It is the people’s money, Mr. Ankrah

It is the people's money, Mr. Ankrah

Elvis Ariyie-Ankrah



Maybe the Minister of Youths and Sports, Mr. Elvis Afriyie-Ankrah, ought to be told in plain language that the recent GYEEDA report that he submitted to President John Dramani Mahama is the bona fide property and business of the Ghanaian people at large and ought to be squarely envisaged as such (See “Prez Mahama Can’t Be Stampeded Over GYEEDA Report – Minister” MyJoyOnline.com/Ghanaweb.com 8/13/13).

The GYEEDA Report, a comprehensive draft version of which has already appeared on the Internet, details the apocalyptically unprecedented thievery that has characterized our national youth human resource and employment program by citizens entrusted with the management of the same. For instance, there have been documented outrageous instances in which huge sums of taxpayer monies were disbursed to no-bid contractors who never delivered the goods and services they had pre-agreed to supply and/or deliver.

Of course, Mr. Afriyie-Ankrah is perfectly right to declare that Mr. Mahama “will not be stampeded into implementing the recommendations of the committee that investigated reports of graft and maladministration at the Ghana Youth Employment and Entrepreneurial Development Agency.” But the fact remains that the people whose very mandate it is that Mr. Mahama claims to have put him at the helm of their affairs are demanding prompt and thorough implementation of the recommendations of those entrusted with the GYEEDA investigation. If the Mahama regime was hell-bent on second-guessing the GYEEDA investigators, as it clearly appears to be doing presently, then why engage their services at all, to begin with?

In essence, those of our citizens who are convinced that the Government is intent on covering up at least some irreparably damning aspects of the report may well have a point. Indeed, if Ghanaians are clamoring for the findings of the GYEEDA report to be implemented, it is primarily because of the experiences that they have had with the release of similar reports in the past. The queasily bureaucratic idea of having a P. V. Obeng-headed committee review the report pretty much offers Ghanaians more of the same, that is, the status quo of the very unsavory and morally and materially regressive culture that they are vigorously trying to free themselves from.

Plus the fact that the Obeng Committee will not be performing its terms of reference gratis, unnecessarily adds onto the already quite considerable expenditure footed by the Ghanaian taxpayer on the GYEEDA report. Then also must be significantly observed the fact that Mr. Obeng has been integral to the systematic and reckless run-down of the country’s economy under twenty years of the Rawlings reign-of-terror. And so, really, there is not much that is progressive that Mr. Obeng can offer by way of streamlining the manner in which public institutions and human-resource development programs are run in the country.

In other words, the Government would have done far better to engage the report-study services of an independent and non-partisan bevy of economists and social scientists from the nation’s flagship academy, the University of Ghana, or even the services of Ghanaian experts resident in the Diaspora. This may clearly be what they mean, when the critics of the Mahama government poignantly observe Mr. Obeng to be personally mired in a conflict-of-interest situation.

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*Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.
Department of English
Nassau Community College of SUNY
Garden City, New York
August 13, 2013
E-mail: [email protected]




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