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Don’t hide truth about energy crisis – K. B. Asante tells government

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K. B. Asante
K. B. Asante

A Ghanaian Statesman and retired Diplomat, Mr. Kwaku Baprui (K.B) Asante,  has urged Government not to be afraid  to tell Ghanaians, if the country did not have the money to pay for oil or gas to generate electricity.

His comments came at a time that Nigeria Gas (N-Gas), operators of the West African Gas Pipeline Company (WAPCo)  had threatened to seal the gas pipeline that supplies gas to thermal plants powered by the Volta River Authority (VRA) over $103 million unpaid debts.

According to the former Secretary to Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, Ghana’s First President, Government should be bold and tell the truth and even ask Ghanaians to pay more for electricity so that there would be light to study, and also prevent industries from collapsing.

“…a confident and progressive Government in Ghana of today, should not be afraid of getting the people to understand and support the actions of the administration…” the 91 year-old but energetic and prolific writer, stated.

Mr. Asante made these remarks  when he delivered a lecture on “Independence and its great expectations. Loss of Self-Esteem and self-reliance. The Future depends on Ghanaians,” the last in a series of this year’s Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Lectures at the University of Cape Coast (UCC) on Thursday.

The three-day lecture series, the tenth since its institution by the university in 1974 and inauguration in 1976, in memory of Ghana’s First President, was on the theme: “Whence Ghana? Whither the Nation?”

Mr. Asante stated that in spite of the challenges the various governments since independence have had, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the New Patriotic Party (NPP) have not been able to abandon the policy of dependency “and the economy continues to wobble”.

He said the country looked outside for solution to problems, instead of having self- confidence and self-reliance like it was at independence, and that the country also wrongly believed that developing partners could offer help even to the detriment of their national interests.

“We do not understand the role of IMF, the World Bank and other international institutions and gleefully talk and argue under our new-found democracy  for which  we are  praised, while  the economy  and social development  stagnate.”

Mr. Asante said it was about time Ghanaians woke up and realized that they were responsible for their own development and that outside assistance could not replace hard work and thoughtful policies by the Government.

On agenda and involvement, Mr. Asante noted that the building of a better Ghana   should not involve just a section of the country, and that although people differed in ideas, all should lead to the development of the country.

He disagreed with the “Winner Takes All” practice after election, stating that it should not be impossible to find members of the opposition whose competences may be most useful in the administration of the country, since it was not wise nor in the interest of the nation.

He pointed out that ‘Taking all’ gave the impression of booty sharing, and also encouraged corruption, especially when many people invested in political parties in exchange of appointments to recoup their investments and acquire more money, if their party won.

The country would not achieve its goals for many years if this practice was not changed, he emphasized.

On Education, Mr. Asante counselled Ghanaians to stop wasting time on what he said was pointless arguments in the name of democracy and free speech, but rather find out how education could promote rapid economic and social development.

“Not by blaming universities for not teaching skills for jobs which are not available. But to think plan and move forward.”

The Lecture Series was climaxed with the conferment of Honorary Doctorate Degrees on Mr. Asante, Prof. Naana Jane Opoku-Agyeman, Minister of Education and a former Vice Chancellor of the University, and Mr. Joseph Okine- Afrane, Deputy Managing Director of Prudential Bank Limited.

Whilst Mr. Asante and Prof. Opoku-Agyeman, were awarded Doctors of Letters (D.Litt.), Honoris Causa, Mr. Okine-Afrane received Doctor of Business Administration (DBA), Honoris Causa.

Source: GNA

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