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Opinions of Wednesday, 14 April 2010

Columnist: Anonymous, J C

The day the Air will be privatized

In recent years, that is, within the last 30 years the goal of our fleeting governments has been to privatize everything and, anything that was/is capable of being privatized. They have been telling us that when you privatize an entity the person/institution you give it to improves the quality and, runs it more efficiently. They have bought into the western ideology that individuals in the private sector and, foreigners are “cleaner” and, more likely to run Ghanaian institutions with honor, efficiency, and integrity. Thus, the heritage of the people has been cheaply sold to the highest bidder who managed to con the government in power of their ability to accomplish the aforementioned goals of privatization.

Privatization, as an ideology is, and always will be, a failed ideology when not used wisely and, the following example will prove my point. Namely, I think it is about time we privatized the air! What are the benefits you may ask? Well, first of all, If the Air is privatized the government can better generate tax revenue! After all, it is a “resource” all Ghanaians use! Just consider how many breaths each Ghanaian takes everyday and, start counting the revenue and cash! The Ecomini, I mean Economy will shoot up and, the government will have more money to build roads, improve the infrastructure, and create better schools etc etc. Come on, the privatization of the air will be implemented in other African countries after it is successfully implemented in Ghana! We will continue to be the Gateway to Africa!

I propose creating a 90:10 deal with a foreign company. Namely, they get 90 percent of the initial revenue for “managing” the logistics involved in privatizing the air (After all, it is VERY EXPENSIVE to do such a thing and, we don’t have the “technical knowhow”) and, we get 10 percent since we are too cheap to take any “risk” in this new privatization scheme. Don’t worry, after taxes we will get 47.99999999 percent of the total revenue! Come on, be a patriot and a party man and, support this idea! We can even start checking peoples total lung capacity to ascertain precisely how much air they use in order to adjust the costs and, reward those who don’t use this “resource” to the extent that others use it. The idea sounds absurd right?

The most egregious of privatization was the water saga which has created a situation where, the rich and connected pay less for their water than the common hapless people on the streets of Ghana. The same ideology and worldview I laid out was used to promote the idea of privatizing the water. The same thing occurred when the industries of Ghana were cheaply sold in the 80’s and 90’s only to later be collapsed by the foreign “experts”.

Privatization only works in limited circumstances and, investment is not charity. When anyone invests in a country, they do so to make money. This sounds simple but, in recent years it seems people have seen investment as “aid “when in reality it is merely a poorly skewed gamble in the favor of the investor. As we all know gambling rarely pays off and, when it is poorly skewed, the entity in which it is poorly skewed against suffers most. It is about time Ghanaians demanded that the government act more intelligently with regard to privatization.