Business in Ghana

We Understand the issues that make the News

We Got Our Prostitute Back. Critical News, 17th May 2015

Posted by Business in Ghana on May 21, 2015

Sydney Casely-Hayford, sydney@bizghana.com

Why would anyone call you a prostitute because you are fed up with a persistent never-going-away erratic power supply? So you are tired and fed up with living conditions in the country, you decide enough is enough and call for a demonstration with your followers and that makes you a prostitute?

An apology is not even acceptable in the wake of the after-thought.

Why would anyone call you a “cannibal” because you disagree with the way energy supply is handled? What goes through a mind when you conceive the idea that you can skin your mother alive and use her skin to drum your success to the world?

What kind of an insulting mind should one have before you say things like this? Those are the words of children playing in the yard and teasing each other to see who can come up with the most diabolical description of gruesome to shock and awe friends and end up laughing at each other, especially at the loser, who must now concede and turn away from the most glib-mouthed child on the playground.

When you hear the acting chief executive of the National Youth Authority say this and even believes he is so sharp-tongued that he posts it on his face book page, you have to wonder the kind of leader he is trying to be. But Halidu Haruna and Ras Mubarak said this, and later did a radio circuit giving apologies of sorts.

And at the end of the day all that the President could do was chastise them that they went overboard. What ever happened to strict discipline and applying a little more decency by dismissing recalcitrants such as Halidu Harruna and Ras Mubarak?

The only reason they are still in the media and in their position is because the President sees nothing that much wrong with what they said.

And simply to add insult to the wound, the “halidu” showed up at the vigil to march with his “prostitutes”. I wonder whether he was pimped for the job. The police were certainly not amused.

And we thought we had that saga resolved, we’d won a good victory against Government and nailed another coffin to their back. But noooo!

Before we could carry our weary voices and legs back home, especially to Legon, from whence the students came in their thousands to “vigil-with-Yvonne”, Government announced a 9% increase in fuel tariffs.

I tell you, I am not a praying man, but I read Arch Bishop Duncan Williams’ recommendation to Ghanaians to stop talking and complaining and pray for the President.

Now, that has to be tongue in cheek, because he said we should pray that some of the persons in the Presidents office should be removed and we grant the President the wisdom to make the hard decisions for the country.

There are blockages and municipalities, maybe some dwarves as well, holding back the development of the country. These persons have to be exorcised out of our life so we can cast them into the Volta and keep the lake buoyant.

While all this is going on, AGLOW have been very quiet.

The question I want answered, is how much more prayer does this country need? The tithes are competing with the support for capacity building. Would Duncan consider that maybe the blockage is the President himself? Maybe he should remove himself so we can see whether that will solve our travails.

We are looking for solutions that are sitting right under our noses. If you keep pointing out these issues and praying that someone should hear you and it is not happening, there must be another agenda, and I think we can all see what it is.

The easier it is to weevil your way around proper controls, the more money you can make.

Right now ADB Bank is fighting its Unions and staff. There are rumors that many political benefits have been shared and we are witnessing incompetence to its max. It will all come out, and we shall be the judges soon.

But the 9% tariff increase will level this government. We will do something about it and take the confrontation to its limit. I have never experienced such callousness in governance in my life, and it is callousness, drummed on the backs of our own docility.

Until Ghanaians start saying enough, we will continue to have this kind of disregard for our lives and existence. We cannot and should not allow this to continue.

The World Bank released its report on Rising Urbanization in Ghana just last week. I am still reading it, but I think it is useful to share their conclusion. I don’t recognize my country from these paragraphs, but that’s because I don’t speak “IMF-ian” that well. More like language for the economic managers of this country.

Our Finance Minister certainly seems to understand it, that’s all he uses to communicate to us in the low lands and translates it as 9% fuel increase.

So here is the concluding portion of the report:

Ghana is halfway through urbanization. The first half has generated dividends in job creation, increasing human capital, reduction in poverty, and expansion of opportunities and living condition improvements for millions of Ghanaians. Ghana is one of the few countries in Africa that has been successful in harnessing these gains early on during the urbanization process.

Ghana’s policy makers have managed to leverage economies of scale across the urban system while keeping spatial inequalities in check.

However, to benefit even further in the second half, Ghana’s policymakers need to focus on the following:

  • Economic efficiency, finding new sources of productivity as productivity gains based on labor reallocation have been exhausted
  • Social inclusion, where there is urgent need to enhance quality and access to basic urban services

The analytic work and consultations around the Ghana Urbanization Review highlight the following priorities for efficient and inclusive urbanization:

Generate efficient land markets. To meet the challenges of urbanization, Ghana requires stronger land use management and planning in municipal and metropolitan areas. This would need institutional reforms to formalize land markets and enforce property rights, streamline land use regulations, and coordinate land market reforms with provision of affordable housing.

Improve connectivity within and across cities. Transport improvements are required to connect markets, boost factor mobility, and help modernize Ghana’s urban economies. This would involve increasing inter-modal coordination in intercity connectivity and developing high‐capacity public transport systems in large metropolitan areas.

Improve financing and fiscal mechanisms. To address the infrastructure gap and increase access to service in urban areas, Ghana must rationalize its intergovernmental fiscal framework, exploit the un-harnessed revenue potentials in its cities, and expand the use of new models for financing.

Enhance institutions and coordination for improved service delivery and spatial management. Ghana’s large cities require effective coordination to reduce fringe land requirements, reduce the cost of infrastructure and services provision, make land readily available to developers, and improve the provision of services and revenue collection”.

See Ghana oooo! Do you recognize your country from this description?

When I got to the end I took car keys and headed for the vigil to rescue my prostitutes and bring them back home. This convoluted wording which is simply saying, mange the economy better, build better road networks and ensure land title is straightened out and build stronger institutions is no new story.

But we have to read and accept, as happens when you go borrowing money all over the place.

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

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