It is normal for governments every year to present a budget to their Parliaments in fulfilling agendas for development, growth, recovery or stabilisation, depending on the situation that a particular government finds itself.
The current political administration, headed by Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, had a challenge of coming into office with the nation saddled with an International Monetary Fund (IMF) Programme.
Fortunately, commitment and competency combined to surmount the challenges that drove the nation to the Programme, and the new government exited strongly and successfully.
Before the celebration had died down, the global community was thrown into socio-economic chaos over a pandemic that forced humanity into hibernation and drastically reduced productivity across all nations and continents.
Just when the venom of the pandemic was thinning, a major breadbasket and oil supply base of the world in Eastern Europe caught fire, putting the global community again in jeopardy. This resulted in soaring costs of food, fuel and transport. It also involved unimaginable hikes in freight cost, fuelling high inflation in Ghana and other not-so-resilient economies.
Loss of jobs, food security challenges, businesses folding up and banks and other financial institutions going under became a normal feature of the average economy.
Worse in the case of Ghana is the accident of hyper-inflation which resulted in the cedi hitting the roof, with the ordinary Ghanaian caught in the eye of the storm.
In seeking local remedies to return to the IMF Programme, government recently met state enterprises’ chiefs and board chairpersons to brainstorm on what contribution they are bringing on board to help secure the rebound expected under the Programme.
While the general public or civil society, for that matter, appreciate the modest efforts by government or its appointees at working harder to redeem the fortunes of the country, the Daily Statesman believes that beyond any written or unwritten performance contract, these CEOs and board chairs must begin in earnest to commit to targets as proof of good faith.
Such commitment is necessary in assuring the general public that brainstorm sessions, such as we saw, are no usual formalities. Such demands on appointees become compelling because almost 50 per cent of the state enterprises, according to the Finance Ministry, failed to post profit, despite government financial support to them.
So that appointees become steady and alert to the situation, the Daily Statesman further expects that such commitment to support rebound comes with documented details on projects and programmes to be executed and gains expected to be derived from such transformational programmes and projects.
Appointees working at their own pace is normal in normal times. It is, however, a different story when the nation is at ‘war’. Particularly when the government cannot afford to let the party down in living up to promises to the good people of Ghana and ‘Breaking the Eight’, expectations should be higher in beginning to see results.
According to global research institutions, food security, for instance, should be a priority for any serious government, with tourism also presenting strong prospects for growth.
It is against that background that the Daily Statesman would urge the leadership of the ruling party, the Executive and appointees to begin that journey of earnestly showing extra commitment.
Of course, because such commitment cannot be made in a vacuum, relevant rebound programmes must be publicised and shared with the community in ensuring that Ghanaians and constituencies own them.
But it is also important that state enterprises that failed to make profit last year or two begin to make profit to prove progress. That would mean less and less numbers going under, and more and more state enterprises showing profit to prove that rebound commitment.
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