The article on Ghana web of December 30, 2005 should be cause for joy for all those frustrated and disappointed. Ghanaians, at home and abroad, who have been toiling hard and advocating for fiscal discipline, cultural discipline, and national leadership and management responsibility! The President does not seem to take heed, and the Ministers seem incapable of solving problems. They are not serious because somebody is funding them!
We said it, we wrote it, and we complained! Now the lenders themselves have spoken.
Mr. Karlsson, the World Bank Director, was quoted as saying that
?money had to be managed well and accountably and the country and the people should now move away from how much money came in and be more concerned with how efficiently the funds were being used?
What a noble statement but perhaps 2 or 3 decades late! Again he added:
"It is part of the corruption issue and I don't want to mince words on this: it is still a real issue," Mr. Karlsson stated.
Last week I wrote a letter addressed to Mr. Kofi Tsikata and Herbert Boh, the World Bank representatives cited in the $103 million grant for Urban Water Renovation given in January 6, 2005 and have not heard any response. The World Bank report that I have written on before was cited here: http://web.worldbank.org/external/default/main?pagePK=64027221&piPK=64027220&theSitePK=351952&menuPK=351984&Projectid=P056256
In the News Release No. 274, the WB contacts were given as:
In Washington: Herbert Boh (202) 473 3548, firstname.lastname@example.org
In Ghana: Kofi Tsikata(233-21) 229681 email@example.com
I charge the Ghanaians in the Diaspora and those at home who have access to phones to take our democracy to the next step, in pushing to end the massive public corruption, social neglect of duty, and mismanagement that we see so often in our government leadership! All our charity combined will never amount to the responsibility of the group we have hired called government, to use our tax money and grants and loans to build our infrastructures for the development of our nation! Let us call these public officials on phone and demand performance!
Example: Finance & Economic Planning ?Hon. Kwadwo Baah Wiredu: 021-665587/686119, Residence: 0208127186/507913/507914 (Residence)
Ghana Leadership Union has collected the phone numbers of all government ministers and we will make this available to Ghana web or other groups so that Ghanaians can exercise their right to call and complain, so that together we can push for effective changes in our nation! We have had enough of selfish greed in our public service! We have had enough of the public disgrace through these public corruption and perception of public corruption even if there is none. No more bulldog or military intervention as the former military dictator seems to be suggesting and preaching!
Let us all be glad the World Bank Director is getting firm now. If not, one day the youth of Ghana may hold the World Bank responsible and bring them to answer if they don?t show the strength and firmness any bank would show with any borrowers in the West. To many of us their neglect on responsibility in demanding accountability before they give their next loans contribute to the absolute negligence of our finance ministers and leaders to mismanage the moneys while ignoring the pain and suffering of their people who don?t have even water in their homes!!
Water is the most crucial element in life besides air, which is free. Many in Ghana seem to think water should come from outside. Sadly, Chronicle?s Kofi Coomson told me in a phone conversation last year 2004 that water was not going to be a problem in Ghana because the NGOs were all over the nation helping! I was extremely disappointed in such statement from a notable journalist like Kofi Coomson. We have to move on beyond charity as a nation! Ghana has too much talent trained all over the globe and we cannot live on charity alone! Mr. Karlsson also said that:
?what the country needed to do effectively for accelerated growth was harnessing its natural resources, particularly agriculture, services and mining?.
Unfortunately the director forgot to mention or emphasize that no nation ever developed by training people in the Medical, Physical Sciences and Technical fields who migrate to find jobs overseas! This may be a sensitive subject for Mr. Karlsson, but I can talk about it! An examination of Ghana shows a major vacuum in technical and scientific practical know-how. Lack of expertise in many areas of the Ghanaian system keeps Ghana undeveloped whiles our trained personnel abound overseas for simple decent pay, a financial and Human Resource problem which good budgeting savvy can easily solve.
Let the World Bank step on the throttle and don?t encumber future generations whiles our leaders find ways to siphon common funds and loans out for their selfish ends. All loans must demonstrate an ability and strategy to pay back! There should be no 10 year grace periods! Enough of pushing the responsibility on future generations! This is my short note and comment on today?s good news from the World Bank. The latter has been monitoring Ghana?s budget for years now, and it is about time they held the national leaders responsible also. It is also about time Ghanaians at home and in the Diaspora held our government officials responsible for efficient use of our public funds and end the disgraceful global negative public perception as well as actual public corruption. We need to find a way to peacefully and legally get rid of incompetent and corrupt government officials, including the President. It will be 40 years this February and our nightmare should be over for incompetence and corruption!