Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Will this be the demise of Ghana's STC?

How has it come to this? I read nowadays about this crisis around the STC (the bus service serving the country). There are rumours of lack of payment to benefactors and workers alike and as of this morning the government has decided to halt the auction of STC even after think tank IMANI has called for the company's outright sale.

Now I'm not going to claim to be a seasoned businesswoman. I am driven by principles of serving the people, not money or the bottom line, but surely it cannot be so hard to create a working, functioning, profitable transport system and maintain it. The market is there for it, we know that because when we think transport in Ghana we think of the throngs of trotros screaming "KaneshieKaneshieKaneshie!... AmasamanAmasaman!" Many people don't own a car but still need to get to the market, their kids need to get to school. So with that in mind. How have we come to this day, where it looks like the STC system is on the verge of folding.

I can only assume that our MPs and Directors and various 'important' people, chauffeured around in 4x4 have forgotten what life was like when they had to catch a trotro or negotiate with a taxi driver. The success of mass transport does not concern them because it does not affect, as with most things in Ghana. But this year is Ghana's coming of age. This year is a turning point. The presence alone of Ghana Decides to encourage registration and informed voting is a sign that Ghana's elections will really stand for something when it comes to buying all the false promises and myopic visions.

So my dear voters, when you think about who to vote for, do me and yourself a favour and don't vote simply on party lines. Think about who can keep the country moving, metaphorically and physically. Think about who has a plan and the acumen to avoid situations like this. The STC created jobs, and a real growing network would create even more jobs, so when MPs and Presidential candidates come to say they will create jobs ASK THEM HOW? Make them become more specific and clear. Challenge their vagueness and elusiveness. If they don't suggest reversing the ill fate of something as crucial as the STC network, then perhaps they are not the best person for the job. Having more people working in factories or as teachers makes no sense if no one can efficiently get to work.

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