Nana Konadu Agyemang Rawlings

Leader of the 31st December Women?s Movement (DWM), Nana Konadu Agyeman Rawlings has said the Government will be doing itself a favour if it stops pretending everything is fine.

Nana Konadu Agyemang Rawlings?I think we should just stop lying to ourselves and admit that there are some failures that have gone on within the system and then look at how we can address these failures.

?There?s no point in propagating issues that are not true or just making so much noise about it. Let?s have a cool head, relax, look at the issues as they are,? Mrs Rawlings said in an exclusive interview with TV3?s Nana Aba Anamoah aired on Christmas Day.

She said: ?Apart from the pockets that are empty, there are issues that are making us suffer.?

?Electricity, water, just driving endlessly on the streets so your petrol, already petrol is very expensive,? the former first lady bemoaned.

?We have to start managing things,? she said, and lamented about the poor traffic situation in the country.

The Kumasi Airport

She described the recently refurbished Kumasi Airport ?as befitting a ?a little town in Europe,?

She said despite the recent refurbishment of the Airport to allow 24-hour operations, it still lacked the trappings of a befitting Airport.

President John Mahama and Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu II recently inaugurated the refurbished Airport, which cost $29 million.

Operations at the Airport were restricted to day time ? 6am to 6pm ? pending the completion of the rehabilitation.

In October this year, the Ghana Airport Company partially closed the airport to enable contractors upgrade the tarmac, install an airfield ground lighting system and upgrade other facilities.

The closure caused distress to local flights and passengers.

Mrs Rawlings said except for a smoother and better runway, she noticed nothing extraordinary about the refurbished Airport when she recently flew to Kumasi to visit Asante Monarch Otumfuo Osei Tutu II.

Corruption

She also bemoaned the festering corruption in the National Democratic Congress (NDC).

The former vice chairperson of the ruling party said the development, coupled with other issues, have put her off the ?umbrella? family and will not want to associate herself with them.

On the issue of corruption, the founder of the 31st December Women?s Movement told Accra-based TV3 that ?it is too much.?

Nana Konadu crossed carpet to join the National Democratic Party (NDP) over her inability to lead the party that her husband, Flt. Lt. Jerry John Rawlings, founded ahead of the 2012 elections.

She surmised that sitting president John Dramani Mahama has lost the fight against corruption, despite the latter?s assurance that he is on top of the campaign against the menace and will not care whose ?ox is gored.?

?We will go after them? no matter whose ox is gored?we shall continue to fight corruption and will not be deterred by anybody,? Mahama told his Council of State members Monday.

However, the ex-First Lady feels such promises are mere rhetoric, calling on Mahama to demonstrate it.

?Let?s live by examples,? Nana Konadu told journalist Nana Aba Anamoah.

She has, however, rejected a plea by Rawlings to consider an NDC comeback.

?Even if I find it interesting, I will not escort my husband there? The conviction I had in going to some other place is still there and still relevant,? Nana Konadu pointed out.

Economy

The former first Lady said she sees ?no improvement? in Ghana?s economy, adding that Ghana would not have run to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for assistance if the economy was not suffering.

??Nobody goes to hospital to see a Doctor if you are not sick. If you?re not ill, you don?t go to the hospital,? she told TV3?s Nana Aba Anamoah in an exclusive interview aired on Christmas day.

She said countries only run to the IMF and the World Bank for help when they are in dire straits.

?You go to them when you really don?t know what to do and things are that difficult.?

The Government of Ghana has been talking to the IMF for a three-year programme aimed at helping rescue the oil producing country?s ailing economy from the doldrums.

The Fund recently said it had reached a stage in the talks where it is offering assistance to the the government of Ghana to clean the public sector payroll.

?The IMF team is working with the authorities, and is working with the authorities in several areas including issues related to concrete steps in cleaning up the government payroll?? Deputy Spokesman, Communications Department of the IMF William Murray, revealed at a news conference in Washington Thursday, December 11, 2014.

The Government has been spending about 70 percent of tax revenue in paying public sector workers. That figure was reduced by more than 10 percent recently, according to President John Mahama, after all outstanding payments and arrears relating to the migration of workers onto the single spine salary structure was dealt with.

In July this year, the Controller and Accountant General?s Department (CAGD) announced that it has deleted 3,179 ghost names from public payrolls in the Greater Accra region alone, between April and June.

Also in January this year, Deputy Minister in charge of tertiary education Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa announced that the government had deleted over 2,913 ghost names from the Ghana Education Service?s (GES) payrolls.

In November last year, 1,052 staff of the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital could not be accounted for after a head count.

An additional 60 who were paid through the hospital?s internally generated funds (IGFs) could also not be accounted for.

Of the 1,052 members of staff, 490 belong to other institutions but worked under KBTH, while 84 were newly employed nurses at the hospital.

In March last year, about 1.3 per cent of Ghana?s GDP, translating into over Ghc1 billion, was paid to non-existent public sector employees or ghost workers in 2013, according to analysis done by Dr Joe Abbey, Executive Director of economic think tank Centre for Policy Analysis (CEPA).

Dr Abbey said an average of Ghc100 million was paid to ghost employees every month in 2012.

?The question about ghost or ineligible workers dealt a decisive blow? our estimate was that as much as 1.3 percentage points of our GDP was being lost to these ghost payments and so a billion cedis was the estimate that we saw, like 100 million a month,? Dr Abbey noted.

The public wage bill for 2012 ballooned to 72.3 percent of tax revenue as a result of the implementation of the single spine salary (SSS) structure. It had earlier been estimated at 60.9 percent by the President in November 2012 in the State of the Nation address.

The wage bill constituted 2.7 percent of GDP of the 12.0 Deficit. It translated into 1.91 billion Ghana cedis.

Apart from the IMF helping Ghana to clean up its public sector payroll, the Fund said it is finalising remaining details of the country?s ?medium-term reforms, and seeking external financing assurances from bilateral donors and international institutions,? before agreeing a final deal with the West African country about a financial package to assist the world?s largest cocoa producer fix its economy.

?Once this work is completed a financial arrangement to support Ghana?s economic program could be agreed at staff level before being proposed for the IMF Executive Board?s consideration. Right now, we are still working with Ghana in terms of nailing down details of policies that could be supported by the Fund and its Executive Board,? Murray said.

Economic analysts have raised fears Ghana could be declared highly indebted Poor Country, HIPC as a result of its public debt which currently stands at 70 billion dollars.

Ghana?s currency?Cedi?tumbled in value by about 40 percent in the first three quarters of 2014. It gained some stability against the Dollar and other major currencies of international trade after the Government infused $2.7 billion dollars into the economy through a $1-billion Eurobond flotation and a $1.7-billion cocoa syndicated loan.

Source: StarrFMonline.com

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