Reducing Cost Of Living And Insulating Incomes Against Effects Of High Tariffs (3)

Seth-TerkperDelays in the payment of contractors are deflationary since most of the funds owed  them are designed to be channeled into viable projects or service debts. Funds could be retrieved from those who have stolen    them, and even compelled to pay them after serving jail sentences.  Their property must be auctioned to recoup them.

An emergency joint visit must   be made by heads of Ghana’s Trade and Industries, Finance, Food and Agriculture, Education, Ministries, Bank of Ghana,  CSIR and  TUC Areas recommended for the visits are: The railway station,  Katamanto,  Timber  Market  (to see saw dust and scrap metals  and a workshop in an old mortuary), Sodom and Gomorah, Kumasi magazine and Kejetia.
In all the visits imported shoes and miscellaneous consumable goods, including furniture of all kinds, which can be manufactured locally can be seen.

Along street sides can largely be noticed churches, warehouses, restaurants mainly for selling alcoholic beverages. Unlike the days of the First Republic, a factory can rarely be seen.

As a vanguard of the labour force, the TUC must co-operate with the Government to ensure that all the above stated suggestions are implemented.

The TUC must rigidly ensure that multi-nationals provide modest dining facilities for workers. They must not leave them to eat under trees and unwholesome places.

It should collaborate with church leaders, the government and bankers to assist those who preach on road sides on working days, to go into farming or any manufacturing activity: it is an outrage in this age of enlightenment, and portrays an intellectual and cultural retrogression since the First Republic.

The union must not remain aloof until things happen to cause them to go on strike. Making incessant interventions in government activities will contribute to the elimination of malpractices which cause strikes.

* Multiple effects of the redeployment of   the surplus labour in the mercantile and public sector of the economy will cause a reduction in  the cost of goods sold and services rendered, and increase in output will reduce inflation  by over fifty per centum.
* It will increase the purchasing power of the minimum wage, meaning that it   will buy more things than ever before.
* There will be a technological expansion, which fed with local inputs and given market protection, will increase and stabilize the value of the cedi.
* The efficient land use planning will facilitate   the realisation of the above-mentioned activities, increase productivity and eliminate despondency through hard work;.
* Enough funds could be obtained for executing new inventions through the CSIR.
* Despondency will increasingly give way to the love of work, and urge people into realising that it is  sweat and hard work that will bring food to our tables and not through daily prayers. Otherwise, we should all stop work and go to Mensah Guinea, a one-time famous sea shore in Accra, and pray all night for food to drop from Heaven!

But heaven helps those who help themselves. “Gracia homine non naturam abolit” said Sir Thomas Aquinas, a one-time Roman Catholic priest, who lived in the thirteenth Century. It means Grace does not abolish what is essential to man. Our Lord Jesus Christ also said the sabbath is made for man and not man for the sabbath, meaning in time of dire necessity man may be justified in breaking the strictest letter of the ceremonial law.

Are we waiting for hunger to plunge the country into internecine war when economic methods are available for preventing it? Man’s mind is the reflection of divine wisdom in man: so we must use it to solve our problems, according to Aquinas.

Redeployment of surplus labour and engaging in block farming  which produce short-term gestation crops and livestock, agro-processing and industrial  estates, are  the surest ways to reducing the cost of living. It will insulate   the minimum wage or incomes against the effects of high cost of tariffs and petroleum products. It will raise the value of the cedi through import substitution and simultaneously create technological expansion.

The Metropolitan Authorities must stop the allocation of lands to unorthodox “commercial churches”. I have proposed a formula for regional, town and country planning to rural exodus and urban population explosion. Funds must be mobilised for research and inventions under the umbrella of CSIR.

Idle lands possessed by foreigners must be allocated to Ghanaian technicians, craftsmen inventors and potential businessmen. The government, pastors, the press and financial institutions and the TUC should work in collaboration to cause the acceleration of projects, which will not only  reduce the cost of living but also spell out technological and industrial development.   By Moses Aboagye Forson

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