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Don’t throw dust into the eyes of Ghanaians – Majority Leader to NDC MPs

The Majority Leader in Parliament, Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu has asked the Minority in Parliament not to mislead Ghanaians regarding the approval of the 2022 budget statement.

He said on the floor of the House on Wednesday December 1 that “Nobody should attempt to throw dusts into the eyes of Ghanaians.”

This was after the Minority had argued that the New Patriotic Party (NPP) MPs did not have the required number in Parliament to approve the budget.

Former Deputy Attorney General Dr Dominic Ayine had asked persons quoting the constitution to support the approval of the 2022 budget to read the constitution as a whole to be able to arrive at a meaningful conclusion.

He said those arguing for the approval of the budget cannot pick and choose aspects of the constitution to support their points. Otherwise, he said, they will be wrong.data:image/gif;base64,R0lGODlhAQABAAAAACH5BAEKAAEALAAAAAABAAEAAAICTAEAOw==

The Bolgatanga East MP said “We think the decision that was taken yesterday gross undermining of the Constitution of the Republic of Ghana.”

The Minority in Parliament were seeking to overturn the approval of the budget by the House on Tuesday November 30, without them.

Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu in moving a motion to overturn the approval said 137 lawmakers of the Majority could not have taken a decision.

He said they don’t consider Deputy Speaker Joseph Osei Wusu (Joewise) who deliberated over proceedings yesterday, as Member of Parliament at the time he was sitting in as speaker hence, that leaves the number present at 137.

The First Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Joseph Osei Wusu (Joewise) has justified the approval of the 2022 budget statement.

During deliberations in the House on Wednesday December, 1 he stated that a Deputy Speaker could not be described as a Speaker hence, arguments being against the number of MPs in the chamber as of the time of the approval of the budget could not hold.

“I am a member of Parliament, the Second Deputy Speaker is a Member of Parliament

“Our work is to assist the Speaker. Any attempt to read and interpret the constitution to include Deputy Speakers is a misreading of the constitution.

“When the Speaker is not around either of us can preside so like any other member. That member does not lose his right of being a member of the House.”

Member of Parliament for Essikado-Ketan, Mr Joe Ghartey had asked him not to set aside the approval.

He said said the approval of the budget statement by Parliament on Tuesday November 30 was constitutional

To that end, a motion by the Minority to reject the approval should be dismissed completely, he added.

The former Attorney General said the approval was grounded in law because the number of MPs required in parliament to take decision met the constitutional threshold.

“I urge you not to change your mind. What you did was grounded in the constitution, it is grounded in law,” he said

Approval of 2022 budget unconstitutional – Ablakwa

Member of Parliament for North Tongu, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa has described the approval of the budget statement by Parliament without the Minority in the House as unconstitutional .

In a statement reacting to the approval of the budget, he said “The Finance Minister is said to have told Parliament that based on the NDC MPs resistance, the following concessions have been made about the 2022 budget: a Provision now made for the Blekusu Coastal Protection Project to combat tidal waves, 2, Agyapa expunged, 3, Aker narrative amended, 4, Benchmarks reviewed and 5, E-levy reduction to 1.50 from 1.75 even though we had insisted on an outright scrap.

“The point is there are major concessions that substantially alter the shape and form of the 2022 budget initially presented to Parliament, so what exactly has the sham approval approved? Particularly, when these fundamental concessions are not properly before the House for approval.

“Did their unconstitutional conduct purported to approve the rejected budget or they approved a new budget with the said concessions.

The approval of the budget had attracted wide criticisms from the Minority in Parliament.

The Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu, said that his side in the House will now insist on headcount for every decision that is taken on all matters in Parliament.

This comes after the 2022 budget statement was approved through a headcount in Parliament without the Minority, on Tuesday November 30.

Addressing the press after the development, a disappointed Haruna Iddrisu said “From [today] every other decisions of parliament we will insist on headcounts

“If this is the way they want us to walk we are capable to walk with them.”

They further rejected the assurance by the Finance Ken Ofori-Atta that their concerns in the 2022 budget would be addressed at the committee level.

Mr Iddrisu said that they wanted their concerns captured in the original budget statement, not to be discussed at the committees’ sittings.

“If you are acknowledging and admitting that there were concessions, let it reflect in the statement” and not a meeting at the committee level.

He indicated that the Minority will oppose the E-levy proposal in its current form any day and anytime.

“We don’t support the E-levy in its current. Our point is to revise it to take care of the ordinary people.”

The Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta had assured them that all the issues they raised against the 2022 Budget, would be addressed at the committee level.

The Minority had raised issues including the request that the budget for Parliament should be raised from GHS510m to GHs1.7bn, issues about the e-levy and others.

Mr Ofori Atta said in Parliament on Tuesday November 30 that their concerns would be considered.

His comments came just before Parliament approved the 2022budget statement on Tuesday November 30.

The First Deputy Speaker who sat in for the Speaker said on Tuesday, Joseph Osei Owusu said that “The House has adopted the Financial statement and approved the budget statement for the ensuing year ending 31st December 2021.”

“This house has approved the budget and economic statement,” he stressed.

The Majority Leader in Parliament, Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu had asked him to set aside the purported rejection of the 2022 budget statement.

Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu said on the floor of the House on Tuesday November 30 that the rejection of the budget “did not meet the test established under Article 104,” because Parliament did not have the required numbers to be present in the chamber for purposes of taking decisions.

The minority boycotted the sitting

Joewise justifies approval of budget, says a Deputy Speaker is not a Speaker

The First Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Joseph Osei Wusu (Joewise) has justified the approval of the 2022 budget statement.

During deliberations in the House on Wednesday December, 1 he stated that a Deputy Speaker could not be described as a Speaker hence, arguments being against the number of MPs in the chamber as of the time of the approval of the budget could not hold.

“I am a member of Parliament, the Second Deputy Speaker is a Member of Parliament

“Our work is to assist the Speaker. Any attempt to read and interpret the constitution to include Deputy Speakers is a misreading of the constitution.

“When the Speaker is not around either of us can preside so like any other member. That member does not lose his right of being a member of the House.”

Member of Parliament for Essikado-Ketan, Mr Joe Ghartey had asked him not to set aside the appreoval.

He said said the approval of the budget statement by Parliament on Tuesday November 30 was constitutional

To that end, he said, a motion by the Minority to set aside the approval should be dismissed completely.

The former Attorney General said the approval was grounded in law because the number of MPs required in parliament to take decision met the constitutional threshold.

“I urge you not to change your mind. What you did was grounded in the constitution, it is grounded in law,” he said.

For his part, a former Deputy Attorney General Dr Dominic Ayine asked persons quoting the constitution to support the approval of the 2022 budget to read the constitution as a whole to be able to arrive at a meaningful conclusion, a point that was supported by Mr Joe Ghartey.

Dr Ayine said those arguing for the approval of the budget could not pick and choose aspects of the constitution to support their points. Otherwise, he said, they will be wrong.

Contributing to the discussion on Wednesday December 1, the Bolgatanga East MP said “We think the decision that was taken yesterday gross undermining of the Constitution of the Republic of Ghana.”

The Minority in Parliament were seeking to overturn the approval of the budget by the House on Tuesday November 30, without them.

Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu in moving a motion to overturn the approval said 137 lawmakers of the Majority could not have taken a decision.

He said they don’t consider Deputy Speaker Joseph Osei Wusu (Joewise) who deliberated over proceedings yesterday, as Member of Parliament at the time he was sitting in as speaker hence, that leaves the number present at 137.

It is recalled that immediately after the approval of the budget on Tuesday, Haruna Iddrisu said that the Majority did not have the numbers to enable them approve the 2022 budget statement.

He said at a press conference in Parliament that as of the time the Majority were taking the decision to approve the budget, they were 137 and not 138.

“The precedent they are setting will haunt them in the future. At the time that they were taking the decision the house was not 137.”

They further rejected the assurance by the Finance Ken Ofori-Atta that their concerns in the 2022 budget would be addressed at the committee level.

Haruna Iddrisu said that they wanted their concerns captured in the original budget statement, not to be discussed at the committees’ sittings.

“If you are acknowledging and admitting that there were concessions, let it reflect in the statement” and not a meeting at the committee level.

He further stated that the Minority will oppose to the E-levy proposal in its current any day and anytime.

“We don’t support the E-levy in its current. Our point is to revise it to take care of the ordinary people.”

The Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta had assured them that all the issues they raised against the 2022 Budget, would be addressed at the committee level.

The Minority had raised issues including the request that the budget for Parliament should be raised from GHS510m to GHs1.7bn, issues about the e-levy and others.

Mr Ofori Atta said in Parliament on Tuesday November 30 that their concerns would be considered.

His comments came just before Parliament approved the 2022budget statement on Tuesday November 30.

The First Deputy Speaker who sat in for the Speaker said on Tuesday, Joseph Osei Owusu said that “The House has adopted the Financial statement and approved the budget statement for the ensuing year ending 31st December 2021.”

“This house has approved the budget and economic statement,” he stressed.

The Majority Leader in Parliament, Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu had asked him to set aside the purported rejection of the 2022 budget statement.

Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu said on the floor of the House on Tuesday November 30 that the rejection of the budget “did not meet the test established under Article 104,” because Parliament did not have the required numbers to be present in the chamber for purposes of taking decisions.

The minority boycotted the sitting.

By Laud Nartey|3news.com|Ghana

I never said sky trains can’t be done; I meant it’s impossible in 3 years – Amewu

The Minister of Railway Development, Mr John Peter Amewu, has clarified his controversial statement on the government’s sky train project, saying that the huge amount of money involved in that kind of infrastructural intervention, cannot be done within a period of three years.

The immediate past sector minister, Mr Joe Ghartey, is on record to have said that a sky train project will be completed within the tenure of President Akufo-Addo.

However, Mr Amewu, after a recent radio interview attracted widespread criticism for saying that the project was impossible in Ghana.

Clarifying his position on the matter today, Wednesday, 1 December 2021, the minister stated that the project, which is estimated at a cost of $12billion, cannot be achieved within a period of three years, hence there will be the need for more time to implement the vision.

Speaking at a press conference, Mr Amewu said: “Yes, I was on record to have stated categorically that it’s not possible within three years to complete the sky train, yes, and I’m repeating that it’s not possible”.

“If the sky train is supposed to be done today, it’s about $12 billion. I’m told that a cost per kilometre is in the range of $11 to $12 million and constructing a sky train is not like building a road and so if you consider the period of three years, it’s not possible, sometimes we need to be very honest and very objective and that is why I said for the period three years is not possible.

“I’m not on record to have said that sky train is not possible in Ghana; it can be done in Ghana but within that three-year period, it cannot be done within the period of three years

NDC supported 2022 budget in secrecy; absence in parliament a strategy – Allotey Jacobs

Allotey Jacobs?fit=500%2C284&ssl=1

Former Central Regional Chairman for the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Allotey Jacobs, has indicated that the Minority in Parliament’s decision to stay out of Parliament was an attempt not to hurt their party members.

In actual sense, he believes the Minority believes in the budget and the various levies introduced by the government.

Allotey Jacobs believes the Minority decided to stay out so members of their party will not attack them like they did during the approval of Ministers in March.

In a post shared on Facebook, he said “The NDC will intentionally leave Parliament and later call it a boycott meanwhile, they support the budget in secrecy”.

The Majority in Parliament in Parliament on November 30 approved the 2022 budget that was rejected by the Minority on November 27, 2021.null

Speaking on the approval, Joe Osei Owusu said “The House has adopted the Financial statement and approved the budget statement for the ensuing year ending 31st December 2021”.

The Majority leader Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu then asked that the rejection of the budget by the Minority on November 27, 2021, be set aside.

He said the process “did not meet the test established under Article 104,” because Parliament did not have the required numbers to be present in the chamber for purposes of taking decisions.”

https://cdn.jwplayer.com/players/puWurHGg-eqk5XVg5

Source: mynewsgh.com

2022 Budget: ‘It was me; I was in parliament yesterday’ – Adwoa Safo speaks

Dome-Kwabenya MP Sarah Adwoa Safo has said she was in parliament on Tuesday during the voting on the 2022 budget statement contrary to social media rumours that someone impersonated her in the chamber.

“I was present in this house yesterday”, she said, adding: “Mr Speaker, and to state categorically that I cannot force Hon. Okudzeto Ablakwa, who is my friend on the other side, the dress the way I want him to dress and that is an insult on womanhood and so those making that noise should withdraw”, she said in parliament on Wednesday, 1 December 2021 during a debate on the 2022 budget.

The Dome-Kwabenya arm of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) expressed scepticism about the identity of a lady who was seen in the Dome-Kwabenya lawmaker’s seat.

Ms Safo has not been seen in public for months.https://googleads.g.doubleclick.net/pagead/ads?client=ca-pub-4549410436183225&output=html&h=250&slotname=4705176708&adk=1921530005&adf=2366005940&pi=t.ma~as.4705176708&w=300&lmt=1638364953&psa=0&format=300×250&url=https%3A%2F%2Fmobile.classfmonline.com%2Fnews%2Fpolitics%2FIt-was-me-I-was-in-parliament-yesterday-Adwoa-Safo-speaks-29018&flash=0&wgl=1&dt=1638364952133&bpp=7&bdt=1184&idt=1102&shv=r20211111&mjsv=m202111160101&ptt=9&saldr=aa&abxe=1&prev_fmts=0x0%2C300x250&nras=1&correlator=6916878964154&frm=20&pv=1&ga_vid=1861878287.1638364953&ga_sid=1638364953&ga_hid=1378551209&ga_fc=0&u_tz=0&u_his=1&u_h=892&u_w=412&u_ah=892&u_aw=412&u_cd=24&u_sd=2.625&dmc=4&adx=56&ady=1450&biw=412&bih=749&scr_x=0&scr_y=296&eid=31063796%2C44755657%2C31060475%2C31062931&oid=2&pvsid=3015299933480052&pem=108&tmod=1700080683&ref=https%3A%2F%2Flm.facebook.com%2F&eae=0&fc=1920&brdim=0%2C0%2C0%2C0%2C412%2C0%2C412%2C749%2C412%2C749&vis=1&rsz=%7C%7CEebr%7C&abl=CS&pfx=0&fu=0&bc=31&ifi=3&uci=a!3&btvi=1&fsb=1&xpc=hjsuM8XxUO&p=https%3A//mobile.classfmonline.com&dtd=1142

Her leave was extended by President Nana Akufo-Addo some weeks ago.

In her absence, the President has asked the Minister of Water and Sanitation, Mrs Cecilia Abena Dapaah to act as the Minister of Gender, Child and Social Protection.

The Majority Caucus of parliament, in its bid to overturn the rejection of the 2022 budget by a Minority-alone parliament on Friday, 26 November 2021, ensured that all its members, including Adwoa Safo, showed up on the floor to vote for the approval of the budget by a Majority-alone parliament.

However, social media has been awash with debate about whether or not the lady MP thought to be the Dome-Kwabenya MP was really Adwoa Safo.

Jumping into the fray, the Dome-Kwabenya Constituency Chairman of the NDC, Mr Isaac Lamptey, challenged the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) to come clean on the identity of the lady who popped up on the floor of parliament as Adwoa Safo.

Mr Lamptey threw the challenge in an interview with Kwame Appiah Kubi on Accra100.5FM’s morning show ‘Ghana Yensom’ on Wednesday, 1 December 2021.

According to him, the lady cannot be Adwoa Safo.

“As constituents, we know our MP and the personality who purported to be the MP is not our MP”, he insisted.

“As political watchers in the constituency, we know Adwoa Safo has some semblance with her sisters and some friends and the lady who popped up seems to be one of the semblances in the constituency”, he claimed.

He said the MP has sisters who look just like her.

However, Mr Seth Kusi, the spokesperson for Adwoa Safo, denied the claims of the NDC, saying she has been in the country as of Thursday, 23 November 2021.

He added that the MP was not seen on the floor of the house on the previous Friday because she was in a committee meeting in parliament

Covid-19: Cases of Omicron variant recorded in Ghana – GHS

The Ghana Health Service (GHS) has confirmed that cases of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus (Covid-19) have been recorded in Ghana on November 21.

The confirmation was made by the Director General of the GHS, Dr Patrick Kumah Aboagye in Accra on Wednesday December 1.

“There is the emergence of the new variant and I must say, through the robust testing at the Kotoka International Airport, Ghana has detected the Omicron variant already and the cases have come mainly from Nigeria and South Africa. The very first case that was detected during our sequencing was on the 21 of November”, Dr Patrick Kumah Aboagye told pressmen.

The new variant, according to the GHS, has not yet been detected in the communities. However, Dr. Kumah Aboagye mentioned there is the potential of a community spread “if someone has omicron and it’s incubating it will not be detected at the airport”.

He said it is important for all to adhere to all the Covid-19 protocols especially as the festive season nears and more visited are expected.

About the Omicron variant

The World Health Organization has called Omicron a “variant of concern” and on Monday warned that the global risks posed by it were “very high,” despite what officials described as a multitude of uncertainties. Cases have been identified in 20 countries so far, including Britain, Italy, Belgium and the Netherlands. Although Omicron has not yet been detected in the United States, experts say it is only a matter of time before the variant shows up.

Source: 3news.com

Minority seeking to overturn approval of budget

The Minority in Parliament is seeking to overturn the approval of the budget by the House on Tuesday November 30, without them.

Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu in moving a motion to overturn the approval said 137 lawmakers of the Majority could not have taken a decision.

He said they don’t consider Deputy Speaker Joseph Osei Wusu (Joewise) who deliberated proceedings yesterday, as member of Parliament at the time he was sitting in a s speak hence that leave the number present at 137.

It is recalled that immediately after the approval of the budget on Tuesday, Haruna Iddrisu said that the Majority did not have the numbers to enable them approve the 2022 budget statement.

He said at a press conference in Parliament that as of the time the Majority were taking the decision to approve the budget, they were 137 and not 138.

“The precedent they are setting will haunt them in the future. At the time that they were taking the decision the house was not 137.”

They further rejected the assurance by the Finance Ken Ofori-Atta that their concerns in the 2022 budget would be addressed at the committee level.

Haruna Iddrisu said that they wanted their concerns captured in the original budget statement, not to be discussed at the committees’ sittings.

“If you are acknowledging and admitting that there were concessions, let it reflect in the statement” and not a meeting at the committee level.

He further stated that the Minority will oppose to the E-levy proposal in its current any day and anytime.

“We don’t support the E-levy in its current. Our point is to revise it to take care of the ordinary people.”

The Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta had assured them that all the issues they raised against the 2022 Budget, would be addressed at the committee level.

The Minority had raised issues including the request that the budget for Parliament should be raised from GHS510m to GHs1.7bn, issues about the e-levy and others.

Mr Ofori Atta said in Parliament on Tuesday November 30 that their concerns would be considered.

His comments came just before Parliament approved the 2022budget statement on Tuesday November 30.

The First Deputy Speaker who sat in for the Speaker said on Tuesday, Joseph Osei Owusu said that “The House has adopted the Financial statement and approved the budget statement for the ensuing year ending 31st December 2021.”

“This house has approved the budget and economic statement,” he stressed.

The Majority Leader in Parliament, Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu had asked him to set aside the purported rejection of the 2022 budget statement.

Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu said on the floor of the House on Tuesday November 30 that the rejection of the budget “did not meet the test established under Article 104,” because Parliament did not have the required numbers to be present in the chamber for purposes of taking decisions.

The minority boycotted the sitting

Mahama in The Gambia to observe elections

Former President John Dramani Mahama is currently in The Gambia to observe the elections in that country.

Mr Mahama indicated that he met with Justice Hassan Bubacar Jallow, Chief Justice of The Gambia, and some Justices of the Supreme Court this morning as part of our pre-election assessment meetings. Discussions centred on the Judiciary’s preparations for the election taking place on the 4th of December.

MET WITH JUSTICE HASSAN BUBACAR JALLOW, CHIEF JUSTICE OF THE GAMBIA, AND SOME JUSTICES OF THE SUPREME COURT THIS MORNING AS PART OF OUR PRE-ELECTION ASSESSMENT MEETINGS. DISCUSSIONS CENTRED ON THE JUDICIARY’S PREPARATIONS FOR THE ELECTION TAKING PLACE ON THE 4TH OF DECEMBER. PIC.TWITTER.COM/FRNLNWLHWE— John Dramani Mahama (@JDMahama) December 1, 2021

On Tuesday, the @EISAfrica Election Observer Mission visited the Gambian Independent Electoral Commission for a meeting with its Chairman, Alieu Momarr Njai.

ON TUESDAY, THE @EISAFRICA ELECTION OBSERVER MISSION VISITED THE GAMBIAN INDEPENDENT ELECTORAL COMMISSION FOR A MEETING WITH ITS CHAIRMAN, ALIEU MOMARR NJAI. PIC.TWITTER.COM/3OXA0A1EFO— John Dramani Mahama (@JDMahama) December 1, 2021

Source: 3news.com|Ghana

Akuapem Poloo to return to jail after appeal dismissed

COVID-19 test: Akuapem Poloo awaiting results for transfer to Ankaful Prison

Akuapem Poloo leaving the court on Friday, April 16

The Criminal Court 1 Division of the High Court has thrown out an appeal filed by lawyers of actress and socialite Rosemond Brown, popularly known as Akuapem Poloo.

Akuapem Poloo was handed a 90-day jail term by an Accra Circuit Court for publishing obscene material and violating the dignity and integrity of her seven-year-old son in a nude photo she posted on social media in June, 2020.

Though she served a period into her term, her lawyers appealed the judgement considering it too harsh.

She was subsequently granted an GH¢80,000 bail, pending the determination of the appeal.

On Wednesday, December 1, the Court found her appeal without merit and was subsequently ordered to go and continue her 90-day imprisonment

Law is powerful – Gabby after budget approval

A leading member of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Gabby Otchere Darko, has said Ghanaians must focus on how the 2022 budget statement is going to ease the hardships.

He said in a series of tweets reacting to the approval of the 2022 by Parliament without the Minority that “There’s really nothing to be particularly excited about either Friday’s unlawful rejection or Tuesday’s passing of the budget.

“What’s relevant is how this budget may seek to tackle the economic issues like unemployment which confront the nation. How will it ease hardships?”

Another tweet said “Law is powerful. If you understand it and use it well it can resolve issues.

LAW IS POWERFUL. IF YOU UNDERSTAND IT AND USE IT WELL IT CAN RESOLVE ISSUES.— Gabby Otchere-Darko (@GabbyDarko) November 30, 2021

He added “No, Minority Leader, the Deputy Speaker today did not vote. He was only counted as present in the House in his capacity as MP for Bekwai and he did not vote and needn’t vote because once half of members are present only the majority of that number needed to vote ‘

NO, MINORITY LEADER, THE DEPUTY SPEAKER TODAY DID NOT VOTE. HE WAS ONLY COUNTED AS PRESENT IN THE HOUSE IN HIS CAPACITY AS MP FOR BEKWAI AND HE DID NOT VOTE AND NEEDN’T VOTE BECAUSE ONCE HALF OF MEMBERS ARE PRESENT ONLY THE MAJORITY OF THAT NUMBER NEEDED TO VOTE “AYE!”— Gabby Otchere-Darko (@GabbyDarko) November 30, 2021

Meanwhile, the Minority in Parliament have rejected the assurance by the Finance Ken Ofori-Atta that their concerns in the 2022 budget would be addressed at the committee level.

Their leader Haruna Iddrisu said at a press conference in Parliament on Tuesday November 30 that they wanted their concerns captured in the original budget statement, not to be discussed at the committees’ sittings.

“If you are acknowledging and admitting that there were concessions, let it reflect in the statement” and not a meeting at the committee level, he said.

He further stated that the Minority will oppose to the E-levy proposal in its current any day and anytime.

“We don’t support the E-levy in its current. Our point is to revise it to take care of the ordinary people.”

The Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta had assured them that all the issues they raised against the 2022 Budget, would be addressed at the committee level.

The Minority had raised issues including the request that the budget for Parliament should be raised from GHS510m to GHs1.7bn, issues about the e-levy and others.

Mr Ofori Atta said in Parliament on Tuesday November 30 that their concerns would be considered.

