Ghana @ 65: Individual attitudinal change needed if the nation must grow

Ghana is 65, her economy is down, nothing to show for her 65 years of independence.

Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah posited that, the black man is capable of managing his own. Is the black man truly capable?

The answer is yes. Nkrumah was right, the black man is capable but he deliberately refused to properly manage his affairs.

As we decry leadership crisis, as we’ve always viewed our challenges from the leadership point, let’s spare some time now to look at our challenges as a collective responsibility.

It’s fair to demand of our leaders responsibility and accountability, it’s also fair to turn and question ourselves what we’re doing wrong as individuals. Collectively, from the last man on the street to the top man at the presidency, we’re the cause of our challenges.

As a country, our biggest challenge is unemployment. We expect the state to employ us and that’s fair, what we should also have in mind is that, the state cannot employ us all. What the state can do is to employ some and create opportunities for businesses to thrive and those businesses will employ the rest.

As to whether the state has been able to provide that thriving grounds for businesses or not, that’s a topic for another day. There are businesses with the capacity to employ, there are unfilled vacancies and people are unemployed. What’s the problem?

The problem is in two folds. Trust and productivity. Whereas the state employs without considering trust and productivity, private businesses do, this is the reason you see state-owned companies running at losses yet their employees receive fat salaries and allowances.

Trust is the biggest challenge in the private sector. Before one employs you, they have to trust you first. Day in day out, we read in the news of people running away with people’s business capital. Businesses are alert and circumspect.

Early last year, a business friend of mine lost over Ghc 15,000.00 to an employee. He trusted a young lady who has been in the city for over two months without work, he employed the lady to run his Mobile Money (MoMo) business. The salary of this lady was very juicy, juicer than that of a NABCO employee, no salary delays, and her feeding and transportation were taken care of. That vacancy has been there since the incident, he has the capacity to employ even ten people but he’s reluctant. We cry for employment every day.

Another friend of mine who’s into mobile phones business, a well-doing business by all standards, employed five ladies for his three shops. He struggled to break even. Yes, the man who was making many single handedly in one shop struggles to break even in three shops with five more people on board. And these are people who criticize the government of being corrupt. He had to lay them off. He tasked me to get him people I trust to work with him but the question is, do I have people I trust? No, I won’t risk that!

There are juicy job opportunities everywhere but trust is making those employers coil back, they refused to employ because of fear they may lose the business capital in trying that.

When it comes to productivity, the question is, will you deliver value when employed? What value will you add to the business? If I make Ghc 50,000.00 a month single-handedly, will I be able to make Ghc 65,000.00 after employing you? Whereas the state employs without considering these, the private businesses do. What’s the productivity of NABCO?

Some time ago, a popular blogger advertised that he wants ten writers for his blog. He wants ten articles a day and the salary was Ghc 1,000.00, far better than that of NABCO. A lot of people who called themselves writers applied for the job. In less than a month, seven out of the ten quit the job, why? They say the ten articles a day is too much. We don’t want to work but we want to get paid. Yes, most government workers don’t work but they get paid and that’s what can’t happen in the private sector.

The state spends a lot paying salaries and allowances of employees who don’t have value. With your attitude, do think you can be a better MP? Do you think you can be a better Minister? Do you think you can be a better President?

You don’t have the capacity to receive government contracts but if you become capable today and you’re awarded one, won’t you do shoddy work and keep the money? Will you still love Ghana and be patriotic like you’re today when you get the opportunity to lead?

Until we begin to change individually, we’ll never realize the change we’re asking for and the aging mother of ours called Ghana will not see prosperity.

It’s the 65th anniversary of independent Mother Ghana but I can’t wish you Happy Independence. I’m not happy!

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Contributor: Jacob Akandaga

The writer is a student at the University of Cape Coast and also a trader. Views expressed in this article are entirely the author’s and do not in any form or shape represent those of the Media General Group.