Sometimes, it becomes highly disinteresting to continue to diagnose and proffer transformative remedies for the ailing institutions in a country that promises a better Ghana.
This is because almost all too well, it is not that leaders and ordinary Ghanaians do not know how to deal with the problems of the entities therein, rather they are refusing to solve them. Why those concerned are intentionally refusing to squarely deal with the problems that hinder the forward-march of the country is just bewildering.
But then, high degree of greed which manifests itself in multifarious ways and inspired by polygons of forces may well be the immediate suspects to apprehend. These polygons of forces are however overwhelmingly powerful and have more often succeeded in hijacking not only the common interest of innocent Ghanaians but also that of the mandate of arresting entities.
Nonetheless, hope to change the dangerous circumstances into a better Ghana is not lost, should not be lost and cannot be lost. All the people of Ghana, both victims and culprits alike, are variously responsible and just must not afford to lose any hope.
I am particularly comforted by the confidence that is attracted to the deeply entrenched hope by most Ghanaians, especially that of the nature which was defined by a Harvard professor as ‘angry at the way things are and courage to see to it that things do not remain as they are’.
Indeed, many Ghanaians are not in any way happy with the way things are but it appears that the necessary courage to change those annoying things is what is somehow lost.
This needed transformative courage must be found and utilised by and in all entities at all cost. President John Dramani Mahama of Ghana has come with some renewed vigour to find the relevant nerves and bravery to clear the mess that engulf many entities of the country which can best be described as weak, static, bleeding and or dysfunctional. The President of the republic as the Chief Executive Officer and Commander-in-Chief, on the authority of article 57(1,2) of the 1992 constitution, does have all the needed authority and power to lead a drastic positive transformative drive of all the institutions and people in Ghana.
In fact, it is not for nothing that all entities and persons in Ghana look up to, and answer or report to the President of the republic in a variety of ways. Thus, the President oversees every other habitation right from the Office of President to Ministries, Assemblies, Departments, Agencies, Institutions to Companies, and other establishments such as Groups and Associations as well as Individual Households and Persons therein.
All of them do depend on the President to effectively charter a better course for all. But in a heavily corrupted country where disorderliness is portrayed as order, the challenge to penetrate through the thick maze of entangling mess is ever more herculean albeit verily surmountable if there is uncensored and confrontational determination and will-power closely guarded by a deep sense of urgency.
This sense of urgency must be profoundly anchored in rebranding various entities responsible for the total functionality of meeting the social needs of everyone. In this light, the following three key rebranding exercises must be vigorously pursued by the President.
Firstly, there has to be a crosscutting drive to right-sizing all personnel and tasks in all entities in the public sector. That is, efforts must be made to ensure that all personnel in such entities are relevant to their task portfolios and that such responsibilities thereof are appropriate to the achievement of measurable social needs. With immediate effect, serious pruning must thus be done to ensure that sanity is prevailed over ghost names, irrelevant personnel and duplication of tasks.
Secondly, there must be a redefinition of standard operation procedures in all public related entities in the country such that performance is measurable and evaluative. This is in respect of time allowed to execute a given task, how to approach and execute the task, what output is allowed, how to present the output, what effects and impacts are allowed, corrective or mitigating measures and punitive mechanisms. For example, failure of a chief director or manager to execute a simple task of timely signing a cheque for purchase of fuel to power a generator-set that eventually leads to loss of revenue or lives or resources must not be spared in any way.
Conflict of interest in the public sector must be taken seriously and arrested. For example, there is no reason why a deputy minister, chief director, minister or their subordinates will earn a full-time degree in law or administration while at post. At the time they are pursuing their courses, they definitely are not appropriately performing their roles at their work places, yet they are fully paid.
Thirdly, strong and effective monitoring and evaluation mechanism must be put in place in all entities across board. This will help to uncover all the deep-seated corruption and inefficiencies in public entities. It should be possible to make sure that payment of all workers in the public sector is contingent on clean reports from expert monitoring and evaluation at the end of every month. There should not be unnecessary bureaucracies. Modern technology must be applied. Monitoring and evaluation officers must promptly report directly to relevant heads who must relay usable data of personnel to the President, Chief of staff, attorney general, national security, auditor general and the accountant general for necessary action.
This is necessary to instil discipline and integrity in all establishments in the public sector. In short, workers must be made to be effectively working and avoid corrupt practices. The President must be the senior-most monitoring and evaluation officer of the country and must take a no nonsense approach to disciplining his ministers and relevant officials that have violated the code of conduct and operating standards or the constitution. The ministers must not also tolerate any mediocrity, incompetence, corruption, laziness and indiscipline of whatever nature from Chief Directors, Directors and other senior officers of all agencies, departments, institutions, companies and groups or associations. Chief Directors, Directors, executive officers, departmental or agency heads and other senior officers must also be seen to be ensuring strict compliance by all those workers under them.
But you see, quality leadership must be by good example. For the President and his senior staff to be able to effectively enforce the labour laws and regulations as well as other operating standards, they must come with clean hands and be able to demonstrate that they themselves are not flouting such normative or legal standards and principles.
For instance, at the very minimum level, all workers must be provided with the necessary operating tools and resources in order to attain optimal output. For instance, the finance ministry must be made to wake up to ensure that entities receive their financial allocations timely to enable them perform. If you pretend to resource workers, they may well pretend to work!
Indeed, if a disciplined worker promptly and regularly goes to work but there is no papers to write or type on or no electrical power to operate computers or other office equipment, failure to perform can definitely not be the responsibility of such a worker who did not have means to get such resources other than from the effort of the supervisor or director or leader.
Also, junior officers that endeavour to generate reports which end up not to be put to any use would be lackadaisical in performing their duties because they do know that their efforts are in vain. Moreover, junior officers who regularly witness corrupt practices perpetually committed by senior officers may well also be attracted to corruption or are emboldened to do so. In all the scenarios, the leader may not have the moral high grounds to discipline a subordinate when the subordinate is found doing something which has been inspired by the omission or commission by the leader. The leader must be disciplined in order to discipline others.
The foregoing three key rebranding strands need to be tackled with a deeper sense of urgency.
This is primarily because without it, the venom of debilitating factors such as bureaucratic nightmares, pretence, indiscipline, conflict of interest, poor attitude, deep-seated corruption, nepotism, redundancies, incompetence and poor delivery will continue to strangulate the real growth and development of the economy towards achieving the better Ghana for all.
Without replacing the existing brand which encapsulates unattractive features with that which is indicative of quality and good prospects, it may well imply that leadership is profiting from the mess the status quo provides or is not brave or competent enough to change the attitude of a mal-functional society in order to carry them along to a perfect destination.
What Ghana needs now is decisive, competent, courageous, transformative and exemplary leadership. President Mahama does have these leadership qualities and more.
So has Vice President Emissah-Arthur. They must put them into action immediately or else their better Ghana advancement agenda will soon be stifled and crumbled by the vampires, ‘evil-dwarfs’ and buccaneers who ditheringly and insidiously loiter around to launch attack at the least opportunity.
Alas, the nation-wreckers somehow conquered the iconic polymath of many generations, Professor John Evans Atta Mills. Once bitten, twice shy and a stitch in time saves nine.
Adam Abukari (International Legal Specialist) Independent Consultant, Katakule & Associates, Accra Mobile: 0249259271 firstname.lastname@example.org