MORE WELL-MEANING Ghanaians, who have had enough of Finance Minister Seth Terkper’s half-baked economic policies killing local businesses and heaping untold hardship on Ghanaians, continue to speak out to expose the lack of skill in the management of the economy.
Latest to join the fray is the affable 2012 torchbearer of the Convention People’s Party (CPP), Dr Michael Abu Sakara who holds the position that unless the right fundamentals are put in place, the solutions proffered by participants at the recent Economic Forum to resurrect the dying economy will come to naught.
According to Dr Sakara, just like any other forum which has been organized to arrest Ghana’s economic problems and has woefully failed, the just ended economic forum will also fail unless the right things are done.
Senchi consensus won’t work
He said“the 22 point agenda which were set at the economic forum can never be attained unless the source of the country’s problems is figured out first.
“If you have a problem it is important to manage and identify the source before trying to solve it because you cannot treat the problem without treating the source.”
Dr. Sakara noted that no forum held in the country can save the economy from its current woes unless important targets and national development plan are enshrined in the constitution of Ghana for governments to strictly obey.
This he said will be the only way to make governments accountable and obliged to build on what their predecessors began instead of rubbishing old projects for new ones to score political points.
According to him, Ghana’s current problems started years back because political meanings are read into everything which hinders continuity on the part of governments.
According to him, political stability and continuity has helped other countries to progress. “We must have things instituted which will protect these agendas and ensure continuity.”
Dr Sakara made these assertions at the just ended IPMATIIC AFRICA 2014 conference held at the national theatre to find solution to African problems and outline the way forward in ensuring independent industrialization in Africa.
Currently, government’s inability to raise the needed funds to pump into critical sectors of the economy has led to the scrapping of fuel subsidies and passing of the full cost to the already overburdened Ghanaian.
The rationale of the removal of the subsidies aimed to achieve full pass-through petroleum product prices to the man on the street. Since then the price of fuel has seen an unprecedented almost monthly jump and resultant increases in transport fares.
To further inflict more pains to the ordinary Ghanaian, government again withdrew subsidies on utilities to tertiary institutions, all in the name of revenue generation.
The bad policy again has resulted in the piling up of huge debts that are plaguing the nation’s tertiary institutions.
Media reports yesterday cited the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) as warning that it will be forced to cut power to public universities and polytechnics over unpaid bills.
The ECG in a letter written to the public tertiary institutions requested the institutions to budget to pay their utility bills because the finance minister had resolved to pay arrears ending December 2013.
The implication of the obvious defective policy is that the tertiary institutions will have no option than to pass on the cost to students through hikes in fees. The parent ultimately again bears the cost of another yet bad policy to revive a failing economy.
No money for teachers
The Polytechnic Teachers Association of Ghana (POTAG) is also still up in arms with the government over failure to release monies meant for research work of lecturers in public tertiary institutions.
A stalemate between government and POTAG ended up at the National Labour Commission which has directed the teachers to call off their strike.
Indications from the leadership of POTAG are that the association will not heed to the directive unless their demands are met and government releases what is due them.
It would be recalled that days ago the National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT) and Coalition of Concerned Teachers (CCT), hit the streets to protest against the poor handling of the second-tier pension scheme of Ghana Education Service (GES) workers.
The massive demonstration followed an earlier declaration of a nationwide strike by the hungry teachers.
Information trickling in suggests that government has already ‘touched’ the workers’ pension fund to fix the mess created in the economy.
The Ghana Palaver yesterday reported that the government has already started spending the pension money of public workers that is currently held in accounts at the Bank of Ghana.
Workers will certainly not take this lightly and indications are that they will resist any attempt to misdirect their hard earned money.