Feature Article of Friday, 6 July 2012
Columnist: The Informer
Okyeame On The Beat
(Okyeame Challenges Gov’t)
Even before I resume the real fireworks start, as announced earlier folks; credible information reaching my desk has it that people are beginning to feel very uncomfortable and are afraid that they might probably be consumed by my write-ups in the round up to this year’s December elections.
Left to the immoral characters in society, Okyeame should forever stay away, so they can have free topography to carry on with their nefarious activities; but, “lie-lie”, I’m back! and this time round with vim and vigor; and only Jehovah can determine those likely to be swept over by the tsunami.
Yes; it is undisputable that, with the few months left for us to go polls, Okyeame is going to be extra vigilant and serious, in his discussions as he leaves no stone unturned.
But the guarantee is that the righteous has nothing to fear or worry about, unless they engage in very obnoxious acts, which smell of corruption or nothing fraudulent that has the tendency to ruin the fortunes of Mother Ghana.
Before I table business of the day, even though I don’t intend to bother you with so many issues, permit me to send a word of advice to my little sister, Hannah Tetteh, the Honourable Minister for Trade and Industry as regards her planned exercise.
In fact, I will be the last person to criticize Madam Hannah in her quest to enforce the Investment Act of this country, since she is not acting in breach of the law; but, the question is whether the timing is appropriate.
It is true that per the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC) Act, the objective of the centre is to encourage and promote investment in the Ghanaian economy; and I believe Madam Hannah is fully aware of this provision.
GIPC among its functions is to maintain liaison between investors and Ministries, Government departments and agencies, institutional lenders and permits required for the establishment and operation of enterprises; and that is why discerning minds are of the view that much deliberations and education should have been carried out by the Ministry and Agencies responsible before embarking on the said exercise.
It cannot be contested that per the Investment Act, enterprises in which foreign participation is permitted shall not be established or operated by a non-Ghanaian, unless in the case of a joint enterprise with a Ghanaian partner. But what worries all, particularly those of us political savvy, is that, the time for the exercise is not appropriate.
This is not to say that, those expatriate traders should be allowed to flout our rules and regulations especially that of the GIPC, not at all, but the fact of the matter is that they ought to be treated in a more humane manner so as to avoid any backlash since we have our brothers and sisters also engaged in similar trade elsewhere.
Again, it is unquestionable per the Investment Act that where an enterprise is wholly owned by a non-Ghanaian, there should be an investment of foreign capital of not less than US$50, 000.000 or its equivalent worth in capital goods by way of equity capital; and whether these traders are aware of this very provision is another issue and that is why everybody is proposing that these expatriate traders be educated before an action is taken against them.
Hon Hannah Tetteh, I will advise that you do some more background checks on the members of the taskforce you had formed to carry out the exercise, whether or not it wasn’t a political suicide.
Please, listen and accept that the timing of your exercise is not appropriate; but rather engage these traders more, and encourage them to do the right things in conformity with our laws.
To the substantive issue, I am humbly calling on government, particularly, the appointing authorities to declare its stand on Madam Elizabeth Adjei, the former Director of Immigration, since her continuous stay in government bungalow is becoming a source of worry to personnel of the service.
The reason is that, this woman still enjoys all benefits charged on the Service’s account as if she is still at post, to the extent that she sometimes represents the service at programmes without the knowledge of management.
Snippets are that, because Madam Adjei is still occupying the official accommodation allocated which she should have vacated, whiles the present Director commute from his personal home somewhere at Dome to work; to me this is inappropriate, because it will be expensive should the service decide to rent an apartment for the present Director, when that fund could equally be channelled into a project that could solve the housing challenges of the service.
Also, information has it that some Directors, because they are in acting positions, they do not enjoy certain benefits that come with their positions, whiles this Adjei is a burden on the service as if she is still the Director.
In fact, this is unacceptable and that is why I am humbly calling on government to state its position on this woman, so that the service does not incur any further expenditure to rent an apartment for its present Director.
Government should also take drastic steps to confirm all those in acting positions since developments at Immigration are not the best.
I am aware of how rotten the institution is but as for Louis Aikins, Ghanaians will know how he became an immigration officer overnight under the leadership of this Elizabeth Adjei woman.