As we lick our wounds, and hope that the current global economic crisis eases sooner rather than later, we must also stress the point that those who are privileged to be serving in government must go the extra mile to take the country through the dance with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
The people want to see the readiness or poise of these appointees to deliver, sector by sector, in line with the relevant country programme.
This is important because we have reached a critical point in our national development where some extra sense of urgency must be seen in whatever we do as a nation.
The point is that citizens may no longer be patient with government, unless it could prove presto that appointees would be ready to go the extra mile to get the nation out of this emergency.
Clearly, the job creation sector is inevitably important in the journey we are about to take. This would mean putting in place some strategic interventions by the leadership leading that sector.
That is because we may, in the process of implementing the forthcoming programme, be constricted somewhat or delayed in sustaining our modest job creation tempo, particularly in key sectors like health and education.
For government not to fall into that temptation, it must drastically innovate, realistically looking at the huge job creation deficit. Already, working families will continue to be disadvantaged, and we cannot afford to add to the already turbulent situation in homes and communities.
Can’t be ordinary
If we survived the COVID-19 pandemic in terms of food security, the Russia-Ukraine conflict appeared to have exposed us for our inability to lay adequate structures for enhanced and sustainable national food security delivery programme.
Without COVID-19, at a point, we patted ourselves on the back, and beat our chests for having had enough of some produce, including tomato, to export to Burkina Faso and Togo.
With the nation facing such massive unexpected realities, government cannot afford to do things in the ordinary manner, and expect that desirable results would come handy.
That, of course, means leadership at all levels – from state and non-state levels, through markets administration machinery, to our spending officers who sometimes ignore basic financial administration tenets, and inflict pain on the citizenry through deliberate slips that benefit them.
Thankfully, government already has an unfolding industrialisation agenda that is modestly delivering. Leadership means accelerating it to deliver optimally. With cost of borrowing getting higher, access to the money market by the very populous lower-rung actors in the economy will be reduced, threatening mass survival, unless government intervenes.
But it is also imperative that industrialists begin to look at producing here more of the basic things in processed foods and hardware that we import from China and Turkey for domestic, real estate or other purposes.
As the experts would agree, there will always be costs to such major national restructuring programmes with the IMF, as we witnessed under the Jerry John Rawlings’s Provisional National Defence Council (PNDC) administration.
That is where another layer of leadership is needed in ensuring that empowerment programmes, for instance, are effectively and indiscriminately rolled out for the benefit of the most poor and vulnerable in society.
We are in critical times, and we must certainly brace up and fly, or wring our hands in despair. That’s a choice we will have to make as nation, government and citizens.