When celebrated reggae artist, the late Lucky Dube, said “we’re living in a crazy world”, he actually knew what he was talking about. Indeed, Akufo Addo/Bawumia government has proven that we are really living in a ‘crazier world’. It’s a crazy world being managed by crazy people, and Akufo Addo and Bawumia are no exception.
In case you’ve not heard the news, the Akufo Addo/Bawumia government has decided to use PUBLIC FUNDS to pay GHC4500 as subsidy for each of the 5500 potential pilgrims for this year’s Hajj. According to Chairman of the Hajj Board, Sheikh IC Quaye, though the fare for this year’s Hajj has ballooned to GHC19,500 for each potential pilgrim, government has pegged the fare at GHC15000 in order to absorb the GHC4500 increment.
For the 5500 pilgrims, the Akufo Addo/Bawumia government will spend GHC24,750,000 of ‘hard’ public funds on persons who would go on religious journey for their own sake. There is no good reason to justify this reckless and wasteful spending. What would the country gain from this unreasonable spending? This headless spending has been announced at a time almost every sector of the national economy is on its knees begging for funds.
Public sector workers are threatening to go on strike over unpaid allowances, contractors are breathing on the shoulders of government to pay monies owed them, NSS personnel have not been paid, trainee teachers and nurses are also struggling to get their allowances, the public sector is not employing due to lack of funds, funds for NHIS is in arrears, district assembly common fund is also in arrears, MPs are complaining about their salaries, the Ghana at 60 committee constituted by government to build libraries across the country has stopped meeting due to lack of funds, the free form 1 SHS is gradually becoming a white elephant, there is no commitment to fulfilling the one district, one dam; one constituency, $1m; one district, one factory promises, nothing is being said about the pledge to build 350 new SHS, there is unexplained hardship across the country, public debt is ballooning at a fast pace though we’re told Ghana beyond aid, crime is on the ascendancy due to lack of ‘tools’ for the security services etc.
In all these biting challenges which need urgent attention, Akufo Addo/Bawumia decided to shower GHC24,750,000 free cash on all pilgrims. The reason for this wasteful spending, Sheik I C Quaye explained, is to allow many people to embark on the holy journey to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Is this not senseless? Government has no business supporting anybody to perform hajj. That exercise is an individual affair and must be allowed to remain as such.
It will interest you to know that out of the 5500 people, almost half or quarter will be party loyalists who will not pay a dim to embark on the trip. We engage in this reckless spending at the expense of ordinary Ghanaians who have no portable water to drink, school children without classroom blocks and desks. May God save us from this directionless Akufo Addo/Bawumia government.