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Sunday, November 22, 2009

Mr. President It is time to reshuffle

Mr. President knowing how to read and write alone does not make a minister qualified to end poverty in a poverty stricken nation like Ghana. It is time to reshuffle and bring in people who can think outside the box and change the situation in the ministries and across the country for the better.

Think carefully about Agriculture. Our farmers do not have the necessary accoutrements to produce to feed the nation let alone export to bring in the needed revenue to finance infrastructure and development programmes. What is the role of the Minister of Food and Agriculture and what policy or policies is he implementing to make Ghana a food sufficient nation? Our farmers are still using cutlasses and hoes to farm in this 21st century and do you think giving the size of our population cutlasses and hoes can help us to feed ourselves? We need robust agricultural policies and if all that the minister can do is to sit in his office while millions are on the verge of starvation then you know that it is better to allow one person to go hungry than the whole nation.

Think about education? Can you say for sure that performance at both the basic and high school level is any better? Again what role is the minister of education playing to make our educational system the envy of Africa? What is the minister doing to make sure we are not producing half-baked students who cannot even write their own names? Ghana deserve excellent educational policies that address many of the problems facing our teachers, students and the schools in general such as classrooms, accommodations for teachers and students, transport, libraries, computers, internet facilities, laboratories and what have you. If all that the minister can do is to sit in his air-condition office without thinking about how to improve the situation on the ground then it is better for him to be sacked than the whole nation going to suffer from manpower deficiency.

Minister of employment is a disappointment. He has no idea how to coordinate with the various institutions in the country to create jobs. That is why unemployment is rising. That is why people are agitating against your government. Sack the minister and bring in someone who can think and I mean can use his brain to change the unemployment situation in the country. The era of non-performing ministers running around and failing our nation must be over. Ghana is not going to make it if all that you can do as President is to appoint someone who can only read and write but cannot apply or use his or her brain to think to change the poverty in the country.

The minister of Environment, Science and Technology is there to solve environmental and technological problems: waste generation, pollution and many more. Residents of Accra, Kumasi, Ho, Tamale, Takoradi, Cape Coast, Koforidua, Wa, and those in the rural areas cannot live in filth when a minister and her deputies are being paid huge salaries and bonuses. Sack them for non-performance. If you think there is anyone in the country who can help your administration to achieve real results forget about party politics and use him or her. Nations are built through the contribution of all its citizens.

Your administration is constantly being referred to as ‘Team B’ because of non-performance of your ministers. Every minister must show real talent and demonstrate that he or she has the talent and brain capacity to move his or her ministry from the doldrums. Otherwise sack him or her. Ghana does not have time for experimentation. We cannot experiment with our development. It is not enough to appoint someone as minister because he or she campaigned for you. No it is not enough. You must demand daily briefing from your ministers. Let them go out and see what is being done on the ground. The poverty situation in the country and the climate of economic down-sidedness warrant a different and sharp approach.

Never tolerate corruption in your administration. It is a cancer that can bring down your government. Make sure if anyone has anything to do with corruption do not hesitate to fire him or her and call for his or her prosecution. As a Professor of Taxation you know how difficult it is to raise taxes on people who are already suffering. That is why every effort must be made to ensure that every penny earmarked for the ministries and departments is spent well for the benefit of the country. The corruption allegation involving Northern Regional Minister and the NDC regional chairman must be investigated if you want your government to be seen as credible. Do not behave like the rest of your colleagues in Africa who give no ears to good advice, complaints and constructive criticisms. Save the next government that will take over from you the task of having to set up so many committees to investigate corruption allegations against members of your government by dealing with corruption issues as expeditiously as possible.

And finally put your council of economic advisers to work. They must be made to figure out what needs to be done to salvage the rapidly deteriorating economy from final collapse. You know very well that Ghanaians are really suffering. They need food on the table. They need jobs. They need roof on their heads. They cannot continue to live in poverty. Gather the engineers, architects, and planners in the country to figure out how we can build our cities, build affordable houses, build bridges, and improve rail lines, roads and the general infrastructure in the country. This is the path Malaysia took by mobilising the people and the internal resources to build infrastructures that finally propelled her to stardom.

You cannot fail Ghana and Ghanaians. No not this time when so much is as take. Remember the joy and happiness that the Satellites brought the whole nation when they won the under 20 World Cup. They worked as a team and their determination paid off. All Ghanaians irrespective of political, tribal and ethnic affiliation celebrated their victory. You and your team of ministers have the same mandate and responsibility to bring joy and gladness to the millions who live in abject poverty both in the cities and the countryside. With Jehovah God on your side you can win the battle but you must be bold, you must be brave to take on the challenges and stop blaming Kuffour and his administration for the woes the country is in now.

By Lord Aikins Adusei

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