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03.01.2022 Letter

Open Letter To President Akufo-Addo On Some Pertinent National Issues

By Major Mohammed Bogobiri (Rtd)
Open Letter To President Akufo-Addo On Some Pertinent National Issues
03.01.2022 LISTEN

Dear Mr President of the Republic of Ghana,

First of all, I wish you and the very hardworking First Lady a Prosperous New Year.

Mr President, in line with your clarion call that the populace should be good citizens by speaking the truth to National Power (Authority), so I write to talk about the truth about Ghana.

Mr President, I humbly feel that, as a senior citizen with vast experience made possible by the Almighty God through the Tax payers of Ghana, I have the responsibility to pay back the investments of the people of Ghana by continue to be providing services to my Country, Mankind and History, by contributing to good governance, among others by providing good advice to help reduce the hardship being endured by the Citizenry for the stability of Ghana.

Mr President, it is normally said that most leaders are chosen by Almighty God for his people, and the Holy Bible at Ecclesiastes 3 says that ‘There is Time for Everything’. Hence, one may be right to say that your earlier two unsuccessful attempts to become the President of Ghana were meant to toughen you, God’s chosen (preferred) Ghanaian to rule Ghana around this time, in order to navigate the Country out of the calamity of the COVID-19 pandemic faced globally. The pandemic has caused or is causing havoc to economies including that of Ghana, with the associated risks especially its effects in the dynamic economics of the world with high uncertainties and expectations playing crucial parts.

Mr President, due to the devastated effects of the COVID-19 pandemic to the Economy of most countries including Ghana and the issue of the first Hung Parliament in the current governance system, the period under your Presidency should be regarded as a new dawn. That is to say, a new or unique beginning or a New Birth of Ghana. Since it is only God Who causes New Birth, so after fortifying you fully with leadership spirit, God then nominated you in 2016 to lead or sail us (the citizenry of Ghana) through these trying times (crisis). So, Mr President you are right when you attributed the hardships in the Country to the COIVID-19 pandemic. But as the Head of State, you must take responsibility for the hardship (risk) as the Risk Owner so you are expected to work hard to mitigate the risk.

Mr President, the suffering being endured is part and parcel of being human and this tough time is a game changer, to change our attitude (which is our secret weapon) to a new direction of prosperity. So Mr President, with a change of attitude, I hereby confidently prophesies (predict) that 2022 to be a very good year for the citizenry.

Mr President, pardon me to reiterate your statements that you cannot revive a dead man but God willing you can revive a dead economy. This message really signaled the starting of a New Birth at a point in time. Mr President sufficed to say, your era of Presidency would demonstrate three phases, namely Phase one-the falling action (effects of COVID-19 pandemic to the economy, hence the citizenry or the suffering phase), then Phase Two - period of rising action by change of attitude in order to navigate through obstacles to the climax or turning point and lastly phase three- the period of recovery and upturn (success) point. So I predict 2022 will see a positive change of the citizenry attitude, thus going to be a very good year. Mr President, these three phases need to be explained very well to the citizenry.

Mr President, the citizenry need to be constantly reminded about the massive devastating effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the national economy, for them to value your good management of the COVID-19 pandemic, which was made possible due to the excellent support from the medical and environmental personnel, Zoomlion, the International Community, the support of the Private Sector under the championship of Mr Senyo Hosi (the CEO of Bulk Oil Distributors). As well as the support from the Ashantehene and some Chiefs, Religious Leaders, the Chairman of the Council of State and the Hon Members of the Council of State for their personal contributions/donation of over GHC320,000. Lastly, the huge cash and logistic support (PPE and food items) from His Excellency Ex-President JDM Mahama (H.E.JDM) worth commending and documented.

The support from H.E.JDM and others really demonstrated that, the Nation was united behind you, the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces to combat a common enemy (COVID-19 pandemic). Their support really made you to achieve a success story with minimum casualty from the infection of Coronavirus (COVID-19 pandemic), hence, you are the Show Boy of Africa/an International Icon.

