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 GH�3million.
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 its customers are.
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 setup 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.
But we created a constitutional vacuum. So what? It is not as if there is much going in the country at this time. There is no money to chop so why put us all through the agony? As if Ghana will collapse if the two of them are away. It might get better, because while they are here, we are collapsing.
They had not heard that the World Bank had decided to give us another $25million for the Eastern corridor road network. They actually praised Ghana for making good roads and implementing projects worth the effort.
I don�t know which part of Ghana the World Bank runs around in, but I see no new roads, neither feeder nor urban, and I certainly don�t see much improvement in carting goods between Tema and Bolgatanga and into Burkina Faso.
But why do this World Bank? Why place more money with a democracy of bandits? Isn�t this guaranteeing that we dirty our fingers more? You know we are not good at protecting money in our care. It is like placing an Afriyie-Ankrah as minister in charge of Black Stars.
I heard a story that his placement was a deliberate ploy to curb his presidential ambition and he has been amputated effectively with his scavenging in Brazil.
And the pension fund saga, how Government is trying to steal workers money took a different turn when I got to know that Emmanuel Botchwey of Regimmanuel Grey, Kwame Peprah, former Minister and ex-convict, Kwame Asante of Kwame Asante & Associates and Mr Hijazi of African Automobile are the owners of Pension Alliance Trust.
The company that was awarded the contract to look after workers 5% contributions is made up of an ex-convict, a questionable foreigner who was fingered for illegal power connections to his factory and another person embroiled in shady deals to buy a bank under strange circumstances.
Didn�t the SEC do any due diligence before they awarded the contract? Why do we have to be so lax and cause so much ague for the ordinary Ghanaian? Everywhere you go there is some collusion and close-gapped fraud, cover up of transactions and documents, which can never be found when it gets to that critical point.
For the same reason we have another felon in charge of the Ghana Gas Company, running close to three years late and costing us a billion dollars a year in crude oil when if the processing plant was finished on time we could have cheaper gas and thus cheaper electricity.
Ok, so the Parliament of Ghana has declared at last that they pay no heed to President Mahama�s call to support made in Ghana. But they are not the only ones.
The Ghana Football Association has selected a foreign coach to handle the Black Stars. Not a home-grown, made in Ghana coach, but an Israeli working out of the UK. You can�t get more foreign than that.
And of course our favorite sport viewing every week is the English Premier League. Imported football, thriving on Ghanaians� bets at all corners of the city. Our national league does not pull more than two hundred on a good day, but there are more standing behind a TV set if it is a Chelsea Liverpool match. Imported.
We wear imported clothing four times a day and reserve one day for our own designs and cloth.
And Tiwaah of Dansokrom in the Western Region went one better when she tried to palm her Chinese baby off to her husband Ebenezer Antwi as an albino. Antwi said �Tiwaah, wei die, Tweaa, imported Chinese baby?�
And the Ghana National Petroleum Company (GNPC) must be ashamed of itself, trying to smuggle a loan through the back door without parliamentary approval. When the law clearly states that State Owned Enterprises must seek Parliament�s approval before negotiating, Mr. Alex Mould and his team of executives at GNPC tried to duck and dive procedure for an $800million facility.
The gossip around is that it is really meant to route round to the Government to shore up its ailing cash crisis.
By the way, we should be reading a budget soon. I wonder if this year we will skirt around the event and not go to parliament, because I hear there are merger talks abound between the NDC and the NPP. The NPP needs a team to get them to win elections, and the NDC needs someone to show them how to manage the economy.
I hear the logic is if they merge, they solve the trouble once and for all, leaving the PPP, PNC, CPP to decide whether to group or drown.
But all this fuelled our Parliament to order Chinese and Italian furniture because they couldn�t find enough furniture makers in Ghana to make 300 chairs in three months. I feel so cheated.
I can name at least a dozen companies in Ghana who could have delivered this order. But Parliament, so insincere to Ghana, sole-sourced the order to the China State Haulong Construction Company Limited on 12th August 2014, by letter ref. PS/PC/066 to refurbish Parliament at a cost of GH�21.950million.
The offer was never extended to Ghanaians to even try them out for delivery and capacity.
Yet somewhere in Kumasi, we purposefully took money from the donor community to develop the capacity of local firms to give them a competitive edge in these identical instances.
The parliamentary team that traveled to China to �inspect� the chairs for the house, made up of both majority and minority members, only brought back chairs to last one day before they started falling apart.
When you have such persons combing the corridors of million cedi deals, looking for the next project to line their pockets, you ask yourself some fighting questions. Is this really what Ghanaians deserve? Parliamentarians who will justify their deals when it suits them?
Why should we continue to place such alluring sums of money, especially when we deal with a country whose stock in trade is brown envelopes under the table?
We are stoking the bonfires in a month when Guy Fawkes was caught before he could blow up the House of Lords of the colonial masters.
If you are a true Christian, Luke 17. 1-4.
On the 12th and 20th of this month, #OccupyGhana will sport two events on corruption. Not only will we have two bishops speaking on the matter of corruption, we will take a fresh approach to how to address the anti-corruption attack. Make a date with us, Christ The King Hall on both dates, starting 3.30pm.
Source: Sydney Casely-Hayford, [email protected]
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