In the last week, for whatever reason, we’ve had NPP apparatchiks loudly trumpeting the eighty-eight (88) District Hospitals and six (6) Regional Hospitals for the newly-created regional capitals. Just when the government began to receive applause for the initiative, the main political opposition (NDC) not wanting to be done in, jumped into the fray.
Their angle to the narrative was that if it had not been the construction of the many hospitals by the John Mahama-led government, there’s no way President Akufo-Addo could have managed this COVID-19 pandemic in this manner. Essentially, their argument was two-pronged – What Naha Addo was seeking to do was not new to NDC and secondly that by the use of the new hospitals, they also had a role in the successful management process.
As I watched these political party people draw their swords, I wondered whether these were not some of the reasons for new governments abandoning projects they inherit from their predecessor governments?
When the Kufuor government took over and began the Tetteh Quarshie Interchange in 2001, the NDC was quick to indicate that they secured the funding for it. In 2007, the government of John Kufuor began the John Walker Bush Jr. Highway but couldn’t complete. The Atta-Mills government took over and completed it and both parties were running helter-skelter for the glory. Upon assuming office, this current Akufo-Addo government initially adopted a very laissez-faire attitude towards uncompleted projects by the NDC government of John Mahama. Placed under pressure by Citi FM and other organizations, the government began to execute the projects in lots. Immediately they were completed and commissioning of them began, both the government and the NDC former government appointees were head over heels to claim glory for these achievements. John Kufuor’s housing estates at Borteyman, Effiduase-Asokore, etc also suffered same fate until the successor NPP government to office. The list is endless and cuts across all our 4th Republican governments in equal measure.
When President Akuffo-Addo commissioned the Ga East Hospital some months back, NDC was quick to ask him to go undertake its own hospitals rather than take glory in what was began by others. As I write currently, the huge housing estate in Saglemi began by the Mahama government has been left to rot in the Accra plains. As at January 2017, about 1,500 out of the total 5,000 units had been built except that most of the building services were yet to be undertaken. The new Works Minister used a forensic audit being undertaken as the reason for not continuing, a reason he held onto till last year when he promised that the entire project will be completed by December 2020. Today is April 30, 2020 and not a single brick has been added to the project. But you see, why will any government be motivated to go complete if we’d use it to taunt it? Sometimes, as seemingly harmless as such comments on these projects and actions are, they tend to play into the psychology of governments who then end up abandoning existing projects they came to meet and rather initiate new ones which they can claim full rights to. Eventually, the ordinary Ghanaian people end up suffering for this by paying much more in terms of cost while still being deprived the utilization of such facilities. The government seemingly doesn’t care. They’d rationalize the situation and move on and no one will be taken on for causing financial losses to us the people. When governing party changes hands (whenever), some token trials and imprisonments (if we are fortunate) are made to prove government’s commitment and placate us so it keeps its goodwill. How long shall this continue in this land of our birth?
So what will be the motivation of a government to finish uncompleted projects if that governments going to be taunted by the predecessor government for only completing projects instead of initiating its own?
As I watch these with seething irritation, I begin to ask myself whether these two party apparatchiks are fully aware that the monies they use for the projects are actually monies owned by the ordinary Ghanaian people? Why would they think that they have right to use our money (or loans that we the people will pay through our taxes) and come back to us flaunting it in our faces as projects and infrastructural development that we should applaud them for? Our political actors should remember at all times that they are to use politics as a vehicle to serve and not the reverse.
As our President says at the end of every speech, ‘God bless our homeland Ghana and make her great and strong’. That will surely happen, but it’d take our common commitment and actionable steps to make it happen!
For now, I join the millions of Ghanaians to wish the hardworking workers of Ghana a HAPPY WORKERS DAY today!
My dear friend,