Why am I crying for the beloved country?
Four weeks ago, my sister Audrey sent me data on domestic revenue collection in Ghana. My worst fears were confirmed – Ghana has completely shrunken into Accra. The beloved country has collapsed.
CONTRIBUTION BY REGIONS TO DOMESTIC TAX REVENUE (DTRD) PERFORMANCE 2018-2021
|DTRD without below||91.86||93.42||93.21||92.93||92.86|
Over the 4year period, the average contribution by regions to domestic tax was 92.86% of the total. GAR alone contributed 88.83%, and rest of the country only 4.03%. 95.7% of domestic tax revenue by regions was collected in GAR alone. Ghana has shrunken into Accra. Ghana does not exist anymore.
No country in the world, (not Somalia or Afghanistan) gets 96% of its domestic revenue from its capital. It is an absolute disgrace. Unfortunately, neither the President nor the ex-President (still collecting his retirement benefits) but wants to be President again understands this data. Cry, the beloved country.
How can it escape any government that when 96% of domestic revenue comes from Accra, 66.4% of all internal migration ends up In Accra, 61% of all microfinance is in Accra, 4 (the 3 regions in the North & Volta) out of 10 regions in a period of 6years (2012-2018) experience ZERO consumption growth, then there is something fundamentally wrong with the political and economic structure of the nation?
How can a government divide regions (whose combined revenue is less than 1%) into more regions and bureaucracies that even their tax cannot pay for? What was the position of the alternative government? None. They were scared of electoral backlash. That is why I say, Cry, the beloved country.
I know people have joined my ‘’New Constitution” brigade. That is good but I must let them know that the Ghana=Accra was not started by the 1992 Constitution. Independent Ghana was baptized by it. Read below an interaction between Nkrumah and his Chief Economic Advisor, Sir Arthur Lewis.
‘’However, Lewis’s advisory work there was far from smooth sailing. He recalled an interesting dialogue with Nkrumah that took place in his sojourn at the government office of Ghana. When a draft of Ghana’s Development Plan was completed, Nkrumah told Lewis that he was planning to allocate 50% of the budget to the capital, Accra, which had only 5% of the total population of Ghana. According to Lewis’s account, Nkrumah said, “Why not? When you think of England, you think of London; when you think of France you think of Paris; when you think of Russia, you think of Moscow.” Lewis replied, “No, sir. When I think of England, I do not think of London because I live in Manchester, and this is also why I know that capital cities exploit the rest of the country” (Lewis 1967, p. 16). Given the fact that Manchester was the place where the 1945 Pan-African Congress that strongly featured the presence of Nkrumah was held, it is evident that the above remark of Lewis was downright sarcastic.’’
In the beginning, Nkrumah created a Ghana in which Accra was equal to the rest of the country; a 5% of the population in a small part was equal to 95% of the population all around. The economics giant at the time, Arthur advised against it, he was rebuffed. Sir Frederick Bourne, a big constitutional expert then, recommended constitutional regionalism to allow for growth of the regions, it was repealed by Parliamentary majority. This country was dead on arrival. This is why I say rescue, resuscitate and restore Ghana. Seek ye first the new state of Ghana, and everything else shall be added unto you.
My call for a new constitution for the past two decades is not based on the corruption, incompetence & arrogance of the Siamese twins but rather on the dysfunctionality of the enabling 1992 constitution. The fatally flawed structure of the state that Nkrumah tried to create in his image still lingers on in this Santa constitution. It must be uprooted, utterly destroyed, and cremated.
The problem is diagnosed, and it is the one-party government in unitary Ghana as enshrined in the 1992 Constitution, the lite version of the one-party state constitution of 1964. The solution is multi party government in ecofed Ghana as espoused in Afremocracy–democracy brewed in the African pot.
Cometh the 5th Reublic, Cometh the New State of Ghana. Cry not, Ghana, your redemption is near. Tswa omanye aba
Source: Nii Amu Darko | President, ARM | September 2021
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