Business in Ghana

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Posts Tagged ‘ECG’

O Dumsor Where is Thy Sting? Critical News, 25th January 2015

Posted by Business in Ghana on January 25, 2015

Sydney Casely-Hayford, sydney@bizghana.com

Haven’t you eventually braved the ides of Dumsor? Everywhere I went this past week everybody complained about the erratic power cuts and how there is simply no regard for Citizen Ghana and whether we deserve such punishment after the small holiday largesse at the expense of the Volta lake.

Now regular kiosks around the city have invested in small generators to survive and carry on basic services. My local barber down McCarthy Hill proudly announced to me how he has arranged for a generator on hire for a few days in a week just to keep his customers from drifting. He did the calculations and figured he could do a bit more if he spent a few extra cedis.

He asks for three cedis for a haircut, beard and moustache trim. He operates from a kiosk, and me, big supporter of KIOSKENOMICS patronize his “barbary” at least every other week. He fears an increase in charge will turn customers away.

My advice, charge a few cedis more. Our conversation went somewhat like this. Translate into Twi to get the import.

Yaw: “If I ask for more they will not pay”

Syd: “How much do I pay when I come here?”

Yaw: “Five cedis” Read the rest of this entry »

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REGINA V Christopher Smith, Nicholas Smith, Timothy Forrester, Smith & Ouzman Limited. Critical News, 4th January 2015

Posted by Business in Ghana on January 5, 2015

Sydney Casely-Hayford, sydney@bizghana.com

Happy New Year to all of us. By some quirky calculation we have learnt by imposition that our lives carry from one 365-day block to the next and we age as that time crosses. Logic argues that time is a continuum and not block spaces, because if it were so, many of us would find a way to jump off a segment and wait for the next chunk. But it is too early after the X’Mas break for us to get heavy with science.

I started the holiday with plans of rest and constructive laziness to not complete any assignments. With unstable power supply and the continuous search for water, my excuse would relax and deploy all financial resources to quiet time and needless reflection.

Then the ECG had to hear JDM’s plea and give us plenty light. It was fortuitous that manufacturing closed down for the period and I am sure they diverted the unused power to us domestics to waste as needed. So I had to work, make best use of the constant supply and usher in another year.

The Volta Lake is low and getting lower by the day. We use approximately 0.05feet a day and with no rains in sight till June July, we will be as close if not lower than the minimum level if it continues. So be guided by the Scout motto.

Power is going to be a big issue again in 2015 and beyond. Whatever you hear from Government, be better advised by what you observe. The rationing will intensify after the Xmas gift. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Critical Weekly News, Sydney Casely-Hayford | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Angels, Wheel Spanners and a Budget. Critical News, 23rd November 2014

Posted by Business in Ghana on November 23, 2014

Sydney Casely-Hayford, sydney@bizghana.com

I was on my way to a meeting on Wednesday, round about 5pm. Traffic was heavy and I was running late. I needed to speed up, but there was a funny clunking noise every time I stepped on the brakes. It got louder as I eased back and in panic I called a rescue mechanic for help.

I listened with horror and dread as the noise grew louder, concerned about the cost of a major brake overhaul on a Mercedes in this crisis; I broke in sweat even with the air condition blowing.

Suddenly without any sympathy for my safety, my front left wheel flew off, traveling opposite to my steering, heading for the huge gutter to my left. The front of the car ditched and I heard the grating of the brake discs on the tarred road, me struggling to hold on to the steering wheel and remembering some rudimentary driving tactics, “don’t step on the brakes!”

As the car ground to a halt, I watched helplessly, the tire carrying its momentum on its own selfish, mindless way, finally lodged under a culvert far away. Lookers-on were more aghast than me as I gently stepped out of the car to assess the damage.

There was only one bolt remaining on the tire and it was shorn off the wheel. I could see the wrenched bolt end in the socket and none of the other four were any place around.

It suddenly hit me that someone had tampered with the car. Read the rest of this entry »

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Kpa Kpa Kpa Economics. Critical News, 16th November 2014

Posted by Business in Ghana on November 17, 2014

Sydney Casely-Hayford, sydney@bizghana.com

Have you ever had to drive through dark night? Night so dark you think someone has deliberately swapped the streetlights for dark fluorescent tubes and it is a mean darkness, engulfing you in some kind of horror movie?

