In every region in Ghana, the number one concern on the lips of every Ghanaian is unemployment.
The absence of job opportunities has worst hit the young people of Ghana, who see but a future of hopelessness, indebtedness and misery and are among the seven out of 10 Ghanaians who are fearful of the future direction of Ghana under President John Dramani Mahama and his National Democratic Congress.
After 8 years of borrowing some $40 billion worth of loans and blowing some GH¢150 billion, the biggest legacy of the Mahama presidency is unemployment.
The rate of unemployment in Ghana today has never been seen before in six decades.
Ghanaians know all too well the consequences of the toxic mix of a record five years of ‘dumsor’, 8 years of incompetent management of the economy leading – to unstable currency, high taxes, high lending, high inflation, and high interest rates – 8 years of unbridled corruption, and 8 years of insensitive and reckless policies that have hurt agriculture and manufacturing and, ultimately, jobs.
However, never – not even once – has President John Mahama been heard apologizing for collapsing Ghanaian businesses and killing jobs.
President Mahama does not care to apologize for the hundreds of thousands of graduates who are sitting at home without jobs.
President Mahama will not apologize for manufacturing misery and pain and distributing them in households throughout the country. He has no desire to apologise for promising to create jobs in 2008 and 2012 and delivering record unemployment in the eight years, instead.
To him, Ghanaians have short memories. All he, therefore, needs to do is to empty the state coffers, like he did in 2012, and ‘buy votes’ off the very electorate he has deliberately impoverished and made dependent and thankful for whatever ‘gifts’ he has to give them during electioneering.
It is with such contempt and arrogance that insensitive John Mahama treats the Ghanaian people. That is why with less than one month to the end of his tenure of untold misery, the President sees no shame to say to the people of Ghana that he has plans to create three million jobs in his next term if retained.
For Mahama to promise to create jobs is like Satan promising to lead you to Heaven. It is simply oxymoronic! He has been serpentine with his words and Ghanaians have seen through his deceit, lies and lip servicing. Enough is enough!
When John Mahama was Vice President and Head of the Economic Management, in 2010 the NDC said it expected “a turnaround in the jobs market.” The President, accordingly, “directed all sectors to mainstream job-creation into their programmes and Ministers [were] required by the middle of  to produce sector blueprints for the creation of jobs.”
The blueprint that saw the light of day was one where job creation schemes became avenues for “create, loot and share’. GYEEDA and SADA readily come to my mind, where hundreds of millions of dollars were looted in the name of creating jobs for the youth and developing the economy of the North.
To the NDC, job creation is just an excuse to device schemes to steal in the name of the suffering masses of Ghana. That is why the NDC would sack 110,000 young Ghanaians employed under NPP’s NYEP, and after seven years in office, it is still struggling to employ 70,000 under the scheme that replaced NYEP: GYEEDA and YES.
1.6M GHOST JOBS
When the NDC says they are creating jobs what they mean is that they are being creative in propagating phantom jobs. From 1.6 million ghost jobs created in their first two years in office by the then Deputy Information Minister Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa – by a mere wand of his magic lips – to the 800,000 which they said they had created in total after seven years in office. They cannot even do a good job at lying.
A very critical sector of the economy which is known to employ most people is Agriculture.
Yet, the one area that creates most jobs for Ghanaians is the one area that has been most neglected. The only notable agriculture business that has received special attention by the President is an 8,000-acre greenhouse farm in the Volta Region that he has helped two sisters from Kenya, Irene and Everlyne Nthoki, to set up.
You may ask yourselves what is so special about these two average Kenyans, one of them a former air hostess, that the President of our Republic will help them secure millions of dollars to set up an 8,000-acre farm in the Volta Region, when Ghanaian farmers are struggling for subsidized support to maintain their subsistence farming.
Unless, of course, when the President’s brother, Alfred Mahama, tells us that John Mahama intends to go into farming after leaving office in January 2017, this was perhaps the very farm that he was talking about. We do not know.
Should we be happy about the fact that whiles millions of Ghanaians worry about losing their jobs or not getting a job next year, our President has already made plans for his post-presidency employment? How can a president who cares so much about his own farming plans do nothing to save small and medium scale Ghanaian farmers from going under?
While he was busy building one of the biggest farms in Ghana for himself and his Kenyan lady friends, the annual growth of agriculture in Ghana has been declining from 7.4% in 2008 to 2.5% in 2015. Also, at the same time, the average growth rate of crops declined from 8.6% to 2.0%.
The last four years under President John Mahama has been the worst period for job losses over the last two generations. Worse than the IMF-inspired structural adjustment retrenchment of the 1980s.
The list is long and still growing: Blue Skies reported over 1000 workers being laid off; Gold Fields reported 500 job losses; AngloGold, another 400 loses; Newmont Mining fired 3,080 staff; Coco Cola Bottling let go 250 workers; the textile industry laid off 23,000 workers; the timber industry reported 70,000 jobs lost due to years of industry neglect; the lack of support for the steel industry has resulted in 9,000 job losses both directly and indirectly; Karpower, that came in to help fix the power crisis, even laid off 60 employees; the African Sun Hotel was forced to sell off to IBIS Hotel, losing 100 workers; 180 Mantrac workers are now at home; Cadbury has also sacked 58 Ghanaians. The list goes on and on.
John Mahama can promise as much as he can but we know what he has for Ghanaians if re-elected. According to the agreement he signed with the International Monetary Fund in 2015, the Ghana government plans to embark on a comprehensive programme to retrench public sector workers by 2017 (Source: 2015 IMF country report
No.15/103, page 17, sub-heading: CIVIL SERVICE REFORM. Memorandum of Economic and
Financial Policy 65 (MEFP65)
John Mahama has nothing to offer Ghanaians but unemployment. The young people of Ghana have seen through his deception and are getting ready to vote him out! The need change and they deserve change. Wednesday December 7, 2016 is our chance to secure our future and vote for Nana Akufo-Addo and the New Patriotic Party. We will vote for a party that has an agenda for jobs and has the commitment, competence, and integrity to create a society of prosperity and equal opportunities for everyone, regardless of the circumstances of your birth.