But, Mr President, due to the seemingly success story in the containment of COVID-19 pandemic, some of the citizenry are failing to appreciate that the era of COVID-19 pandemic is very different from the years before the invasion of the COVID-19 pandemic and that the years thereafter that is post-COVID-19 pandemic is also going to be very different.

This failure to acknowledge the vast variations, has made some of the citizenry to indulge in pointless exercises of comparing notes of your regime with previous regimes presumably due to lack of appreciation that the situations are not the same and will never be the same. That is to say Ghana before the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic is very different from Ghana within the era of COVID-19 pandemic with its implication and Ghana thereafter will also be very different. The affected citizens need to be educated why Economists normally say all things being equal (Ceteris Paribus) when comparing two situations.

Mr President, instead of urging fellow citizens to unite through building consensus on National issues, so that Ghana will be blessed with the dividend for being united as one people, one Nation with a common purpose of building Ghana beyond Aid under your leadership, our Anchor (hope) to sail us through this very hard times, some people in your Party have been making the pointless and divisive cacophony that your Party has the Majority in the Hung Parliament as well as breaking the 8 agenda.

Mr President, the persons involved in this cacophony, have really failed to appreciate that in 2008 you led or nearly won as the President-Elect in the first round of the Presidential Election but the NDC Party won remarkable majority seats for the 5th Parliament or so. So if you had won the Presidential Election either the main one or the second round in 2008, your party would have been designated as the Minority in Parliament, though it would have been the Ruling Party. This would have required you (Head of the Executive Arm of Government) and the Minority leader in Parliament to employ efficient negotiation skills to negotiate with a huge Majority members in Parliament from the NDC Party, for collaborative efforts for Win-Win outcomes, otherwise very difficult in governing (ruling) would have been the case.

So, It is disheartened to note that with the current situation of a Hung Parliament (which the Electorates of Ghana for that matter God gave us for a very good reason in the 2020 election which saw no clear Majority Party in Parliament, thus as a strong measure to make the 8th Parliament more responsible to its mandates by waking up to perform its oversight functions of monitoring and reviewing the action of the Executive in line with the separations of powers as propounded by Montesquieu) , you and your party are failing to employ the expected high level negotiations skills as and when necessary to deal with national issues with national security implications. Otherwise, it demo real lack of negotiation skills by the Executive Arms of Government and the Leadership of your Political Party in the Hung Parliament, thus making the country to suffer from this seemingly incompetency.

So, Mr President, it is very unfortunate that you and your Party continue to be talking of Majority in Parliament, an act with divisive potentials, envisaged as likely threat to National Security. It really demo a failure by you and your Party to appreciate that we are still in the era of COVID-19 pandemic and or other reasons so your cacophony slim or narrow majority in the Hung Parliament can be lost at any time ‘T’. Hence, Mr President, you as the Head of State is required to ensure that the citizenry unite behind you, our Anchor. So please sir, you and your party must tone down the rhetoric and employ efficient negotiation skills to negotiate with other stakeholders towards Win-Win Outcomes (Common Ground).

Mr President, the above narrations and others have necessitated my submission to you, the President of Republic of Ghana, the Head of State, the Head of Government and the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ghana, therefore the Risk Owner of the risks associated with Ghana, hence represent an “embodiment” of the 1992 Constitution so you must therefore uphold, preserve, protect and defend it all times .

Mr President, section (6) of Article 257 of the 1992 Constitution which vested every mineral within Ghana in the President on behalf of and in trust for the people of Ghana implies that the President of Ghana must ensure the State of Ghana gains much from both metallic minerals like Gold, Manganese (transition metal), Aluminum from bauxite ore, Iron etc and industrial minerals like Limestone and Clay for cement, Salt, Sand, Granite etc.

Hence, Mr President, you, the chosen one by God must adopt a business model for the maximization of revenue from Gold and other minerals for the development of the State, so that this could help you not to consider to impose obnoxious taxes which have the potential to increase the suffering of the poor citizens of Ghana, due to the debilitating effects on their finances.

