“With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” 2 Peter 3: 8. You may wander (not wonder) in your mind about a thousand years being liking to a day. This quote is never understood by many Christians. But Abd-ru-shin in His lecture ‘A Thousand Years as One Day” explained this vividly to readers and hearers. Things are faster in the spiritual world than in the physical world such that one day in Heaven could be equated to slower and sluggish earthly thousand years. That is the basis of the explanation.
But that was not what I wanted to talk about today. Let’s leave that for the latter part of this write-up.
The First Day
I wanted to talk about my two days at Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA). My first day lasted for 5 years over there. I started work as an Accounts Clerk at GIMPA in April 1996. That was 20 years ago! I was flabbergasted by the sheer beauty of the green lawns, white buildings with blue columns and pillars. “GIMPA was established in 1961 as a joint Ghana Government/United Nations Special Fund Project. It was originally called the Institute of Public Administration, established to train public servants with administrative and professional competence to plan and administer national, regional and local services”- History of GIMPA (www.gimpa.edu.gh). Almost all public and civil servants in the West Africa sub-region have, one way or the other been trained at GIMPA.
It was there that my career in Accounting and Finance began under the tutelage of Mr John Maxwell Quao (MSc, FCCA) our Financial Controller, Accounts Supervisor Patrick Amegavi, Accounts Officers Genevieve Abbey, Dora Abankwa, Emmanuel Yarboi-Yartey, old man Mr Tetteh, funny EP Abeka and a host of others. I quickly made the library my second home, after close of work; studying till 8pm when the library closed for the participants. And on weekends, I made my way to the lobby of the Mamphey Conference Hall. Within a year, I cleared ACCA Part 1 and after another 6 months cleared the Part II. I was promoted to the senior position – Accounts Officer in less than 2 years of work. I was due for another promotion after a year, but……………. My personal file got lost in the Registry and was found only after the promotion exercise was over! No! I was rising too fast and someone must pin me down!
As I had been desiring feverishly to leave to the private sector, a wind of change started blowing at GIMPA. The Director-General, Dr TB Wereko was going on retirement and a search began for his replacement. Soon Dr Stephen Adei took office and started pursuing the long awaited privatization agenda. Staff members must be cut down and operations made to focus on the reason for the existence of the Institute. Panic-stricken staff who was put on redundancy could not contain the brunt of losing their source of income. Out of 11 staff in the accounts office, only three of us; Dora, Siegfried and PK Amegavi were retained. Genevieve got transferred to the Audit. The rest must go home! But my desire to join the private sector paid off. I got a new job and left; having spent 1 year under Dr Stephen Adei.
GIMPA transformed and flourished under now Professor Stephen Adei. Massive infrastructural developments happened under his leadership and new courses like the first and second degree programs were introduced. Hitherto, it was only civil and public servants that do come to the Institute. It has become a place for both young and old working class to come in modular and full time degree programs.
The Second Day
I made a second day attempt at GIMPA; not this time as a staff but as a student. I was offered admission to pursue an Executive MBA for the sixth batch of students (2005/2006 Academic Year). I have already completed my ACCA in December 2003 and have been lucky in the job market! Lectures began and as usual, my academic prowess could be felt. But alas! Trouble lied in wait for me that would either prevent me from completing the course or at least delay me for 8 years!
I lost one of my twin sons in the second semester of the course. As if that was not enough, I experienced a huge career and business challenges. Was it worth it for an award winning chartered certified accountant to pursue an MBA at all; I contemplated. All course work completed, but I was not motivated enough to complete the thesis to graduate.
In Eastern Zambia in April 2014, the CEO of a microfinance company I was assigned to work on a large document on his computer. He was finding it difficult to fix some tables in the Word document. He called me to assist and I got it done for him in no time. It was his thesis for MBA. I told him about my story and he actually urged me to get things done to graduate.
The Final Process
I came down to GIMPA and said I am ready to complete and graduate. Huh? After all these while? You must pay a penalty of US$1, 000 equivalent if we have to allow you! What? Yes! Well, I have already paid US$7, 500 as tuition minus books and other costs. Why do I have to abandon this rather than paying the penalty?
All set and done. God sent numerous helpers for the process to complete. I must be grateful to Anthony Hommo Hope, University of Ghana a friend chartered certified accountant for numerous trips to GIMPA on my behalf. What about Dora and Genevieve, my mothers in GIMPA? Valuable helpers! And my supervisor; Dr David Boateng; great work! And Madam Perfect!
A thousand years are as one day. Surely it shall come to pass if you keep the fire burning within you.
A friend whispered to me that I should come for the 3rd day at GIMPA; this time as a lecturer. Well, wait till the second master’s degree by research is completed. We shall discuss further!