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Opinions Fri, 2 Feb 2018

Cheaply to an individual, but expensive to the masses; save our souls

The government of Ghana has the sole responsibility to make sure all state and in some cases private institutions function well to benefit all citizens and residents in the country. The same government must also have men and women with appreciable level of intelligent quotient and cultural quotient on duty always to formulate policies to benefit the citizenry and residents. Donations, fund-raising, harvests and communal labor has been a positive cultural practice that sometimes the Ghana government fails to take an advantage of to help its citizens.

Just recently, the first lady led a fund-raising to complete a baby-and-mother unit building at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH). Ghanaians raised funds to support the victims of May 9 Accra Sports Stadium disaster victims, who fell during a match between Kumasi Asante Kotoko and Accra Hearts of Oak. Another example is the ongoing 100 incubator project led by chairman general, Kwami Sefa Kayi of Peace FM’s Kokrokoo morning show.

There are many other examples and that shows how Ghanaians are willing to give away a little to help less privileged fellow citizens. How could a government of a third world country, which is determined to alleviate the suffering of the masses sell vehicles at an unbelievable low cost to government officials, party supporters and officials retiring, and fail to invite the privileged citizens home and abroad to buy those vehicles and donate them to institutions in their hometowns or districts that are starving for transportation?

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There are many institutions in our districts and hometowns, which lack vehicles to function well. There are many in Ghana and in the diaspora, who would buy those cars for the community health department of their respective district hospitals. They need those cars for their outreach programs. The underprivileged in the villages around the country are just dying like animals. Extension officers lack cars to function well. Many farmers lack knowledge on government policies in the agricultural sector, are unware of opportunities available to them, and are crying for education on best farming practices. The police need cars and motorbikes to patrol our towns in the night. Some citizens could afford to buy those cheap cars and donate them as “hospital taxis” to transport patients, especially pregnant women in our villages to the near-by hospitals. Many are the pregnant women who are transported on motorbikes and bicycles from villages to the delivery room in the near-by towns and cities. Our system just promote evil.

If the government took the decision today to auction those vehicles only to citizens, who would then donate them to any government institution of their choice, and/or call back all those vehicles that have already been sold so cheaply in recent times, many Ghanaians, especially those in the diaspora would undoubtedly buy them for good projects in their respective hometowns.

Columnist: Eben Johnson Owusu-Afriyie
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