So, Mr President, the Agyapa Royalties is a brilliant idea, it demonstrated a reasoning outside the box which could facilitate the killing of two birds with one stone that is raising revenue from the extractive industry by floating shares in the capital market and also creating opportunity for the citizenry to buy shares to be floated in the local capital market (Stock Exchange) for the citizens to invest in it. Thus providing a sense and a source of ownership of the minerals by the citizenry as shareholders in the equity market and enjoy dividend from their shares. Unfortunately, the poor handling of the Agyapa Royalties Policy, has made some of the people of Ghana to kick against it. The poor handling even gave the Hon Mr Martin Amidu a lucrative opportunity to make unpalatable remarks against the person of the President of Ghana, the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ghana.

Mr President, Hon Mr Martin Amidu’s, exposure in public that the initial Agyapa Royalties Policy contained the mother of all suspended corruption and corruption-related offences hence a corruption scheme by your Administration, also speaks volume of the errors or unpatriotic nature otherwise the incompetency of the Hon Members of Parliament of the Seventh Parliament of the 4th Republic, especially the Hon Members of Parliament from your party.

This very poor job or disservice that gave Martin a lucrative chance to say that the initial Agyapa Royalties Policy was a corruption scheme by you, was capitalized by your opponents and thus increased the number of oppositions against a brilliant investment portfolio but wrongly prepared by the Hon Minister for Finance and presented to the then Parliament which also woefully failed to scrutinize it for any risk to the State, hence, an act which suggested that then members of 7th Parliament’s woefully failed to perform or neglected their oversight function of monitoring and reviewing actions of the Executive arm of Government etc. to give the true meaning of separation of powers.

Mr President, this corruption allegation, nearly cost your re-election for the second time. Mr President, with your good work in your first term, especially the Free SHS Agenda, the efficient National Ambulance system, IDIF, NABCO, Sanitation plants or projects, the roads, etc coupled with how you managed the COVID-19 pandemic, it was expected that in the 2020 election the gap between you and His Excellency Ex-President JD Mahama would have widened by a margin more than that of the 2016 election.

Hmm, we should now appreciate why God through the Citizenry gave us a Hung Parliament to ensure Members of Parliament perform their role of monitoring and reviewing actions of the Executive Arm of Government and not to act as a rubber stamp or members do not act like Post Masters, stamping, stamping mails sent to them without scrutiny/analyzing for its effect to the electorates. The MPs must be told that God through the voters instituted a Hung Parliament to make the Hon Members of Parliament more responsible for the best interest of the citizenry among others on matters like taxes (collection and usage) through excellent analysis of a Financial Policy in order to arrest the passage of a corruption or looting scheme by Parliament into a law or the MPs check and prevent wasteful expenditures.

Mr President, the 1.75% E-levy before the current Parliament which has received and is receiving a lot of opposition from a greater number of the citizenry and which should be seen as the remote cause of the recent brawl in Parliament, speaks volume of a possible hidden agenda as to be explained below. It also demonstrated that some of your lieutenants continued to be doing things without broad Stakeholders engagements for collaborative effort for win-win solutions.

It is unfortunate that the same Hon Minister for Finance has not learnt a big lesson from why the Agyapa Royalties is still a deadlock, so that he fine tunes another crucial novel financial policy for the attainment of a common ground, otherwise the E-levy policy which is of a huge national interest, if not well managed may cause serious national security implications.

Mr President, the recent brawl in Parliament has given a wrong impression of poor negotiation skills by the Majority Leader and it has indicated how sound and prudent judgment (COMMON SENSE) is deficient (lacking) in our nation.

Mr President, some people failed in the past to appreciate the importance for the determination of the contributing factor(s) or the circumstance(s) or facts (both the remote cause and proximity or immediate cause) that led to an incident of national or public interest. But with my experience as one time a convening authority in the Military, I understood the situation when I read the report of the Ayawaso West Wuogon Commission. The Commission woefully failed to make proper analysis or valuation of the Intelligence upon which the SWAT Team acted which would have led to a different conclusion. So I vehemently supported your argument or rejection on part of the Report of the Ayawaso West Wuogon Commission anytime I had the chance to comment. To repeat I agreed with you that the Report woefully failed to address the main terms of reference, that were the identification of the contributing factors or circumstances of facts that led to the incidents.

