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Opinions of Monday, 24 January 2011

Columnist: Badu, K.

The Gimmickries of Ghanaian Polity, Politics and Policy makers

After many years of prevarication, melancholy and slothfulness by our Politicians, they continue to take discerning Ghanaians for a ride. How can we construe fairness if the supposedly Policy makers of our land go ahead and apply political inertia to increase their salaries? I find it very difficult to comprehend the story of our politicians contemplating on agenda-setting with the view of salary increment. Wouldn’t such selfishness be seen as risible proclivity on the part of our politicians? If the purported percentage of salary increment turns out to be truism, then what about other contributors to the nation building such as Doctors, Nurses, Teachers, Farmers, Cleaners etc. After all, don’t they know that part of their responsibilities is to allocate national resources fairly?

Truth must be told, our Policy makers should focus on initiating prudent policies of agriculture, food security, natural resource management, poverty reduction etc.
Indeed, expedient methods can be employed to enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of resource allocation (e.g. in healthcare, education, finance, infrastructure, etc), supply chain management, humanitarian intervention logistics and security sector planning, amongst others. But what do we see in Ghana today? It goes without saying, there have been escalation of armed robbery; high standard of living; lawlessness and influx of some “greedy bastards”; many of whom do not ‘give a damn’ about the prosperity of the nation.
Of course, there are umpteen problems in the country that require urgent attention; needless to say, our Parliamentarians do not seem to realize the plight of ordinary Ghanaian. Candidly, our Parliamentarians lackadaisical approach in solving public problems behoves me to conclude that our Parliamentarians are not ‘authentic Policy makers’.
The numerous ills in our midst are indicatives of our Parliamentarians non-performance, in this regard, why should they contemplate on a pay rise? It is pertinent to note that our Policy makers focus should be on implementation of decisions or initiation of a course of action in order to solve public problems, and adoption of specific strategy for its planning and implementation for the good of the nation. If they keep ‘hitting the ground running’ and their efforts reap results, then our Parliamentarians can hold up their bowls for more ‘dowries’. Until then, they must exercise patience and wait for the fruition in their works.

Don’t you lots think it is about time we (Ghanaians) cut our coats according to our sizes?
I’m pretty sure our Parliamentarians are juxtaposing their salaries with their counterparts in other Parliaments elsewhere. But, if that is the case, wouldn’t that be seen as illogical on the part of our Parliamentarians? We all bear witness to the sufferings of average Ghanaians, many of whom struggle to hold on to a square meal per day, something you lots will never envisage in your families. If you lots go ahead and shamelessly take more money from our national coffers, what are you then going to offer an average Ghanaian? You lots keep on inebriating discerning Ghanaians with your vague rhetoric-‘We care for you’. But, in actual fact, your ostensible purposes of getting to the Parliament are the prestige and the massive remunerations associated with the job. It goes without saying, if the Parliamentarians go ahead and vote ‘Yes’ to the salary increment, it would be seen as ignoble on the part of our Policy makers.

According to an article which appeared on Ghana web on Friday 21 January 2011, Nana Akomea, New Patriotic Party Member of Parliament for Okaikwei South, in an interview with the GNA said, “the salary scale of the Ghanaian MP was embarrassing because for an MP to receive 2,000 dollars a month was not enough.” He said there was a criterion that is used to determine the salary level that included a look at the relativity with regards to public and civil service salary structure or the general salary level. Nana Akomea questioned which category an MP was equivalent to, "is it a Managing Director or an Editor of a Public Media organisation?" Mr Rashid Pelpuo, Deputy Majority Leader and NDC member for Wa Central, told the GNA that salaries MPs were earning were too small.” “According to the constitution any proposed amount would be charged on the consolidated fund and determined by the President.”

Have you lots considered getting a better paid job than the Policy making? To be perfectly honest, some of us will use our empathetic qualities, together with innovative skills to serve our nation for a lot less than what you lots are getting at the moment. For your information, I volunteered my expertise for more than two years at the disposal of the needs of vulnerable people and it was more rewarding at the time. At the moment, some of us are probably earning more than what you lots are earning, but, I, in particular, won’t mind swapping my job for a lot less than what you lots are getting to serve my country.

In actual fact, voting ‘yes to the pay rise would be ‘dishonourable on the part of our ‘Honourables. If they resort to Political inertia to give themselves a massive pay rise, discerning Ghanaians would then urge President Mills to use his good offices to seek the consensus of Ghanaians on whether our Parliamentarians are fit to use the Prefix, ‘Honourable’. In my candid opinion, they would not fit to be called ‘Honourables’ if they pursue their selfish interests. Discerning Ghanaians will seek to stop them from calling themselves ‘Honourables’.
My final question is: How long are you lots going to take discerning Ghanaians for a ride?

K.BADU, UK.