I read Bawumia’s position and interpretation on the state of the economy, and the NDC defense team is on point about the many things he said. They disagree. It makes dismal reading. Single Spine is not the cause of our cost overrun woes; it is interest expense. Depreciation of the currency is not because of “dollarisation”; it is the reverse. Debt pile up is a policy choice and we are diving deep.
Posted by Business in Ghana on March 30, 2014
Sydney Casely-Hayford, email@example.com
Poverty makes you fight over petty matters that have no consequence on the end result and future of your being. You fight over scraps that in reality are not worth the time, except for the loss in value of your place in a queue, the loss of a piece of petty real estate and the pent up aggression from unpredictable electric supply and water which has to be head-panned for meters, half of which is lost before you get home.
My peeps around the corner of the block got into a mega fight at 6.30am on a Sunday morning when instead of planning how much to tithe from meager wages, they tore each others hair out because one had placed a table in front of the others kiosk.
I refused to break them up and destroy my morning rhythm, just as confused as them, thinking thoughts of a looming economic crisis, a Government in denial and Presidential advisors seemingly incapable of figuring out the problem. As far as I am concerned.
I started an acceptance standard last week. I suggested we all lower our bars of expectation in order that we live less stressful lives and accommodate the inefficiencies of our Governments and their struggle to sort out “challenges” as they are wont to label them, just so we can all get along painlessly.
For a moment it looked as if it would work, but Mahamudu Bawumia seemingly ignored me; he must have been preparing his economic treatise (50 pages long) and went ahead without alerting me that he was about to raise the standard of accountability and allot blame.
Now Government is up in arms, economic advisors yelling all the way to Saturday morning politico-programs, complaining about bias and lack of opportunity to defend their side of the story. I can’t remember any time a Government has not had enough opportunity to state its case to the people.
I read Bawumia’s position and interpretation on the state of the economy, and the NDC defense team is on point about the many things he said. They disagree. It makes dismal reading. Single Spine is not the cause of our cost overrun woes; it is interest expense. Depreciation of the currency is not because of “dollarisation”; it is the reverse. Debt pile up is a policy choice and we are diving deep. The economy is misaligned and the solution will not be short term. And it goes on.
So far Government has threatened to counter Bawumia’s address, to be led by Dr. Nii Moi Thompson, economic advisor to the President. I don’t even know where he can start, but it will be so exciting to hear, give pundits more opportunity to look deeper into the dungeon of the economic team and fathom whether they speak with forked tongue.
So far Government has fought back, allied ministers and attack machinery running twenty-four hour analysis gang shifts, looking to plug some place. Koku Anyidohu has been quiet, the lighting system at Baba Yara now stable. Kwabena Duffuor is even quieter, hoping no one will drag his name into the foray to explain what he did or “not did”. So much can be conjectured.
So when the President grabbed the mike to holler at his future lenders and debunked critics who claim the country’s level of borrowing is getting out of whack, his main opponents were the international community represented by Fitch, who pegged the debt ratio at 61.8% to GDP, offered a rating downgrade to “B”, but careful to say that their figures would not sit well with Government.
Their composite summary at the end of the week – dismal; and it is going to be a struggle to claw back the deficits and get sufficient fiscal discipline to consolidate and contain trade and reserves drifts. But they praised our democracy and respect for the rule of law. Kudos Ghana, that seems to be working in our favor.
And the President did the unthinkable and actually came forth with his tax situation. An interesting political moment, he declared income from farming activity and his book royalties from “My First Coup de Tat”. So I wondered. Did he file taxes for 2012 as well? And in previous years? And did he declare his assets before he swore the oath of presidency? As usual we have an eclipsed picture. No clue how much he is actually declaring as his tax contribution to the consolidated fund.
But I applaud the President’s lead because I think it paves the way and sets a standard, albeit mediocre. Maybe he heard me and lowered the bar?
So is this all we are going to do? Aren’t we going to modify the law and ask political office holders to disclose assets and make statements public before they take office? Shouldn’t their tax returns be a public document? And Lordina? How much of the household tax burden is she carrying?
Ah, I forget myself. I have dropped my expectations to less than average and this opaque offer ties in with the Fitch B rating; so we can C our expectations.
You know this is all exhausting, so to more trivial matters. Ayittey Powers is due to fight Bukom Banku on April 12. He went to see TB Joshua who guaranteed him a win on some other day except for the scheduled date agreed between the two boxers, sanctioned by the Ghana Boxing Association and given material marketing by the promoters.
Ayittey swears that the only day he will fight is when the Holy Spirit decides he will win. So Bukom will fight him on any day except the day he chooses and Ayittey, actually convinced of this, there can now never be a fight day. So me a Bukom fan, say he can never win against my man. We are going to see Duncan Williams, because as we say in camp, “In the world of crocodiles, only an Ada man knows how to fly” (Bukom Banku, April 1st 2013).
But that is how TB has come to influence all things serious in Ghana. Politics, football and now boxing. He is taking away our “min sh33.”
Before the elections, we heard many a story of consultation with TB Joshua. The late Prof. Mills was a firm “SCOAN” and traveled all the way to South Africa to couple the twelfth (God) person to the team and guarantee we bring the cup home.
Well, we didn’t get the cup, Mahama won the election after raising his finger to the Lord and gripping on with his molars for the election petition; and TB claimed he had seen it all.
Now this is where we are. A self ordained spiritualist has captured “ayittey-pugilistica”, a fighter whose only profession in life is to knock his opponent senseless and walk away with a purse of money probably not worth most things he owns already.
See what we have created? An eclectic state of diverse culture and religion where the final decider on all that we do is dependent on what TB Joshua’s God says. So soon we have forgotten and left behind the stampede in his Synagogue when a handful of followers died and we neither investigated nor apportioned blame for wrongdoing if any, on the day.
We are playing with human lives as if it were chacha. Buildings collapse, roads pothole, 207 buses mis-brake, gangsters shoot from the back of Okadas, GYEEDA rape and the fate of a whole nation is jeopardized because we can get away with all this irresponsibility on the back of lame excuses and diabolical minds crutched by lies, side-swiped because we think docility is the answer in a tumultuous world of failed African leadership. T’God.
Electricity and water prices are up again, 12% and 6%, fuel prices will be upped in a week or two and TB Joshua did not see this entire dumsor scenario to advise on which areas of the economy, but the boxing sub-sector.
We should simply buy pre-ordained units and guarantee the win. Just forget the pre-paid. Brazil here we come; TB, ordain.
Ghana, Aha a ye de papa. Alius valde week advenio. Another great week to come!