The National Security personnel were sent there based on crucial intelligence gathered as alleged (could be true or false). What happened there, that is the situation on the ground may involve e both underlying cause (potential of an event) and proximity cause (why the event happened) especially why the application of force continuum (minimum force). The application of reasonably justifiable force by security team may depend on the proximity cause the situation in the Heat of the Moment or as self defence or to arrest a situation as permissible in section 2 of Article 13 of the 1992 Constitution.

Mr President, It is therefore not a surprise that most discussants on the recent brawl in Parliament are suffering from the same disease or problem, the jump into conclusion and apportion wrong blame left, right and centre without identifying the proximity cause that led to the incident or what ignited an act in the Heat of the Moment.

Mr President, I know you or the Council of State or Parliament may wish to conduct a Commission of Inquiry into the recent incident in Parliament. Mr President, there is no time and we do not need to waste hard cash. So I wish to inform you that the immediate contributory factor to the recent brawl in Parliament was the attempt by THE SPEAKER of Parliament to VOTE on his (the SPEAKER’s) decision in a vote by division invoked by a Hon Member of Parliament challenging THE SPEAKER’s decision that the yes voice vote had it. It suggested a failure to apply sound and prudent judgment (Common Sense) by the SPEAKER. Firstly, I cannot tell how seniority work in Parliament but as ex-Military Officer I can confidently say that it will be improper for a 3IC to preside over a matter that will give him the authority to discipline the 21C or the CO.

Secondly, Madame Patricia Cochran, a onetime law lecturer at Columbia University indicated that with careful attention, common sense which she described as the hidden transcript of Law can be used in legal judgment in the democratic and community process to deal with legal issues.

Thirdly, Mr President, in a lecture by Lord Kerr, a Justice of the Supreme Court of United Kingdom, he indicated that Judges and Lawyers need to strike the balance between Common Sense and Legal Reasoning in their judgment or work.

So, Mr President, accept me as a Juror for the reviewing of the incident. Hence I am going to apply Common Sense to deal with the recent brawl in Parliament as related to Constitutional provisions. Mr President, Section (2) of Article 104 of the 1992 Constitution prohibits THE SPEAKER from voting at all. (He has no an original vote and no casting vote).

Mr President, Section (3) of Article 95 of the 1992 Constitution is crucial since it is very clear that ‘No Business Shall be transacted in Parliament other than an election of speaker when the Office of THE SPEAKER is vacant’. Rt Hon SK Bagbin took a leave of absence, making the Office of the Speaker vacant during a business to be transacted in Parliament. Hence, a Deputy Speaker, must be nominated as THE SPEAKER to preside during the transaction of the business in Parliament as required in Section (3) of Article 95 of the 1992 Constitution. Consequently, he or she, THE SPEAKER was ushered into Parliament by the Marshal of Parliament carrying the Mace, which is the symbol of authority of THE SPEAKER of Parliament, as the SPEAKER he occupies the seat of THE SPEAKER which he did as THE SPEAKER for the transaction of business. The Mace, THE SPEAKER’s symbol of authority is placed by the Marshal around THE SPEAKER of Parliament, this met the requirement of Section (3) of Article 95 of the 1992 Constitution.

Mr President, he or she must be seen to be impartial and fair, hence members on the Floor shall or are required to address the Presiding Officer as Mr SPEAKER or Madam SPEAKER hence THE SPEAKER, denoting the chair with authority to discipline or control anyone on the Floor is THE SPEAKER. So a Deputy Speaker presiding over a business transaction in Parliament is THE SPEAKER which Section (2) of Article 104 of the 1992 Constitution prohibits him or her as THE SPEAKER from voting whether by voice or by division (head count) to decide the side which won a motion .

