In this past week we have been hit with startling news about the former Minister of State at the Finance Ministry, Charles Adu Boahen, and some sums of money he took for shopping and all of that.
Apart from everything else we know, I find it curious what he says about attendance fees and some USD 200,000 that would, supposedly, suffice in getting the attention of our Vice President for business purposes – together with some considerations for his family.
Now, in the latest documentary put together by Anas Aremeyaw Anas, the Vice President and the President’s names pop up again. Is the fact that the Veep and President’s names have twice been tied to shady dealings proof that they are, in fact, culpable? No. Yet it is incredibly worrying that on two occasions, with a former GFA boss and, now, a Minister of Finance, the two highest offices of our land have been pointed to in very distasteful terms.
In Number 12, Kwesi Nyantakyi suggested he could negotiate monetary terms with our President and Vice President. This time around, it is a Minister of State saying so. Just how much should we believe? Should we take all this with a pinch of salt? You decide!
In Matthew 7:1-5 we read the following: “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.”
In 2016 our, current President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo came to our very doorsteps in all humility pleading with us to give him a chance – to try him too! We bought into his message and, in fact, took a chance on him. 6 years down the line, however, what have we got in return? Some positives, yes – and misery galore – a tragic cocktail!
But this wasn’t what we were promised! A typical example is when, sometime in 2016, now Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia told us that the NDC administration, since 2009, had borrowed some $40 billion – and that that sum of money could have built, for us, a 1,142 factories.
Well, having borrowed some $53.2bn as of July 2022, that could have built us some 1,513 factories. Yet after 6 years and with a clear policy on 1D1F and with even more borrowing, what do we have to show in that regard? Your administration, Dr. Vice President, has borrowed far more.
How many more factories could your “solid team” have put up, huh? Would you mind telling us? Or is it, like in Animal Farm, “Four legs, good and two legs bad?” Ah, well, the two-legged chickens surely have come home to roost – on the back of the very things you said, Dr. Vice President!
Your own words must be giving you nightmares – but, hey! You’ll have to live with them! Where are those factories? If we had them, we obviously wouldn’t be in the dire straits we find ourselves saddled with currently!
By this time last week, we knew inflation had shot up, in October, to 40.4%; and that, year on year, Diesel had soared in price by 155.6% and petrol by 111.9%. The palm oil or red oil we use for many of our meals had increased in price by a whopping 105.9%.
Even the water we drink had experienced inflation of up to 64.3%! Diesel may have dropped in price by some GHS 3, from a staggering GHS 23.99 – and Petrol by about GHS 2 – from a mind-bending GHS 18.99 – but LPG prices are going up – and the agenda to stem the tide of using charcoal, which has its own consequences to our health and the destruction of our environment is up in the air.
Just yesterday, I had to patiently listen to the lamentations of a woman who had filled her gas cylinder with over GHS 400 – and this is just for domestic purposes. Imagine, then, what business people who use gas are going through!
Look, some marginal positive change has been brought to bear on fuel prices. All well and good; but it is clear we need a whole lot more done to cushion the ordinary Ghanaian.
Again, in the midst of all these price hikes which, by the way, do not necessarily change even when fuel prices drop and exchange rates are better, how can we peg the minimum wage, as it is, now, at GHS 14.88 GHS from January next year, considering the GHS 13.53 it currently stands at? Look at inflation and fuel prices alone. I mean, how?
In the meantime, let’s calculate price hikes in fuel, transport, rent, food prices, water and so many other essentials. But how about fluctuations in the exchange rate and still-rising general inflation, neither of which we have been able to curb? A bag of cement alone is a GHS100!
In fact, my checks reveal for most ordinary workers, transportation is well over GHS 500 per month – so, how is this, by any stretch of imagination, logical in mitigating the unbridled suffering of the street sweeper who earns a pittance the one working at one of these foreign malls and barely earning around same? How?
This is why the E-levy rate, too, ought to be revised downward in the next budget – so the pressure is eased on those transacting and so more people can come on board and not get be forced to try to get around the system. The result? More funds will get into the State’s kitty!
Now, Mr. President, per the Wisconsin Newspaper, our young female students in university are selling their eggs for money in Accra and Kumasi. That, Mr. President, is how bad things have become!
An importer recently shared this: “Just 3 months ago I was bringing 50 tonnes of rice by articulator load at GHS 14,000, today I am paying GHS 60,000”
Mr. President, I’ll repeat my call from last week. Fix the country, Mr. President, and cease with the plenty talk! That was what you told former President Mills. It was what you said to former President Mahama. No country was ever built,
Mr. President, on talk, for guess what? Talk is dirt cheap! If you have anything to offer the good people of Ghana who trusted you enough to give you a chance to fulfill your lifelong dream of becoming President, it is now. I wish you well, but always remember that posterity will jduge you for your actions and inactions today!
My name is Benjamin Akakpo. These are my Blunt Thoughts shared with you raw, hot, unedited and undiluted. God richly bless Ghana and make her great and strong!
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