Former president John Dramani Mahama has offered the administration a number of suggestions that, if put into practice, might aid in resolving the nation’s present economic problems.
The government can minimize costs by axing or reallocating state organizations with comparable duties, suspending projects that are not absolutely necessary, and lowering the number of appointees.
The former President has once more urged the administration to take additional measures to combat corruption.
On Thursday night, former president Mahama said the government had created numerous institutions to carry out tasks that established state institutions could successfully complete, a situation that was a drain on the nation’s resources. He was speaking at an event called “Building the Nation We Want.”
For instance, he claimed, the government didn’t need to set up a Free SHS Secretariat when the Ghana Education Service could efficiently carry out the Free SHS program or developmental authorities when MMDCEs could handle their responsibilities.
The former president also urged the government to use the windfall from increased tax income brought on by high oil prices to protect the population from high petrol prices.
Read what Mahama suggested for Ghanaians below:
WHAT WE CAN DO AS CITIZENS
It is said that desperate times call for desperate measures. There is no denying that we are in desperate times. While responsibility for the difficulties we face lie with the Akufo-Addo and Bawumia government, there are things we can do as citizens in our own small way to minimize the suffering we are going through and help Government turn the situation around. 33 A good way to start will be to regulate and minimize out expenditure by sticking to only the things that we really need. As much as possible, we need to acquire and sustain a taste and preference for locally manufactured products. If we must buy consumables or food products, let us choose that rice or chicken that is produced locally so that it doesn’t become necessary to find millions of dollars to import the same items. Let us consciously eat more of our local foods like yam, local grains. cassava, beans, local fruits, and vegetables. That way, we reduce demand for foreign currency, reduce the pressure on our own currency and boost domestic production to create a win-win situation. Cut down on non-essential foreign travel and cut down on expensive foreign products in our homes. If there ever was a time to be thrifty, this is it! Even after an IMF programme has been agreed, the austerity of the next few years is going to be severe. We save scarce family resources and use them for only the most priority expenditure.
I was touched by news that one of the biggest manufacturing companies in Ghana had extended a one-off cost of living payment to its employees to ease their suffering. This is a humanitarian gesture; I would encourage many more companies to emulate because the suffering is real and intense. I would also propose that just as happened during COVID-19, industries and businesses that have the possibility should give their employees the opportunity to work from home some days of the week as a way of cutting down on transportation costs which have become too expensive for many people. There are many things we can do to claw back control of our economy and resolve the cyclical bursts and booms we have suffered all these decades. The NDC 2020 manifesto contained many such bold proposals that can move our country forward. These include the “Big Push Infrastructural Plan” whose major plank was for the implementation of critical, and relevant self-financing national infrastructure to facilitate rapid socio-economic development.
Currently with the imminent IMF programme, aspects of this programme where priority was to be given to self-financing projects will still be relevant in our present circumstances. Also, a well tabled and widely agreed consultation can approve a 10 year Priority Investment Program (PIP). The Atuabo Gas plant and Kotoka International Airport Terminal 3 projects are examples of this model. They are yielding benefits for our country even as we speak. These policy proposals remain as relevant today as they were at the time they were formulated in 2020, and this government is free to adopt some of these measures as well as what I have outlined tonight to save our country. In building the Ghana we want we must all put out heads together. We, in the NDC, value the mandate that is bestowed on us periodically to govern and do not intend to abuse it whenever we are given the privilege by Ghanaians to form any future government. In the interim, we will continue to play our role as a viable and responsible opposition party that keeps government in check and holds them accountable.
It is in that spirit that we have outlined the above measures to help resolve the economic mess we are in and bring some respite to the people of Ghana. We are in crisis. This is not the time for arrogant and insulting posturing. This is the time for listening. A time for utmost humility and a time for honest contemplation. A time to admit and accept where we have gone wrong. A time to bring our suffering people together. A time to promote unity and seal the cracks. A time to demonstrate leadership and sacrifice. I mean genuine sacrifice in the interest of our people, our country, and our future. Scripture tells us that, although we may fall, we can rise again. It is however imperative that government accepts publicly – with a contrite heart – that they have gone wrong and earnestly seek workable solutions. Our very lives as a people are at stake.
And we must boldly, even if for the first time, discard the arrogance of power and don the cloak of humility, come together, confront our reality, face the truth, accept our faults and act. We must not throw our hands up in despair. No matter how uncomfortable we may feel about confronting the truth, we owe it a duty to our people to look at what brought us to this point. To the people of Ghana, I say, the NDC and I fully understand and appreciate how serious today’s situation is. This is because we are a part of the Ghanaian community. We live together and we feel the suffering together. We know mothers and fathers are worried about the future of their children. Families with mortgages are deeply troubled and contemplating the future of their children’s education, just as families who must pay rents in due course. We know farmers and the elders of our communities are struggling to survive. We know businessmen are mostly running at a loss with only a few barely making ends meet. You are not alone, and you will never be alone.
Together, we can save Ghana and build the Ghana we want. Regardless of how bad the situation is right now; I still have hope that we can turn things around. I wholeheartedly believe in the resilience of our people and the lengths we can go to secure a prosperous future for our families. I have had the privilege to work with some of the most brilliant Ghanaians and I have personally seen how dedicated they are to our country and its future. My brothers and sisters, throughout our history, Ghana’s darkest days have always been followed by its finest hours. We always mobilize when all hope seems lost. We always come together when nobody gives us a chance anymore. We always turn things around for the better; regardless of how grim the situation is. This fighting spirit that we all share as Ghanaians will never leave us, despite the numerous attempts employed by many to break it. This is our land, this is our destiny, and we are ready to move mountains to protect and build the Ghana we want.
Let us rise! Let us hold each other’s hands; Let us put our shoulders and minds to the wheel; Let us protect and defend our democracy; And let us build the Ghana we want! As I conclude let me state that I agree with the President and wish to add my voice to his call on our Armed Forces and security services to remain loyal to the State and the Constitution. The current economic circumstances, though dire, do not give excuse for any acts that are unconstitutional. Working together as one people and using the levers of the constitution, we can turn this situation around.
God bless our homeland Ghana!
I thank you for your kind attention.
Source: Ghanatodayonline.com/Louis Gyamerah