THE SPEAKER is the Risk Owner of a motion or matter put on Vote, the result of the vote on the motion is considered at that material moment on the day in question as the decision of THE SPEAKER at that material moment in Parliament. Hence, every action of the Deputy Speaker when acting in the Speaker’s place has the same effect and validity as if the Speaker had acted so he is THE SPEAKER, because it is only the presiding of THE SPEAKER during business transaction that can validate any motion in Parliament.

Mr President, on the day in question, THE SPEAKER, on the Chair (Rt Hon Speaker Mr Joe Owusu) as a seasoned lawyer should have known that beside the unconstitutionality of his attempted unspeakable act, his attempt to vote in a very tense situation could generate spontaneous angers in some members that could trigger a spontaneous acts in the Heat of the Moment to arrest his unspeakable act. So it was the attempted unspeakable act by THE SPEAKER that caused the recent brawl and this must be condemned by all to prevent future occurrences.

Section (2) (d) of Article 13 of the 1992 Constitution of Ghana, will be the defence of the gallant Hon Members. These patriotic citizens did a very good job by using reasonably justifiable force to uphold, preserve, defend and protect the 1992 Constitution of Ghana. Indeed the Force the gallant men and women used was reasonably justifiable to prevent THE SPEAKER from committing a crime (wrong or offence). He should be very grateful to the gallant men and women for saving him from punishment, including the lost of his seat as a Hon MP.

Mr President, Hon Mr Joe Owusu should be informed that we the people of Ghana who gave ourselves the 1992 Constitution put in place Article 105 of the 1992 Constitution of Ghana to punish anyone having reasonable grounds for knowing he or she is not entitled to vote and does so. This is aimed to deter the attempted unspeakable act of Speaker Mr Joe Owusu. He was/is a very lucky man. He should thank God for safeguarding his seat.

Mr President, we the people of Ghana need not to be reminded that the loss or defeat of the ex-President Liman’s 1981/1982 budget in Parliament contributed to the 31 December Coup of 1981 and also the few amenities Coup on 13 January 972 was due to the austerity budget of the Busia Regime which allegedly affected the corporate interest of the Ghana Armed Forces. These two examples were exploited by the affected Coup makers to advance their personal egos and not for the interest of the citizenry.

It must be noted that an issue of personal egos is regarded as the main reason for staging some coups and the errors of governments or Prime Minister or the President are capitalized as a cover up to attempt to stage a Coup. For example the recent Coup in Guinea was a Coup related to an issue of ego. It was due to the refusal of Ex-President Alpha Conde to meet the request of Col Doumbouya to make his special Force independent. The use arguments of endemic corruption, hardship and the disturbances and the casualties associated with the issues of the extension of the administration of Ex-President Alpha Conde for the third term was a smokescreen meant to hoodwink or attract the citizenry especially the opponents of Alpha Conde for massive support.

Note Col Doumbouya with his Special Forces was created by Ex-President Alpha Conde to sustain his administration and were therefore the apparatus used as such by Ex-President Alpha Conde to suppress his opponents, hence they were the perpetrators or collaborators of the sins of Ex-President Alpha Conde and part of the corruption scheme.

Mr President, Historians normally say that History repeats itself and Risk Experts do say that once an occurrence has happened it may happen again. These maxims are supported by Ecclesiastes 1:9 which says that ‘What has happened before will happen again’ hence an attempt to make a Coup in Ghana may be possible.

Did I say an attempt to stage a Coup in Ghana may be possible? Yes, Sir it may be possible. But it may or may not succeed. An example to drive my point home was the allegation which was proclaimed on 23 September 2019, that some people including Dr Mac Palm planned to overthrow the then almost 3 years in office (regime) of His Excellency President Nana Addo, the Show Boy of Africa.

Mr President, we thank you very much for the acknowledgment of the hardship, we, the citizens are going through. This has reduced the pain and it has enabled us, in return to also acknowledge that though you must take responsibility for the hardship and act to reduce it, the COVID-19 pandemic which is devastating economies globally including that of Ghana is the causal effects.

