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Opinions of Thursday, 15 February 2018

Columnist: Caroline Boateng

So what is the state of my nation?

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo delivering the 2018 State of the Nation Address President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo delivering the 2018 State of the Nation Address

The state of my nation, I dare say, is hopeful! But being typically Ghanaian and not subsisting solely on hope, I would have preferred more details about accomplished policy to make life “immediately” better to these “aspirations” expressed.


The state of my nation is tough, to say the least. It is the reality of much exertion and little reward, with the politicians and some public servants being the high earners in a fraudulent and corrupt state.

The state of my nation (my reality) does not easily convince me that once investigations are conducted and no shred of evidence is found, politicians cited in fraudulent or corrupt schemes are clean.

I rather believe that my nation and the elite politicians help perpetuate corruption by the calibre of the investigative body normally constituted.

Filled with like-minded people who are sympathetic to the cause of their own (be it politician or public servant), will such an investigative body produce any credible evidence to indict an equal?

No, they will not! They will rather either bury or water down clear evidence.

The tough state of my nation means I have to “condense” more Ghana cedis before I get American “dollas”; and that is bad for business, trade and livelihoods.

It means that although taxes have been abolished on spare parts, I will still buy them at an outrageously high price as I am made, logically so, to bear the cost and experience all the effects of a “condensed” cedi to the dollar.


The state of my nation is also confusing, as the Minister of Employment, Mr Ignatius Baffuor Awuah, is congratulated on the GH¢3.1 billion of tier two pension funds successfully negotiated into the custodial accounts of the pension schemes of the labour unions.

Is that where his mandate ends? What happens to strategic thinking for the creation of new jobs outside the 700,000 “old” farmer spots under the planting for food and jobs (PFJ) programme?

Will all the unemployed youth (about half of the 25.90 million youth as of 2013, according to an IMANI alert on unemployment) be absorbed under the PFJ?

What about the youth who cannot farm, or be absorbed by any of the modules under the Youth Employment Agency (YEA), Nation Builders Corp or who cannot start their own businesses?

Are they to be left to their own devices because they do not fit under any of these programmes and the minister’s greatest achievement and focus is to just keep those already employed happy?

Nation Builders Corps?

The state of my nation is still confusing because of the announcement of a Nation Builders Corps to employ 100,000 young persons in 2018 alone, spearheaded by Senior Minister Yaw Osafo Maafo.

Is the programme to give him work to engage or it is custom made to give jobs to the ‘boys’?

Why not use already established institutions and programmes such as the YEA for this agenda?

Must we have a new institution or system anytime we have the brilliant intention of creating jobs?


Was the state of my nation an “executive” roll call of beaus and belles? Those pleasing the king and those not? Friends and foes?

We hear an assessment of ministers is imminent or might have already started.

Well, those assessing would do well to take some principles in the country’s Labour Law (Act 651) into consideration.

For those who were not patted on the back by the President, what made them not deliver on their mandate?

Was it a lack of funds? If it was, then friend, Mr Ken Ofori-Atta does not deserve the pet name “national asset”.

Was it the lack of resources that should have been procured and distributed by the central government? Maybe, after the assessments of ministers, Ghanaians have to also give an assessment of their own.

Maybe too, this whole State of the Nation Address is outdated with the “school-boy” raucousness in Parliament during the delivery.

Ghanaians pine for a developed state through deep thinking and not shows in Parliament of those who can shout the loudest.

Can we change our laws to have institutions such as the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) rather giving the real state of our country with data, facts and figures and not hopes for a better nation by and by?

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