Business in Ghana

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Archive for January, 2015

O Dumsor Where is Thy Sting? Critical News, 25th January 2015

Posted by Business in Ghana on January 25, 2015

Sydney Casely-Hayford, sydney@bizghana.com

Haven’t you eventually braved the ides of Dumsor? Everywhere I went this past week everybody complained about the erratic power cuts and how there is simply no regard for Citizen Ghana and whether we deserve such punishment after the small holiday largesse at the expense of the Volta lake.

Now regular kiosks around the city have invested in small generators to survive and carry on basic services. My local barber down McCarthy Hill proudly announced to me how he has arranged for a generator on hire for a few days in a week just to keep his customers from drifting. He did the calculations and figured he could do a bit more if he spent a few extra cedis.

He asks for three cedis for a haircut, beard and moustache trim. He operates from a kiosk, and me, big supporter of KIOSKENOMICS patronize his “barbary” at least every other week. He fears an increase in charge will turn customers away.

My advice, charge a few cedis more. Our conversation went somewhat like this. Translate into Twi to get the import.

Yaw: “If I ask for more they will not pay”

Syd: “How much do I pay when I come here?”

Yaw: “Five cedis” Read the rest of this entry »

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2½ Years and A Scorecard. Critical News, 18th January 2015

Posted by Business in Ghana on January 19, 2015

Sydney Casely-Hayford, sydney@bizghana.com

This past week, a frenzied activity from the NDC Communications team to counter what, I have no clue. Because their secretary Johnson Asiedu Nketia went public to admonish their own for criticizing Occupy Ghana and labeling us hypocrites, because in Fiifi Kwetey’s mind we are closet NPP supporters, because we are determined that good governance must be the norm and not the aberration in Ghana. Because we are a group of Ghanaians with a clear path to eliminating corruption.

And we have had a lot of social media commentary advising that we ignore idiots and carry on with what citizens have come to wish for; good governance.

Neither the NDC nor the NPP have really asserted themselves on the corruption issue to correct the simple constrictions in the way we handle public theft and procurement.

Our poke at the Auditor General to use his powers of disallowance and surcharge has ruffled many feathers and the sleepers at the helm of the country have suddenly woken up to their usual platitudes and promises of a better Ghana despite the inertia to implement what could have been achieved decades back.

But instead of acknowledging that yes, they have not done and could have done better and improved matters so that we as a people see the benefits of good governance, they resorted to personal attacks and insults, yet calling for meetings in the background to discuss a way forward if we can hold fire for a moment. Read the rest of this entry »

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Most developing countries will benefit from oil price slump, says World Bank Group

Posted by Business in Ghana on January 12, 2015

WASHINGTON, January 7, 2015 Gains from low oil prices can be substantial for developing-country importers if supported by stronger global growth, says a World Bank Group analysis of the oil price decline, contained in the latest edition of Global Economic Prospects.

The decline in oil prices reflects a confluence of factors, including several years of upward surprises in oil supply and downward surprises in demand, receding geopolitical risks in some areas of the world, a significant change in policy objectives of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), and appreciation of the U.S. dollar. Although the relative strength of the forces driving the recent plunge in prices remains uncertain, supply related factors appear to have played a dominant role.

Soft oil prices are expected to persist in 2015 and will be accompanied by significant real income shifts from oil-exporting to oil-importing countries. For many oil-importing countries, lower prices contribute to growth and reduce inflationary, external, and fiscal pressures.

However, weak oil prices present significant challenges for major oil-exporting countries, which will be adversely impacted by weakening growth prospects, and fiscal and external positions. If lower oil prices persist, they could also undermine investment in new exploration or development. This would especially put at risk investment in some low-income countries, or in unconventional sources such as shale oil, tar sands, and deep sea oil fields. Read the rest of this entry »

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The Idiots of January. Critical News, 11th January 2015

Posted by Business in Ghana on January 11, 2015

Sydney Casely-Hayford, sydney@bizghana.com

By 16th June 2014 we were paying ghp273 for a liter of premium fuel. Today it is costing us ghp305. On that date the cost of crude oil on the international market was $114 a barrel. Oil now costs close to $50 a barrel. Over 56% drop in price.

That change from ghp273 to ghp305 does not represent a 10% drop in the price of petrol at the pump. If you benchmark the cost to a later period, say 1st December, the ex-pump price was ghp339 for a liter. The cost to the consumer went up ghp66 from that period.

After automatic price hikes between June and December from ghp273 to ghp339, our Government would want us to believe that it is doing us a big favor by reducing the ex-refinery price of petrol by 10%.

To arrive at the ex-pump price of petrol, which is where we feel the pinch in our pockets, the law adds taxes, levies and margins to an ex-refinery price and the National Petroleum Authority advises Government of the true cost of delivering petrol to the retailing companies such as Shell, Total, Goil etc.

In this situation, Government then makes an illegal add-on or subtraction to arrive at the ex-pump price. This so-called price stabilization margin is a politically decided figure and has been used by all Governments to court voting favors from the masses.

The idiot’s guide to calculating an economic price of the most important product in our life is simple. There is a law and we must follow the law and allow it to work. Adjusting the cost build up under the guise of mitigating losses chalked up by the very same government that has broken the law should not be acceptable. Read the rest of this entry »

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REGINA V Christopher Smith, Nicholas Smith, Timothy Forrester, Smith & Ouzman Limited. Critical News, 4th January 2015

Posted by Business in Ghana on January 5, 2015

Sydney Casely-Hayford, sydney@bizghana.com

Happy New Year to all of us. By some quirky calculation we have learnt by imposition that our lives carry from one 365-day block to the next and we age as that time crosses. Logic argues that time is a continuum and not block spaces, because if it were so, many of us would find a way to jump off a segment and wait for the next chunk. But it is too early after the X’Mas break for us to get heavy with science.

I started the holiday with plans of rest and constructive laziness to not complete any assignments. With unstable power supply and the continuous search for water, my excuse would relax and deploy all financial resources to quiet time and needless reflection.

Then the ECG had to hear JDM’s plea and give us plenty light. It was fortuitous that manufacturing closed down for the period and I am sure they diverted the unused power to us domestics to waste as needed. So I had to work, make best use of the constant supply and usher in another year.

The Volta Lake is low and getting lower by the day. We use approximately 0.05feet a day and with no rains in sight till June July, we will be as close if not lower than the minimum level if it continues. So be guided by the Scout motto.

Power is going to be a big issue again in 2015 and beyond. Whatever you hear from Government, be better advised by what you observe. The rationing will intensify after the Xmas gift. Read the rest of this entry »

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