President John Mahama has been advised to, as a matter of urgency, 'fire' appointees and ministers, who have outlived their usefulness and not performing on their jobs.
Speculations are high on an impending massive reshuffling in Mahama's administration. But the Reform for Youth Empowerment, a group aligned to the ruling NDC, believes sacking “tired” appointees is the surest way of making the President achieve his targets of successfully moving the country forward in his second year in office.
In an “OPEN LETTER TO THE PRESIDENT, JOHN DRAMANI MAHAMA” and signed by its General Secretary, Ebenezer Arkutu, the group said despite the challenges facing his tenure, millions of Ghanaians are looking up to his administration to uplift them from poverty, unemployment, crime, low quality education, healthcare services, high cost of borrowing, unreliable supply of electricity and water, needless death on roads among others.
Below is the statement
7 January, 2014
OPEN LETTER TO THE PRESIDENT, JOHN DRAMANI MAHAMA
Happy New Year!! Mr. President, we are very grateful to God for your life and for the leadership of our Country, Ghana. Your enemies are not God. Congratulations!! For providing to this nation (in 2013) a purposeful, productive and fulfilling leadership, in the midst of partisan challenge to your presidency, coupled with energy crisis as well as often politically motivated labour unrest. Mr. President, the opposition, New Patriotic Party (NPP) disappointed YOU escaped not only death (at the end of 2013) as prophesied but also surmounting the frivolous election petition, which they promised their people will shamefully remove you from office –They are at it again, the New Year’s wish from the leadership of the NPP for the people of Ghana under your leadership is hardship, suffering and hopelessness. Under your leadership Mr. President, we shall put their wish to test.
It is self-evident that the election petition (which lasted eight months) , the energy crisis and the labour unrest robbed your leadership and the nation the needed space to realign the structurally weak strategic sectors of the economy; redefining the public-private sector partnership engagement for the greater good; last but not least pursuing full employment, wealth creation through promotion of Ghanaian led investment and ownership of the various productive/strategic sectors of the economy aimed at achieving an overall accelerated development, growth and prosperity of the nation.
ACHIEVEMENTS IN SPITE OF CHALLENGES
Mr. President, in spite of the 2013 challenges, difficulties and losses; Ghanaians, particularly majority of the electoral population approved of your leadership, work rate(s) and achievements. Majority of Ghanaians (with the exception of the opposition) took note of your leadership/intervention from the effective financial/economic management of affairs of the state to investment(s) into productive economic and social infrastructures.
In the face of constant decline in prices of gold, cocoa etc. coupled with fall in domestic revenue generation and collection, dwindling foreign direct investments all adversely affected government targeted revenue collections and projections. The root causes; delay/lack of donor budgetary support, energy crisis, election petition, to name but a few cannot be overlooked. The ability of the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning to handle the financial situation by, swiftly addressing the then unsustainable subsidy regime in order to create the needed capital space for re- investments into other sectors of the economy though unpopular, it saved the economy and safeguard it’s future. This demonstrated your boldness and decisiveness.
Like majority of Ghanaians, we are mindful of your Government’s pragmatic effort to contain and manage the budget deficit of 11.8 percent, inflation 13.2 percent as well as the debt portfolio. To your critics, we are at a loss totheir noises greeting the budget deficit of 11.8 percent and inflation 13.2 percent in that they (critics) did not exist when the NPP left behind a budget deficit of about 15 percentof GDP in 2008 and inflation at 25 percent. These same critics strangely, we did not hear their praises when the NDC government at the 2012 budget presentation, the budget deficit stood at 2 percent. Over 3 years running, achieved single digit inflation. In 2011 posted economic growth of 14.1 percent. But we were told social and economic figures do not matter, they mean nothing. If figures were meaningless then, why are they attaching meaning to it today?
Mr. President, again well-meaning Ghanaians approved of your leadership in stemming the energy crisis. The completion and coming on stream the Bui Hydro’s 400MW, the VRA’s 2.5MW from Navrongo Solar System and the Takoradi (T3) contributing 133MW. Also we are mindful of the ongoing works at Kpone Thermal Plant (220MW), T2 Tico Expansion (110MW). In addition, the gas processing plant at Atuabu. All of these are revelations of your crisis management skills, ability and capacity to get things done.
Mr. President, in spite of reckless and illegal labour strikes in 2013 by Organized labour Unions in the face of ongoing negotiations, special appreciation goes to your government for achieving full migration of public sector workers onto the Single Spine Salary Structure/Scheme. Ghanaians credit your maturity in the face of provocation...your continuous engagement with organized labour and your government’s determination of enhancing the livelihoods of Ghanaian workers through improved but sustainable wages and salaries regime.
Another sector of your vision and great leadership is National Security. The citizenry trust and confidence in our men/women in uniform is all time high. Ghanaians, in 2013 witnessed a highly coordinative work among the Security Agencies in maintaining law and order, particularly before, during and after the election petition. Also,their conduct was above reproachduring the Christmas holidays directing traffic and assisting the general public. Today, under your leadership, we are witnessing the gradual transformation of the Police Force/Service into a well-respected professional class. Their visibility at various strategic duty posts throughout the cities across the country is encouraging. The determination to purge the police service of criminal and corrupt officers is on course.
