Saturday, 11 February 2017

Should The Sale Of State Assets To Retiring Public Officials Be Brought To An End Now?

It is unfortunate that the purchase by some members of the previous regime of vehicles allocated to them (as their official vehicles whiles in office), when they were existing from power, has generated so much controversy in the country.

Yet, needless controversy that diverts the attention of the new administration from concentrating on the crucial task of reviving  growth in the real economy,  is the last thing that Mother Ghana needs.

What the country requires - now that the elections are over and a new government is finally in place - is an end to the pointless propaganda war between the two biggest political parties in Ghana. It serves no purpose whatsoever.

It only creates unnecessary tension in society - and sends the wrong signal to investors: at a time when more investment in the national economy is vital if the problem of youth unemployment is to be tackled. It is in the nation's long-term interest that the new administration is able to build on the achievements of the previous regime.

Given the level of infrastructural  development made possible by President Mahama's government,  if managed well economically, governed prudently and skilfully, our homeland Ghana  now has the potential to be transformed into a very prosperous  society.

However, for an economic take-off to materialise, our  nation must attract the needed investment that will enable Ghana's private-sector to  utilise the many  natural resources our country is blessed with, and through value-addition in joint-venture factories, eventually create wealth and jobs throughout the country.

And we ought to harness the aspirational nature of our country's talented, hardworking and peace-loving  populace - if  we are  to be successful in transforming our country into an African equivalent of the egalitarian societies of Scandinavia.

In light of all the above,  the nation's focus must now shift from the endless and non-productive NPP/NDC propaganda battles, to the formulation and implementation of government policies  that will create a climate conducive enough to trigger an  upsurge in economic activity - and hopefully result in an  improvement in living standards for  all working Ghanaians and their dependants.

It is important that both the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP), and the main opposition party,  the National Democratic Congress (NDC), work together in the national interest at what is a very difficult moment  for our nation. That NPP/NDC collaboration for nation-building is particularly vital at this point in time.

And those who lead the two parties owe it to ordinary people  in Ghana  to work together for the collective good.

Alas, for nearly two and half decades now, ordinary Ghanaians  have been denied their fair share of the democracy dividend - economic prosperity has eluded the vast majority of what is a much-abused and long-suffering demographic: whose never-ending sacrifices to enable their country make progress economically have been for nought, thus far.

For the sake of the hard-pressed masses of the Ghanaian people,  moderates in the two biggest parties - who luckily for our country are in the majority in both parties - must assert themselves and curb the baleful influence of extremist elements in their midst: who if given the chance will fight each other till the very end of time (if that were possible).

It is time they were all made to understand that the contretemps generated by the 'missing' government vehicles is a needless distraction - even though we all agree that no one must be allowed to hijack state assets and get away with it.

However, the process of recovering such state assets must be  lawful at every stage - because this is a nation of laws in which the rule of law ought to  prevail. After all, is our democracy not supposed to be a beacon of light in sub-Saharan Africa? And is democracy not also a way of life based on tolerance?

Clearly, government vehicles cannot  simply vanish into thin air - and the impression must not also be created that  the transition  team was not thorough in that aspect of its work: when that is not the case.

Yet, that is the exact impression now being created by those making it appear as if some 200 government-owned vehicles have not been accounted for - and that the only explanation for their 'disappearance'  must result from  their being in the unlawful  possession of some members of the previous regime who somehow have made them vanish.

The fact of the matter, however,  is that in most cases that accusation of unlawful conduct on the part of members of the previous administration, is slanderous and unfair.

One hopes therefore  that members of the NDC transition team - especially those of them whose purview the handing over of vehicles fell into during the transition to the new administration - will liaise with the task force set up by the chief of staff at the presidency to assist them in tracing and recovering all 'missing' state assets: including vehicles.

The question we must ponder over is: Has it not  become an established convention that  government vehicles above a certain age can be bought - after they have been  valued by STC vehicle assessors - by retiring officials to whom they were allocated as official vehicles?

It lies at the heart of the scandalous, unspeakable and abominable barbarities being carried out by NPP extremists across Ghana today - who are acting as if they are a conquering army using scorched earth tactics to achieve their objectives.

Their stupidity could affect their party's candidate in the 2020 presidential election - just as the arrogance and impunity displayed by NDC extremists affected President Mahama's chances in the 2016 presidential election: despite the impressive legacy he built up developing our homeland Ghana during his tenure.

Finally, as a people, if we have now concluded that state assets such as vehicles, land and residential properties, must not be sold to public officials when they retire, then would it not be wise to start a national conversation about it - and  bring what many ordinary Ghanaians in any case regard as an iniquitous practice that only benefits their nation's vampire-elites to an end: by getting Parliament to pass the necessary legislation  needed to abolish it?
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