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28th Amendment posts

Whitney This is one of those industries that we need to curb asap....not only do they drain our water here at home, but they've been practicing this around the world..stealing and depleting resources of farmers and entire villages. The stories are horrible.
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Unbelievable. Read the full story here: http://bi
23 days ago
News-Link
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Ha! Support the 28th Amendment to #GetMoneyOut:ht
23 days ago
Doug
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23 days ago
Henry
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Time for it to stop. Support the 28th Amendment t
23 days ago
Walter
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Time for it to stop. Support the 28th Amendment t
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Matthew
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Time for it to stop. Support the 28th Amendment t
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Gregory
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Time for it to stop. Support the 28th Amendment t
23 days ago
Gina
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Ha! Support the 28th Amendment to #GetMoneyOut:ht
23 days ago
Lou
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Unbelievable. Read the full story here: http://bi
23 days ago
Richard
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Time for it to stop. Support the 28th Amendment t
23 days ago
Fish
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Sounds awesome. Support the 28th Amendment to #Ge
1 month ago
Deidra
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Real pissed. Support the 28th Amendment to #GetMo
1 month ago
Joseph
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1 month ago
Hank
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1 month ago
Paul
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1 month ago
Jamie Everyone should read this article!
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Unbelievable. Read the full story here: http://bi
1 month ago
Karen There never even at work !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Wow. Support the 28th Amendment to #GetMoneyOut:h
1 month ago
Phillip
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Sounds awesome. Support the 28th Amendment to #Ge
1 month ago
Vaneddie
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Wow. Support the 28th Amendment to #GetMoneyOut:h
1 month ago
Paula
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Sounds awesome. Support the 28th Amendment to #Ge
1 month ago
Jessica
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Yay? Support the 28th Amendment to #GetMoneyOut:h
2 months ago
Eugene
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Let's do it. Support the 28th Amendment to#GetMon
2 months ago
Dave
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2 months ago
Charil "Few men have virtue" .......................................More true today than ever.
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2 months ago
Linda
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Yay? Support the 28th Amendment to #GetMoneyOut:h
2 months ago
James
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2 months ago
Kwaku
Dr.Papa Kwesi Nduom
The most important solution we need in Ghana today is to amend the 1992 Constitution to change our governance structure and empower our people to solve our problems where it really resides – at the local level. This is the full text for the basis o Read more ... f my speech "Solutions for Ghana: A Nation in Crisis" given Monday 28th July 2014. I will discuss this on my regular radio programme, "Ghana, Great & Strong" this Saturday from 7-8 pm on www.hedjorleonlineradio.com and other FM stations across the country. I. BACKGROUND It is very important for me to link the contents of this lecture with what qualifies me to stand here and talk about some specific topics. It is not about university degrees in economics and management. It is about the experience in life growing up in Elmina, in an environment that was better than the situation there today – decent schools with caring teachers, youth societies that gave us life lessons, a cleaner environment where the gutters were cleaned every day and garbage collected and disposed regularly. This means that we have gone backward in the quality of life – no generation should leave the world worse off than they met it and yet this is our reality. I am speaking today from the perspective of experiencing life in the USA, a nation built by immigrants just like us – in small towns and big cities working in my profession as a management consultant at the highest level, as a partner in the firm where personal integrity and ability to deliver results to the client was important. I speak today with the full weight of my experience as an assembly member, elected to serve my local community – Akotobinsin electoral area and then as Member of Parliament, minister of state and presidential candidate that required me to travel to all corners of this country to see how our people live, feel their fears and engage them by listening to their aspirations. I am an entrepreneur who directly employs about 3,000 people here in Ghana through the challenges and pitfalls of doing business here. These together inform my perspective and help form my judgment. I wish to ask those of you who are asking if I am going to contest the 2016 elections to stop – this is not the time to be talking elections. This is the time for nation building. I want to dedicate this lecture to the proverbial “ordinary Ghanaian”, the trader in the market, the fisherman, the teacher, the mason, the carpenter and those I meet every day who ask me what to do to survive. These are the ones who tell me, “…times are hard!” I want them to know that there are many like me who care. We will do everything we can to make life better and living easier. II. SUMMARY Ladies and Gentlemen, Our country Ghana has been gripped by a crisis characterized by a lack of confidence that makes it difficult for our people to make sacrifices and trust in what the leaders tell them. Indeed, if we do not solve this problem, our society may degenerate into each one for himself/herself without the ability to enforce discipline. We must make sure that the people do not act out what they feel – “Obiara ba, a saa” because when the people lose faith in casting a vote to choose their leaders, chaos will result. We must recognize where we are and what we are confronted with and gather the courage to take steps in a long journey to restore faith in our leaders and build a nation that is able to feed itself and chart its own course. We must give power back to the people so that at the grass roots, governance truly represents the will of all of the people. Then and only then can we begin to build a Ghana that is great and strong, with its people prosperous. III. INTRODUCTION Ladies and Gentlemen, Last year, January 2013, President John Dramani Mahama in his State of the Nation Address in Parliament said the following: “1. That I shall work to ensure that every household in this country will soon enjoy uninterrupted water and power supply; 2. That our young minds desirous of opportunities for basic and secondary education shall have the space in our schools and shall have quality, affordable education that will improve their career and life expectations; 3. That our mothers shall live longer and healthier as they perform the God-given function of child-birth; 4. That our inner cities shall witness significant renewal in sanitation and housing 5. That the economic opportunities of this country will be open to all our citizens irrespective of gender, ethnicity, religion or political affiliation. 