Did Mills really say NPP left no money to implement SSSS? Baako
The Editor-In-Chief of the New Crusading Guide newspaper, Abdul Malik Kweku Baako says he cannot believe reports that President Mills said the implementation of the Single Spine Salary Structure (SSSS) has been difficult because the Kufuor administration did not leave any money behind for the purpose. He said President John Evans Atta Mills, in his view was a candid person, not known to dabble in propaganda. He said he was therefore struggling to accept what the President was reported to have said. The President, while appealing to striking doctors to return to the wards during his tour of the Greater Accra Region Tuesday, stated that the hiccups in executing the new pay policy have resulted because the erstwhile Kufuor-led NPP government only announced the policy but left no money to facilitate its implementation. But Mr Baako, who was contributing to discussions on Peace FM’s news analysis programme Kokrokoo Wednesday, expressed shock at the President’s utterance, asking: “Is it true [that President Mills said NPP left no money for implementation of SSSS?, did you hear it?]” When it was confirmed that Mills indeed made those statements, Malik Baako exclaimed: “Ah, I don’t understand it… I doubt it." Considering President Mills’ stature and reputation, Kweku Baako said he was shocked that Mills would resort to making such comments. Baako explained that after suspending the implementation of the SSSS for about a year, one would have thought that government had created the appropriate breathing space and capacity to successfully execute the pay policy. Kweku Baako however, said the previous government could not be blamed for the challenges confronting the migration of public sector workers onto the SSSS. He said the propaganda euphoria (partly fanned by government spokespersons) that surrounded the migration of the Police Service onto the pay structure set the tone for other workers to expect huge increases in their salaries. Now that reality has set in, he added, it has become difficult to manage the expectations - whipped up by social commentators doing propaganda for the governing party - of workers. Baako also blamed the strike action by doctors on the ‘protracted nature of negotiations' between them and the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission (FWSC). The new pay policy, he believes, is a good one and urged all Ghanaians to support it. He also called on all parties to allow for cool heads to prevail and desist from engaging in media war. “I think that right now confrontation is not the way forward... [but] dialogue,” he stated and added that as a nation, Ghana has failed in managing strike situations properly.