Where Does the Money Go (and How Do People Get in)?

Corruption is almost expected in developing countries. It’s not that it doesn’t happen elsewhere in the world; it’s just that it’s a little more difficult when the majority of the population achieves a higher level of education.

So, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the opposition party has called the current government’s spending on public works into question. Take the renovation of Ridge Hospital in Accra. The government has organised US $250 million to take the hospital from a facility with 200 beds to one with 420 beds. It’s not set to become a 24-hour treatment facility.

That should be a good thing. But, it seems like a HUGE overspend when you compare it to Nigeria’s latest hospital. Funded privately by Alinko Dagnote, this institution will have 1000 beds and 10 operating theatres, in addition to three intensive care units and plenty of support services. And, this soon-to-be-built facility will cost a mere US $12.38 million. Just how does that happen?

One has to wonder whether the new soccer stadium in Tema, estimated to cost US $6.5 billion will, in fact, be worth every penny spent. To be clear, that figure does represent more than just a stadium; costs also include a convention center, hotels, light rail expansion, and an increased communication network. Either way, now is the time to bring it up… with the election looming closer, we’ll see a lot more of these types of questions before campaigning ends.

We may not know where the money is going, but it’s also a little unclear as to who is coming into the country. Sure, we all know about the detainees – and the exposure alone with help to monitor them. But, what about the people we know nothing about? Or, well, we find out about too late.

At the moment, there’s an extradition hearing to transfer David McDermott back to the United Kingdom. You may not have heard the name before, but those around the Governor of the Central Bank, Dr. Hendy Kofi Wampah know him as family. That’s because he’s married to Dr. Wampah’s daughter. But, in a previous life, he may have been an international drug smuggler; at least, that’s what the British courts want to try him for.

And, Ghana has just deported three South African ex-cops for training NPP security forces. At best, they violated their visa terms – at worst, they could be convicted of terrorist activities. While the Bureau of National Investigations was quick to get them out of the country, we do need to wonder how they got in – and at to what level the corruption flows.

Speaking of corruption and education, there’s a plan to scrap English as the medium of instruction so that students can learn in their mother tongues. It’s a plan that’s been successful in other countries to increase the level of education. If it reduces the likelihood of corruption, then we’re all for it.

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