6. That our governance systems shall deliver the services and opportunities we promise to the citizens of Ghana; and 7. That our citizens will assume their right to demand accountability for these services and rights and that our roads infrastructure is not only expanded but also made safer for our people.” I am pleased to have the honour to deliver the Progressive People's Party's Second Anniversary lecture. I am speaking this afternoon in the spirit of assuming my right as a citizen as provided by the 1992 Constitution and acknowledged by President John Dramani Mahama, not just to demand accountability from government, but to offer my help to solve the problems that confront us. On many occasions, I have called on Ghanaians to stop being experts about our problems and start being experts at finding solutions and implementing them. I am not interested in being part of the blame game and political football about who has done what to put Ghanaians into our current predicament. So the aim of this lecture is to present solutions to our problems as a nation that if implemented will help our country become great and strong and its people prosperous. IV. THE PROBLEM If we are going to talk about solutions, then there is the recognition that there are problems. The focus of this lecture is not on the problems facing us. But for the avoidance of doubt, I wish to define briefly, the problem we face in our country Ghana. Ghana is suffering from a severe lack of confidence in the economy, in our currency, in leadership – political, social, religious and business, and in our ability to improve the standard of living of the average man, woman and child. When I say leadership, I also it includes the Chief Fisherman and the Chief Tomato seller. This problem, a severe lack of confidence is the one we must solve. We are in a crisis, no doubt about it. Anyone who for political or other reasons would want Ghanaians to believe that we are merely facing some problems that will go away soon without the need for sacrifices, hard work and a determined leadership does not respect the intelligence of Ghanaians. We the people must also treat such people especially those who want us to feel joy when there is pain with contempt of the highest level. For those who are enamored of macroeconomics, we have gone from inflation of 15.97% in 2009 to single digit and back to double digit – over 14% this year. While our GDP has grown from $28.5 billion in 2009 to $40.71 billion in 2013, (4.70% in 2009 to 7.40% in 2013), and with our oil revenue reaching $1.358 billion in 2013; our debt has risen dramatically. Gross debt as a percentage of GDP has grown from 13.26% in 2009 to 47.82% in 2013. The budget deficit was at 10.8% of GDP in 2013 even though total revenue jumped from GHS4.5 billion to GHS19.2 billion in 2013. Our utility companies have not been able to provide uninterrupted water, electricity and petroleum products due. Our companies have had to resort to switching to prepaid meters due to the inefficiency in billing and collecting for products delivered. Ghanaians continue to experience price increases and there is no doubt that prices will go up some more before the end of this year. In terms of quality of life, Ghana continues to struggle with poor sanitation, environmental degradation, a high percentage of our children drop out of school and unemployment continues to be high even for those who have polytechnic or university education. Ghana can clearly do better than this. Ladies & Gentlemen, The reality is that there is no “Better Ghana” anywhere in the country. While people sit in media house offices to engage in endless arguments over statistics, the people out there are suffering from the slow pace of development. Every administration since independence was given the mandate to end poverty in all forms. Government has failed because the people are drinking disease infected water and they are driving on dangerous roads. They are saddled with low quality of education, poor housing, preventable diseases and very, very high unemployment. Out there in the country, hope for a productive and prosperous Ghana, is running away from the vast majority of our people. Indeed, in many of these areas their standard of living has not improved. Communities such as Gizaa, Zaare, Wulensi, Widana, Awaso, Pudia, Sampa, These communities and many more comprise a “Forgotten Ghana” that we can no longer afford to neglect. V. THE SOLUTIONS I will now go from the general to the specific and present to you what in my opinion will lead us out of the crisis we find ourselves in. I will address topics such as our Constitution, Corruption, Energy, Single Spine Salary Scheme, Emergency Health Care, Reducing the Size of Government and others. 1. Let’s Admit The Fact That We Are In A Crisis Before we can solve anything, we must first know and acknowledge the fact we are a nation in crisis – a crisis of lack of confidence due to the inability to do what we know needs to be done. Let’s face up to where we are so that we can all agree on what we must do and the part each one of us needs to play to get us out of our current predicament. We the leaders – political, business, religious, etc. must know where we are, so that we can find the right messages and design the most appropriate plans for correction. It is then that we can ask the people to make some sacrifices in the short term for long term gain. 2. A United, Empowered People And An Inclusive society Ladies and Gentlemen, We can only achieve true progress with a unified Ghana. We must create an inclusive, united Ghanaian society. It is this new national unity that will reinvent Ghana. We must, all of us promise to build one solid Team Ghana by reinventing our Ghanaian selves, our attitudes and our way of life. An 18 year old today has never known life under a military dictatorship. The vast majority of our population is under 35 years old. We have millions of young men and women desperate to get better healthcare, education and jobs. But many of them do not have the education or the skills required to get a good job. A united nation without the evil consequences of tribal or ethnic selection can overcome this potentially volatile situation. It is clear that we have the youthful demand and the bountiful resources for dramatically improved education, healthcare and jobs. But we cannot benefit from