Friday, November 28, 2014

Nothing wrong with "selling" the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG)

Saturday, November 29, 2014
Folks, the removal of William Hutton-Mensah as Managing Director of the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) and his re-assignment to the Ministry of Power/Energy by President Mahama has provoked some kind of public discourse and angered a cross-section of workers of the ECG.
Apparently, those objecting to the President's action are raising reasons to suggest that the President's action is misplaced, uncalled-for, and vindictive (because of allegations that Hutton-Mensah couldn't see eye-to-eye with the government on how the ECG should be managed). The cross-section of aggrieved ECG workers have even threatened to take to the streets to register their protest and to hammer home their demand for Hutton-Mensah to be reinstated. President Mahama hasn't budged and won't do so. I respect him for that doggedness as the fount of authority in/of Ghana acting to make change happen.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Imposing a 17.5% petroleum tax on the country is unacceptable

Thursday, November 20, 2014
Folks, there is every good reason to condemn the government for imposing a 17.5% tax on so-called selected petroleum products, especially at a time that the cost of living has worsened because nothing is adding up well for those managing the economy.
I strongly oppose this imposition and support the Minority in Parliament for refusing to support it. I haven't been keen on walk-outs or boycotts but its use by the Minority this time is justifiable. The bill imposing the tax was presented under a certificate of urgency and passed into law today. The president of Ghana would be waiting to assent it when passed, Minority MP, Mark Assibey Yeboah, Minority MP and a member of the Finance Committee, said.
Reasons given by some members of the Minority are reasonable and supportable: Dr. Assibey Yeboah, has expressed serious disappointment about the 17.5 percent tax on petroleum. He described the tax imposition as “criminal” and vowed to “resist with my blood”.
(See more at: http://www.myjoyonline.com/business/2014/November-19th/govt-imposes-175-vat-on-petroleum-products.php#sthash.lNDPkhnz.dpuf).

Monday, November 17, 2014

The NPP’s false alarm politics won’t fly

Tuesday, November 18, 2014
Folks, I have been to Ghanaweb to read a news report in which Dr. Pink Sheet Mahamudu Bawumia was quoted as castigating the NDC administrations under the late Atta Mills and Mahama as borrowing excessively yet showing nothing for it in the country to prove how the money was used. (See the detailed news report at:  http://www.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage/NewsArchive/artikel.php?ID=335401&comment=0#com).
I won’t tax my brains at all in unpacking Bawumia’s allegations. Instead, I have decided to pick comments from readers of the news report to shed light on the issues. Generally, the comments indicate  that Bawumia should have known better not to go that way. Indeed, this recourse to raising “false alarm” seems to be the most preferred line of politicking by the NPP. No suggestion is given to help us know how any government (especially one under the NPP—May God forbid, though) can do things to solve Ghana’s problems without resorting to the international donor community.

This emerging “trend” is worrisome, but…

Sunday, November 16, 2014
Folks, when I read a news report yesterday that angry residents of Abeka Lapaz-Tabora (a suburb of Accra) on Sunday afternoon blocked roads and destroyed property at the Kwashieman power station over persistent power cuts in the area, I cringed, clearly because I knew that it was an action that would have a rippling effect. True to my apprehensions, something has happened elsewhere to tie in with it.
Angry residents of Odorkor (another suburb of Accra) replicated the actions by consumers in Abeka Lapaz-Tabora. The general complaint is that “the frequent power outages have destroyed their home appliances and made it impossible for them to plan their lives. (See more at: http://www.myjoyonline.com/news/2014/November-16th/angry-abeka-residents-destroy-ecg-properties-over-power-cuts.php#sthash.nOTMgRMj.dpuf).
The stage is set, and no one needs to go too far for what will follow or how those seeking to sneak through with their petty political agenda will cash in. No one needs to blame the angry consumers. The blame lies squarely at the foot of the power providers!! So is it with those providing other utility services who are quick at implementing draconian measures to exact their “pound of flesh” but very slow at serving the needs of consumers.

When falsehood dominates our politics, fools prevail as heroes

Sunday, November 16, 2014
Folks, out of happenings reported over the period, two have caught my attention for what they are: either plain political mischief on display or roguery at its best being enacted.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Stoning women to death in Ghana?

Friday, November 14, 2014
Folks, when we are looking for solutions to our country's systemic problems so living standards can be improved for Ghanaians to live their lives in decency and look forward to a bright future, our Parliament raises nothing but fiddlestick.
It can't offer anything sensible to help us. It hasn't been able to do so over the years and can't do so soon just because it is not made up of people who are genuinely interested in helping solve problems. The self-seekers that they are, whatever comes from them is flyblown.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

What have all these street demonstrations achieved for the NPP?

Wednesday, November 12, 2014
Folks, I have been assessing issues regarding all the demonstrations by pro-NPP organizations and others against the Mahama-led administration all these years. Despite these demonstrations, nothing shows that the government has bowed to the pressure being mounted on it to do things differently. Those organizing the street demonstrations have relented and are going about things as if they have no other means to effect any change than such actions. And a critical assessment of the forces behind such demonstrations reveals that it is the NPP that is stage-managing and teleguiding it all. Why are these Mahama loathers so daft? Can they not choose better means to influence the electorate and help us grow our democracy?
Let me be very blunt to say that the systemic problems militating against Ghana’s development are not being solved because of many factors, particularly those based on the negative Ghanaian mentality and attitudes. You already know what the “Pull-Him/Her-Down” syndrome entails. Beyond that is the pervasive tendency of dissembling—those openly criticizing corruption hiding behind smokescreens to perpetrate that very act. Corruption is everywhere and cannot be eradicated because it is the “in-thing”.

