– The Trick
In 2016, well ahead of the election, the then Presidential candidate, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, with the help of the media, had polished extensively his image and bloated his capabilities. As a result, many observers thought Nana Addo would do it better when voted as President. The trick helped to obliterate his many weaknesses and made the electorate believe that he is the performing type, capable of transforming the economy and turning Ghana into a paradise. In order to accentuate this false image, he took to making numerous promises to the electorate. Issues were twisted and many lies were fed into the system, making it look as if Ghana was heading for economic chaos and bankruptcy.
The fanatic NPP members, overtaken by sudden euphoria, went wild crying for a change. Ghanaians slowly believed every bit of the comedy of error, professionally cooked and served by Nana Addo and his campaign team. We want change! We want change; change was the popular catch word. Even children wanted change, though none clearly knew the implications. The then President Mahama had done so well in many areas of governance including infrastructure, health care, building of new SHS and universities, building of gas infrastructure and the expansion of Tema and Takoradi harbors. Still the popular catchword was for a change. As was expected, Nana Addo was voted into office as President.
Caught Up With The Realities
Eight months down the lane of governance, the disillusioned and desperate people of Ghana are asking questions and counting their fingers in anticipation of another change: this time in 2020. The pressure from governance and the promises made opened the way for Invisible Forces, Delta Forces, Kandahar Boys, Occupy Ghana, Bolga Bulldogs, Vigilance Group to terrorize the good people of Ghana. These groups, at different times and places, have carried out unlawful seizure of supposed government vehicles, have raided and burnt down toll booths; damaging government properties and have taken over government. toilets. In Tamale, SADA and Nadmo offices were attacked and locked up. In the Ashanti Region, eight members of the Delta Force stormed a Kumasi court where 13 of its members are on trial; causing abject confusion; during which terrified judges had to run for dear life.
The economic strategy was well packaged with high quality lies. We will not borrow when we come to power. We will generate internal revenue to run the country. Dr. Bawumia claimed and I quote “I have worked with the central bank before and I know we have money.” Seven months down the lane, they have borrowed more than any other government in its first seven months into office. They are even pressing to mortgage our bauxite including our forest reserves for more loans. We shall cancel the IMF program; they promised the electorate. Instead of cancelling, they are now begging to extend the program from April 2018 to 2019. Mr. Yaw Osafo-Maafo, the Senior Minister, at the 2017 Ghana Economic Forum, conceded that the Ghana economy, after seven months takeover, is in a mess and that subsequent layoff of workers could be expected. This is a man who promised to solve unemployment when elected into office. The official communiqué states that the government lacks capacity to employ more people into the Public Service. Instead of the jobs they promised, they are now threatening to sack workers. This is a classic example of loss of focus by the government? After seven months in office, economic analysts are skeptical about economic recovery under Nana Akufo-Addo.
Nurses and Teachers
They promised to restore allowances to teachers and nurses in training in three months. As I write, no allowances have been restored. Several hundreds of nurses waiting for placement are still at home. Others have worked for months without pay. As if the damage being caused is not enough, they have introduced the quota system which, by all standards, militates against development of Health Care in Ghana. The quota system seeks to reduce the number of students entering the Nursing Training Colleges and Universities. As I write, under the quota system, only 14,000 out of 38,000 would be trained. The then government has no money. This is an affront to Healthcare development in Ghana.
Restoration Of Allowance
Nana Akufo-Addo promised to restore the nurses and teacher trainee allowances, and to create massive employment. A sober reflection would show that Mahama had built regional hospitals with high intake capacities. He had also built many clinics and a number of CHPS compounds. Teacher Training Colleges had increased. These new facilities would require increased number of nurses and teachers. To increase the number, he removed the allowances to increase the intake of nurses and teachers to solve unemployment. Now that the yearly intake has been reduced, the country will in a few years begin to experience shortage of health personnel and teachers. What a substandard Government!!!! “I can`t think far!!! Indeed, the NPP Government has lost focus and all policies implemented so far are yielding negative results.
Among other promises made are: i. to build Stadia for Brong Ahafo, Eastern Region, Upper East Volta Region and Upper West.
- .To build Industrial Park for all 10 Regions
- To build Police Hospitals for Bolga and for Sunyani; b) 2 Police Training Schools.
- To build light rail transport in all major cities; b) To build railway from Accra through Kumasi to Paga.
- To build harbours in Keta and in James Town; b) To provide fee free SHS for all students. This however has been truncated into a progressively free SHS as indicated by NDC. “I can`t think far” .From the number of students who sat the BECE exam, and the amount to be paid for each student, it is clear that the 400is woefully inadequate. Besides infrastructure has not been considered. Are we driving into a ditch?
- One district one Factory; b) One Constituency one Million $; c) One village one dam.
- Reduction of Utility bills; b) reduction of fuel Prices; c) reduction of transport fares.
- Reduction in VAT from 17.5% to 3% for SME`s; b) reduction of Cooperate tax from 25% to 12.5%
- Free Import duties on Raw Materials; b) Payment of deposits to DKM and other financial institution customers whose monies were locked up.
The truth is that, there is no clear concept or policies of what the government is doing. The adhoc method of tackling issues will not help solve our problems. A typical example is the fight against galamsay. It started with an ultimatum from the Minister of Lands and Mineral Resources, Mr. John Peter Amewu. Tractors were removed from base, but the real galamsay continued, this time in the night. In his desperation, the President has sent an Army contingent to enforce
the end of galamsay. Now people are being killed, At Atiwa four galamsay workers are reported to have died. This also will not work because the method being used is wrong.
Any serious attempt to end galamsay must begin with the following : Social engineering and creation of massive jobs for the 65% of the rural population (Youth, Children and Women) whose livelihood depend on galamsay.
- An effective monitoring system to capture the data of those dealing in galamsay including The Chiefs, Paliamentarian, Politician, Senior Army and Police Officers and foreign syndicates.
- Mining rules and Regulation for small and Large Scale mining has to be reviewed and commensurate with the 2017 pattern of International mining regulations and enforced
- Deportation of all foreign syndicates connected to this trade.
- Control systems in the mining sector should be made to work.
- Corrupt officials and their collaborators and cartels should be exposed and made to face the law.
- Issues on illegal mining and corruption should be depoliticized.
We hope this will help the NPP and its inept Government which is desperately looking for solution to its numerous self made problems.
Dr. E .K .Hayford
Retired Senior Lecturer-UG