Currently, in Ghanaian society, there is an upsurge of strong irresistible desire among people to engage in buying and selling businesses as a means of earning a living, particularly among the little or less educated, illiterate women and children. The present situation of economic hardship in the country has reinforced this desire among people, and it is making the prices of goods and services to become unbearable and nerve-breaking!
For instance, a woman will tell a customer in defiance: “I bought this blue Bic pen at the cost of GH¢1.50 at wholesale price, and I have to sell it at GH¢2.50; I bought this tin of Titus sardine at wholesale price of GH¢10.00 and so I have to sell it at GH¢12.00, etc. Prices of goods are sold at very high prices, with a simple excuse or explanation as stated in the immediate foregoing.
What an unfeeling, callous and unsympathetic world or atmosphere that Ghanaians have created for themselves in the name of business at the present time! Love for one another in the tradition of Christian and Islamic doctrines have been thrown to the dogs; and it has become a matter of survival for the fittest! What an unjust and imbalanced behaviour of Ghanaians that is manifesting in the Ghanaian society at the present time! Love for one another has totally vanished! As each one is yearning to exploit his neighbour at the least opportunity. This is very sad indeed!
One can recall with remorse the Rawlings era of 1979, when armed soldiers fiercely went about checking unlawful profiteering and prohibitive prices of goods, and whipping publicly women who were found guilty of this evil social practice. One could see women stripped half-naked and lain on flat tables and given lashes of the cane while the public, including school children, looked on with glee and joy as the canes descended with rapidity on the bare backs of half-naked women at random! At most, twenty-four lashes were given by the fierce armed soldiers. That was the Armed Forces Revolutionary (AFRC) days of rule under the leadership of Ft. Lt. Jerry John Rawlings, of blessed memory.
Under the present constitutional governance of rule and law, there is no effective system of checking prices of goods and services; and so Ghanaians have taken undue advantage of the situation and behave like beasts toward one another in the business of buying and selling. Is there any justification for the present state of unpleasant affairs to go on in the Ghanaian society just because there is an economic hardships prevailing?
In my opinion, there is no justification whatsoever for this unpleasant state of affairs to exist as far as sanity and justice are concerned for living in a society of humans. Ghanaians must, therefore, have a sober reflection and come to their rationality as humans; and change this beastly kind of behaviour toward one another and have love and fellow feeling toward one another, and allow justice to prevail.
This will contribute positively for all Ghanaians to be able to withstand this present economic hardship, which is not the making of the present government but uncontrollable circumstances on global scale – which is definitely not going to be permanent, but temporary. Eventually, when this unpleasant economic hardships pass away, Ghanaians will readily adjust themselves comfortably for decent and better standards of living.
Furthermore, I have the hope that when the present economic hardships are over and Ghanaians have a relief, they will change their uncomplimentary hard behaviour and let humane reasoning prevail to make living comfortable and better for all Ghanaians. Ideally, I suggest that the buying and selling business pursuits can be expanded and transformed, whereby it will not be sole-ownership but small groups of individuals coming together for business.
This will instill discipline; and overprofiteering tendencies and desires will be considerably reduced unlike sole proprietors who are often selfish and have irresistible desires to get rich quick at the expense of their customers. Women who sell foodstuffs, vegetables and fruits at the markets must learn to become humane and considerate by fixing affordable prices on their items to make customers comfortable. This will help to create a sane and just society for all.
The ongoing Ghana Beyond Aid Agenda will be highly enhanced if Ghanaians venture into productive business endeavours instead of the easy buying and selling business. Since all Ghanaians cannot move into productive businesses, those who remain at the level of buying and selling must be selfless, genuine and honest in their practices. This also applies to those engaged in production business endeavours. They must each work and try to kill the idea of getting rich quickly through overprofiteering, immoral and viciously devised strategies.
Moreover, it is a fact that Ghanaians are highly enterprising; therefore, they must try to exhibit this fine quality by being just, sane, caring and having the interests and welfare of fellow Ghanaians – whether they are pursuing buying and selling businesses or production businesses. This will contribute positively to the fast growth of Ghana’s economy to benefit all Ghanaians.
In conclusion, I have the opinion that the buying and selling businesses must be at a very low level while the production businesses remain at a very high level so that Ghana can accelerate in her developmental aspirations, such as the ongoing Ghana Beyond Aid Agenda. Production business pursuits is the key to Ghana’s fast economic growth; therefore, this type of business must be the attraction of all prospective Ghanaian businessmen and women now.