these natural resources until Ghana has leadership that is truly democratic and does not aim to be an elected dictatorship, a leadership that is prepared to give some of its power to the people in order to unleash the energy of self-determination. During these times of dramatic economic and social change, one thing has remained constant - toxic, winner-takes-all political culture that has a deadly vice grip on the throats of our people. We must take concrete, sure steps away from this political culture or else we will remain a nation made poor by leaders who just want to win power for power’s sake. 3. Powers of the President Ladies and Gentlemen, I am convinced beyond all doubt that the crisis we face in Ghana is not because we have a weak currency; or that we are a nation that exports raw materials with little or no value added; or that we need to industrialize; or that unemployment is very high. It is not inflation or the importation of virtually everything under the sun. These are problems for sure, but some problems are fundamental and their solutions solid foundation forming. I lay the crisis we face today squarely at the doorstep of the 1992 Constitution that legitimized an elected dictatorship and centralized our system of governance in a way that has left other arms of governance weak to act and too poor to serve as an effective source of checks and balances. The most important solution we need in Ghana today is to amend the 1992 Constitution to change our governance structure and empower our people to solve our problems where it really resides – at the local level. “The executive power of the State of Ghana is conferred upon the President, the Head of the State. In the exercise of his functions the President acts in his own discretion and is not obliged to follow advice (tendered by any other person (Art. 8). The effect of this provision is that the President is not bound by the advice of his Ministers, but, subject to the provisions of the Constitution, is master of his own decisions. The President of Ghana combines the functions of the Queen and of the Prime Minister, as they exist in the British Constitution and as they existed in the Constitution of Ghana of 1957. He is Head of State and Prime Minister. His position is …. different from that of the President of the United States in several important respects, owing to the fact that the Constitution of Ghana has not adopted the American system of checks and balances and of the strict separation of the executive and legislative branches of government.” Excerpts from an Article in The American Journal of Comparative Law: “The Republican Constitution of Ghana.” EGON SCHWELB We live in a country where everything centers around one position, President of the Republic, and therefore one person, in our case today, John Dramani Mahama. This one person selects Ministers of State, Ambassadors and Representatives to foreign countries and organisations, Chief Executives of State Organizations such as ECG, VRA, COCOBOD, etc., Regional Ministers, One-third of all Assembly Members and all District, Municipal and Metropolitan Chief Executives and many, many others. So everything revolves around Accra. Power comes from Accra and so does money so nothing happens without Accra. And since Accra has limited capacity and resources, not much goes around to push development in the local areas. In comparison, Kenya, South Africa, Cote d’Ivoire, Japan, USA and many, many others elect their own local administrators. Indeed, a check of well-performing towns and cities world-wide shows that where the people elect or appoint their own mayors or administrators, they are rewarded with development. Our local Assemblies are today used as political agencies rather than tools for development. It is this plain truth that has prevented NDC-Rawlings, NPP-Kufuor, NDC-Atta-Mills and now NDC-Mahama from allowing amendment to the 1992 Constitution for unfettered election of our Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives (MMDCEs) and all Assembly Members. This political approach to local government has led to very slow development in our villages, towns and cities. President Mahama should put partisan politics aside, choose a strong path to development and join those of us engaged in the crusade to elect our own MMDCEs without interference from the President. Our local areas remain underdeveloped mainly because the leaders, the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives are selected by one person - the President based on political patronage. It is the view of the Mahama Administration that in “decentralizing in a unitary state, a delicate balance ought to be struck between central control and local autonomy”. The government has therefore decided that “Article 243(1) of the constitution should be amended for the President to nominate a minimum of five (5) persons who would be vetted by the Public Services Commission (PSC) for competence after which three (3) nominees would contest in a public election”. This proposal will apply to all categories of assemblies - Metropolitan, Municipal and District. The Government’s White Paper on the Report of the Constitution Review Commission (CRC) differs significantly from the will of the people as told to the Commission. The Commission watered down the people’s choices but specifically recommended “… that Parliament should be empowered to determine specific mechanisms for choosing MMDCEs, which should vary according as Metropolis, a Municipality or a District.” For the sake of giving hope to the people and sowing in them faith in their leaders, I wish to recommend that we step down the work of the Constitutional Review Commission/Constitutional Review Implementation Commission to bring Parliament to the forefront and allow the people’s will to prevail. In this regard, President John Dramani Mahama will carve a solid place in the history of this country if he supports the crusade for local autonomy for the election of Chief Executives, freely with no central role by the Executive branch of government. Corruption On 21st August 2012 I stood before the Ghanaian public to dedicate myself to a cause that is a crucial pre-requisite for lasting peace and prosperity – a crusade against corruption and an undying commitment to fundamental change of our political system in Ghana. Corruption is expensive to the nation and its people. Corruption and waste of public funds costs the nation at least GHC3 billion. Imagine how many first class roads we can build with that money. Just think about how many complete school compounds with classrooms from kindergarten to senior high school, libraries, toilets, dining rooms, ICT centers, sports facilities and housing for teachers that we can build with that kind of money. We can facilitate the creation of millions of jobs, jobs, jobs for Ghanaians with GHC3 billion. We can stop preventable diseases such as malaria and cholera with that amount of money. That is how serious this crusade against corruption is. So we cannot turn the fight against corruption into a partisan politics one. We must make corruption unpopular. I