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Opinions of Friday, 9 August 2013

Columnist: Bannerman, Nii Lantey Okunka

If I were president, here is what I will do

If I were president, here is what I will do now and for starters!

I shall go on TV today and read the following to the nation:

My fellow Ghanaians, our country is in a deep rot and we must make a sharp U-turn. We have four core cancers that I classify as a TICK problem. Tick as used here means; Tribalism, Incompetence, Corruption and Kleptomania. Today, I have put together a multi-party action group that is going to implement the following directives that I am about to announce now. I promised vigorous enforcement.

1) All government officials should reapply for their positions. As part of this process, I’ve hired an independent organization to investigate the credentials and qualifications of all key figures in government. Anyone caught to have falsified their credentials will not only be fired but prosecuted. On top of the latter, I have directed that, problem solving, decision making, analytical thinking, ethics, leadership, conflict resolution, computer literacy, effective communication and strategic thinking shall all become basic requirements for all leadership positions in the country.

2) I have ordered immediately, that, all MPs and political appointees must declare their assets if they have not already done so. All these officials must declare their assets within a month or resign from post if they fail to do so. I, the president, will be the first to declare my assets. I have one week to declare my assets.

3) Due to increasing law enforcement and safety needs, I am freezing the growth of the army immediately. In addition, I will transition a quarter of the army’s budget into the police force. I shall retrain and equip the police force to do a better job of promoting the rule of law and overall safety of the people. Ghana’s policy towards it neighbors will be that of peaceful co-existence. Ghana’s army will be whittled down to a point that affords national defense against our neighbors. I shall in the process, merge CEPS with the Board Guards Force.

4) I am, with immediate effect, asking all ministers to publish their key performance indicators and make it available to the public. No longer will the people be kept in the dark about what government officials are trying to accomplish. If the people do not know the work plans of these ministers, how can they hold them responsible? With what will they judge the performance of their ministers? All MCEs and DCEs will do the same immediately. Indeed all DCEs and MCEs will be elected henceforth. Likewise, all government employees must have a performance management plan that includes quarterly, bi-annual and year end overall reviews. Any government leader or manager found in want of the latter directive shall be suspended from post for a minimum of 1 month and terminated if such behavior continues.

5) Since my party has majority in parliament, I am asking my parliamentarians, working in concert with the opposition, to put before me in 2 months, a freedom of information bill. I shall sign the bill the very day it hits my desk. No more excuses! The most significant step toward reduction of corruption is to pass this law. Sunlight shall radiate through my administration and hopefully become a permanent way of doing business in Ghana.

6) I have issued a directive, that, going forward, no judgment debt should be paid without alerting the president’s office. Adjunct to the president’s office will be a multi-party committee that reviews any proposed judgment debt before any action can be taken on it. Anyone, who willfully violates this directive, shall be prosecuted. In addition, anyone or organization ordered by our courts to refund any judgment debts, must do so immediately. I have asked the police and BNI to work towards recouping all reversed judgments on previous judgment debts now. In the meantime, all government contracts that have been performed to satisfaction must be paid immediately. All government workers (teachers, nurses etc) must be paid to date immediately. All government allowances and perks must be suspended immediately and until further notice. The government cannot afford to pay allowances at the moment. Everyone will have to help until we right the ship of government.

7) I have declared a state of emergency on all public functions for the next 3 years. No government funding shall be used to organize any state function. A temporary suspension of all state funded events shall be in effect until we review and bring the state’s finances in order. Employee funded events, through personal contributions, are allowed.

8) No government official will receive healthcare outside Ghana at the expense of the government. Indeed all government officials must operate within the Ghanaian system in all sectors of the political economy. For example, no one can import a personal car in the name of the government and side-step duties. Any official caught using their office to operate or live outside the various systems will be thoroughly investigated and prosecuted.

9) My government has identified five basic projects to include the following: 1) War on poverty 2) Strategic Human Capital Development 3) Infrastructure Improvement 4) Taming the Waste Management Problem 5) Healthy life Styles for all Ghanaians

10) The government will no longer fund chieftaincy activities. All cultural matter will be referred to regional and local areas for proper disposition. Resources previously dedicated to chieftaincy shall be invested in strengthening Ghana’s local government structure. All chiefs must find non-governmental viable and self sustaining sources of funding. Mass and Civic education programs will be launched shortly to promote tribal harmony and nationalism.

11) Starting tomorrow, all government interest in parastatal, with the exception of water and electricity, shall be divested. As we go forward and to create ownership and responsibility, we shall require all workers to buy shares in any government institution that they work in. All government officials will have a skin in the game. Workers will own at a minimum, 45% of the institution they work for. Workers are free to sell their interest once they leave the organization. The other 55% interest will be sold to the public in a way that ensures that both rich and poor can participate. Where necessary, the government will maintain a maximum of only 10% interest in a parastatal.

Thanks for your attention and lets all come together to help nourish mother Ghana to health. Stay blessed! Call the office of the president if you want to get involved!

Signed (Da President)

Why can’t President Mahama do exactly what I have numerated above? What will happen if he does what I have identified? Are you willing to pursue any of these causes? What are you waiting for? Up and Act now! Get into the ears of your so called leaders! Following by leading!

Nii Lantey Okunka Bannerman (Affectionately dubbed as the double edge sword and now tagged as Santrofi Anomaa) I don’t give them hell, I just tell the truth and they think it is hell---Harry Truman