The NPP's “Concert Party” is in full swing again

Monday, November 10, 2014
Folks, I continue to wonder why the NPP people think that it is only when they ratchet up their rogue politics that they will prove to Ghanaians what they are worth. It amazes me that in this 21st century, such a party should give room to just anybody in it to say anything at all just for the sake of intensifying the rogue politics. It is no more at the level of "book" politics; that is, doing politics according to formulae (formulas, if you like) and mere, dry and sterile theory. It is ridiculous to have the NPP people so stuck on rogue politics.
What amazes me all the more is the fact that the party does have brainy people whose influence should have been brought down to bear on goings-on for reason and sound thinking to dominate their public utterances/political rhetoric; but they seem to have been either overshadowed by the numskulls and newbie political miscreants whose youthful exuberance is leading them astray on the political landscape. Or is it that the brainy folks in the NPP may themselves have been infected with the disease and are virtually irrelevant and consigned to the backwoods of the Asante-Akyem cabal? Occasionally, utterances from some of them suggest that they are no better, though. And most are lawyers too!!

As Kuwait dumps its “undesirables” in the Comoros…

Monday, November 10, 2014
Folks, for as long as we in Africa cannot separate the trees from the forest, we will continue to be at the receiving end of all kinds of schemes detrimental to our territorial integrity and aspirations in life. We are persistently crying over the scourge of centuries of colonization, enslavement, and exploitation but cannot think deeply enough about issues to solve our existential problems. We continue to jump on each other in a needless and bizarre dog-eat-dog gridlock while those who know how to exploit the situation sneak through to maximize dividends.
For how long must we continue to be the architects of our own plight? Take the massive influx of the Chinese into territories, including Ghana, where they engage in activities detrimental to the interests of the host countries. Yet our governments cannot do anything to secure national interests. They either connive with these undesirables or just sit back, unconcerned at the harm being caused by them.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

This Parliament endangers our democracy

Saturday, November 8, 2014
Folks, two major events have happened over the past few days that should engage our close attention. Primarily, we should condemn them as dangerous and unacceptable because they threaten our democracy.
First, the refusal by Doe Adjaho, Speaker of Parliament to be sworn into office as Acting President. Second, the transaction between the leadership of the Parliamentary Service Board and a China-based furniture supplier. Two very disturbing occurrences to be commented on in depth.
(I hear a similar deal has been signed with a Chinese company for the supply of furniture to refurbish Job 600. Will the citizens act quickly to stop this transaction or wait for it to be concluded before baring their teeth? Truly, much water is passing under the bridge!!)

Even as President Mahama loses sleep for Ghana’s sake, his opponents cry wolf

Thursday, November 6, 2014
Folks, there is no mistaking or gainsaying the fact that a lot going on now in the country can lead to only one end: either progress or retrogression, depending on how Ghanaians approach issues to support the government in its efforts at nation building or to resort to empty fault-finding and apathy. No two ways about it.
Those of us commenting on happenings have our inclinations. Mine is not difficult to fathom. I have been a keen supporter of President Mahama and will continue to be so until he leaves the scene. Even when off the scene, I will cherish him for what he is. I have done so for the Great Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah (whom I didn’t meet personally but whose accomplishments have endeared him to my heart) and Jerry John Rawlings (whom I physically met, shook hands with and exchanged words of encouragement with) and the late President John Evans Atta Mills (whom I met in the heat of electioneering campaigns for Election 2000 and later at the Illinois State University when he came to deliver a talk on NEPAD. I still gloat over the pictures that we took). Those I haven’t bothered my head over are in my dustbin of history. Good selective amnesia here!!

Here comes the NPP with its rogue politics of lamentation

Wednesday, October 29, 2014
Folks, I have persisted in saying that with the kind of "book" and "rogue" politics being done by the NPP, there is ample reason to conclude that political power will continue to elude it.
True to my expectation, they have put into motion their well-rehearsed politics of lamentation and rabble-rousing. If you doubt it, just pause to assess the direction in which they have been moving and will continue to go as Election 2016 approaches. Nothing to prove to Ghanaians that they have better policies and strategies for rebuilding the country. It is either plain insults or bragging. Political power can't be won that way.

Workers’ pension fracas: Still, the government has questions to answer

Sunday, October 26, 2014
Folks, the impasse over the management of the second tier of workers' pension funds drags on as the striking workers dig in and the government struggles to offer credible explanations to resolve it. Clearly, the government's approach to handling the impasse falls short and raise eyebrows the more its spokespersons attempt clarifying issues or justifying the government's unilateral decisions/actions affecting the interests and the after-service lives of hundreds of thousands of workers.
Not until the government comes out with something convincing and reliable to allay the fears, doubts, and concerns of the workers, I don't think that the impasse can be resolved amicably. No court action against the workers and their leaders will solve the problem. Neither will any high-sounding, bombastic, but useless public utterances that lack substance. And that substance is unmistakable: how much have the workers contributed toward their pension so far and where is the money? How secure is that money to guarantee that a worker who retires will get his/her pension promptly?