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A Better GYEEDA Agenda. Critical News, 8th September 2013

Posted by Business in Ghana on September 8, 2013

Sydney Casely-Hayford, sydney@bizghana.com

Sometimes you have to give credit where it is due, sometimes you leave things alone, sometimes you have to call people to task and sometimes you simply throw your hands up in the air in despair and move on.

This week, congratulations to ECG for stepping to the grid.  I tried to recall the last time I had a power outage and I failed.  We have fixed something at the powerhouse and I am pleased to note that the people’s voice made a difference to this cause.  Had we not persistently called Government out, we would still be sitting in it.  So I appreciate the ECG response but they should not forget that billing issues are still awkward and response times when we have critical failure is still on their doorstep.  We still have voltage and current levels to fix, but I think there is now focus at the company, so until we fix the cheap Chinese meters, improperly calibrated and running at faster rates than tariffed, we have a ways to go yet.

I am also taking my hat off to Ghana Water.  Again, we have had good supply and maintained a steady quality to homes (mi dzi mi fie asem).  Billing errors and late posting to customer accounts still bedevil us and I hope they are looking at resolving this with some electronic payments of sorts.  The technology is available, so make the investment and reap the benefits in the medium to long term.

Then there is the police service, at least the traffic unit.  Failing the disaster when they trigger-happy murdered one of their own, they have the traffic moving and decongested Accra’s flow, just by being there when it matters most.  Of course I have to put a proviso to this, because you see the occasional lapses when they are more engaged chatting by the roadside on mobile phones and between themselves even when there is a crisis brewing.  But on balance we are more secure and the Community Policing system is also paying dividend.

And this is what you get when Government leaves institutions to get on with it.  You pay what you owe, you pay on time, contractors ensure delivery and institutions spend their hours supervising and monitoring the projects, which is what they are paid to do.  I hope Government cues all this and steps out of areas they cannot manage.  Get out of running schools; Government has never been able to run a school properly.  Get out of running hospitals; Government clearly fails at this “running things” task.  Look around; you will notice that private colleges, remedial schools and private hospitals are economic success stories.  They are succeeding where Government is failing.  Many doctors run the locum circuit, moving from one private medical unit to the next, taking on the challenges of public mismanagement and providing good care.

Let Government’s role be one of policy, regulation and monitoring.  Trim down the burden of salary costs and overhead and leave the private sector to step into the gap.  We will save the salary costs, collect more taxes from the private sector and add more value to the care of service.  We will also avoid the threats of strikes and drug shortages.

There will always be poverty protection programs to care for the underprivileged, but trimming is a sure way to ensure good economic management.  Trimmer, leaner more efficient Government machinery.

The Supreme Court judgment is one of those things I prefer to throw my arms up in despair and move on.  The judgment is wagging more tongues than it argued.  Now we know the judgment was close (5:4), we have created a quandary of allegiance, fueled by Tsatsu Tsikata and his accusation that Justice Anin was biased from the time of his appointment by former President JAK.  I think Tsatsu’s cheap shot was only meant to keep him relevant and in the limelight.  Every Supreme Court Judge is appointed by one President or another and there are many questions about Justice Atuguba and some others.  Now the floodgates are open to misinterpretation we will insult each other across the Bench.

Every time we have dissention, we are up in the mountains, down in the valleys in prayer camps, making money off the poor, robbing them of the little they in turn have fleeced from richer family and friends.  We have created a reverse Robin Hood religion; the richer pastors fleecing poorer followers with promises of everlasting peace and security from poverty.  Raise your hands, eyes and hearts to the Lord’s messengers, so your convictions can direct your wallets and purses to my bank account.

The Peace Opportunists shouted loudest to make themselves relevant and the Charismatics took us on protracted journeys of fasting.  Now we have a verdict, accept your power of prayer.  Did the religions not ask for wisdom for the Judges?  Or did we ask for peace and any verdict would do?

In the aftermath, Nana Addo Danquah Akufo Addo has decided to seek his Lord’s advice in the next battle.  I hope I read the headlines correctly.  You see the variety of Christianity we have molded in Ghana?  Turning to the heavens for promises to secure victory.