His comments came just before Parliament approved the 2022budget statement on Tuesday November 30.

The First Deputy Speaker who sat in for the Speaker said on Tuesday, Joseph Osei Owusu said that “The House has adopted the Financial statement and approved the budget statement for the ensuing year ending 31st December 2021.”

“This house has approved the budget and economic statement,” he stressed.

The Majority Leader in Parliament, Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu had asked him to set aside the purported rejection of the 2022 budget statement.

Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu said on the floor of the House on Tuesday November 30 that the rejection of the budget “did not meet the test established under Article 104,” because Parliament did not have the required numbers to be present in the chamber for purposes of taking decisions.

The minority boycotted the sitting

Prepare to pay more – Kwakye Ofosu to Ghanaians on budget approval

A former Deputy Minister of Information, Felix Kwakye Ofosu, has asked Ghanaians to prepare for extreme hardships following the approval of the 2022 budget by Parliament without the Minority.

In a Facebook post reacting to the approval of the budget, he said “If you are a Ghanaian, the Akufo-Addo/Bawumia government, with the help of their MPs, has given you the biggest middle finger ever.

“Despite your protestations, they have rammed down your throat, a 1.75% E-Levy, a 25-30% increase in the prices of imported items because of the reversal of the Benchmark Value discount and a 15% increase in over 20,000 different fees and charges paid for the service of 129 MDAs to be adjusted upwards every year.

“All of this start in January which traditionally is the most difficult month. You can also look forward to more fuel price increases. And all of this adds onto the dozens of taxes they have already imposed on you since 2017 and the over 50 different instances of fuel price increases. This is what their misguided supporters are celebrating their MPs for doing this afternoon.”

Issues were raised against aspects of the budget by the Minority and some Ghanaians. For instance, the E-levy proposal met opposition from a number Ghanaians.

But Finance Minister Ken Ofori Atta has assured that the concerns of the Minority would be addressed by the committees of Parliament.

His comments came just before Parliament approved the 2022budget statement on Tuesday November 30.

But the Minority in Parliament have rejected his assurance.

Their Leader Haruna Iddrisu said at a press conference in Parliament on Tuesday November 30 that they wanted their concerns captured in the original budget statement, not to be discussed at the committees’ sittings.

“If you are acknowledging and admitting that there were concessions, let it reflect in the statement” and not a meeting at the committee level.

He further stated that the Minority will oppose to the E-levy proposal in its current any day and anytime.

“We don’t support the E-levy in its current. Our point is to revise it to take care of the ordinary people.”

The First Deputy Speaker who sat in for the Speaker said on Tuesday, Joseph Osei Owusu said that “The House has adopted the Financial statement and approved the budget statement for the ensuing year ending 31st December 2021.”

“This house has approved the budget and economic statement,” he stressed.

The Majority Leader in Parliament, Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu had asked him to set aside the purported rejection of the 2022 budget statement.

Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu said on the floor of the House on Tuesday November 30 that the rejection of the budget “did not meet the test established under Article 104,” because Parliament did not have the required numbers to be present in the chamber for purposes of taking decisions.

The minority boycotted the sitting

Blame Akufo-Addo’s arrogance of power for budget rejection – Martin Amidu

The former Special Prosecutor Martin Amidu says the arrogance and impunity of power by President Akufo-Addo and his government must be blamed for Friday’s budget rejection by Parliament.

“The Parliamentary vote of rejection of the 2022 budget demonstrates what the arrogance of power and impunity can do to any Government that takes the electorate for granted as rabbles,” the former Attorney General wrote in an article on the 2022 budget rejection.

According to Mr Amidu, Nana Akufo-Addo’s government became infested with the arrogance and impunity of power right from the day it assumed the reins of Government on 7th January 2017.

“The level of the arrogance and impunity of power exhibited by this government leading up to the rejection of the 2022 Budget Statement and Policy by Parliament is demonstrated by the stubbornness of even refusing to listen to its security and intelligence non-governmental organization, the Danquah Institute, when its director called on the Government to withdraw the E-levy and rethink the whole concept. The corruption of power made the government to continue insisting on consulting stakeholders, including the minority in Parliament, only after Parliament had been seized with the budget for approval or rejection.

“The corruption of, and intoxication with, the arrogance and impunity of power became more manifest when Parliament was in session to decide whether to approve that budget. One cannot fantom the extent of the internalization of arrogance and impunity of power that emboldened the Minister of Finance to ask the Speaker to stand down the already over delayed on-going proceedings of Parliament for the Minister to consult the leadership of Parliament before taking the vote.”

Below is the full article by Martin Amidu

THE ARROGANCE AND IMPUNITY OF POWER – THE PARLIAMENTARY REJECTION OF THE 2022 BUDGET STATEMENT AND POLICY: BY MARTIN A. B. K. AMIDU

The Parliamentary vote on 26th November 2021 against the approval of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s 2022 Budget Statement and Policy presented to the Parliament of Ghana on 17th November 2021 on his behalf by his Co-President and Minister for Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta, was self-inflicted. The Parliamentary vote of rejection of the 2022 budget demonstrates what the arrogance of power and impunity can do to any Government that takes the electorate for granted as rabbles.

Nana Akufo-Addo’s government became infested with the arrogance and impunity of power right from the day it assumed the reins of Government on 7th January 2017. This is the government of a make-believe democrat who consults stakeholders affected by his major policies only after getting Parliament to enact his wishes as policy. The government then seeks cosmetic post facto consultation with affected stakeholders only when there is serious objection to the policy by the electorate and other stakeholders. The constitutional principles of probity, accountability, and transparency in governance are shamelessly contravened by a government that came to power only after representing to We the People that it would be the most accountable and transparent government ever to run the affairs of this country.

The Ameri scandal that led to the resignation of a Minister who was sacrificed for the arrogance and impunity of the decisions of the Family and Friends; the unresolved Sputnik-V Covid-19 vaccine scandal that is still uninvestigated; the Aker Energy Scandal; and the Agyapa Royalties Agreements hurriedly approved by the one-sided 7th Parliament on 14th August 2020 after the minority had staged a walkout, to mention but a few, demonstrate the arrogance and impunity of the Akufo-Addo style of democratic-autocratic governance.

The Agyapa Transaction Agreements, for instance, is an exemplified display of the arrogance and impunity of power by this government when it stuck to its position to complete the listing of Agyapa Royalties Limited on the London Stock Exchange by 30th December 2020 even after the most affected stakeholders, including the Chiefs as custodiam of the nation’s lands, raised reasoned objections to the unaccountable and opaque manner the Government obtained the parliamentary approval without prior consultations with the Chiefs and people. It was only over these damning objections that the Government pretended to start consultations with stakeholders while insisting that the listing of the Agyapa Royalties Limited on the London Stock Exchange on or before due date in December 2020 was not for negotiation. It had to take the Agyapa Royalties Anti-Corruption Risk Assessment Report and the audaciousness of a Special Prosecutor not to shelve the report for the government to shallow humble pie and save face by pretending to refer the Agreements for reconsideration by the Parliament that approved it.

The Aker Energy scandal was also so unaccountable and opaque that stakeholders had to raise reasoned objections to the policy formulation and its approval by Parliament without any prior consultations or discussions with interested stakeholders. As usual the government pretended to engage in post facto consultations with stakeholder only after patriotic Ghanaians showed an overwhelming determination to hold the Government to account.https://googleads.g.doubleclick.net/pagead/ads?client=ca-pub-8731784857660975&output=html&h=343&adk=1367138687&adf=502940832&pi=t.aa~a.86673156~i.27~rp.4&w=412&lmt=1638306958&num_ads=1&rafmt=1&armr=3&sem=mc&pwprc=7938084553&psa=0&ad_type=text_image&format=412×343&url=https%3A%2F%2Fstarrfm.com.gh%2F2021%2F11%2Fblame-akufo-addos-arrogance-of-power-for-budget-rejection-martin-amidu%2F&flash=0&host=ca-host-pub-2644536267352236&fwr=1&pra=3&rh=310&rw=372&rpe=1&resp_fmts=3&sfro=1&wgl=1&fa=27&dt=1638306958490&bpp=11&bdt=7041&idt=11&shv=r20211111&mjsv=m202111160101&ptt=9&saldr=aa&abxe=1&cookie=ID%3D3c56162ed6aa3ba8-22e8ff62c5ce00f7%3AT%3D1638306957%3ART%3D1638306957%3AS%3DALNI_MaiDkpVwSDtQ1V0NbiAdORd1RRwoQ&prev_fmts=0x0%2C412x343%2C412x343%2C412x343%2C412x343%2C412x343&nras=7&correlator=3003231542632&frm=20&pv=1&ga_vid=80943945.1638306956&ga_sid=1638306956&ga_hid=1068588600&ga_fc=1&u_tz=0&u_his=1&u_h=892&u_w=412&u_ah=892&u_aw=412&u_cd=24&dmc=4&adx=0&ady=5775&biw=412&bih=793&scr_x=0&scr_y=1686&eid=44755514%2C31063782%2C31060475&oid=2&pvsid=3997942684127072&pem=716&tmod=1354956237&ref=https%3A%2F%2Flm.facebook.com%2F&eae=0&fc=1408&brdim=0%2C0%2C0%2C0%2C412%2C0%2C412%2C793%2C412%2C793&vis=1&rsz=%7C%7Cs%7C&abl=NS&fu=128&bc=31&ifi=9&uci=a!9&btvi=6&fsb=1&xpc=vGAp3Cnsmu&p=https%3A//starrfm.com.gh&dtd=369

The level of the arrogance and impunity of power exhibited by this government leading up to the rejection of the 2022 Budget Statement and Policy by Parliament is demonstrated by the stubbornness of even refusing to listen to its security and intelligence non-governmental organization, the Danquah Institute, when its director called on the Government to withdraw the E-levy and rethink the whole concept. The corruption of power made the government to continue insisting on consulting stakeholders, including the minority in Parliament, only after Parliament had been seized with the budget for approval or rejection. The corruption of, and intoxication with, the arrogance and impunity of power became more manifest when Parliament was in session to decide whether to approve that budget. One cannot fantom the extent of the internalization of arrogance and impunity of power that emboldened the Minister of Finance to ask the Speaker to stand down the already over delayed on-going proceedings of Parliament for the Minister to consult the leadership of Parliament before taking the vote.

And this was after the Minister had told the entire world in an interview with Joy FM at the Volta Fair that the government will find a way of winning over the minority by the time the vote on the budget came to be taken. The Government could not in its drunken stupor of arrogance and impunity of power see that it was by these statements leading the minority into the position of irrevocable commitment from engaging with the Minister lest the minority be suspected of another sell out by We the People.

The Nana Akufo-Addo’s side of the equally divided Parliament knew that it did not have the numbers to have its way even if the independent Member of Parliament chose to cast his vote with the Nana Akufo-Addo side of Parliament on 26th November 2021. The reason assigned by Nana Akufo-Addo’s side for walking out of Parliament when the Speaker was about to take the vote on the budget is not supportable under the 1992 Constitution or the Standing Orders of Parliament. Aseidu Nketia, the General Secretary of the National Democratic Congress, or any other Ghanaian has a constitutional right to sit in the gallery of parliament during proceedings which are open to the public. But in Akufo-Addo’s Kabuki dance We the People who voted him into power are rabbles who are undiscerning of truth and reality – they have a Goebel’s mentality of being capable of winning over the electorate by deception and not the truth.

Nana Akufo-Addo’s Government has forgotten that it was just on 29th March 2021 that the Government through the front of a former NDC Minister of Finance succeeded in negotiating with the NDC for the surprising consensus approval of the Minister of Finance by Parliament in a voice vote for appointment to his position. We the People saw the circumstances of that compromise by NDC, with Aseidu Nketia as its General Secretary, approving the then Minister of Finance nominee for substantive appointment as tainted with suspected corruption. Why the presence of Asiedu Nketia in the gallery of parliament on the day of taking the vote on the 2022 Budget would be a reason for a walkout by the other side should be anybody’s conjecture.

Parliament meets today, 30th November 2021 amidst claims and counterclaims of the ability to undo the Parliamentary vote of 26th November 2021 rejecting the 2022 Budget Statement and Policy presented by this government run on autopilot. Every patriotic Ghanaian, of whatever political persuasion, should be alert to the Kabuki dance in whatever futile form it takes to reverse the irreversible rejection of the 2022 Budget Statement by Parliament.

There are jubilations on the minority side for the rejection of the 2022 Budget Statement with minimum demands also made as conditions precedent for the approval of a new anticipated 2022 Budget Statement and Policy to be laid again in Parliament by the Government for consideration before the expiration of the Appropriation Act for 2021 Budget year. But We the People know that without the betrayal we suffered at the hands of a former NDC Minister of Finance, the National Executive of the NDC and its leadership in Parliament, the Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta, will not have been in any position to inflict any hardship on Ghanaians through a draconian 2022 Budget Statement and Policy. What happened on 26th November 2021 with the rejection of the 2022 Budget Statement was only the first redemption by those who shamefully let this country down on 29th March 2021 when they joined in approving this Minister of Finance nominee by consensus in a voice vote for appointment despite outstanding queries at his vetting.https://googleads.g.doubleclick.net/pagead/ads?client=ca-pub-8731784857660975&output=html&h=343&adk=1367138687&adf=1966109870&pi=t.aa~a.86673156~i.39~rp.4&w=412&lmt=1638306959&num_ads=1&rafmt=1&armr=3&sem=mc&pwprc=7938084553&psa=0&ad_type=text_image&format=412×343&url=https%3A%2F%2Fstarrfm.com.gh%2F2021%2F11%2Fblame-akufo-addos-arrogance-of-power-for-budget-rejection-martin-amidu%2F&flash=0&host=ca-host-pub-2644536267352236&fwr=1&pra=3&rh=310&rw=372&rpe=1&resp_fmts=3&sfro=1&wgl=1&fa=27&dt=1638306958437&bpp=12&bdt=6988&idt=12&shv=r20211111&mjsv=m202111160101&ptt=9&saldr=aa&abxe=1&cookie=ID%3D3c56162ed6aa3ba8-22e8ff62c5ce00f7%3AT%3D1638306957%3ART%3D1638306957%3AS%3DALNI_MaiDkpVwSDtQ1V0NbiAdORd1RRwoQ&prev_fmts=0x0%2C412x343%2C412x343%2C412x343%2C412x343%2C412x343%2C412x343%2C412x749%2C412x103&nras=10&correlator=3003231542632&frm=20&pv=1&ga_vid=80943945.1638306956&ga_sid=1638306956&ga_hid=1068588600&ga_fc=1&u_tz=0&u_his=1&u_h=892&u_w=412&u_ah=892&u_aw=412&u_cd=24&dmc=4&adx=0&ady=9903&biw=412&bih=793&scr_x=0&scr_y=4663&eid=44755514%2C31063782%2C31060475&oid=2&pvsid=3997942684127072&pem=716&tmod=1354956237&ref=https%3A%2F%2Flm.facebook.com%2F&eae=0&fc=1408&brdim=0%2C0%2C0%2C0%2C412%2C0%2C412%2C793%2C412%2C793&vis=1&rsz=%7C%7Cs%7C&abl=NS&fu=128&bc=31&ifi=7&uci=a!7&btvi=8&fsb=1&xpc=fksLJoDxmC&p=https%3A//starrfm.com.gh&dtd=1176

No faceless threats of assassination or intimidation with politically motivated persecutions should deflect us from our cause of fighting against all forms of suspected corruption and defending the Constitution. Let every patriot put Ghana First and protect the public purse from the looting machine.

Martin A. B. K. Amidu

Parliament approves 2022 budget statement without the Minority

The budget was approved in the absence of MPs from the Minority, who declined to participate in the business of the day.

Parliament has approved the 2022 Budget Statement and Economic Policy of government presented by Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta on November 17.

The budget was approved in the absence of MPs from the Minority, who declined to participate in the business of the day.

In their absence, the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta re-submitted a revised version of the 2022 Budget, which was unanimously approved by the Majority MPs including the Speaker.

Today’s sitting was delayed by hours of meetings between the Majority and Minority leadership aimed at exploring how to cure what has been termed by the Majority as unconstitutionality by Speaker Alban Bagbin.

The Majority side accused Mr Bagbin of acting in breach of the 1992 constitution after he said 137 MPs had taken a decision to reject the budget last Friday.

According to the Majority, the act fails the constitutional requirement of 138 MPs present in the House before a decision can be made.

For most of Tuesday morning, talks between the Majority and Minority in Parliament over the rejected Budget had broken down.

The talks have been ongoing in Parliament for several hours in a desperate attempt to build consensus over the rejected budget.

 Entrenched positions around the controversial e-levy had been the major dividing issue according to sources.

The Minority Caucus has been demanding a withdrawal of the proposed levy.

JoyNews understands the majority side backed by the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, who walked into the meeting around midday had agreed to reduce the proposed levy from 1.75% to 1.5%.

There was a stalemate as the Minority walked out of the House.

Upon a motion by Majority leader Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu, and a vote by the House, the First Deputy Speaker, Joseph Osei Owusu ruled that the earlier decision was in error and in violation of Article 104 (1) and caused it to be expunged from the record.

Parliament then proceeded to consider the motion on the budget and subsequently approved it.

The First Deputy Speaker, Joseph Osei Owusu, counted himself as an MP making the Majority Caucus in the House 138 members.

The House will now consider the budget estimates in the coming weeks for specific sectors of the economy before the appropriation bill will be passed.

This will give government the green light to spend according to monies appropriated in the budget.

Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta in winding up the debate highlighted how government will accommodate the concerns raised by the minority in the approval of estimates, revenue bills and appropriation.

 Source: Myjoyonline

Budget: Minority reacts to approval, they reject Ofori-Atta’s assurance

Majority Leader (Left) Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu and Minority Leader Haruna Iddrisu

The Minority in Parliament have rejected the assurance by the Finance Ken Ofori-Atta that their concerns in the 2022 budget would be addressed at the committee level.

The Minority Leader Haruna Iddrisu said at a press conference in Parliament on Tuesday November 30 that they wanted their concerns captured in the original budget statement, not to be discussed at the committees’ sittings.

“If you are acknowledging and admitting that there were concessions, let it reflect in the statement” and not a meeting at the committee level.

He further stated that the Minority will oppose to the E-levy proposal in its current any day and anytime.

“We don’t support the E-levy in its current. Our point is to revise it to take care of the ordinary people.”

The Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta had assured them that all the issues they raised against the 2022 Budget, would be addressed at the committee level.

The Minority had raised issues including the request that the budget for Parliament should be raised from GHS510m to GHs1.7bn, issues about the e-levy and others.

Mr Ofori Atta said in Parliament on Tuesday November 30 that their concerns would be considered.

His comments came just before Parliament approved the 2022budget statement on Tuesday November 30.

The First Deputy Speaker who sat in for the Speaker said on Tuesday, Joseph Osei Owusu said that “The House has adopted the Financial statement and approved the budget statement for the ensuing year ending 31st December 2021.”

“This house has approved the budget and economic statement,” he stressed.

The Majority Leader in Parliament, Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu had asked him to set aside the purported rejection of the 2022 budget statement.

Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu said on the floor of the House on Tuesday November 30 that the rejection of the budget “did not meet the test established under Article 104,” because Parliament did not have the required numbers to be present in the chamber for purposes of taking decisions.

The minority boycotted the sitting

2022 budget: I want to be sure I’ve Majority of MPs to take a decision – Sit-in Speaker

First Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Joseph Osei Wusu on Tuesday November 30 said in Parliament that he wanted to be sure he had the majority of lawmakers in the House to take a decision on the approval of the 2022 budget.

To that end, there was a head count of all lawmakers in the chamber.

This was after the Majority Leader in Parliament, Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu had asked him to set aside the purported rejection of the 2022 budget statement.

Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu said on the floor of the House on Tuesday November 30 that the rejection of the budget “did not meet the test established under Article 104,” because Parliament did not have the required numbers to be present in the chamber for purposes of taking decisions.

Joewise who is also Bekwai Lawmaker sat in for the Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin who is out of the country for medical checks.

He said among other things that ” I want to be sure I have the Majority of MPs in the House to take a decision.”

The Minority in Parliament refused to enter Parliament to join a discussion on the 2022 budget statement.

TV’s Komla Kluste who was in Parliament reported that “Minority will not enter the Chamber, no business in the Chamber today , not even on the corridors of the chamber

Qwikloan to cease operations if E-levy is implemented – GM warns

The Chief Executive Officer of Afb Ghana, operators of Qwikloan services on MTN has hinted that it would cease to exist in a year if the proposed electronic transaction levy (e-levy) is implemented in its current form.

The 1.75% tax on electronic financial transactions was proposed in the 2022 budget statement presented before Parliament by the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, on Wednesday, November 17, 2021.

The Minister explained that the tax measure was to raise revenue to support job creation initiatives, construction of road infrastructure, cybersecurity, and digital infrastructure.

Ken Ofori-Atta was hopeful that the proposal would come into full force from February 2022.

However, this proposal has been widely been kicked against by Ghanaians.

The minority group in Parliament rejected the 2022 budget as a result of the proposed e-Levy and other concerns raised in the budget.

MTN Ghana in partnership with Afb GHANA launched the “Qwikloan” service in 2017 to provide convenience to customers in times of need to enhance their business.

The service, dubbed, “Qwikloan” is fast, easy, and convenient which enables customers to access loans using their MTN mobile money platform.

Qwikloan is a 30-day loan. It has flexible payment terms with an interest of 6.9% but a default payment of 12.5% interest charges. It does not need a bank account and guarantor to access it.

However, a Facebook post on November 30, 2021, by the CEO of Afb Ghana Arnold Parker to celebrate four years anniversary, forewarned that the service will fold up should the government go ahead with the e-levy in the current shape.

“Four years ago today, together with our partners MTN and Jump, we launched what has arguably become Ghana’s most utilised financial product -Quick loan. In the 4 years that Quickloan has been in existence, we have disbursed over Ghc7billion to well over 4.2 million people. Interesting that the Quickloan anniversary comes at a time when heated discussion on the e-Levy rages on,” Arnold Parker stated.

He continued “If I plug in the proposed e-Levy rate into our financials, Quickloan would cease to exist within a year. Yet it is a product like Qwikloan, which has been a lifesaver for millions in their times of need, that has the potential to transform this economy”.

Arnold Parker has in an earlier post advised against free things by the government.

“Let’s turn our attention to building our economy now. A country that’s supposed to have a GDP of $600 billion should not be ok when its GDP is $60 billion. For many decades now we have operated way below our potential and robbed millions of our kith and Skin a decent life. The more free things we promise the people, the more businesses we must allow to flourish to find the freebies. It is time to build and grow Ghanaian businesses.

Source: Ghana/Starrfm.com.gh

Don’t politicise my health issues – Speaker

The Office of the Speaker of Parliament has explained that the recent trip to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) by Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin for a routine medical check-up is part of his conditions of service.

The trip was embarked upon just a day after he ruled to reject the 2022 budget statement and government’s economic policy under controversial circumstances.

He went on the trip with two members of his staff – his aide and one secretary – as well as his spouse and Head of the Parliamentary Clinic, Dr Prince Kofi Pambo.

“The current Speaker of Ghana’s Parliament, Rt. Hon. Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin, being mindful of the times in which the country finds itself, traveled with a comparatively skeletal staff, taking into consideration the economic situation in the country and bearing in mind, the need for frugal and prudent spending,” a release issued by his counsel, Magnus Kofi Amoatey, on Monday, November 29 said.

It explained that there are records to show that all his predecessors, particularly in the Fourth Republic, embarked on similar trips and even the entire leadership of the House are entitled to same.

His office is, therefore, not happy about reports on the trip, particularly on reason why he is accessing healthcare abroad rather than home.

“Indeed, the Speaker has on a number of occasions stated openly and continues to maintain his position to Members of Parliament to help safeguard the public purse and so has been mindful of same in all his dealings as Speaker.

“The Office of Speaker wishes to assure the general citizenry of its commitment to protect the public purse at all times.

“Parliament is also committed to seeking the best interest of the people they represent and will continue to always do so.”