So Mr President, since both parties (the Citizenry and the Head of State) appreciate that we are in trying or hard times, which you are to take responsibility, so we need not to tell or remind ourselves that collaborative efforts to attain a win-win solution (common ground) in matters of the 1.75% E-levy, is imperative for the stability of Ghana. So Mr President on behalf of the citizens I hereby recommend a reduction of the 1.75% E-levy to 0.5% or 1% and a study of the situation in 2022 so that if possible we then institute a yearly incremental to the projected 1.75%.

Mr President, the recent brawl in Parliament has elicited a window of opportunity for sober reflection/proper or critical thinking on the matter for us to build a national consensus on the way forward. But, Sir you need to step in now before the 18 January 2022, because it is envisaged that the Hon Minister for Finance may be harbouring a hidden agenda and will still maintain it at 1.75%. I am saying so because on the return of the Speaker for Parliament from his leave of absence, the Speaker indicated that the leadership of Parliament wants the Hon Minister for Finance to come with concessions on the 1.75% E-levy for consideration.

He is yet to do so as at date, but he is rather making infuriating or contradictory (clashing) statement that the 1.75% e-levy remained as such. He must be told that the egos of the Minority Leader and Members of Parliament on the ticket of the NDC or the NDC Party is at stake. Hence, a reduction of the 1.75% e-levy may be seen as a Common Ground (Win-Win solution) that may sustain the egos of the NDC for them to rescind their opposition against the E-levy otherwise insecurity may be a problem in the Country.

Another story which tells of hidden agenda, is the suspicion that it was in order to court the support of Transporters (drivers) to support the 1.75% e-levy that necessitated the rush in the abolition of the Road Toll, which was a source of revenue to the State as reflected in the 2021 Budget), before the consideration by Parliament as proposed in the 2022 Budget for it to be revoked.

Another story which tells of hidden agenda, is the attempt by the Hon Minister for Finance to hoodwink the citizenry that the expected revenue of GHC7Billion from the proposed 1.75% E-levy if approved by Parliament will be used to generate million jobs, to construct and maintain roads etc. But the history of promises made by the same Hon Minister for Finance signaled a likely integrity problem with the Ministry of Finance. Lastly, the info that if the E-levy is not approved, Ghana may go to the IMF as if it is a sin to do so as well as an info from his Ministry which indicated that the intention of the E-levy was/is to bring on board the informal sector into the formal sector and add to the tax net. If that is the case, so why not start from a small or lower rate. So his persistent to maintain it at 1.75% tells of a hidden agenda therefore a likely integrity problem.

Mr President, the Officials of the Ministry of Finance should know better because a first year economics students will tell the officials of the Ministry of Finance that the MoMo platform is within the formal sector and also the way he is going about it, the expected revenue may not be met. He should be guided by the phrase Cetris Paribus (All things being equal) in economics which tells that the situation may not be the same because the behavoiur of the citizenry and other factors may change.

Mr President, you may wish to know what the Hon Minister for Finance should do to raise revenue for the 2022 Budget. This may require answer to the following questions. What actions do we need to do to achieve the goals? Or what actions do we need to stop doing in order to achieve the goals? My answers include the following.

1. Mr President, considering the hardship he should reduce the 1.75% e-levy to 0.5% or 1% for the people to be part of the rising action period to the upturn point. Otherwise, the initial threshold of 1.75% regressive tax may kill their businesses or source of livelihood.

2. Employ electronic system in the collection of Road Tolls. By this, some employment will be generated or maintained. The Finance Minister must be told that every pesewas count, so a lucrative opportunity or system to generate revenue since 1958 or during the previous regimes only needs an improvement by digitization/digitalization/automation.

3. Cut or reduce the budget for Office of Government Machinery (OGM) reported as GHC3.1 Billion by GHC1billion for the YouthStart policy or something else say for roads. Mr President, the Chairperson of the EC claimed that the EC saved over GHC90Million from the last election, tells that we need a Jean Mensah at the Presidency and other areas of the State for the prudent management of national resources. Infact the recent trip by the Parliamentary Service Board to Dubai for a Seminar or meeting or visit or holiday etc speaks volume of the waste in the system or Nation and the urgent need for a Jean Mensah as the spending officers in State Institutions and OGM.

