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RE: Ghana is now a hopeless state - NPP

RE: Ghana is now a hopeless state - NPP

Fri, 8 Mar 2013 Source: Danso, Kwaku A.

Editorial Rejoinder: Ghana is now a hopeless state – NPP


By Kwaku A. Danso for Globalexpressghana.com

The description of the nation of Ghana as hopeless (Ghanaweb March 7, 2013) by the opposition party is sad indeed. However, in view of the facts of oil boom, the more than 100% increase in loans and debt burden, whiles unable to provide water and electricity, one cannot help but see some sense in that characterization of "hopeless state". Current President John Mahama was Vice President, and hence part of the last four years of executive decision-making. Whatever issues are of today were part of his thinking and responsibility. It appears that Ghana's adoption of a mixed Parliamentary system with a President is not working well. In the last 30 years since the 1992 constitution there has been no effort to balance a budget and the Annual Budget is nothing but a wish list of spending. There is no real effort by the President to plan what the nation needs and allocate resources. The President seems aloof and expects others to do the hard lifting. The revenue sources such as Ports and Customs are given a quota to produce and one assumes it means the rest can go into people's pockets. There is no revenue or expenditure plan, and it is time Ghana learned the meaning of the word BUDGET. We hereby propose to the nation to study the Budget of some nations, or in the US, some State Budgets such as that of California. A BUDGET is by definition, a PLAN of government revenue and planned expenses to fit, or a plan to fit expenses to proposed revenue. This exercise implies identifying all taxation sources ranging from imported duties and taxes to sales taxes (VAT), income taxes, property taxes, road and highway tolls, and even traffic violations fines. It appears the Presidency is too far removed from the day to day problems and solutions of the nation and we are hereby asking the nation to debate the possibility of other options. The American democracy has succeeded in the last 100 years to become the strongest and richest nation on earth because of her formula of socio-economic and political structures and systems, America is a complex maze of independent and self-empowered towns and cities, Districts (Counties), Regions (States), and then nation or Federal. There is a formula set up such that every $100 of sales or VAT taxes collected at one location may be divided into portions for the Town, District and the Federal. This system is usually called "decentralization". Strangely enough a chapter in the 1992 Ghana Constitution mentions it but no effort to implement it since it is self-contradictory. The same constitution is asking the President to appoint these Town, District and Regional chief executives while expecting them to survive on their own. How do these appointed people become attentive to the needs of their towns when they report to some other Lord or President so distant from their problems, and they have no power or input to remove such a person. Ghana does not have to be a hopeless state. Ghanaians have too many educated people in the last 56 years to become hopeless as suggested. Sure, mistakes have been made, but it is our hope that with the goodwill of the President, changes can occur in Ghana in a very fast time. The process starts when (1) every town is allowed to elect their own Mayor and Town Council, and each home or business or working adult pays some small taxes so the council can contract private or public Water Supply company to build their Water system, or contract for their own Electricity delivery, build their schools, sewage systems, and provide other amenities and services as needed while even making some of their own local rules and laws; and (2) all previous and future contracts for water, electricity, roads and highway, and other infrastructure loans, as well as tolls collected, are investigated and any malfeasance punished. There is no other way to build a nation but with a formula that includes self empowerment from the bottom, and discipline under laws that are enforced. God bless the nation and people of Ghana. Dr. Kwaku A. Danso Publisher/Editor-in-Chief - Global Express Communications President/CEO -Global Data Design www.globalexpressghana.com Email: dansojfk@gmail.com

Columnist: Danso, Kwaku A.