It further explained that the Majority and Minority members may disagree on issues on the floor “but these are all based on procedures, which govern the work of the House and which are strictly adhered to without fear or favour”.

“The office will advise that the health issues of the speaker and that of other office bearers are not politicised as anybody could be taken ill at any time.”

The Speaker is expected back home on Tuesday, December 14, 2021

Otumfuo To Outdoor Gold Coins

Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II

The Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, is set to officially launch his Commemorative Gold Coins on December 12, 2021.

According to information gathered the Commemorative Gold Coins as a fitting memorial in honour of His Majesty Otumfuo Osei Tutu II for the significant role he played in restoring peace to the Dagbon kingdom in the Northern Region of Ghana after decades of protracted Chieftaincy crisis between members of the royal gates.

It’s also acknowledged Otumfuo’s role as a restraining influence that has manifested in almost every election cycle in Ghana.

That influence, additionally, has ensured peaceful elections, culminating in seamless transitions in governments, especially when power changed hands between the two dominant political parties in Ghana.

The face of the Gold Coin bears the image of Otumfuo, with the Adinkra symbols “Bi Nka Bi” on the left side and “Mpatapo,” on the right which symbolizes peace, harmony, and reconciliation.

The reverse of the Gold Coin bears the image of the Golden Stool of Asanteman also known as “Sikadwa Kofi.” Legend has it that, the Sikadwa Kofi, which is the most prized possession of the Asante Kingdom and symbolizes the soul of the Asante people was commandeered from the Heavens by the High Priest, Okomfo Anokye and landed on the lap of the first Asante King, Otumfuo Osei Tutu I.

The Gold Coin will be 99.99% (24 karats) fine gold with a diameter of 37.00 mm and weighing 31.104 grams has been approved by the Bank of Ghana

Road tolls: Amoako-Atta’ll answer for financial loss – Nketia

Should the National Democratic Congress (NDC) come back to power, the Minister of Roads and Highways, Mr Kwasi Amoako-Atta, will answer for causing financial loss to the state by his directive to road toll collectors to stop collecting tolls across the country just a day after the 2022 budget was read, even though it had not been approved by parliament, Mr Johnson Asiedu Nketia, the General Secretary of the biggest opposition party, has hinted.

The Akufo-Addo-led government has proposed the scrapping of road tolls in the 2022 budget.

Although the budget has not been approved yet, Mr Amoako-Atta has already directed that no one should pay road tolls.

Unhappy with his directive, parliament, through the Speaker, Mr Alban Bagbin, directed the minister to immediately reverse his order.

The minister explained that his order was to prevent confusion and fisticuffs at the tollbooths after the finance minister presented the 2022 budget, which contained the proposal to scrap all tollbooths.

Speaking on Accra100.5FM’s morning show Ghana Yensom on Monday, 29 November 2021, Mr Nketia said the transport minister has caused financial loss to the state and a future government must haul him to answer for that.

He said: “When you announced that the road toll introduced by parliament has been cancelled and, so, no one should pay road toll, you’ve broken the law…”

“As of now, the monies they need to collect that they are not collecting, when a better government comes, he [Amoako-Atta] has to be invited to answer for causing financial loss to the state”, Mr Asiedu Nketia said.

“He’ll have to explain because this road toll and lack of accountability has brought anger in the country…”

The government is replacing the road toll with a new tax called the e-levy on all electronic transactions.

It affects electric bank transactions and mobile money transfers

Minority has no alternative to 2022 Budget – NPP

The New Patriotic Party (NPP) has described as problematic the Minority in Parliament posturing towards the 2022 Budget and Economic Policy of the Government.

The governing party says the National Democratic Congress (NDC) Minority are “deceptively behaving” as if their reaction to the budget is for the good of the Ghanaians people.

According to the NPP, on the matter of the e-levy, they (NPP) believe sincerely that it is the most sustainable way forward for boosting public finances at this time.

“The e-levy, as proposed, offers the opportunity to break out into a future of self-mobilized and self-controlled resources. Note that the NDC ultimatum does not seek cancellation of the e-levy. It rather talks about suspension for consultation.

“So it is clear the NDC appreciates the wisdom of the e-levy but is posturing for public acclaim rather than biting the bullet. Ghana’s growing democratic practice demands that we all ask the NDC for their tax and public funding alternatives,” the NPP General Secretary, John Boadu stated during a press conference held at the NPP Headquarters in Accra, Monday, 29th November, 2021.

The Minority Caucus in Parliament has outlined five demands they want considered before they give support for the 2022 budget.

It comes after they rejected the budget last Friday following long hours of disagreement between them and the Majority.

Among others, the Minority is asking the government to suspend the controversial E-levy and also withdraw the Agyapa deal from the budget.

Below are the demands of the Majority

  1. Suspend the Electronic Transaction Levy (E-Levy): The Government should suspend the E-Levy and properly engage stakeholders to agree on a reasonable policy. How can mobile money payments, bank transfers, merchant payments, and inward remittances be charged 1.75 percent? The policy is not retrogressive, not pro-poor, and does not support the much-touted digitalisation agenda and cash-lite economy that we all yearn for.
  2. Withdrawal of Agyapa: The NDC Minority will not support any collateralisation of our revenues, particularly mineral resources. The future of our country will be bleak if we continue in that regard. We cannot jeopardise the future generations of our country just for our present desires.
  3. Provide for Tidal Waves Disaster: The Government should incorporate in its revised Budget adequate measures to address the issue relating to the Tidal Waves Disaster in Keta and other communities. The victims should be supported. And the Phase II of the Blekusu Coastal Protection Project must find space in the Budget.
  4. Properly re-construct the wording relating to the Aker Energy: Relating to GNPC acquisition of stake from Aker Energy and AGM Petroleum, the revised Budget should reconstruct paragraph 829 of the rejected Budget to reflect the decision of the House as captured on 6th August 2021 Votes and Proceedings of Parliament.
  5. Review the Benchmark Value for Imports: Government should, in a revised Budget, reconsider paragraph 247 of the rejected Budget which sought to restore the Benchmark Values of imports by suspending the 50 percent discount on selected General Goods and the 30 percent discount on vehicles. Some concession should be given to the importers.

Below is the NPP’s full press statement

DOES MINORITY CAUCUS HAVE AN ALTERNATIVE TO THE 2022 BUDGET PRESS CONFERENCE ADDRESSED BY THE NPP GENERAL SECRETARY, MR. JOHN BUADU AT KOFORIDUA IN THE EASTERN REGION, 29TH NOVEMBER 2021.

Good afternoon friends and the good people of Ghana, thank you for coming.

This afternoon, the New Patriotic Party (NPP) seeks to add its voice towards constructive resolution of the situation in Parliament concerning the 2022 Budget Statement.

First, it is necessary to address the tone of a document circulating on social media, titled as “A Press Release” and dated 28th November 2021. It has the name of the Minority Leader in Parliament, Honourable Haruna Iddrisu, typed under it.

If it is deemed authentic, the document appears on the face of it to advise a way forward on the matter of the 2022 budget. However, deeper reading shows that it is essentially gloating about the number of National Democratic Congress (NDC) members of Parliament being able to use their Parliamentary numbers to block Government business and assumes the right to determine a ‘Budget’ for the Government.

The document stresses that the current composition of Parliament makes it a ‘Hung Parliament’, and therefore, to the NDC, the rules of engagement have changed. In seeking to project new rules, the NDC Minority seems determined to move beyond the constitutional rights and duties of a minority caucus as enshrined in the 1992 Constitution and the Standing Orders of Parliament.

It is no secret that the Minority intended to reject the Budget statement as a show of political force. To the Minority, the near even number of members in Parliament is an opportunity to obstruct the Government’s financial statement for political embarrassment. The Minority NDC could care less if this posture leads to a crisis of payments, including salaries, as long as they believe they look politically good.

Advancing their assumed advantage of numbers further, the document being referred to lists a set of demands in the nature of an ultimatum to the Government. That, in its true intent, could be construed as usurpation of the President’s constitutional power to present budget statements to the house. The NDC’s attempt to dictate the content of a budget statement from opposition is an assault on the clear provisions of the 1992 Constitution. Article 58 vests executive authority in the President. Per the executive authority, the President is empowered to present the budget under Article 179.https://googleads.g.doubleclick.net/pagead/ads?client=ca-pub-8731784857660975&output=html&h=343&adk=4272051994&adf=2351572846&pi=t.aa~a.86673156~i.41~rp.4&w=412&lmt=1638257585&num_ads=1&rafmt=1&armr=3&sem=mc&pwprc=7938084553&psa=0&ad_type=text_image&format=412×343&url=https%3A%2F%2Fstarrfm.com.gh%2F2021%2F11%2Fminority-has-no-alternative-to-2022-budget-npp%2F&flash=0&host=ca-host-pub-2644536267352236&fwr=1&pra=3&rh=310&rw=372&rpe=1&resp_fmts=3&sfro=1&wgl=1&fa=27&dt=1638257584806&bpp=14&bdt=6198&idt=-M&shv=r20211111&mjsv=m202111110101&ptt=9&saldr=aa&abxe=1&cookie=ID%3D54878203da166650-2222c7f9fecc00e1%3AT%3D1638257583%3ART%3D1638257583%3AS%3DALNI_Ma4oa41kPzbpjWu9QlCajLKyLdCsQ&prev_fmts=0x0%2C412x343%2C412x343%2C412x343&nras=5&correlator=2275642577305&frm=20&pv=1&ga_vid=965561770.1638257582&ga_sid=1638257582&ga_hid=702211195&ga_fc=1&u_tz=0&u_his=1&u_h=892&u_w=412&u_ah=892&u_aw=412&u_cd=24&u_sd=2.625&dmc=4&adx=0&ady=5857&biw=412&bih=793&scr_x=0&scr_y=2952&eid=31062938%2C31063792%2C31060475&oid=2&pvsid=3011530442782504&pem=446&tmod=261369737&ref=https%3A%2F%2Flm.facebook.com%2F&eae=0&fc=1408&brdim=0%2C0%2C0%2C0%2C412%2C0%2C412%2C793%2C412%2C793&vis=1&rsz=%7C%7Cs%7C&abl=NS&fu=128&bc=31&ifi=8&uci=a!8&btvi=4&fsb=1&xpc=dssgWphuWt&p=https%3A//starrfm.com.gh&dtd=312

Article 93 (2) vests legislative power in Parliament, but it does not allocate the right to Parliament to write budgets or to force the hand of the Executive in relation to the budget the way the NDC is going about it. Indeed, Article 108 expressly limits the area of financial determination, especially imposition of taxes and expenditure to the President. Arguably, the combined effect of Parliamentary intervention in respect of taxes may be to seek a reduction. Parliament is not entitled to reject a budgetary tax measure of the Executive because it is “unreasonable”, as the NDC have referred to the E-levy. ‘Unreasonableness’ is not a constitutional or legislative ground for refusal to approve a budget statement.

Furthermore, legislative authority to make proposals under Article 103 (3) does not extend to proposals in the nature of the imposition of expenditure. That is expressly prohibited by Article 108. Therefore, the NDC’s ultimatum demanding for explicit inclusion of funds for disaster relief may be overreaching the constitutional authority of the Minority in Parliament.

These are examples of the havoc that a misuse of the notion of a ‘hung Parliament’ can cause. If indeed the NDC purports to love the Republic as it seems to be saying in its statement, then the best way forward would be to continue with the Parliamentary process and consider the Budget statement per Standing Order 140 (4) and (5), which gives Parliament enough room to bring forward objections to any provision of the budget within the limits of the Constitution. Otherwise, the current posture of the NDC Minority Caucus is problematic for constitutional development.

On the matter of the e-levy, the NPP believes sincerely that it is the most sustainable way forward for boosting public finances at this time.

Traditionally, governments have relied on petroleum levies to plug gaps in recurrent expenditure and concessionary loans as well as grants and commercial loans to fund infrastructure. But experience shows that petroleum levies do not bring in much relative to the general price inflation that occurs upon imposition. So petroleum levies hurt the economy. Now that supply chain bottlenecks worldwide are causing petroleum prices to rise; it is not in the interest of Ghana that a levy is imposed on petroleum at this time.

Grants and loans do not come in amounts capable of tackling the infrastructure gap with the vigour and consistency required to anchor growth. In plain words, borrowing is not a sustainable, adequate and consistent way of funding for developing our infrastructure rapidly. Worse, it often comes with long strings attached. Borrowing costs also burden the economy unnecessarily, with debt servicing impeding critical public investments.

The e-levy, as proposed, offers the opportunity to break out into a future of self-mobilized and self-controlled resources. Note that the NDC ultimatum does not seek cancellation of the e-levy. It rather talks about suspension for consultation. So it is clear the NDC appreciates the wisdom of the e-levy but is posturing for public acclaim rather than biting the bullet. Ghana’s growing democratic practice demands that we all ask the NDC for their tax and public funding alternatives.  Does the NDC accept that petroleum levies and borrowing are not sustainable? Is the NDC prepared to think outside the box? What alternatives can they offer the Ghanaian people? These are legitimate questions.

Ladies and gentlemen, as we have previously observed, the innovative approaches to revenue generation adopted by the 2022 budget can lead to major revenue changes for public finances in Ghana if implemented effectively. Public concerns about transparency in the collection and use of the revenue are what all well-meaning Ghanaians must address. Genuine concerns about implementation gaps can be addressed in a spirit of goodwill.

In other words, monies collected in Ghana on the e-levy for infrastructure ought to go to empower the Ghanaian economy to create jobs, incomes, and taxes in Ghana. We have a value chain of trained engineers, cost accountants and constructors who ought to be able to design, construct and deliver high quality, big job public infrastructure. We need to have confidence in our own. Ultimately, that is what the e-levy is about.

The NDC also indicates opposition to the restoration of the benchmark values to the normal levels. What that means is that imported bottled water will continue to be cheaper than locally processed and bottled water. Imported machetes will continue to be cheaper than those manufactured in Ghana. Imported iron rods would continue to dominate the market because the locally manufactured iron rods would be more expensive.

Fruit juices, pharmaceuticals and many other products that are being manufactured in Ghana are far more expensive than imported ones. Manufacturing supports moving from mere taxation of imported finished products to local value addition. Local production creates jobs and incomes. An import focused economy creates jobs and incomes in other countries, denying our youth of jobs. It also forces our cedi to depreciate as we chase the few dollars on the market to import everything, including pure water and toothpicks.

The NPP policy of moving from taxation to production does not mean zero taxation. It means increasing local processing and manufacturing capacity to create more jobs and incomes for our youthful population. When more people are employed in value addition and production, more people earn incomes that can be taxed at a lower level. That is why we seek to put factories in every district. These factories will add value to our produce, creating thousands of direct and indirect jobs and incomes that can be taxed. Apart from 1D1F, many hardworking Ghanaian entrepreneurs and foreign investors have put money into the Ghanaian economy for production and their businesses deserve government’s support.

Ladies and gentlemen, the Government is promoting light and heavy industry with the start of GIADEC for bauxite processing and GHISDEC for iron and steel. These are foundational industries for generating processing capacity in any modern economy. This is the NPP’s vision to create a productive and self-sufficient economy full of jobs for the people.

Now, Ghana has an Automobile Assembly Policy that has the capacity to enhance skills, provide jobs and supply brand new vehicles to the Ghanaian and African markets at a competitive price. Yet the NDC says we should undermine all these homegrown policies that can generate jobs and incomes for our youth with a continuation of our age-old import economy.

As long as we continue to export raw materials for little money and use those monies to import expensive finished goods at a lower duty level, we shall continue to struggle with raising revenue to fund development and social services. So politically, it sounds good for the NDC to say no way to the restoration of benchmark values, but ultimately, such a posture is against the industrialization agenda necessary to create jobs. So, it is important to ask the NDC what their industrial policy is. Does the NDC have a plan to change the structure of the Import/Export economy? If so, what is the plan?https://googleads.g.doubleclick.net/pagead/ads?client=ca-pub-8731784857660975&output=html&h=343&adk=4272051994&adf=938181110&pi=t.aa~a.86673156~i.71~rp.4&w=412&lmt=1638257591&num_ads=1&rafmt=1&armr=3&sem=mc&pwprc=7938084553&psa=0&ad_type=text_image&format=412×343&url=https%3A%2F%2Fstarrfm.com.gh%2F2021%2F11%2Fminority-has-no-alternative-to-2022-budget-npp%2F&flash=0&host=ca-host-pub-2644536267352236&fwr=1&pra=3&rh=310&rw=372&rpe=1&resp_fmts=3&sfro=1&wgl=1&fa=27&dt=1638257584715&bpp=10&bdt=6107&idt=10&shv=r20211111&mjsv=m202111110101&ptt=9&saldr=aa&abxe=1&cookie=ID%3D54878203da166650-2222c7f9fecc00e1%3AT%3D1638257583%3ART%3D1638257583%3AS%3DALNI_Ma4oa41kPzbpjWu9QlCajLKyLdCsQ&prev_fmts=0x0%2C412x343%2C412x343%2C412x343%2C412x343%2C412x343%2C412x749%2C412x103&nras=9&correlator=2275642577305&frm=20&pv=1&ga_vid=965561770.1638257582&ga_sid=1638257582&ga_hid=702211195&ga_fc=1&u_tz=0&u_his=1&u_h=892&u_w=412&u_ah=892&u_aw=412&u_cd=24&u_sd=2.625&dmc=4&adx=0&ady=11980&biw=412&bih=793&scr_x=0&scr_y=7979&eid=31062938%2C31063792%2C31060475&oid=2&psts=AGkb-H9JzpeHZSNGqKeD7wSu0E-R__qdKPlBbS5JvQFKOqKAxWdY7qfNOcM2FFwsFFB9b200aOwUjkyZMs593qVbuYN5ExbUWdtLhTUcWN8%2CAGkb-H_RMSCkhdk_-POVgG8FmHyfw3QsGJJwlLSWY-FrMkZ725tGiU1p1xSMgnOFlbpbTpriLMeenZ-S5mcD%2CAGkb-H_hTn_FsfoX_70YYGy1NEnSTs65mQ-tASNNovUY5gR1GtSIOV-YmL5O7_WmML-vkl0tGiLN14o6ppVi%2CAGkb-H_fMN1ObeskY_kzdLGCX0ugJ10pXpDTaZmOqesaODoUEB0qj2ZfbvrBUjTQ5I7xSJRFeMhhqyjaKD-R%2CAGkb-H8jDGhaXwZCS9JYfI77cbYN2WCgWNK-Q5zD_QnQh4eG-2tLj_J6YlhqfcY09kn45j7QhW45irGBnvAJ%2CAGkb-H9yl29qz93evdAJ6oG5uiGLLrezqWI15a3vgPUPwQHLP9ZFm8ympjK8bzjn2fJ-zq4N_xwoH4WDoTbs&pvsid=3011530442782504&pem=446&tmod=261369737&ref=https%3A%2F%2Flm.facebook.com%2F&eae=0&fc=1408&brdim=0%2C0%2C0%2C0%2C412%2C0%2C412%2C793%2C412%2C793&vis=1&rsz=%7C%7Cs%7C&abl=NS&fu=128&bc=31&ifi=6&uci=a!6&btvi=7&fsb=1&xpc=HSJCzaus9O&p=https%3A//starrfm.com.gh&dtd=7125

Ladies and gentlemen, the bottom line is that the NPP won a mandate in the 2020 general elections to continue to govern this country according to its manifesto and the record of cumulative achievements in this 4th Republic. The Party will be resolute in pursuing policies that inure to the long term benefit of Ghanaians. As often stated by H.E Nana Akufo-Addo, we are here to make decisions to further good governance. We are not in Government to avoid hard decisions for the sake of political power. That way, power loses credibility because it is disabled from serving the peoples’ true interests.

In conclusion, ladies and gentlemen, the NPP will continue to offer well thought-through policies for the good people of Ghana. These policies would generate the much-needed jobs and incomes for our youth.

Our policies will continue to generate resources to develop the hard and soft infrastructure of the country.

Our policies will continue to provide education to all in need.

Our policies will continue to protect and grow the health sector.

Now, the NDC must tell us what their alternative is for Ghana.
Is it their view that Government puts levies on petroleum products?
Is it their view that government continues borrowing?
Is it their view that we collapse the local manufacturing economy in favour of imports?
The NDC must answer these questions to Ghanaians.
We in the NPP, remain sensitive to the needs of Ghanaians and the capacity of Ghanaians to take charge of their own future.

Thank you

E-levy is the most sustainable way to boost public finances – John Boadu

General Secretary of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), John Boadu, has defended the introduction of the E-levy in the 2022 budget statement.

He said this is the proposal is the most sustainable way for boosting public finances because the government cannot afford to borrow more at this time to fund projects.

Addressing a press conference in Koforidua on Monday November 29, he said “On the matter of the E-levy, the New Patriotic Party believes sincerely that it is the most sustainable way forward for boosting public finances at this time. 

“Traditionally,  government had relied on  Petroleum levy to build  and concessionary loans as well as grants  and commercial loans  to fund infrastructure  but experience shows that  the Petroleum levy  do not bring in much  relative to the general prices . Petroleum levies hurt the economy.

“Now that the supply chain bottlenecks worldwide are causing petroleum process to rise, it is not in the interest of Ghana that a levy is imposed on petroleum at this time. Grant and loans do not come in an amount capable of tackling the infrastructure with the vigour and consistency required to anchor growth. Borrowing is not a sustainable and adequate way of funding for development of our infrastructure.”

The E-levy has been rejected by some Ghanaians.

For instance, the Minority Leader Haruna Iddrisu said the E-levy policy proposal in the 2022 budget statement is a disincentive to the growth of digital economy.

To that end, he said, the Minority would not support it.

Speaking at a post budget workshop in Ho on Saturday November 20, he said “Mr Speaker, understandably, we see that the Minister of Finance seeks to introduce some measures including the now popularly declared e-levy or digital levy as some have quite named it.

“Mr Speaker, our concern is whether the e-levy itself is not and will not be a disincentive to the growth of digital economy in our country. We are convinced that the e-levy may as well even be a disincentive to investment and a disincentive to private sector development in our country. We in the minority may not and will not support government with the introduction of that particular e-levy. We are unable to build national consensus on that particular matter.”

Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta announced a new levy to be charged by government in 2022 on all electronic transactions to widen the tax net and rope in the informal sector.

“It is becoming clear there exists enormous potential to increase tax revenues by bringing into the tax bracket, transactions that could be best defined as being undertaken in the ‘informal economy’,” Mr Ofori-Atta observed on Wednesday, November 17 as he presented the 2022 budget statement in Parliament.

“After considerable deliberations, government has decided to place a levy on all electronic transactions to widen the tax net and rope in the informal sector. This shall be known as the ‘Electronic Transaction Levy or E-Levy’.”

He explained that the new E-levy will be a 1.75 per cent charge on all electronic transactions covering mobile money payments, bank transfers, merchant payments and inward remittances to be borne by the sender except inward remittances, which will be borne by the recipient.

This will, however, not affect transactions that add up to GH¢100 pr less per day.

“A portion of the proceeds from the E-Levy will be used to support entrepreneurship, youth employment, cyber security, digital and road infrastructure among others.”

This new levy was scheduled to start Saturday, January 1, 2022.

In 2020, total value of transactions was estimated to be over GH¢500 million with mobile money subscribers and users growing by 16 percent in 2019.

According to a Bank of Ghana report, Ghana saw an increase of over 120 percent in the value of digital transactions between February 2020 and February 2021 compared to 44 percent for the period February 2019 to February 2020 due to the convenience they offer.

This was definitely heightened by the advent of Covid-19 especially during the lockdown.

But Parliament has rejected the budget statement.

The Majority members had staged a walkout during proceedings on Friday, November 26 but that did not stop the Speaker, Alban Bagbin, from ruling on the motion.

He had given a five-minute break for the Majority members to resume their seats.

But after the time elapsed, Speaker Bagbin ruled that the budget has been rejected after the members present overwhelmingly shouted ‘No’.

Following this development, the Majority Leader in Parliament, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, is accusing the Speaker, Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin, of partisanship in the manner which he handled the motion by the Finance Minister on the 2022 budget statement and economic policy of government.

