In the discussion as to which government has improved on the economy of the people of Ghana, some very interesting perspectives are being tackled. The overall assessment cannot be done without examining how we are balancing our consumption against production. Indeed, a household can boast of making gains when their total consumption is taking care of, while having some surplus remaining to cater for the future.
As a country that is heavily dependent on import, and budgetary support as a result of constant posting of budget deficits, we can best examine our efforts and claim successes if only we are able to increase export and cut down on import, which then gives an indication that production within the local economy is improving, while reducing our budget deficit equally. Any other efforts apart from these real efforts that can contribute directly to our national or domestic income, we can best be said to be tickling ourselves and laughing.
I will not pretend to be an economist. But, from a common sense point of view, when a man boasts of having made savings whiles his household expenses remain unattended, he must be living in a wanderland. It is unthinkable for a man to claim to have saved monies worthy of praise when his children’s school fees remain unpaid, when he is starving his wife and children at home, when water bills are in arrears, when electricity bills have caused his home to be disconnected.
In the same light, it would be completely unthinkable for a government to claim to have improved on its economic performance when it has refused deliberately to spend on key areas that reflect on the lives of the people of this country. As we speak, government is relenting on promoting citizens who are due for same for fear of paying more salaries.
Yes, these are recurrent expenditures that every nation must incur. In the spirit of driving production domestically, in the government sector and ensuring efficiency, government cannot sit on the promotions due public sector workers while massaging itself of having made gains in its management of the economy.
It is a matter of record, that a total of 253 health tutors and 50 other staff in the various Ministry of Health Training Institutions were interviewed across the country between 13th and 17th of November, 2017, for the purpose of promotion, have been left to their fate. No feedback has so far been received from government concerning their status.
Checks have indicated that in the previous administration, by close of February the following year, after promotional interviews are held in November/December the previous year, those who deserve promotion are placed and their remunerations, reviewed immediately to reflect their current status. It has been 7 solid months since the promotional interviews for health tutors were conducted by the Ministry of Health.
This leaves a lot to be desired. Checks have also indicated that this is not peculiar to the Health Sector. Some National Disaster Management Organization (NADMO) staff have been heard relaying same predicaments. On their part, individuals who have been billed for promotion, have been put on hold for the past 16 months since assumption of power by the current government.
This phenomenon appears to be running across government Ministries, Departments and Agencies. Some have been deliberately denied their due for reasons known best to the government. An assessment anyone sitting from afar can make is that government is avoiding increasing its spending domestically. But, is it possible to continue to pretend to be improving on economic figures when the reality is that you are refusing to spend, an expenditure that would expose your true state?
It is important to understand that the public sector is designed in such a way that individuals within the sector, from time to time, would have the opportunity to prove their worth within the sector, and those who deserve to be placed appropriately, are placed to reflect their status within the sector.
Government has consistently complained about the fact that the public sector has failed to produce results measurable to their counterparts in the private sector. What government has failed to examine is that the private sector rewards results. In order to extract from employees the maximum output, they are given incentives by their private managers to attract results.
It would be bizarre for government to assume that treating employees as though they mean nothing, would receive same results as their private sector counterparts. If workers in the public sector are required to change their attitude towards work, government must be equally prepared to change its attitude towards them.
In order to strengthen the point above further, I would attempt to paraphrase Ghana’s former president, John Agyekum Kufour, who stated that if government would pretend to be paying workers, workers would pretend to be working, a statement he made to give weight to the need for government to adopt the Single Spine Salary Structure (SSSS) that sought to reward commensurate work with commensurate qualifications.
Motivation is key in engaging every employee no matter the sector. The private sector motivates because it finds itself in competition with others. Government, like any business, must equally examine and realize that the requirement of results, demands that an employee who must have to produce those results, cannot be ignored.
It makes complete mockery of the entire process if senior officers and their colleagues within the health sector working under the Ministry of Health and Ghana Health Service would apply for promotion, attend promotional interviews and be left to hang in the balance for months unend.
Some candidates awaiting promotion have confessed how demotivating the situation is. They are unable to comprehend how a situation that never used to be the case, has become the case all of a sudden. They wonder why they would be invited for interviews and for over 7 months, no feedback has been received from government.
Some have spend huge sums of money to acquire further studies and gained certificates that require appropriate placement. The situation cannot be allowed to remain the way it is.
Government must act urgently on this issue and ensure that whatever individuals in the category focused on deserves, is given them. This must be stretched to cover all deserving individuals in the public sector who are due for promotion. This, when done, would rekindle the spirit of workers to give of their maximum best.