Thursday, 26 February 2015

President Mahama's State Of The Nation Address

Listening to today's state of the nation address, to Parliament,  delivered by President Mahama, I could not help feeling sorry for him. He must be the most maligned leader in Ghana's history, thus far.

A kind, humble and decent gentleman - who, we must not forget,  never actually sought the presidency to begin with, and never imagined he would become president so suddenly, either - he is clearly envied by many amongst Ghana's political class: who wished they were in his shoes.

Many of the leading lights  in the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) readily come to mind  -  particularly its small crop of ruthless and hypocritical tribal-supremacists.

Despite the many challenges it has faced, and continues to face, President Mahama's administration has done so much on many fronts - yet his regime is regarded by many ordinary people as corrupt and incompetent.

Alas, a lot of the Mahama regime's PR troubles are self-inflicted. For example, although President Mahama was right in implying that his regime has done more to expose, investigate and prosecute cases of corruption in the country, than any other regime in the 4th Republic, the Attorney General's Department has just halted the prosecution of the alleged accomplices of Ms. Nayele Ametefeh - even though she was only just recently jailed for 8 years for smuggling cocaine into the UK.

What message does that send to ordinary people? Does it not give the impression to Ghanaians that powerful people engaged in criminal activities such as cocaine smuggling can operate with impunity - because they have the influence and power to stop their hirelings from being prosecuted and jailed when caught in Ghana?

And how many more years will it take for the Attorney General's Department to retrieve judgement debt cash unlawfully paid out to the  Wayomes and Taricones?

Has the time not come for the Pesident to relieve the present Attorney General of her post - and bring back Mr. Martin Amidu: for the good of the nation?

Martin Amidu would never have allowed his office to give the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) advice to enable it sidestep parliamentary approval for a loan from a bank in Germany, as was done by the present deputy attorney general.

Rumour has it that that was the main reason why the Ghana National Gas Company (GNGC) was merged with the GNPC in such hasty fashion - so that the gas supplied to the power ships that will be supplying electricity to the ECG,  would count as a GNPC core business: a legal sleight of hand designed to facilitate it obtaining the wherewithal to provide the guarantees sought by Karadeniz Holdings before commencing business with the ECG.

Incidentally, the President would be wise to put Bishop Doug Heward-Mills and  Pastor Mensah Otabil on the GNPC's board - to ensure it has independent voices who will prevent it being looted by the regime-placemen posted there to create-loot-and-share the mountains of cash it generates, through clever siphoning schemes.

An example is the dubious Karadeniz Holdings' power ship deal between that company's subsidiary, Karpowership Ghana Company Limited, and the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG).

Why risk endangering the finances of the GNPC, which has been asked to provide guarantees for the ECG, when there are other power barge companies from the U.S. that will finance such deals themselves?

My humble advice to the President, is to approach the government of the Bahamas as soon as practicable, and ask it to give Ghana copies of the many proposals for power barges and thermal power plants, which  it has received thus far.

He will be pleasantly surprised - as every one of the members of the consortia that submitted proposals to the Bahamian government would consider Ghana - even in its present predicament - a very attractive investment destination.

 As a matter of fact, with an ECG that is a financial basket case, and possessing natural gas deposits of our own, their proposals are tailor-made for Ghana - and more suited to conditions here than exist in the Bahamian power sector. They would be a godsend for Ghana - and Ghana a godsend for them: in win-win deals.

SGI Global Holdings and the Caribbean Power Company are two such entities. They are both  capable of reacting swiftly if approached by Ghana for emergency power barges - and send them here within months.

SGI Global  Holdings' proposal to the Bahamian government, even includes financing the upgrading of the infrastructure of the Bahamian equivalent of the ECG, the Bahamas Electricity Corporation, itself. Imagine, that.

We must stop the powerful few with greedy ambitions, whose determination to milk Mother Ghana dry, leads to daft deals such as the one between the ECG and Karpowership Ghana Company Limited, from continuing to rip our nation off. We must end their baleful influence in our country once and for all.

Finally, if President Mahama wants to be remembered for constructing the most durable roads ever, in Ghana's history, let him send the minister for roads and highways to visit Jamshedpur, the TATA-owned steel city in India, to see the plastic roads built there by the TATA subsidiary, Jusco.

By mixing melted discarded plastic waste with bitumen, the resulting plastic roads last longer than ordinary roads, bear heavier loads, remain pothole-free throughout their lifespan, and because plastic is impermeable to water, they are not easily washed away by flash floods. What could be better than that as a legacy, I ask?

Since the TATA conglomerate is already in Ghana, the company can be asked to partner Ghanaian road contractors to construct the "cocoa roads" in rural Ghana, as well as rehabilitate roads in urban Ghana - and climate-change-proof Ghana's road network that way, at relatively little cost to our nation.

Just my humble two-pesewas.  And, incidentally, this blog will still continue sharing ideas with fellow Ghanaians, regardless of the fact that  instead of thanking me, some of the President's appointees rather laugh at me and call me a fool, for giving out ideas that I could profit from,  personally, so freely.

I don't blame them: they wouldn't understand a man whose DNA is wired to share with others. I am happy to be a nobody,  and content to remain financially-challenged like millions of fellow Ghanaians who stay on the straight and narrow path, despite their daily struggles. We don't envy them.

Let them continue to  participate in the ongoing brutal gang-rape of Mother Ghana. Their cups will soon fill up - and judgement day will then be upon them. Greed and selfishness in a politician in today's Ghana will always lead to dire consequences, when he or she exists office.

They must not forget that although the alchemist's gold shines brightly, in reality it buys zilch. Honest stewardship, on the otherhand, moves mountains. They and their fellow-travellers in the NPP who think Ghanaians are stupid will get a shock in 2016. Hmm, Ghana - eyeasem o. Asem ebeba debi ankasa.

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