The motion, as presided over by the Speaker on Friday, November 26 in the absence of the Majority, was lost.

But in spirited challenge to events that unfolded in the House on Friday, the Majority says the Speaker’s actions were unconstitutional and the legal references he fell on to go ahead with the votes were incongruous.

“We want to put it on record that the Speaker was totally wrong in what business he purportedly undertook in the House in our absence,” the Suame Member of Parliament said.

“Now, what exercise he led for our colleagues on the other side to take a decision on related to a request from the Minister to be allowed space to engage both sides of the House in order to have some consensus and the position that the two sides of the House had adopted.”

The longest-serving MP says he struggles to recollect in the current Republic when a prayer by a minister to revise a position on a motion has been denied by a Speaker.

“When has this happened?” he wondered.

“But be that it may [the Speaker] went ahead, did what he did in our absence because we were not in the chamber. Then went ahead to state that the motion on the budget as moved by the Minister of Finance on Wednesday, November 17 is lost.

“That whole procedure in unconstitutional. As far as we are concerned, it is null and void and it has no binding effect on anybody.”

It is unclear what next action will be taken by the Majority as the Speaker is set to travel to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for a medical review.

The Majority Leader insists Mr Bagbin, who had served as MP since the start of the Fourth Republic until his election as Speaker in 2021, ought to have known the rules better in referencing Article 104 instead of Article 102.

“Assuming without admitting that he had 137 members in the chamber, they were still less than one half of the 275 and by necessary implication, that exercise that he engaged in or supervised is a complete nullity and I believe that whoever presided should bow down his head in shame

2022 Budget: Show leadership, build consensus, call your troops to order – Adongo to Akufo-Addo

Bolgatanga Central MP IsaacAdongo has called on President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to show leadership by halting the use of offensive words by the majority caucus and rather building consensus around the points of disagreement in the 2022 budget that has been rejected by parliament.

Parliament rejected the 2022 budget on Friday after the Majority side walked out in protest to the presence of the opposition National Democratic Congress’ General Secretary Johnson Asiedu Nketia in the public gallery of the chamber.

Subsequently, the Majority has described the events of Friday as “unconstitutional” and accused the Speaker of “mischievously” presiding over an illegality, saying he must “bow his head in shame”.

The Majority caucus also insists the 2022 budget stands.

In a counter-statement, however, the Minority said the Majority must take responsibility for the rejection of the budget instead of raining insults on the Speaker.

Reacting to these happenings, Mr Adongo, in a statement addressed to the president, said he expects Nana Akufo-Addo to move in swiftly to pull the country together and, along with the government, tame the uncertainty surrounding the economy.

“Both sides must call their troops to order but the onus lies most on the sitting president whose economic policies are on the table for approval to show that leadership by calling his troops to tone down on the rhetoric and verbal assault and rather build bridges,” Mr Adongo said.

He stated that there can be no winners with confrontational leadership under these circumstances.

“The only way out of this stalemate is the much-needed consensus-style leadership to calm the tensed environment and give people of the socioeconomic divide, equal consideration by seeking their inputs and concerns,” he added.

Below is Mr Adongo’s statement to President Nana Akufo-Addo

Hon Adongo to H.E Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo:

I call on H.E the President of the Republic of Ghana to show leadership in the wake of disagreement in getting his Budget and fiscal policy statement for the year 2022 approved.

The eighth parliament is absolutely different from the previous parliaments. As a result, it also comes with different dynamics, making the leadership of consensus-building a critical imperative to push Ghana ahead. This is why I expect the president, H.E. Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to move in swiftly to pull the country together and along with Government to tame the uncertainty surrounding the economy. Both sides must call their troops to order but the onus lies most on the sitting president whose economic policies are on the table for approval to show that leadership by calling his troops to tone down on the rhetoric and verbal assault and rather build bridges.

You cannot present a budget laced with controversies to an equally divided house where you do not have the absolute majority to pass it and refuse to engage the other parties, explain your side of the issues and obtain their concerns.

It, however, appears the ruling government does not believe in this civil consultative process as a practice in democracy. In best practices, such consultations are often held with all the relevant stakeholders long before the policies are outdoored. The consultations don’t happen in parliament only when a vote is about to be taken and the Minister is sensing the danger of defeat.

The reaction of ordinary Ghanaians and other stakeholders to the policies contained in the 2022 budget soon as it was read by the finance minister is ample testimony that most of the various stakeholders were not consulted.

That is not a good sign and that cannot be the way to govern in a civil democratic dispensation.

We cannot pretend that nothing is wrong when the nation is deeply divided this way in the middle. Things can only get worse if there is no leadership intervention to halt the use of offensive words and rather build consensus around the points of disagreement in the budget. It must again be said clearly that, you cannot in one breath be calling for consensus, while in another breath, you are exhibiting aggression and unleashing your party executives to go on a verbal offensive. Worse of it, it is done with a sly and insidious attempt to undermine the other stakeholders including the Speaker of Parliament.

The capital markets are sophisticated and very sensitive to all the happenings around, especially for economies like ours that have a very unique appetite for borrowing. With all these uncertainties, I fear the response of these capital markets in the coming days may not be good for us.

The president and his team must recognise that any attempt to exploit the absence of the speaker of Parliament, the RT Hon Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin from the jurisdiction of Ghana will only widen the existing gulf. A long, drawn-out budget wrangling will only hurt us all further as several MMDAs may not get the needed approval early enough for their estimates and the almighty appropriations.

There can be no winners with confrontational leadership under these circumstances.

The only way out of this stalemate is the much-needed consensus-style leadership to calm the tensed environment and give people of the socioeconomic divide, equal consideration by seeking their inputs and concerns.

Consensus style leaders are collaborative and democratic in nature. They emphasise inclusion and consensus-building as pathways to better decision-making. They leverage listening and empathy in order to ensure all perspectives are heard.

This is my humble expectation of the president.

It is better late than never

2022 Budget Rejection: Bagbin Breaks Silence

The Speaker of Parliament has, for the first time spoken after the rejection of the 2022 budget in parliament.

In a Facebook post, the Speaker of Parliament said the 2022 budget was lawfully rejected, therefore, the statement by the majority that it was unconstitutional should be disregarded.

He added that at the time the budget was rejected, over 138 Members of Parliament were present.

“Please let it be known that there were more than 137 MPs on the floor when I put the question for the approval or rejection of the Economic Policy and Financial Statement of the government for the 2022 financial year often referred to as the Budget for 2022,” he wrote in a Facebook post.

On Friday, November 26, 2021, all 137 Minority Members of Parliament voted against the motion when the question was put forward by Speaker Alban Bagbin.

The Majority had earlier walked out of the house after a disagreement with the Speaker on the presence of the General Secretary of the NDC, Johnson Asiedu Nketia.

The House first voted to dismiss a motion by the Finance Minister seeking to engage the leadership of both parties before voting on the Budget.

Reacting to this development in parliament, the Majority leader Osei Kyei-Mensah Bonsu stated what they say is the unconstitutionality associated with a vote purportedly rejecting the 2022 Budget as presented by Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta on November 17, 2021.

In a statement issued late Friday, November 26, 2021, after the 137 Minority MPs voted to reject the Budget, the Majority cited among other reasons the need for at least 138 MPs in the house for the vote to be valid.

Whiles accusing Speaker Alban Bagbin of acting on his boast to obstruct government business, the statement added that failure to grant the Finance Minister audience with a request to delay the approval vote was a sign of a predetermined motive to frustrate government business.

The Speaker has however responded to these allegations and has set the records straight.https://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Faskbagbinofficial%2Fposts%2F1038055416740345&show_text=true&width=500

Source: facebook/ghanaweb

Anti-LGBTQI+ Bill: Ghana Is Not A Secular State – Sam George argues – VIDEO

Proponents of the Promotion of Proper Human Sexual Rights and Ghanaian Family Values Bill have made a case for the passage of the bill which amongst other things seeks to criminalise LGBTQI+ activities in the country.

Led by the Member of Parliament (MP) for the Ningo Prampram constituency, Sam Nartey George, the proponents say Ghana is not a secular state as has been argued by those against the bill.



“Ghana is not a secular state,people  have made that statement and said Ghana is secular state and we must allow it, Ghana is a pluralistically religious state”, he said before the committee.

For this reason, they insist activities of LGBTQI+ must be outlawed.

http://www.youtube.com/embed/eMMjaB20_KA

Source: 3news.com

I inspire NDC MPs with my presence in parliament – Nketia

The General Secretary of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) has revealed that his timely presence in parliament during the crucial debate on the 2022 budget on the floor of the house inspired the 137 Minority MPs.

Mr Johnson Asiedu Nketia made this revelation in an interview with Kwame Appiah Kubi, host of Accra100.5 FM’s morning show Ghana Yensom on Monday, 29 November 2021.

According to him, many of the NDC MPs draw a lot of inspiration from him as the General Secretary of the party.

“The NDC MPs are aware that I have been where they are today for the past 13 years and have been a deputy minister before,” he said.

“My presence in the house always gingers the MPs to work in the interest of the party and, for that matter, the interest of Ghanaians at large,” he added.

He said the NDC MPs, at some crucial moments of stalemates, have called on him to mediate and address some of the pressing matters in the house.

“This has always been the kind of relationship I have had with the current MPs on the floor of the house,” he argued.

He said the NDC MPs are an integral part of the management of the party, stemming from their monthly contributions toward the development of the party.

“So, this relationship has existed between the party and the MPs,” he said.

Asiedu Nketia was in parliament when the house rejected the 2022 budget on Friday after the Majority side walked out in protest to his presence in the public gallery of the chamber.

Source: Classfmonline.com

I’ll be NDC presidential candidate if I get the nod – Duffuor

A Former Finance Minister Dr Kwabena Duffuor has officially declared his intention to be President of Ghana.

Although his party, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) is yet to open nominations for the presidential race ahead of the 2024 elections, the former Governor of the Bank of Ghana who was the Finance Minister under the Mills’ administration said he would welcome a decision of the delegate of the NDC to make him the presidential candidate for the party in the next general elections.

He said these in an interview with TV3’s Roland Walker in Accra on Monday November 29.

Roland told him that “I saw a promo of  you advocating for young people to get involved in the NDC and make sure that they also take part in the governance process, is it that you have the presidential ambition at all? You want to become president of our Republic?”

Dr Duffuor replied saying “I was the Finance Minister so I was in Politics but we have not started talking about the NDC presidential race yet, if we get there and I am given the nod why not?”

Roland asked again that “Potentially and hypothetically, if you get elected as a presidential candidate who ideally will fit the bill of becoming your vice president candidate

He replied “There are two people who are doing very well in politics, they are lawyers. Look at Bagbin with over 30 years in politics, look at this young man Haruna, any of them. If I have Haruna Iddrisu or Bagbin, any could be my running mate, they are working hard, they are in politics and they will complement me.”

By Laud Nartey|3news.com|Ghana

We want to cut borrowing hence E-levy but NDC says no – NPP

Majority Leader (Left) Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu and Minority Leader Haruna Iddrisu

General Secretary of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), John Boadu, has said the Akufo-Addo administration intended to reduce external borrowing hence, the introduction of some taxes including the E-levy in the 2022 budget statement.

He therefore, finds is difficult to comprehend the position taken by the main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) against the levies which when approved would lead to a reduction in borrowing.

Addressing a press conference in Koforidua on Monday November 29, he said “As long as we continue to export raw materials for little money and use those moneys to  import expensive finished goods at a lower duty level, we shall  continue to struggle with raising revenue to fund development and social services. So, politically, it sounds good for the NDC to say, no way to the restoration of benchmark values but ultimately, such a posture is against the industrialization agenda necessary to create jobs. So it is important to ask the NDC what their industrial policy is. Does the NDC have the plan to change the structure of the import-expert economy? If so, what is the plan?

“The bottom line is that, the NPP won a mandate in the 2020 general elections to continue to govern this country according to its manifesto and the record of cumulative achievements in this fourth republic.

 “The party will be resolute in pursuing policies that inure to the long term benefit of Ghanaians as often stated by His Excellency Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo. We are here to make decisions  to further good governance. We are not in government to avoid hard decisions for the sake of political power. That way, power loses credibility because it is disabled from serving the people’s true interest.

“In conclusion, the NPP will continue to offer well thought through policies to the good people of Ghana. These policies will generate the much needed jobs and incomes for our youth.

“Our policies will continue to provide education for all in need, our policies will continue to and promote and build the health sector , our policies will continue to  protect and grow  the agric sector.

“The NDC, is it their dream that government puts levies on petroleum products? Is it their view that government continues to borrow? Is it their view that we collapse  the local manufacturing economy  in favour of import? The NDC must answer these questions to Ghanaians.

“The New Patriotic Party remains sensitive to the needs of Ghanaian people in the capacity of Ghanaians to take charge of their own future. It is on this basis that we call on all Ghanaians to support this government budget for growth and expansion of our economy.”

The Minority Leader Haruna Iddrisu has said the E-levy policy proposal in the 2022 budget statement is a disincentive to the growth of digital economy.

To that end, he said, the Minority will not support it.

Speaking at a post budget workshop in Ho on Saturday November 20, he said “Mr Speaker, understandably, we see that the Minister of Finance seeks to introduce some measures including the now popularly declared e-levy or digital levy as some have quite named it.

“Mr Speaker, our concern is whether the e-levy itself is not and will not be a disincentive to the growth of digital economy in our country. We are convinced that the e-levy may as well even be a disincentive to investment and a disincentive to private sector development in our country. We in the minority may not and will not support government with the introduction of that particular e-levy. We are unable to build national consensus on that particular matter.”

Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta announced a new levy to be charged by government in 2022 on all electronic transactions to widen the tax net and rope in the informal sector.

“It is becoming clear there exists enormous potential to increase tax revenues by bringing into the tax bracket, transactions that could be best defined as being undertaken in the ‘informal economy’,” Mr Ofori-Atta observed on Wednesday, November 17 as he presented the 2022 budget statement in Parliament.

“After considerable deliberations, government has decided to place a levy on all electronic transactions to widen the tax net and rope in the informal sector. This shall be known as the ‘Electronic Transaction Levy or E-Levy’.”

He explained that the new E-levy will be a 1.75 per cent charge on all electronic transactions covering mobile money payments, bank transfers, merchant payments and inward remittances to be borne by the sender except inward remittances, which will be borne by the recipient.

This will, however, not affect transactions that add up to GH¢100 pr less per day.

“A portion of the proceeds from the E-Levy will be used to support entrepreneurship, youth employment, cyber security, digital and road infrastructure among others.”

This new levy is scheduled to start Saturday, January 1, 2022.

In 2020, total value of transactions was estimated to be over GH¢500 million with mobile money subscribers and users growing by 16 percent in 2019.

According to a Bank of Ghana report, Ghana saw an increase of over 120 percent in the value of digital transactions between February 2020 and February 2021 compared to 44 percent for the period February 2019 to February 2020 due to the convenience they offer.

This was definitely heightened by the advent of Covid-19 especially during the lockdown.

But Parliament has rejected the budget statement.

The Majority members had staged a walkout during proceedings on Friday, November 26 but that did not stop the Speaker, Alban Bagbin, from ruling on the motion.

He had given a five-minute break for the Majority members to resume their seats.

But after the time elapsed, Speaker Bagbin ruled that the budget has been rejected after the members present overwhelmingly shouted ‘No’.

Following this development, the Majority Leader in Parliament, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, is accusing the Speaker, Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin, of partisanship in the manner which he handled the motion by the Finance Minister on the 2022 budget statement and economic policy of government.

The motion, as presided over by the Speaker on Friday, November 26 in the absence of the Majority, was lost.

But in spirited challenge to events that unfolded in the House on Friday, the Majority says the Speaker’s actions were unconstitutional and the legal references he fell on to go ahead with the votes were incongruous.

“We want to put it on record that the Speaker was totally wrong in what business he purportedly undertook in the House in our absence,” the Suame Member of Parliament said.

“Now, what exercise he led for our colleagues on the other side to take a decision on related to a request from the Minister to be allowed space to engage both sides of the House in order to have some consensus and the position that the two sides of the House had adopted.”

The longest-serving MP says he struggles to recollect in the current Republic when a prayer by a minister to revise a position on a motion has been denied by a Speaker.

“When has this happened?” he wondered.

“But be that it may [the Speaker] went ahead, did what he did in our absence because we were not in the chamber. Then went ahead to state that the motion on the budget as moved by the Minister of Finance on Wednesday, November 17 is lost.

“That whole procedure in unconstitutional. As far as we are concerned, it is null and void and it has no binding effect on anybody.”

It is unclear what next action will be taken by the Majority as the Speaker is set to travel to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for a medical review.

The Majority Leader insists Mr Bagbin, who had served as MP since the start of the Fourth Republic until his election as Speaker in 2021, ought to have known the rules better in referencing Article 104 instead of Article 102.

“Assuming without admitting that he had 137 members in the chamber, they were still less than one half of the 275 and by necessary implication, that exercise that he engaged in or supervised is a complete nullity and I believe that whoever presided should bow down his head in shame.”

By Laud Nartey|3news.com|Ghana

Unemployment rate started rising under Mahama – Duffuor

Former Finance Minister Dr Kwabena Duffuor has said he was able to assist the late Professor John Evans Atta Mills to reduce unemployment rate from the time Prof Mills became President in 2009 to 2012.

But, he said, the rate started increasing from 2013 to 2015, the period that Former President John Dramani Mahama was in office.

Delivering a public lecture in Accra on Monday November 29, he said “High and rising inflation increases the cost of living at a fast pace, thereby eroding people’s real incomes and savings. By fueling wage pressures and raising the cost of other production inputs, it also increases the cost of doing business. Furthermore, rising inflation forces up interest and lending rates, since savers—whose surplus funds are lent to borrowers—naturally demand a higher reward for deferring consumption to the future. Higher lending rates then lead to the cancellation of otherwise viable investments, with negative effects on economic growth and employment generation.

“Historically, Ghana has experienced these effects of inflation in their most destructive forms, as the country’s post-independence economic history is marked by many episodes of runaway inflation, including prolonged periods of hyperinflation in the 1970s and 80s.

“Because Ghana relies heavily on imports to meet its consumption needs, a rapidly depreciating exchange rate is a major source of inflation. In addition, given the country’s rapid build-up of foreign debt, which accounts for about half of total public debt, a sharply weakening exchange rate significantly increases the size of the foreign debt and the cost of servicing it in domestic currency terms. In fact, research conducted by the Institute for Fiscal Studies has shown that exchange rate depreciation is a significant driver of Ghana’s public debt dynamics, as it accounted for almost 30% of the growth of public debt between 2006 and 2019.

“These problems call for the effective management of inflation and the exchange rate to ensure their stability to protect living standards and support rapid economic growth and development. To achieve this requires, from the macroeconomic perspective, disciplined fiscal and monetary policies.

“Mr. Chairman, this has been done before. In 2009–2012 under the Mills NDC administration, our success in lowering the fiscal deficit from 14.5% of GDP in 2008 to 4% of GDP by 2011, as well as our success in slowing the rate of monetary growth, facilitated a fall in inflation from 18.1% in December 2008 to single digits for 31 consecutive months starting from June 2010 to December 2012. This remains to date the longest period of single-digit inflation in Ghana since independence. The exchange rate also achieved a measure of stability during the period, as it depreciated by 10.1% per annum on average in 2009–2012, which is one of the lowest rates of average depreciation during the Fourth Republic. The World Bank indicated in their 2011 report that in 2011, Ghana was the fastest growing economy in the World with GDP of 14.5% and a decline in interest rates to the lowest level in four decades.

“In his 1999 speech at ‘President Ball and Fundraising dinner’ at the Tema Rotary Club, Dr. J.L.S Abbey lauded the 1998 Macro-Economic Performance of Ghana, saying ‘Last year, most of the financial targets of Government were met: monetary growth over the period was less than 18 percent: the exchange rate depreciated by less than 5% and the rate of inflation declined. These targets were achieved by the strong enforcement of laws relating to banking and use of foreign currency, by prudent use of repurchase agreements in monetary management, and by placing a limit on excessive budgetary spending by government’. We have done this before. Mr. Chairman, I have personally been part of doing this before, so I know it can be done and that it must be done.

“As concerns mount about rising inflation in recent months, the government should take a second look at its fiscal and monetary policies, especially the former, and ensure that they are sustainable and conducive to the effective control of inflation and the maintenance of a stable exchange rate.

“Besides firm fiscal and monetary policies, good real sector policies that lead to strong economic growth play a critical role in ensuring price and exchange rate stability. The stellar performance of real GDP growth in 2009–2012 was therefore a significant factor that led to the stable macroeconomic environment during the period. From 2009–2012, overall real GDP grew at an average rate of 9%, which is the highest rate under any administration in Ghana’s history. Even the non-oil real GDP growth rate, which stood at an average of 7.4% during the period, is the highest under any administration in the country’s history. Effective real sector policies should therefore be pursued to achieve high economic growth and employment creation, as it happened between 2009–2012, and thereby helped to maintain a stable macroeconomic environment.

“Again, through effective real sector policies, unemployment was tamed under the Mills NDC Administration and I was the Minister of Finance and Economic Planning.  The total unemployment rate which stood at 10.4% in the year 2000 witnessed a declining trend to 5.3% by the end of 2010 and further declined to 2.2% by the end of 2013. However, after 2013, total unemployment rate saw another upward swing, increasing sharply to 6.8% by the end of 2015.

“It is therefore clear that the stellar performance of real GDP growth in 2009–2012 was a significant factor that led to lower unemployment level and which further led to job creation during 2009–2012 period.”

By Laud Nartey|3news.com|Ghana

E-levy is problematic, turn to extractive sector for more money – Duffuor to gov’t

Former Finance Minister, Dr Kwabena Duffuor, has rejected the proposed E-levy in the 2022 budget statement.

Apart from this levy destroying the digitalization agenda, he said, it will also be characterized by serious implementation challenges.

Delivering a public lectyuer in Accra on Monday November 29, he said “It is now well known that Ghana is facing a large infrastructure deficit and that this is affecting the sustainability of high economic growth rates; leading to                underdevelopment, high unemployment rates and low income levels.

“To be able to reverse the declining trend so as to ensure rapid and sustainable growth of the economy, improve job creation and thus reduce the high rate of unemployment, adequate fiscal space needs to be created by the government. Indeed there is an urgent need of a budgetary room that will allow government provide the needed resources for public investment without undermining the already weak fiscal situation.

“And it was for this reason that government in the 2022 Budget decided to widen the tax net by imposing the ‘Electronic Transaction Levy’ or ‘E-Levy’ of 1.75% on electronic transactions covering ‘mobile money payments, bank transfers, merchant payments, and inward remittances” to be borne by the sender, except inward remittance, which would be borne by the recipient’.

“It should, however, be noted that taxes/levies are imposed on incomes/gifts, consumption, and held properties or assets. Electronic transfers/payments are none of these. An electronic transfer usually represents a mode of payment or settlement. And indeed, modes of payment should not attract taxes/levies. This is because taxing modes of payment could lead to instantaneous double taxation, since the underlying income, commodity would have normally been taxed already.

“This makes the proposed E-Levy problematic because it could be fraught with serious implementation challenges. This tax could undermine the Ghanaian Digital Economy.

“Once again, the IFS would like to remind government that there is so much additional revenue that can be generated from the extractive sector, which is currently left in the hands of private investors who extract publicly endowed resources in the sector. Our estimates show that by adopting the same approach that Ghana’s peers use to generate revenue from their extractive sector (oil and mining subsectors), Ghana can generate additional US$4.3 billion from the sector yearly. Currently, this amount is equivalent to more than GH€25 billion. This lost revenue clearly dwarfs the GH 6.9 billion in revenue that the proposed E-Levy is projected to fetch the country in 2022.”

Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta announced a new levy to be charged by government in 2022 on all electronic transactions to widen the tax net and rope in the informal sector.

“It is becoming clear there exists enormous potential to increase tax revenues by bringing into the tax bracket, transactions that could be best defined as being undertaken in the ‘informal economy’,” Mr Ofori-Atta observed on Wednesday, November 17 as he presented the 2022 budget statement in Parliament.

