I just monitored the ruling National Democratic Congress closely on Saturday where their delegates chose their leaders to lead them to regain power in 2016. My heart broke when I saw all the extravagant spending at the event to the detriment of the mere Ghanaian citizens’ pocket. From flamboyant party colors to convoy, customized water bottles just a few to mention. I was not surprised to see no one applaud to the Presidents usual vain promises on the platform. These things only happens in African states where politicians are criticized for corruption but are still bold enough to go to the polls to continue their corrupt activities.
While some great leaders suffered to lay a great foundation for us, others continued with greed and selfishness to destroy their works. It’s sad to see individuals so much concerned about regaining power in the 2016 elections than helping the ordinary Ghanaian. After Mr. Kofi Portuphy won the chairmanship for the NDC, I was expecting to hear what he intend to do to help the common Ghanaian. Instead he mentions that his goal is to help NDC regain power in 2016. What does regaining power mean if it’s not going to benefit the people who put you in that position? Do you guys see what the economy of Ghana is going through at all? Reading through Mr. Rawlings’ speech at the event was nothing but the truth. This is a party people like Mr. Rawlings have laid down their lives to put together with the purpose of fighting corruption and bringing equality within Ghana. What I see within a party that was formed as a social democratic party is rather the opposite. The same issue that made Mr. Rawlings get the support in the late 70’s for his popular “Kalabule” regime is what we see today in a 21st century form. There is no single deal or project closed without corruption. The funny thing is they have now coined new names for it to sound nice. Names like “Kickback check”, “soli” are few names to mention.
In our 21st century where data and data analysis is everywhere, Ghanaians are expecting investors to come and build their economy for them. How do you expect an investor to come to Ghana when there will probably be five power outages from the Kotoka airport before they get to their residence at Osu. Sorry about the way I’m mixing the issues all about, it’s just too many that any letter I type brings ten more issues to talk about. It’s about time the government sits up and fixes the issues at home and stops the “Lalasolala” they doing around the world to woo investors. The investors will listen to you and promise to come invest, but once you leave, they will do their research and realize the economy is not as good as you painted. The data about Ghana is all over the web. All the metrics show that Ghana is not at a good state right now. How can economy grow when you budget for 2015 with deficits from 2014 and loans making about 75% of your projects you plan to carry?
This article is just a wakeup call to let the government of Ghana know that, nobody is coming to fix the issues for them but themselves. To fix these issues, we need a leader who will not be concerned about the next four year term but take drastic measures to address the issues we are facing now within the four years he has been given. The measures the IMF is taking with Ghana is a great sign to let them know they need to wake up. So to help as a Ghanaian, this is my little advice to the government of Ghana;
1. Re-adjust the government size to cut spending on government payroll
2. Scrub the payroll of all government services of ghost names; starting with Ghana Education Service in which my mother is part.
3. Privatize unprofitable government entities and encourage competition with competitive biding
4. Support small businesses financially and design efficient programs to help them grow
5. Plan your cities to enhancing easy mapping and address systems. Address systems are the basics of revenue collection. Don’t focus so much on the address systems for the old residences. I know we have enough residential planners’ graduating from KNUST.
6. Collect enough data about your citizens for good analysis and revenue collections
These are just a few as a concerned citizen to help with bringing back our economy to where it is supposed to be. Reduce the trips about wooing investors to your country. Let the investors do the chasing when they find out how good you economy is doing. When the investors do the chasing, you get to dictate to them what your rules are. It’s that simple; demand and supply. I hope you get to read this His Excellency John Dramani Mahama.
Anthony Bentil, MBA (USA)