Sydney Abugri Writing and Editing Services

Follow us on Facebook

Let us launch straight away into the day’s hollering headlines with scant ceremony, Jomo: “Mother cooks son’s hands over one Ghana cedi.” This tale comes with a photograph of the poor child with both hands heavily swathed in bandages. He had spent GHc 1 meant for the payment of house refuse disposal services on food. It is a most heart-rending tale about parental cruelty carried to the far fringes of the extreme, but hey, it is also a pathetic tale about the incredible levels of poverty in our country.

For a parent to be so angered to the extent of maiming a child for life on account of one cedi spent by a famished child on food, can only mean that one cedi is quite a fortune to her. That being the case, it is really a story drawing urgent attention to the need to quicken the pace of all poverty reduction and social intervention projects and programmes in progress around the country. Next screamer…

“Bank of Ghana to receive $114 million from IMF US$918 bailout.” This tale says the money will be used by the bank “to shore up the ailing Cedi.” A word is missing that should have preceded the word ““ailing”.  That word is “ever”, as in “recurring.” A trillion dollars cannot shore up the cedi beyond a couple of months unless some conditions are met, and this is a truth no one from the IMF or the BOG cannot ignore.

Companies in the oil, telecom companies and manufacturing industries keep lapping up George Washington’s great, green bucks form the money market for the importation of raw materials and equipment. Then of course, there are there are the huge numbers of retail supermarkets and commercial businesses who know no other word than “import.”

Show me a single consumer item which is not imported with the almighty dollar and I will show you one straight, clear path out of our recurring predicament with the cedi. The solution lies in producing most of what we need locally, limiting imports to the very barest minimum and exporting and exporting and exporting as if there were no tomorrow and bingo, we earn lots of dollars which then become more readily available and less expensive while our cedi appreciates.

“Declaration of assets: Follow Buhari’s example law professor tells Ghanaian politicians.”   Who says septuagenarian ex-service men are averse to social media? Before the elections in Nigeria, Buhari declared his assets on face book. One million naira in his bank account, 150 cattle in his kraal and a house each in Kaduna, Kano, and Daura, which “I borrowed money to build them”, Buhari says of his houses. Let us give the General the benefit of the doubt. He has a reputation as a fighter of corruption, see?

In the case of Ghana, the assets declaration thing is dicey: Some categories of government appointees are required by the constitution to declare their assets when they assume public office but no taxpayer in the republic has ever known which public officials have declared their assets or what assets they own.

Asset declaration is apparently considered by many to be an effective tool for fighting corruption. Yet even with asset declaration, corrupt officials have always found a way out. It is called "anticipatory declaration". Here is the typical scenario: Mr Kakrakakra Akokobenumnsuo is appointed to high public office, see? A glint immediately appears in his eye in anticipation of the pickings that will come his way once he assumes public office. He is told to declare his assets:

He has a brick house, three goats and a backyard garden, but he declares four houses, three plots of land, two articulated trucks, four cars and two buses. He does this because he has set himself the ambitious goal of acquiring these through abuse of public office for personal profit

Have all previous assets declarations by public officials in Ghana been painstakingly verified? Have subsequent declarations been made on expiry of their terms of office and comparisons between the two declarations also verified? If the answers to both questions are unsatisfactory, then there must be an assets declaration circus going on and we might as well sit back and enjoy it!

Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it