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Brain Drain Shuts Down Tor?

Brain Drain Shuts Down Tor?

Wed, 28 Sep 2005 Source: Danso, Kwaku A.

I Say Insanity In Executve Decision-Making Must Stop ALSO!

In a Joy-online article posted on Ghanaweb of September 24, 2005, we read of the familiar title we have seen before: BRAIN DRAIN SHUTS DOWN TOR?

?14 TOR-trained engineers leave for Middle East.
... Koreans expected to run plant

The Tema Oil Refinery-TOR has shut its Residual Catalytic Cracking plant, which produces LPG and petrol. Officials of the refinery say the shutdown is for routine maintenance and insists it will not affect supply of petrol and gas. But some workers at the refinery told a local radio station -JoyFM - that brain drain, compelled the authorities to shut it down. Personnel of that department are reportedly being lured to refineries in Omar and Qatar, which are offering attractive remuneration packages.?

Folks, we must as well have added ?Brain Drain shuts down the whole nation?! Are the brains in executive offices at home drained also? The performance of our leaders so far indicates a status of complete incompetence and pubic mismanagement and even thievery that must be halted if our nation is to survive. After 48 years as an Independent nation, World Bank Report (2005) indicates Ghana?s GNP per capita is at $320. In 1957 it was $390 about the same as that of Korea and Singapore. Today Singapore and Korea are both above $20,000. Singapore Airlines is number one rated, corruption perception index in Singapore is ahead of both the US and UK, health care is better rated, and even deployment of ICT number one in the world! Instead of our leaders asking how they did it, they rather call the professionals from these nations to come and manage our refineries, factories, airlines, and pay them expatriate wages whiles refusing to pay our own natives adequately and keeping those overseas there only so the government can extort money from them at the ports or expect their remittances to be the most dominant component of our domestic revenues! This is insane and must stop!

Talking about a cultural transformation that is needed, don't anybody ever think it is only Chieftaincy, inheritance, Kente, Fuugu, etc, etc and even pounded fufu that is killing our people and holding our developmental efforts. It is perhaps mostly this in-built innate hatred and disgust for our own selves, our kind, our own people, as depicted everyday in our decision-making process. It is the envy of others, desire to reap where we have not sowed, and our lack of appreciation of others who have achieved in other professions, especially if depicted in our executive decision-making for our nation that is killing our society! Some of you talk about us forming companies, or investing money when they don't even know each other and our culture. This is what is holding us back! There are some of you who will not let others earn higher salaries because you think their overseas experience is not relevant and yet you will hire their classmates who are of foreign nationality. There are some who only can see a vision including themselves with Cedis or dollar signs in it. No other persons or society!

In Ghana our system refuses to pay Engineers and Doctors and other professionals globally competitive salaries. And yet anybody who has tried to rent a house in Ghana (see Ghanaweb) will know the cost of living in Ghana today, including even housing, food, car and transportation costs, is as much if not more than the cost of living in the US with possible exception of the very expensive cities like San Francisco and New York City. Comparably equipped apartments and houses rent for about $0.75-$1.50 per square foot in Accra, about the same as most US cities. Politicians are spending money that can average to over $100,000 per year but the Professionals who have put in many years of post graduate studies, and can easily get over $100,000 elsewhere are hired and paid $2,600 per year and very little allowances [housing, cars, travel per diem, bonuses]. They don?t even make $15,000 per year when added. Nurses are leaving town fast, and so are Doctors and Engineers.

Note that because of the nature of this writer?s business in the real estate and financial services, I have a very good idea of how much professionals in different specializations make. These figures will be found to be as close as possible.

The sad addition to this is that there are many well qualified and endowed Ghanaian Professionals who are overseas and would love to take jobs in their country if well paid as these Korean Engineers are going to be paid. They will also contribute to their families, Church groups and communities, invest the money in Ghana. The foreign professionals don?t own any such obligations.

It is a shame that Ghanaians, who have left overseas and gone home, when they hear such news, cannot even make their voices heard in Ghana due to the choking nature of the system in giving feedback to the government. Isn?t a government supposed to be of the people, by the people and for the people? My 3 months stay in Ghana in 2004 and another 6 weeks I 2005 after many years overseas convinced me politicians in Ghana consider themselves an exclusive club that has access to the nation?s funds, and can spend the money in anyway they deem fit, and nobody can ask any questions! Rawlings did the same thing for 19 years, and now, having set that bad precedence and custom, is running around as frustrated as he sees the NPP doing the same! Funny thing is can he do any different if he were to be in power today?

It is the highest levels of insanity to spend millions of dollars training people, and after their 2 years bonded service is over, not pay them adequately to stay and provide services to the nation, and rather go and hire Korean and Malaysian Engineers and Professionals from outside. Not only is it poor executive decision making, it is selfish on the part of the politicians and shows lack of leadership from the President all the way down. It also shows lack of self-worth and understanding of how other successful societies work. Who told them that politicians have to be the highest paid in the society? Is President Bush the highest paid man in America? Let them find out how other places work instead of expecting those societies to think, plan strategize, work hard, pay taxes, invent, change, adapt, and succeed, and then have these African leaders parade the corridors of Washington, Ottawa, London, Tokyo, looking for loans and aid! Simple Human Resource Management decision-making eludes us as leaders of nations! The President, J.A. Kufuor, will perhaps claim he is not in charge of TOR, and the Minister of Finance will say it?s the civil service structure he can?t change. But when it comes to ordering the next $75,000 vehicles or increasing the per diem allowance, somebody will know who signs for what!

This insanity in our cultural mindset and leadership decision-making MUST STOP! AND STOP NOW!


Kwaku A. Danso,
President ? Ghana Leadership Union, Inc. Accra, Ghana
GLU Offices: Ghana: 0244-057-566

Views expressed by the author(s) do not necessarily reflect those of GhanaHomePage.

Columnist: Danso, Kwaku A.