Opinions Tue, 16 Apr 2013

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Mahama And NDC Have Made Ghana A Banana Republic

Ndc is a Party known to steal opponents policies with little modification if any and just change the name and takes credit for them and this is what they did with the Single Spine Salary Structure(SSSS)policy. The adage, "Everyday for thiefman, one day for the owner" is appropriate here when talking about this policy and its shortfalls which Ndc laid claim for in its 2012 manifesto which has come back to bite them really hard if the recent labour agitations can be used as a barometer to measure its effectiveness. This singular policy has bancrupted Ghana because it was poorly implemented with political spectacles instead of economic binoculars. Ghana is now a Banana Republic because the government has ran out of petrol at the begininng of a four year journey and running on fumes. As Ralph Waldo Emerson said; "The reward of a thing well done is to have done it". The Ndc did not come out with the SSSS innovative idea so they botched with its implementation and Ghana is paying a dear price for Ndc stupidity

There is a karma in this world called poetic justice and NDC is paying a heavy price for stealing an NPP innovative idea and claiming credit for it during the 2012 geheral election. The NDC manifesto for the 2012 general election took credit for the implementation of the Single Spine Salary Structure(SSSS) policy and listed it as one of their gargantuan achievements. The NDC schemed to steal the election and in order to get the Security workers on its corner, it migrated the Police, the Military and the Prison service personnel into the SSSS first and trippled their salaries. Example, a Policeman with a rank of Constable who used to draw a GHc250 monthly salary saw his salary jumped to GHc700.00. All the Policemen and the Army got their salaries trippled and NDC never thought all other government workers will demand the same salary increament and the mess the the country is in is due to the poorly implemented SSSS policy. If you don't believe what I am saying, read what President Mills said on October 15, 2011.

"Mills’ Appeal Speech Taken Out Of Context By NPP – Ablakwa

Date: 15-Oct-2011

A Deputy Minister of Information, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa says social commentators have taken President Mills’ appeal to striking doctors to return to work out of context. President John Mills, during a recent 3 day tour of the Greater Accra Region that began on Tuesday, entreated the doctors to return to duty whilst steps are taken to resolve their grievances. He also accused the New Patriotic Party (NPP) of only announcing the SSSS policy in 2009 but not putting in place any strategy for implementation.He berated the NPP government for only making an “empty announcement” about the SSSS without making any arrangements for its implementation, just a day "

I have been saying for days that NPP came up with the SSSS policy but before they can implement it, Ghanaians decided to vote for NDC in 2008 and left the implementation of this good idea in the hands NDC. NDC implemented the SSSS policy without knowing how the NPP would have implemented this policy and creating problems for themselves. P/NDC has never been known to have implemented any policy successfully in their 24 years misrule of the country and the SSSS implementation has been their biggest failure since it is going to bankcrupt the country to HIPC status again.

The implementation of the SSSS policy, creation of forty five(45) New constituencies with its attendant 45 new Districts have trippled government salary expenses coupled with corruption in this administration that has manifested itself in the SADA guinea fowl and tree planting projects which are wreaking havoc to the Ghana economy. Many agencies including some International ones like IMF has this to say about the wage bill of the country.

"The International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Friday urged government to gain control over the wage bill, saying rising debt levels could endanger government’s transformation agenda.A ballooning wage bill, if untamed, will bring debt to levels that could endanger the government’s transformation agenda. The wage bill in 2012 rose by 47 per cent and the IMF mission has recommended a thorough audit of the 2012 payroll."

A university Professor by name Dr Gyampo said almost the same thing about the dire political consequences the country is facing if the economic situation is not improved with these words; "Ghana may suffer a “democratic relapse” if the current “anarchic disorder” is not curtailed.Doctors, teachers, pharmacists and judicial service workers have taken turns to go on strike following botched negotiations with the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission on the implementation of the Single Spine Salary Structure."

No country on the face of God green Earth can survive when the government is using even 50% of its revenue on government workers salaries alone let alone 75% as this administration has done. We were using just 25% of our revenue to meet the salary obligations of government workers as recently as June 2012 until NDC decided to buy the loyalty of the Security services when their salaries were trippled which culminated in all other government workers demanding the same increase that has trippled government wage bill from 2.5 billion dollars to 8 billion dollars. Now 75% of all goverbnment revenue goes to meet salary obligations before we pay interest on the government debt of 17 billion dollars which leaves practically nothing for infrastructure development.

Professor Stephen Addai,A former Rector of the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA), has this to say about the SSSS,"the implementation of the policy will destroy the country if care is not taken."

The SSSS policy as it had been implemented so far has wrecked havoc on our economy and it is hard to get the genie back in the bottle. President Mahama is trying to address a policy badly implemented by NDC which he was fully involved by coming out with policy changes.

The government will, henceforth, determine market premium and will not make it a subject of negotiations, a White Paper on the guidelines for market premiums on the Single Spine Pay Policy (SSPP) has stated.“Government acknowledges that market premium shall be determined for critical but scarce skills and jobs through the conduct of comparative salary surveys.The document defined market premium as "an absolute amount paid only to employees with critical skills in short supply”, adding that the premium would not be calculated as a percentage of a worker’s basic salary."

So how is the government going to justify the 300% increase in the salaries of the Police, Army and the Prison service workers? I guess the above services personnel will be classified as market premuim jobs that are difficult to fill when we have 100 people fighting for every one vacancy that comes up to be filled.

Ghana is flirting with disaster if we fail to do something about the wage bill of Ghana. We were spending only 25% of our revenue on salaries before the implementation of the SSSS policy which has bankcrupted the government at the moment.European governments spend an average of 8% on government salaries. USA spends about 3% of its budget on federal government workers.You cannot spend 75% of your revenue on salaries alone which leaves you practically nothing for infrastructure development after paying interest on your deficits and other obligations.The biggest problem for the government of Ghana at the moment is the runaway government salary bill.

Justice Sarpong


Columnist: Sarpong, Justice

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