Politics of Tuesday, 13 January 2015
Source: Eunice Afari
Flag bearer of the Convention People’s Party in the 2012 election Dr. Michael Abu Sakara Fosta has acknowledged the contribution of all Ghanaians both home and abroad towards nation building in the past year. In a New Year message, Dr. Abu Sakara extended good wishes to all Ghanaians especially at the beginning of the New Year.
He said it is a privilege and a duty to encourage all Ghanaians in their endeavors as ‘we strive to build our nation’. In a year of significant trials and tribulation it is even more important that we look ahead of us with hope for a new and improved condition for all Ghanaians, he said.
In an exclusive interview on BTA, Dr. Sakara noted that the past year has been fought with an economy in distress made worse by an energy crisis that has remained unsolved. These two forces have served to deepen unemployment increase living cost up to an extent where it has eroded standard of living not only for the middle class but even made more burdensome the load on the people with lower wages.
The 2012 flagbearer of the CPP said these are challenges that are indicated in the underlying symptoms that ‘we have as flaws in our strategy and the only way we can avoid this is not to rely on an unaided weak private sector without specific measures that will strengthen our private sector and give them a competitive urge’. We have gone beyond enabling the private sector to empowering the private sector in order that they can have a competitive urge in our climate. And that basically means that we must only focus on productivity increase in areas where we have advantage to give them raw materials which they can process but we must also invest in skill building for innovation and technology that will turn the comparative advantage to a competitive advantage in the global market Dr Sakara said. This is a point which we cannot withdraw from.
He said as Ghanaians there is the need to face this reality squarely and overcome it and not despair.
He said ‘as we go into the New Year, we must hold fast to the things which have bound us as a people from the inception of this country- our belief in common values, our belief in justice and freedom for everyone. These are the principles that create a vision of Ghana for all of us and that we can aspire to serve as examples to other African countries. This is our destiny to be an example of good governance in a prosperous society in Africa for Africans’ he said. I believe, that as Ghanaians, this vision is still attainable and as we move into a new year, we must resolve to do the things and take the bold decisions that will set us on the right path and also we must confront the major challenges of corruption in our society. That corruption is not borne only of greed but also borne of communal nepotism which is practiced at every level and we must resolve to let go of these practices and ensure that we all work towards our common good in an atmosphere that ensures that everybody’s needs s been met.
Dr. Abu Sakara also shared his views on the menace of corruption that has engulfed the nation. He said corruption has both an institutionalized aspect as well as at the individual level. “Always when we think of corruption, we like to think of certain category of people doing such job- mostly politicians and civil servants. But we should also look at the institutions that they operate because those institutions may have some fundamental flaws, some of them go way back to our constitution. This allows too much power for an individual therefore the constitutional checks and balances must be restored- the checks between the legislature and the executive. It is proper to have an attorney general who is not beholding to a particular political party,” Dr. Abu Sakara added.
Secondly, he said there is the need to have DCE’s elected at the lower levels. This will ensure that they derive their mandate directly from the people not by any political appointment.
There are some social expectations that tend to feed the engine of corruption. So we have to adjust our values around it and it is not just about looking to the big men but each of us must accept the consequences. It should be tackled comprehensively”.
On Energy the CPP 2012 flagbearer said the energy demand of the country is dynamic not static and therefore the need to plan for it ahead of time. Additionally, he said the nature of the projects that use energy are not things that you can switch on instantaneously. That is why we need a longer term planning for energy supply.
“We have to focus our energy to resolve the highest order problem so that the smaller problems can get resolved. We have not treated the energy problems with the degree of urgency and the level of priority it deserves” Dr. Sakara noted.
On Agriculture, Dr. Sakara who is also an agriculturist stressed that the sector has not received the needed urgency and prioritization that it deserves to enable it to play its proper role as the leading sector of the economy. “we should factor in population, and that increased yield per unit area is what is going to get new planting areas for strategic crops. Investment from private sector is what would carry the agric sector,” he added.