have been amazed at what our so-called ordinary citizens say sometimes. Right or wrong, virtually every piece of news that has money attached to it is turned into something wrong. It is because when matters such as the Woyome judgment debt matter, or Waterville, or CP or the former Merchant Bank debtor list comes up, politicians take sides and turn them into political football and we lose the essence of the matter. Soon the matter is forgotten and the people blame all so-called “big men”. And they all resolve to find a way to “get theirs”. How can an economy work, how can a nation become great and strong when its people believe that the only way to wealth or prosperity is by joining a political party, bribing a public official or corrupting a minister of state? And we must understand that judgment or settlement debts have arisen because of the type of politics we have been practicing that gives everything to those who win and nothing to the rest of Ghanaians. I strongly suggest to Parliament and the Constitutional Review process that we amend the Constitution to separate the Attorney General's office from the Ministry of Justice to help minimize corruption. Transparency, accountability, the truth and personal discipline are needed if we want to move Ghana into a higher level of performance and give our people the opportunity to enjoy a world class standard of living in our lifetime. I am once again suggesting that all presidential candidates and high level public officials must to disclose income tax returns, assets and sources of funding. And we must all help to ensure the passage of a good Freedom of Information Bill so that we can have easy access to documents such as asset declarations made by politicians and public officials. Reduce the Size of Government We Ghanaians must learn to live within our means. We want our freedoms but forget that freedom comes with responsibility. We have a responsibility given the crisis nature of our circumstances to reduce the size of government at all levels, starting with Presidency. It is possible to reduce the size and cost of the Executive in Ghana. I know that this is not a little matter. It is not one that will be easy – it has never been that way as there are always lobbyists working for representation of one type or the other for their “sons and daughters” in government. But it is a task that must be done. Since January, 1993 when the NDC led by former President J. J. Rawlings took office to administer the affairs of the country, there have been many debates over the size and cost of government. This continued under the administrations of Presidents J. A. Kufuor and John Evans Atta-Mills. The debate has continued under President Mahama. The perception created is that people go into government to “enjoy” or “chop, chop” at the expense of the nation and not to work. As a former minister myself, I know that the realities associated with being a minister in Ghana under difficult economic circumstances does not support that perception most of the time. But, it is important that we take firm and real steps to trim the size of government and reduce cost at the top to set the tone for an effective restructuring of the public services in the country. This when done will engender confidence in government and promote better service delivery. In my opinion, there should not be more than thirteen (13) ministries: - Finance - Public Service - Foreign Affairs - Transportation (including road, railways, aviation) - Defense - Health - Education - Trade - Human Services (including labour, social welfare, employment and youth affairs) - Agriculture - Public Works (including water, housing) - Energy - Justice (excluding the Office Attorney-General which is to be made an autonomous public service entity to fight corruption effectively in the system – public and private) In total, we should not have more than forty (40) ministers at the center and in the regions (including deputies). This means making certain public services organizations such as the National Development Planning Commission and the Ghana Statistical Service more effective in providing policy advice and information. It requires the strengthening of the Civil Service to do more to ensure the effective administration of their ministries. A professional class of civil servants should be developed and equipped with modern technology and given appropriate remuneration. With the creation of a strong Ministry of Public Service, they should be given aggressive performance requirements to meet. Single Spine Salary Scheme In his address to Parliament in 2013, President John Dramani Mahama had this to say about the Single Spine Salary Scheme: “Mr. Speaker, the challenge facing us now is a misalignment of the expenditure categories in the Budget namely, emoluments (i.e., wages, salaries and allowances), goods and services (including debt service), and investment or capital expenditure. This is attributable to the following critical factors. It is important to appreciate the fact that the personnel emoluments portion of the Budget has more than tripled in the last three years, from GH¢2.5 billion to about GH¢8 billion this year. This has been mainly due to the Single Spine Salary Scheme (SSSS). We now spend a staggering 60.9 percent of our entire national revenue to pay public sector salaries.” As the initiator and promoter of the scheme, I get worried any time anyone cites the Single Spine Salary Scheme as what has caused difficulties for Ghana’s fiscal situation. It is important for me to state here that since I left office in July 2007 as Minister for Public Sector Reforms, no one in official capacity in government has found it necessary contact me on any matter relating to the Single Spine or Public Sector Reforms. Had anyone sought explanation, advice, support or asked me questions, I would have gladly responded with urgency. We must know that wages and salaries and related statutory payments have taken the majority of government expenditure prior to the coming into force of Single Spine. Budget deficits have happened before Single Spine. So it is not true that it is Single Spine that has caused a challenge called “…misalignment of the expenditure categories in the budget…” The problem is the inability of government to run an efficient and cost-effective administration tailored to revenues it raises, in other words, fiscal mismanagement. The Kufuor Administration had a choice to decide to accept or reject this salary scheme. The Mills Administration could have thrown it away or modified it significantly when it took office in January 2009. The Mahama Administration could have caused a major review of Single Spine when it took full control over the affairs of the country and perhaps explained why it did not like it and then put something else in its place. But they all accepted it and made the decision to implement Single Spine. The problems encountered with the Single Spine Salary Scheme must be linked with the near total downgrading and disregard for the broader Public Sector Reform Program. I will explain. Single Spine did not arise on its own. It is