Previous posts have been interesting so far. It has been great having you on this train and I couldn’t have had it any other way with you my cherished readers. Sharing some of my takes on the happenings in our beloved country is not to be vindictive but to give a different perspective on all that is happening around us. After comments and further discussions on some of my write ups, I have been tasked to touch on the subject of Public Service. What does the word mean to you? How do you envision Public Service in Ghana? Are Public Servants really doing their job well? Well, once again, I welcome you to My Desk, a place where we dissect some of the worrying trends in the country.
A charge to keep
If you ask me, being a Public Servant is one of the most honorable duties to be conferred on anyone. It shows that one has the heart of patriotism and a willingness to serve their nation towards achieving a common good for society. The phenomenon reminds me of one of my favorite hymns while in primary school which is titled “A Charge to Keep I Have”. And the first and second stanzas goes like this:
1.A charge to keep I have
A God to glorify
A never dying soul to save
And fit it for the sky
2.To serve the the present age
My calling to fulfil
And may it all my powers engage
To do my Master’s will
It is quite unfortunate that the title of public service has, in recent times, been associated with corruption. Public service holders have allegedly been engaged in unscrupulous dealings which have led to the office creating a certain kind of stereotype in society. When you ask, some of the officials why they do what they do, some will tell you that “Obia didi n’adwuma hu”, to wit, “Everyone depends on their job for survival”. I’m afraid this kind of mentality is what is causing the true purpose of public service to be run in the mud.
In my country, when a senior public servant like a Member of Parliament retires from office, he or she is given some amount of money as ex-gratia. On matters arising, one of such people (Togbe Afede) who has been in the news for returning his ex-gratia, brought to light some of the anomalies in the institution of public service. I am not by any means speculating that ex-gratia is not of importance to citizens.
However, I must agree with those who think it should be totally scraped so that those monies can be used for public good. It is in this same country that some health workers and teachers have not been receiving their allowances for months. How then are we able to raise these outrageous amount of monies for individuals who may have served office for less than a decade? Anyway, make I waka pass.
Public service these days have been lowered to chop-chop business so much that officials are no longer willing to volunteer and work for society. Man need to chop and so man is in it for the mula (money). Many public service holders are no longer prepared to work for several months without been paid. That is why demonstrations and strikes are on the rise.
National Service personnel are also demonstrating and government must by all means cough out salaries to individuals who may not even be putting in the work in the first place. Oh yes, I said it, it is no news that a lot of public servants do not perform their duties at their work stations. They are either tending to their own affairs or sitting in the office doing nothing. But then again, when salaries do not reflect, they are the first to join the masses and cry, “Aluta continua!”
By all means, let us train people to become entrepreneurs. At all cost people must start initiatives and employ other individuals to work for the development of the nation. Then again, if I may ask, “Who will do the work of the public servant if everyone decides to become an entrepreneur?”
In this context, entrepreneurship then may serve as a side business for most of these office holders so that they do not have to embezzle funds or steal government properties. Entrepreneurship may also help to curtail the rise in the formation of certain pressure groups which may be spring up as a result of high rate of unemployment among the youth, especially for those who did not have a chance at getting on to the government’s payroll.
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