An activist and known social Commentator Dr. Michael Jarvis Bokor has expressed worry and dissatisfactions on tomorrow, March 16th public lecture by the Vice President of the Republic of Ghana and its government on strategies to save the Ghanaian Cedi under the theme “Arresting the Cedi”, saying these strategies won’t help the economy and that, they should keep their strategies to themselves.
Michael Jarvis Bokor writes…..
Folks, I have heard that on Thursday, March 16, 2017, Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia will give a lecture on “Arresting the falling Cedi” at a function to be chaired by Senior Minister Yaw Osafo-Marfo and officiated by former President Kufuor.
My immediate reaction was to laugh myself lame.
A lecture on the deterioration of the Ghanaian currency? What for?
Are these NPP people still stuck in their self-contrived time warp not to know that the days of “lectures” on what ails the Ghanaian economy ended with their rise to power after declaring John Mahama as incompetent and being put in power to do what they claimed he couldn’t do about the Ghanaian economy?
That those days of lectures and promises ended the very moment the NPP defied laid-down procedures to organize a press conference at 2 am on Thursday, December 8 to announce their Akufo-Addo as the winner of the elections held on Wednesday December 7, even long before the Electoral Commission could put things together to announce the official results of the polls, which it did two clear days thereafter?
And that after the investiture of Akufo-Addo and his insistent posturing in his inaugural speech and others since then to reinforce his claims that he and his NPP are the only forces endowed with the acumen to solve Ghana’s problems Ghanaians expect nothing but solutions to those problems? Action and not mere talk-talk?
Or that after the “change”, the socio-economic situation has worsened? (How about the rise in the prices of petroleum products, water, transport fares, food items, electricity, and many others under Akufo-Addo in just two months of his rule?). Reality and not talk-talk?
Or the purposelessness of the NPP government’sd budget and fiscal statement that played up sentimentalism (especially the so-called abolition of the tolls paid by Kayayei that has riled the Metropolitan, Municipal, and District Assemblies because of its negative impact on revenue generation at the local level or the market women who are up in arms at being discriminated against)?
Or the selective manner in which Akufo-Addo is doing things to further divide the society on the basis of ethnicity and petty partisan politics?
At the heart of it all, though, is the state of the economy.
The truth is that nothing has changed since Akufo-Addo took over from the Lion of Gonja to prove that all the huge noise that he led the NPP to make before Election 2016 has indeed ushered Ghana into a new era of the change that would make the difference between what was and what is now or is to come.
On that score, it is baffling why the Akufo-Addo administration will resort to “lectures” as an explanation (or justification) for what it has failed to do thus far.
Lectures for what? No theory now. Ghanaians want practical solutions to the very problems that Akufo-Addo used Bawumia to trumpet all over the place before Election 2016.
I suspect strongly that this so-called public forum will be used to revisit the NPP’s negative politics against the Mahama-led administration.
We have already heard too much from Bawumia at such forums and don’t need any rehashing of his trite and useless condemnatory nonsense.
The voters gave Akufo-Addo the mandate to solve problems, not to shift blame. That is why I find such a lecture as misplaced and irrelevant.
As is to be expected, though, the NPP camp will go that way because it is still not sure of what its mandate is.
If flogging a dead horse will help it sustain its rogue and “book” politics, nothing will prevent it from using “lectures”.
That is where it finds its strength. Poor souls in that camp!!
The reality is daunting, which they fear. Having lied their way to power, what they see now is so scary as to tear them apart. Their budget and fiscal statement can’t save them.
Neither will their porous vow not to work with the IMF do the magic for them.
They have already capitulated and are reaching out to the IMF for help.
Thus, by insisting on using public lectures to express their sentiments and opinions about the current state of the Ghanaian economy, especially in terms of the fast depreciating value of the Cedi, they are only seeking to buy time.
I wish they had known how to buy that time long ago.
Now, to the nitty-gritty of that lecture by Bawumia to outline strategies for “arresting” the falling value of the Cedi. Has he listened to Yaw Osafo-Marfo (the real Vice President)?
He has already made it clear that although the government will attempt implementing measures to “stabilize” the Cedi, it doesn’t expect the Cedi to appreciate against the Dollar.
(A recap here: For the 2000 general elections, ex-President Kufuor had told Ghanaians that if he won, he would ensure that Ghanaians adopted the United States Dollar.
No wonder that many enterprises demanded payment for rent, etc. in Dollars, which has persisted to date.
Kufuor even went ahead to use Dr. Bawumia, then the Deputy Governor of the Bank of Ghana, to effect his dubious Cedi redenomination at a cost that no one still knows but which the main architects profited from “bigly” (Donald Trump’s new word)).
This cabal of NPP rogue politicians won’t help Ghana to move out of the woods.
I insist that what Bawumia is slated to talk about at the lecture is a mere diversionary trash.
Reviving the Ghanaian Cedi needs more than lectures.
It’s not just about outlining strategies to “arrest” the Cedi but whether those strategies mean anything at all in terms of recovery.
The ordinary Ghanaian doesn’t care about STRATEGIES but how practically things will work out to change the situation that made voters go for Akufo-Addo and his team of promise-makers.
They don’t need to be told what those strategies are. They just want practical results, which explains why the forum being arranged for Bawumia is a clear instance of waywardness.
Too much empty “talk-talk” will aggravate the situation and put the suffering masses on edge.
Strategies or no strategies, the reality (the situation on the ground) is what matters to the Ghanaian.
Has anything changed to prove that putting Akufo-Addo in power is more beneficial than retaining John Mahama in office?
If it has to take lectures to answer such a question, there will be much jockeying around. But that is not what the Ghanaian wants.
By: George Parl