Why? Oh!!! Why? President Kufuor!

Thu, 9 Feb 2006 Source: Panford, Kwamina Mbra

First, the good news ? the Kufuor government has gallantly paid off the Malaysians. Ghana Telecom is now fully state-owned. But, hold the champagne, ?Mr. Ken Dapaah, Minister of Communications, told journalists at the weekly meet the Press Services on Tuesday that the Government, however, intended to dispose of 51 percent of the shares to private interests.? (GNA ? 01/25/06).

I really don?t understand our government ? is there an economic or financial law that prohibits the people of Ghana from owing 100 percent share in a state enterprise? Why dos the people of Ghana have to be minority shareholders (49%)? This is mind-boggling. And why did people of Ghana sit passively while the Rawlings and Kufuor government?s dismember our state enterprises in the name of privatization and free enterprise?

Can somebody tell me what the people of Ghana gained from the dissolution of the Jute Factory, the Nsawam Cannery, the Saltpond Cearamic Factory and the rest. ??? The price of privatization. Where did all these end us ? Highly Indebted Poor Country???

The spurious arguments about state or government owned enterprise are that they are corrupt and inefficient. All those arguing that we should privatize our state enterprises are saying our governments are corrupt and efficient. In the first place, if government enterprises are properly run all profits go to the people of Ghana. We do not have to wait for handouts to sub vent our schools and hospitals. In addition, very few Ghanaians have decent capital to buy these businesses being cannibalized by our governments (see the ?31? million purchase of ?Hotel Kufour?). And so they end up being bought by foreigners. Ghanaians must know ?important aspect of good governance involves arrangements for efficient running of state owned institutions such as ECG. With appropriate penalties for poor performance??. Good governance also means that the govt. ministers(plus The President) are held accountable for the problems of the state owned companies?.

Ashanti Gold Fields was sold and we were informed it was a merger. We now have 5 percent share in? Anglo-Gold Ashanti Corporation. Guess what? Gold is at a 25-year high at over $500.00 an ounce. Yes, Kumasi Asante Kotoko merges with Accra Hearts of Oaks. In the new Kotoko - Hearts, Hearts has ten players and Kotoko has one. What a merger!!! Our Golden Share in Ashanti Gold Field was sold notwithstanding vehement public opposition. After the virtual handover to a foreign company, the people of Ghana get 30 percent share of Ghana Ports and Harbor, the Minister for Ports and Harbor, Hon. Ekumfi, said: we should not worry: Ghana has the Golden Share. Go figure ? now the Golden Share is important. If there is any logic that state enterprises are corrupt and inefficient and so we should privatize them all, then Ghana should go AGO with a foreign company - Annex Govern and Operate Ghana until we get her back sometime in 3000.

Does this government know what it?s doing we do not even make ?kookoo boto, cocoa bags?) and President Kufour was elated at the ?state of the art pasta factory on Spintex Road, Accra. My fellow Ghanaians, the future is very bleak. Our future has been mortgaged between Rawlings and Kufuor. We are being dispossessed of all our national assets. In 5 to 10 years, we shall be slaves in our own country. Yaa Asantewaa, Sergeant Adjetey and Kwame Nkrumah must be shedding tears in their graves.

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Columnist: Panford, Kwamina Mbra