3 December 2012

Ghana: When Cronies Are Rewarded With State Cash


The United Nations High Commission for Refugees commissioned a cartoon that tells everything about the injustices that bring about conflicts and produces refugees. The cartoon depicts a very fat and obviously contended man sitting by a mountain of food.

He is approached by a very thin and hungry-looking boy, who begs for food. The man sitting by the food mountain does not only drive the hungry-looking child away, he shouts rather angrily, "Stop Talking Politics."

The government of President John Dramani Mahama has made much noise about creating a 'Better Ghana' nobody sees.

Quite recently, when it emerged that Parliament had approved a whopping rise in the President's wage, moving it to GH¢12,000 a month, with the entire executive seeing a king's ransom rise in their pay packets, a populist President told the nation that he had, in tune with his concern for the public purse, directed Parliament to reduce the executive pay.

What is interesting about this issue is that at the time the so-called directive was said to have been given, Parliament had risen for the members' campaign break. They are not expected to be in the House until after the vote, when they would be in the House for barely 10 days before the term officially ends.

Meanwhile, the new pay packet has already reached the bank accounts of the intended recipients. What may interest the ordinary man on the street is that long before the President's pay packet was adjusted by Members of Parliament, he had already approved a juicy pay packet for party cronies at the Castle, otherwise referred to as Presidential Staffers.

The 29 staffers, all political appointees, owing their positions to the membership of the National Democratic Congress, and putting the spin to the government's failure to provide basic services, as well as seeing to the implementation of 'a goat is cow' theory underpinning state policies these days, have all been given a quantum pay rise so that they could be zealous in their propagation of achievements that do not exist.

If Stanislav Dogbe, for instance, is on GH¢6,300 for compiling the Green Book of Phantom Achievements, why would a minister walk home with less?

The last time The Chronicle checked the emolument of acidic-mouth of Dr. Tony Aidoo, his ability to run down the political opponents of this administration was oiled by GH¢6,919.20 a month. At this rate, he could afford to pay for six of the Presidential limousines he bought for GH¢6,200 recently, within a year.

Meanwhile, the ordinary Ghanaian is still searching for that thing they call 'Better Ghana.' There are many Ghanaians out there who could still not afford one meal a day for the entire family.

This is how the President of the Republic is 'working for you.' When he doles out these huge pay packets for his staffers, and pockets GH¢144,000 per annum himself, at a time state services are collapsing, the NDC operatives still have the audacity to shout on the roof-tops of building a Better Ghana.

While we are at it, it is pertinent to remind the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre that Ghanaians are still waiting for his official response to the allegation that GH¢9,000 of state money was used in buying booze for his 70th Birthday party.

We recall, with a tinge of sadness, how Mr. Ishamel Yamson was used to rubbish the Chinery Hesse Report on emoluments for former heads of state.

Things that go up, would surely comedown!

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