Business in Ghana

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“Routine” Cash Shortage, Critical News, 24th June 2012

Posted by Business in Ghana on June 25, 2012

Sydney Casely-Hayford, sydney@bizghana.com

This week, Alfred Agbesi Woyome is in court in two separate places.  Judge Barbara Ackah-Ayensu sits on the commercial court of his trial and Judge Ajet-Sam is handling the criminal side.  The first witness in the stand Mangowa Ghanney seems as confused as I am from her own statements.  Not sure whether the news reporting is accurate enough, I decided to attend court the other day and I could not make head or tail of where this prosecution witness was heading.  Later when I read what showed up in print, I was even more confused.  First she said she had no time to write a desk report because she had to travel and then she said she did write a memo with her recommendations.  So I am not sure whether I heard the whole truth or just half of it.

Saturday on Joy Fm’s Newsfile program, I suffered the frustration with Kwaku Baako Jnr. as he tried patiently to manage the comeuppance of the NDC’s new mouthpiece on the show, Samuel George.  I think I mentioned him last week as well.  He certainly has “some mouth”.  Even as he does the radio circuits, I am not sure whether he is really on top of his game or whether he has suddenly found a worthy source of material.  Strangely, when State security went to interrogate Kwaku about some documents he pulled out the previous week, they missed Samuel on the road to Labone.  Again, you cannot be sure that everything he says is all truth.  Mayhap, he mixes the goats with the cows?  Where is Baaba Jamal these days?  His goats have escaped?  Or has new Information Minister Fritz Baffour banned the goats from his backyard?

A white paper on the transition provisions has been issued.  I have not seen it yet.  Radio stations keep intercepting some parts of it every morning.  I could have sworn that the taxpayer forked out over two million $US to support a whole host of persons to do this job.  Now that it is over, no one thinks we merit a copy?  The transition provisions were not changed, so for me it was a total waste of money.  I was looking forward to taking JJ, Boakye Gyan, et al to task for all the atrocities and suffering we had to go through.  I need some justice, now that I have freedom.  Will there ever be a time when we can really say we have lived to our true branding on the Coat of Arms?

This is an election year, so we must go through a cash crisis right?  Yep it is routine for us.  Doesn’t matter how much we yell from January 1 of the election year, it always happens.  I hear Dr. Joe Abbey going hoarse again, the IEA, ISSER, IDEG, GII, CDD, name the acromymous (new word soon to come) and they have all had their say on the matter.  But this one is real.  The oil wells are under-performing by at least 30,000 barrels a day.  Price of crude is falling and OPEC is pumping more.  Brent crude is at $91.51 today and falling.  The commodity boom is tapering off.   Gold is at $1,572 (at one point it hit $1,900 an ounce) and Cocoa is trading at just a little over $2,000 a ton.  The Bank of Ghana has raised the 91-day Treasury bill rate to 22.4%.  It needs cash badly.  It has also started dropping information from its website, especially information that tells a different story from what the Governor wants us to hear.  The BoG site has been unavailable all day today, keeping some truths from me. Contractors are not being paid, Government salary workers are getting paid later and later and the Chinese $3 billion is not showing face. Back to bad old routine is now in vogue.

And routine is now the new half-truth.  For a Christian, truth before God and mankind is sacrosanct and essential to establishing a meretricious superiority over other non-Christians and fellow Christians alike.  There are Ockhamist reasons why as Homo Sapiens we choose one option of belief over another.  What makes sense to me might not at all seem logical to a fellow being.

The President’s routine trip makes no sense to me when juxtaposed against the statements he has made about his health in the recent past.

Many times I have noticed the size of the text he uses when reading his speeches and his blackened finger nails and palms.  I had a friend who died of breast cancer after a long drawn out treatment over three years, with chemotherapy treatment every two weeks in between prescribed drugs to hold the cancer at bay.  Eventually she succumbed after a second mastectomy.  Before that, however, her hair fell out, her palms and finger nails turned black from the side effect of the drug Cyclophosphamide, which was recommended as a stand-in for chemo treatment.  She had the best care in the USA.

I see no reason why anyone with a debilitating disease should not be proud to stand up and say, “Hey, I am suffering, but look, I am functioning just like you”.  Actually, I admire the physically handicapped persons by the roads, when I see them struggling everyday asking for a pesewa here and a pesewa there.  Many a time when I have been low on health, (and I have type 2 diabetes), I gain inspiration from these under-served handicapped.  I am driving and managing to eke out a living with all my limbs and faculties intact; what have I to complain about?  It gives me hope.

I have heard many rumors about the President’s health.  He is said to have a cancer of the sinus and the throat.  Circumstantial evidence gives some credence to the rumors.  No one wishes him ill health, certainly no one I know.  Even if the NDC campaign machinery avoided admitting his health because they felt it was a campaign loser, shouldn’t we now admit that “something” has developed into a more difficult and incurable problem?  Many leaders have managed their positions with health challenges.  Franklin D Roosevelt led the USA between 1933 and 1945.  He was the only USA President and still is, to be elected for more than two terms.  And he was in a wheel chair for most of that period.  Nothing wrong with that.  He was voted back many a time to lead the USA.

I would like President Mills to admit that he is not well, if he is not, and I will respect him more if he does so and beats the odds.  The last thing he should do is listen to advisors, whose agenda is political and play to their advantage and benefit because they want to sacrifice his health so they can enrich themselves, dictate policy and play power games.

I am convinced that our President has a serious health problem.  If I am wrong, I will apologise profusely everywhere I go.

A routine checkup does not take more than one day if you are healthy.  I have had many a routine checkup and I know many at my age who have a medical at least once a year.  You check your heart rate; you run a series of tests on urine, blood cell count, blood pressure etc.  Routine.  At the end of the morning, doctor tells you to stop eating some stuff, stop smoking and cut down on alcohol.  Stuff like that.  One morning, no more.

Ten days? This is not routine.  It is a new half-truth.  The longer it takes, the more unbelievable it is.

And Cabinet had the audacity to tell us that they have set new sign off limits for judgment debts (after people have run off with all that they can take), as if they have the authority to usurp the Financial Accounting Regulations in the country.

Ghana, aha a ye de papa! alius valde week advenio. Another great week to come!

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One Response to ““Routine” Cash Shortage, Critical News, 24th June 2012”

  1. […] me.  I have written several pieces these recent months and on 24th June in particular, I tried to tease out an affirmation of what I thought was wrong with the President.  This is not a topic I particularly want to delve […]

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