Hotel Kuffuor??The Second Stanza!!

Hotel Kufuor

Thu, 3 Nov 2005 Source: Quaye, Rikard

Amidst the furore over the accommodation of the president and his entourage at the Willard Hotel in Washington D.C. One thing has become apparent. It is the unbelievable lengths this government will go to in its effort to constantly keep the wool over the eyes of the Ghanaian taxpayer whilst they go about relentlessly wasting the resources of this nation on fruitless endeavors.

After the news broke of their lavish spending in the most expensive hotel in Washington D.C. they elicited Joy F.M?s Kofi Abotsi to come on air and say that there was nothing extraordinary about the hotel, and that it was like any other hotel in D.C. whilst admitting that "the only extraordinary thing about it was its proximity to the White House"

First of all, what this writer wants to know is whether Kofi Abotsi?s journalistic credentials had also gone on holiday with the renowned journalist who claimed to be on holiday in D.C. The fact that the Willard is so proximous to the White house makes it the expensive piece of real estate that it is. Infact it is on record as having a multitude of suites and rooms with special themes, ranging from the Abraham Lincoln suites, to the Independence suites. A cursory glance at the ordinary rates on an average day in that hotel shows that the rates vary from $900 - $4200 daily. That is what should strike everyone as out of the ordinary. Out of the ordinary because assuming that the president and his entourage of 47 people did not even have any meals and per diem whilst they were in Washington, and slept in the lowest priced rooms in that hotel, this trip cost the nation at least $42,300 per day. For 5 days, that cost us $211,500. Now factor in the per diem rates of between $70! and $470 that we have been told by the auditor general?s department and that cost us a further $164,500. This is also taking the average using the lowest published per diem rate of $70 per person across the board.

In reality, we all know that this figure will be a whole lot more, but let us give them the benefit of the doubt and assume that the trip to see the movie( and that is what it was) cost us at least $376,000. Can we as a nation afford such an expensive movie ticket?

The president gives us the impression that it was to the nation?s benefit, that he becomes the narrative on a wildlife documentary and spends at least 3.5 Billion cedis of the taxpayer?s money to pay for an unsolicited movie ticket, whilst the masses of this country wallow in abject poverty.

When doctors ask for extra duty allowances, the government says that we can?t afford it

When nurses ask for better conditions of service, the refrain is the same. Can?t afford it!

When teachers ask for better conditions of service the answer, you guessed it. Can?t afford it!

The result is that our professionals vote with their feet and have become a target for countries all over the world. Our country has become the nursery grounds for countries seeking to bolster their professional elite without necessarily having to train them. In effect, we train them, they employ them.

Let us talk about some of the things that 3.5 billion cedis can do today. Whilst the president was watching his movies,

How many children died from diarrhea because their parents did not have simple O.R.S. powder and potable water to give them?

Ghanaians cry for preventive and early detection medical services to avert all the unnecessary and totally avoidable deaths that plague our people from preventable diseases.

The government has never thought it necessary because the president and his cronies will always board a flight out as soon as they and their families have any hint of illness.

How much would it have cost the nation to get an MRI or CT scan machine and train operators so that it can augment the early detection and diagnostic processes at Korle Bu or KATH for example?

Does the president know how long it takes before an ordinary person can get some of these diagnostic and imaging tests done today?

The truth is that he just doesn?t care.

How many of our children go to schools without adequate library facilities, scientific equipment, writing materials and teaching facilities?

How many tons of food got stuck in the hinterlands this harvesting season and did not come to market because the feeder roads could not accommodate the transport vehicles to convey the food to centers of population?

How many accidents occurred on our roads because of pot holes, poorly maintained roads and unroadworthy vehicles?

How many people were victims of robbery and armed gang activity because the police did not have the facilities to respond adequately to their pleas for assistance?

How many boreholes could $376,000 build to assist needy communities?

The people of Ghana need to seriously start asking Mr. Kuffuor and his gang of disagreeably dishonest and dishonorable cabal whether they are just plain ignorant or willfully deceitful. This writer strongly suspects that the latter would be the case.

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

Columnist: Quaye, Rikard
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