“After considerable deliberations, government has decided to place a levy on all electronic transactions to widen the tax net and rope in the informal sector. This shall be known as the ‘Electronic Transaction Levy or E-Levy’.”

He explained that the new E-levy will be a 1.75 per cent charge on all electronic transactions covering mobile money payments, bank transfers, merchant payments and inward remittances to be borne by the sender except inward remittances, which will be borne by the recipient.

This will, however, not affect transactions that add up to GH¢100 pr less per day.

“A portion of the proceeds from the E-Levy will be used to support entrepreneurship, youth employment, cyber security, digital and road infrastructure among others.”

This new levy is scheduled to start Saturday, January 1, 2022.

In 2020, total value of transactions was estimated to be over GH¢500 million with mobile money subscribers and users growing by 16 percent in 2019.

According to a Bank of Ghana report, Ghana saw an increase of over 120 percent in the value of digital transactions between February 2020 and February 2021 compared to 44 percent for the period February 2019 to February 2020 due to the convenience they offer.

This was definitely heightened by the advent of Covid-19 especially during the lockdown.

But Parliament has rejected the 2022 budget statement presented on behalf of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo by his Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, on Wednesday, November 17.

The Majority members had staged a walkout during proceedings on Friday, November 26 but that did not stop the Speaker, Alban Bagbin, from ruling on the motion.

He had given a five-minute break for the Majority members to resume their seats

Finding a job should not be an uphill struggle – Duffuor

Former Finance Minister, Dr Kwabena Duffuor has said job creation must be the top agenda of every government in Ghana.

A JOB IS MUCH MORE THAN AN INCOME. IT IS A KEY TO DIGNITY, SELF-RELIANCE AND EMPOWERMENT. THIS IS WHY JOB CREATION MUST BE OUR TOPMOST PRIORITY.#THEGHANAIANDREAM #DRDUFFUORSPEAKS PIC.TWITTER.COM/EIFQNXSMLN— Dr. Kwabena Duffuor (@DrDuffuor) November 29, 2021

He explained that a job is much more than an income, it is a key to dignity, self-reliance and empowerment.

FINDING A JOB SHOULD NOT BE AN UPHILL STRUGGLE.#THEGHANAIANDREAM #DRDUFFUORSPEAKS PIC.TWITTER.COM/G2EMUVSYPZ— Dr. Kwabena Duffuor (@DrDuffuor) November 29, 2021

Delivering a public lecture on the theme “Transforming the economy through job creation and opportunities for all,” in Accra on Monday November 29, he said “finding a job should not be an uphill struggle.”

#THEGHANAIANDREAM#DRDUFFUORSPEAKS PIC.TWITTER.COM/D9UYCHRZCT— Dr. Kwabena Duffuor (@DrDuffuor) November 29, 2021

If we want to end the vicious cycle of poverty in our country, then we must create jobs for our youth.

IF WE WANT TO END THE VICIOUS CYCLE OF POVERTY IN OUR COUNTRY, THEN WE MUST CREATE JOBS FOR OUR YOUTH. #THEGHANAIANDREAM #DRDUFFUORSPEAKS PIC.TWITTER.COM/HQIGJYTTGI— Dr. Kwabena Duffuor (@DrDuffuor) November 29, 2021

By Laud Nartey|3news.com|Ghana

Court issues bench warrant to arrest Sosu

The Kaneshie District Court has on Monday November 29 issued a bench warrant for the arrest of Member of Parliament (MP) for Madina Francis-Xavier Sosu.

This was after his inability to show up in court on Monday, November 29, when the case against him was called.

His lawyer Victor Kwadjoga Adawudu told the court that Sosu is attending to Parliamentary duty as the Constitutional and Legal Committee of Parliament resumes public sitting on the anti-Gay bill.

The court presided over by His Worship Oheneba Kuffour granted a request to issue a bench warrant for his arrest after the prosecution led by Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Sylvester Asare said Sosu did not want to appear before the court.

Sosu had not been to answer to answer charges against him since the case was initiated.

At the last hearing on Tuesday November 16, the legislator failed to show up in court as he is still out of the jurisdiction on parliamentary duties.

Magistrate of the Court, Oheneba Kuffour citing another letter from Speaker Alban Bagbin noted that the Madina MP has not returned from his duties.

He however described some portions of the letter from parliament as confusing.

He cited the part of the letter which states, “I have been directed by the Rt. Hon. Speaker to bring to the attention of the Hon.
Court that the Hon. Member is attending at the proceedings of the 3rd Meeting of the first Session of the 8th Parliament, which commenced on Tuesday, October 26, 2021, and is also currently representing Parliament and the Country in a conference in the United States of America.”

Magistrate Kuffour was of the view that the letter created the impression Parliament was sitting in Ghana and abroad.

But reacting to the concern raised by the Magistrate, lead counsel of Francis Sosu, Victor Adawudu explained that it meant the MP was performing parliamentary duties.

“I’ve always insisted that Sosu is not a coward. If he has rights he will defend. We don’t see this as any matter that he will run away from,” Victor Adawudu intimated. He assured that the MP would show up in court once he returned.

The case was subsequently adjourned to 29th November, 2021.

The Police had been seeking to arrest him for allegedly involving in a violent protests in his constituency.

The National Democratic Congress  MP had led some of his constituents to embark on a demonstration against deplorable roads in his constituency.

The demonstration started peacefully at Danfa around 6:00am but later saw demonstrators burning tyres and mounting roadblocks on the Ayi Mensah-Danfa Road.

Sosu has however denied saying “That any allegation of the Police about my involvement in unlawful blockade of road and destruction of public property is false and an afterthought carefully manufactured by the police to shift attention of the people of Ghana from the key issues of bad roads raised by our protest and demonstration

Don’t Earn Ghc500 And Go Blindly Defending Politicians On Ghc20k Salary – Vim Lady To Youth

Media Personality Afia Pokuaa has chided Ghana’s youth who support politicians blindly to wake up and face the realities of their lives.

According to her, these young ones whose earnings on a monthly basis is nothing to write home about defend politicians who are supposed to be accountable to the people.

She believes that Ghana is undeveloped because the youth that is supposed to seek accountability are more polarized.

Afia Pokuaa sobs for the future of the country considering the posturing of the Ghanaian Youth and the fact that they see nothing wrong with politicians destroying the future of the country.

To her, it’s about time the youth of the country will wise up and hold politicians and leaders to account and not follow blindly.

“WITCHCRAFT is when people who earn less than ghc 500 a month attack, insult others and vehemently defend ARTICLE 71 holders who receive over 20k salary, free healthcare @ home and abroad, free security, entertainment allowance, free house help etc. I PRAY 4 GHANA’S YOUTH TO WISE UP.”

Gov’t is suffocating over payment of trainee allowances – AFFED

Finance Minister, Ken Ofori Atta

The African Foundation for Educational Development (AFFED), a non-governmental organization (NGO) has asked the government to cancel the payment of trainee allowances.

According to AFFED, the government is struggling to pay the allowance after accumulating arrears for six months.

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo in 2017 restored the teacher trainee allowances after his processors, John Dramani Mahama cancelled the arrangement.

The restoration took effect from Tuesday September 12 2017 alongside the official launch of the free senior high school (SHS) programme.

He said the restoration of the allowances is part of government’s efforts aimed at providing quality education under the free SHS programme.

“Central to the prospects of this policy is the teacher. A well trained, confident and content teacher is essential in the delivery of quality education. If we are to succeed as a nation and if we accept that education is central to national development, then it is clear that quality teacher training is vital to our nation’s development,” Mr Akufo-Addo said.

But a statement issued by AFFED on Monday November 29 and signed by its Executive Director, Ernest Kwame Adade, said “It is undoubtedly clear how government is suffocating in honouring it’s promise to pay trainee allowances especially at this time when the allowance has been in arrears for six (6) months.

“African Foundation for Educational Development(AFFED) has since the re- introduction of trainee allowance maintained that, the purpose of allowance in our training institutions have been defeated and long outlived.

“The following must be done by government to save training colleges from their current appalling state.Cancel trainee allowance to give colleges a facelift.

“Channel the over Gh¢400 million into infrastructure development in the colleges, Colleges need their dormitories converted into hostels, classrooms upgraded into lecture halls, Trainees need updated libraries and standard laboratory. If as a country, we are still interested in providing incentive for trainees, then the better incentive is a total reduction of the extravagant fees they pay

Budget rejection should lead to a re-examination of engagement process – Franklin Cudjoe

President of Imani Africa, Franklin Cudjoe, has said the engagement process for the preparation of the government’s budget statement should be re-examined.

He raised issues against the engagement process adopted for the 2022 budget statement.

His comments come after Parliament rejected the 2022 budget statement presented on behalf of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo by his Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, on Wednesday, November 17.

The Majority members had staged a walkout during proceedings on Friday, November 26 but that did not stop the Speaker, Alban Bagbin, from ruling on the motion.

He had given a five-minute break for the Majority members to resume their seats.

But after the time elapsed, Speaker Bagbin ruled that the budget has been rejected after the members present overwhelmingly shouted ‘No’.

Commenting on this in a Facebook post, Mr Cudjoe said “The rejection of the 2022 budget should lead to a re-examination of the pre-budget engagement process. For a budget that was to be read on Wednesday, 17th Nov., CSOs were e-invited almost mid-night on Sunday Nov.,14 for a meeting on Tuesday,16th Nov. for their views and expectations.

“Not much could have been achieved both ways. This was the first time though as previous engagements have at least been done 2 weeks prior to the reading

You’re an ‘irresponsible’ bunch for ‘running away’ from own budget; blame yourselves not Bagbin – Minority to Majority

The Minority caucus of parliament has described the Majority side as an “irresponsible” bunch who are “running away” from their own budget and blaming Speaker Alban Bagbin for its rejection.

The house rejected the 2022 budget on Friday after the Majority side walked out in protest to the presence of the opposition National Democratic Congress’ General Secretary Johnson Asiedu Nketia in the public gallery of the chamber.

Subsequently, the Majority has described the events of Friday as “unconstitutional” and accused the Speaker of “mischievously” presiding over an illegality, saying he must “bow his head in shame”.

The Majority caucus also insists the 2022 budget stands.

In a counter-statement, however, the Minority said the Majority must take responsibility for the rejection of the budget instead of raining insults on the Speaker.

“The press statement of the NPP members of parliament claiming unconstitutional conduct by the very experienced Rt. Hon Alban Sumana Bagbin should be disregarded with all the contempt it deserves”, the statement signed by Minority Leader Haruna Iddrisu on Sunday, 28 November 2021 said.

“Parliament has duly rejected the 2022 Budget. Until and unless the Government removes the draconian taxes and revises contained in the rejected budget, the NDC Members of Parliament remain unable to support such policies”, it added.

It noted: “The solution to Ghana’s current crisis lies in cutting down on unprecedented levels of looting of public funds by NPP officials reflected in lavish lifestyles of NPP Government and party functionaries and reduction of unnecessary Government expenditure. Until there is value for money no additional taxes should be imposed on the already suffering masses of Ghanaians”.

Read the full statement below:

THE IRRESPONSIBLE NPP “MAJORITY GROUP” CANNOT RUN AWAY FROM THEIR BUDGET AND BLAME OTHERS FOR ITS DEFEAT

The Minority is shocked and disappointed at the recent attack of the Rt. Hon Speaker by the Majority Leader in his attempt to explain away their inability to show leadership in the House during the consideration of the 2022 Budget Statement and Economic Policy. The Minority wishes to strongly advise the Majority Leader and Government to accept defeat, acknowledge the rejection of the 2022 Budget Statement and Economic Policy by Parliament and focus on discussions on how to save the country from an imminent economic crisis.

Parliament is governed by the 1992 Constitution and the Standing Orders of Parliament and not the imagination and thinking of any Member. The Minority Caucus wishes to state that the Speaker applied strictly the rules, procedures and practices of the House and urged the public to ignore the allegations peddled by the Majority Caucus that sought to bring the image and reputation of the Speaker into disrepute. The Minority dismisses, with contempt, the comments of the Majority Leader.

It is the height of irresponsibility that the Nana Addo/Bawumia Government could not marshal the full strength of their Members of Parliament (MPs) to defend their 2022 budget before Parliament. It is a known fact that the 137 New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the one independent Members of Parliament constitute a majority group of 138 MPs of the Parliament of Ghana and thus outnumber the National Democratic Congress (NDC) which has 137 MPs. With this number which could secure their victory in any vote, why did they run away from their own budget? There is no way the Standing Orders of Parliament or 1992 Constitution or supports the Majority Leader’s position that the Budget has not been rejected. It is trite law that you cannot sleep on a right and wake up to claim it. How could Members of a Governing party walk out on their own budget? They walked out only to save their face and a damning humiliation. They simply did not have the numbers to win any vote much more approve a Budget.

Sadly, why did the NPP Members do the unthinkable and for the first time in our recent political history a so-called Majority side walked out on its own budget? Which serious governing party a critical matter such as the approval of an economic policy and budget brought by a government formed by their party. It is Ghana’s day of shame that the majority failed to stand their ground and be counted as those who seek to impose killer taxes on our already suffering citizens.

We wish to reiterate that what happened after the majority group walked out of Parliament is perfectly legal and meets all constitutional standards and conventions of Parliament and any court will have a Herculean task to attempt to set it aside. The press statement of the NPP members of parliament claiming unconstitutional conduct by the very experienced Rt. Hon Alban Sumana Bagbin should be disregarded with all the contempt it deserves.

Parliament has duly rejected the 2022 Budget. Until and unless the Government removes the draconian taxes and revises contained in the rejected budget, the NDC Members of Parliament remain unable to support such policies.

The solution to Ghana’s current crisis lies in cutting down on unprecedented levels of looting of public funds by NPP officials reflected in the lavish lifestyles of the NPP government and party functionaries and reduction of unnecessary Government expenditure. Until there is value for money no additional taxes should be imposed on the already suffering masses of Ghanaians.

The NDC caucus in Parliament calls on the public to remain steadfast in their expectations and conviction that the NDC caucus will remain committed to the cause of ordinary suffering Ghanaians.

The NPP Majority Leadership should appreciate that this is a new Parliament; a hung Parliament. Those days of the NPP Majority bullying and disrespecting an “insignificant” Minority because of their overwhelming majority numbers are over.

The NPP Government should rather concentrate on bringing a revised Budget that will, among others, address the following:

1. Suspend the Electronic Transaction Levy (E-Levy); The Government should suspend the E-Levy and properly engage stakeholders to agree on a reasonable policy. How can mobile money payments, bank transfers, merchant payments, and inward remittances be charged 1.75 per cent? The policy is not retrogressive, not pro-poor and does not support the much-touted digitalisation agenda and cash-lite economy that we all yearn for.

2. Withdrawal of Agyapa; The NDC Minority will not support any collateralisation of our revenues particularly mineral resources. The future of our country will be bleak if we continue in that regard. We cannot jeopardise the future generations of our country just for our present desires.

3. Provide for Tidal Waves Disaster; The Government should incorporate in its revised Budget adequate measures to address the issue relating to the Tidal Waves Disaster in Keta and other communities. The victims should be supported. And the Phase II of the Blekusu Coastal Protection Project must find space in the Budget.

4. Properly re-construct the wording relating to the Aker Energy relating to GNPC’s acquisition of stakes from Aker Energy and AGM Petroleum, the revised Budget should reconstruct paragraph 829 of the rejected Budget to reflect the decision of the House as captured on 6th August 2021 Votes and Proceedings of Parliament.

5. Review the Benchmark Value for Imports. Government should, in a revised Budget, reconsider paragraph 247 of the rejected Budget which sought to restore the Benchmark Values of imports by suspending the 50 per cent discount on selected General Goods and the 30 per cent discount on vehicles. Some concession should be given to the importers.

The NPP Majority Leadership should appreciate that this is a new Parliament; a hung Parliament. Those days of the NPP Majority bullying the Minority because of their “excess” numbers are over. But with the nature and character of this new Parliament with its near equal numbers (137+137) calls for a broader and thorough consultation to secure the best national interest for the good of the Ghanaian people.

We hope the NPP government will do what is right and proper when considering a revised budget. The NPP Government should critically take on board the view of the Minority and the sentiments of the Ghanaian populace and bring a Budget that is acceptable and address the issues of the general public. The NDC Members of Parliament has no approving a Budget that addresses the generality of the concerns of the Ghanaian people.

Long Live the Fourth Republic! Long Live the Republic of Ghana!

[sgd]

MINORITY LEADER HARUNA IDDRISU

28th November, 2021

E/R: 17 Police officers in near fatal crash; three in critical condition

About 17 Police officers from the Eastern Regional Police Headquarters have been involved in a near fatal accident on the Apirede Akuapem to Somanya road.

Three of the officers in critical condition have been rushed to the Eastern Regional Hospital while the remaining are receiving treatment at Atua Government Hospital.

The Police Officers were aboard a Mercedes Sprinter bus from Koforidua to Somanya for an official duty however on reaching a section of the road the driver allegedly failed break while descending a hill losing control of the steering wheel.  The vehicle crashed into the bush .

Many of the injured police Personnel were rushed to the Atua Government Hospital even though the accident occurred very close to the newly built Somanya District Hospital which  remains closed despite being handed over for operationalization.

Three of the police officers were referred to Eastern Regional Hospital for emergency intensive care due to the severity of their conditions.

The Public Relations Officer of the Eastern Regional Police Command DSP Ebenezer Tetteh told Starr news when contacted that ” indeed ,on 27th November at about 06:30hours Police Woman Gladys Paddy in charge 17 men from the Eastern Regional Police Command onboard Mercedes Benz sprinter bus with registration number 6780-20 driven by Kofi Asare from Koforidua to Somanya on official duty on reaching a section of the road between Apirede and Somanya the Suspect driver allegedly failed break whilst descending the Apirede hills resulting in an accident ”

He continued “The persons onboard the vehicle sustained various degrees of injuries were rushed to Atua Government Hospital in Somanya for treatment . Three of them meanwhile have been referred to the Eastern Regional Hospital for further treatment because of the extend of their injuries The are responding to treatment at Atua government hospital

More humiliation for you – Dafeamekpor warns Majority ahead of next sitting

Rockson Nelson Dafeamekpor

Minority insists they constitutionally rejected 2022 budget statement

Parliament next sitting is on Tuesday November 30, 2021

Dafeamekpor wants certain portions of budget expunged before approval


Member of Parliament (MP) for South Dayi, Rockson-Nelson Dafeamekpor, has stated that the majority side of the house will be subjected to more humiliation at the next parliamentary sitting on Tuesday, November 30, 2021, if they refuse to come to terms with the fact that the 2022 budget has been rejected.

Parliament on Friday, November 26, 2021, rejected the 2022 budget statement after the majority staged a walkout over what they say was an unfair application of parliamentary rules by Speaker, Alban Bagbin.

They, in the aftermath of the rejection, organized a press conference stating that what had transpired in the House was unconstitutional thus of no effect on parliament.

But speaking to Accra-based Joy News, Rockson-Nelson Dafeamekpor said arguments of the majority side were unfounded.

“It is constitutional. It is procedurally correct. We did everything in accordance with the book and letter of the laws governing that procedure. They have no case. In face on Tuesday, they will be humiliated more. I want to urge the NPP that they should spend this weekend drafting a new budget. It will serve their course better,” he stressed.

“You heard that they cited article 104 sub-clause 1. Now 104 sub-clause 1 is structured into two legs. The first leg says a decision of parliament ought to be taken by majority of members present and voting. Then the second leg says that majority that will be present and voting should at least be made up of half of members of parliament present.

“So if you listen to the language of 104 clearly, it says that those who will take the decision should be in the majority of members present and voting. But the evidence must be that out of those majority members who were present and voted to take the decision, at least half of the 275 should be present. The budget has been rejected. Now when you are writing your thesis for either your MPhil or PhD and a chapter is rejected, you go back and work on it and in accordance with what your supervisor says you should do,” he insisted.

Rockson-Nelson Dafeamekpor also called on the majority to make budgetary allocations for the Blekusu and Keta Sea Defence project together with taking out the controversial e-levy from the next budget it will present.

“So they should go back, tidy up the budget as rejected. They should take out the e-levy, take out the provision to increase fees and charges between 15% to 30%, make a provision for the Blekusu and Keta sea defense project and finally take out Agyapa. When they do that, we will be acting in unison…we will be working in consensus but for now, it is non-cooperation,” he emphasized.

The Minority has indicated its strong resolve to vehemently oppose the reintroduction of the rejected 2022 budget statement.null

North Tongu MP, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa wants the government to beat retreat and present another budget that represents the Ghanaian people.

“Government’s only nationalistic option is to eat humble pie and present another budget which must be a product of broad consultation with the Ghanaian people. That 2022 new budget must not contain regressive and obnoxious e-levy and fees and charges 15% hike and illegal automatic adjustment based on inflation it must also expunge Agyapa and the dubious Aker narrative,” he said in a tweet.


https://cdn.jwplayer.com/players/vEoTEGgz-eqk5XVg5

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

Anas to receive Foreign Journalist of the Year 2021 award

Ghanaian investigative journalist Anas Aremeyaw Anas has been named the 2021 NABJ Percy Qoboza Foreign Journalist of the Year award recipient.

The award will be held in the United States of America on Saturday, 4 December 2021.

The organisers of the award, the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ), revealed this in a letter addressed to the Ghanaian investigative journalist.

According to the letter, the investigative journalist will be acknowledged for his ground-breaking and outstanding achievements over the years in journalism.

The event is organised by the NABJ in honour of legendary black journalists who have made magnificent contributions toward the industry with the Percy Qoboza Foreign Journalist of the Year Award being one of the categories.

The award is named after an influential black South African journalist, author and outspoken critic of the government in South Africa, Percy Peter Tshidiso Qoboza

GHS to tighten anti-Covid measures at KIA ahead of Christmas

The Director-General of the Ghana Health Service (GHS), Dr Patrick Kumah-Aboagye, has assured that the authorities are going to scale up surveillance measures at the Kotoka International Airport during the Christmas season to ensure that Covid infections do not increase.

Speaking at a press conference in Accra on Sunday November 28, Dr Kumah-Aboagye further said that the mistakes that were made in December last year which occasioned the escalation of infections in January this year, will not be repeated.

There is going to be a “strict enforcement of the protocols at the KIA. We are going to increase surveillance. We are expecting increased number of people to arrive in the country.

“We are going to ensure that our logistics are prepared, we will continue our surveillance to be able to look at that, we are going to look at isolation centres,” he said.

He added “Our contact tracing will be strengthened.

“We are going to engage with religious organizations to ensure that activities in done in Christmas are in accordance with Covid protocols

All SHS, tertiary students should be vaccinated as December is declared vaccination month – GHS

The Ghana Health Service (GHS) has declared the month of December as the vaccination month.

Director-General at the GHS, Dr Patrick Kumah-Aboagye speaking at a press conference in Accra on Sunday November 28 said vaccination is the surest way to deal with the virus.

He further assured that the authorities are going to scale up surveillance measures at the Kotoka International Airport during the Christmas season to ensure that Covid infections do not increase.

He further said that the mistakes that were made in December last year which occasioned the escalation of infections in January this year, will not be repeated.

There is going to be a “strict enforcement of the protocols at the KIA. We are going to increase surveillance. We are expecting increased number of people to arrive in the country.

“we are going to ensure that our logistics are prepared, we will continue our surveilance to be able to look at that, we are going to look at isolation centres,” he said.

He added “Our contact tracing will be strengthened.

“We are going to engage with religious organizations to ensure that activities in done in Christmas are in accordance with Covid protocols.”

By Laud Nartey|3news.com|Ghana

Over 380 suspected criminals arrested in military operation in Northern Ghana

A total of 386 suspected criminals have so far been arrested for various security infractions in the ongoing joint military operations in the Upper West, Upper East, Northern, North-East, and the Savannah Regions.

The number comprised 279 Ghanaians and 107 foreign nationals-Burkinabe’s, Malians, Togolese, Nigerians, and Nigeriens and were arrested for various infractions and are all being strictly screened.

