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Shame on you, Dr. Bawumia.
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Shame on you, Dr. Bawumia.

Tue, 14 Jan 2014 Source: Pobee-Mensah, Tony

Dr. Bawumia traveled to Charlotte, North Carolina, that is if he was there in person, to enumerate Ghana's problems without offering one solution. This is a man who just ran for the vice presidency. You would think he would have thought of solutions to Ghana's problems before he even attempted to run for office. If he did, and if he has solutions to Ghana's problems, is he hiding them in his pocket?

It seems to me that Dr. Bawumia is just like his running mate. They seem to believe that slogans will win them the presidency and the fact that "Free SHS" didn't get them there did not change anything. These are people who have presented themselves as leaders. Leaders lead. They should be throwing solution upon solution to Ghana's problems at us over and over again and make us see the wisdom in the solutions that they are offering.

The fact seems to be that these people are managers. They confuse managing with vision. They get into office and then start worrying about what to do just as President Mahama seems to be doing. Dr. Bawumia said, talking about Ghana's land and housing problems, "Finding a solution to this problem would jump start the mortgage market in a big way. Solving this problem would increase the supply of houses by the private sector, empower the poor who would be able to borrow against the collateral of their houses, and result in a housing sector led boom in the economy and higher tax revenue for government".

There are many Ghanaians who are not running for even a dog catcher who could have told him the same thing. The ones who can offer solutions are the ones who should be running for office. Dr. Bawumia could have followed the above quote with NPP's proposed solution. I believe that if they had a solution, they would have told us unless they are trying to protect the solution they may have until they get in office. If that is so, then I will question their patriotism and their fitness to hold office.

People who have ideas often can't wait to tell others about them especially politicians. People write opinion articles (Op-Ed). President Obama has written a few both before and after he got in office. Many in the US congress who know what they are talking about have written opinion articles. Many of our politicians don't discuss solutions that they may have, if they have them, yet they want us to put them in office and unfortunately people vote for them: no wonder Ghana continues to have problems. (I am not saying that none writes opinion articles; I have read a few.)

Here is a solution for you, Dr. Bawumia. Take it and run with it. At least it is an idea to start a discussion.

It starts with surveying. We need to survey and demarcate all of Ghana. If we have survey sitting somewhere collecting dust, it is time to dust it off and use it. Second, government will require that all land owners register all lands with our lands department. Anyone who registers a piece of land with the government will be granted a tentative ownership until the government can verify that he or she indeed owns that land. Yes, verification should be prompt. This means more people should be added to the lands department's payroll (employment anyone?). Who pays? The person registering the land pays. There should be a fee charged for government to render this service.

Any piece of land sold in Ghana should be cleared with the lands department before the sale is completed otherwise the sale is illegal and those indulging in it may go to jail or pay a fine or both. The government will then issue deed to the grantee. Yes, there should be a fee for this transaction too. Whoever has to pay this fee (probably the buyer) will have confidence in the sale. This assumes that there is a survey of the piece of land and any land not previously registered will be registered at the time of the sale if the government can verify ownership. There may have to be a delay for verification.

The government can be collecting finger prints and possibly pictures of people who are selling lands so that people who are going around selling other people's land or selling the same land to multiple people can be easily tracked and punished. Today's GIS should help make this easy.

Our politicians should be throwing ideas like this at us and let us judge if they are up to snuff in the thinking department instead of enumerating our problems without giving us solutions for even ice water sellers in the streets can tell us quite a bit of Ghana's problems as they see them. We Ghanaians should demand more from these guys.

Tony Pobee-Mensah

Columnist: Pobee-Mensah, Tony