Saturday, February 12, 2011

Tema Port Also Sings "God Bless Our Homeland Ghana"?

Where is the Child that so proudly sang "God Bless Our Homeland Ghana".

Ghana is one of the few countries whose national anthem is a prayer to God and not just a song of virtue and pride. As school pupils, we proudly sang this song each morning before lessons and each time God was listening to our prayers and blessing our country with peace and steady progress. Now much older, many people have engaged in acts that is destroying this country. The people working at the Tema port must have quickly forgotten the song of prayer they sang for their country each school day and have even changed into undermining their country. The Tema port has been turned into a deal making centre where everyone is just not interest in doing the job they are paid to do.

Getting Away with Criminal Activities
It is easy to jump to the conclusion that the unfortunate situation at the Tema harbor are being perpetuated by criminals who have to be jailed but that will not be right. Many of the workers there might be fairly decent people who started work on a very good note until they were swept into this practice of stealing and extortion. The leadership of this country needs to be ashamed of this mediocre leadership standard, because it will not be too difficult to set up a system that will not permit such pervasive criminality. So many people have had their property either vandalized or stolen at the port and have made their issue public but leadership did not listen. The practice have gone on so long that anyone who went to the port just compiled and did not ask questions. It is true that no human institution will ever be perfect, but efforts should be made to minimize the occurrence of such criminalities.

Simple Solutions for Checks and Balances
Where are the shipments bound for Ghana originating from? With this kind of information, Government can liaise with counterpart governments oversees to obtain estimates of items bound for Ghana. On a monthly basis, a special unit at the presidency can be tasked to carryout comparative analysis of all shipments arriving in Ghana, in terms of their value and the corresponding revenue levels. The fact is that, the value of every shipment leaving Singapore or Japan is known to the port  authorities there, The problem is the under-declaration of the exact value to Ghana port authorities upon arrival, for the purposes of tax evasion. Frequent appraisals by this special presidential revenue unit will clearly indicate the margins of revenue which is being lost to the state and then corrective measures can institute  to halt the losses. Now, if this small unit selected by the President will also allow themselves to be compromised by criminals then the country Ghana is better off without any President or leaders at all.

Every National Activity Should be Closely Watched
While such sensational expose` by Anas Aremeyaw Anas, has the power to draw attention and cause a major change, I don't think it is the most efficient way of monitoring and dealing with crime in this country. Creative ways are needed to look into national functions from many different and independent angles so as to ensure and maintain integrity. Evil thrive in the dark places and so its vital that national institutions are forced to be transparent. Citizens should be encouraged to submit reports of suspected criminal activities for investigations. If vitims of those port officials caught on the video had an avenue to report these criminal activities they suffer covertly, many of these cases will not happen. There is the need for concerted leadership in this country, where everyone is concerned and has integrity just like the President himself, with that we can make some progress and God will Bless our Nation.

Patrick Kobina Arthur (PhD),


  1. interesting and thought provoking piece,nation building is a continous conversation. i will follow it up later with my point of view. thank you.

  2. The situation at the port is sad and ridiculous at same time. I think that the internal enemies are far more than the external. I trace the issue of bribery and corruption to what I term “competition and survival of the fittest” in the mist of scarce resource. Mass sanction of the culprits could be the solution.

  3. It is so unfortunate that this issue of corruption cannot be totally dealt with since it is a human behaviour. The sad aspect of this is that, it looks like for the average Ghanaian person, has more than half of his or her DNA full of corruption. Every little activity when monitored closely, from our schools were it is presumed that knowledge is obtained, to even the churches entail a little bit of corruption. The issue at the harbour is however pathetic because it has become the norm. It is widely known what goes on at the port but very little is being done about it. The big question to be answered is WHY? I am just thinking, does this mean that the people at the helm of affairs are also enjoying from the booty? The solutions you have suggested are close to perfect, but the problem is without an effective data base in this country, is it going to be that easy to achieve? For national activities, I can bet they are being watched closely, but the thing is what is done these people even when apprehended? What happened to Muntaka, Asamoah Boateng and the rest? The solution to these problems are deeper than we think.

  4. Thank you for taking the trouble to find out that workers at the Tema port have forgotten how to sing the national anthem. TV3 ever conducted a survey to see if Ghanaians know how to sing the national anthem and a policewoman was among them who can not sing the anthem. I was never surprise at all because you cannot combine God with stealing and cheating. Tema port, Ghana Police Service and many other public offices do not sing ‘GOD BLESS OUR HOMELAND GHANA’ The checks and balances will only work in Ghana provided government officials are not involve themselves. Transparency is the key to national development.
    Thank you.

  5. The tape released by Anas put a lot of people in shock. I was not surprised because my mother deals with the ports a lot and so I know what goes on there. It has existed for a very long time and the authorities are well aware of it. The government should map out good strategies to apprehend such corrupt people. I heard of the Whistle’s Blower Act and was very glad only to face the basic reality in Ghana that ‘we have laws for all vices but who will implement them’. It is very sad to see the time and money wasted on making laws but not implementing them.