What I am going to say is the truth, nothing but the truth.
I do not want to call our Ghanaian leaders stupid or wicked—I will just tell you what’s happening, and I believe if you are a reasonable person, you would come to a conclusion that makes one of these words a perfect fit.
The government of Ghana in April approved 6.5 million cedis for road safety campaign or education. This may sound laudable, but I can say, with all contempt intended that it’s useless, imprudent and once again it captures the fact that our leaders are failing to THINK.
Let me use a popular highway, the Accra-Tema motorway as a case study.
The motorway has potholes that are so deep and large, capable of being called valleys. The same motorway has no street lights, it’s completely dark at night—and pedestrians cross it, anyhow and at any time.
On such a bad road, what impact can a road safety campaign that the government is going to waste 6.5 million cedis have? Please tell me!
Be frank, the easy fix to the problems of accidents in Ghana is fixing the roads first and then keeping it lit. The government does not want to do this, rather, the government believes shouting out safety doctrines into the head of motorists who have to drive on bad roads and in darkness is far prudent.
Irrespective of how safety conscious a person is, driving under hazardous conditions astronomically increases the risk of an accident.
Going to a driving school to acquire a driver’s licence in Ghana is not worth it—simply because, it’s easy and far convenient to pay a bribe and acquire a licence than to go through the right channel.
The government wouldn’t do anything about this. What’s the incentive to doing the right thing when even if you hold a proper driver’s licence, you will still have to pay bribes as you drive in Ghana for your own comfort and sanity?
As a result, a lot of people are driving in Ghana, without the required knowledge or skill. What will a 6.5 million campaign change about these people?
The police will take a bribe if you over speed—how can 6.5 million cedis change this?
Telling people not to over speed does not mean they will not over speed. It’s when there are appropriate laws that are strictly enforceable in place that they will not over speed. We, human beings, will do whatever if we think we can get away with it. That’s where the gunman theory comes into play.
The Ghanaian government seems to wash it faces upwards: that’s how ridiculous some of the ideas and policies huge sums of money are given for sound.
The first step to road safety is having a safe road—and our roads are not safe. A serious government will fix that first and move on to enforcing discipline on our roads.
After these fundamentals are set, then education or safety campaigns can come in.
Our leaders are “really smart” and interesting!
The truth is, some people are going to chop this 6.5 million cedi in what they will call a road safety campaign.