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Opinions of Monday, 7 July 2014

Columnist: Wahabu, S Abdul

The Dilemma of Political Transparency.

Looks like this government is becoming a victim of its own transparency. The issue of sanitary pads being provided by government to students has been with us in all the previous governments. It has always been packaged in a way that it was not clear to everyone. When you check the cost breakdown of "living cost" which is normally given to all female Ghanaian students on government scholarships studying abroad, it includes SANITARY PADS.

It's not new, it's been paid by all governments in the past including the NPP who are today hypothetically giving the impression that it is unprecedented for government to provide sanitary pads. Interestingly an NPP MP argued that the pad should have been concealed rather than being disclosed "raw" like that. What is more interesting is the impression that a loan of $156million is being used to buy the pads. Far from that. Fact of the matter is that, of the amount, only $224,000 will be spent on sanitary pads for the entire 5 years duration of the project. That makes it $44,000 a year.

Personally, as a Policy Expert, I have my own reservations on some aspects of the project but that's beside the point. Truth must always be told. Partisan Politics as we have it now in Ghana is one of the reasons why we should forget about development It is even most unlikely that pads will be procured and distributed to beneficiaries. The most probable thing to do is to follow previous conventions by just paying lump sums to beneficiaries, which will include the cost of the sanitary pads.

Written by Mr. S Abdul Wahabu Sissala East District, Tumu