HANDLING THE PRESIDENT’S PHONE 12
I have not been able to have enough sleep to warrant dreaming. I have been preparing for an engagement that would take a bit of my time in the coming weeks. For that matter, I had less sleep as I had series of areas to cover in preparation.
And so, even though many issues had taken place within the week that left me in no doubt that the president’s phone would be beeping and bleeding with calls, I had no option than to suspend my sleep.
So yesterday I went to bed and then I noticed the phone I had left some couple of days ago did not fully charge. It appears lights had been off for two nights continuously so I did not have enough battery. However, I could at least use the phone for a couple of minutes, if not even an hour as I would stay offline and avoid Internet applications from running.
Just when I was about checking over 360 missed calls to be able to identify the individuals whose calls I missed, I had a call from the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC). They wanted to pick my views on the economic issues in my country. They wanted to know what I make of the rabbits’ version of the budget.
Very well, I told them. I was given time and then later, called and placed me on the line.
Mr Mahama, what do you make of the descriptions of the running mate of the opposition New Patriotic Party in your country of your country? Would you say he had marked you fairly based on your sincere efforts? The host asked.
Well, thank you for the opportunity. I must say I was scandalized listening to my fellow Ghanaian who wants his team to step into my shoes. I posited. He was meant to provide an alternative budget and I could see the deliberate attempts at dodging the main substance for the press engagement. It was a total rehash of previous complains and noises without basis. There is no alternative in that document that you as a journalist could even point to.
Mr President, are you saying there was no grandi for the opposition to come out with their take on your economy?
I am not saying my government knows everything. We are building a nation, but, that journey requires sincerity. We do not have to hit each other when there is absolutely no basis for same. Where cool heads must prevail, let’s allow cool heads to prevail, I added.
Even if my government would have to succumb and admit the need for help, it must be from people who have proven to have the competence to manage this economy.
I heard Dr Bawumia once again mount a scanty attack on my government. He craftily projected the NPPs record as the best. What I would want to find out is, should we engage in redenomination to stabilise the Cedi once again, a solution they proffered when faced with similar situation in 2007? Should we sell state assets to pay salaries? Should I set up a new Metro Mass Transit when there is one?
Let me even depart a bit and credit them with Health Insurance. Should I establish a new one?
Why must I go looking for new interventions when even the ones they brought requires restructuring? School feeding which was feeding about 400,000 school children under their regime is today feeding about 1,800,000 school children. That is a jump and a giant stride. We have introduced computer per child, free school uniforms, free exercise books which had distributed over 10,000,000 exercise books to students and free textbooks in schools.
I have just brought on board 117 buses for Metro Mass out of a total package. That is an improvement. The health insurance OPD attendance under their term was about some 9 million. Today, the record is at about 29 million. This cannot be said to be a collapsing scheme? Yes, we may be facing some challenges, but that is not enough to spell doom and paint gloom.
I understand we must have to agree to disagree but that must be done in a civil manner. You don’t go and stand on a platform and insult me before thinking you have done something.
Mr President, particularly, I would make reference to the position of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) that the Dr spoke about. Is it not the case that your administration recorded the lowest and growing at a snail-pace?
I am scandalized to hear Bawumia attempting to equate the GDP figures of the NPP to what the NDC from 2009 had achieved. Well, just ask yourself one simple question. Was the NDC out of power in 2011? Why did he then make only a mistake of omitting the GDP figures of the NDC in that year? That was the year we had a growth of above 15%. An unprecedented achievement. We reduced inflation to single digit for 36 months running.
I am particularly concerned about the livelihood of the people rather than these economic jargons. But since that is their measure, I would proceed a bit to engage them in their own terms.
Let’s compare some GDP figures in their 8-year period to figures from 2009. I would want you to help determine…….. Kpiiim, kpiiiiiiiiiim, kpiiiiimmmmm.
The line had dropped as the phone gets low on battery.
……… To be continued………