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The Face of 2014. Critical News, 5th January 2014

Posted by Business in Ghana on January 5, 2014

Sydney Casely-Hayford, sydney@bizghana.com

We arrived in 2014, Fortiz announcing that they are now in pole position, 90% proud owners of Merchant Bank and will move in soon to start providing exemplary banking services to Ghanaians as we move into Better Ghana Banking, notwithstanding the appeal in court and the possible decision in Parliament’s emergency session next week.

Unfortunately, one young lady literally crossed over on Xmas eve and will not see what 2014 has to offer.  It was a sad moment, Patience Tetteh at Assemblies of God traditional night literally crossed over after the New Year vigil.  Patience “damirifa due”, you are a sad loss to many in the family.

Other than that and the fact that nothing works properly in this country anymore (oh, except for the Registrar General’s Department – there is some good work going on there), I wonder where we will dig up inspiration to manage another year such as what just ended.  Our President says 2014 will be an excellent year and we should look forward to rewards and great change.  Unless we do not want it and our demeanor does not show gratitude, he will hold back and not treat us to the goodies he has in store.  All is in place to take off from first gear and we will accelerate into 2014 and beyond.  First to fifth, straight.

And Asiedu Nketia found reason to blame the NPP for the difficulties of 2013.  Addressing a durbar in Dormaa he thought it important to share that were it not for NPP ill intent, they would have found enough cash to do everything they promised.  Intent.  I am yet to understand why the Mahama government continues to pin the woes of this country on Ghanaians other than themselves.  This NDC mess we are supposed to dig ourselves out of was not there in July 2012.  If it was, it was swept under the carpet and made to look rosier than true.  Created by the NDC we need to stop pretending like during Xmas of 2012, Ghanaians woke up and trooped to shop in Dubai with the consolidated fund cheque book, kind courtesy of Paa Kwesi Amissah Arthur.

The North of this country is yet to give us pledges of security and a sleep mattress that will comfort us, guarantee that Akonfem supplies will flow to the south, where it is fast becoming a decent delicacy.  I ate out at this joint off Link Road during the break and the guinea fowl was tasty, suya garnished and chased down with slithers of good old Club beer as I could manage.  But as usual the toilet facilities; stinking to high heaven, cheap camphor spread to kill the urine and you dare not overstay your welcome.  We are not learning good hospitality lessons needed to bring in tourists; that dream is a far cry away.

The President will release the scorecards for his ministers.  Will he?  And we will find out who has performed according to his singular evaluation, not Africa Watch’ MP style positioning.  There are rumors on the table of a cabinet shuffle; maybe the news leak has shelved the event.

But Institutional heads are paying no heed to the President, and rightly so.  Asking municipal chiefs to make sure they name streets and number houses when you very well know that there is no money to do so and you have not made any provision to release funds, makes the whole exercise futile and all you get is disrespect.

We will not have effective rural development if we do not decentralize thoroughly and allow the Districts, Municipalities and Metropolis to manage their affairs at a pace that suits them.  Why have we allowed election of District chiefs to fester on the tables for so long and yet it makes perfect sense to elect this position and allow the state machinery to collaborate with traditional authorities, the ideal recipe for development at the heart of the community rather than manipulating grassroots for politics.

The Constitutional Review Commission report is gathering dust on the shelves after we spent more than two million dollars canvassing the people’s views and paying fat salaries to big people.  The irony of that matter is, we spent all the time and effort to prepare a document that could give us a chance to make some critical changes to the existing flawed constitution, but the NDC Government decided in its singular wisdom that it would not accept portions of it, which was the people’s will.

We have a Freedom Of Information Bill that should by now be an Act of Parliament.  It has been in the house for so long, we might not recognize the jacket when it is finally released after nearly two decades.  How much more do we need to pay parliamentarians before they can pass a bill that has been read many times over?  True, as it stands, the bill is not good enough, but where is Parliament’s commitment to give the people a right to access information as per the law.  And what about the Representation of People’s Act (ROPAA)?  Shouldn’t it be implemented?

The Private Public Partnership law, which is still a regulation, is waiting to be made the effective development tool for districts.  Still gathering dust, but we have a project office and a minister on payroll responsible for this anchor for transforming the economy in 2014.

Our now famous gas processing plant, completion date deferred to April 2014 from December 2012 might not see the light of day this year.  I understand the Chinese Development Bank Loan is traumatized.

Old Parliament house was razed down and we are waiting for the fire report, same expected time frame as the market arsonists that the Americans should have caught, which report we are yet to see and read and determine whether it was politically motivated or not.  I know one thing that I have to do is re-file my GYEEDA petition at CHRAJ, because it was most likely caught in the fire.  But that’s all right I kept a copy.  And while on the subject, the Council of State still has not sent a reply to my request to set up an independent commission into the GYEEDA corruption scandal.  Does anybody know its working timetable?  I might have to crash in one day.

And finally, Economic and Organised Crimes Office, Attorney General and CHRAJ have to find additional funds to repair the damage to their offices.  We did not budget for this, so I suppose we have to appeal to the Japanese and Chinese to help out.  Can’t go back to the Brits, Canadians and Americans, they are so fed up with us they are pulling back major assistance funds.  Watch this space in the next few weeks.

Still, I want to know what some key ministers did last year.  I also would like to know what we have done in Agric, Transport, Interior, Health, Social Welfare, and Culture.  Will we have a Panafest this year?  Music, movies and dance is doing well so we should stage stage something, run run something, catch catch “some tins”.

I am determined to do a bit more this year, change some things, move some things along.  We have set up Citizens Against Corruption to start a major campaign to fix some of this nonsense and I am sure there are enough like-minded Ghanaians who will join.

I am looking at a middle class emergence that will be incensed enough to pick up from Facebook, Twitter, Wassup, finger processing inertia and actually propel some brain power into action.

All in all, I am looking forward to 2014.

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

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4 Responses to “The Face of 2014. Critical News, 5th January 2014”

  1. aaron said

    Great piece,how does one join the citizens against corruption boss,i really would love to be part of it.We nee to show some people they dont own Ghana and all of its resources………………………adzen,bois abre!!!!!!!!!

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