That was Thursday night, driving from McCarthy Hill to a meeting at the Golden Tulip. The street lights, traffic lights, side lights and all other manner of lighting that could possibly help to navigate the way to the hotel and back, simply closed their beams and clothed the car in a dark eerie morass, only the occasional stroller caught the head beams of the car.

At some point I was sure I was lost and considered asking directions to a route I have followed hundreds of times in this short life. And that is what it felt like, that I was driving towards life’s end. Until I got past Kaneshie where there was some street lighting and pedestrians.

This is what ECG and its twin purveyors of “dark vada” have prepped for us. It is not good enough that we do not know when and if power will be available to work, now we are blessed with special night-light.

Not even the interest rates corridor could explain what we are going through, because I listened to the Governor of the Central Bank Dr. Kofi Wampah explaining once again why he had to increase the Central Bank policy rate two percentage points to 21% in order to hold down inflation in an economy where there is very little money circulating, costs are rising every month, Government is borrowing all the money and banks are complaining and yet reporting above-average profits. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Critical Weekly News, Sydney Casely-Hayford | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Temptations To Sin. Critical News, 9th November 2014

Posted by Business in Ghana on November 9, 2014

Sydney Casely-Hayford, sydney@bizghana.com

As if to assure us they are on top of their game, the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) switched off the lights at Kumasi Polytechnic for an outstanding bill of ghc3million. The Polytechnic has not been able to pay up since the beginning of the year.

But in a brave rebut, Rector Nicholas Nuamah, simply points fingers at Government and says, “it is not our bill”. And he is right. Government owes this bill as it does many others, and over the months, it has become a nauseating refrain to hear about the minor challenges we face in managing this economy.

What this tells us is ECG doesn’t even know who are its customers.

Same way we don’t know who should be sworn in or not as president. Prof. Kweku Asare from out of the USA was up in arms because Parliament, the Speaker and the Chief Justice seemed to have triggered a constitutional breach while the President was out of Ghana.

The Speaker refused to accept a swearing in as demanded by the constitution and the Supreme Court, and this created a bit of a storm. I don’t quite understand why the big fuss on the issue. After all why would the Speaker want to accept the post only to be blamed for all that has gone wrong in the country? I can see the wisdom in his decision, because if he accepted, he would have to explain everything to the President when he gets back from his global junketing.

Looks like a set up if you ask me, because Vice Prez Amissah Arthur is also on a two-week trip to India at the same time. I hear he got a one-way ticket. Just joking, he will be back soon. But it looks like a perfect setup for the Speaker to fall into the trap and be tempted to fix some things before they both get back. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Critical Weekly News, Sydney Casely-Hayford | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Pension Lotto Numbers. Critical News, 2nd November 2014

Posted by Business in Ghana on November 2, 2014

Sydney Casely-Hayford, sydney@bizghana.com

My lights stayed on for two weeks. Productivity soared for the period and I caught up with so many deliverables and deadlines I walked to and from the office, chest puffed with confidence, a grin on my face, that I could make promises and not excuses to clients with the proverbial “dumsor”. I was in work heaven and the angels of kilowatts were singing a tune I liked.

Not even in my youthful exuberant days did I so relish the perfection of deliverable success. I was on the phone boasting to clients and bringing dates forward with confidence.

I have no plans to buy a generator because the triangle of incompetents at ECG, VRA and GRIDCO cannot do a simple thing like keeping energy consistent after so many years and so much price hike.

I steadfastly hold on to the belief that one day ………!

Then they “dumm-ed” the power. On Saturday when I was on my way to Citifm to discuss the big Issues of the week, they flipped the switch. After I had planned a speech of praise, they sneaked to the transformer and triggered a dumsor-message through the circuits, traveling so fast, I did not see it coming.

In the middle of printing vital research about the pensions matter, my printer stopped with a piece of paper between its teeth, swore a huge protest and went silent.

Thus ended my energy dawn. I had tasted working in a power flowing state, competing to the best of my intellect against other professionals whose advantage is not that they know more, but because they have consistency in the tools needed to deliver well researched reports and projects on time. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Critical Weekly News, Sydney Casely-Hayford | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

An Ebola Prayer. Critical News, 19th October 2014

Posted by Business in Ghana on October 19, 2014

Sydney Casely-Hayford, sydney@bizghana.com

And true to prediction, the past week was crazier than the week before. Before we could even get to grips with all the unraveling from the Brazil 2014 Commission of enquiry, whether the players have revolted or just simply see no reason to break off their talented occupations to attend lame-duck sessions after the money has been divvied and chopped off their backs, the incompetent triple inventors of dumsor (VRA, GRIDCO and ECG) hit us with a new load shedding program. One day off, one day on.

