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21.02.2009 Politics

Don't blame Mills for economic woes

By The Chronicle
Don't blame Mills for economic woes

The former Director-General of the Ghana Health Service and a CPP Presidential hopeful, Prof. Agyemang Badu Akosah, has stated that Prof. Mills cannot be blamed for the current economic woes facing the country.

He said Ghanaians are not being fair to the law Professor because he has not even spent hundred days in office to merit the criticism of his government.

Describing those criticisms as unjustifiable and ill conceived, Prof. Akosah noted that it was wrong for anybody to start accusing the current government of reneging on its promises, knowing very well it was early days yet for the government to swing into full action.

The President Mills-led administration has come under intense criticisms from a cross section of the public who have accused the National Democratic Congress (NDC) government for failing to fulfil the number of promises made to the electorate during the electioneering campaign, notable among them are the reduction of petroleum prices to the barest minimum, provision of school uniforms for all basic school children and introduction of a onetime premium health insurance policy.

None of these promises, however, are yet to be realized, forty days into the administration of the new government, and tongues have already started wagging over whether the government can reach its target.

The situation has even become more serious with the continuous depreciation of the local currency (the cedi) against foreign currencies, particularly, the dollar which has jumped from GH¢1 10Gp to GH¢1 60Gp within a spate of 40 days.

However, Prof. Akosah believes that the new government cannot be blamed for the economic downturn being experienced by the country.

Speaking on Kumasi-based Boss 93.7 FM, the former Director-General said Ghanaians were not being fair to President Mills, who needs some time to sort issues out and recuperate from a long tedious campaign.

"Look, President Mills is even yet to exceed his 100 day relief period conventionally granted to him by the state, to allow him some form of respite, so why must we put pressure on him," he queried.

According to him, Ghanaians should keep their fingers crossed and wait patiently for the hundred day period promised by the President to elapse, rather than jumping the gun.

Touching on the ex-gratia package which has generated a lot of debate among members of the current government and its predecessors, the former CPP Presidential candidate said the practice of rewarding public officials after their term of office was unnecessary and called for the government to abolish it.

According to him, it was illogical for the state to grant public officials, particularly politicians, who through their own will agreed to serve the nation, an end of service benefit.

He opined that there was no justification in giving ex-gratia to a politician after leaving office, who sought the mandate of the people to serve them.

"Why must the state reward you when you willingly decided to serve the country? It does not make sense" he pointed out.

Prof. Akosah has therefore, called on President Mills to initiate steps towards a constitutional review in order to ensure that the practice was expunged from the nation's statute books.

He further questioned why public officials were very quick to demand their end of service benefits when their term of administration has not been duly assessed, especially when they have also failed to publicly declare their assets.