COVID-19 teaches us why reducing our infrastructure deficit, Medicare for all, and capital expenditure increase should be the floor of our demands, not the ceiling. We need to radically rebuild our entire infrastructure system. Part of our Urban and rural centers are enjoying and benefitting from the extensive infrastructure development by the Mahama administration, greatly increasing the quality of life for our people in these areas. In spite of this tremendous achievement recorded under the last administration, some of our people have not received the same benefits. But our Vice President’s priority is his usual media propaganda about social intervention. Due to Covid-19, the country is changing before our eyes and people who downplayed the importance of the infrastructure development recorded under the last administration, have started changing their stancesta
The COVID-19 pandemic or crisis has made our infrastructure deficits even more pressing. Mahama’s efficient investment in cutting edge infrastructure is connecting businesses and workers to more opportunities, advancing the capabilities for remote work, education, and fueling competitiveness. The crisis has shown that we need replication of Mahama’s bold commitment to infrastructure investment now to super charge the Ghanaian economy and help us pull ourselves out of any downturn.
Instead of wasting our taxes on populist policies, we should focus on improving infrastructure planning and decision making by prioritising broader societal needs over narrow parochial interests. This government’s capital spending level is too low to address the country’s infrastructure. The huge revenue being collected by the administration plus taxes, loans, and revenue from cocoa and other commodities are being spent on populist projects for political reasons. Capital spending on health infrastructure, water supply and sanitation is very low and the administration spends significantly less money than it actually allocate to projects. This reduces or stagnates execution of projects earmarked for investment each year. These are the critical issues the Vice President should be tackling. The impact of public investment on economic growth can only be improved if government implement policies that make public investment more efficient. The Terminal 3 project, the Atuabo gas project, the huge investment in the communication sector and the huge investment in the health sector by the Mahama administration is the way to go. Contrary to the propaganda from the ruling party’s stables, the Mahama administration improved the institutions and procedures governing project appraisal, selection and monitoring to ensure we had a sound public investment system. Certain institutions were allowed to borrow for projects implementation on their own strength.
The Vice President forgets that his digitalizing system can only be possible if you improve your telecommunication network. The Mahama administration made efficient investment in the telecommunication sector culminating in the huge progress in telecommunication coverage, expanding at a fast pace across the country. Access to safe water increased significantly under the last administration and electricity was expanded to many communities. The simplest and most effective way to offset the pandemic’s impact on the economy is to add to the infrastructure built by the last administration.
How could China and other countries have handled the deadly disease without their infrastructure projects being built in advance. With all the investments made in the infrastructure sector, the COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the deficits in these countries. After the pandemic is gone, there will certainly be new round of infrastructure investment in these countries to support the system against future occurrences. It is important this government reform and innovate rather than simply relying on the old path, which is wasting our resources. Yea, the paperless idea is laudable. But the Vice President should know that, implementation of that policy which began under the last administration has been possible because the last administration added a new generation of digital infrastructure to the traditional infrastructure development.
So, what has happened to the $1 million one constituency annually promise?. May be, the constituencies will need the amount at this critical point. Our people in the rural areas and even some in our Urban areas, live in poorly ventilated homes, and it is not uncommon for multiple children to share the same small room, on the same small bed. Ten to twenty children share same table and chair in our rural schools. Combined with a lack of potable water, diseases can quickly explode in these communities where the ability to simply wash hands in clean water possess an obstacle. Access to water alone is directly correlated to health, safety, and quality of life.
What we witnessing in the country and in other countries should tell the Vice President that his type of politics is outmoded and empty. His interpretation and understanding of social intervention is wrong and his blame game politics, unnecessary. The communities need the district hospitals to enable them access good health care, we need the teaching hospitals to handle serious cases and to embark on more medical research, we need the hospitals built by state institutions to save our workers. Implementing a national health insurance policy without hospitals is useless.