By: Lin Collins
“We want A.M.A and the government to see how best they can help us out of this situation”, the traders pleaded.
The Government of Ghana has been doing well in raising high standard of living and low-cost of living as well especially in Accra. Though this has not yielded much over the years, I strongly believe that there are still on going efforts to resolve these social cankers.
Though the Government through Accra Metropolitan Assembly (A.M.A.) Mayor Alfred Oko Vanderpuije improves upon the sanitation issues of the country, maybe a second look should be given at the comments or the grievances that the citizenry makes during those exercises.
I know full well some structures in the country have been raised at unauthorised places in the country in that no permit has been granted. In look of this, the first question would be what has actually led to that?
Firstly, it is hard to get a place especially in Accra to mount a structure or trade. If hopefully you get a place, it may be a prohibited area. One reason maybe that it is on a flood line. Implying it is a conduit which can easily be flooded by the rain. If you are to get a first-class place with all the permissions and no intrusions from nature possibly, then it would also be far from market or customers. Or probably source to basic amenities. It is not really appetising to get a place where there is no proximity to market, looking at transport, source of goods or products and just to mention a few.
Secondly, I will understand that there are geographers or personnel responsible to ensure that buildings are not situated at water ways. The one big problem is that, sometimes the personnel are very much aware of the place but simply because it is a very busy place, where the owner can make huge sums of money, he or she will agree. Then finally issue a permit even. After years of operation, a building collapse or the area is over ran with flood and then the question comes back to who gave the permit. A typical example is the Melcom disaster. Even getting the government personnel to grant you the permission to build or put up a structure would need a bureaucracy which can take more than a month. To make things easy for yourself, just go and do the bribing thing. It is disgusting on the part of government appointees. You don’t have to blame them much; they claim low income and some incentives.
Thirdly, with the issue of job opportunities, it would need real struggle to get one in a reputable institution or organization. With all the bribes and corruptions that comes with it. I understand perfectly the Government of Ghana is doing well to clung down on people involved in those acts, yes, he is doing his best. But the simple thing is that his best is just not enough in the country. The government sometimes waste resources on projects that never yield. A whole lot has to be done in curbing this particular canker in the Ghanaian society. I also understand that not everyone in the Executive, Legislature and Judiciary are corrupted. Nevertheless, they are a few. My mother would tell you, “It is just one nut that spoils the whole soup.” If the authorities supposed to get people employed are waiting for bribes to get it done, you can imagine obviously that unqualified and people lacking the requisite cognisance would be put there instead. I know full well management and supervision should have a say in these appointments thing. However, if they are corrupt also, it would be overlooked upon. All these acts lead to shoddy work done in the country so to speak. I believe the government have to keep on struggling to get things done well. Just good measures and policies should be implemented to ensure the issue of unemployment are minimised at least. Yes, all levels of authorities should be scrutinized.
Fourthly, getting a job now a day’s seems just hard when in Greater-Accra Region, Accra notably. When this does happens, citizenry may be forced to go into social vices. If that option would not be landed upon, then, some wooden structures again would be put up near gutters, near the private, the refuse dump, just any place to go into selling or trading. With all the hells that comes with getting a notable place in Accra to trade, one would prefer been at any place which seems good to his or her eyes. Of course the Accra Mayor would not like this. It contributes to so many slams and just makes the city buildings look haphazardly built. Assuming there is a job for everyone right after the University, it would at least minimize the rate at which people throng the street to sell. Prostitution is not good, stealing cannot be considered, nevertheless, and man needs to eat. That is the problem. What is the solution? The government should ensure that as earlier said, there should be good implementation of policies and all persons irrespective of position be faced the long arm of the law when found guilty of any act deemed wrong in the society. One fact is that, there is money in Ghana. Unfortunately it has been lodged in only a few pockets.
Finally, I strongly believe the government should do well on the provision of Jobs or better still creating one. However, the citizenry should not always depend on the government. No! The government already has a lot to do. There are problems here and there to for the government to solve. It is here that you engage yourself in doing something as the government support your perhaps. Creating job for one self has never been easy though if we have to consider the level of Education and some special skills needed in doing some of these jobs. In any case, it cannot stop one from still giving out his or her best in learning a particular field of interest to earn a living. In my opinion and a good eye on the current situations in Ghana, one needs not depend on the government much. I know of this ‘Dumsor’ thing myself. Obviously, I cannot complain much though.
If the A.M.A Boss has decided to undertake such a move, it should not be a problem. I fully understand it would increase the cost of living for the people affected, nevertheless, we should think wide. We need to look at other ways of earning living. On a serious note if you have just one way of earning a living, there would be a serious problem if sources close. But wait a minute, what if we all upgrade our handy skills and some level of education, would it not help on the long run?