General News of Sunday, 21 April 2013
Policy think tank IMANI Ghana has said Ghanaians must offer President John Mahama’s administration practical suggestions to resolving the country’s problems rather than engaging in “endless prayers and fasting”.
A statement issued by the group’s President, Franklin Cudjoe said: “Let us practically help President John Dramani Mahama today to surmount the hydra-headed problems part self-inflicted, part a cyclical way of political and economic life in Ghana”.
Mr Cudjoe noted that: “High economic growth is a matter of choice, not destiny”, adding that: “It depends on the nature of the policies, laws, and institutions that are put in place by the people of a country to ensure that they have good governance and economic and social conditions that lead to peace, economic opportunity and prosperity”. For starters, he proposed that the ministry of water resources, works and housing should look for “serious money outside the government but from another government and encourage limited private involvement in expanding access to clean water in Ghana”.
“Better still we must effectively let all districts manage and resource their water systems,” he suggested. He said the Canadian government’s “Export Development Canada” has several commercial vehicles with less than 2% interest rates in most cases over a period which he believed Ghana could take advantage of.
“The catch here though is that the Canadians like the Americans won’t pay a bribe ahead and won’t probably pay in the end,” he added. The statement said such a facility is comparatively better than others which Ghana has already signed for.
He cited the Accra Metropolitan Assembly’s nearly 15% interest on $600m loan to rebuild part of Accra’s drainage system as an example to buttress his point.
He noted that $150m out of a $250m facility released by the Government to the Community Water and Sanitation Department upon request, remains unutilized adding that a Memorandum of Understanding covering the amount was signed just last week “after many months of feet dragging”.
IMANI Ghana says it will soon suggest practical steps to President Mahama about how high speed and spacious boats, each capable of catching a shoal of fish equivalent to the total catch of 200 canoes in a day can help shore up the country’s fishing industry.
He said instead of building landing sites and a college of fisheries for small amounts of fish, fishermen must be encouraged to be competitive and “break the monopoly of thieving pre-mix fuel administrators”.