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E-Levy not for Presidential jet

BY: Enimil Ashon

Ghanaians slept well last Tuesday night; after all, it’s not every time one not only whips an enemy so convincingly but also qualifies for the World Cup with eleven one-footed players; the other foot having been disabled by compatriots’ cynicism.

Never before had any national football team gone to battle starting off as 0-11 underdogs in their own country.

Kudos to the New Patriotic Party (NPP). They finally got their E-Levy. How the coup was executed, only a few insiders can fathom. It was a master-stroke that left even a goggle-eyed Speaker of Parliament wondering how it happened!

Remember the Finance Minister’s speech before the House (March 24) part of which was a promise that “when the E Levy is passed next week”.

Bold, if you ask me, were it not so uncanny, what with Adwoa Safo’s adamantine refusal to fly down and one other NPP MP on a bed of affliction.

 Commentators

Radio commentators say they saw an ambulance parked on the Parliament premises and suspected it was the ailing Minister for Chieftaincy and Religious Affairs stretchered from his hospital bed.

If this is confirmed, it would be only the second time in Ghanaian Parliamentary democracy; the first being in the Limann government when an MP (some of us knew him only as Rockshell) was similarly stretchered to Parliament to cast his vote, without which Limann’s budget would have suffered a second successive defeat in the House.

Talk about political acrobatics in this nation, it is recalled that while the motion to throw out the Limann budget was moved by Dr Jones Ofori-Atta of the opposition PFP, it was seconded by ... take a deep breath ... Dr G.K. Agama, the ruling PNP’s Ranking Member on Finance!

For the records, the “troublesome” Dr Jones Ofori-Atta was the father of today’s Finance Minister.

Did I say “all NPP” also slept well last Tuesday night? That couldn’t have been less true!

I recall that in the last nationwide survey, more than 50 per cent of NPP supporters were against the E-Levy.

I didn’t support the passage of the levy but as a good citizen, I will abide by the majority decision; plus, after all, what can anyone do except to obey.

A businesswoman called me last Wednesday morning after calculating how much her business stood to suffer.

She has over 1,000 workers in the regions, whose salaries are sent them by Momo through their bank account.

If she does not top up by 1.5 per cent, the workers’s salary will be less by 1.5 per cent.

That’s how much this hurt the private sector. And that is why it is my duty to remind the President of the simmering anger of the people.

It could break out, if the Executive make the mistake of buying a new Presidential Jet.

Advisers

Not everybody who calls themselves advisers of the President mean well. I can imagine them urging the President not to mind the ‘against’ people.

Certainly I, Enimil Ashon, am not an ‘against’. I love Akufo-Addo enough to want to see him follow as a wise ruler, but one of the actions that will cost him this accolade is the use of the E-Levy money to build a new Parliament House.

If there is something the people are saying about Parliament, it is that there are too many MPs.

Speculation has been rife that the President may announce a downsising of his Cabinet.

That’ll be wonderful. Why should any country with a Ministry of Culture also have a Ministry responsible for Chieftaincy and Religion?

Other ministries that could be subsumed under others include Fisheries and Aquaculture Development (which can be made a department at Food and Agriculture), Railway Development (give it to Transport) and Public Enterprise (can be an office at Jubilee House).

Foreign trips

During the week, there has been a suggestion that the President look at “Foreign travels”. My only contribution here is for a closer look at “per diem”, especially if it does not take care of “accommodation and meals.”

Sports should not suffer but our qualification for Qatar ’22 should not be allowed to be a Christmas opportunity for a few people at the FA to eat crackers.

It is unconscionable for Black Stars management members to share in bonuses earned by the boys.

• News last Wednesday morning was that the NDC had petitioned the Supreme Court against the Tuesday voting.

Is it the same NDC to whom the integrity of the present S.C judges is in tatters? My advice: the party should insist on British, American or Australian judges to hear this case.

Are they going to court only to announce, if they lose, that they had lost to a politicised panel? Francis-Xavier Sosu should lead that call for foreign judges.

The writer is the Executive Director, Centre for Communication and Culture, E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.