Sydney Casely Hayford

New Patriotic Party (NPP) presidential aspirant Nana Akufo-Addo back in the fray.  National Democratic Congress (NDC) Secretary General Asiedu Nketia starts plotting his demise even before the NPP followers have decided who will lead them.  Very presumptive on his part, but a good booster for Nana, I assume.

Announcing his intentions last Thursday, the 70-year-old Nana Addo says he will give this Presidency thing another go.  NPP followers certainly think he packs one more thump at least, NDC probably hope not.

If it is a matter of age and experience against youth and what we are witnessing in Ghana at this time, I suppose the electorate will decide.  Certainly, the NPP will let us know very soon after they hold national elections whether their most suitable candidate is Nana.
Yet I wonder if Alan Kyeremanten will come any closer this time?  Whether the likes of Joe Ghartey will compete?  And if any new faces or some of the eighteen who jockeyed for the slot to succeed Kufuor will come up again.

I suppose this time round the NPP feel confident they have identified and will close all gaps at the polling booths and maybe for the first time since we started voting in this country we will get a true and accurate vote.

Ok, now.  Armah Kofi-Buah, our Energy Minister, was muscled on to a flight to Nigeria to go and put our junior neighbors (even though Nigeria is a far bigger economic power than we are, but we rank them in independence age) in their place.  He came back very quickly to say he had extracted a promise from the ?419? specialists to guarantee us 50 mmscfd of gas through the West Africa Gas pipeline.

For those of you who do not have the basic background; we have a contract with Nigeria to supply 123 mmscfd of gas every day.

This quantity is chicken feed for Nigeria, but they have a fight with the Boko Harram people and all sorts of other criminal persons siphoning about 150,000 barrels of crude daily from their pipelines, and they have their own problems to deal with.

But Armah Buah came back to proudly announce that he had been able to deliver a significant commitment from Nigeria to increase supply from 30 to 50 mmscfd.  So since we have lowered the bar to success in this country in order that we do not put too much pressure on the health services, we applauded him back home and said government ?what a great job done.?

Never mind the matter that 50 mmscfd does not solve our ?dumsor? problems, which he should have been fully aware of before he wasted our money and jumped on the flight to collect his per diem for the trip.

But see, in April of 2013, the Energy Commission released a report on the energy supply and demand outlook for Ghana.  This report is easily available to the minister and his ministry, even available to me because it is on their website, and captures our energy challenges into the future of 2020.

In a chapter headed, ?Fuel supply challenge and likely impact on generation,? (link here, read page 5) they advise that ?the required supply of natural gas expected from Nigeria through WAGP gas supply this year, 2013 would worsen due to its interruption at the end of August, 2012 following pirate activities in the Togolese waters that month. Average supply before the interruption in August, 2012 was about 65 mmscfd. The pipeline has since been repaired but Ghana is not likely to see any flows greater than daily average of 40 mmscfd in 2013. Eventual supplies to the country for the rest of the year would be very erratic. Political and economic developments in Nigeria are also fuelling a conspiracy theory that gas may hardly flow in 2013, since there seems to be no logic for the said country to let go gas to neighbouring countries when there are thermal power plants in that country built but inoperative due to lack of gas supply to the plants. The Nigerian Commercial Group has so far reneged on their promise to the extent that supplies since 2011 are yet to reach their contract volumes.  The Sunon-Asogli-Plant, which is wholly natural gas fuelled, has been out of operation since August 2012 to date. This has the potential to reduce the projected dependable capacity and available generation further to about 2,167 MW and 13,459 GWh, unless more efforts are made to augment the loss in the required gas supply with adequate oil supply (see Table 6).?

Nigeria is on course to resolve its energy crises and to power the country to attract investment and improve the wealth of their own.  We, who do not have enough, but could have if we completed our gas plant on time in 2013, are now lying about our situation to buy more time to stay in government.

The Energy Commission planned their forecast on the premise that gas would be available from the Jubilee fields during the last quarter of 2013.

Even on this basis, they could not see average gas supply exceeding 45-50 mmscfd.

The portion of the report I appreciate most because it makes such scientific sense is this.

?On other hand, we expect the trend of average annual precipitations for 2013 to be higher than 2012 as this year coincides with the maximum sunspot cycle (solar maximum) of the sun, which is usually associated with higher convection currents and consequently higher rainfalls. Indications from the Ghana Meteorological Agency also corroborates this fact and that the mean annual rainfall is expected to be higher this year than in 2012. Higher inflows into the hydropower reservoir would improve the overall power generation in the light of lower than expected gas supply this year.?

So what is Amarh Buah reading? And why does President Mahama?s Energy Minister still think he has a job?

Ghana?s predominant syndrome, and I should attempt a name sometime soon; we think that just because we have a law in place or we have drafted a document or instructed that something or somebody should do something, we have solved the problem.  So we sit back and announce proudly that we have put measures in place to correct the problem.

You want to depend on Nigeria to solve your energy supply problems?  At your own peril.  All the plans have been developed here in Ghana and documented by persons, who have enough experience to be invited by other countries, engaged as consultants to inform their direction.

Kenya, Ethiopia, Gambia, Uganda, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, they have all used our experts time after time.  The politics, ignorance and lies will get us nowhere.

Except when some persons say so publicly, we adopt the status quo.

Prof. Adei, a former rector at GIMPA and an open-voiced Ghanaian, spoke his mind at the First Baptist Church in Tema this week, accusing leading Government figures of lying to Ghanaians for too long.  Nobody likes to be called a liar, but there is enough evidence of promises made willfully knowing that such promises are simply vacuous statements to ensure votes.

Except when Mensah Otabil preaches that you need self-help because prayer alone cannot fix the problem, it is easier and less disruptive to allow matters to rest.  See plenty bad, speak no good.

Yet Bishop Duncan Williams wants us to trust that commanding inanimate objects and casting out demons is still existentially saleable.  That lie we believe.

And in the Western Region, our President genuflected in public sanctity to receive assistance from heaven?s chosen prophets for miracle guidance.  Reminded me of that Angel capsules advert for sexual enhancement.  Reading the bible? ?Onua n bua?.  ?Democracy, obede n pon bede?

A recent report from Reuters talks much about Ghana?s and other Sub-Sahara country debt, creating a new dependency on Bond sourcing with no result.  Like a Dutch disease, this is now being coined the Bond Disease, led by Ghana, defined as borrowing money with intention, but achieving nothing.

I posted the report on my Blog, so you can read from here.

Indirectly, the report is saying we lie about our intentions when we borrow money and implies that because the source is private it will make a difference to our use of the funds.  Please!

In the UK, the first prosecution for female genital mutilation was made, and set the tone for any further cases within their jurisdiction.

I only wish we could have done it first, and showed the way to a civilized Ghana, blazing a shining black star.  Alas, in Ghana that noblese only resides in football.

Ghana, Aha a ye de papa.  Alius valde week advenio. Another great week to come!

Sydney Casely-Hayford, [email protected]

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