HANDLING THE PRESIDENT’S PHONE 15
From political quantity surveyors, to cement (inflation) politicians, to plantain politicians, and now pension tax politicians as well as sugar politicians. Well, the effects of having no message heading into an elections with a formidable candidate.
You know, I got many messages on my bosses phone in relation to some two major issues over the past week. The first was with reference to some supposed taxes on pensions and the second on the just commissioned Komenda Sugar factory.
I could not understand why we sometimes do this to ourselves. It is very disheartening. But before I proceed, I have noted the praises sang to the president by the president of Ivory Coast when he was honouring him. Indeed, the kind and genuine words, compared to the insults rained on him each passing day, are enough to break a person down.
Whatever the case, the Good Book had established from ancient days that a prophet is never honoured in his own home. If my boss JM has become a mentor to Alassane Ouattara, and Ouattara is a mentor to Opana, then JM, by every stretch of imagination, is a chief mentor to Opana. This simple thing is much difficult to admit.
In response to the numerous messages I received on the stated subjects, I presented, yes, when it got to my turn as president, they wished everything was different. For the first time, cement was added to the inflation basket; a practice that never was when the one month single digit inflation target of the NPP was achieved. Then I noticed how dishonest some economists can become.
Then Opana took to political quantity surveying determining cost for projects, an area he is completely clueless about. No wonder his own minority ranking member had to point to him that he lied on the figures he churned out. But you see, it is no longer about what makes sense. No message so anything goes.
Then the economics ‘wizkid’ or ‘wizard’ descended and no one can call to question him. Thanks to the Deputy Finance Minister for putting it rightly to him.
Hahaha you hear him, “I will remove taxes on pensions. The NPP will not tax pension allowances”. The simple question is, are pensions income taxed currently? I can report that pension allowances in this country are not taxed. This is an express instruction from the constitution of Ghana.
In any case, Article 174 (1) of the 1992 Constitution states “No taxation shall be imposed otherwise than by or under the authority of an Act of Parliament”. What this presents is that, should there even arise a discussion to that effect which is not the case, no government of Ghana can impose tax on the citizens without the prior approval of parliament. Once approved by parliament, it is deemed a law binding after assented by the President. It knows no minority nor majority thereafter.
You see, we seem not to consider processes and procedures in this country. For that matter, we do not know whom to hold accountable when we need people to hold accountable.
I have held this issue for long. You have a government that is headed by a president elected by the people. He forms a government, which government drafts and present bills to parliament for consideration and approval.
Now, let’s assume government presents a “stupid” paper before parliament which parliament ended up approving after 1st, 2nd and 3rd reading subsequent to approval by a committee of the House, should the government take blame?
You see, hmmmmm are you aware your members of parliament are expected to meet with you at every recession? When was the last time you saw your member of parliament? Meeting them was supposed to be the time to get briefing on bills on the table for consideration.
There, you the citizens are expected to give your express approval or rejection on such subjects under consideration which is expected to be the position of your members of parliament. But, since that never happens, they assume to know you better than yourselves.
Very well, I should assume you know all these. If we can begin demanding a little more accountability from our own representatives, some of these would fall in line. As stated earlier, my government is not taxing pensions, and has not placed that on the table for any discussion or consideration.
I am dazed at the sugar politics that has entered our national political discourse. No matter what, no matter the state of the factory, it has been commissioned and has come to stay. And, who are those sighting the closeness of the factory to the sea as a problem? Eeeeiii, hmmmmm have they now become sea experts? My simple response is that Tema Oil Refinery is located near the sea but had been around since the 1960s. Next joke please.
Eheeerr, I heard and read the arguments on the absence of sugar cane. Then I listened to the Deputy Communication Minister Felix Kwakye Ofosu ask Dr. Nduom specifically if he had started enrolling students in the university he is building and I think that was a perfect response to these deliberately mischievous characters.
If for nothing at all, the factory presents a greater opportunity to for farmers as they are assured of a ready market for their produce. Then I read someone also ask, what if the sugar cane were ready and the factory failed to complete on time causing the canes to go bad, would my government be called upon to pay for them? Hmmmmm! Am not sure some people really know what they want except to hang on everything and anything.
In all of these, the twist the media gives to sourced information is helping people who should know better to become misinformed.
Having sighted the gullible nature of consumers of their products, they have shamefully thrown out from the window, their professional ethics that demands fair and balance reportage.
Well, as I said, let us begin to demand responsibility and accountability from those we need to get them from including the media, and we shall all be happy and fine.
………to be continued……..