the NDC debt, I can tell you that NPP would have borrowed about 4 billion cedis in external debt only. All you need to do is to get how much was borrowed in dollars and when it was borrowed; you can then multiply the dollar amounts by number of cedis you needed to buy a dollar on the day the amount was borrowed. I leave that to you to determine!

The performance of the cedi

As someone who live in the US and send money home, I pay special attention to the performance of the cedi against the dollar. When Dr. Bawumia made the cedi’s performance a central point in his campaign, I was shocked but a bit relieved that; at least someone will come and claim little victory for our cedi – even if that is to be for a single day. I was just fed up with the incompetent measures employed by NDC to manage the cedi – obviously it was not working. Again, God brought us the savior. Dr. Bawumia took over management of cedi in January.

As at 12/30/2016, the Bank of Ghana bought a dollar at 4.1981 Ghana cedis and sold same at 4.2023 per Bank of Ghana’s Daily Interbank FX Rates. Compare this to the rate as at 8/10/2017 when the same Bank bought a dollar for 4.3739 Ghana cedis and sold same at 4.3783 Ghana cedis. See table below – or follow the hyperlinks for details.

Nothing shocked me than the decision by the NPP to use the same strategies that failed the NDC. Part of the $2.25 billion domestic bond that was issued by the government of NPP in April this year was to arrest the running cedi. That was largely why majority of the bond was sold to an international investor. Even though the bond was a cedi denominated one, it required the investors to buy cedis using dollars – thereby pumping more dollars into the system to ease the pressure on the cedi.

If you want to know why this was done, look at the performance of the cedi against the dollar in March 2017. The cedi depreciated by a whopping 7.5% in March this year, as against same time in 2016. In March 2016, a dollar traded at 3.83 cedis while the price of a dollar in March 2017 was 4.42 cedis. There was therefore an urgent need to avoid total defeat. Unfortunately, the magic wand of Dr. Bawumia could not do the work – he therefore resorted to borrowing. Dr. you must arrest the cedi or accept the title of the Inspector General of Incompetent leaders.

Fighting corruption

One of the main reasons why I threw my support behind NPP was the level at which people boldly exhibited corruption in the NDC government. These NDC guys were not only corrupt, they displayed the corruption as if it was some form of prestige! And dare write a post about them; their Dela Kofies will find time and insult you or threaten to destroy you.

I thought Nana and his men could save us from this – and I thought so with high hopes. What have I seen so far? The party will run into one office, make so much noise about corruption there and then remain silent. The Youth Employment Agency stories – how did it end? Have they arrested the thieves? Why are they silent?

Then comes the special prosecutor. They did not only do shoddy work in submitting it to parliament; they equally sat down and wrote the bill such that they will have enough room to steal. How will it make sense for you to say that the special prosecutor will not take on cases related to Public Procurement process? Where at all are the gargantuan corrupt practices sitting? Is it not at procurement tables? Where people dash out contracts through single sourcing without any urgency? Where contracts are inflated beyond their market prices? So what the hell will the special prosecutor be doing if the office will not be allowed to touch corrupt practices emanating from public procurement?

Actually, the one who wrote that section of the bill should be arrested and prosecuted by the special prosecutor! There is no sense in nonsense.

Allowance for Nurse Trainees

I must confess that I was one of those against the withdrawal of nurse trainee allowances. As someone who was born into poverty, grew in poverty and in fact is an example of poverty, I know how difficult it is for someone like me to make it beyond senior high school without some form of support from the government. I knew very well that by withdrawing these allowances, JDM was denying his nephews, nieces and you name the rest in Bole the chance to become nurses; just as he was denying every other poor person throughout Ghana.

I was however not naïve to the cost involved in funding such allowances. When we hinted that NPP will bring back the quota system, they said it is due to incompetence. They promised to generate enough revenue as well as win enough support in the form of donor monies to support the allowance system. As the person I described that I am, I danced; for people like me could go to school and become nurses. What did we see happen?

The quota system is back! All government nursing institutions are given numbers to admit, beyond which they cannot travel. Do you know the dangers of such policy? Only those on the protocol list will make it to nursing schools. You and I should look for something else to do. Even those who could afford the fees and have the qualifications would be affected; of course unless they are on the protocol list. This quota system is worse than the period of no allowances. That is the change we got for believing the message of change.

Honestly I need to stop here. I know you know the rest and can handle them yourself…….

I have an appeal to the NPP supporters and leaders who keep telling us we met nothing when we came to power. Stop it! Stop it! Stop it (Doo dirila buta)….yoooooo! If there was to be something for you to come and start using, why will you prepare and submit budgets? Your budgets contain what you think you can get, how you will get it and what you will use it for. Go and get it and start doing the work. You are those who read, you are the most competent among all – so work and stop complaining. We are just reminding you of your promises, nothing new!

We need to keep reminding you of what you preached against and what you said you will do. Just so you don’t think because we are lazy at reading, we easily forget. Don’t even tell me it is too early. According to Dr. Bawumia, if your bus driver is not good, you don’t wait for him to cause an accident before you draw his attention to his competence or even fire him.

God bless our homeland Ghana and protect us from……..Indeed I have experienced my first 419 scam ever!

ABUBAKARI SADIQ IDDRISU (ZUU BUKALI)

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