John Mahama writes on Day 5 of Lockdown

Today is day five of the two-week partial lockdown declared by the President last week. We must all continue to cooperate with these directives and STAY HOME. We need to stay home to prevent a faster spread of the COVID-19 virus and slow the rate of infection.

While we observe the period of lockdown, it is incumbent on the government to also take urgent action to resolve some of the obvious shortcomings in our response to the pandemic. The unpleasant news of an imminent strike by health workers at the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital because of the poor response to COVID-19 is most disturbing.

The situation in Korle Bu is not an isolated case. Complaints of lack of personal protective equipment (PPEs) and isolation facilities are coming from many health facilities across the country, and it is important that steps are taken to identify areas of urgent need and supply the resources and logistics needed to build the confidence of our frontline health workers to battle this disease.

The well-intentioned lockdown has obviously led to some unintended consequences, and I believe it is time to utilise the Stabilization Fund to build some additional buffers for the economy. The use of the fund should be directed at cushioning the general population through this period of economic slowdown. These measures may include short-term temporary tariff relief in respect of utilities.

While petroleum prices have dropped in recent times, the directive to commercial drivers to reduce the number of passengers means their incomes have also reduced. Additional relief in the form of a temporary waiver of some petroleum taxes to further reduce fuel prices will be helpful to the motoring public, especially commercial drivers.

Additionally, since a significant number of people are in WFH (working from home) mode, the use of data and ICT mediums have become imperative. The government should consider also a temporary relief from the Communication Service Tax (CST) to grant some relief to data users. Possible discussions between the National Communications Authority (NCA) and the telecommunications companies could yield positive results in providing some relief to their customers during this difficult period.

We can also consider applying some revenue to procure the appropriate materials to facilitate local production of face masks by our tailors and dressmakers. This will make available millions of reusable masks by the general public. This will allow for medical masks to be reserved for health personnel only. This project will help provide income for thousands in the textile and garment sector.

And finally, I thought in these times, the National Security Coordinator’s attention should be engaged with weightier matters of national security than who is presenting what branded item to our health facilities.

These are not normal times and we should elevate our activities above the petty partisan, parochial mode that we have been used to in the recent period.

John Dramani Mahama
Cantonments, Accra
April 03, 2020.

  1. Nana Yaw Adonis says

    Prez. JDM, well said.

  2. Apostle Nicholas Dey says

    God bless you his exellency.There is so much attention on prevention living other things.Per our economy,the masses locked down are private workers who depends on daily income.Faith and confidence are going down day by day.Trauma and frustration is worse.

    1. Anonymous says

      A cowboy from Bole that God has endowed with so much wisdom. Even my father in a village in Bunkpurugu-Yunyoo can implement these simple urgent but prudent policies to alleviate Ghanaians from this frustration they going through in the name of this lockdown. The thought of winning the next election is the main aim of this government.

  3. Anonymous says

    God bless you. JM, you great. We need you

  4. Felix O. says

    Well said, JDM, this are the kind advise and suggestions we need from you the politicians at all times…I see the president have started doing majority of your suggestions already…thank you and God bless you, and please advise your fellow colleagues(baby politicians) with sharp teeth to talk the truth all the time, because everyone is going to account to God on everything that you do on this earth.
    Stay blessed

  5. Anonymous says

    You could have raised these issues at during the meeting for solutions but you were absent and now on social media is it right?

  6. Michael says

    Fine suggestion!but mask are made by Pharmaceutical companies and its tested medically before any one could use ,well if you want our tailors to use locally materials for face ask ,it shouldn’t be used against this virus ,but we can use them when we are traveling on nasty roads ?

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