As part of governments’ infrastructure drive and expansion programme, the Ministry of Roads and Highways has undertaken a number of road construction and expansion across the country to ease congestion and reduce road travel time. According to the Transport Ministry, road congestion accounts currently to about 90 percent. To address the issue, work is currently ongoing on the following roads to ensure a shortened time travel for our people…the Tetteh Quarshie-Madina, AnyaaPokuase, Burma Camp roads, Buipe-Tamale, Fufulso-Sawla, Dodi-Pepesu Nkwanta, Tarkwa-Bogoso-Ayamfuri, Giffaid roads, to name but a few. The completion of these roads on schedules must not be compromised by the presidency; for its strategic importance cannot be overemphasize.
On corruption, your leadership has been questioned either in ignorance or in mischief by the opposition, the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and its allies in the Civil Society groups. Without challenging the fact that in your administration, all but credibly reported cases of individuals or institutional acts of corruption have been investigated and/or are under investigations by the appropriate institutions of state. In some cases trials are ongoing for criminal prosecution and/or retrievals of monies wrongfully paid to or appropriated by any individuals or companies. Is anyone disputing that the Attorney-General and Ministry of Justice together with other State Agencies are not working to secure refunds of monies wrongfully paid to or appropriated by any individuals or companies from contracts with SADA, GYEEDA and the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), and to retrieve the monies wrongfully paid to Waterville and Isofoton as Judgement Debts? Also, those policies which allow public office holders to purchase state bungalows/vehicles allocated to them have not been abolished with immediate effect by the Mahama Administration? In addition, all contracts between the Ministry of Youth and Sports and Ghana Youth Employment and Entrepreneurial Development Agency (GYEEDA) have not been suspended? Or that the contract between Subah Infosolutions and the Ghana Revenue Authority is currently not under review by the Attorney-General? Or the Sole Commissioners’ work on Judgement Debts investigation is not ongoing?
They can choose to be unmindful of your government’s actions and/or measures to minimize and to lead the fight against corruption. We are also mindful of the commissioning of the Presidential Taskforce under your leadership headed by the Chief of Staff have uncovered massive fraud being perpetrated against the state by some 290 companies working in the country. These companies reportedly are conniving with some officials of the Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) to commit financial and economic crimes against the state. These companies reportedly clear their goods from bonded warehouses without paying import duties...over 700 million cedis expected to be retrieved from these companies by the taskforce but little over 10 million cedis have been retrieved from four companies. The clampdown is ongoing.
Yet this is a government said to be corrupt, covering up corruption and not showing enough commitment to fighting corruption.
We take note of your comprehensive sectorial and all inclusive blue print measures outlined last year by your good self is more enduring and pragmatic. This blue print focuses on reward, robust internal prevention approach and institutional enforcement efforts in minimizing and fighting corruption.
Mr. President, under your leadership though this nation is faced with greater socio-economic difficulties and challenges, is significantly achieving results and continues to focus more on our challenges and aspirations.Today, thousands, probably millions of our people especially those living in rural-urban poor communities are looking up to your administration to uplift them from poverty, unemployment, crime, low quality education, healthcare services, high cost of borrowing, lack of/unreliable supply of electricity/water, needless death on our roads, to name but a few.
These expectations, demands for greater leadership to deliver substantial development in your second year and beyond to advance the Better Ghana Agenda. Hence Mr. President, there is urgent need for dismissal (not reshuffle) of tired, non performing Government Appointees and/or Ministers of state. OR risk losing the continuous NDC’s grassroots’ support as well as growing sense of support for your leadership by majority of the electoral population.
The massive support you are enjoying is not extended to many of your ministers/appointees. They are not only lost in your developmental vision but confused in their ministerial mandate – Their Secretaries more than them rather are in charge of the Ministries, Department and Agencies. Yet these Secretaries are so ordinary, have no working strategic engagement with the visiting public as well as those with duly appointment schedules to meet their Bosses. These Ministers/Appointees together with their Secretaries are doing irreparable damage to your leadership vision and administration.
Mr. President, respectfully we shall publish a list of Ministers, Deputy Ministers and Appointees next week for your considerations.This is necessary not only to position the NDC Government favourably in the eyes of Ghanaians but also, putting the NDC Party in a competitive advantage for the 2016 elections. It is our firm belief that the NDC Government under your leadership holds within her all powers and authority to decide for good; to build a vibrant party and a stronger nation.
In conclusion Mr. President, we plead you find more time to engage the NDC footsoldiers’ in this year and beyond. They have been abandoned by the Constituency/Regional/ National executives for far too long; for there is pain and anger. Please do not wait until 2016 for it might be too late for they play a major role in your electoral fortunes.
Long live Ghana
Long live NDC
Source: Ebenezer Arkutu - General Secretary
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