Story: Today Correspondent
The Chairman of Groupe Nduom Dr. Papa Kwesi Nduom has appealed to Ghanaians not to leave politics to “foolish” people. He said this when answering a question at the University of Media, Arts and Communications (UniMAC) on Tuesday 8th August 2023. Dr. Nduom delivered a lecture on Entrepreneurship at UniMAC.
Dr. Nduom talked about the political angle in a couple of ways. He said: “Every now and then we say to someone, how dare you work so hard to start a business and become successful? Don’t you know we are all supposed to be poor and reliant on handouts from government? Or worse don’t you realize that it is only those with political power who should be seen to have wealth and prosperity? To some people, when you are successful, it is only because some political party has allowed you to do well. That is not an entrepreneurial attitude. That’s a sure path to failure.”
Dr. Nduom made it quite clear that it is not government that creates jobs. It is the private sector that creates jobs particularly long lasting jobs. In this regard, he was of the view that political administrations must support and encourage businesses they come to meet, particularly indigenous Ghanaian ones, so that they grow, find new markets and create more jobs and also facilitate the starting of new businesses. However, government should not target businesses owned by unaligned or people who are not part of their political parties and prevent them from doing business with government or worse, shut them down.
Dr. Nduom when asked if he regrets combining politics with business, was quite emphatic in saying no to this. To him, public service can yield a lot of benefits to millions of Ghanaians but when it goes wrong, it can also hurt millions. So he was of the opinion that well qualified and upright people must be interested in serving the country. He cited instances where professionals of all types and accomplished men and women run away from politics as something not worth their while and one that could be destructive to their lives and livelihoods.
This, he said has given room for professional politicians with no known accomplishments to troop to politics to get their vehicles, houses, investments etc. Politics and government to him, is where you go to give and serve but not where you go to find your personal assets.
To him, he was invited to join the Kufuor administration. He could have turned it down, but he went there to serve and did so with urgency and in full force to bring solutions and benefits to the country. He mentioned the $547 million millennium challenge grant from the USA and energy initiatives including going to Equatorial Guinea to check the bona fides of Kosmos, the company that eventually led the significant oil find in Ghana. He and others did work that enabled Ghana to realize the decision of the then President Kufuor to get HIPC benefits for the country. He said due to diligent and selfless way he did his work as Minister, no problems arose from his tenure, only benefits to the people and the country.
Dr. Nduom when interviewed after the lecture was thankful that the opportunity given to him to serve in the Kufuor administration proved his commitment to public service as something worth doing. Now, he wants to concentrate on strengthening his business enterprises, developing management talent and creating employment for the millions of young people looking for work to do.
He added that when “good” people refuse to serve in politics and government, they make room for “foolish” people to come and rule them. He said, elections have consequences, positives and negatives; adding that “you get what you vote for”. To gain prosperity for the country good people must enter the political stage and play their part to solve the country’s numerous challenges. To Dr. Nduom, he has done his part by serving dutifully and successfully as a minister of state; and by offering to become President of the Republic. It is time now for him to share his experiences and encourage others to emulate the positives from his time in government.