Mr Alban Kingsford Sumana Bagbin, Second Deputy Speaker of Parliament, has differed on the outcome of a recent survey that ranked Ghana as the fourth (4th) happiest country in the whole of sub-Sahara Africa.
In reaction to the ranking by the World Happiness Report released by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network for the United Nations, he said the report appeared to be out of phase with the reality on the ground.
“State sponsored militancy, rising cost of living, rising fuel and electricity prices, kidnappings, graduate unemployment – these are some of the highlights of our national life so far, how this state of affair is a source of happiness in Ghana, really leaves a lot of room for questions,” Bagbin said in a statement copied to the Ghana News Agency in Accra.
According to him, constant demonstrations and protest marches against the government, rather indicated that Ghanaians were becoming angrier.
“This is a country in which, contract killings and Police brutalities have now become a regular feature. People have become very suspicious and people are living in fear all the time.
“The collapse of businesses has reached unprecedented levels leading to many losing their jobs, it couldn’t possibly be true that we are happier under these circumstances than a few years back,” Mr Bagbin said.
The Nadowli-Kaleo MP’s take was in reaction to the recent claim that the mood of Ghanaians had improved between 2016 and 2018 making the country the 4th happiest place in West Africa.
According to international survey firm, Gallup, which undertook the survey from 2016 to 2018, Ghana improved her ranking to 99 from 108 (2018) in the global ranking of 156 countries.
In the Sub-Saharan African ranking, Ghana placed fourth behind Mauritius (57), Nigeria (85) and Cameroon (96) in the top five which was completed by neighbouring Ivory Coast (99).
And the ranking was computed based on factors such as gross domestic product, social support from friends and family, healthy life expectancy, freedom to make life choices, generosity, perceived corruption and recent emotions of citizens - both happy and sad.
However, Mr Bagbin observed that the truth on the ground was that the country’s gross international reserves had depreciated significantly, while the local currency also depreciated. “As for the claim that corruption has improved, even a child knows that the perception of corruption has not really improved.”
He urged the Government not to allow itself to be deceived into thinking that Ghana had become happier, urging that practical steps must be taken to diffuse tension hanging over the nation like a cloud.