Politics of Paychecks: Mahama Gravy-Train Driver Bucks At Structural Reforms

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

Those who are only capable of piffling about serious economic issues would have their audiences believe that Mr. Franklin Cudjoe is solely out to viciously eviscerating any well-intentioned program that the National Democratic Congress (NDC) has for the salutary development of the country. One such cynical critic even had the temerity to describe the IMANI-Ghana think-tank, founded and headed by Mr. Cudjoe, as “a veritable cesspool.”

 

Well, that was not the exact words of the critic, for he is too pathologically uncouth to even “mouth” this admittedly unsavory phrase. He is, in fact, just a one-word ape of a critic who is only capable of putrid and scatalogical four-letter words. You know what I mean and who I am talking about, of course.

 

Anyway, the first thing that I wanted to say is that the abrupt resignation of Mr. Cudjoe from the Post-Forum Implementation Committee on the Single-Spine Pay Policy (PFIC of SSPP) reveals much that is not only worrisome about the Mahama-led government of the so-called National Democratic Congress (NDC), especially the long-known economically regressive policies of the Rawlings posse, but even more significantly points to the fact that, short of divine intervention, Ghanaians are dead-set to excruciatingly wallowing in an economic morass of unprecedented proportions for the next three years. And that is only assuming that the Ghanaian electorate would be positively self-interested enough to give the necessary heave-ho to Messrs. Mahama and Amissah-Arthur come Election 2016.

 

On the latter score, let me hurriedly, at least in passing, solemnly observe that the Cudjoe-run IMANI-Ghana institue is indubitably among the vanguard ranks of policy think-tanks in the country. And they have an ample record of recognition, global in scope, to readily back up their credentials and credibility; and so, really, they scarcely need my non-specialist approbation to defend their integrity.

 

What we stunningly learn about the resignation of Mr. Cudjoe from membership of the otherwise all-too-progressive Implementation Committee on the Single-Spine Pay Policy, is that somebody higher up in the Mahama government does not have the economic progress and the salutary development of the nation, at large, at heart. And that personality clearly appears to be the Minister of Finance, as the IMANI-Ghana’s Executive-Director boldly and fearlessly, albeit obliquely, tells it.

 

But what is even more flagrantly disturbing is the fact that the Finance Minister clearly appears to have been enabled to bizarrely undermine the coordinate ministerial portfolio of the Minister of Employment and Labor Relations, by having the latter summarily put the kibosh on the hitherto economically progressive and executive-mandated process of streamlining and rationalizing an obviously bloated public payroll system.

 

Of course, presently, we cannot be water-tight certain about the preceding, though it also clearly appears that the Finance Minister, in all likelihood, was acting on behalf of somebody even further up the executive rungs than himself. And that somebody may well be ensconced in one of the plush suites at the Flagstaff-Jubilee House. We also know that until his expedient selection to partner then-Acting President John Dramani Mahama in July or August of 2012, in the wake of the long-expected but still tragic passing of President John Evans Atta-Mills, the now-Vice-President Paa Kwesi Bekoe Amissah-Arthur was the substantive governor of the nation’s central bank, or treasury department, the Bank of Ghana. Dear reader, you do the math.

 

Mr. Cudjoe also reveals quite an unusual lot about the clearly avoidable factors militating against the economic efficiency in the administration of our public and civil service sector. He reveals an “unusual lot” because as a routine formality, most resignation letters are neither widely publicized nor detailed enough about any causative factors thereof. And so it clearly appears that not only did the IMANI-Ghana director take his committe work with utmost seriousness, Mr. Cudjoe also indisputably put the greater and noble interests of the nation over and above all else.

 

For instance, Mr. Cudjoe tells us, his readers, that gross administrative indiscipline, in the flagrant form of new labor hirings, are presently being conducted by the labor department through the backdoor, even though the Mahama government officially claims to have put an effective moratorium – or freeze – on new hires. As well, Mr. Cudjoe has meticulously listed quite a remarkable number of state-sponsored agencies that could be weaned off the public dole and be more efficiently and profitably administered (See “Why Franklin Cudjoe Resigned from Gov’t Committee on the Sustainability of SSPP” The (Ghanaian) Chronicle 12/23/13).

 

If, indeed, President Mahama believes in the same things that most of us well-meaning and patriotic Ghanaians believe in, especially on the imperative need to weeding out otiose and/or financially wasteful political hirings, in order to make the economy function more productively, then Mr. Mahama had better find a more progressive and better qualified person to run the Finance Ministry. He may also consider rendering a public apology to Mr. Cudjoe and having the latter promptly reappointed to the PFIC of SSPP with no strings, whatsoever, attached.

 

Indeed, Year 2014 requires high-end progressive thinking and innovative ideas. And demonstrably, Mr. Franklin Cudjoe ought to be wisely deemed to be a prime candidate for such new and forward-looking approach to democratic governance.

 

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

Department of English

Nassau Community College of SUNY

Garden City, New York

Dec. 25, 2013

E-mail: okoampaahoofe@optimum.net

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