the first step of a comprehensive public sector reform program that included pay and pension reform, records management, service delivery, Decentralization, Conditions of Work, Subvented Agencies Reform, Information, Communication and Technology among others. Single Spine is part of the first phase of pay reform which was to result in consolidation and monetization of salary components and the elimination of the assortment of non-monetary benefits and allowances. The next phase is to ensure complete consolidation of salaries and the stoppage of allowances for petrol, water, electricity, housing, etc. for government workers. This in addition to saving money will also allow the workers to have a better pension since the calculation of pension is based on basic pay and does not include the allowances. So what should we do now that Single Spine is a reality? Government must now be more serious about cutting cost including waste and working to increase productivity that will raise revenues. I am happy to note that the Minister of Finance is planning on having government-owned enterprises and some subvented agencies to carry their own debt burdens and not saddle central government unnecessarily. It is a step in the right direction. When the districts, municipalities and metropolitan areas start taking responsibility for financing their own activities, a lot will be achieved. Energy As I am sure that many of you know, I was Minister of Energy from 2003 to 2005. So I have an idea what to do to solve the perennial problem we face in this area. Our people have been suffering unnecessarily with some losing their electrical appliances, lost productivity and so on. “Dum so, dum so" can be a thing of the past. My Fellow Ghanaians, President John Dramani Mahama said when launching the NDC Manifesto for the 2012 elections in the Volta Region said: “Let me talk about energy, which will be one of our economy’s most powerful drivers. We have a comparative advantage in energy production, and in my next term, there will be no more load shedding. I say this because we have established the foundation to be able to achieve that promise. We currently produce a little over 2000 megawatts, and we hope to add 350 by the end of the year, another 700 next year, which will make us a net exporter of power. We’re introducing a policy we call energy for all. We’ve moved the average electrification coverage to 72%, and under the new program, every community of over 500 will be eligible to be put on the grid.” When I heard it, I was encouraged. I thought perhaps a breakthrough was coming due to my belief that as energy goes, so goes a nation. Anyone who works to deliver abundant energy can be considered a savior. I have since learnt that we have not achieved the breakthrough yet. Let me explain. What we need to become a net exporter in both power and petroleum is not a secret. The plans exist at the Ministry of Energy including plans for renewable forms of energy. For the most part, we have the experts in the energy sector who know what we must do. So I will not waste your time to list for you here specific technical projects. From Mr. Ato Awhoi to Albert Kan-Dapaah to Papa Kwesi Nduom to Emmanuel Armah-Kofi Buah, what needs to be done is known and has been known for years. The problem is greed. Remove the greed on the part of politically-connected influence peddlars and their accomplices in government and we will solve the energy problems. I learnt during my tenure in the Energy Ministry that there are always people inside and outside administrations who walk the halls of power not to deliver solutions but to find an easy way to make money and necessarily to offer solutions that will benefit the people. There are those who offer plain thieving and corrupt plans under the guise of building power plants, oil refineries, etc. They tend to interfere in the legitimate activities of government and as a result, pit one camp of an administration/government against the other. This then makes it difficult for government to start or implement the projects we need. I wish to encourage President Mahama to fight these people and take control over the energy agenda. This is a matter to be dealt with at the level of the President and I wish him well and hope that he does not allow himself to be pushed around. We will all support the President when he calls on us to get rid of the greedy people. We not allow a few people to keep us in darkness. Saving The Cedi Like other problems we face, saving the Cedi is not a short-term enterprise. It will take a long-term consistently applied policy and related practical measures to make this happen. Our history over the past decades, not years, suggests that any improvement or stabilization in the value of the Cedi against other currencies will be short lived. I have heard some people even blame the redenomination exercise for the problems we are facing today. I am tempted to shout “Ebei o!” Let’s face facts. There are no easy short term solutions and what we must do require sacrifice, efficient administration, a keen eye on corruption, courage and leadership that is unwavering in the face of potential domestic and international backlash. I have taken into account of the Governor of the Bank of Ghana, Dr. Henry Kofi Wampah’s call to action. I agree with him. He said: “The uncertainties in the outlook and weakened domestic fundamentals underscore the need for continued tight fiscal and monetary policies and measures that would reduce the country’s vulnerability to shocks, re-anchor inflation expectations and sustain macroeconomic stability,“ And also, he added, “In the medium- to long-term, government must seek to broaden the tax base further, diversify and broaden the export base, reduce imports -- especially of consumption goods that have local substitutes -- and intensify efforts to block foreign exchange leakages such as transfer pricing.” It is worthy to note that the Bank of Ghana directed its message most specifically, to government (administration). I will now take some elements that relate to the Governor’s comments and explain briefly what we must do to make real progress in solving the economic and currency problems. To improve the situation and put Ghana on a more sustainable, positive economic performance, we must understand that we will not get anywhere if we look to donors/development partners and foreign investors for solutions. It will not happen. Support from donors help only when a country gets its priorities right and offers the right leadership to implement its plans. Foreign investors go where there is opportunity to make profit they cannot get elsewhere and consider treatment given to local investors seriously. Treating local entrepreneurs well and with respect is the best path to winning investment from else that will stay in the country for a long time. The solutions are us and must come from within. So the Ghana Investment Promotion Center must look to local entrepreneurs and teach them the benefits available so they can invest more in this country. Agencies such as the Free Zones Board must go out and seek local