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Opinion: Beneath the rhetoric: Unmasking the trickery in Mahama’s “24-hour Economy” promise

While every presidential aspirant endeavors to tackle unemployment, not all pledges like "24-hour Economy" warrant the same level of credence

John Mahama’s trumpet call for a “24-hour Economy” has reverberated across the political spectrum, sparking heated debates and fervent scrutiny.

Yet, amidst the clamor, it’s imperative to strip away the veneer of political rhetoric and examine the feasibility and substance of this flagship promise.

While every presidential aspirant endeavors to tackle unemployment, not all pledges warrant the same level of credence.

Mahama’s proclamation of a 24-hour economy has raised eyebrows for several reasons, chief among them being its lack of novelty and practicality.

At its core, the notion of a 24-hour economy transcends the realm of a concrete national policy. Rather, it hinges on the government’s role in fostering an enabling environment conducive to round-the-clock economic activities.

This entails provisions such as robust security surveillance, infrastructural development, tariff regulations, and energy stability.

While undeniably vital, these elements do not coalesce into a distinct policy directive but rather serve as foundational prerequisites for economic growth.

Critics rightly point out that no country has formally adopted a 24-hour economy policy. Instead, such economic practices emerge organically in response to market demands and resource availability.

While it’s true that some manufacturing companies in Tema and Accra have embraced extended operating hours, attributing this to a national policy overlooks the nuanced dynamics at play.

In a similar vein, our traditional nighttime trade like food joints, restaurants, and drinking establishments are operating the 24-hour economic trade due to demand in their areas.

Comparisons to industrialized nations like the USA, Canada, Japan, Korea, Germany, and the UK further highlight the fallacy of Mahama’s proposal.

These countries boast ample human resources and robust demand, facilitating round-the-clock operations across various sectors.

Moreover, the lack of coherence in the NDC’s messaging only serves to exacerbate skepticism surrounding the 24-hour economy promise.

Conflicting explanations from party stalwarts muddy the waters, leaving the public questioning the proposal’s substance and viability.

Importantly, Mahama’s track record invites scrutiny. While he touts the 24-hour economy as a panacea for unemployment, his tenure as president witnessed myriad economic challenges, including sluggish growth and ballooning debt.

He was quoted to have said he was not a magician to create jobs for the youth at the time. He wants to use this promise as a way to deceive the public and to garner votes.

In conclusion, Mahama’s 24-hour economy promise appears more akin to a mirage than a substantive policy directive. Rather than clinging to hollow rhetoric aimed at securing votes, Mahama and the NDC must offer pragmatic solutions grounded in economic reality.

Ghana’s future prosperity hinges on substantive policies that address the root causes of unemployment and foster sustainable growth, not fleeting promises devoid of substance.

Nana Agyemang Prempeh

The writer is a political commentator (charlesagyemangprempeh37@gmail.com)

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