Sunday, June 14, 2009

Ghana, National redemption Council years, 1972-1979

To deal with the economic problems, Busia administration, at the recommendation of IMF, took some programms.
1. Salary cut, increase of taxes and wage freezes, which, obviously, went against the interest of the salaried work force,
2. Currency devaluations, and
3. To raise import prices.
These measures precipitated protests from the trade union Congress. In response, Govt. sent the army to occupy the trade union headquartersand to block strike actions. This went against the Democratic processes of the country. As a result , Lieutenant Colonel Ignatius Kutu Acheampong led a bloodless coup that ended the Second Republic.
Acheampong's National Redemption Council (NRC) decided to look into the improvement of the individual living conditions. NRC sought to create a truly military government and id not outline any plan for the return of the nation to democratic rule.
They took some measures to cope with the situation,
1. The Ghanaian Currency was revalued upward and foreign debt was unilaterally rescheduled,
2. All large foreign owned companies were nationalised,
3. to provide with price supports for the basic food imports.
these measures naturally yeilded some good result but the increase of oil prices in 1974 and lack of foreign exchangeand credit left the country without fuel. As a result basic food production gradually declined and corruption began to come at the surface.
The reorganisation of the NRC into Supreme Military Council (SMC) in 1975 some changes in the administration were done. Extension of committees to the under ground level, inclusion of civil persons in all such committees. Though the military officers remained as ministers to the diffrent departments. Issued some decrees banning propagations of rumors and some news papers.
A national referendum was hel in March 1978 to allow the people to accept or reject the union government concept. Union Govt. took the lead with a narrow margin and the opposition parties were orgnising demonstration for fresh referendum, but The Acheampong Govt. banning several organisation arrested about 300 opponent leaders.
In July 1978, in asudden move , the other SMC officers forced Acheampong to resign and hand over the charge to Lieutenant General Fredrick Akuffo. Akuffo , the new chaiman of SMC, promised to hand over charge to a new govt. elected on July 1, 1979.