Open letter to the president

President Nana Akufo Addo
President Nana Akufo Addo

…on the urgent need for change of attitudinal behaviour or Way of Life

20th October 2022
Dear President
I Hope everything is really fine.

Mr President due to the Biblical decree in Romans 13:1 that it is the Almighty God who chooses a Leader for a purpose, so, one must strongly hold and believe that you were nominated by God as our President (the Show boy) for a purpose, may be a good one for us to change our attitude, as the game changer to enable this Country to leapfrog to a better state than before.

Mr President, the hardships this Country is going through which this time are occasioned by both internal factors (was and is within our control) and external factors (beyond our control), were bound to happen because according to Ecclesiastes 1.9 ‘what has happened will happen again/what has been done will be done again’.

The period of COVID-19 pandemic saw reduction of economy activities and heavy human casualties globally and Ghana one of the Countries in the World had a fair share of the casualty state as recorded globally due to good management and we were and are happy and very grateful to God for the low casualties. Then the current hardship which is being globally endured must be seen and accepted as Ghana’s fair share of the global economic situations attributed to both internal factors (our attitude) which we can managed and external factors including COVID-19 pandemic (Force Majeure) an others.

Some of the external issues which are attributed to the Russia-Ukraine War, with God and good leadership can be ignored or managed through good planning or working hard cum enduring the hardships fairly (especially by reduction of cost of in government machinery, no wastages, check on and use of the tax system to ensure growth but less burden to the citizen) and supporting one another whilst putting in great measures among others like reduction of corruption through digitization and digitalization, incentives to farmers, sensitive taxation of imports (import substitution) in order to increase productions in Agriculture products both cash and food crops, which will motivate industrialization especially agro-industries.

Hence, your One District One Factory policy to facilitate private-public participation was and is in the best direction, it is for the business community to take it but the publicity is very poor, hence more fellow Ghanaian talks for operation feed yourself, feed your industry thus grow Ghana , eat Ghana and wear Ghana .

We also need to eschew our attitude of greediness in the Small Scale Mining Sector (my next article) and the Pull Him down (PHD) syndrome and opt for the philosophy of Hon Kennedy Agyapong of Patriotism, Honesty and Discipline (PHD) as the game changer for a better future through the dogma of one people one mission of common destiny to develop Ghana.

Mr President, this is not the first time this Country has gone through very difficult challenges that required a drastic positive change of attitude. This may not be the last if there are no drastic changes in the way we do things in this country including the Pull Him Down (PHD) as demonstrated in the Labianca Company Ltd case in this year which was wickedly initiated by some silly importers as claimed by the NDC’s National women Organizer, namely Hon Dr Hanna Louisa Bissew. The alleged sin of Labianca Company Ltd, one of the greatest importers was her mere application to enjoy import reductions discount opened to all importers and exporters permitted by a valid law in enacted in 2016 and reinforced in 2019 which was granted by Customs Service as required by law.

Hmm, today we have importers, some of whom as indicated are also part of the major problem of this country are closing their shops may be first in the history of Ghana to demand good measures which may include reduction of import duties (tax) to absorb the depreciation of the Ghanaian Cedis. They have forgotten or refusing to understand that the COVID-19 pandemic restriction has introduced a new dimension in our life, through digitization one can transact business on line (virtual scene) this would make brick and mortar shops, restaurants, schools, virtually useless.

The Importers have also failed to appreciate that the only major solution for macroeconomic stability is import substitution, reduction of imports through very high taxes to reduce import in order to encourage domestic productions of at least the basic needs of food items of rice, maize, plantain, tomatoes, poultry, and pigs for pork etc. Hence our problem is some of the importers and our timid, corrupt and inept governments, failure to take a bold step to transform and modernize the Agricultural sector since 2004.

Mr President, in 2003, Heads of States of Africa met in Maputo and agreed that 10% of National Budgetary expenditure should be allocated for the transformation and modernization of the Agricultural sector. A check revealed that since 2004 less than an average of 2% of the national budget expenditure was allocated to the Agricultural Sector, which is acknowledged by even a JSS pupil, as the engine for economy growth which will ensure the attainment of macroeconomic stability. This very low investments in the Agricultural sector by Governments since 2004 has made the Agricultural sector to be lacked behind both the Service and Industrial sectors of the economy.

Reports have it that Ghana spent about US$1.2 Billion on the importation of rice in 2015 and since then the Government of Ghana made good efforts to improve the production of rice. So the importation of rice was reportedly reduced drastically to $300 million (about 689,000 metric tonnes of rice) in 2016. Although Ghana gradually increased the production of rice from the 689metric tonnes to 978metric tonnes in 2019, Ghana still spent an estimated total of GH6.874 billion equivalent to US$1.52Bilion at December 2020 exchange rate on the importation of rice from 2017 to 2020 as reported on 15 Dec 2021 by GNA. This implies an average of US$371miilion per year from 2017 to 2020. But the actual import of rice in 2020 was $391Milion, this made Ghana to be the 20th largest importer of Rice in the world.

Certainly, Ghana has a very big problem that requires urgent need to reduce imports and save the depreciation of the Ghana Cedis and the only answer is import substitution through high tax on imported goods to encourage local production. So are citizenry government and the importers who closed their shops learning any lesson from the current situations for the way forward?

