Sale Of SSNIT Hotels Why Not

The year was 1971, December. I was in form five Achimota School. Spending the christmas holidays in Tema, community one, site 15, with my elder brother, the Catechist of the Tema Presbyterian Church.

24th Night Myself and a friend decided to go to the plush ultra executive MERIDIAN HOTEL, less than 100 meters from site 15. We were just going to see what is going on at the Hotel.

Reader, at the entrance to the Hotel, some executive looking Guard in suit took a look at us and told us “No Entry”.

I became furious. Why? Form five student Achimota School. Why refuse admittance? ……………. Okay. Okay. Our dressing!!!

We almost galloped back to site 15, changed our shirt, put on tie, then walked back to Meridian Hotel. At the entrance the very Guard who earlier turned us out bowed opened the doors and motioned us to enter.

Those were the days. MERIDIAN HOTEL, Tema STAR HOTEL at Cantonments, CONTINENTAL HOTEL next to 37 Hospital, the famous AMBASSADOR HOTEL….. they were ALL State Hotels.

There came recession in the economy, mismanagement by the State, massive corruption, climaxing in June 4 Revolution, massacres of the Generals and all state enterprise ran down, aground.

Today as I write these lines, go to Tema, to see the ruins of the Kwame Nkruma’s star studded MERIDIAN HOTEL and their most famous ZERO ZOOM!!!

Star Hotel completely disappeared, taken over by private buildings. MERIDIAN HOTEL taken over by privately owned GOLDEN TULIP Hotels, now sold off to LANCASTER HOTEL. Ambassador Hotel now MOVEN PICK Ambassador!!!

You know, reader when I was in Legon, 1974-1977, a young Twenty something year old boy, I was passionate about state enterprise, state this, state that, collective benefit and that kind of infantine bolder dosh!!!

Years later when my father in law’s daughter started bringing forth children – Hyebere, Adom, Divine…… now I had to make sure that EVERY DAY I gave chop money, to pay school fees, to ferd for the family. You cannot steal, you have to WORK, do all sort of jobs, just to make ends meet….. and that is CAPITALISM!!!

Be on your own, make ends meet. Don’t rely on anybody.

Reader, go to Ridge and see ALISA HOTEL- the hotel address in Ghana privately owned, with the ruins of former North Ridge Hotel next door.

The news in town today is that SSNIT is offloading her shares in four hotels to private capitalist- the rock city hotel mogul, Agric Minister-MP-BRYAN ACHEAMPONG.

And I ask-WHY NOT?

What does SSNIT want? Is it not a safe investment of money and profit there on? If a private entrepreneur can run the Hotels and give you handsome profits, what is your problem?

Why has COMMUNISM as ideology Collapsed altogether?

It is very true in life that what is for everybody is in fact not for anybody. Period. Make Somebody Managing Director of a State Hotel or SSNIT HOTEL-call it FLOWERS HOTEL. The MD will pack the staff with his relatives, make sure free services for SSNIT big men and their concubines, fat allowances, ……. Why can’t Ghana Airways survive? Why can’t we run Ghana Airways? Why are privately owned airlines moving?

Let us go the Japanese way- full blown CAPITALISM. I always remember the late Professor Adu Boahen who said: The business of Government is GOVERNANCE NOT BUSINESS. Allow us to develop in freedom. Collect your taxes, use them efficiently, and all of us citizenry, to LIVE accords to each his own way!!!

SSNIT go ahead and sell off Those hangovers.

Ask Nkrabeah Efah Dartey

The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect The Chronicle’s stance.


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