Business in Ghana

We Understand the issues that make the News

Kpa Kpa Kpa Economics. Critical News, 16th November 2014

Posted by Business in Ghana on November 17, 2014

Sydney Casely-Hayford, sydney@bizghana.com

Have you ever had to drive through dark night? Night so dark you think someone has deliberately swapped the streetlights for dark fluorescent tubes and it is a mean darkness, engulfing you in some kind of horror movie?

That was Thursday night, driving from McCarthy Hill to a meeting at the Golden Tulip. The street lights, traffic lights, side lights and all other manner of lighting that could possibly help to navigate the way to the hotel and back, simply closed their beams and clothed the car in a dark eerie morass, only the occasional stroller caught the head beams of the car.

At some point I was sure I was lost and considered asking directions to a route I have followed hundreds of times in this short life. And that is what it felt like, that I was driving towards life’s end. Until I got past Kaneshie where there was some street lighting and pedestrians.

This is what ECG and its twin purveyors of “dark vada” have prepped for us. It is not good enough that we do not know when and if power will be available to work, now we are blessed with special night-light.

Not even the interest rates corridor could explain what we are going through, because I listened to the Governor of the Central Bank Dr. Kofi Wampah explaining once again why he had to increase the Central Bank policy rate two percentage points to 21% in order to hold down inflation in an economy where there is very little money circulating, costs are rising every month, Government is borrowing all the money and banks are complaining and yet reporting above-average profits.

Forget the fact that interest rates are sprinting ever higher and food prices are constantly encouraged to march to a pricing peak, which have not ceilinged, we are in the throws of the most confusing economic paradigm I have ever known. Which is why you can only describe it as Kpa Kpa Kpa.

Are you old enough to remember “zimmli kpi”. It was our version of brushing aside comments and bad positions on issues, which you did not want to comment. Was with us in the 70’s.

Which is what the gentleman in the viral circulating social media video has come to call Kpa kpa kpa survival tactics. And as if this was not enough, he implies that he has to take survival tactics to the unimaginable.

But he reflects what we all, except Government seem to know is happening in Ghana. Kpa Kpa Kpa. Take from a source and broker the deal so you can put food on the table at all costs.

And that is what new Trade Minister Ekwow Spio Garbrah does not appear to understand. He has announced a bold war against interest rates, thinking he alone has the solution to what Kofi Wampah cannot control.

I welcome Spio to this fight. We took it all the way to the Finance Committee in Parliament, which is where I realized for the first time that we should have no expectation that Parliament has any intention of fixing the things that are wrong.

If they can talk about it and make some public noise, maybe take a trip or two out of the country to inspect some furniture and collect per diem shopping cash, they are all for it. And it does not matter which side of the Chinese chairs they break-dance.

After two years of lobbying Parliament to pressure Banks and the Central Bank to do something, anything, to get interest rates down so business can flourish, we are still waiting for a call for a second meeting.

It matters not that what you do might be illegal; you have to justify it because you have to survive.

Even Government. Minister Omane Boamah trying very hard to explain what they have done with the pensions money and in the process providing some dodgy documentation to back his words. Now the Unions have fired a counter suit and the case is in court, with some very progressively minded lawyers like Akoto Ampaw, Kofi bentil and Egbert Faibille jnr. representing the Unions.

Gvernment’s case is weak and desperately kpa kpa kpa. Confused Local Government and Labor relations Minister Harruna Iddrissu has engineered a fight with the twelve unions to justify why their tier-two pension money cannot be given back immediately. First time in my life I have known social democrats to engage their political base in the law courts.

There have been some stories circulating that this whole pensions mess is somehow tied into the Fortiz acquisition of Merchant Bank, which has been denied by the Central Bank, but there is a lingering and unexplained side. How much is the contributions to the tier two fund? How much was transferred to the temporary fund? How long has Pensions alliance Trust been allowed to manage this money? And how much fees have they charged so far for this contentious service?

But you see, this government has lost direction. So many of them now have enough wealth and cannot justify the cause for an underprivileged society. The roots were always loose, started off, as an alternate position to their nemesis, the pro-capitalist-property-owing NPP and it is evident that wealth and a taste of the good life have wrung their ideology dry.

But it is kpa kpa kpa. This Government is having to do the most unconscionable things just to stay alive into 2016 when I hear they plan to unleash an avalanche of cash, spend to the hilt again and count on the Ghanaian voter’s penchant to forget easily the hardship of two years earlier.

Either that or they figure a way to rig the voter’s register to their advantage.

The Government owes money. One hundred and one million cedis to the school-feeding program. This translates as seventy-six school feeding days in arrears to the service providers. Not only that, it also owes the National Health a backlog of claims money since April of this year. To crown this, it is behind in most if not all, statutory obligations.

Yet it still latches to the loosely worded “small challenges” as the explanation of all its woes. You wonder what it would have been like, had they taken over from another government.

We will hear a budget for 2015 in the coming week. Wednesday 19th is another date with embarrassment for this government. Doubtless we will hear a lot about the IMF bailout and how it is our savior in the future. Our destiny will be laid out with a litany of reasons for past missed targets and overlooked and incomplete programs into the future, to be shamelessly punctuated with expressions of “Mr. Speaker, Mr. Speaker”.

On Wednesday 12th, OccupyGhana fired a salvo at the Auditor General, copy to the Attorney General and the President’s office. Our demand to the institutions is to ask for an explanation why, despite all the powers laid per our laws, we have not arrested or surcharged anyone with offences and crimes of theft and impropriety.

We have served notice that unless we get a response and reasons for the lack of effort to retrieve stolen assets of cash and other, we will be in court as citizens of this country to demand that the law be applied.

The countdown for 30 days notice has already started and we are waiting for a reaction. It is also important to remind the Chief Justice that we are waiting to hear her decision on whether there is a prima facie case to remove CHRAJ Commissioner Lorretta Lamptey from office. It has been over four weeks since she got the petition from the President’s office and she should by now have finished reading the six-page document. Unless she has not received it?

I suggest we create a ranking of idiots every month. I know a few people who would like to nominate themselves and Daboya/Makarigu Member of Parliament (MP), Nelson Abudu Baani did so on the floor of Parliament before the week was over, asking for a law to stone adulterous women. See more at: http://www.citifmonline.com/2014/11/16/occupyghana-demands-daboya-mp-resigns/#sthash.4aEMpxID.dpuf.

But I read actress Yvonne Nelson turned 29 and celebrated her birthday in style. She did not invite me.

Ghana, Aha a ye din papa. Alius atrox week advenio. Another terrible week to come!

Advertisements

One Response to “Kpa Kpa Kpa Economics. Critical News, 16th November 2014”

  1. Graylensman said

    A joke to cheer us up. What do the government of Ghana do when there is light off?….nothing.
    What does the government of Ghana do when they have light? ?….nothing!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

 
%d bloggers like this: