July 20, 2024

Celebrated investigative journalist Manasseh Azure Awuni has argued that given the current state of Ghana’s economy, the 24-hour economy policy being proposed by the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) and its presidential candidate, John Mahama, is not a feasible policy in the foreseeable future.

Mr Azure Awuni, in an article titled “Mahama’s 24-hour economy: A hollow slogan or solid policy?”, posited that it will be near impossible for anyone to run a 24-hour economy and that the eight-hour schedules of most state institutions and private entities will remain unchanged.

“Nobody with his or her sanity intact will suggest that they run 24 hours because of a presidential policy. The public sector wage bill is already reported to be responsible for swallowing more than 60% of our annual national income.

Not even the passport office, with its long queues and backlogs, will operate 24 hours. The problems of inefficiency and poor management and a constant shortage of booklets for printing passports do not need a 24-hour shift to fix.

No president can compel or appeal to businesses to operate beyond their hours of operation if there’s no demand for their services. So, if a presidential candidate promises a 24-hour economy and the TUC calls it a game-changer, we should ask them what exactly they mean,” he wrote.

He maintained that a 24-hour economy can only thrive when fundamental challenges of the economy are addressed and there is demand for the goods and services beyond the current existing schedules.

“A 24-hour economy cannot and must not be a standalone policy. It should be the by-product of massive economic transformation. Akufo-Addo took our economy from the outpatient department (OPD) to the intensive care unit (ICU). Whoever wants to lead Ghana should be thinking of how to stop the ailing economy from proceeding to the morgue.

For this reason, the prerequisites for a massive transformation that will result in additional 24-hour economic prospects are almost impossible. The availability of electricity alone is not enough,” he insisted.

He noted that Ghanaians ought to demand further details on what exactly the 24-hour economy means and how it will be operationalized.

“Nobody or policy can force businesses to extend their hours of operation when there is no demand. So, if someone tells you John Mahama’s 24-hour economy is a game changer, ask what game it will change in your village, district, or community. Don’t attack people who question the policy.

Ask them to tell you which additional businesses, industries or state institutions operate 24 hours apart from those that are happening now.

Before we join in the sentimental cheerleading of pointless slogans, let’s ask our politicians to tell us how they will maximise productivity in the current 8-hour schedule…

Let’s ask our politicians to help us remove the thorns pricking our feet before we fall for their promises to help us clear those on our way.

We must resist the temptation to join the chorus that says legalising marijuana will boost our economy with exports when, with our fertile land, we cannot produce enough maize to feed ourselves and poultry.

We must be wise. We must ask critical questions. We must reason with our heads, and not our hearts when the nation and our lives are at stake,” he concluded.

The NDC and John Mahama have proposed a 24-hour economy to help strengthen the economy and tackle unemployment, especially among the youth. However, Manasseh Azure Awuni has argued that the policy is not a feasible one because of the current state of the economy.

Read the full article:

Mahama’s 24-hour economy: A hollow slogan or solid policy?


IF John Dramani Mahama is sworn into office as Ghana’s President on January 7, 2025, all the ministries, departments and agencies that close at 5p.m. will still close at that time. All the metropolitan, municipal, and district assemblies across the country will close at 5p.m. Their eight-hour schedules won’t change.

Nobody with his or her sanity intact will suggest that they run 24 hours because of a presidential policy. The public sector wage bill is already reported to be responsible for swallowing more than 60% of our annual national income.

Not even the passport office, with its long queues and backlogs, will operate 24 hours. The problems of inefficiency and poor management and constant shortage of booklets for printing passports do not need a 24-hour shift to fix.

The hospitals, hotels and long-distance transportation services that currently operate 24-hour economies will continue to do so.

Commuter vehicles at Tema Station will stop working at the same time they stop working now and the thousands of homeless young people, mostly female head porters from northern Ghana, will assume their rent-free tenancy of the vast space for the night. And that won’t count as a 24-hour economy.

