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21 Mar 05

The Beast Revealed
Commonly known has 'corrective measures' of the previous government’s policy of subsidizing the oil, the present government has implemented the second of its kind- astronomical price increases in petroleum, to the tune of 50%.  This serves as the most lethal injection into our economy in the past two years.

 Let us reverse time by just two years and we will be reminded of the first such increase in petroleum, which was an unbelievable 100%.  Readers in the west and in Europe, you read correctly, there are 2 zeroes after the one, a 100% increase in the price of the most basic commodity.  Let us also bear in mind, we are speaking of Ghana, West Africa, neighbors to Nigeria, one of the world’s largest suppliers in oil, so how is it that the price of fuel is more in Ghana that it is in America?  When converted in dollars and gallons, the cost per gallon of ‘super’ unleaded fuel is $3.33 per gallon!  How then can it be expected that those citizens of this ‘Highly Indebted Poor Country’, as Ghana has been labeled, can possibly bear the cost of higher prices in oil than their counterparts in the ‘first’ world?  These questions and many more like them, plague the mind of any thinking individual, when hearing the rhetoric spilling out of the mouths of our leaders about ‘good governance’, yet feeling the blows of their total compliance with I.M.F. policies, to the detriment of a people struggling to get by on a little more than a dollar a day.

So what gives?  Why hasn’t the increase in the value of gold positively affected Ghanaians, who live in the Gold Coast, but the shortage of fuel in America must be factored into our cost?  How can one expect to foster fair business practices, when from the top-down, the people feel every bit as exploited as when the colonialist lived and ruled from the forts that litter our coast, exacting taxes on lands that we used to farm and share without such impositions and extracting minerals that we have  always taken for granted?  The truth is clear.  No African representative, government or politician can claim to be in pursuit of the best interest of the people with one hand in the pocket of the oppressor.

Here is the impact of the most recent price hikes. Double these figures to see what happened just two years ago.

Ø      If you used to pay $1 to ride the bus to work, now you pay $1.50.

Ø      If you used to pay $50 to fill up the tank, you now pay $75.

Ø      If you used to pay $50 to fill up gas in your house, you now pay $85.

Ø      Food has also gone up proportionately. 

So how do we survive.  The government will argue that they have increased civil servants pay by 25%, which should cover for their added expenses, but we can all do the math.  The cost of fuel goes up by 50% and your income increases by 25%, it doesn’t balance.  Furthermore, the vast majority of Ghanaians weren’t even privy to that increase and with all such policies, they are never implemented immediately, so it could be months before those lucky Ghanaians see that boost in salary, while their daily expenses will have shot up instantly.

Complaining never solves the problem, solutions do. Good governance employed is the answer and not the cliché of the day.  The income generated from our many commodities, countless raw material and vast resources should be managed by our ‘good government’, for the benefit of its good people.  Instead, our ‘good governments’ have made a policy of privatizing all major income generating sectors, including our mines, utilities and very soon our national airline.  This must be reversed and the income generated, used for the development of our infrastructure (roads, schools, hospitals, etc.) instead of training an entire society in the art of begging so called donor countries.  Is it the argument that we in Africa are so blessed that we, ourselves, can not manage our own vast resources?  Must we call Malaysians to run our telecommunications, South Africans to mine our gold and Americans to extract our oil?  This backward thinking has cost us years of oppression and the dictation of prices for our own commodities.  To add insult to injury, we are now told to bend over while we are further exploited without mercy, selling our children’s future for crumbs from our masters.

Unfortunately, this is not solely a Ghanaian problem, it exist anywhere a country has permitted the World Bank or the I.M.F.  to interfere with their economy.  As we approach the final phases of the New World Order, we begin to realize our problems in the world are shared and our oppressors are ONE.  Those hired to stick it to us are merely low level agents, whose greed was spotted from the initial coming of the colonials, who they sold out their brothers and sisters, their land and resources and the loyalty of their children for the same cause, in exchange for minor trinkets of status; then mirrors and liquor, today fancy motorcades, big mansions and bank accounts in Switzerland. Fiyah Bun!