Hmm, Mr President, I among one of those who lost their investments with no benefits from your bail out. I invested both in shares at the Stock Markets and with Fund Managers so that I can depend on the monthly yields or interests as monthly pension, because I did not resign at a pensionable age. Due to the situation I found myself, I have to adjust and exactly that is the order of the day. The adjustment includes some times walking from Half Nkwanta or Kejetia Market to Agric Station, Kwadaso, so it is seen as an exercise.. And I had to daily pray for the safety arrival of the Koko Seller both morning and afternoon. So the citizenry have to adjust hence Adjust or Adjustment is the answer for the importers for the way forward until things improve because our daylight has turned into darkness (courtesy the reggae song ‘Country Jungle’ by Bob Marley). Adjustment is the holy word for the way forward from Almighty God.

The late General Kutu Acheampong, when he was faced with the same or worst problem of serious economic downturn due to the devaluation of the Cedis in 1970/71 to a toilet paper, did not waste time, he initially appointed himself as the Minister for Economy Planning and Finance and launched OPERATIONS FEED YOUSELF and OPERATIONS FEED YOUR INDUSTRY. He did these in January 1972 that is immediately on taking power from the then Dr Busia regime on 13 January 1972 and very had dynamic Officers to lead the crusade.

The late General Acheampong with his ‘O’ level background, reduced importation of certain items, infact there was no a dollar for import, so with his Yen tua mantra he did not burrow even a dollar during his tenure of office. He ensure the ban instated in 1905 by the Colonial masters on Small Scale Mining (Galamsey operation) was enforced and the State Gold Mining Companies, the Underground Mine at Prestea and Tarkwa, and Dunkwa Dredging Gold Company etc operated efficiently.

General Acheampong, quickly nationalists some Companies including AGIP (Italian Oil Company) in 1977, after the arbitration at ICSID in October 1977, he transformed it into Tema Oil Refinery (TOR), acquired high shares in Ashanti Gold Company (AGC) Obuasi. He invited some American experts in Hydroelectric-power construction for feasible studies as a measure to establish mini-hydroelectric Power Stations at Pra, Ankobra etc, which since 2008 we have allowed to be destroyed by Small Scale Miners. Beloved Country (with apology to Alan Pattern)

By God’s grace the late General Acheampong (the show boy) was able to construct massive infrastructure including Agric-infrastructure amongst these were the Tono Irrigation, Kpong Right back Irrigation project, Dawyenya Irrigation project, Bontanga Irrigation, Regional Development Corporations, Regional Catering Rest Houses with Dance Bands (the Uppers International and other) SSNIT Flats, Low Cost Houses, stadia, and others in the history of this nation under very difficult economy situation.

The late President Liman faced also with economic downturn when he took over from the AFRC on 24h September 1979, within minutes he launched the Big Deal, two years economy recovery programme with the Agricultural Sector as the lead, continued with the construction of the BUI Dam, completed the Kpong Hydro power Station among other projects.

When it was necessary, the Late President Liman took cognizance the buck with the President, so he took over as the Minister for Finance and Economic Planning from the celebrated economist of the UN and a former Governor of Bank of Ghana by name Dr Amon Nikoi and later handed over to Dr George Benneh with no background in Economics but did some good job for Ghana.

So, Mr President we need to stop the nonsense of high paper qualifications for appointments and select patriotic honest, disciplined and hardworking Ghanaians for appointments. We should understand that attitude counts, example my brother and good friend, the celebrated Hon Abraham Odoom has no paper qualification in Agric but a mere farmhand at his father’s farm when he was a kid has helped Nigeria to breakthrough in massive rice production as import substitution.

Nigeria in 2016 took a very giant step and did what the Almighty God expected them to do that is import substitution measures by high tax on imported rice etc, eat Nigeria rice promotions, and closure of her land borders and encouraged massive production of rice.

Coincidentally or rather incidentally (by chance), with the support of one of our fellow National, a brother by name Hon Abraham Odoom, and with God at their side Nigeria achieved a feat of massive rice production by January 2021.

Coincidentally, Mr President, Mr Abraham Odoom is a member of your NPP party. Please use him as adviser to a dynamic Minister of Agric and give them enough budgetary expenditure, thanks you were able to transformed and modernized some five irrigation projects including the construction of the Kpong Left Irrigation Bank Project all regions of Ghana can grow rainfed rice and those with irrigations and irrigable land can double rice production so what is needed is a Leadership and funding.

Hmm, attitude is really our biggest problem. This year we had the people of Somanya, who kicked against the installation of prepaid meters for them to pay for power consumed and poor Kejetia Market traders demanding for prepaid meters for their individual shops which demand is yet to be met. That is Ghana. The above issues demos that there must certainly be a very great problem in this Country, which is certainly attitude.

The current hardship per Ecclesiastes 1.9 is expected (Que Sera Sera, whatever will be Will be the future is not for us to see) and is God’s signal for drastic change of attitude, hence food for thought. The buck stops with the President, His Excellency Nana Addo, the President of Ghana, and the nominated Leader by God. So Mr President do not be shake but rise to the occasion as deemed fit.

Mr President, I know that among the very good reasons you do not want to change the Minister for Finance at this time is because it may rather cause more problem to the state at this time due likely response or reactions by investors or the speculative Market, because of the concept of the Devil you know may be better than the Angel you do not know. So you music for the week is the reggae song ‘Mama’ especially the stanza “It is not easy to understand it, but I hope you will make it and You will be happy again” by the one of the greatest Reggae Maestro, the legendary Luck Dube, after the grandmaster the late Bob Marley.

Mr President, I shall return on why you must ban Small Scale Mining and measures for introduction of Cooperative or Community Mining and Industrial Medium Scale Mining for the licensed Small Mining Companies including Akonta Mining Company to navigate and operate freely with foreign investors especially Chinese thus reduction of election opportunism by both the NPP and NDC when in Opposition.
Regards, Mr President.


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