entrepreneurs and help them to build for export and not just act as gate-keepers. A number of people have repeated as a solution: "Production, production, production". But production has a pre-requisite: market, market, market. We must not treat the production matter as we have treated, “…the private sector is the engine of growth” mantra, talk but no meaningful action. National Identification System – implement this as a single national system (remove the duplicate schemes in use) and use it to bring the discipline we need. We cannot manage what we cannot count, identify, find or control. Indiscipline in the system due to the fact that people can get away with wrongdoing costs us a lot. Use the state's power to tax to discourage importation of what we can produce in Ghana and encourage those who produce manufactured goods in Ghana for export. WTO exists and yet we cannot walk Ghanaian products into international markets. Korea, Japan and many, many countries in the world have used this power to tax to encourage domestic industrialization and discourage the appetite to import everything. Our President must gather the courage to rise and say “enough” and rally us all to make sacrifices and contain any potential backlash from our trading partners. Immediately start using the state’s purchasing power to buy Ghanaian goods and services including encouraging our entrepreneurs to produce what we need. The School Feeding Programme offers a wonderful opportunity to provide a market now for our farmers and food processors. Many of us will support a declaration from the President that with immediate effect, the state’s purchasing will be used to provide a market for our road and building contractors, lawyers, engineers, ICT experts etc. We are ready for an order to state-supported institutions not to buy imported rice, chicken, meat etc. with our tax money. Provide special incentives to those who process and add value to our raw materials such as cocoa, timber, oil and gas, pineapple. Give a double bonus to those who invest in our towns and villages by putting together a fund to provide road, water, electricity, etc. and tax incentives as well. More importantly, find those who are doing this already (or a ready to do so) and give them technical and administrative push get going, do more, meet domestic needs and become exporters. Implement the new pension law, seriously. Currently, what is happening is a half-hearted attempt to involve the private sector and so SSNIT is still managing what should be with the private sector. The National Pensions Regulatory Authority itself lacks the requisite resources – money, people and technology to do an aggressive complete job of encouraging the growth of pension funds. This funding problem must be fixed and will pay off when billions of cedis end up with pension advisors to be channeled as long term capital for the private sector. The pension law itself needs amendment to remove the current requirement to invest most pension funds in government-backed securities. Finally, our regulators such as the Bank of Ghana, Securities & Exchange a Commission, National Communications Authority, Insurance Commission and others must be directed to favour and strengthen Ghanaian entrepreneurs. Emergency Care One of the biggest challenges facing Ghana today is our Healthcare system. The welfare of millions of Ghanaians will not improve substantially without addressing preventive and pre hospital care, including transportation, with a sense of urgency. I want to use this opportunity to give attention to an area in our healthcare delivery system that tends to be neglected. We need to renew the focus on providing access to healthcare in the parts of the country where the need is most acute, i.e., along our roads and highways; and in the rural towns and villages. Having ambulances to transport patients to medical facilities is helpful but studies have shown, for example, that the primary factor in reducing mortality from trauma is not the speed of transportation but the administration of life-saving care prior to arrival at the hospital. Every week, media people give us reports of tens and tens of people killed and injured as a result of accidents. We also have people who suffer heart attacks, strokes and other incidents that need immediate care and lose their lives unnecessarily. A caring society does not become immune to death as we seem to be in Ghana. Trauma has become a leading cause of death and disability in developing countries. In Ghana, our rate of deaths due to traumatic injuries caused by tragedies such as car accidents is 50% higher than that in countries such as Canada. In addition, the vast majority of these deaths (81% in a study done in Kumasi) occur before reaching the hospital. The best way to begin to address this issue is to ensure that the individuals who arrive first at the scene of an accident are properly trained in a few basic skills. Several studies have been done, some actually researched in Ghana, proving that we can save lives and minimize permanent disabilities by supplementing the formal health care sector with EMTs and volunteer first responders with training in pre hospital care. Other ways to address mortality on our roads that I will explore include removing unsafe vehicles from our roads with a sense of urgency. While those who driver commercial vehicles have the right to earn a living wage, our citizens should not be subject to unnecessary risks while traveling along our Nation’s roads. It is essential that Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs) and other non-professional medical personnel be trained and posted in our towns and villages around the country. We should ensure that every town and village has at least one licensed Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) within 5-10 miles that will be on call every day of every year. A number of these EMTs could be National Service personnel, who would receive financial incentives to undergo the proper training and serve in the most remote areas. This network of medical personnel can rapidly respond to emergencies that can either be addressed outside of a hospital setting or which require some sort of care prior to transport to a proper medical facility. I know there are experts at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science & Technology and other places who can help make this life-saving programme a reality if government pursues it. VI. TO THE PRESIDENT – STILL Recommendation #1. Complete existing projects, particularly infrastructure ones. Resist the temptation to start new ones. We need to start a new culture of completing projects started with our tax money without regard to which administration started it. It is the end of projects that matter in the life of a nation. Recommendation #2. Personally supervise energy projects to ensure value for money and the elimination of "dum so, dum so" while we aggressively develop the petrochemicals industry. Do not sign any more oil and gas exploration or processing deals if Ghanaians are not significant shareholders in them. Recommendation #3. Build a legacy