We are in difficult times and must do all to save and generate income. Recently the finance minister announced some austerity measures that will help us raise some ¢3.6 billion even as we borrow 2 billion dollars to help stabilize our currency. The thinking behind borrowing $2 billion to put in place a single intervention that will contribute to earning ¢3.6 billion is quite problematic. But let’s leave this for another day.
I have been thinking about our resolve to look for money to govern Ghana and I am tempted to believe that we, to put it mildly, aren’t truly resolved to help ourselves.
We complain about the amount of money spent on our salaries and wage bill as being too huge a percentage of government revenues and income. But this amount will pale when compared to our true wealth and resources as a nation.
We have money and huge resources, just that the political elites are failing to think about how we can effectively raise them. Why are we getting only 5 per cent of our mineral resources and not 50 or 60 per cent as happens elsewhere? Why are we getting only about 13 per cent of our oil revenues and not about 60 per cent? At one point in time, Gaddafi of Libya was charging 70 per cent of the oil revenues pumped in his country.
Someone may not have negotiated well. Someone may have colluded to rip us off our needed revenues from our natural resources. But that’s in the past. What prevents the current political elites from renegotiating such deals to get us bigger revenues from natural resources being exploited from our own land for the development of other people’s countries?
I don’t agree with E-levy but it would be unfair to insist that it’s proponents do not know what they are talking about. There certainly may be some rationale for the quest to introduce this form of taxation (which many believe is regressive). The question however is, Why are we pursuing this E-levy as if it is the panacea to our financial needs, when we can renegotiate agreements with those exploiting our natural resources to raise bigger and better resources?
It is true, y3 t3 sika so, nanso okom de y3n. We sit on huge resources, yet we are hungry. Our leaders must think through some of these areas of resource mobilization and show a little more commitment beyond the rhetorics to help us achieve beyond mediocrity. For those who have done these to bring about development in their countries are not better human beings than us. We went to school with some of them and we outsmarted some of them in the classroom. We have great minds which must be deployed to solve our problems. We aren’t cursed!
We have the penchant to spend much effort and waste time just to raise pittance when we actually can do more to raise more. We are not being fair to the ideals and dogmas of governance. Indeed, our political elites have been so unfair to the good people of Ghana. Unfortunately, these unfair governance practices would thrive because we, the citizenry, have also allowed ourselves to be excessively polarized on very bogus partisan lines apart from our deep-seated ignorance.
P.A.V. Ansah Street
Suro Nipa House
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