Business in Ghana

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Pardon My stupid. Critical News, 22nd February 2015

Posted by Business in Ghana on February 22, 2015

Sydney Casely-Hayford, sydney@bizghana.com

Death creeps in your heart, engulfs your mind and with heartrending signals, captures your senses, numbing them confusedly. In its jolting way, first news of a dead loved one, dulls the realism of life, leaving a sense of non-purpose, a linger on the mind, warding off other reality in such a way that questions of why and no reasons to why, drift to and forward through your mind even as you hear reassuring words from engaged humans, perfecting the ploy of held down grief, a forever attachment to sadness; death.

Floating memories of time together, casual, vivid images of time spent with love smiles, gestures of peace and together ideas for mutual existence, all play games.

You try to be brave, try hard to shake off the pitted sadness in your mind and in your heart, clearly losing the battle that only time can heal.

To all those who have lost close ones in recent times, I understand. I am feeling it just as much at this time and were I a praying man, I would be on my knees asking a God to take away the yoke and free me from misery. But alas.

Religious prayer has and probably always will be a non-discussion issue for me.

Saturday on Citifm’s The Big Issue we waded into the topic of whether Muslim students are being treated unfairly as far as religious practice and classes are concerned.

Some place in this country, some persons have decided that we should all be Christians. I am not against religion, but please let me say that who and what I want to worship must be my business. That I don’t fall in line with your beliefs does not give you the right to annihilate me. That is for the likes of Boko Harram, Al Shabab, Al Qaeda and ISIS, and those are terrorist organizations, NOT religious groups.

It has taken the world and in particular, Islamists, a little while to come to this point, but the entire world can now see these monsters are the biggest menace today.

In Ghana, we cannot allow religion to become a fight. We cannot accept that one religion is better than the other, we cannot sit aloof when one religion castigates the other and we should all have ample opportunity to practice what we believe. The onus is on the leaders and clerics to ensure that proper interpretation of belief is made and we do not get into a spiral of evil, trying to kill each other for ascendancy to a heaven not proven.

Did OccupyGhana endorse the “wɔngbɔ” demo? Yes we did, and we will endorse any other demo that pushes the envelope of good governance in Ghana. Should any other party decide they have a cause to fight and prefer to walk the streets rather than cause chaos and mayhem, Occupy will have support to give.

Unfortunately, too many political neophytes cannot see any reason why we should attach to anything political; but OccupyGhana is a political movement, no ties to any particular party, but certainly with expectation that Ghanaians will be informed enough to make the proper choices come 2016.

Oh boy, wish that we had enough young “Occupiers” with enough determination to fight and win elections and occupy many seats in Parliament. Occupiers armed with good and proper principles so we could accelerate the pace of governance in this country.

I would like to see some sitting MPs lose their seats in 2016. Especially ones who don’t go to work, but are available to vote en-bloc every time there is an issue that delivers brown envelopes at the end of the day.

The “dumsor” is not going away soon. Ghanaians read this problem clearly and understand that there are things that do not appear with prayer. “Acts of God” that uproot gas pipelines are not meant to test your resolve to pray harder; they are lies told by one person, with the advice of certain other liars, for you to vote them into power, and in Ghana, so they can line their pockets at your expense.

When you calculate how much energy it takes to charge 27million mobile phones for three hours a day, the total usage is less than 2% of the national demand. It uses about 622MWh/day or 235GWh/year. The actual figure is 1.97% of an assumed annual electricity consumption of 12,000GWh/year.

When you do similar calculations for five million households with refrigerators and freezers, the figure calculates to 4,380GWh/year (36.5%). And five million households with TVs can consume 511GWh/year. (4.26%). If you don’t believe me, check with the Energy Commission.

The Ministry of Power will not tell you all this until Minister Kwabena Donkor has resigned. He got his colors in “exercising” when he joined the “wɔngbɔ” demo, thinking it was a keep fit class with a police permit to halt traffic for a morning.

We do not generate enough power. If we had power plants in place ready to take up gas or crude fuel, we would have enough supply by now. The West Cape Three Points fields have enough gas to power any unit. Crude is cheaper than ever before and if we could not buy at $114/barrel, we should be able to do so at $60/barrel.

Truth of the matter, we don’t have the plants in place from VRA to take up the fuel. If I am wrong someone tell me where my logic has failed.

Transmission lines are in place; meters are in all our homes and businesses, even if these are inefficient, so all the problem here is the supply.

ECG owes VRA a lot of money as it does GRIDCO and other suppliers. Government is not paying its bills to ECG and the tariff is too low to make ECG profitable. Hence they have to get GNPC to guarantee their loans in order that they can provide another 450MW of “Turkey barge” energy.

But why is ECG entering the energy supply business? Thought they retailed only. My stupidity just caught up with me after I read a letter from the A-G to GNPC for advice on a guarantee facility for ECG of $100million, sanctioning the case to circumvent Parliamentary oversight.

GNPC has been ordered by the President to find a way to do the deal so we can have expensive power.

So when you go round about, you come to one place. The economy is messed, Government has no cash, is still trying to borrow its way out of the predicament and meanwhile it is all still spiraling down.

Our “dumsor” is an economic mismanagement problem. It is all about how we never invested wisely in past years, spent too much money during election 2012 and how we miscalculated the revenue streams and continue to spend in unnecessary sectors, when we are still struggling to get the IMF to believe we are “good boys”.

Yet, some persons managed to go listen to Earl Klugh at the International Conference Center. They paid at least ghc250 for a ticket. A jazziest par excellence show, I hear the double night performances were incredible and an experience missed if you are not in that affording bracket.

Well pardon my stupid, I thought it was a bit too much money in this economy, but I was wrong. As I shrunk past the conference center at 9pm, cars with drivers waiting for patrons told a different story. I am out of step with the spending power of my peeps.

But my President was in the Gambia on the day we “wɔngbɔ” the streets to protest the harsh, harsher, but not yet harshest conditions in Ghana, (I still remember some of the times with JJ and Kutu Acheampong). I am coming to grips with the reality that I have to adjust my brain to absorb the suggestions to our power and economic solutions.

That mobile phones, TVs and other have become the reason for the now wikipidea’d “dumsor” has caught me off-guard and reeling with illogic. Mr. President please pardon my stupid again, the numbers don’t make sense to me.

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

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