around effective decentralization. Join the crusade to change the constitution to enable the election of MMDCEs through universal adult suffrage without anyone selecting the contestants. We have multiple ethnic groups in many constituencies and yet they cast votes to elect one Member of Parliament and one person to become President. Most livable, well-performing cities in the world elect their mayors. Recommendation #4. Set the agenda to separate the Ministry of Justice from the Office of Attorney-General. An Independent Prosecutor's Office will do wonders for the fight against corruption. Recommendation #5. Reject the notion that it is the single spine salary scheme that is destroying the economy. I initiated that policy. It was not a standalone initiative. It was to go side by side with productivity, performance management, technology, service improvement, subvented agency reclassification and other initiatives. The latter requires a strong ministry of public service to manage a continuous improvement programme for at least one decade. There are no short cuts. The details are all there in the former Ministry of Public Sector Reform. Recommendation #6. Think Ghanaian, immediately. It is no coincidence that foreign interests own the profitable and significant businesses in Ghana - Oil and gas, banking, gold, bauxite, manganese, major retailers, manufacturers, hotels and on and on. Recommendation #7. Take the corruption threat very seriously and punish some people now, not later. Your credibility as president hangs precariously on this. Recommendation #8. Work with a sense of urgency, as if you plan to be a one term president on a mission to change the nation for the better. Presidents who look to second terms of office tend to lose steam and spend more time on the politics of re-election than delivering results the people need. VII. CONCLUSION Our country Ghana has been gripped by a crisis characterized by a lack of confidence that makes it difficult for our people to make sacrifices and trust in what the leaders tell them. We must make sure that the people do not act out what they feel – “Obiara ba a, saa” because when the people lose faith in casting a vote to choose their leaders, chaos will result. We must recognize where we are and what we are confronted with and gather the courage to take steps in a long journey to restore faith in our leaders and build a nation that is able to feed itself and chart its own course. We must give power back to the people – change the Constitution to allow them to elect their own District, Municipal and Metropolitan Chief Executives - so that at the grass roots, governance truly represents the will of all of the people. Then and only then can we begin to build a Ghana that is great and strong, with its people prosperous. I am speaking this afternoon in the spirit of assuming my right as a citizen as provided by the 1992 Constitution and acknowledged by President John Dramani Mahama, not just to demand accountability from government, but to offer my help to solve the problems that confront us. Ladies and Gentlemen, We can only achieve true progress with a unified Ghana. We must create an inclusive, united Ghanaian society. It is this new national unity that will reinvent Ghana. We must, all of us promise to build one solid Team Ghana by reinventing our Ghanaian selves, our attitudes and our way of life. Before we can solve anything, we must first know and acknowledge the fact we are a nation in crisis – a crisis of lack of confidence due to the inability to do what we know needs to be done. Let’s face up to where we are so that we can all agree on what we must do and the part each one of us needs to play to get us out of our current predicament. We the leaders – political, business, religious, etc. must know where we are, so that we can find the right messages and design the most appropriate plans for correction. It is then that we can ask the people to make some sacrifices in the short term for long term gain. I believe in the Ghanaian spirit. It is a strong spirit. It is like Asante Kotoko, “Kum apem a apem beba”. It is like “puticee”, the proverbial cork – whatever you do, it always pops up on top of the water. We are a resilient people. With the right leadership, Ghana will be Great and Strong and its people, Prosperous.
2 months ago
Terry
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Tami
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Yay? Support the 28th Amendment to #GetMoneyOut:h
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Lynda
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Jan
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Piyush
Cancer Aid Society
End-of-life-decision. Cancer Aid Society gave a thought for us in 2007 while organizing the first workshop of U.P. on Palliative Care at SGPGIMS Lucknow "The hardcore criminals sentenced to death are asked for their last desire; which is fulfilled a Read more ... nd all the civilized nations aim at painless death even for them. Isn’t it unfortunate that in our country the patients getting death warrants by Cancer have to suffer for months together in excruciating pain cursing themselves for none of their sins; praying for an early death? Should they not be given freedom from acute pain? Yes! Says WHO by giving them Oral Morphine. Then why are they deprived of this at the cost of their sufferings despite India being one of the largest producer of Opium." The issue was raised again and again in 22 Workshops all over the Country along with a signature campaign. Finally the issue was addressed by amendment of NDPS Act in 2014 in which the NGO was represented by its PEO Mr. Piyush Gupta in the Committee for discussing the amendments and incorporating the views of the Palliative Care Community. Finally the Rules are being framed and we shall be participating in the meeting for discussions on 28th of July at Delhi. During the 18th International Conference of the Indian Association of Palliative Care hosted by Cancer Aid Society at SGPGIMS a debate was held on 12th February 2011 Titled Pro – “Euthanasia is humane care in face of suffering” Con – “Euthanasia is ethically unacceptable in a Civilized Society”. In March Honorable Supreme Court of India through its Judgment, Legalizes Passive Euthanasia – Times of India dated 8th March, 2011. Now that the debate has reached National Level. Whereas the chances of misuse are very high however let us analyze the issue from a different perspective. We try to reduce the sufferings of even a criminal while being executed then why should we increase the sufferings of the Terminally ill patients who have already undergone years of agony due to none of their faults? Who would like to die in an ICU without sharing the final moment due absence of the near and dear ones? Isn't it torturing them to death? Should not the final moment of a dying patient be peaceful and shared with the family members and not the stranger machines? We all know that in case of terminally ill patients; the life support systems will increase nothing but the bills of the family and misery of the dying patient!
