Wednesday, April 27, 2011

About President Mills And The Economy

Ghanaians across the length and breadth of the country are sharing their opinion on the performance of the President Mills led administration 22 months before the country goes to the polls. What the people say brings you the views of the constituents of Abeka,a suburb of Accra, about the President and the Economy;

“Three years of the President Mills led administration has had many success stories in many spheres of our national life but there are a few challenges which I believe would be addressed with time. My only worry has to do with the viciousness with which the A.M.A is hounding people who are selling by the side of the road in order to make a living. We have come from villages far and near to work so we can send something home. There are not many opportunities in the villages and that is why we have seen the need to come and work in the capital so if they drive us away, where do they expect us to go? The President must call the A.M.A boss and talk to him because he is causing a lot of bad blood for him.”

“I deal in petroleum products and I manage this filing station here at Abeka. To be quite honest , I believe the President has done marvelously well when it comes to quality healthcare and national security. I say so because before he came to power, we were compelled to close very early before night falls because of the frequency with which armed robbers attacked this station. These days we can decide to even close at 1 am without fear of attacks from robbers. But I have a concern which has to do with the recent increment of petrol prices on the international market. The price of petrol has gone up on the international market but the government is refusing to increase the prices. When the price change is accumulated for a very long time and it is increased later, that is what causes people to wail and cry. There must be an upward adjustment now.”

“From the way things are going I think with some more time the President would deliver all of his promises. There are many difficulties facing him but he has applied patience, maturity,steadfastness and I know everything would be alright soon. Anyone who has traveled across the country recently would testify to the massive road construction that is taking place in every nook and cranny. It is just a matter of time and I am sure by the time he completes his 8 years Ghana would have transformed to appreciable levels.”


“Many people are complaining there is not enough money in the country which is quite true but I think there is improvement in other sectors of the economy. With regards to education, I know there has been the construction of more classrooms in other parts of the country and parents are being encouraged to send their wards to school. With the stability we have achieved, I believe we must now start looking at how to create more jobs for Ghanaians. Although people are happy and would make good comments about the performance of the government, they think it is not doing enough when it comes to job creation.”

“I want to advice that running a country is not like managing a shop. Let us allow the President to finish his full tenure of office then we can decide what to do with him. In any case if we are to make a comparison between what is happening now and what the situation was before he came into office, it is only fair that we give him additional 4 years. For me, I think there are a few challenges we are faced with as a country but a lot of good has happened over the past 2 to 3 years and we must consider those whenever we come to talk of the performance of the President. Who doesn’t know that there has been an increase in the production of food in this country? As we speak, there is the expansion and construction of new rail networks all over the country and that is a plus. Education and health have also received some attention so why shouldn’t we give President Mills another term?

“I do not know the President but I think ever since he came to power, our business has improved very much. It is only 10 am in the morning and we have already sold 2 of the big aluminum pot of “Hausa Koko”. There is so much competition in the business but I think when one is strategic, you can also make ends meet. The national ID card for healthcare is also working very well and so the President has done well.”

“So soon Ghanaians have forgotten the hardship that was brought on this country by the previous administration. Before Kufuor left office, there was so many problems in this country that people prayed that the man left office. There was shortage of food, access to water was not available in many places and electricity was being rationed all over the place. Compare those times to what is happening now and you would easily come to appreciate the remarkable developments we have witnessed in this country. Let’s be a little objective and speak the truth so that the Almighty God would shower his blessings upon us. Professor Mills must be given another 4 years so that we can see exactly what he has done. I any case he has chased no man’s wife and I have not heard news of him having bought a hotel for his son”

“President Mills has made some good progress right from the evacuation of Ghanaians from Libya to some pressing domestic problems but there are many more expectations of him. We all do know in Ghana today, money has become short in the system and as a tailor, I have many customers who are not able to pay for the dress I sow for them. Unemployment has also become another pressing issue and we need to take steps as a country to resolve that problem. The pressure on the few people who are working has become so much because those in gainful employment have had to take care of their friends who are unemployed. We must do something about it. At least we must start the construction of factories in all the regions so that those of our brothers who are compelled to come in search of jobs in
Accra can take advantage of those factories and work there for survival.”

About The Prices of Food And Suggestions on How To Increase Food Production

Over the period, there has been marginal increases in the prices of certain food items. However, I believe the time has come for the state to have a well defined policy on food production and sustainability. We must now be able to feed ourselves and if possible export some to countries where we can find good markets. No country, especially like Ghana, must live at the mercy of another country to provide us food when we have arable lands to produce food on a very large scale to feed our people”

One observation I have made is that the price of imported rice has shot up whilst that which is produced locally is sold at a reasonable price. Apart from the aroma of the foreign rice which makes it attractive, the locally produced ones taste much delicious and that because of the very good quality of that rice. We all need to help in promoting the locally produced rice so that when its distribution takes place on a large scale, the price of rice would also fall. This is a duty and a responsibility of each and every one of us to help promote the rice our hard working farmers grow in order that they would also be happy and continue to grow more food to feed the nation. In so doing we need to stop our over-reliance on imported rice.”

There is something happening which most people do not realize. I believe the government and its agencies are trying to encourage the patronage of locally manufactured goods and that might account for the reason for the rise in the prices of imported items apart from food. Pomade and other household items which are imported have all gone up in prices. However, I believe any such programme by government would be successful only when we put in place the proper structures either to help grow indigenous business or the government itself must start the building of factories and industries all over the country which would provide for the needs of our people.”

I am a store-keeper over here and what I can say with emphasis in relation to your question is that, the prices of certain food items have witnessed appreciation in prices. For instance in this shop I sell all kinds of rice especially the imported ones. Sultana rice was selling at GHC 12 for every 5 kg last December. Now we are compelled to sell it for GHC 14. A 5kg bag of Uncle Sam’s rice was selling at GHC 11 but as we speak I sell it for GHC13 and the same goes for Gino rice which was sold at GHC13 but is now selling at GHC 15. However, locally produced rice like Special Rice is much cheaper compared to the imported ones. It is not our fault that rice has become expensive. The duty one has to pay at the ports is one of the reasons for the increment.”

Well I believe it is common knowledge that all kinds of food items come with season and because we continue to rely on rainfall as our main source of cultivation of food and given the instability we have in weather conditions, one cannot determine with accuracy the availability and the prices of food on the market. One other difficulty is that we have become accustomed to imported food items and we keep relying on them so even when there is a reduction and an  improvement in the availability of food on the market, our craving for foreign rice and all the others do not make us realize what is happening”

Well, the price of food items have changed but the products are also on the market. The only problem is that the amount of money needed to buy a particular product has gone up. It is therefore my believe that when people are employed and are paid reasonable salaries, they would be able to purchase whatever commodity they might need.”

There are many people who would want to believe that food becomes abundant in seasons but I do not believe so. In this country whether food is in season or out of season the prices of foodstuff have always remained the same because apart from the price at which farmers sell their farm produce to the market women there is also the problem of transportation cost. The recent increases in the price of fuel has had a direct effect on the price of goods and services and the effect is being felt in other areas of the economy”

Human beings need some basics of life before he can be able to contribute towards the development of the nation and access to food is one of them. Before anyone can apply his strength in any activity, food must be present in his or her stomach and that is why it is important we take steps as a country to ensure that there is always availability of food at very affordable prices. We have always lamented over the fact that millions of gallons of water from the Volta lake flows into the sea and yet we sit by and do nothing to tap this very valuable and allow this cheap resource to go waste every passing day. The leadership of this country must wake up and make the people of this country realize the need for them to work for the development of the nation.”