The celebration of Ramadan continues as you see the Iraqi people only working an average of three hours a day. The government workers when the clock strikes 11 AM they are gone.
General Electric and Iraq
I had mentioned that General Electric, GE was not currently in Iraq and I am going to explain briefly why they will not be in the near future. First, news reports mention the future project of GE coming into Iraq and not necessarily saying they are currently in Iraq because they are not. Positive articles however, not necessarily the most accurate.
The government power grid operates in a way that most people don’t even know or realize. The electricity for most Iraqi’s operate only a few hours a day if they are so fortunate to have the government power grid at their residence. When the government power grid shuts off for them then it moves to a different section of the city or province and giving those residents electricity for a few hours. Than after a few hours more the government power grid moves a different part of the city or province and repeats itself throughout the day. This is how the government electrical grid operates in Iraq.
Awhile back the Ministry of Electricity (MOE), had bought large generators and placed them in certain neighborhoods. These particular generators are off the government controlled power grid and the MOE charges its citizens for its usage of these generators. A government worker most likely working for the Ministry will come to your door and check to see the total amps a residence has been using and expect payment before the government worker leaves in Iraqi dinar.
The government worker reads the meter and charges the resident. What happens is the government worker gets a certain amount of money and obviously he will pocket himself some of the money and misrepresent the electricity used to the MOE. The government really does not know the exact amount of amps a city is using due to the pilfering of the payments by the government workers collecting the money for the electricity and not reporting the correct amp usage.
If there is no accountability of electricity used than there is no account of profits lost. Why would they invest in a country when (GE) would not be guaranteed payment due to misreporting of actual electricity used over the years of the life of the contract.
In the last seven years there has not been a new electrical power station built in Iraq. None whatsoever. There is not one company that is helping Iraq with their electrical grid situation. Its getting worse and not better.
You really think GE is going to invest a couple of billion U.S. dollars in machinery equipment, training, parts over 20-25 year contract knowing the MOE does not know how much electricity is being used and the corruption that is involved. Don’t think so! I have an article below from a Spanish Newspaper titled: Spanish firms not investing in Iraq due to corruption, security concerns.
I do have some positive news! The Iraqi government is going start issuing drivers license starting 1 September. My thoughts are, good luck with that.
I am looking forward to the meeting in Damascus and hopefully we will see a formed government however, look for the formed government in October – November time frame.
The Iraqi Parliament is still an open session due to not having a Parliament Speaker. Any significant government business is just futile. Government business is still going on however, limited to each Ministry’s signature authority up to a certain dollar amount.
PM Maliki has sent a letter to Dr. Allawi and is ready to turn a new leaf! We can only hope.
As always more to follow…
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American Contractor has been living in the Middle East and Central Asia since 2003.
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Spanish firms not investing in Iraq due to corruption, security concerns
Text of report by Spanish newspaper La Vanguardia website on 16 August
[Report by Alvaro Colomer: “Spanish Presence in Iraq’s Reconstruction Is Nil”]
Even the fact that Spain is in third position on the UN list of the biggest donors to Iraq’s reconstruction and the fact that rumours at the end of 2003 asserted that [former Prime Minister] Jose Maria Aznar’s unconditional support for George Bush would translate into big contracts when the process started, have not made it possible. Today Spain is a marginal player in Iraq’s reconstruction, and according to data from the Industry, Trade, and Tourism Ministry, the Spanish private sector is not investing a single euro in Iraq. Flayeh al Mayali, a former translator with the now defunct economic and trade office of the Spanish Embassy in Baghdad, says: “There is nothing left of the good economic relations between the two countries.” The Italians are building 10,000 dwellings in Diwaniya, the French are doing the same in Nasiriyah, and the Germans in Basra, but the Spanish, despite their knowledge of construction, do not want to invest.”
“The security conditions and the inefficiency of the institutions are putting these investors off,” says Jose Maria Fernandez Lopez de Turiso, director of the Mediterranean and Arab World Cooperation Department, part of the Spanish Agency for Cooperation. Although at the beginning the trade office in Amman (Jordan) took on the control of Spanish economic activities in Iraq, currently it is the one in Ankara (Turkey) that is carrying out the task because from there it is easier to access the less dangerous area in the country: the north. However “Spanish trade and economic interests are still limited,” stated Isaac Martin Barbero, the person responsible for this office. “There are hardly any investments being made and our exports amounted to 52 million in 2009, with Spain ranking 32nd,” he added. Political corruption is one of the reasons why businessmen are not tapping into Iraq’s huge potential, especially in terms of construction. We can cite as an example the efforts made by Repsol in mid-2009 to obtain the awarding of an oil well in an auction. Even though the company offered 19.3 US dollars per barrel, the contract was finally awarded to BP, which only offered 2. What criteria did the Iraqi Government follow here? “The answer is clear: Corruption. Those who know whom to bribe are rewarded – says Pedro Rojo, coordinator for the Middle East of the Spanish Campaign against the Occupation and for the Sovereignty of Iraq (Ceosi) – and Spain does not even have a trade representative in Iraq.”
Source: La Vanguardia website, Barcelona, in Spanish 16 Aug 10
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