The Cudjoemeter On The Campaign Trail: Hilarious But Serious
This past week, the campaign trail has seen some interesting remarks these past few days. Apart from his seemingly suave tone, President Mahama tells his supporters that God has already declared the NDC the winner of this election.
Indeed, how earthly beings can predict God when they do not do godly things is quite amusing. That said the President firmly believes his administration’s record over the last three years will do the trick.
But what is the record really?
Isn’t his team tired of hearing and reading about the low hanging fruits of school uniforms, free feeding for school pupils and schools under trees some patchy roads and a few good ones funded by donors?.
There have not been many major bold determinative decisions of projects capable of transforming the country from a macro-economy focus to the one that defines the individual at the micro level.
On education, Mahama accepts that there is nothing wrong in providing free education to every qualified Ghanaian. The challenge, he admits, is how to deal with present problems whilst we seek to deliver the education promise. He wants an account on all that the education sector has, so he could point to a way out of the challenges.
On the private sector, Mahama wants a much more detailed role in addressing the needs of the sector. His intended private sector advisory council may be a bit late and unnecessary seeing that there are many national level industry associations such as the AGI.
However, it remains to be seen how much time he will commit to the council and yield to their needs.
But then how good are the alternatives starring us in the face?
Hasan Ayariga’s PNC is essentially running a one –man campaign. Felt pity for him when his bulky image emerged from the hummer that conveyed him through some limited principal streets of Accra. Not only was his message offside, his purported listeners were disinterested. But yet, he needs to keep hope alive like in a citadel.
May we never hope against hope with Ayariga. God might just smile with him and on him.
Enter Nana Addo: This audacious character continues to speak very good
English, although sometimes he comes across as a ventriloquist. His
communication team needs to up his ante. He must be heard well and not
speak as if he has seen a coquettish lady. (Please may all the hawks in the NPP smile over this).
His Policies continue to evoke the can do spirit, only that many of them do not seem to be able to match the discipline required to achieve them. He can’t be speaking about industrializing Ghana without any mention of investing heavily in Research and Development to jump start that vitally needed resource. He also seem to be disconnected from the global reality that cheap and well skilled labour, the cost of capital and attitudes to winning are crucial in building an industrial economy.
Like Mahama, he sees the salvation of the country in those macroeconomic lenses. It appears reality is dawning upon him that his free SHS policy may need a little tweak to introducing private pathways instead of the blanket free beyond what pertains.
After all, if he is promoting the private sector as the engine of growth, why not allow private well –to-do parents pay for their wards and use theirs to subsidise less fortunate kids? That would have meant success of his yet-to-be implemented visions.
PPP’s Nduom is amazing.
Up and until now he still has my heart. He says now he is fighting the elections the guerrilla warfare way? He is now adopting guerrilla tactics to spread his message. He says, you will see him in a flash and before you know it, his message is everywhere. He must be careful though as his message could be interpreted as going to run a dodgy economy and pitch one group of the economy against another.
Some of us do understand that to mean using fewer resources wisely though. He still has my heart. It is pretty annoying hearing the two major political parties, NDC and NPP struggle over who has paid public sector workers more money.
Isn’t it a little contradictory to hear our President suggest that we must demand value for money from the largely non-performing public service, seeing that we are forking out $3bn in taxes (Ghc 6bn, a fifth of our GDP) to pay for their "services"? Yet, the NPP intends on continuing the party if and when they get elected. The grim picture about the low confidence in the ability of many governments to create and sustain employment is mainly due to a not so forward looking understanding of the dynamics of creating employment.
That forward looking attitude is in the place of the private sector.
Incidentally with Government’s attempt to quadruple salaries of public sector workers through the single spine salary scheme, there has been a drawback to strengthening the private sector as crucially needed talent to think and innovate is lost to the largely unproductive public sector.
The private sector must be seen as the real engine of growth.
FINALLY, NONE of the serious candidates is talking about the need to free up the pensions of millions of Ghanaians the way it ought to be done-provide value for money in real time. Pension authorities seem to have been economical in delivering the much needed prosperity they promised contributors when they signed up.
And now more than ever, there seem to be a moribund situation with worker’s pensions. It is reprehensible for all the major political parties to treat pensioners as if they are beggars. IMANI will return to this subject of pensions very soon.
By the way, where is the CPP Candidate?
Franklin CUDJOE is Founding President of IMANI. Send him an email: email@example.com