The energy problems are far from over. We can’t privatise Akosombo, but we can do something about ECG and GRIDCO. Yet this Government continues to deliberate on what it knows is the best solution for solving the crisis.

Instead of focusing on the proper solutions, we hear preposterous ideas such as a solar farm to generate 2,000MW of energy, offshore energy barges made in Turkey and this last one the construction of a 1,000 MW sea wave power production project in Ada in the Greater Accra Region.

We are considering sea wave technology, said to have been produced in Sweden and for the first time such technology will be deployed in Ghana.

The Rance Tidal Power Station located in Brittany, France (where the technical partners for the Ghana project are from) is just 240 MW in capacity and it is the first in the world.

South Korea’s Sihwa Lake Tidal Power Station with an installed capacity of 254MW is currently the single biggest tidal energy installation in the world.

A professional friend in the sector wonders how and what special factors will give Ghana a 1,000 MW of tidal energy and thereby become a quadruple of the largest in the world. Read the rest of this entry »

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Cry, My Beloved GFA. Critical News, 14th September 2014

Posted by Business in Ghana on September 15, 2014

Sydney Casely-Hayford, sydney@bizghana.com

The “dumsor” will be over by the end of this month, September. And that is because it was not promised by the President. Kirk Koffi, head of VRA says it will be over and you have to believe him.

Just five months ago he was convinced it would not be over until sometime in 2016, but now things have changed considerably and he is more promise-filled. Follow his comments in April this year from this link, http://www.dailyguideghana.com/energy-crisis-to-continue-until-2016/, and his latest predictions on the future of energy supply from this one, http://ghanavibes.com/load-shedding-dumsor-dumsor-end-month/.

Now if we don’t know anything, we know that no single person in any authority in this country has ever been able to stop “dumsor”. This triple-headed VRA-supplier, GRIDCO-transmitter and ECG-distributor has evaded all logic for decades. It does not even pay attention to the exhortations of JDM who has many times over “instructed” “dumsor” to recede.

Maybe we are now at the tipping point of topping the triple medusas of energy? Of delivering yet impossible promises, this time devoid of politics? Kirk Koffi says so, Ghana waits to see.

So you have not been following the recant of the issues around the Black Stars in Brazil? Shame on you. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Critical Weekly News, Sydney Casely-Hayford | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

In an Economic Wilderness. Critical News, 10th August 2014

Posted by Business in Ghana on August 10, 2014

Sydney Casely-Hayford, sydney@bizghana.com

I finished form five at Accra Academy forty-three years ago. Forty-three years. We did the calculation this weekend when we came home to the Alma Mater on Saturday, boasting freely of stupid pranks, feeling comfortable with friends you forged early learning experiences, and listing colleagues now departed, fondly and regrettably.

We are old men now, sixty plus and balding, most of us in glasses, trying hard to get in and out of chairs without wincing, but determined to hold on to old drinking capacities and boasting empty Guinness and Club bottles, the whiskey bottle still a friend even with arthritic hands and extended belly guts.

We ate, laughed, let our hair down and yelled and sang profanities as if it was still yesterday and we had lofted ourselves into the school bus on the way to an inter-co competition, confident that Accra Aca would triumph again.

The old school changeth not; we saw and admired trees we had planted and nursed, punished to weed courtyards and football fields still in use and the grand entrance to the old school still welcoming as on the first day when you registered to spend the next five years with strangers who would become life-long bosom pals in the half decade.

There were enough of us to let the 2014-year group know that we are still a force and now an accolade and beacon for them to live to the expectations of a great school founded in 1931. Read the rest of this entry »

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IMANI Report:  Electricity Privatization Conundrum- ECG is NOT for sale

Posted by Business in Ghana on August 4, 2014

Ghana has concluded agreements with the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCA) for a $500m investment in Ghana’s energy sector. Specifically in the electricity sector, intense private participation is a requirement for drawing down the funds. Unfortunately given Ghana’s history of badly managed privatization deals, some rightly, are speculating the deal is an outright sale of ECG. This report is a complete evaluation of the agreement and the entire process which when aptly executed will revamp the electricity sector and help alleviate the challenges confronting the country in its energy sector. It provides in brevity the conditions in the MCA in relation to the second phase of the compact agreement and the expectations for disbursement of funds. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Energy, Franklin Cudjoe | Tagged: , , , , , | 2 Comments »