Brigadier General Emmanuel Okyere, the National Security Advisor, who disclosed this in a media briefing in Wa, said the multinational joint operation dubbed: “Operation Koudolgou” was the fourth in the series since the Accra Initiative in 2017.
He noted that the main objective of the operation was to fight terrorism and transnational organized crimes within their common border to free it from both illegal and criminal activities within defined areas of operation.

Brigadier General Okyere said the operation took place in all five regions of Northern Ghana and in the same areas of neighbouring Cote D’Ivoire, Burkina Faso, and Togo.

He noted that due to the operation, there had been increased presence of security forces in the Northern enclave, adding that these security activities were part of the planned programmes of the Accra initiative, which encompasses Benin, Burkina Faso, Cote D’Ivoire, Ghana, Mali, Niger and Togo.

“We are all aware of the terrorists’ activities in the sun regions and as the adage goes, ‘when you see that there is a fire in your neighbour’s house, you don’t wait for the fire to engulf you, but you fetch water and put it down in case the fire gets to you, you use it to quench the fire”, he said.

The National Security Advisor said they were not waiting for any fire to get to them, but rather, they were doing whatever possible to prevent that fire from getting to them.

“So, all we are doing year-in-year-out for this particular region is to prevent any terrorist attack on our land and this is a shared responsibility,” Brigadier General Okyere said.

He said they were providing a number of boreholes to about seven communities in the operational area as a social responsibility, noting that, ridding the country off criminal elements had been their aim in the exercise and it had been largely achieved.

Brigadier General Okyere clarified that the operation was not targeted at any group of people but rather targeted at a network of criminals, adding that all their operations have been professional and intelligence led.

The National Security Advisor said they were achieving some security in the border areas due to the collaboration with the neighboring security counterparts to carry out cross-border arrests.

“The crime rate in this part of the country has gone down considerably”, the National Security Advisor said.

The joint security forces include the National Security Operatives, the Ghana Armed Forces, the Ghana Police Service, the Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS), the Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority, Ghana Immigration Service, National Investigative Bureau, Research Department of Foreign Affairs, Ghana National Ambulance Service, Forestry Commission, and Narcotic Control.

Lieutenant Colonel Gyima, the Commanding Officer of the 10 Mechanized Battalion in Wa, Mr Suraj Mohammed, the Director of Operations for Ghana Police Service, Brigadier General Moses Aryee, General Officer Commanding the Northern Command and other security Representatives from Burkina, Togo, and Cote D’Ivoire were in the company of the National Security Advisor.

GNA

The duty of opposition is to oppose – Gabby reacts to budget rejection

A leading member of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Gabby Otchere Darko, has reacted to the rejection of the budget statement for 2022 fiscal year by Parliament.

In a tweet, the former Executive Director of the Danquah Institute said “The duty of Opposition is to oppose.”

Parliament had rejected the 2022 budget statement presented on behalf of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo by his Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, on Wednesday, November 17.

The Majority members had staged a walkout during proceedings on Friday, November 26 but that did not stop the Speaker, Alban Bagbin, from ruling on the motion.

He had given a five-minute break for the Majority members to resume their seats.

But after the time elapsed, Speaker Bagbin ruled that the budget has been rejected after the members present overwhelmingly shouted ‘No’.

Regarding this matter, President of Imani Africa, Franklin Cudjoe, said the engagement process for the preparation of the government’s budget statement should be re-examined.

He raised issues against the engagement process adopted for the 2022 budget statement.

Mr Cudjoe said “The rejection of the 2022 budget should lead to a re-examination of the pre-budget engagement process. For a budget that was to be read on Wednesday, 17th Nov., CSOs were e-invited almost mid-night on Sunday Nov.,14 for a meeting on Tuesday,16th Nov. for their views and expectations.

“Not much could have been achieved both ways. This was the first time though as previous engagements have at least been done 2 weeks prior to the reading.”

Meanwhile, the Majority Leader in Parliament, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, has accused the Speaker, Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin, of partisanship in the manner which he handled the motion by the Finance Minister on the 2022 budget statement and economic policy of government.

The motion, as presided over by the Speaker on Friday, November 26 in the absence of the Majority, was lost.

But in spirited challenge to events that unfolded in the House on Friday, the Majority says the Speaker’s actions were unconstitutional and the legal references he fell on to go ahead with the votes were incongruous.

“We want to put it on record that the Speaker was totally wrong in what business he purportedly undertook in the House in our absence,” the Suame Member of Parliament said.

“Now, what exercise he led for our colleagues on the other side to take a decision on related to a request from the Minister to be allowed space to engage both sides of the House in order to have some consensus and the position that the two sides of the House had adopted.”

The longest-serving MP says he struggles to recollect in the current Republic when a prayer by a minister to revise a position on a motion has been denied by a Speaker.

“When has this happened?” he wondered.

“But be that it may [the Speaker] went ahead, did what he did in our absence because we were not in the chamber. Then went ahead to state that the motion on the budget as moved by the Minister of Finance on Wednesday, November 17 is lost.

“That whole procedure in unconstitutional. As far as we are concerned, it is null and void and it has no binding effect on anybody.”

The Majority Leader insists Mr Bagbin, who had served as MP since the start of the Fourth Republic until his election as Speaker in 2021, ought to have known the rules better in referencing Article 104 instead of Article 102.

“Assuming without admitting that he had 137 members in the chamber, they were still less than one half of the 275 and by necessary implication, that exercise that he engaged in or supervised is a complete nullity and I believe that whoever presided should bow down his head in shame

Gov’t to build five STEM universities with Agyenkwa Budget – Edu Minister

The Minister of Education, Dr. Yaw Osei Adutwum, says the government is committed to constructing 35 Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Senior High Schools (SHSs) across the country.

Government, according to him, has also considered the establishment of 5 STEM universities to help enhance the study of Science and Technology in Ghana.

He explained that these are all proposals the government has made in the 2022 budget statement presented in Parliament by the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta.

Dr. Adutwum revealed these on Saturday, November 27 while speaking at the 11th Congregation of the Knutsford University College in Accra.

The institution graduated a total number of 86 students in different fields of studies.

Thirty-one were females while 55 were males.

He also hinted at government plans to build and complete about 30 new Junior High School (JHS) projects which are aimed at strengthening the education system from the grassroots.

However, the Bosomtwe lawmaker took a swipe at the Minority side in Parliament for voting against the government’s policy statement for 2022.

The position of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) Members of Parliament (MPs), according to him, is not in the interest of Ghanaians but to the detriment of Ghana’s transformation agenda.

“Politicians are our own worst enemies; even when something is good we may want to say it’s bad so that we can convince people to vote for us and I think that kind of politics does not inure to the benefits of this country.

“We actually douse the aspiration of our people. When we talk about the current budget, you may think that the sky is falling, you may think that the end of the country is coming, you may think it’s so terrible that you don’t truly understand why the politicians were voted into power to go and destroy the country,” he reiterated.

Pro-Chancellor of the School Bishop John K. Essel expressed fret over the low number of enrollment at the school and the fact that most students are unable to pay the fees.

He urged the government to intervene and assist the private tertiary institutions to help train the youth with skills and capacity to develop and transform Ghana.

By Maxwell Otoo|Onua FM|3news.com|Ghana

I Did Nothing Wrong’ – Asiedu Nketia Justifies His Presence In Parliament

General Secretary of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Johnson Asiedu Nketiah has justified his presence in Parliament on Friday when debate on the 2022 budget was supposed to be finalised.


According to him, he did no wrong in sitting in the public gallery of the Parliamentary Chamber even after the Speaker directed all Ministers who are non- MPs to exit the Chamber since he was in the House to observe proceedings for the day.https://googleads.g.doubleclick.net/pagead/ads?client=ca-pub-2623005858729319&output=html&h=343&adk=3559006387&adf=3229197991&pi=t.aa~a.2816640267~i.5~rp.1&w=412&lmt=1638080038&num_ads=1&rafmt=1&armr=3&sem=mc&pwprc=2278969447&psa=1&ad_type=text_image&format=412×343&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.peacefmonline.com%2Fpages%2Fpolitics%2Fpolitics%2F202111%2F456606.php%3Futm_source%3Ddlvr.it%26utm_medium%3Dfacebook&flash=0&fwr=1&pra=3&rh=319&rw=382&rpe=1&resp_fmts=3&sfro=1&wgl=1&fa=27&dt=1638080038225&bpp=15&bdt=2984&idt=-M&shv=r20211111&mjsv=m202111110101&ptt=9&saldr=aa&abxe=1&cookie=ID%3De0cf84d0fce6f118-2282e4624ccf0083%3AT%3D1638079887%3ART%3D1638079887%3AS%3DALNI_MbzoseW0OX56enrumlH3nTbizAKOQ&prev_fmts=0x0%2C412x343%2C412x343%2C412x343%2C412x343&nras=5&correlator=4547631658472&frm=20&pv=1&ga_vid=825172665.1638079885&ga_sid=1638079885&ga_hid=488389988&ga_fc=1&u_tz=0&u_his=1&u_h=892&u_w=412&u_ah=892&u_aw=412&u_cd=24&dmc=4&adx=0&ady=1404&biw=412&bih=749&scr_x=0&scr_y=19&eid=31060475&oid=2&pvsid=3628932139678070&pem=560&tmod=6427712&ref=https%3A%2F%2Flm.facebook.com%2F&eae=0&fc=1408&brdim=0%2C0%2C0%2C0%2C412%2C0%2C412%2C749%2C412%2C749&vis=1&rsz=%7C%7Cs%7C&abl=NS&fu=128&bc=31&ifi=6&uci=a!6&btvi=4&fsb=1&xpc=yoZZ0g2i3Y&p=https%3A//www.peacefmonline.com&dtd=207

“I came to sit in the public gallery. I wasn’t speaking to anybody. I was just sitting down observing things. So how do you see me and just say ‘Asiedu Nketia is in the Chamber, so must leave’ when other members of the public gallery were still in the gallery?” he told Joy News after he exited the Chamber.

Asiedu Nketia’s presence in Parliament on Friday, November 27, 2021, generated a lot of drama.

The NDC General-Secretary, who is also a member of the Parliamentary Service Board visited the House to observe proceedings but his presence was disapproved by the Majority Caucus.

Prior to the vote to approve the 2022 budget, the Finance Minister appealed to the Speaker to allow him to further engage the leadership of Parliament over the budget. But the appeal was turned down by the MPs through a voice vote.

The Deputy Majority Leader, Alexander Afenyo-Markin, then challenged the Speaker’s ruling and called for a division. A division is a form of voting from MPs whilst ensuring that all non-MPs are cleared from the lobby.

In view of that, the Speaker directed that all non-MPs will have to vacate Parliament for that form of voting to take place.

At this time, the Finance Minister was in the chamber, yet was not a Member of Parliament. His presence was opposed by the Minority MPs.

They contended that Ken Ofori-Atta was a Minister, hence, his ineligibility to be in the chamber.

After noticing that the General Secretary of the National Democratic Congress was in the public gallery, the Majority also demanded the removal of Asiedu Nketia from Parliament.

Whilst the NDC MPs remained calm, their colleagues on the other side created a chaotic scene, banging on the table and accusing the Speaker of bias.

Minutes later, the leadership of the Majority side staged a walkout. The Speaker then suspended the proceedings.

Several minutes later, the Speaker returned and asked if there was a quorum for business to continue. After establishing that proceedings could continue, he put out the question again – whether the appeal from the Finance Minister should be considered.

After the Minority had their way through a voice vote, he therefore proceeded to the main agenda of the day; the approval of the budget.

Alban Bagbin subjected the approval of the budget to a voice vote and the Minority had their way.

Speaking on whether or not the Speaker was right in ordering the Finance Minister to exit the Chamber, Asiedu Nketiah stated that once the Majority had specifically requested for a division, it was only right that everyone in the Chamber who was not an MP exited on the orders of the Speaker.

“There’s a procedure for division in the standing orders and that needed to be followed. If the Speaker ordered that those Ministers who are not members of Parliament must leave upon the ringing of the bells for a division by the Majority themselves, the orders must be obeyed.

“When there was a voice vote, did you see the Speaker walking out any Ministers? But if you specifically call for a division then the procedure for division in the standing orders must be followed; it means that the lobbies must be cleared and anybody who does not have a vote must leave,” he added.

Source: Joy News

What New 2022 Budget Must Contain – Ablakwa Highlights As He Claims Agyenkwa Budget Has Been “Killed”

The Member of Parliament for North Tongu constituency, Samuel Okudjeto Ablakwa says the 2022 Agyenkwa budget statement is not coming back to Parliament again; not in its current form though.

All 137 Minority MPs on Friday rejected the budget statement after a voice vote; in the absence of the Majority Caucus who had staged a walk-out.

The Majority has however insisted that the budget has not been rejected.

“Any decision that is taken with less than 138 people in the chamber is void. Ghanaians should disregard the claim that the budget is rejected,” a source from the Majority side told Peacefmonline.com.

But in a statement posted on social media, Mr Ablakwa said:

There can be no greater honour than doing exactly what the people who sent you to Parliament expect of you. I am absolutely proud that we successfully killed the killer budget.

Government’s only nationalistic option is to eat humble pie, and present another budget which must be a product of broad consultation with the Ghanaian people.

Meanwhile, the North Tongu MP has suggested that for the budget to be approved, it must at least “not contain the regressive and obnoxious E-levy and the Fees & Charges 15% hike and illegal automatic adjustment based on inflation. It must also expunge Agyapa and the dubious Aker narrative.

A new budget which makes provision for Phase 2 of the Blekusu Coastal Protection Project to cater for the over 4,000 victims of recent destructive tidal waves. How can any budget worth its name fail to address such a major disaster?

A fresh budget that signals that government intends to immediately cut down on its profligate expenditure patterns as typified by the neglect of a functioning presidential jet in favour of ultra-luxury US$14,000-per-hour charters, and rather investing in the productive sectors of the economy”.

Source: Peacefmonline.com

E-levy was means to pay for Akufo-Addo’s luxurious jet trips – Asiedu Nketia

General Secretary of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), Johnson Asiedu Nketia, says the recently announced Electronic Transactions Levy by government is just a means to fund the President’s luxurious foreign trips.null

According to Mr Nketia, that particular tax will surely impose further hardships on the already suffering Ghanaian masses.

He told NEAT FM’s morning show ‘Ghana Montie’ that government will sure use the Momo tax to pay for the US$14,000-an-hour LX-DIO aircraft so President Akufo-Addo can travel in his usual luxurious Russian-oligarch-style.

“….I am disappointed in this Nana Addo-led government….the public show of opulence at the expense of the poor Ghanaian taxpayer is insulting…he has failed to be frugal with our monies when it comes to his foreign trips,” Mr Asiedu Nketia slammed.null

Listen to interview

https://www.youtube.com/embed/KlVxdg3_8hQ

Source: peacefmonline.com

Police officer arrested for ‘touching thighs’ of a female victim

File

A police officer with the Operations Unit of the Bono Regional Police Command has been arrested to aid investigations in a viral video he was captured in sexually harassing a woman.

The officer, whose name has been given as Victor Antwi Yeboah, a General Lance Corporal, is seen in the video touching the thighs of the female victim, who was screaming in the background asking what the officer was doing.

“On reviewing the video, the Police Administration immediately launched an investigation into the incident,” a press release by the police on Saturday, November 27 said.

“Preliminary investigation indicates that the male person involved in that shameful and despicable act is a Police officer stationed at the Regional Operations Unit, Bono Regional Police Command.”

He was arrested “for violating the dignity of the victim and is currently assisting the investigations”.

The Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Dr George Akuffo Dampare, has reportedly reached out to the victim and “assured her of thorough police investigations”.

She has also been assured of other necessary support including psychological care and trauma therapy.

“The Police Administration further assures the victim and the public that full investigations will be conducted into the matter and the public will be updated in due course.

“We unreservedly apologise to the affected woman in particular for what she experienced and to the public at large since the matter affects the very moral foundation of our country.”

By Emmanuel Kwame Amoh|3news.com|Ghana

2022 Budget approval: ‘Fixing The Country Movement’ condemns Speaker

Parliament rejects 2022 budget

Majority stages walkout

2022 budget happens to be the most progressive ever, Movement

FixingTheCountry, a group affiliated with the ruling New Patriotic Party, has slammed the Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin over what they described as bias and mischief, on his part, during discussions on the 2022 budget on Friday, November 26, 2021.

The group in a statement issued on Friday, November 26, said it is disappointed in how the Speaker discharged his umpire role on Friday.

One issue the group took issues with was the barring of the Finance Minister the plenary during the voting. The group said Alban Bagbin showed “bad faith” with the order for Ken Ofori-Atta to exit the plenary.

Below is the full statement:

Fixing The Country Movement condemns Speaker’s mischief against 2022 Budget Approval

The Fixing The Country Movement notes with great consternation and disappointment the behaviour of the Speaker of Parliament, Rt Hon Alban Bagbin in Parliament over the 2022 budget approval sitting.

Matter of factly, the Finance Minister’s presence in Parliament was with a prayer to have the opportunity to accommodate the comments made by the minority into the budget. Sadly, the same minority who made the requests and the speaker refused to allow the minister to incorporate their requests.

While refusing the minister the opportunity, the speaker went further to ask the finance minister whose budget is being debated, to leave the chamber.null

This singular action of the Speaker was done in bad faith and it showed the partisan side of the Speaker.

Again, the Speaker chose to pose questions that required majority of the House voting in favour, constituting not less than 138 members. Article 104 of the constitution and Order 109 of the standing orders of Parliament state that the Speaker requires 138 members at least before he can put a question. He may have a quorum to take questions and statements but he needs 138 to put a question.

We view this as a troubling departure from conventions and laid down due process. It is also an attempt to undermine our democratic freedoms and rights as enshrined in the fourth Republican constitution and weaken the institution of parliament.

On this score, we deem it prudent to infer that any decision that was taken with less than 138 people in the chamber is void. We, therefore, urge the good people of Ghana to disregard the claim that the budget is rejected.

On the more substantive matter, the 2022 budget happens to be the most progressive ever.

The minority simply chose to engage in shenanigans, cat-calls and propaganda in an attempt to deny the good people of Ghana the lofty objectives that the budget primarily seeks to achieve.

In fact, Ghana’s fiscal crisis began in 2012 under Mahama, with huge pay rises offered to government employees, without a clear plan to increase government revenues in step. Between 2014 and 2016, the national wage bill increased 47%, eventually rising to consume more than 70% of tax revenues.

The reality is that the Akufo-Addo government over the last 5years has done more than enough to clean Mahama’s mess.

It, therefore, makes no sense for the minority to connive with the Speaker to attempt to derail the President’s economic policy for 2022.

As Britain’s Iron Lady, Margaret Thatcher once said, “Disciplining yourself to do what you know is right and important, although difficult, is the high road to pride, self-esteem, and personal satisfaction.”null

Let the Speaker and his cohorts on the minority bench take consolation in the words of Margaret Thatcher, return to Parliament on Tuesday and do what is right and appropriate before the law.

Meanwhile, we call on the rank and file of the NPP to remain calm, resolute and unfazed.

Long live Ghana!!

(Signed) Ernest Kofi Owusu Bempah Bonsu, Political Strategist /Convener- Fixing The Country Movement

https://www.youtube.com/embed/ve6qR1EisQQ

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

We’ll engage more to have 2022 budget approved – John Kumah

Johnkumah

John Kumah insist budget hasn’t been rejected

John Kumah calls for objectivity in parliament discourse

Minority vows to oppose reintroduction of rejected budget

Deputy finance minister, Dr. John Kumah, has disclosed that his outfit is ready to engage with relevant stakeholders to ensure that the 2022 budget statement and economic policy is approved by parliament.

According to him, the consultation will enable them to correct some errors they may have made ahead of the voting process on the budget.

“Let’s be objective about this matter and stick to the constitutional provisions of our constitution and respect each other within the law. Where we are wrong, we will accept it. Nothing has taken place as far as we are concerned. The budget has not been rejected, and we are going to have a quorum on Tuesday to decide on the budget. So, on Tuesday when we go back to the chamber, I believe that we will take the necessary steps to correct the errors that we may have made. We are prepared as a majority side to engage. So clearly, it will be better if we have more consultations on the budget and engage,” he said on Citi TV’s “The Big Issue”.

Parliament on Friday November 26, 2021, rejected the budget statement despite the Majority caucus MPs decision to stage a walkout.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/ve6qR1EisQQ

This was in protest of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) General Secretary Asiedu Nketia presence in the public gallery when the Speaker, Alban Bagbin, had directed all non-MPs to leave the chamber for a vote of “division” to continue.


Deputy majority leader Alexander Afenyo-Markin, had earlier challenged the speaker’s ruling on a voice vote rejecting finance minister Ken Ofori-Atta’s prayer to engage the leadership of parliament over the budget.null

He consequently requested for the speaker to direct for a vote of “division”.

Meanwhile, the minority has vowed to oppose the reintroduce of the rejected budget in parliament.

North Tongu MP, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa wants the government to eat a humble and draft another budget capturing the aspirations of Ghanaians.

“Government’s only nationalistic option is to eat humble pie and present another budget which must be a product of broad consultation with the Ghanaian people. That 2022 new budget must not contain regressive and obnoxious e-levy and fees and charges 15% hike and illegal automatic adjustment based on inflation it must also expunge Agyapa and the dubious Aker narrative,” he said in a tweet.

The killer budget isn’t coming back; we burying it for good. pic.twitter.com/AWCeKOdWH5— Sam Okudzeto Ablakwa (@S_OkudzetoAblak) November 27, 2021

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

We Will Grow Economy Faster – Prez Akufo-Addo

The government is working to grow the economy at much faster rate to ensure a win-win environment for both the private and public sectors, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has said.
He said this would engender a situation where companies would not only survive, but actually thrive.

President Akufo-Addo was addressing a Ghana-Norway business and investment forum in Accra yesterday.

The forum, which was on the theme: “Reconvene, reconnect re-engage”, attracted captains of business associations in the country and from Norway, including some government officials.

Obatanpa initiative

The President said the major programme driving the revival and revitalisation of the economy was the Gh¢100 billion Ghana Cares Obatanpa initiative which main elements included attracting educated youth to commercial farming and building the country’s light manufacturing sector.

Others are developing engineering machine tools and ICT digital economy, housing and construction industry, the establishment of a regional hub, reviewing and optimising the implementation of government flagship food and key programmes, creating jobs for young people and expanding opportunities for the vulnerable in society.

President Akufo-Addo further said it was exciting time to do business in Ghana and mentioned global car manufacturing giants, Toyota and Nissan of Japan and sinotruk of China who had already established assembly plants in the country, as a first step towards the production of vehicles.

He said Twitter would also be establishing its African headquarters in Ghana, adding that Google’s first African artificial intelligence centre was already in the country.

The country was also hosting the secretariat of the African Continental Free Trade Area, which represents a market of some 1.2 billion people spread across 54 countries with a combined GDP of some $3 trillion.

Norway investments

According to President Akufo-Addo, records from the Ghana investment Promotion Centre indicate that a total of 29 projects from Norway, with an FDI value of $175 million, have already been registered.

The investment, which are in various sectors of the economy, include agriculture, building and construction, general trading, manufacturing and oil and gas.


He urged the other businesses in Norway to take advantage of the investment friendly climate in Ghana to grow their businesses.

“Regardless of where the investment is, government has instituted a number of fiscal incentives for investors depending on the nature of the activity or the location of the investment”, the President added.

The Norwegian Ambassador to Ghana, Ms Ingrid Mollestad, described the country as an oasis of peace in the midst of a turbulent region and very attractive for business.

 
She stressed that continued collaboration between Ghana and Norway, especially among the private sector, would lead to the attainment of sustainable development goals as well as Ghana Beyond Aid.

 

Source: Graphiconline.com

You were totally wrong; bow down your head in shame – Majority Leader to Speaker

The Majority Leader in Parliament, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, is accusing the Speaker, Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin, of partisanship in the manner which he handled the motion by the Finance Minister on the 2022 budget statement and economic policy of government.

The motion, as presided over by the Speaker on Friday, November 26 in the absence of the Majority, was lost.

But in spirited challenge to events that unfolded in the House on Friday, the Majority says the Speaker’s actions were unconstitutional and the legal references he fell on to go ahead with the votes were incongruous.

