Business in Ghana

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Archive for July, 2015

Confused Numerology. Critical News, 26th July 2015

Posted by Business in Ghana on July 27, 2015

Sydney Casely-Hayford, sydney@bizghana.com

For those of us who chose to ignore Finance Minister Seth Terkper’s mid-term budget review, we probably missed a lot in the art of numerology. I am an accountant by profession. I am actually a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants, UK, I have been that for quite some time. I don’t do any more auditing work, a little beef I have with looking at numbers after people have raided the bank accounts and diverted all the cash they can lay their hands on.

And especially in Ghana, a source of immense frustration for me and right-thinking Ghanaians.

But back to numerology. I couldn’t listen to the full delivery in Parliament, so I chose to read the script in detail after the fact. I have to say one thing about the Ministry of Finance, they release electronic versions of all the speeches and fiscal reports in a timely fashion, allowing us analysts to do some back checking and interpretation. Just wish that the numbers were true and fair.

I have spent quite some time with the Controller and Accountant General’s reporting and was on the verge of pointing out the inconsistencies in the numbers and monthly aggregations when the junior doctors blew the lid on the late salary payments going back eleven months.

How on earthly Ghana does anyone survive if they don’t get a paycheck for eleven months? And how in the name of Mahama does anybody find a place for their head on a pillow, knowing that a future leader and bread winner of a family is being discouraged from thinking that a good training as a doctor with its full prestige and as close to God as you can get as a human, is not a worthy profession at the end of the month.

I won’t let my daughter run around with a man who cannot put a cheque on the table at the end of a month? Who born dog, that I should rear a child and cultivate her only for a loser with no future prospects and who would make her pay the bills and look after his self-acquired existence through her effort. Read the rest of this entry »

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Tillipology. Critical News, 19th July 2015

Posted by Business in Ghana on July 20, 2015

Sydney Casely-Hayford, sydney@bizghana.com

I am bursting to tell you this. Somewhere in the area where resides Nkonya, there is a street called Ososo-Kusumpo Street. This name insults the definition of “street”, and I doubt very much if the person(s) who defined street had this in mind as a perfect and long lasting descriptive of what we all would recognize as a street when you receive directions.

Ososo-Kusumpo street sign is mounted just before a kiosk that marks the beginning of the road, adjacent and off part of the Eastern corridor network. All along that highway, there are many streets, avenues and lanes, and they all go no place. This Ososo street leads nowhere. It starts and stops with the sign in front of the kiosk. You might be forgiven if you do not see the word street, it could be the name of the kiosk, but this is clearly a marked street.

First, you and I will not be there to tell this story, were it not for the matter I had to attend to in that area I would have no inkling that directions to Ososo-Kusumpo St. would end in the gutter.

This is no joke. Driving through the connecting road, from Kpandu to Jasikan and beyond, we amused ourselves, regaled with laughter at the audacity of the street-namers, who must all have juicy contracts from the District or the Municipality, to develop as many sign posts as possible in order that riches can be identified in one bank account and the other.

But the scam was very obvious. So many of the signs simply lead nowhere or even if they did, the designation of what is a street or lane was completely ignored. Read the rest of this entry »

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Dear Tindana @ Tallensi. Critical News, 12th July 2015

Posted by Business in Ghana on July 12, 2015

Sydney Casely-Hayford, sydney@bizghana.com

Dear Tindana, pardon my effrontery, my shirt is still on my back this morning, but I figure, since I am so far away from you, I am safe to keep it on. I am in Accra as I write. But you need to hear this.

Our city was not gay enough this past week, so the NDC party invited their cousins in the NPP to go and join them in far away and hitherto peaceful Tallensi. For the rest of us, we were not invited to the by-election party, which result would really have no impact on the balance of power in the country and to which purpose, nothing would change the corrupt elements in our society, so we weren’t expecting anything more than a victory of one sort or the other. Even the PNC party made voluble noises, to as it were “watch this space”. We didn’t think much of it and we would not have showed up if we were invited.

But they all went. Anyone whose name was something in the NPP and NDC was there. Of course, Afoko and Kwabena did not dare show their faces within ten miles of the place, they being extra-non-communicado in the vicinity.

So we remained in our regions, thinking this would not affect us in any way. How wrong we were. Before the date was up, Freddy Blay from the NPP side had fired verbal salvos of a boycott or court action if they did not know who was going to count the votes.

We listened on the side lines and continued with daily chores, watching, preoccupied with Oko Vanderpuye’s continued destruction of the finest slums of Accra. He moved on from Old Fadama, I still remember it as Sodom and Gomorra, but hey, we have to be sensitive to illegality these days.

We thought, naively, that this was the usual verbal spittle and “polytricking” so we went merrily along the way, sitting at the tables, sleeping, waiting for “dum” to “sor” in the middle of the night so we could do some reading.

And before we knew it, we were in a war zone. The plot was laid and they were both in election heaven, where they yell at each other, accuse themselves of all manner of nonsensical plots and evil doing and take advantage of all of us naïve followers to enhance their corruption. Read the rest of this entry »

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Clone Me A Moomen. Critical News, 5th July 2015

Posted by Business in Ghana on July 6, 2015

Sydney Casely-Hayford, sydney@bizghana.com

The Friday crowd was no joke. I was completely out of my depth, didn’t know whether to look left, right, north or south or even maybe corner my eyes surreptitiously from some place. I was at the National theatre to watch a satirical comedy on events that play out in Flagstaff House periodically.

It was a chance meeting with the two gentlemen who were both acting and promoting their play and I promised them I would be there and so I was. The bonus I did not figure into the attendance was all the youthful and fun-loving crowd who showed up to support their mates.

The skirts were nine inches above the knee, dresses were hugging well-formed hips and the stretch jeans were hard pushed to show off any more than they were designed to do. It could have been a Hollywood BET red carpet event, but the handbags did it all for me.

These carry sacks the ladies have taken to balancing in the crook of their elbows, held daintily with palms floating upwards in a tandem hip swivel with each step, now show the class of ladies in town. And there were plenty of those on offer.

And it lived up to expectation for them. They laughed, sang along and kept up with slogans and poignant messages, all of them aware of the outcome of the show, except me, who still thought the incumbent president would still win the election petition.

In this engaging scenario, even with all the similarities of the Supreme Court justices and the election pink sheets, over-voting, double-voting, destroyed ballots and voting results declared long before the count was in, the incumbent lost the slot and the true outcome was only punished when the outgoing president declared a three week “dumsor” on residents in specific communities to “teach his opposers a lesson”. Read the rest of this entry »

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