We, of the non- profit Action Movement Youth Volunteers register our disappointment at the attempt by President Akufo Addo to tax the already suffering and burdened people of Ghana, to pay for free water supplied as COVID-19 bailout by the Government of Ghana.
Ghana was not an exception to the effects of the global Covid-19 outbreak which the WHO reported of on 31st December, 2019. And by 30th January, 2020, WHO had declared the Covid-19 outbreak a global health emergency.
In the early parts of March, 2020, it was reported in the Media that the virus had started spreading from China; and before Ghana could realise, there were two imported cases into the country from travellers from Norway and Turkey on 12th March, 2020.
Within a relatively short time, the spread of the virus had caused fear and panic, leading to the immediate close-down of schools, churches, social gatherings, occasions and events through the order of President Akufo- Addo in an address to the nation on 15th March, 2020.
The novel virus imposed a lot of threats and instability to individuals, families, private and state organisations institutions, etc.
The virus brought about a layoff of so many workers in some institutions especially, in the private sectors.
Probably, the impact of the rapid spread of the virus made President Nana Addo Danquah Akufo-Addo take measures to ease the burdens on the Citizenry. For example, President Akufo- Addo in April 2020, announced a free utility package for the vulnerable in the country. Again, the President in his 21st address to the nation said, “with the continuing difficulties occasioned by the pandemic, I want to state that government intends to continue to support the most vulnerable in our society. Government will, thus, continue to pay the electricity bills for our nation’s one million active lifeline customers for the next three months.”
Through out the country, individuals, families, private and state institutions have not yet overcome the shocks and impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Therefore, It was unthinkable and unimaginable to hear on Joy News and read on Information Minister Oppong Nkrumah’s twitter handle, yesterday, an announcement indicating that Ghanaians will have to pay for the free provision of water and electricity introduced by the government in 2020 as part of measures to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus.
This information by Kojo Oppong Nkrumah is a serious insult to the values, dignity and integrity of Ghanaians.
In any serious country by now the President, Oppong Nkrumah, Minister responsible for Water and Sanitation and Energy would have be in prison for deceiving the citizens just to gain political power.
This action by the President and his cohorts is fraudulent. And their scamming attitude need not to be taken lightly.
We want to put on record the following:
(1). Ghanaians had never begged President Akufo-Addo for free water and electricity which made him suspend payment of bills.
(2). Before Covid-19, Ghanaians were managing our affairs with or without water and electricity; and when free water and electricity were not introduced by the President we were still doing fine.
(3). We need an explanation from the President Akufo Addo how water and electricity given freely have now caused a raise in taxes to squeeze payment from unsuspecting beneficiaries.
(4). We want the President to answer whether at the time he was making those promises he thought about the consequences to the Ghanaian economy?
We demand that President Akufo-Addo apologises to Ghanaians for this abuse of our intelligence!
The lies, chicanery and political gymnastics in President Akufo-Addo’s government are becoming too many to count.
It is time to take positive action against the increasing lies and double standards of President Akufo-Addo’s government.
Moses Tettey Dometey (Bola Ray Jr.)
President, Action Movement Youth Volunteers