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Opinions of Friday, 7 May 2021

Columnist: Denis Andaban

The youth can rescue this country

The economy must be fixed The economy must be fixed

I have always said that the emergence of incompetence, weak leadership and arrogance shouldn't be pampered with silence.

The silence of the people breeds weak leadership anchored on arrogance and despicable culture of impunity. I have made several calls from 2018-2020 that Ghanaians should speak out because the mandate of those in power resides in we the people of Ghana.

Unfortunately, we pampered them and they have gained notoriety of insensitivity. Amidst this sorry state, some government officials are not only bereft of ideas but have become insipid and extremely arrogant that they can threaten and insult those who question certain decisions and indecisions of the government.

They have created the impression that those who criticise the government are enemies of the country and that they only do so because they don't like the New Patriotic Party (NPP) being in government. Little do they know that governance is about the welfare and interest of the majority of the people and not a few privileged in the corridors of political power.

Today, I have seen a new wave of patriotism where many youth have suddenly gathered courage to point out the actions of government and telling the president in the face that the country has become a broken country with extreme hardship as prices of general commodities continue to escalate. The economic situation is bizarre that many youth cannot bear the new taxes that have been imposed on almost everything in the midst of an already covid-19 riddled distressed economy.

Indeed many thought that this is the time the government really needed to intervene for the people to gradually recover from the ravages of the pandemic but the reverse is the case.

Alas, the government believes that the people must pay more under this hardship to help it resuscitate the economy. A clear contradiction of moving from taxation to production. Indeed, production is now stifled through imposition of taxes.

Many producers and employers will have no option than to subsequently lay off workers and reduce production scale. You would recall that thousands and thousands of people already lost their jobs through the collapse of financial institutions by this same government. As for the issues of power outages, the least talked about, the better.

It does appear that government does not want to admit the reality of the needless political capital it profited from "dumsor". The then government confronted the situation head on and handed over to the current government a robust energy system with excess power generation capacity.

Unfortunately, this excess power has been rubbished. People say that it is out of incompetence to have excess power. This still amazes me. If the needed investment had continued in the energy sector like we saw under the previous government, we would not have to be where we are today. Now, whether you choose to call it dumsor or technical challenges, the effects of power outages on a fragile and distressed economy like ours are dire and devastating.

Well, I have read and heard the dirges of tattered hopes. I have listened to a multitude of Lamentations and indeed, I have heard people openly express disappointment about a government known for its platitude and rhetoric when it comes to economic management.

At the zenith of these is the trending #fixtheeconomy.
These aren't enough especially when some ignorant, wicked, insensitive and arrogant ministers only choose to insult back as a reaction.

Let the people rise and let this government know that the power given to it is to be used for the interest and welfare of all.

However, we must not forget to offer alternatives in helping the government clean the mess it has created for us. If we must go demonstrate, we must do so with a clear, simple and powerful message that can rejuvenate the economy.

I think that the covid-19 income and expenditure statements must be made public, the numerous revenue leakages must be looked at critically, government must reduce its consumption expenditure. I still do not understand why some ministries have two or three deputy ministers.

Again, some of the taxes are nuisance and insensitive and must be withdrawn immediately. Corrupt officials under this government exposed by the auditor general report must be prosecuted to serve as deterrent to others.

There seems to be a general indiscipline.

I wish to see GHANA again. I miss my country. In all of these, we all have a role. So far as you demand the right things to be done, also play your role as a responsible citizen. I am sure the youth can rescue this country at last!

The economy must be fixed!