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Opinions Sat, 9 Sep 2017

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Now, the mandatory towing fee and SSNIT’s debacles rage on!

Ghanaians don’t like authentic things that is why we’re broke and panhandling for everything.

Before I dive into it, let’s uncork the champagne and inflate the balloons. It’s time to celebrate the good news.

Hooray! I’m glad that the government listened to our cry and voices of reason and suspended the DVLA mandatory towing fee for now—at least, now we do know that the Flag Staff House listens to the voices from the wilderness. That doesn’t happen that often in Ghana.

Now let’s try to get some dividend from the mandatory towing services mumbo- jumbo:

Job creation—the towing services should not be limited to Road Safety management services only. The government should encourage individuals who can afford workable towing trucks (with liability insurance coverage and tools) to participate in the business. By so doing competition will sink in and the fees could go down drastically for the vehicles’ owners.

In such market place, competition will drive supply and demand; therefore there is no need for the government to set the price ceiling for the operators.

On top of it, private garages (where the towed vehicles will be stored for safety or repairs purposes), and mechanic and auto body shops will spring up along our road network. It can create a huge employment avenue if only a level playing field is created.

Now, I can hear all the naysayers. People who don’t face transportation or vehicle ownership challenges are really not interested in solving the problems of those who do. But this is something that is doable, and one day we’ll wonder why we didn’t do it sooner. It’s a matter of life and death.

Don’t we need a break from wearing kuntunkuni on every Saturday to mourn our dead from motor accidents that could have been avoided?

Anyway, where does our police personnel fit into the equation? It has been left out of the debate and I wonder how this new industry can survive without the police. Any law that can’t be enforced is not a law.

However, can our integrity- impaired, corruption and bribe infected and unregulated police force handle the fallouts and intricacies of this new industry? I hope they don’t turn it into money- minting machinery cottage industry.

For one thing, a lot of money will exchange hands and that can easily derail the purpose and goal of the towing services. I’m afraid to say, this will end up in the dustbin of history just as every laudable idea in Ghana. We hardly get things right on this side of the planet for some reason. I wonder why!

This brings us to the SSNIT‘s debate. Is it me or something is wrong with the entire nation? Why are we so fake? The entire nation is fake and fraud to the point that ninety-five percent of us are integrity and credibility challenged. We’ve been socially handicapped for a long time.

Let me see if I can digest it delicately and break it down diplomatically. Allegedly, the boss of SSNIT is working with fake academic credentials for years and the news media is running with it—right? Now supposed it’s true that the man never had any degree from any college. Why do we keep on referring to him as a “Doctor”, if indeed he’s fake and fraud? Why can’t we call him just Mr.Calet Afaglo? What’s wrong with us? What are we afraid of? Or is it because we are also cheesy on integrity and have low expectations for ourselves and others? I’d like to know!

By the way, where was the head of the Human Resources Department of that outfit who hired that fake ‘doctor’? How come no one is talking about that one or calling that person to EOCO’s office for questioning?

Now, it seems SSNIT’s integrity and credibility are in flame. The poor retirees have to pick up the pieces and whimper. And I can bet with my last cedi that this case will die prematurely with no scratch on any one but the senior citizens. Is it fair?

Speaking of SSNIT, when it comes to the nation’s most important social programs for senior citizens and retirees, social SSNIT is (was) arguably at the top of the list. It supposed to guarantee a monthly income it provides to the eligible retirees. It was mandated to provide critical financial help by helping millions of retired workers and perhaps even their families to meet their financial obligations.

The problem is: if it’s spending a whopping $72 million dollars here and there as if there is no tomorrow I wonder how it can meet its obligations when the new retirees come on board.

For one thing, any outfit that is sloppy over-staff, with lazy sales people and abysmal customer service can easily go on buying sprees; buying whatever is in the wagon that is on sale because it’s out of control with no supervision.

As to the fake degrees, he isn’t the only one. Take the survey of the herbal medicine vendors. Every one of them has a doctorate degree in medicine. It goes like this: Dr. Obi Nnim –a- Obi -kyere, Dr.Wonder,Dr. One- Touch, etc.

And, they’re laughing all the way to the bank and we seem to have no problem with that while they’re killing us softly. So why are we stopping there? We sell fake friendships and eat fake fish and rice because we don’t like authentic stuff so let’s deal with it and shut up!

Until we meet again, stay tuned and be educated and blessed.

Columnist: Kwaku Adu-Gyamfi

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