Mr President, some citizenry see OGM as likely Looting or Corruption scheme since 2012, so the over 100% budget of OGM in your Regime may sustain the perceived corruption in OGM. Did, I say OGM may be regarded as a Looting or Corruption scheme? Yes, it seemed so. Why so, because of stories of theft/waste of fuel, cars and other assets/luxurious life style of some personnel within OGM. Allegation of cars and other assets bought for some people including Chiefs, slay queens etc sycophants etc in the past especially during elections and the recorded thievery of cars etc by some officials at OGM especially during handing over or retirement as well as the likely fraudulent acts by some Officials of State Protocol especially during Celebrations or National activities speaks volume about the looting scheme brand of OGM.

The fraudulent acts (in the DNA of some Ghanaians) by some Officials of State Protocol was detected during one of the 31 December anniversaries which I took part at the Independence Square, Accra when I was with the Field Engineers Regiment, Teshie. There were shortages of soft drinks etc for the refreshment of troops and others despite the fact that, huge budget was prepared and it was approved for the 31 December anniversary. But a shortage of items for refreshment was detected. This angered the late Papa J, so as the man for the wellbeing of the common man (the brand of late Papa J) he took personal interest in the budget for the State Protocol for the subsequent year’s celebration which I also took part whilst in Michel Camp, Tema. This odd and exemplary act by the late Papa J saw lesser budgets than the previous ones in his regime and more than enough soft drinks. We need a Jean Mensah at the State Protocol, I pray and hope that we have one.

5. The Hon Minister for Finance to use competent and honest persons to prepare corrupt free Agyapa Royalties policy, build a National Consensus for floating the Shares to help raise revenue. As stated, it is a laudable investment Portfolio and with good education based on Probity, Transparency and Accountability the dogma of the 1992 Constitution, the citizenry will accept it.

6. Let us do away with wasteful celebrations like the way we celebrate 6th March Independence anniversary (a machinery for looting) and spend the money to build Hospitals or Clinic or schools and name after the year say Ghana at 65 (2022) Hospital or Ghana at 65 (2022) JHS School, Chuchilga, like what Liberia did during the era of ex-President William Richard Tolbert, but he named them after his wife, first Lady Antoinette. One need to take note that it is really difficult to tell the actual number of participants for an event like 6th March Independence anniversary so over bloated estimates are prepared. This affords the lucrative chance to loot through buying items from cronies or themselves or organizing National activities at their Hotels or that of that of cronies etc.

7. Mr President Section (6) of Article 257 of the 1992 Constitution has vested all minerals in Ghana on behalf of and in trust for the people in the President. Hence he or she is mandated by this Constitutional provision to ensure good accounting of gold production in Ghana and the gold obtained is sold outright and well accounted for by his or her Administration (Bank of Ghana and Precious Marketing Company).

Hmm, a report in 2018 had it that you said over 5 Billion Dollars worth of gold from the Small Scale Mining sector was recorded as smuggled out of Ghana to United Arab Emirates in 2016, please myjoyonline dated 25 March 2021 refers. Mr President, there were further allegations of a yearly smuggling of gold worth not less than 4Billion dollars from gold etc from the Small Scale Mining Sector. It is envisaged that the tycoons in the Small Scale Mining Sector and their foreign collaborators or partners are the culprits, since this may be one of the ways the Chinese and other foreigners exploit to send their revenue from the mining business to their accounts in their Countries. The situation suggests a negligence (inattention) on the part of the President of Ghana, the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces. Hence, my support to the President of the day to reduce the smuggling.

Mr President, a trip from Kumasi through Obuasi/Dunkwa to Tarkwa and to Asankragua and to Talensi/Tongo area in the Upper Region tells very much of some good investments of the Chinese in the local economy of these minerals or mining areas. Hmm, it is funny (strange) to note that some Ghanaian collaborators or Counterparts (the tycoons) of the Chinese in the small scale mining sector have little or minor or zero evidential material to show as their investments in the said areas. Few ones like Mr Rivers at Wassa Akropong and Nana Amponsah of Akobeng Mining in Bogoso, Tarkwa and Nzima areas worth mentioning or commending for projects in the affected areas.