“We want to put it on record that the Speaker was totally wrong in what business he purportedly undertook in the House in our absence,” the Suame Member of Parliament said.

“Now, what exercise he led for our colleagues on the other side to take a decision on related to a request from the Minister to be allowed space to engage both sides of the House in order to have some consensus and the position that the two sides of the House had adopted.”

The longest-serving MP says he struggles to recollect in the current Republic when a prayer by a minister to revise a position on a motion has been denied by a Speaker.

“When has this happened?” he wondered.

“But be that it may [the Speaker] went ahead, did what he did in our absence because we were not in the chamber. Then went ahead to state that the motion on the budget as moved by the Minister of Finance on Wednesday, November 17 is lost.

“That whole procedure in unconstitutional. As far as we are concerned, it is null and void and it has no binding effect on anybody.”

It is unclear what next action will be taken by the Majority as the Speaker is set to travel to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for a medical review.

The Majority Leader insists Mr Bagbin, who had served as MP since the start of the Fourth Republic until his election as Speaker in 2021, ought to have known the rules better in referencing Article 104 instead of Article 102.

“Assuming without admitting that he had 137 members in the chamber, they were still less than one half of the 275 and by necessary implication, that exercise that he engaged in or supervised is a complete nullity and I believe that whoever presided should bow down his head in shame

Fixing The Country Movement Condemns Speaker’s Mischief Against 2022 Budget Approval

The Fixing The Country Movement notes with great consternation and disappointment the behaviour of the Speaker of Parliament, Rt Hon Alban Bagbin in Parliament over the 2022 budget approval sitting.

Matter of factly, the Finance Minister’s presence in Parliament was with a prayer to have the opportunity to accommodate the comments made by the minority into the budget. Sadly, the same minority who made the requests and the speaker refused to give the minister the opportunity to incorporate their requests.

While refusing the minister the opportunity, the speaker went further to ask the finance minister whose budget is being debated, to leave the chamber.

This singular action of the Speaker was done in bad faith and it showed the partisan side of the Speaker.

Again, the Speaker chose to pose questions that required the majority of the House to vote in favour, constituting not less than 138 members. Article 104 of the constitution and Order 109 of the standing orders of Parliament state that the Speaker requires 138 members at least before he can put a question. He may have a quorum to take questions and statements but he needs 138 to put a question.

We view this as a troubling departure from conventions and laid down due process. It is also an attempt to undermine our democratic freedoms and rights as enshrined in the fourth Republican constitution and weaken the institution of parliament.


On this score, we deem it prudent to infer that any decision that was taken with less than 138 people in the chamber is void. We, therefore, urge the good people of Ghana to disregard the claim that the budget is rejected.

On the more substantive matter, the 2022 budget happens to be the most progressive ever.

The minority simply chose to engage in shenanigans, cat-calls, and propaganda in an attempt to deny the good people of Ghana the lofty objectives that the budget primarily seeks to achieve.

In fact, Ghana’s fiscal crisis began in 2012 under Mahama, with huge pay rises offered to government employees, without a clear plan to increase government revenues in step. Between 2014 and 2016, the national wage bill increased 47%, eventually rising to consume more than 70% of tax revenues.

The reality is that the Akufo-Addo government over the last 5years has done more than enough to clean Mahama’s mess.

It, therefore, makes no sense for the minority to connive with the Speaker to attempt to derail the President’s economic policy for 2022.

As Britain’s Iron Lady, Margaret Thatcher once said, “Disciplining yourself to do what you know is right and important, although difficult, is the high road to pride, self-esteem, and personal satisfaction.”

Let the Speaker and his cohorts on the minority bench take consolation in the words of Margaret Thatcher, return to Parliament on Tuesday and do what is right and appropriate before the law.

Meanwhile, we call on the rank and file of the NPP to remain calm, resolute, and unfazed.

Long live Ghana!!

(Signed)
Ernest Kofi Owusu Bempah Bonsu, Political Strategist /Convener- Fixing The Country Movement

Source: peacefmonline.com

2022 Budget good for industries – John Boadu

John Boadu Pp0o

General Secretary of the NPP, John Boadu says the 2022 Budget holds a prosperous future for local industries particularly the Extractive and Textile Sectors of the economy.

According to him, the 32 selected local produce for the benchmark value reduction will enhance production, reduce cost of production and also meet market demands.

Mr Boadu said the reduction in the 3% withholding tax to 1.5% will not only rake in more to honour their tax obligations but also motivate business entities to contribute to national development.

The NPP General Secretary was interacting with journalists in Kumasi.

He used the occasion to sensitize the media on the significance of the 2022 Budget and also asked journalists to help educate Ghanaians on the need to embrace it as the government embarks on a very difficult decision to raise the needed resources to develop the country from within.null

“Apart from the government widening the tax net, many of the leakages have also been blocked,” according to Mr. Boadu.

On the E-levy Tax, he debunked views that the poor will end up being over taxed on their mobile money transactions.

”Rather, only the sender pays tax on money transactions that is above one hundred Ghana cedis a day,” Mr. Boadu noted.

He said the collection of Tolls were removed from operation as a mitigating factor to help check the overburdening of ordinary Ghanaians, with regard to multiple and higher taxation.

Source: gbcghanaonline.com

The system is indeed hot’ but NDC is to blame – Majority Leader

Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu12211121311212

The Majority Leader of Parliament Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu has responded to claims by the Minority that the system will not be able to bear the hardships presented by the 2022 Budget Statement.

The legislator representing the side of the Majority to submit their final argument on the 2022 budget statement, said the Minority cannot claim that the system is hard because the system was hard before the NPP took over from them.

He asserted that the country was extremely hard to the extent that the NDC imposed taxes on condoms and contraceptives.

The Minority Leader Haruna Iddrisu had opined that the system was already “hot” and yet the government introduced new taxes.

He said they had no sympathy because if they had, they would not have imposed the 1.75% electronic levy on MoMo and bank transactions.

The government of Ghana has introduced an electronic transaction levy, E-Levy on Mobile Money transact, ions, and other electronic transactions.https://8df2f26eb45a821e6c554b22b2d209b9.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.html

The Minister said this was a strategy to widen the tax net and reduce the burden on the few Ghanaians paying their taxes.

The Minority believes the levy was insensitive and they would go to all lengths to reject it.

But the Majority Leader in his submission took the Minority to the cleaners accusing them of deceiving Ghanaians.

He said the NPP after taking office abolished several nuisance taxes including the

– 1 percent Special Import Levy;null

– 17.5 percent VAT/NHIL on financial services;

– 17.5 percent VAT/NHIL on selected imported medicines, that are not produced locally;

– Initiate steps to remove import duties on raw materials and machinery for production within the context of the ECOWAS Common External Tariff (CET) Protocol;

– 17.5 percent VAT/NHIL on domestic airline tickets;

– 5 percent VAT/NHIL on Real Estate sales;null

– Excise duty on petroleum;

– Special petroleum tax rate from 17.5 percent to 15 percent;

– Duty on the importation of spare parts;

– Levies imposed on kayayei by local authorities;

– Taxation, the gains from realisation of securities listed on the Ghana Stock Exchange or publicly held securities approved by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC);

He added that the government further took the following steps to ease the way of doing business in Ghana.

Reduce National Electrification Scheme Levy from 5 percent to 3 percent;

– Reduce Public Lighting Levy from 5 percent to 2 percent;

– Replace the 17.5 VAT/NHIL rate with a flat rate of 3 percent for traders; and

– Implement tax credits and other incentives for businesses that hire young graduates.

Source: rainbowradioonline.com

Bagbin to undergo medical review in Dubai a day after 2022 budget ‘rejection’

The Speaker of Parliament, Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin, is scheduled to travel to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on Saturday, November 27 “to undergo a medical review”.

A fax message sighted by 3news.com lists the wife of the Speaker, Mrs Alice Adjua Yornas, Head of the Parliamentary Clinic Dr Prince Pambo, and his Special Aide, Justice Norvor, as part of his delegation.

The fax to the Head of Mission of the Ghana Embassy in UAE said: “Mr Speaker and his delegation will depart Accra on Saturday, 27th November 2021 at 18.50 hours and arrive in Dubai at 6.20 hours on flight EK788 the next day.”

This comes a day after Speaker Bagbin ruled on a motion filed by the Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta, on the 2022 budget statement.

Already, the Majority Caucus, whose members walked out a few moments prior to the ruling, is accusing Mr Bagbin of “mischief” in presiding over the exercise.

They have since declared their intention to have the “illegality” reversed

What has happened is good for democracy – Gyampo on 2022 budget ‘rejection’

A Professor at the University of Ghana, Ransford Yaw Gyampo, has taken a dig at some government loyalists who “spewed invectives on us” when he and his likes drew attention to some of the policies announced in the 2022 budget statement.

He said the last-minute attempt by Minister of Finance Ken Ofori-Atta to lobby for the budget to be approved was simply a demonstration of “incompetent politique”.

Prof Gyampo believes Mr Ofori-Atta “mistook this current parliament in terms of its composition, to be one of the usual ones we have known since 1992”.

He, therefore, praised the Minority for the stance on the budget, which he said contrasts what happened during the vetting of ministerial nominees.

“Now that we know what a hung parliament can do, let the Finance Minister lead the dialogue session with the minority,” he wrote on Saturday, November 27.

“Without the Finance Minister’s preparedness to dialogue about his figures, the majority group cannot do much.”

Find the full post below:

Prof. Yaw Gyampo writes

  1. When we warned, their social media political land-guards spewed invectives on us, forgetting that emotions are emotions. They are simply incoherent with logic and critical thinking. Every pill that heals is bitter. Parliament cannot be rubber stamp in perpetuity.
  2. The last minute attempt to halt voting for further consultation, was a demonstration of “incompetent politique”. The sector Minister should have been in parliament the very moment the debates commenced for the purposes of listening and making overtures. But it appears he mistook this current parliament in terms of its composition, to be one of the usual ones we have known since 1992.
  3. Given the shoddy work the minority did in the vetting and approval of ministers and the backlash from their party and constituents, there was no way they weren’t going to pacify their party and members by standing their grounds on this particular issue.
  4. Let this be a lesson to the majority group and in particular, the Executive arm of government in deepening consultations ahead of time before any major policy issue or proposal goes to parliament for deliberations.
  5. Now that we know what a hung parliament can do, let the Finance Minister lead the dialogue session with the minority. Without the Finance Minister’s preparedness to dialogue about his figures, the majority group cannot do much.
  6. No one is against taxation and levies that provide resources for governance. But such levies must not overly burden the poor and loyal tax payers. So, let there be sincere talk about this with a view to reducing the levy to anything below one percent. Before a colleague in our Economics Department, Prof Baah Boateng recommended 0.5percent as e-levy, many Ghanaians had already expressed the view favoring a reduction in the levy. So now, let the powers that be listen.
  7. What has happened is good for democracy. Nothing is lost. Real politique must commence now. Afterwards, some very minor revisions and tweaking of the budget in relation to comments and suggestions from inside and outside parliament, should get the statement passed quickly for governance to go on.

Good luck

Yaw Gyampo
A31, Prabiw
PAV Ansah Street
Saltpond
&
Suro Nipa House
Kubease
Larteh-Akuapim

2022 budget not rejected, still standing – Majority

The Majority in Parliament has questioned the legality with which the Speaker of Parliament on Friday, November 26 led a one-sided House to pronounce judgement on the 2022 budget statement as delivered on behalf of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo by his Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, on Wednesday, November 17.

“The motion on the budget as far as we are concerned has not been pronounced on by Parliament,” Majority Leader Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu told journalists a few hours after the Speaker, Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin, ruled on the motion.

“It is still standing in the name of the Minister for Finance and in the fullness of time a properly-constituted House, not one presided over by the Right Honorable Speaker, will make the decision.”

The Speaker had led ruling on the motion after a walk-out by the Majority.

Since there were no members of that caucus, the ‘No’ voice vote by the Minority reverberated in the chamber, leaving the Speaker with no option than to pronounce ruling.

In his address to journalists, Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, who is also Member of Parliament for Suame Constituency, accused the Speaker of “mischief” in supporting his action with the Standing Orders of Parliament.

“What happened [on Friday] involved a decision of the House and in that case it is not Article 102. It is Article 104.”

He said the Speaker erred in supporting his action with the former when he was aware at least two members of the Minority were absent in the House before the voice vote was conducted.

He insists that the “motion moved by the Minister of Finance has not been lost, It still stands”.

By Emmanuel Kwame Amoh|3news.com|Ghana

2022 budget has not been rejected; ignore Bagbin’s declaration – Dominic Nitiwul

Defence Minister Dominic Nitiwul

The Minister of Defence and senior Member of Parliament of the ruling NPP has laughed off reports that the 2022 budget has been rejected by Parliament

The Majority side of the House walked out of the Chamber on Friday evening, and in their absence, the Speaker of the House Alban Bagbin conducted a vote on the budget with only the minority side present.

Speaking to newsmen after the purported rejection of the budget by Parliament, the Defence Minister called what happened inside the chamber a “Bagbin’s declaration” and urged the general public to ignore it.

The Defence Minister buttressed his point with Order 109 of Parliamentary rules, which says the Speaker requires more than half of members of the house, which is at least 138 members, before the Speaker can put a question.

At the time the Majority side walked out of the Chamber, the Minority side could not have had the 138 members, thereby nullifying the Speaker’s purported vote, Nitiwul explained.

The Defence Minister further explained that the house may have a quorum to take questions and statements but 138 ought to have been present for the Speaker to put a question.

WHY THE MAJORITY WALKED OUT

The Majority side of the House explained that the Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori Atta was in Parliament with a prayer to have the opportunity to accommodate the comments made by the minority into the budget.

Key among them were: request to include Ketamine relief efforts in the estimates, request to adjust the e-levy.

According to the majority side, these and other requests of the minority, led by Haruna Iddrisu require consultation and costing if the minister is to include them in the budget

Surprisingly, the same Minority who made the requests, as well as the Speaker, refused to give the Minister the opportunity to incorporate their requests.https://80c775b982441af00c2e01a7e79fbff2.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.html

While refusing the minister the opportunity, the speaker went further to ask the Finance Minister whose budget was being debated, to leave the chamber.

The Majority side further explain that while the Finance Minister was being asked to leave the Chamber, Johnson Asiedu Nketia, NDC General Secretary was left seated and the Speaker ignored requests to ask all other strangers to leave the chamber and public galleries.

The Majority was of the view that Mr Speaker was acting in bad faith and being partisan at such a crucial national junction. The majority said it could not countermance an order by Mr Speaker for Marshals to take the Finance Minister out, hence the majority side consequently walked out.

Source: peacefmonline.com

Five-star Prempeh College win fifth NSMQ title

Prempeh College have been crowned winners of the 2021 National Science and Maths Quiz after seeing off Presbyterian Boys’ Senior High School and Keta Senior High and Technical School in the final on Friday.

With 53 points, the Kumasi-based senior high school prosecuted a host-and-win agenda as the contest was taken to the Ashanti Region capital for the first time in its history.

Presec-Legon had 49 points while Keta SHTS, the first school from the Volta Region to make it to the final, had 33 points.

More to follow. . .

Majority walks out as final debate on 2022 budget heats up

The Majority in Parliament has staged a walkout during the final debate to have the 2022 budget statement approved.

The Speaker, Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin, has, therefore, suspended proceedings for five minutes.

Debate on the final day of the budget, christened Agyenkwa Budget, has been heated as the Majority Leader, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, stood on the floor to make a spirited defence of it.

The Minister of Finance, Kenneth Ofori-Atta, who presented the budget on Wednesday, November 17 on behalf of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, was also in the House to ostensibly win the sympathy of members to have the budget approved.

The walkout by the Majority members had been preceded by their delay to be in the House ahead of the start of Friday’s proceedings.

Majority Chief Whip Frank Annoh-Dompreh had explained that the leadership was in a caucus meeting with the Speaker as well as the Minority side’s.

This was, however, denied by the Speaker, who said he had no knowledge of the said meeting.

More to follow

I’m Being Insulted; The Only Thing I Have Is My Reputation – Bagbin

Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin has chided the Minority Caucus for subjecting him to public ridicule by their actions and comments due to the delay in the resumption of sitting today (26 November).

The Speaker had earlier suspended sitting for 30 minutes to allow the majority of members who were in a caucus meeting to return.

However, the House took more than two hours to resume sitting which resulted in the Minority members chanting songs and criticizing the Leadership of the House.

Bagbin, who was clearly not happy with the actions of the Minority said he has his reputation to protect in serving the nation.

He said the delay was due to an audience he granted the Finance Minister and leaders of both sides as the House prepared to vote on the 2022 Budget.

“I’m saying that the suspension was for 30 minutes but it has taken us two hours or more to return and that is because the subject matter that we are to discuss there’s been new development…and as Speaker, I have to be briefed. So your leaders came with the Minister for Finance to brief me. Should I ignore them and come and preside because I’ve suspended sitting for 30 minutes?”

“Go through the media and see how I’m being insulted. Please the only thing I have is my reputation…Please let’s be Honourable Members of Parliament.”

Earlier, Frank Annoh Dompreh, the majority chief whip, informed the press that the Majority Caucus was in a meeting hence the delay.

“…Even as I speak with you now and address you we are still at the meeting. The meeting is not done yet and because we were in a caucus meeting when the speaker called to engage us. Our members are still waiting and they have finished their caucus. So after engagement with the Speaker we still have to go back and finish our caucus meeting.”

This was after the Minority had earlier accused the members of the Majority of intentionally delaying the start of proceedings of the House.

Source: asaaseradio.com

Fixing The Country Movement calls on Parliament to approve ‘Agyenkwa’ budget

Ernest Owusu Bempah

Fixing The Country Movement has added its voice to calls for the 2022 budget statement to be approved.

The House is currently concluding debate on having the budget approved or otherwise.

In a statement signed by Convener Ernest Kofi Owusu Bempah, the budget holds true to efforts by the current administration to create a “climate-friendly entrepreneurial state to address unemployment and import substitution”.

Find the statement below:

Fixing The Country Movement Calls on Parliament To Approve 2022 Budget Proposal

After a careful reading and studying of the 2022 budget statement, the Fixing The Country Movement deems it fit to add our voice to the call by well meaning Ghanaians for the august house of Parliament to approve the budget proposals in the national interest.

The budget primarily focussed on expanding on Ghana’s economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as creating a climate-friendly entrepreneurial state to address unemployment and import substitution.

A cursory look at the breakdown of the tax components and proposals shows that the Akufo-Addo government is building a resilient economy with a brighter future for the Ghanaian people.

The 2022 budget also heralds a greater fiscal policy where job creation remain sound, whereas the expansionary fiscal policy, among other things, is clearly aimed at boosting jobs.

For instance, the Ghc1billion YouStart INITIATIVE comes on board as a New Youth Entrepreneurship Programme.

The government is looking more of stabilisation as about revitalization and transformation of the economy and there’s investment in health, education, youth entrepreneurship and the digital economy.

It was the Former Governor of New Jersey, Chris Christie who remarked that, “We pay a price when special interests win out over the collective national interest”

Parliament ought to put this Chris Christie quote into right perspective and allow Ghana’s national interest to win above partisan politics.

We call on both the majority and minority groups to do the needful approve the 2022 government economic policy with ease.

Long live Ghana!!

(Signed)
Ernest Kofi Owusu Bempah
Political Strategist, Convener- Fixing The Country Movement

“Take Advantage Of Ghana’s Business-friendly Climate” – President Akufo-Addo To Norwegian Business Community

The President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has urged the business community from Norway to take advantage of the business-friendly climate currently existing in Ghana, and invest in the country.

According to President Akufo-Addo, “We will continue to create and maintain the conducive investment environment that not only guarantees the safety of investments, but good returns as well. We will continue to protect legitimate investments, and preserve the atmosphere of peace, stability and security that has been an important contributor to the increasing presence of Norwegian
businesses in Ghana.”

Speaking at the Ghana-Norway Business Forum, held on Friday, 26th November 2021, at the Kempinski Hotel, the President stated his government has, over the last four (4) years, done a lot of work in correcting the fundamentals of the economy which were all pointing in the wrong direction when he took office in 2017.

“We have, over the period, put in place measures needed to reduce the cost of doing business, improve the business environment, and made the Ghanaian economy not only one of the most business-friendly economies in Africa, but also one of the fastest growing economies in the world between 2017 and 2020, averaging annual GDP growth rates of 7% for those years, up from the 3.4% GDP growth rate we inherited from the previous government in 2016,” he said.

With COVID-19 wreaking havoc on economies the world over, President Akufo-Addo reassured that Government is “working to grow the economy at a much faster rate this year, which will enhance the prospects of a win-win environment for both private sector and country; an environment where companies do not just survive, but actually thrive.”

The major programme driving the revival and revitalization of the Ghanaian economy, he said, is the one hundred-billion-cedi (GH¢100 billion) Ghana CARES ‘Obaatampa’ Programme, whose main elements include supporting commercial farming and attracting educated youth into commercial farming; building the country’s light manufacturing sector; developing engineering/machine tools and ICT/digital economy industries; amongst others.

“It continues to be an exciting time to be in Ghana, and to do business in the country. Already, global car manufacturing giants, Toyota and Nissan of Japan, Sinotruk of China, have established assembly plants in the country, as first steps towards the production of vehicles in Ghana,” he said.

President Akufo-Addo continued, “Twitter is establishing its African Headquarters in Ghana, and Google’s first African Artificial Intelligence Centre is located in Ghana. We are privileged to play host to the Secretariat of the African Continental Free Trade Area, which represents, currently, a market of some 1.2 billion people, spread over fifty-four (54) countries, with a combined GDP of $3trillion. Trading in the emerging single market began on 1 st January this year”.

With Ghana witnessing a significant rise in interest from Norwegian investors, in several sectors of the economy, including agriculture, building and construction, general trading, manufacturing, oil and gas, and tourism, President Akufo-Addo commended some of his government’s flagship policies to them.

“Government is also embarking on an aggressive public private partnership programme to attract investment in the development of both our road and railway infrastructure. We are hopeful that, with solid private sector participation, we can develop a modern railway network with strong production centre linkages and with the potential to connect us to our neighbours,” he said.

Vice President Charges Head Of Agencies To Dispel NDC Propaganda With Facts

Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia is charging government appointed heads of various public institutions to play a major role in trumpeting of government’s achievements to the public to defuse propaganda of their political opponents.

According to him, the heads of entities are better communicators because they are abreast with facts due to the data they have in their possession which should be made known to the public to counter the deliberate misinformation and propaganda of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC).

He believes that government communication should not be left to party communicators alone as head of the state institutions have crucial role to play to dispel misinformation by their opponents.

Speaking at the closing ceremony of a 3-day retreat for board chairpersons, heads and deputy heads of government institutions at Nkwatia-Kwahu on Sunday, Dr. Bawumia told the heads of state agencies that they should make conscious efforts to also come out and speak.

“You’re at the forefront of the communication in this country and for this government. I know that we can also talk about party communicators and so on but I don’t see any better communicators than the heads of these institutions. You’re the best communicators this party can have because you’re possessed with all the information.

“You know, sometimes you see our party communicators struggling in some issues because they just don’t have the data and they’re confronted in the studio and they don’t have the data to response to issues. But our opponents are very good in propaganda. They’re very very good you know. They’ll just throw out falsehood and if you’re not able to counter it, it takes the aura of truth. But you’re in the best position to counter this propaganda because you’ve the data.

“So, I want to basically emphasis that we expect you to let the people know all the good works that are taking place in your various entities,” Dr. Bawumia stated.

The Vice President cited an instance that after his recent public lecture at Ashesi University where the NDC came out and said John Mahama has made all the investment in fibre optics that’s why the NPP government is benefiting from John Mahama investments.

He noted John Mahama has not done any investment in the fibre optic space which has yielded results in the ongoing digitisation of the country since 88.4 percent of the fibre optics networks were licensing of fibre optic companies were done by President Akufo-Addo govenrment per data available at the National Communications Authority (NCA).

“I’m sure you heard what they said that they’ve invested in fibre optics and now we’re benefiting from it. I said wait a second, I can’t remember any investment of John Mahama in the fibre optics space.

