wpid-corruption.jpgThe Problem Is GYEEDA, Stupid!

Although I have devoured quite a bit of literature on the so-called Single Spine Pay Policy (SSPP), I don’t know much about the intricate quiddities of the same; and so I shall not hereby presume to deliberate on this salary policy with the authority of an expert, not also being an economist by trade. What is clear to me, however, is that the SSPP appears to have been carefully and wisely designed to streamline and infuse a modicum of equity into the salary disbursement of civil servants on the basis of qualification and output.

 

If the foregoing observations have validity, then it is rather curious, albeit not altogether surprising, that the Mahama-led government of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) should be faulting such justifiable salary-disbursement policy for the country’s dire economic straits (See “SSPP Not Cause of Ghana’s Broke[n] Economy – John Boadu” MyJoyOnline / Ghanaweb ?8/6/13). In other words, what the Mahama government clearly appears to be telling Ghanaians is that just about the only effective way of maintaining a viable economy is for some civil servants to allow themselves to be cheated out of their occupational deserts.

 

Meanwhile, the government continues to callously pursue patently corrupt and criminal policies, as was recently revealed in the GYEEDA SCANDAL, in which the government, a la Woyome style, doled out millions of dollars to no-bid contractual cronies of key players of government for absolutely no work done or services delivered. Needless to say, Mr. John Boadu, the Deputy Communications Director of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), is right on the money when he critically observes that “the wanton dissipation of public funds and profligate spending by the Mahama-led administration is enough to cripple any economy in the world.”

 

If, indeed, the Mahama government “spent GHC 4.3 billion on wages and salaries, representing 70.1 percent of total revenue from domestic taxes” then, clearly what needs to happen is salary adjustments. For what the foregoing means is that some public and civil servants – very likely politicians – were paid humongous sums in salaries and bonuses that they had clearly not worked for. What this means is that there are far more recipients of virtual sinecures – or parasites – on the national payroll than the economy is capable of sustaining. We have, for instance, parliamentarians who also double as Ministers of State or Cabinet Appointees. Are these people being double salaried? If so, then how does the government explain such anomaly? In other words, it is very difficult to realistically conceive of a situation in which one person was able to fully perform as a National Assemblyman or Woman, as well as performing fully as an executive appointee in government.

 

In other words, when he so quizzically queries the sustainability of the Single Spine Pay Policy, what Finance Minister Seth Tekper clearly and eerily seems to be letting on to his countrymen and women is that Ghana is decidedly a failed state. The process by which we ended up on this primrose path is what the national kitty holder ought to be talking about, and not whether Ghanaian workers deserve to be paid their just deserts. That kind of querying is synonymous with clinical insanity. More so when, as Mr. Boadu aptly recalls, the Mahama presidential-election campaign vigorously touted the SSPP as a major policy plank.

 

I, however, disagree with Mr. Boadu that campaigning on an SSPP implementation policy, per se, was tantamount to a self-inflicted wound. Rather, it is an imperative non-partisan national-policy agenda. I also don’t believe that just because a government was voted into power to solve our problems facilely means that any government so elected is a veritable magic wand or an economic open-sesame code.

 

What we have in the Mahama-Arthur government is a government thoroughly composed of indolent parasites dead-set on milking our oil-endowed economy in perpetuity. And what is there to stop these veritable piranhas and cormorants, but a politically conscious and articulate electorate?

 

Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe
Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.

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*Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.

Department of English

Nassau Community College of SUNY

Garden City, New York

August 6, 2013

E-mail: [email protected]

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