This is a manifestation that Ghana needs the support of the Chinese and other Foreigners in a well regulated Mining Sector as recommended below to give the nation of Ghana, millions of employment, rural development, revenue including from PAYE and VAT from their activities. This may reduce the propensity to borrow foreign loans or reduce the quest to overburden the citizenry (whose gold you are mandated by Section (6) of Article 257 of the 1992 Constitution to hold in trust) with obnoxious taxes.

Mr President, the Sector Minister or the Minerals Commission should initiate a bill or Legislative Instrument for Parliament to come out with a law to create a third nomenclature or category in the Mining Industry as Medium Scale Mining sector for Ghanaian mining tycoons to operate either solely or with foreign partners in well-defined regulations (especially the threshold of funding, number of expatriate employees, local content, Royalties etc) to enable official participation of foreigners in joint ventures under efficient supervisory.

By that we revisit the Small Scale Mining Laws promulgated by the PNDC with the support of the World Bank (Section 77 of the Minerals and Mining Law 1986 (PNDCL 153 of 1986) and Small Scale Gold Mining Law 1989 (PNDC215) as part of the legalization and formalization of Galamsey operations or Artisanal mining. These laws were passed by then Chairman Rawlings as part of his philosophy that’ if you cannot beat them, the Galamsey operators find a common ground (a win-win solution) to appreciate and contain artisanal mining by restricting it to only Ghanaians and application of simple tools that was with no sophisticated equipment like excavators etc, no use of substantial amount, no use of explosives, small acreage holding of not more than 10 acres for 5 years for Cooperative system of mining and most important each person in a cooperative is restricted to only one area in the Nation and sale of the gold and diamond to Precious Marketing Company through registered gold buyers thus providing enormous employment.

Mr President, the Ghanaian Business tycoons and their partners to register a Company under the Company Law 1963 (Act179). The Law(s) or Regulatory Instruments for the operations of Medium Scale Mining must consider or require the following among others; (a). Mining lease of 50 acres for 15 years (b). Posting of Reclamation Bond as determined by EPA. (c). Employment of a Ghanaian as a General Manager or Mining Manager. (d) Employment of a Ghanaian as a Safety Officer, (e) Employment of a Ghanaian as an Environmental Officer (f) Employment of a Ghanaian as a Nurse, (g)Employment of at least 40 locals including security guards from a private security service provider,(h). Payment of Withholding Tax, the payment of PAYE and SSNIT Contributions for all personnel. (i) For the proper accounting of the Gold, the presence of GRA Official otherwise the District Minerals Commission Officer or the District NIB Officer, the Rep of the owner of the Mine and a nominated third person to act as a triumvirate to witness processing (weighing, recording and boxing of bullion, sealing with GRA Seals and security with a double locking system after smelting and the triumvirate must sign against all entries in a Bullion Record/Dispatch or Sales Book. (k). Prompt sale of the gold to Precious Marketing Company or Bank of Ghana. It must be a serious offence to keep gold without accounting to the state for it.

Mr President, I do vote for NPP by default but as a Constitutionalist that is an adherent or advocate of Constitutionalism especially the existing 1992 Constitution, I pray and wish to see you handover to anyone God through the citizenry or electorate Wishes to be President-elect for you to handover to.

Sir at this juncture, I wish to say that we are in phase two as stated above so our Road is ROUGH, this requires a Change of Attitude by all of us. The exemplification by you and State Officials will surely trigger the citizens into action for this period of rising action in order to navigate through obstacles to the climax or turning point, thereafter the Upturn Point under your able leadership. For us to succeed, you as the Head of State and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces must ensure effective collaboration all national issues, a Jean Mensah at all State Institutions so that they adopt prudent or judicious use of scarce resources. The Minister for Finance to reduce the E-levy to 1% and please reduce the budget for OGM by GHC1 Billion.

Signed

Major Mohammed Bogobiri (Rtd)

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