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September 28, 2023

Provocative Conscience (PC):  My Hope in the incoming Government

The New Year has been ushered in by massive watchnight services, there seems to be so much hope in the atmosphere. This is not because people have received any miracles but every New Year comes with its own expectations in different areas of life. Politically, the ‘change’ in the air has also contributed to the hopes of many a Ghanaian since the ‘change’ message was not sold without its attendant HOPE campaign. At 60 years of Ghana’s independence, Many of us cannot wait for an inspiring leadership that this country deserves My mischievous self tells me that Pastor Mensa Otabil, a known critic of the outgoing government has also chosen LEADERSHIP as the theme for his church members for the year 2017 because he might be hopeful of a better leadership from the new government.  “And hope does not fail”, or so says the Scripture. So, I am also hopeful that the incoming government is going to bring us relief, but my hope is not without pessimism knowingpower corrupts the politician. If personalities of candidates mattered in politics, then one can stick one’s neck out that Akufo-Addo’s government, to some extent, would be serious business. Unlike the outgoing president who made light of almost every sensitive matter because he probably has a lucky-go-happy persona, Nana Akufo has a pensive personality and hardly cracked jokes in public as a candidate. Well, maybeopposition leaders do not have to crack jokes. I remember the man who speaks impeccable Englishreferred to his political opponents, who tagged him with anything demonic, as engaging in “infantile tomfoolery”. That was in 2008, and it was the first time I heard the phrase. My friend, Jonathan and I agreed that Nana Addo had a smooth command over “the Queens language” but we wouldn’t vote for him because of the sheer arrogance and corruption that riddled the Kufour-led NPP in the end he lost the 2008 elections. Looking back, it occurs to me as though Nana Akufo-Addo had prescience into the Mills/Mahama administration that it was the infantile display of egos by some appointees, or the foolery of greed that was going to cause the cataclysmic downfall of the NDC. But good governance has no links with one’s prediction prowess or with the fluidity with which one affects a foreign accent.  Nevertheless, it is an open knowledge that the NPP has many able hands that can get the work done if they want to. We are not going to see the presidency as a haven for the tainted—the presidency is supposed to be a class act…aloo? I hope thefresh-outta-school appointees in the NPP governmentdon’t end up calling the shots at our ministries and departments or even at the presidency. I am not particularly against young people occupying certain positions in government, and it was in this spirit that I wrote a piece in which I opined that the youth would complement experience with creativity in government.   Truth is that people must be sacked when they fail to please the citizens they have been appointed to serve. When I used to read the ‘Know Your Ministers’ calendars between 2000 and 2008, the next thing was to search the education and career backgrounds of these ministers. It was a big deal for me as there was no one so inspiring for a village boy who had big dreams of continental proportions. At least in the incoming government, we are going to have largely people with inspiring profiles who will be role models for young people. Barring any contrary revelations about the Ghanaian economy, the Nana-Addo led, is going to inherit a better economy than it was between 2013 and 2015 fiscal years, thanks to Terkper’s Fiscal Consolidation measures. In addition is the Bank of Ghana’s Monetary Policy Committee’s hint that the committee will continue with policy rate cuts. Also, the economy is projected by the Economist Intelligent Unit and other research institutions to grow by 7% due to rising oil and gas production and all these add to reasons why my hopes are not misplaced. What is more? The trouncing of the NDC in the past election gives me hope that the voter is king. That alone sends shivers down the spine of the NPP government that a similar fate awaits them should they fail to meet our expectations. The incoming has John Mahama, to learn from. For Kufour and Rawlings, they have forgotten about the evils they committed.  Elsewhere in Africa, Nana Addo has John Magufuli, Paul Kagame and his friends Buhari and Ouattara to learn from both in the fight against corruption and in industrialization. I pray delegations that might be sent to learn from successful countries don’t return only with selfies. A case is Ghana’s delegation to Norway to learn the Norwegian success in oil exploration and Management; here we are eight years down the line, our oil resources are given away arbitrarily under shady circumstances and the proceeds can barely be traced. Myfear however is the populist burden the incoming government has placed on itself by way of promising the high heavens. The NPP will create jobs, that I am sure of but can they do so by reducing unemployment by significant levels, say 30% within four years? This government would be one of the longest serving if they are able to fulfill the major promises. However, to explain away reasons why they will not meet the promises will be its undoing. In fact, Dr. Bawumia has over simplified economics to the ordinary Ghanaian that he is the focal point when one thinks about the Ghanaian economy. There’s the rub for Dr. Bawumia that even if the governor of the Bank of Ghana and Finance minister mismanage the economy  or fails at currency stabilization, the buck stops with him. After all, he will be the head of the economic team. That might put his credibility on the floor and his ambitions of leading the NPP someday into question. There are very expensive promises that the NPP ought to fulfill if they want to maintain a sweeping majority seat in parliament after 2020. Key among them are the one district one factory, one village, one dam, Free SHS, reduction in taxes and utilities.  For those in senior high and tertiary institutions, it is the jobs, allowances and Free SHS, whereas for the middle class it is the reduction in taxes, fuel and utility prices that matters most. Ghanaians have opened their mouths wide and are waiting for the money in their pockets.  We want the money regardless of the source. Until then the NPP government must succeed and they need our collective support. Frederick K. Kofi Tse [email protected]    ]]>

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