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Opinions of Sunday, 16 May 2021

Columnist: Abdul-Razak Lukman

Woes of a Ghanaian graduate

File photo :University graduates File photo :University graduates

The value of a country is assessed not by the riches or assets it possesses, but by its people. A nation may be wealthy, but what’s more important than the actual wealth is the collective intellect, honesty and intelligence of the people who contributed towards earning that wealth.

Corruption in Ghana is a result of widespread dishonesty in our society. A Ghanaian at one point in time would definitely come across corruption in his/her life time. Some graduates are tempted to do it because they see it as the only option to secure their future job.

We have honest and poor graduates who bribe “high office holders” to be able to get a permanent job. This is a common practice in the Ghanaian system but we turn a blind eye to such practices.

In most instances, they have to agree on the mode of payment or either the person would have to look for the money before the appointment is issued or swear by the Quran or Bible to agree to it that, the first four or five months of payment belongs to the “high office holder” (the person promising to secure the graduate an appointment).

I remember last year where a poor graduate of the University for Development Studies was so frustrated that he was ready to do everything possible to purchase an appointment. He together with his three friends went into an ‘agreement’ with a ‘will-be appointment provider’ to pay a sum of Ghc 4,000 each before they are given the appointment.

The person claimed to know people at the top and promised to get them a permanent placement. Monies were exchanged but the appointments never came. Days, weeks and months passed-by without any signal of landing themselves into any job appointment. Then, the issue of getting the ‘connection man’ reached on phone was impossible.

The matter went as far as Sagnarigu Chief’s Palace but no amicable resolution was reached. The so called ‘connection man’ promised to refund their monies to them when questioned at the Chief’s Palace, but he was clear that he can’t tell when. That’s the faith of graduates in our system.

We need to build a Ghana where we could go to a government office in Ghana, get things done in a jiffy without knowing someone there.

We need to build a Ghana where we can apply for a job without having to pay something to someone to get the job.

We need to build a Ghana where medical services at hospitals and getting access to doctors is not about whom you know but-first-come-first-serve approach.

We need to build a Ghana where graduates are not asked: who sent you here, when attending to a job interview.

We need to build a Ghana where job appointments are based on qualifications and not who is connected to the system.

No country can become developed unless we develop a feeling of ownership for our country and its resources; unless we are honest towards ourselves. Honesty must cut across all facets of our working life.