Business in Ghana

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Archive for December, 2014

Because I Have To Believe. Critical News, 28th December 2014

Posted by Business in Ghana on December 28, 2014

Sydney Casely-Hayford, sydney@bizghana.com

Mahama gave us light for Xmas and we all accepted the bribe; he forgot to instruct the Ghana Water Company to do same. Reminded me so much of Kutu Acheampong.

And I didn’t join the “Shatta Movement” at December to Remember on 24th night. These “Shatta-ians” were doing cartwheels, throwing themselves on the floor, jumping higher than Gazelles in heat and conveying everything depicting fanatical. I can’t do that so I remain with other milder movements.

Asamoah Gyan graced the show, got some mention from DKB, whose comedy is lifting the standup challenge to new heights.

For too long we have absorbed the low-cost efforts of Opia and Egya Koo, and I think it is time to have some mid-level comedy on a new plane. The fact that we could laugh at ethnic varieties and tease Asamoah Gyan and Sulley Muntari without threat of arrest, even in the face of “kpa kpa kpa” made a great show.

And Stone Bwuoy was worth all the money in the world. Definitely talent surpassing everything I have heard in Ghana for a long time not to leave out Ketche.

No women this year, the billed MsVee never performed but Afia Swharznegger definitely made up for all. Her infectious humor connected with the audience who were definitely clued into the local politics. Read the rest of this entry »

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Because I Need To Believe. Critical News, 21st December 2014

Posted by Business in Ghana on December 21, 2014

Sydney Casely-Hayford, sydney@bizghana.com

Turning left coming out of TV Africa studios where I had just finished recording a show, I was appalled at the spectacle of a group of people pounding mercilessly on a helpless victim curled knees to chest on the floor, hopelessly covering his head with his bare hands, trying to avoid the next blow.

I made a decision to drive by and “di mi fie asem” when I spotted a youthful macho approaching with what looked like a six-inch concrete block heading for the helpless victim. I changed my mind, careened to the side road in a screeching halt, pounding my horn at the same time.

Taking advantage of the distraction, I came out of the car yelling in twi for all of them to step aside and stop the beating. I managed a quick run, adrenalin pumping through the old body and confronted those I thought were the ringleaders.

The next exchange took place local language as I tried to understand the purpose of this attempted murder.

Back and forth for another thirty minutes, I finally made some sense and with a cell phone in hand taking pictures as fast as I could, I finally quelled the mob and they started drifting away, back-yelling insults and challenging my authority as they moved ways from the crime scene.

They had intended to kill the poor guy on “suspicion” that he was a known pickpocket in the area and was snooping around the parked cars in the vicinity looking for something to steal.

He had stolen nothing; not yet, but they were going to kill him. Read the rest of this entry »

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IMF Might Need Some Answers. GNPC, GNGC, ENI and Due Dilligence

Posted by Business in Ghana on December 14, 2014

By Sydney Casely-Hayford

The news that Ghana’s Parliament approved the deal on the oil and gas project with ENI of Italy could raise important questions related to the Country’s program with the IMF.

There are implications for the budget, even as the price of crude continues to dip below the numbers used to estimate oil revenues to fund the Budget and other sectors, especially social safety nets might be compromised.

Whether subsuming GNGC into GNPC will affect the share of carried and participated interest of GNPC in its contract with ENI and whether there will be an impact on public and publicly guaranteed external debt is a big question.

Parliament already did the unthinkable and passed the $8billion contract with ENI speedily as it does when under pressure from Government to shore immediate cash demands.

The IMF program is struggling to finality, principally on a few key issues. One, the total value of Government debt is still open to debate and whether the composite debt must include liabilities of certain key parastatals such as VRA, GNPC and TOR must still be of concern. As also the debt of key Municipalities and Metropolitan Assemblies.

Two, the projected revenues are a problem with periodic budgets consistently below target and the payroll envelope is still threatening to engulf revenues.

As Parliament ducked the minority call for a stay in loan approval pending the $700million facility in court re: GNPC, the decision begged the question whether anyone had taken a closer look at ENI on the world scope. Read the rest of this entry »

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Because I Want To Believe. Critical News, 14th December 2014

Posted by Business in Ghana on December 14, 2014

Sydney Casely-Hayford, sydney@bizghana.com

The Auditor General Peter Quartey finally gave OccupyGhana his reply to our questions regarding his authority to disallow and/or surcharge public expenditure in the country as and when he detects it. Unfortunately, or maybe fortunately, we disagree with his minimalist interpretation of his authority and we intend a formal response to clarify our understanding of his duties to Ghanaians.

In the likely event that we do not find common ground, we will see him before the Supreme Court Justices.

But this week our President announced at the National Anti Corruption Action Plan (NACAP) meeting, all the great things we will be doing to dribble out the corruption bug. He also mentioned specifically some 300 people he had on remand on various corruption and related matters.

You see all that he has achieved? So we all jumped into the sortie. Who are these seasoned criminals amongst us? Can they be seen? Please publish the list so we make sure our names are not included. But alas, it has not happened. I would have thought if there was a list, getting it to the media would be a matter of “halt the press, the Criminal names are coming oooo!!”

Same way we have no clue about all the super contracts Government is undertaking despite calls for all the projects to be identified (as a matter of transparency) with amounts allocated and stages of completion, so also this list will NEVER be seen until Green Book time in 2016. Read the rest of this entry »

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Going, Going, Mo-Go-On? Critical News, 7th December 2014

Posted by Business in Ghana on December 7, 2014

Sydney Casely-Hayford, sydney@bizghana.com

Just a few more days to the end of the year. It has been a tragic year for me and I would like to see the back of it with some renewed vigor into 2015. Unfortunately the budget forecast into 2015 is so “de bii kɛkɛ”, I can’t see my way to a glorious transformation in the medium to long term.

I have lost many close friends and family this year from accidents and illness, I keep my fingers crossed that the coming year will be a bit more lenient.

I can’t help but observe though, that Bishop Duncan Williams must revisit his prophesies and ask his maker whether he correctly interpreted the arrival of Ebola in Ghana by the end of November. I am sure he prayed hard for it not to come true and communed with the Lord to stay this plague away from Ghana, but for his sake, I wish he could have deflected the engine failure of the Presidential jet to compensate.

President Mahama had to, above all days arrive three hours late to the greatest farmers day event on the calendar of the year, when some principalities tampered with the engine. He had just come out of a prayer gathering with the Bishop and some associates when this happened. Principalities seem to have a thing against jets in the air, because TB Joshua’s temple also collapsed from revolving jets not too long ago.

Yet all this did not prevent Chief Justice Georgina Wood from determining a prima facie case for the start of investigations into the removal of CHRAJ boss Lauretta Lamptey. Read the rest of this entry »

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