Mr. President, first, you deserve to be congratulated for ordering your Finance Minister, Seth Terkper to release GH¢50 million to help the victims affected by last Wednesday’s floods and inferno.
I have lost count of how many times you have ordered and directed him, yet nothing gets done, I am an optimist, many people who know me will tell you that, I have never lost faith in your ability and capacity to take us to the promise land. In my writings and conversations I have never ceased to believe in you, the 1992 Constitution gave you the authority to assemble a team to help you prosecute your agenda, I do not wish to question your judgment, but do you honestly believe that Seth Terkper is the best man for you?
Mr. President, your friend and colleague, Goodluck Jonathan, ex-President of Nigeria, made a mistake that you are happily repeating, when he also appointed an appointee of the World Bank, Ngozi Okonjo Iweala, to head the Ministry of Finance. Her appointment like that of Seth Terkper was hailed, many people believed in her and thought that she was the panacea to the problems of Nigeria.
Unfortunately, after four years, the story is different. Nigerians have vowed never to allow anybody from the Breton Woods Institutions to get anywhere near that ministry.
Seth Terkper, was hailed by the Civil Society, when his name came up, he was seen as the Rock Star, I do not think going by the evidence available that he has lived up to expectation.
Mr President, I do not know what you saw in him before you gave him the job, if performance was the yardstick, not much can be said about his experience.
He took over the economy when the cedi-dollar was around GH¢ 2.50 pesewas, today it is hovering around GH¢ 4.20 pesewas. Last year, when the cedi took a nose dive, a number of policy interventions were made to halt the decline, all did not yield a desired results. You have, shown unflinching support for your Finance Minister, that is good for a leader, but unfortunately, he is leading you down a slippery slope, which if care is not taken will cost you the election next year.
On that black Wednesday, Mr President, whiles you were busy going round to inspect and commiserate with the victims, and families of the afflicted, the Finance Minister, I am sure will have been nicely dressed and sitting in the cozy of his office.
In this day and age, if Mr Terkper, is really working in the interest of Ghanaians and not the International Monetary Fund (IMF), where he was trained and worked, until his appointment, the man need not to reinvent the wheel.
The best practice is out there for those who wish to have it. Our problem is that we often fear the best practice because it requires getting off our comfort zone and doing a little hard work. Unfortunately for us, the fear of the best practice is the beginning of mediocrity.
Mr. President, it is not too late to take the bold decisions, when you addressed the nation after last Wednesday’s downpour, you said that this is the time to take bold decisions. Those bold decisions include, reassigning your Finance Minister, you might feel he is invaluable to your administration, but his inactions are hurting Ghanaians and threatening your administration. He has overstayed his welcome.
Somebody might ask, why am being too hard on your Finance Minister, Mr President and would even say my criticism must be constructive. By extension, Mr President, they demand that the right to point out problems comes with the responsibility to offer solutions. The truth is that there is one simple solution to any problem; adopt the best practice, tell your Finance Minister to adopt what is best out there.
Mr. President, when I listened to you ordering Seth Terkper to release the GH¢50 million, I expressed doubt, because this is not the first time you have ordered him. We hear stories of cabinet meetings, where you gave directives to your Finance Minister, but it is never followed through.
Mr. President, how about the Conti Project, did we secure the funding from Exim Bank or as your Minister said, the money was never approved? It is becoming clear that Seth Terkper’s lack of negotiation skills is causing this country a lot of money. His bad Public and human relations is hurting this country more than we all care to admit.
More than anyone else, Seth Terkper, ought to know that just like a heap of stones does not make a house; a pile of data, does not make an intelligent narrative. He talks his way through every problem, the more he talks, the more the problems compound. How many statutory payments are left unpaid for months? Vice Chancellors Ghana, are on the throats of government for not honouring promises made, all these are because of the intransigent of Mr Terkper.
A fortnight ago, at a press briefing, he spoke about a brighter future, he said the future, will be bright, indeed in Ghanaian parlance, we always talk about a brighter future. Unfortunately, with Mr Terkper managing our finance, we do not think he can give us that bright future. The light at the end of the tunnel does not look bright.
At the time of the press briefing, the cedi was exchanging less than GH¢4 to a dollar, now it is more than GH¢4.
He took over a buoyant economy from his predecessor, Dr. Kwabena Duffuor, after less than three years, he has shown us, how it is to be a bad economist. The reverse gear is causing Ghanaians pain.
Mr. President, I have always said that, you have an opportunity with destiny, will you go out as the best President this country, has ever had after Dr. Nkrumah or the worse after John Agyekum Kufuor, the choice is yours. Your Finance Minister, is helping you mark time.