My advice to Nana Addo.  Get back to strategy, fight for voting reform, because this country will never be at peace if we do not solve the voter identification issues.  Challenge all the orthodoxy that holds us back; and bull fight corruption.  Ghana needs that now, more than ever.  Even if the aging bones struggle to keep the campaign fresh, he has evolved in political stature and has fore-fronted more democratic change than most political leaders in Ghana.  Win another battle; fix your convictions and exit with dignity in a blaze.  Ask the Lord if you so wish, but this can be your destiny.

There is a corruption monster rampaging our corridors.  Government released its Better GYEEDA Agenda and report (not too different from the draft), hoping it could defray the agitation by recommending a restructure of the program.  And they might succeed.  A corrected GYEEDA is to rise.

Seven years from 2006, neither NPP nor NDC Governments saw the need to develop a legal framework for NYEP.  Not a single minister at the Youth and Sports Ministry understood that they could not release funds from the Government chest without reference to the Procurement Authority in breach of Act 663.  For seven years (it is still going on) neither Akoto Osei, Kojo Adda, Nana Akomea, Abuga Pele, Rashid Pelpuo, Akua Sena Dansua, Clement Kofi Humado, found it necessary to reach out to the Attorney General’s legal counsel to clarify contract issues.

For seven years, Parliament ignored the fact that no one had properly authorized deductions from the District Assembly Common Fund, GETFUND, NHIS and CST, despite the fact that Cabinet had initially created the illegality by not seeking to amend Article 252(3) of the Constitution.

Over the period 2009 to 2012 (the Committee found no documents for 2006 to 2008), the NDC Government siphoned over one billion cedis from these funds illegally, using improper procedure, sole sourcing mechanisms in contravention of the law, principally through two companies, RLG communications owned by Roland Agambire and JOSPONG Group, owned by Joseph Siaw Agyepong.  Neither of these two has been singled for prosecution despite the glaring abuse of process, incomplete contracts and grants and loans not repaid.  Others have been mentioned directly, but not Agambire and Agyepong, two main beneficiaries of the corrupt practices at GYEEDA.  Government has given blanket cover, recommending to the AG to investigate.  The way it is going, I can see it getting buried, another Mabey and Johnson in the making.

The Service Providers to GYEEDA were allowed to write their own proposals, determine their own contracts and payments and took loans and grants through the Youth and Sports Ministry without Parliamentary approval.  This is the biggest stinking corruption ever in Ghana and Woyome, still out in the open, pales into insignificance.

The Committee itself admits they did not complete their work as required, yet Government is suggesting modifications.  I have sighted one contract at least that is not captured in the Committee’s work.  ROAGAMS LINKS was served a juicy one 3rd August 2009 to provide training to youth in assembling mobile phones etc.  This is a Roland Agambire company, affiliate to RLG Communications.  It does not show up in the report.

Why are we rushing to restructure a program gone rogue from clear criminality?

What puzzles me most is that we paid these companies in advance, the Ministers turned a blind eye and Cabinet kept sanctioning the program for six years despite the glaring imperfections they knew.

I was on CiTi Fm from Monday to Wednesday, serializing the GYEEDA report.  We asked for callers who had participated in any of the programs and in three days we got two callers who said they were never paid in full and left dissatisfied.  Maybe the beneficiaries don’t listen to the CiTi Breakfast show.  The GYEEDA report is on their website.  Follow this link.

And maybe we need a GYEEDA module for Youth in Supreme Court, train the young ones how to muffle the most important decisions in our country.

Yet, the Black Stars beat Zambia, chooboi!  At last a Ghanaian coach, a full compendium of players and a victory not mired in suspicion of any kind.  Ah, I forget the accusations of juju invocations before Friday.  Eh,

Ghana, Aha a ye de papa.  Alius valde week advenio. Another great week to come!

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One Response to “A Better GYEEDA Agenda. Critical News, 8th September 2013”

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