In Accra New Town, the printing presses that have 24-hour shifts based on the availability of jobs will continue to do so. Those that don’t have jobs won’t even be able to complete their eight-hour day shifts.

On Lagos Avenue in East Legon, all the banks will close at 5p.m. Customers who want to transact 24-hour businesses with their banks will do so online, as it is done now.

The “Kofi Brokeman” enterprises, that line up the Lagos Avenue will begin to disappear by 6pm as they do now.

Further up Lagos Avenue, towards the Abedi Pele residence, Philipos Tilapia business will take over from 7pm to serve heavy night-eaters who care less about accumulating calories and earning pot bellies.

The nocturnal beauties of different sizes and colours, with flat and curvy contours, will, as usual, adorn either side of the street to provide libidinal satisfaction for adventurous men. The “atemuda”, cigarette and illicit drug sellers that provide support services to the ladies of the night will continue to survive the police raids. Their nightly schedule will outlast the tilapia business and, by dawn, they will start to disappear as they had congregated at the announcement of dusk.

In Kete-Krachi or Bongo, the economies of private enterprises won’t travel past 10pm. Whoever has a grocery shop opened at midnight risks being labeled a witch.

Long-distance transport operators from Bolgatanga to Wa will still be reluctant to travel on the dangerous road between the two old regional capitals that are yet to be linked with a tarred road. Some travellers on tarred roads will avoid making journeys at night to avoid accidents, especially when their prophets tell them that witches had installed tanks in their stomachs with which to drink blood on our roads.

No president can compel or appeal to businesses to operate beyond their hours of operation if there’s no demand for their services. So, if a presidential candidate promises a 24-hour economy and the TUC calls it a game-changer, we should ask them what exactly they mean.

A 24-hour economy cannot and must not be a standalone policy. It should be the by-product of massive economic transformation. Akufo-Addo took our economy from the outpatient department (OPD) to the intensive care unit (ICU). Whoever wants to lead Ghana should be thinking of how to stop the ailing economy from proceeding to the morgue.

For this reason, the prerequisites for a massive transformation that will result in additional 24-hour economic prospects are almost impossible. The availability of electricity alone is not enough.

I currently live in Massachusetts State of the United States of America. The Economy of this state, which has a population of about 7 million people, is bigger than Africa’s biggest economy.

 

 

Electricity has never blinked since I got here. I’ve driven on their highways from Cambridge to New Haven—about the same distance from Accra to Takoradi—and the biblical heaven came to mind while I drove. I did not encounter a single pothole. There are four lanes on either side and head-on collisions don’t threaten lives and limbs as they do in Ghana.

In this economy, most shops and businesses close after 5p.m. Those that have demands at night stay longer. Many transport services, including busses and trains, close when passengers are asleep. The 24-hour industries, like those in Ghana operate based on demand.

Nobody or policy can force businesses to extend their hours of operation when there is no demand. So, if someone tells you John Mahama’s 24-hour economy is a game changer, ask what game it will change in your village, district, or community. Don’t attack people who question the policy.

Ask them to tell you which additional businesses, industries or state institutions that operate 24 hours aside from those that are happening now.

 

 

Before we join in the sentimental cheerleading of pointless slogans, let’s ask our politicians to tell us how they will maximise productivity in the current 8-hour schedule.

It takes about two hours to travel between two U.S. cities that are of the distance between Accra and Takoradi. On a bad day in Ghana, you can still be in Budumburam near Kasoa, two hours after leaving Circle in a car. In the best of times, it will take you more than four hours to make a journey that takes you two hours elsewhere to travel that same distance.

Let’s ask our politicians to help us remove the thorns pricking our feet before we fall for their promises to help us clear those on our way.

We must resist the temptation to join the chorus that says legalising marijuana will boost our economy with exports when, with our fertile land, we cannot produce enough maize to feed ourselves and poultry.

We must be wise. We must ask critical questions. We must reason with our heads, and not our hearts, when the nation and our lives are at stake

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Source: MyNewsGh.com

 

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