The New Patriotic Party is a center-right or conservative in ideological thinking and that is why I belong to it, it’s not the colors of the party or what I stand to gain. We promised different path yet indifferent, we promise not the next elections but next generation and we must belong to that to the letter.
In the past we have had many interventions to address the challenge of youth/graduate unemployment by various government since the era of the Gentle Jak. Every attempt to address this particular challenge is welcoming from the lips to the ears of next election patronage. We have had YEA, YES, NYE you can whisper the rest since I might have lost count of all for the good of politicians with pillows giving comfort to their corrupt minds. NaBCo I pray it’s works, I pray it’s different and I pray most of all to stand the test-of-time lest we are known not to be indifferent from the past that we so wish to run from.
Re-inventing the wheels
Many have been faced with the challenge that stare us in the face and yet appropriate response eludes us to the extent of exhibiting ignorance with confidence not able to follow in their path. The United State of America suffered the Great Depression and World War II and their response was the Reconstruction Finance Corporation (RFC) in 1932 created by President Herbert Hoover. The RFC was a federal lending program for all businesses hurt by the Depression, small and large, which, was adopted by the successor of President Hoover, as his personal project. President Herbert Clark Hoover is a Republican and his successor A Democrat in the person of President Franklin D. Roosevelt this has elude us painfully.
By 1952, a move was on to abolish the RFC by congress to focus mind on the concerns of small businesses at a point when it stands so obvious small businesses cannot compete in the American business environment. Very intriguing to note that the RFC established in 1932 survived under both Republican and Democratic Presidents’ for two decades a site I so long-for in our current political dispensation.
In 1953, President Dwight Eisenhower proposed the creation of a new agency - Small Business Administration (SBA) whose function was to counsel, assist and protect, insofar as possible, the interest of small business concerns. The Charter did not stop at that but ensured a “fair proportion” of government contracts and sale of surplus property to small businesses. It was also involved in guaranteeing loans and giving direct loans to small business by 1954. Today SBA has aided many small business concerns of the United State so they are self-reliant a journey started by President Hoover lives on today for generations after him to benefit from.
I am yet to see such leadership in my own President Nana Addo Danquah Akuffo Addo whom I worked tirelessly to see as a President to the extent of denying my family my presence, my pocket a constant visit to support my desire for a greater generational change. That is what I believed I was working for a path that addresses a generational challenge to induce the creative minds, energy and synergy of our youth and graduates.
All Hail NaBCo
Receiving news of an intervention that will see our graduate and youth bind hands to trade for three years was exciting to my ears until mind greeted with sadness. This is certainly not our way neither our believe nor the promise of providing generational solutions to our challenges as a country; I felt disappointed and l am more disappointed hearing government official trying to explain why NaBCo.
We are committed by this policy to invest GHS840,000,000.00 equivalent to USD187,000,000.00 over a three-year period not able to clearly identify the gains a nation stands to benefit after just three-years. A policy that will not induce the creative minds and synergy of our youth and graduates bursting with so much energy then I suggest; it’s unfamiliar policy for a center-right political party such us the New Patriotic Party.
Nail Me to a Solution
It has become common to hear “we know all problems, provide solutions”. It crossed my mind and willingly accepted the challenge but to think of it, the solution is already here within given but if it has elude us then let me make my self clearer
1. Define the characteristics of small business in Ghana.
2. Provide counsel, technical and managerial support to small business.
3. Do this through a similar agency as the SBA
4. Set aside a fair proportion of government contract to small business
5. Provide guarantee for loans to small businesses through the SBA-like agency
6. Give tax credit to all small business to the sum of GHS5,000.00 for three-years of assessment and to be refunded if not consumed during each year of assessment
7. Each small business must employ at least two fresh graduates including the proprietor.
8. Provide a desk at all offices of the Ghana Revenue Authority staffing it with officers with customer-friendly orientation
9. Grant 100% exemption from Duty and VAT/NHIL to small businesses that imports machinery and plants for production
10. Reduced company tax rate to 15% for small businesses for three-years
I pray my ten point solution is seen as a generational solution to our challenges. Thus propelling this nation to one that will be called great else I will be labeled as enemy of the government and be nailed to the cross to join the after-world.
Michael Nii Yarboi Annan