Business in Ghana

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Unlearnt Lessons. Critical News, 15th February 2015

Posted by Business in Ghana on February 15, 2015

Sydney Casely-Hayford, sydney@bizghana.com

I lost my cousin on Friday. Sissy died in the early hours of Friday, ravaged by diabetes and her sense of no-life.

I come from a family of five boys, my female cousins were the closest to sisters that I knew as we grew up over the years, life molding us, taking us further yet closer with every passing age and circumstance. We married, had children, educated some and agonized over most, whose fate turned left when the signposts read ahead and north.

She fought diabetes for ten years, a hard unflinching fight trundling from one hospital to the next herbal center, hoping for the miracle cure to end the mental agony of an inevitable end, an end which when it came was her own choice for death as she shut her mental will to the fight of life.

A few weeks ago as she lay in hospital, her messages to me delivered by more than a handful of family, flew past my busy schedule, me promising and never visiting.

Thursday she was discharged and once again I made the fatal decision to postpone seeing her until over the weekend. I thought she was out of danger; and for another time in my life I made the critical mistake of not listening to the small voice that guides me; rather, running my life around work and trivia.

Sissy looked after me as a boy, caring for us when parents traveled and nurturing us like a true mother and her nest of unruly cockles, a daily routine that challenged the most patient adult. And even as I grew up, she was always there for me and so too did I think I would be always there for her.

So I have not learnt any lessons at this level. I have regrets, regrets born out of thinking that my world is too important to be interrupted by life’s foibles and that the greater patriot rides paramount over the person and the heave of life’s past love.

May you rest in peace Sissy, one day, maybe one day, I will have learnt this lesson of life.

So it got me thinking. For those at the helm of affairs of this country, do they expect another opportunity to come rushing at them as they obviate the necessary to be done to ensure that one-time chances are taken and shaped, that history’s clock only captured in media will not play a nasty joke and rush through the one way street of life, no rearview mirror to check the timeline of impermanence?

As I listened to Mahama Ayariga who adopted a “useless” line of attack to journalists and radio hosts, I wondered whether unlike me, he would come to regret what is not done and unlearn the lessons of an arrogant life.

Of course, he is secure in a cloak of vacuous incompetence in a Government, which guarantees his job at the expense of our tax cedis. Because we selectively prefer disrespectful and non-achieving ministers, he might perfect the job with a few tears and get an honorable transfer to one of the reserved seats next to the President, where such achievements are revered.

And I finally had my time with Kobby Acheampong on Radio XYZ. He took the opportunity to sneak into a very un-listened to station to insult me, claiming that elite persons such as I, have no clue and no answer to the problems in Ghana and that my upbringing does not allow me to comment on any matter that affects the underprivileged.

I don’t seem to understand pro-poor solutions like training youth in pothole filling and riding shotgun on made in China tricycles.

Luckily for me, XYZ’s Moro Awudu has stayed loyal to my thinking and called for my comments. I lost my cool. But it gets very infantile when you hear similar comments from the Kwakyes, Georges, Kweteys, Kokus and Kobby Acheampongs whose pro-poor interventions translate into siphoning money from such programs into party coffers to enhance their return to create even bigger pools of corruption.

I disagree with the reincarnation of the GYEEDA program. I still have a petition at the Human Rights Commission requesting further investigation; especially the roles played by service providers Agams Group and Jospong Group.

As far back as November 2013, this is what I petitioned CHRAJ to do among other requests;

Compel the NDC Government to immediately stop all programs under the Ghana youth employment and entrepreneurial agency (GYEEDA).

Ask the NDC Government to recall the committee that reported on the activities of GYEEDA to complete its work and issue a proper final report.

Ask all ministers of youth and sports between 2006 and 2013 to provide reasons why the program was allowed to illegally continue every year from 2006 under their watch and without proper monitoring and evaluation.

Request parliament to make available to the public all reports on debates that led to the creation of GYEEDA and how funding, loans, grants and all other concessions were awarded to program service providers without prior approval by the house.

Compel heads of the following institutions to provide evidence of instruction they received which empowered them to release funds from their statutory sources to support the GYEEDA program;

  1. Ghana Education Trust Fund (getfund)
  2. National Health Insurance Scheme (nhis)
  3. Communication Services Tax Fund (cst)
  4. District Assemblies Common Fund (dacf)

Compel the heads of the public procurements authority between 2006 and 2013 to provide reasons why GYEEDA was given sole source awards in contravention of act 663.

Instruct the Attorney-General’s department to explain why GYEEDA programs were not scrutinised and contract advice provided as laid down in administrative procedure.

Invite the two main beneficiaries and their affiliates under the GYEEDA module; Roland Agambire as RLG Communications and Joseph Siaw Agyepong as Zoomlion to appear before CHRAJ and account for all monies received from the Ministry of Youth and Sports during the duration of the GYEEDA program.

Ask the Ministry of Finance and Controller and Accountant General’s Department to provide explanations of how funds were released in advance to service providers in contravention of the financial administration regulation.

And I went on further to recap my position as follows;

It is my opinion that Government must not be allowed to proceed any further with the GYEEDA program until such time that it has accounted to the people of this country how their tax cedis were used to support a program that was so flawed it has not shown any results in any part of youth training. The GYEEDA program is an act of illegality supported by Government’s request to its investigative agencies to review the recommendations of the Committee’s report and indict any parties found guilty of any act of illegality.

And I still maintain that Government should support the Vocational Training Institutes, rather than promoting another parallel Institution, a proven conduit for thieving.

Now, the IEA is once again warning our Government of the head on collision with “HMS HIPC”. Ghana’s debt to GDP ratio sits officially at 65%. It is far more than this as the IMF and World Bank are realizing as they struggle to fashion a program we can fit and work to.

So in a statement recapping the debt borrowing disease inflicted by an NDC government, the IEA tracked the history of habitual borrowing and the overview impact on the economy. From JJ to Mills, now to JDM we are in dire straits but with blinkered belief that by 2017 this crisis will be over. Question is, are we going to trust the future of this country with another reckless NDC Government come 2016?

Ghanaians better not forget the pain of this past six years as we have made do with whatever means we can, to prop up an economy heading for an abyss.

I stand firmly on the principle that those ensconced in the protective bosom of ineptitude and shrouded in tapestries of incompetence should not be allowed to run riot on the people of Ghana, arrogantly insulting those who dare to question their unaccountability.

Ghana must change if we are to live to a certain standard; and unlearnt lessons that leap past us must make a U turn and find us again.

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

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