According to the New Patriotic Party (NPP), the National Democratic Congress’s (NDC) opposition to the E-Levy is part of a larger strategy to weaken the government’s ability to earn funds for development.
The NDC’s move, it added, was intended to make the government unpopular in order for the NDC to gain political power, “even if it meant shredding Ghana’s credibility overseas.”
“We must not forget the NDC’s desperate actions in the Seventh Parliament in apparent attempts to destroy the fate of a country whose affairs they left in shambles. The NDC Minority in Parliament wrote to the Securities and Exchange Commission of the United States of America in April 2017 to try to stop the NPP government from issuing a $2.3 billion bond as part of urgent steps to re-profile the threatening debt bequeathed to Ghana by the Mahama-led NDC government.
“They also proceeded to the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ),” the NPP’s Director of Communications, Mr Yaw Buabeng Asamoa, stated at a news conference in Accra yesterday, “all in an attempt to undermine the government’s attempts to handle the debt overhang.”
Mr Asamoa added that the NDC wrote to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank in August 2018 after legislative approval in July to try to cancel the unique SinoHydro bauxite barter agreement brokered by Vice-President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia.
He explained that the SinoHydro agreement would fund much-needed infrastructure in exchange for refined alumina, and that “inherent in the deal was the realisation of the long-elusive national desire to establish a bauxite refinery in Ghana, a project that would localise the full benefits of bauxite mining to create new jobs and skills and position Ghana as a major player in the forex market through export of aluminium-related products.”
Indeed, Mr Asamoa noted, the Minority Leader’s district, which had been vocal in its opposition to the deal, had profited from it, with the first-ever interchange set to open soon.
“They also failed miserably when, in May 2020, they wrote to the IMF and the World Bank to prevent the NPP government from accessing $1 billion in COVID-19 relief funds, citing misreporting of figures, a grievous offence that no country should wish for itself, though former President Kufuor had to pay a fine for the NDC doing exactly that,” he added.
Mr Asamoa said the NDC Minority appeared to be determined to do worse in the Eighth Parliament, noting that “importantly, the resistance in Parliament, particularly to the role and rights of the First and Second Deputy Speakers of Parliament, has no basis in law as captured in the Standing Orders of Parliament.” Order 13 (1) empowers the presiding Speaker to rise at any time, regardless of the level of the proceedings, and to request another Speaker to take over as Presiding Speaker.”