2 months ago
Douglas
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The dream. Support the 28th Amendment to #GetMone
2 months ago
Piyush Thought for us! preparing to attend the meeting of 28th.
Cancer Aid Society
End-of-life-decision. Cancer Aid Society gave a thought for us in 2007 while organizing the first workshop of U.P. on Palliative Care at SGPGIMS Lucknow "The hardcore criminals sentenced to death are asked for their last desire; which is fulfilled a Read more ... nd all the civilized nations aim at painless death even for them. Isn’t it unfortunate that in our country the patients getting death warrants by Cancer have to suffer for months together in excruciating pain cursing themselves for none of their sins; praying for an early death? Should they not be given freedom from acute pain? Yes! Says WHO by giving them Oral Morphine. Then why are they deprived of this at the cost of their sufferings despite India being one of the largest producer of Opium." The issue was raised again and again in 22 Workshops all over the Country along with a signature campaign. Finally the issue was addressed by amendment of NDPS Act in 2014 in which the NGO was represented by its PEO Mr. Piyush Gupta in the Committee for discussing the amendments and incorporating the views of the Palliative Care Community. Finally the Rules are being framed and we shall be participating in the meeting for discussions on 28th of July at Delhi. During the 18th International Conference of the Indian Association of Palliative Care hosted by Cancer Aid Society at SGPGIMS a debate was held on 12th February 2011 Titled Pro – “Euthanasia is humane care in face of suffering” Con – “Euthanasia is ethically unacceptable in a Civilized Society”. In March Honorable Supreme Court of India through its Judgment, Legalizes Passive Euthanasia – Times of India dated 8th March, 2011. Now that the debate has reached National Level. Whereas the chances of misuse are very high however let us analyze the issue from a different perspective. We try to reduce the sufferings of even a criminal while being executed then why should we increase the sufferings of the Terminally ill patients who have already undergone years of agony due to none of their faults? Who would like to die in an ICU without sharing the final moment due absence of the near and dear ones? Isn't it torturing them to death? Should not the final moment of a dying patient be peaceful and shared with the family members and not the stranger machines? We all know that in case of terminally ill patients; the life support systems will increase nothing but the bills of the family and misery of the dying patient!
2 months ago
Cancer End-of-life-decision. Cancer Aid Society gave a thought for us in 2007 while organizing the first workshop of U.P. on Palliative Care at SGPGIMS Lucknow "The hardcore criminals sentenced to death are asked for their last desire; which is fulfilled a Read more ... nd all the civilized nations aim at painless death even for them. Isn’t it unfortunate that in our country the patients getting death warrants by Cancer have to suffer for months together in excruciating pain cursing themselves for none of their sins; praying for an early death? Should they not be given freedom from acute pain? Yes! Says WHO by giving them Oral Morphine. Then why are they deprived of this at the cost of their sufferings despite India being one of the largest producer of Opium." The issue was raised again and again in 22 Workshops all over the Country along with a signature campaign. Finally the issue was addressed by amendment of NDPS Act in 2014 in which the NGO was represented by its PEO Mr. Piyush Gupta in the Committee for discussing the amendments and incorporating the views of the Palliative Care Community. Finally the Rules are being framed and we shall be participating in the meeting for discussions on 28th of July at Delhi. During the 18th International Conference of the Indian Association of Palliative Care hosted by Cancer Aid Society at SGPGIMS a debate was held on 12th February 2011 Titled Pro – “Euthanasia is humane care in face of suffering” Con – “Euthanasia is ethically unacceptable in a Civilized Society”. In March Honorable Supreme Court of India through its Judgment, Legalizes Passive Euthanasia – Times of India dated 8th March, 2011. Now that the debate has reached National Level. Whereas the chances of misuse are very high however let us analyze the issue from a different perspective. We try to reduce the sufferings of even a criminal while being executed then why should we increase the sufferings of the Terminally ill patients who have already undergone years of agony due to none of their faults? Who would like to die in an ICU without sharing the final moment due absence of the near and dear ones? Isn't it torturing them to death? Should not the final moment of a dying patient be peaceful and shared with the family members and not the stranger machines? We all know that in case of terminally ill patients; the life support systems will increase nothing but the bills of the family and misery of the dying patient!
2 months ago
Allen
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Clever. Support the 28th Amendment to #GetMoneyOu
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Henry Support the 28th Amendment to #GetMoneyOut:http://bit.ly/getMoneyOut
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Johnny
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So true. Support the 28th Amendment to #GetMoneyO
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Josiah
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2 months ago
Benjamin
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One of the most frequent complaints that I have he
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