Business in Ghana

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Dead Goat Reload. Critical News, 5th April 2015

Posted by Business in Ghana on April 5, 2015

Sydney Casely-Hayford, sydney@bizghana.com

It is always refreshing and invigorating to step back in history to remember some of the important things which shaped our future and might have made us totally different persons had we only be minded to think critically of what we set out to be.

During the Limann PNP administration in the run up to that stupid 31 December coup, we missed so many opportunities to correct significant aberrations in the constitution and what we could have prevented at the time.

Fogged with so many perils soon after it took up government and with severe economic downturn, inflation running at 70% and more, a result of military adventurism with no purposeful agenda than to maim persons out of personal vendettas within the armed forces, Hilla Limann and his team had so much chance to correct so much.

I remember a very good friend Ato Austin was expelled from the youth wing of the PNP at the time because he suggested on an open platform that Government should not, in the face of severe economic hardship, devalue the currency.

Accused of leaking party secrets without authorization and raising alarm in society on delicate matters pertaining to the economy, he rebelled and later made a name for himself for single mindedness and forthright talking.

My favorite “missed” opportunity though, was on the appointment of an Ombudsperson, which would be the CHRAJ job today, of Mr. S O. Gyandoh, at that time a lecturer at the Ghana Faculty of Law.

At his vetting, Mr. Gyandoh said he was not aligned to any political party and therefore would do his job impartially and without favor to anyone and on any party lines. He said he would do a professional job as befits the legal practice worldwide.

In disgust, the party withdrew his nomination for the job in favor of another more “party-leaning” person.

Today as we wait impatiently for the result of the petition to remove Loretta Lamptey from the position of CHRAJ boss, you have to wonder whether justice will be served and whether the people of this country will ever see an “anti corruption-committed” executive, ready to ensure that good governance finds a berthing dock in the old Parliament house.

Unlike the berths for the Turkish barges, which we hear will not be ready to be delivered any time soon, and even if they are ready, we have no money to pay for the cost of expensive kilowatts yet, maybe, fortuitously, the financing will be so delayed, the Volta Lake will rise again and keep us in light for the next few years. Wishful thinking.

This government has once again announced that the gas from Atuabo is ready and waiting to be used, except for VRA, whose act has fallen short of chivalry.

But the truth is the TICO plant supposed to be available cannot be used because it is still vibrating off-centre. The manufacturers can’t solve the problem and we don’t have a clue when it will be on tap to produce the power (110, 220, 330MW – don’t even know what the figure is anymore). Everybody gets up and tells you something, depending on whether breakfast was cooked with light or in darkness.

The amazing thing about the Atuabo gas project is that, last week Ghana Gas was crowing success after achieving the end goal two and half years late. This plant that was meant to be ready in December 2012, only finds its place on the energy generation grid in March 2015, and we are hearing noises of how well they have done to get to this point.

I asked myself, where does all this mediocre back-patting come from? And are we surprised? We reject people because they are determined to do good work.

When a group of sensible committed people come together to challenge the orthodox and say they want to see change in governance and improvement in our lives, we have a whole NDC party spread all over the radio waves, tainting them as hypocrites.

OccupyGhana says, let’s see more persons of like mind getting into parliament. Let’s see more independent minded likes of Ghanaians, who have only one purpose at their front. Let’s get good governance and move this country way ahead and very fast. Aren’t we tired enough as it is?

Painful that Nigeria is wealthier than we, beat us a football, athletics, boxing, and have more commitment to changing the face of their country from a “419” repository; we have to now cede our democracy credentials and flake in their wave of change.

Congratulations to Buhari and Goodluck, but more congrats to Nigerians. They have showed a path and we are going to follow. More pressure on the politicians in this country to get themselves out of slumber and stop dancing around the simple issues that can turn our democratic credentials back to lead.

It was a refreshing two days of voting and the outcome was clear and unequivocal. Ghana? We need to reload our democracy and leave the dead meat to fester like the Tarkwa locomotives in Akwatia.

So we now have an IMF program – for policy credibility. And the first thing we are going to do is give the first $114million to the Bank of Ghana (BoG) to shore up their dwindling reserves. Really?

BoG is broke because it keeps lending money to a broke client. It has over-extended itself to the Government beyond legally allowed limits and this Government is now borrowing money from elsewhere to pay what is long overdue and hoping that by some miracle the fast depreciating cedi can be stalled, while we catch our breath in “dumsor”.

The British development agency, DfID is committing to building toilets in the urban city area to help with the shortage that Mayor Oko Vanderpuye told us a long time ago he has solved. To hear that homes in Accra still do not have toilets, in spite of the fact that it is illegal not to have one, DfID has decided that its current, most significant contribution to our welfare is to help us not to fall in pit latrines at night.

I think this is an indirect way of them making a contribution to “dumsor”. Certainly if you build proper toilets in a home, there is very little likelihood of you falling into a pit when the lights are out and you are groping your way with hands on the floor looking for the hole in the ground. The inventors of the modern flush toilet know what life was like before they arrived here.

But why does President Mahama not remember all these stories? As a history graduate and avid reader and writer (I hope so – don’t know him personally enough, so I am going on what people have told me) is he not interested enough to avoid repeating the mistakes of the past? Tweet please? Asantehene Osei Tutu, are you there? Your Facebook friend needs a tutor. As for you, Obε ti e wu.

I ported my number away from MTN the other week. Ported to Vodafone. And I wonder, why is it that MTN users always switch their phones off?

Too many other puzzles confront me. Have the NPP arsonists who were burning down the markets in Accra and Kumasi last year moved to Takoradi? Last week the market there caught fire. I think the Government should publish the names of them arsonists they identified during the USA fire team investigation. And maybe if we name and shame, they might give up?

So, just as Christ has risen today, and Christ has risen indeed, can’t the dead goat rise as a brand new goat and reload his mind for our benefit?

I read he visited some prisons this past week to inspect some of the rooms where Ablakwa, Fiifi, Omane, Sam, Dela and Ofosu might have to spend some time if 2016 does a “bad luck” turn. Mark Woyongo has also started building a new prison in Bolgatanga.

Luckily, there is no danger. Government announces, never completes. Ei, Eyε Asεm ooo!

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

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