Abdul Razak Bawa
Let me begin by reminding us that politicians come and go, so do their Government and their policies. Yet, there exist a particular group of government officials, who, once they come into office, they do not exit easily like their politician counterpart.
They are the real Government officials, the civil and public servants. They stick to the system and assist the politicians achieve their aim, be it a good or ugly, they will always support.
A politician can stay for as short as four years and as long as eight years, but these other people can have their way for as long as thirty years and even wanting more.
Some of them have even vowed to die in office and they have adopted various methods in achieving this. Fraudulent changing of birth certificates, enrollment in part-time programmes etc are just few of the ways they elongate their stay in the civil service.
I can confidently say there are less than 5,000 core politicians across Ghana, from the entire political divide and especially the two major political parties, i.e. the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the largest opposition party, the New Patriotic Party (NPP).
Yet in recent times, because of the impact the Single Spine Salary Structure (SSSS) is having on the economy, we were told by the managers that they have over 500,000, public and civil servants working with them.
One would begin to ask themselves, is it that the few politicians we have in this country are Constitutionally empowered to manipulate and misuse these public and civil service, or is that they are just too lackadaisical in supporting any Government, be it a good, bad or the ugly type? Indeed, they are always willing to bend in as much as their share of the cake is reserved.
Go to the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA) and other Institutions of Higher Learning , you will be amazed how many of our Civil servants have enrolled in them, all in search of higher rank and higher pay with no aim of acquiring a higher value for their work place.
If you want to know why our National recurrent expenditure have been on the high side throughout since 1992 and especially with the introduction of the SSSS, just check the payroll of our civil and public servants and you will find out that they are responsible for the underdevelopment of our economy and the public system.
As if this is not enough, the civil and public servants have now assumed a dictatorial pattern of workmanship through establishment of various unions.
You dare not try to sack any civil servants for negligence of duty or say there is no money for increment of salaries, the whole Union will be on strike demanding for an improbable and unconnected archaic agreement to be implemented.
It is time every civil servant in this country ask him/herself, is my monthly earned income commensurate with my monthly input to this office? Am I been productive in this office in the same way I should be if it were my personal private business? If the answer to this question is no, then without doubt, you are the kind of civil servant that is responsible for backwardness of our general economy and the Ghanaian public system. Please resign and make yourself productive!
For every crime a politician successfully commits in office, there are a hundred civil servants who guided him and another hundred who will work hard to officially cover up the illegality. For every ten evil politicians that exist Ghana, there are a hundred thousand evil civil servants supporting them to succeed! It is high time we investigate these civil servants in the same propensity that we investigate the politicians, when they fall foul of the law.
The law causing financial loss to the state has been reserved only for politicians, while our civil servants who stay in office longer than the politicians and engage in worse financial crimes are left to go home and enjoy their booty.
Every year, the Public Accounts Committee of Parliament (PAC), hears a lot of financial malfeasance that goes on in our Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), I am yet to see one civil suffer the consequence of their actions.
The Alfred Agbesi Woyome scandal that rocked this country three years ago had all the Civil Servants involved in the whole acts on the loose, while politicians suffered the consequences of their actions. Are we been told that they was no single Civil servant involved in the whole scum?
You could say, last year was the year of strikes for our public and civil servants.
Doctors, Nurses, University Lecturers, National Union of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT), Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT) etc at one time or
another refused to show up for work and yet all receive their salaries for the number of months they stayed at home.
Where in the world can this absurdity happen if not in the Ghana. Yet the tax payers whose commonwealth are been used to settle these group of people are all keeping mute, and to add salt to injury, the same politicians who are held to ransom by these group of workers are those who encourage them, all in the name of political power.
It’s a pity that most of these ‘unproductive’ civil servants keeps bloating our National recurrent expenditure and thereby ruining our economy.
Is this how they run their personal businesses? Or perhaps there is no other way of getting their share of the National Cake.
Now I begin to see reasons why every institution and corporation under the civil service and Ghanaian government collapses while their private counterparts are doing extremely well. Ghana Airways, State Transport Company (STC), Banks, etc, have either collapsed or are collapsing. Even our schools are not left out.
I have come to the conclusion that our Government is a charitable organization and can afford or perhaps should continue to offer free roads, free health care, free education, subsidized pilgrimage trips to Mecca and Israel, cheap petroleum products, etc all at the detriment of our National infrastructural development and in the favour of our civil servants.
Ever since our politicians turned our governments into Non-Profit-Organization (NGO), our civil and public servants lost value, orientation and our civil service work became a work for apathetic unproductive citizens.
Indeed, this idea of free this and free that by the government has turned Ghanaians into lazy poor beggars always expecting the government to do ‘free’ things for them. Free wives should be coming soon to our men from our charitable government.
Another absurdity that is to befall us is the promise of free education by the NPP, this is an attestation that Ghanaians have always been poor, are still poor and will continue to be poor, hence the need to make education free for them, while they are been looted dry by politicians in collaboration with the civil servants.
Until these abnormalities are scrutinized and checked, the Ghanaian economy will continue to decline as no nation in the world can succeed by spending over 80 per cent of its income in paying unrepentant, unproductive, redundant workers whose input is not commensurate to the earned output of their corporate duties.
If the Ghanaian Civil Service was established to augment the unemployment rate in a weak way as it has become, then their bandwagon growth is acceptable even as it threatens our National infrastructural developmental growth and economy.
But, if it was established to offer administrative functions to the government with an aim of encouraging productivity, efficiency, innovation and economic growth in the general well being of the economy, then the present Civil Service is due for rehabilitation, reformation and re-orientation in order to retrace their essence and encourage productivity so as to make our nation a better place.
Until then we only deserve what we are getting. Our economy will suffer as it is doing now. Which country has it currency depreciating by the hour and we think only the politicians should be blamed?