Early this year, the Government organized a National Consultative Forum in the Volta Regional capital, Ho, to discuss the rising wage bill, arising out of the implementation of the Single Spine Salary Structure (SSSS) and the effect it was having on the economy.
Among the resolutions adopted at the forum was the yanking off of some State sub-vented Institutions from the Consolidated Fund, it was argued and rightly so that some of them could do well on their own, giving the support and the resources they have had over the years. A lot of them are under performing because at the end of the day Government will find the money to pay them at the end of every month anyway.
The Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) under the able leadership of Dr. Stephen Opuni, was able to demonstrate that giving the right environment and good leadership a lot of the Institutions could be able to generate enough income to pay it staff and pay into the Government chest the unused for other developmental projects.
Months have passed and nothing is heard from the Ministry of Finance which spearheaded that forum and now another is being organized to chart a
way forward for the economy.
Before the Gvernment could make any headway in terms of arresting the current economic challenges, it has to seriously take a second look at the SSSS, anything short of that and the problems will still persist, in respective of who or which political party is in power.
A Committee was set up after the Ho forum to come out with a blue print to implement the deliberations that took place.
Franklin Cudjoe, the Founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Imani Ghana, was one of the people selected to form the Committee, along the line he came out to criticize the Finance Minister, Seth Terkper of stampeding the process. He subsequently resigned, that was the last time I heard of the work of that Committee.
We cannot be wasting the little resources that we have chasing after dreams we are likely not to achieve anytime soon. There is too much partisan politics in our national discourse, until we change and accept the fact that Ghana is for all of us and we all have to contribute our quota, nothing good can come out of these fora.
A disclaimer is appropriate at this point, I am all for the four days National Economic Forum, currently ongoing in Akosombo, I think it has come rather late, because we need a blue print going forward to be implemented regardless of who is in power. It is still a welcome idea and must be supported by all.
Since 1992, when we ushered in the current dispensation, we have been going in circles about how to run the economy and sustain the growth that all the political parties keep touting anytime it suits them. In Ghana we have a different meaning of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), because whatever growth rate the politicians claim they have achieved, it never reflect in the pockets of people, who matter most.
My fear is that like the fora we have had before this, it won’t become one of those gatherings whose outcome will be locked away in the Ministries to gather dust, waiting for the problems to resurface and then we quickly organize another forum to waste public money for another talk shop.
The New Patriotic Party (NPP), held a press conference on Monday, to state their position of the party regarding the invitation extended to them to partake in the forum.
As unfortunate as it may sound, they have also decided not to take part in the deliberations, adducing some reasons that only sound good to their ears.
The partisan nature of our national discourse is becoming annoying by the day. The National Democratic Congress (NDC) cannot claim they know it all, which is why we need everybody to build this country together. We either fail or succeed together; it is up to all of us.
With the stance taken by the NPP, they are setting a bad precedence for the NDC to follow suit, should the shoe be on the other leg, and certainly power will change hands one day.
This is not their first boycott of national assignment; they boycotted the investiture of the President elect, John Dramani Mahama, the Minority Members in Parliament (MPs), boycotted the vetting of Ministers, for which reason, we have some square pegs in round holes etc.
This does not speak well of the biggest opposition party in the country and a Government in waiting. The NDC is watching and learning and trust me, they will pay them back in their own coin.
I thought with the axing of the old Executives and coming into office of fresh limbs, who come across as moderate and level headed, this cheap partisan politics that is seeking to divide this country, will be a thing of the past.
What I forgot is that the fruit, it is said cannot fall far from the tree; the NPP will continue to be NPP, regardless of who is leading it.
Paul Afoko, is also rather ejaculating too early, he cannot come into office and his major press conference or decision he takes is to kick against what is in the interest of Ghanaians.
The mandate given Mr Paul Afoko and his team is to win the presidency for NPP, but you see that is not what Ghanaians want. Ghanaians want an improvement in their standard of living, they want to live in an atmosphere of peace, they want an alternative Government to the NDC not a political party that is opposed to everything.
Until the NPP realizes what Ghanaians want, they will continue to wallow in the wilderness of opposition.
It is my hope and prayer that for once whatever consensus is arrived at the National Economic Forum, will be implemented to the latter, so that Ghanaians can have some respite from the current economic hardships that I believe is short-lived. The NPP must ponder over this; think not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.