I love Ghana: a nation that struggles at every level to prioritize things—we have children studying under tress and we recently increased utility tariffs by over 50%.
Yet when we have money (either borrowed or obtained from internal activities), we throw national birthday parties or spend a huge sum to splash the photos of our ex-presidents including the current on our buses.
That’s our conception of development—a witty way to tell the world that we are climbing the sharp gradient of development with our priorities well in place.
Ghana is a capitalist democracy but we do not seem to have an idea of what this means. It’s shocking, perhaps repugnant that a country swimming in a pool of increasing debt will spend 3.6 million cedis to re-brand buses—and by re-branding, I mean plastering the faces of our leaders on these buses.
Anyone who has had a stint with communism will clearly understand the origin of such nonsense which does not have a place in a 21st century civilized country.
Even the last known grandson of communism-China with overflow of national income to be loaning almost every country including Ghana some would not spend a dime on such ridiculous enterprise.
We need buses and therefore we cannot fault the government for securing these buses to help tackle our transportation problem. But spending 31,000 cedis on re-branding of each bus is not what Ghanaians should be proud of.
If you’ve had the privilege of travelling around the world, you would definitely have seen buses with countless advertisements on them—these are mostly private or sponsored branding. In fact, I wouldn’t be writing this piece if the government of the day had sold the spaces on the buses to MTN or Tigo for advertisement. And then use the revenue to build schools, hospitals or fix those farm roads in our cities on which these buses will run.
When you evaluate what happens in Ghana, you are compelled to ask yourself; what sort of food do our leaders eat?
What’s the real benefit of spending 3.6 million cedis to paint ex-president Kufuor or current president Mahama’s photo on a national bus when over 20 million of Ghanaians do not have access to basic improved sanitation? When we do not have electricity and clean drinking water? When children have to walk miles just so they can make it to a school under a tree?
It wouldn’t be contemptous to say: our leaders are pure wicked—and perhaps, satisfying their sadistic edge is to subject us to such gross hardship caused by their respectful incompetence.
To me, what our leaders are doing have gone beyond callousness or any extreme form of incompetence. It’s sheer vileness to throw the food away when countless children are starving just by the bin.
Think about what Ghana could have done with 3.6 million cedis…