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24.10.2005 Feature Article

Clear your in-tray, Mr. President

Clear your in-tray, Mr. President
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The biography of the President has been written to date and his work from 2000 – 2004 has been clearly defined in the piece but I will dare to add to it by writing the final draft to date. The fantastic work of the President whose term of office has seen the effort to free up the national health initiative needs to be emphasized. Even though the final pieces of the NHIS remain in the President's in-tray or shall I say there is a note attached to the file saying 'Take action, Courage'. The NHIS is on course to become a centre piece of social programme in health but there remain a number of economic bottlenecks. The next piece I want to add to the President's resume is the re-structuring of the education system where FCUBE has finally been taken out of its resting place in the walls of our Constitution into social reality.

The President faced up to the economic challenges of Ghana by accepting our HIPC status and that freed up a great deal of funding for poverty alleviation policies in the first term of his office. As a political leader who emerged as an African leader in matters of diplomacy, the President accepted the Peer Review Exercise and opened the nation's governance books for public scrutiny. The term “good governance” was a swear word in the NDC and PNDC eras. The President's term has seen the economy holding steadily with low inflation and currency stability.

These efforts by the President remain to be accentuated and applauded and in a typical office desk scenario the post – it note on the files will read 'done'. However there is a big pile of actions to be taken on the next in-tray First of all there is a reminder on a post-it note asking 'Is the reshuffle not overdue? There comes a time in administration where one has to change personnel to bring more fresh hands. In a football analogy, when Chelsea are bringing on substitutes the opponent shiver even more. This is what the President needs to do to get the oppositions shake in their boots.

Another post-it note says 'should the Progress Party cronyism not have ended in 2004 after the election?' I think Mr. President needs to wake up to NPP Ghana where younger and fresher personnel are prepared to contribute their efforts. The reminder from the office junior asking 'Sir is your government not too large?' will need to be hearkened because large and bulky governments are a thing of the past and smacks of dead Eastern ideologies. Modern governments are leaner and smarter and less expensive and we need to take a leaf from that. The President himself must have asked a few times and put it on his 'To do list' – “need to improve on my PR machinery”. Procrastination [is that the word?] they say is the thief of time.

Yes, lest I forget, what happened to the 'Presidential Initiative'? Well, it is there but it was killed by the weak PR or so it seems.

Along came Hotel Kufour and a tale of missed opportunities to explain what seems to be a simple matter. PR gaff again?

The good thing though is that the press find NPP a better government for business compared to the NDC after all the Criminal libel Act has been repealed. With the press freedom unleashed, freedom is turning into dictatorship. Issues lacking merit like 12 angels guiding the Black Stars to victory get prime air time. The NDC sadly have become sycophantic opportunists while the NPP is losing initiative whilst the President's in-tray remains full. Of course there are ill-omens that have plagued the President's term. These include soaring world oil price and loss of 2 bi-elections. The President's last chance to shine in injury time remains the world Cup success, Ghana's 50th anniversary celebration and CANN 2008. In fact the political and social agenda favours NPP now that the NDC are in disarray with corruption, intimidation and thuggery which are their stock-in-trade. Mr. President, seize the initiative because the mark of all good teams is that they are stronger even in the injury time. Views expressed by the author(s) do not necessarily reflect those of GhanaHomePage.

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