“So, I called NCA and I said give me the data on fibre optics in Ghana. It was very interesting when the data was provided. Currently, NCA has provided 6 fibre optics licensing since Ghana begun, just 6 fibre optics licensing. The first was provided under President Kufuor, which was Vodacom. Of all the 6, 5 was provided under the Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and the NPP.

“So under the NPP since 2017, we’ve licensed entities for a total fibre optics network in Ghana that is being licensed by the government is 6,343 kilometres that’s the total. What the NPP has licensed since 2017 of the 6,343 is 5,610 that’s 88.4 percent of this data and that is data that is in possession of us. We’ve to make that data clearly known,” he mentioned.

The Vice President wondered how Nana Addo’s government would be benefiting from John Mahama investments in the digitisation space when the NPP government invested majority in the fibre optics network of the country.

“How can we provide 88.4 percent of the fibre optics network of Ghana and you say digitisation is riding on your investment when we even started the whole process in 2017? So the data is in your respective entities and you come out and let the people know when they’re issues. Don’t leave it to party communicators alone to do the battle, you’ve the data so let’s help in educating the people otherwise propaganda will take over,” Dr. Bawumia added when asking the heads of state agencies to response to misinformation of the public by their political opponents

Speaker rejects Ofori-Atta’s plea to engage leadership of Parliament over 2022 Budget

Speaker of Parliament Alban Bagbin has rejected an application from Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta to be afforded the opportunity to engage the leadership of both majority and minority members of the House ahead of the conclusion of debate on the 2022 budget and economic policy of the government.

Majority leader Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu who moved the application on behalf of Ken Ofori-Atta argued the move is to afford the minister the chance to address concerns of the minority on imposition of taxes such as the E-Levy in order to secure consensus.

Minority leader Haruna Iddrisu, however, prayed the speaker to be allowed to proceed with his concluding debate before the minister comes in.

The speaker ruled the minister can have the opportunity to state whatever brought him to parliament after the minority is done with his debate.

Haruna Iddrisu in his debate stated the minority will not approve the economic policy of government until the E-Levy is scrapped and allocations are made for phase two of the sea defence project in Keta.

MPs from both sides are in the chamber including one of the two whose availability were in question such as Assin Central MP Kennedy Agyapong who was far away in the USA.

Dome Kwabenya MP Sara Adwoa Safo is however still missing from the chamber

2022 budget: Ken Agyapong returns from US to vote in Parliament

Ken Agyapong

Ken Agyapong

Assin Central Member of Parliament Kennedy Agyapong who has been outside the country for sometime now has arrived in Parliament to partake in the crucial vote on the 2022 budget.

Both caucuses of the House are gathering their members ahead of the vote to defend their positions.  Reports say the Majority side is still expecting Dome-Kwabenya MP Adwoa Safo who is also in the United States to return before the ballot.

The Minority have threatened they will vote against the budget because over the E-levy which is aimed at taxing Mobile Money transfers.

Earlier Speaker Alban Bagbin has suspended sitting as a result of the absence of NPP MPs in the House.

Members of Parliament from the governing NPP failed to show up for Friday’s sitting where the House is expected to conclude the debate on the Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government for the year ending 31st December, 2022.

The National Democratic Congress (NDC) MPs contend the move is because the Majority side does not have the full complement of their members for the impending decision on the government’s Economic Policy.

The Minority through Ningo-Prampram MP, Sam George had accused the Majority Caucus of deliberately delaying proceedings with their absence from the chamber as of midday Friday.

However, the Majority Chief whip, Frank Annor Dompreh, however refuted the claim by the Minority explaining that his side had been locked up in a caucus meeting as well as leadership meeting with the Speaker.

But, when the Speaker entered the Chamber at 16 minutes past 1:00pm, only the Minority MPs were present.

The development compelled the Speaker to suspend sitting after the Deputy Minority Whip, Ibrahim Ahmmed, raised the issue of the absence of the Majority Leadership in spite of their presence in the precincts of Parliament

Workers who retire after 2037 may not receive pensions – ACRR

The Africa Centre for Retirement Research (ACRR) fears the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) may not be able to fully pay benefits of pensioners after 2037 if the latest actuarial valuation report is anything to go by.

The think tank asserted that the scheme is facing medium- to long-term sustainability danger.

Interacting with journalists on Wednesday, November 24, the Executive Director of ACRR, Abdallah Mashud, observed that if necessary steps are not taken, Ghana’s social security scheme will bend to its knees.

Mr Mashud cited how the 2014 actuarial valuation exercise pegged a depletion of SSNIT’s resources by 2042.

“Three years later, that is, the subsequent valuation in 2017, however, predicts that the reserves [will] deplete in 2037, five years earlier,” he told journalists.

“What this means is that if Parliament, policymakers and stakeholders do not undertake the necessary steps to address the imbalance in the social security finances through parametric and legislative reforms, the Trust funds are unable to pay full scheduled benefits on timely basis in 2037.”

Suggestions have been made for the retirement age to be increased from 60 years to 62 years, especially by 2037.

“ACRR is, however, of the opinion that, considering the SSNIT pensioners’ post-retirement mortality pattern, increasing retirement age by two years will result in more members dying in service, instead of in pension,” he said.

He called on government to rather pay up its indebtedness to SSNIT.

“Government indebtedness to the Trust continues to hurt the schemes compliance rates and scheme’s long-term sustainability.

“Delays in the payment of due contributions by government has been cited in the actuarial valuation reports as hampering the scheme’s level of investible funds.”

He fears the next actuarial valuation report may even pose threatening outcomes to pensioners and Ghanaian workers in general as a result of the effect of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“The next actuarial valuation report will be based on data for the period January 2018 to December 2020. Firstly, considering the economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the financial markets, the Trust may as well report another fiscal year loss on its investments.

“Secondly, the rate of growth of the pensioner population continues to outstrip the corresponding growth rate of contributors. Evidently, the number of workers contributing to support a pensioner dropped further from 9 contributors per pensioner in 2013 to 7 in 2020.

“Therefore, based on income-expenditure dynamics among other considerations for the period 2018 to 2020 and its expected impact on reserves, the depletion date for the next valuation may come earlier than 2037.”

By Emmanuel Kwame Amoh|3news.com|Ghana

2022 World Cup play-offs draw moved to January

Black Stars

The Confederation of African Football (CAF) on Friday during their Extraordinary Assembly announced a new date for the 2022 World Cup play-offs draw. 

The draw has been moved from 18 December 2021 to January 26, 2022.

According to the decision, the January 2022 rankings will be used to seed the teams for the draw.

The top five ranked teams at the time of the draw will be seeded and paired against the other five unseeded countries.

Algeria, Cameroon, Nigeria, Ghana, DR Congo, Senegal, Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt and Mali booked their places after topping their respective groups in the second qualification round.

However, Ghana’s place is not secured due to South Africa FA complaint with Fifa.

Source: 3news.com|Ghana

FixTheCountry protesters clash with police

Friday’s #FixTheCountry protesters went on a collision course with personnel of the Accra Regional Command of the Ghana Police Service after they were refused entry into Parliament.

The protesters were seeking to enter Parliament to present their petition to leadership of the House.

But the police stopped the scores from entering the legislature by giving only a quota of 10.

This appeared not to have gone down well with organisers who wanted dozens to enter Parliament to present the petition.

“We are resolving with the followers that only 10 people will be allowed in to present the petition,” the President of the Unemployed Graduates Network, Selorm Kwame Dzramado, who joined the protest, told TV3‘s Joseph Armstrong Gold-Alorgbey.

He described the exercise as having been successful “because the message we are carrying out to Parliament today, the leadership of the House humbly came to this place to meet us”.

The demonstration is calling for a total rejection of the 2022 budget as presented by Minister of Finance Kenneth Ofori-Atta on Wednesday, November 17.

“We describe the taxes as ‘killer taxes’,” Mr Dzramado said. “If those taxes are approved by Parliament today, most Ghanaians will be extinct.”

Meanwhile, the Eighth Parliament is set to approve the budget on Friday, November 26 amid intense disagreement between the Majority and the Minority.

While the Majority thinks the budget will save the country from the ravages of the Covid-induced economic shocks, little wonder the naming it ‘Agyenkwa Budget’, the Minority thinks some of the policies are “draconian”.

“We want Parliament to reject the budget in its entirety. It should be sent back to the Executive capturing our revulsion and capturing our concerns,” the #FixTheCountry protester said.

Source: 3news.com|Ghana

You don’t pay taxes yet you lament over 1.75% levy – Ofori Atta slams Accountants, Lawyers, other professionals

Mr. Ofori-Atta said the Electronic Levy is a necessary evil to rope in many Ghanaians onto the tax net.

Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, has taken a swipe at the 60,000 Ghanaian professionals including Accountants, Doctors and Lawyers, and many more who have not been paying taxes, but lament the 1.75% Electronic Transaction Levy expected to be implemented from 2022.

According to him, digital levy is now the way to go because many Ghanaians who are not paying taxes or under declaring taxes can be captured.

Speaking at the TUC Economic Dialogue on the 2022 Budget, Mr. Ofori-Atta said the Electronic Levy is a necessary evil to rope in many Ghanaians onto the tax net.

“Through technology, therefore, we can find a means of ensuring that everybody contribute to this national reconstruction [economic recovery] that we have to do and recognise that this is the moment in our history, and to tackle these issues. Will it be uncomfortable? Of course, it will be uncomfortable.  But where is the shared burden for us to move across?, he asked.

“So, I listen to social media and then I look at the statistics. Since we brought the national ID [Identification Card] to the Ghana Revenue Authority, I can find some 60,000 of the people who live in my nice neighbourhood [Labone, Cantonements etc.] – accountants, doctors, lawyers – who always blame the informal sector- masons etc. And these 60,000 people are paying nothing and they have been able to convince you that E-Levy is bad because it’s a tax on tax etc”, the Finance Minister explained.

“When I give you your income and you go and buy the Voltic bottle, I put VAT [Value Added Tax] on it, don’t I? So is that not a tax on tax? You can define it as such”, he pointed out.

Continuing, Mr. Ofori-Atta said “now, we have found a system where the issue of transfers is the order of the day and is going to continue to increase, but it catches everybody…then you talk about the poor. So these rich advocates talk about the poor, tax etc. and I’m saying I’ve excluded the first 100, which means that in any month the poor will not be taxed. So if ¢3000 per month is for the poor, is that true?”.

“So this ‘ananse approach’ using the base that is a lie and then building up on it to get all of us riled up, whiles we are at a point in history where we should consider that, what is that we all have to sacrifice to be able to get that son or daughter of yours to reap him or her of the indignity of not working.”, he added. 

Elaborating further, Mr. Ofori-Atta said “so it’s a very solemn time, not a time of where am I going to be, a little bit more and therefore how dare you? The question is how do we break through. “

“When the Norwegians hear, and they are collecting 34% to 40% revenue to GDP, and we are yelling and shouting but we are paying 13% to 14% tax to GDP with a mindset of I pay for your child, your healthcare, I feed your child in school, I give him or her free SHS and that is not considered and we demand more”, he added.

“So 1.75% levy seems at climbing hills, who are we as a people? And where do we want to go as a people? So it’s not a bunch of politicians sitting unconcerned, not realising the moment in time we are in as a nation to have a conversation to say what is the sacrifice we must do”, he stressed.

The argument about the 1.75% E-Levy is expected to intensify in the coming days as Parliament debate the levy and is probable approval.

Source: Charles Nixon Yeboah||Myjoyonline

Controller & Accountant-General clarifies ‘deductions’ in teachers’ November salaries

The Acting Controller and Accountant-General, Kwasi Kwaning-Bosompem, has allayed fears of teachers over a publication about reported deductions in their November salaries.

Mr Kwaning-Bosompem indicated that the deductions are as a result of an agreement reached between the Ghana Education Service (GES) and various teacher unions.

“The Ghana Education Service officially wrote to request for the deduction of 30% of the cost of laptops supplied to teachers under the One-Teacher-One-Laptop programme amounting to 509.55ghc,” the Controller and Accountant-General stated in a press release on Thursday, November 25.

“The 70% of the cost of the laptop is being borne by the government of Ghana.”

He further indicated that GES also wrote for a deduction of GH¢100 as Teacher Licensing Fee.

“These deductions, per the letters we received were as a result of agreements between the Ghana Education Service and the various teacher unions.

“The Controller and Accountant-General will NOT unilaterally effect deductions from salaries without the necessary authorisation.”

Mr Kwaning-Bosompem assured all government employees that they will paid what is legitimately due them

NDC hits road to dissect ‘Awudie’ budget

The National Democratic Congress (NDC) has announced the first of a series of town hall meetings to discuss the 2022 budget statement presented by Minister of Finance Ken Ofori-Atta.

According to a press release by the National Communications Bureau of the party, the first edition will be held on Tuesday, November 30 at the Great Hall of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) in Kumasi, Ashanti Region.

The release called the budget ‘Awudie’ budget, to wit a ‘killer budget’.

“This event is being organised under the auspices of the National Communications Bureau of the Party,” National Communications Officer Sammy Gyamfi stressed in the release on Friday, November 26, “and is intended to inform the general public about the content of the 2022 budget statement, what it means or holds for Ghanaians, and the position of the NDC on same.”

The budget, christened Agyenkwa Budget by the Minister of Finance, is set to be voted on in Parliament on Friday, November 26.

There have been disagreements between the Majority and Minority on some of the policies announced in the budget.

While the Majority is calling for an approval of the budget, the Minority is seeking a rejection of some of the policies like the Electronics Transaction Levy or e-levy to be charged on mobile money transactions as well as all digital transactions.

“The NDC caucus in Parliament isn’t available to be convinced by him to support government’s draconian taxes,” wrote NDC Member of Parliament Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa.

“We were sent to Parliament by the Ghanaian people not him

Ghana and Denmark sign two climate change agreements

Ghana and Denmark have signed two climate change agreements on zero emissions in shipping and green umbrella water solutions for Danish projects in the  country.

The diplomatic ceremony took place at the Jubilee House on Tuesday November 24 when the Danish Prime Minister, Her Excellency Mette Frederiksen called on president Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo as part of her two day visit to Ghana.

She is the first time a Danish Prime Minister to visit Ghana.

This visit also marks the 60-year anniversary of diplomatic relations between Denmark and Ghana.


Ghana is an important partner in West Africa and the broader region, especially concerning peace and security, including maritime security, economic growth and trade.


The two leaders spoke about the need to prioritise climate change, water and sanitation as well as youth employment.


During her two day stay , the Prime Minister will visit the frigate Esbern Snare, which has been deployed to the Gulf of Guinea until April 2022.


The Danish contribution has the aim of improving maritime security and deterring piracy in the area, where 30-40 Danish-operated ships are present on a daily basis.


The Prime Minister will also meet with Danish companies, Ghanaian CSOs and explore the extensive water cooperation between Denmark and Ghana.


She will visit Tema to hear about the city cooperation between Tema and Aarhus in Denmark, Danish COVID-19 response for UNICEF activities to improve water and sanitation, and the commercial activities in
the water sector.


The Prime Minister will also visit Tema Port, a joint venture by Danish APM Terminals, Bolloré and Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority.

Source: 3news.com|Ghana

Kwakye Ofosu extracts three ‘killer’ taxes in 2022 Budget

Kwakye Ofosu1

The 2022 budget will impose more hardships on Ghanaians

The government has imposed three killer taxes according to Kwakye Ofosu

These triple taxes are a sign that the economy is sick

When the Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta appeared before Parliament on November 17 to present the 2022 budget, he announced three ‘killer’ taxes.

These three, according to Felix Kwakye Ofosu will only increase the hardships that Ghanaians have been subjected to under the current administration with its mismanagement of the economy.

The aide to former President John Dramani Mahama submitted in a November 23 appearance on Metro TV’s Good Morning Ghana programme that the government was clearly showing insensitivity towards the suffering of its citizenry.

He identified the three ‘killer’ taxes as the Electronic Transaction Levy (E-levy), the reversal of the benchmark revenue and the 15% increase on all government services and charges.

“The Minister goes to read the budget and in addition to all the raft of taxes we have had to endure under this government over the period, he introduces three killer taxes,” he stated.



“The first one is the reversal of this benchmark revenue. This reversal has meant that importers are going to increase their prices between 25 to 30%.

“They want to start from January 2021 which is the most difficult part of the year when people would have spent on Christmas and have pending payments and you are going to increase it (spending squeeze) with a hike on basic items.https://4a1ef7e53a2dcfe3451365f1c1572785.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.html

He cited how in 2019, Vice President Mahammudu Bawumia as head of the Economic Management Team had justified why Ghana needed to discount benchmark values to 30% for vehicles and 50% for all other items, stating that the current reversal is a betrayal of that position.

On the E-levy, he linked it to the Vice President’s recent lecture at Ashesi stating: “…that whole hoopla around digitalization at Ashesi was to prepare our minds for this Bawumia tax. It was to create the impression of some major shift, some seismic activity to justify the need to pay taxes.

“And it is little wonder why people have called this Bawumia tax, because that is what it is. That whole digitalization propaganda was intended to provide a rationale for levying Ghanaians on this particular matter.”

He bemoaned the impact of the controversial tax on services and operations especially of small and medium scale enterprises across the country and also on persons seeking to make snappy transactions to people in dire need.

According to him, the 15% increment in government fees and charges was, even more, devastating the E-levy and benchmark reversal issue.null

“There is a yet more devastating tax, that is, the 15% increment in all government fees and charges. Many people have not averted their minds to it because it appears intangible to them.

“LI 2386, Fees and Charges Miscellaneous Provision 2019, has 749 pages and lists all fees and charges government institutions take, it lists all 129 MDAs with 20,000 separate fees charges from school fees, academic user facility, Lands Commission, GRA (and) at all institutions government offers some service.”

He explained further: “Even with the 15% increase, every year it is going to be reviewed upwards with the rate of inflation, so there is every indication that this will go up and then 5 years later it will be reviewed upwards so this perhaps is even more devastating than the e-levy.

“They want to squeeze water out of stone… so that the Finance Minister can raise an additional 25 billion cedis over last years’ revenue. He hopes to get 15 billion from these draconian taxes and 10 billion from existing fiscal arrangements,” he added.

What Ofori-Atta said about review on government fees and chargesnull

Review Fees and Charges with an average increase of at least 15 percent in 2022 and thereafter subject it to automatic annual adjustments by average inflation rate as published by the Ghana Statistical Service, but with the prior consent of the Minister for Finance.

The fees and charges should, however, be subjected to general review every 5 years. The effective date of implementation is 1st January 2022.

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

Covid fight: Gov’t is not serious – Akandoh

Juaboso Member of Parliament, Kwabena Mintah Akandoh has said the government’s fight against the coronavirus pandemic has not been the best.

He asked the government to up its game in dealing with the situation because the country is not out of the difficulty yet.

He told journalists in Parliament on Thursday November 25 that “The attitude of government points to the fact that they are not serious to combat Covid-19 . We must know we are not out of the woods of Covid yet. In fact some countries are returning to lockdown.”

On Wednesday November 24 while speaking on the floor of Parliament, Mr Akandoh noted that the government had failed to meet its own target of vaccinating the targeted population.

Mr Akandoh said the government had so far managed to inoculate 2.5million people as of October 2021, a figure that is against the target of 17 million people for the same period.

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo had said during his address at the 76th Session of the UN General Assembly on Wednesday September 22 that Ghana was working to reach the target of vaccinating twenty million people by the end of 2021.

“Five million is not a figure to be sneered at, particularly when we consider the situation in many other African countries. We are grateful that our efforts at the management of the pandemic and vaccine distribution have been recognised, and we have received these amounts so far. We are still hoping to vaccinate twenty million of our people by the end of the year,” he said.

President Akufo-Addo continued, “Ghana agrees with the call of the Rome Declaration of Global Health for voluntary licensing and technology transfers to boost vaccine production. The Africa Union is working with WHO, WTO and other global partners to expand its vaccine manufacturing and deployment.”

But Mr Akandoh who is also the Minority spokesperson on Health, said “Mr Speaker, it is a fact that as a country we have failed to vaccinate our people on time to meet the herd immunity.

“Mr Speaker, I say so because the government presented to us a vaccination plan and this document is titled ‘ Covid-19 vaccination deployment and vaccination plan”.

According to this document on page 29 we were supposed to have vaccinated about 1.5million people between April and June 2021. Again, from June to August we were supposed to have vaccinated about 6.3million . Between September to October we should have about 9.5million people . At this time we should have vaccinated not less than 17million people.

“Ironically, if you refer to the 2022 budget we have vaccinated on 2.5million. Per their own marking scheme, 2.5 divided 17 is an obvious fail

NDC will never scrap e-levy even if they regain power in 2081 – John Boadu

General Secretary of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) John Boadu is convinced the Electronic Transactions Levy, popularly known as e-levy, has come to stay.

He said just like the Communications Service Tax, popularly known as Talk Tax, innovative ways will be found in making deductions for the e-levy without unduly disadvantaging Ghanaians.

Addressing a news conference in the Ashanti Region on Thursday, November 25, the NPP scribe stressed that no future government will scrap the e-levy when it becomes operational.

“When Talk Tax came, we were all paying but we didn’t notice,” he said in local language Twi.

“That’s a very innovative way of raising revenue [that] when the NDC came 

Minority Chases Ken Ofori For Budget Debate

The National Democratic Congress (NDC) Minority in Parliament has questioned why Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta could not make it to the budget debate in Parliament.

The Deputy Minority Chief Whip, Ahmed Ibrahim, who raised the concerns said he cannot fathom what could prevent the Minister of Finance and his two deputies from making themselves available to the House.

He expressed worry since they were not present in order to hear and revert to the President alternative proposals that would come up during the deliberations on the budget.

“The Minister of Finance moved a motion on behalf of the president. We are debating the motion to make alternative inputs to be sent to the president, who sent him to bring the motion to us, Mr. Speaker, where is the mover of the motion? This house must not be taken for granted.

“If the President sends you to bring us the budget statement and Economic Policy, it’s necessary we are going to suggest alternative solutions. The Minister for Finance must be here, to take notice of all the alternative solutions that are going to be proposed and send it to the president. At least one of them must be here, Mr. Speaker where are they,” Ibrahim quizzed.

However, the Deputy Majority Leader, Alexander Afenyo-Markin, in responding to the difficulties from the Minority side said they (Minority) wants to score cheap political points with the least opportunity.

“Mr. Speaker, I am surprised at the Deputy Minority Whip. The Finance Minister and his deputies, joined Parliament in Ho for the post-budget workshop. They take parliament seriously. Mr. Speaker, they (Minority) have been in government before and they know in moments like these, the Ministry will be engaged in a lot of activities.

“Mr. Speaker, if it is all about every day trying to score cheap political points, they may do so,” he said.

The Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Joe Osei Owusu, who sat in for the Speaker, Alban Bagbin in ruling on the disagreements said “there are senior analysts from the Ministry in the House” who can represent the Minister.

“Otherwise, could anybody here tell me where in our standing orders that says the Minister should be here,” he asked

I’ve been lambasted to the extent that I don’t have any image in this country – Health Minister

Ghana’s Health Minister, Kwaku Agyeman-Manu

Health Minister Kwaku Agyemang-Manu has said he has suffered from his quest to ensure that the larger population of Ghana gets vaccinated against the dreaded coronavirus.

According to him, while he was in a haste in searching for vaccines giving the times the country found itself, his own colleagues in Parliament were lambasting him for not coming to Parliament to seek approval.

But these same colleague of his, he added, are now complaining that the government has not met its target as far as the vaccination is concerned.

His comments were in reaction to to what Juaboso Member of Parliament, Kwabena Mintah Akandoh said to the effect that the government had failed to meet its own target of vaccinating the targeted population.

Mr Akandoh said the government had so far managed to inoculate 2.5million people as of October 2021, a figure that is against the target of 17 million people for the same period.

It is recalled that President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo said during his address at the 76th Session of the UN General Assembly on Wednesday September 22 that Ghana was working to reach the target of vaccinating twenty million people by the end of 2021.

“Five million is not a figure to be sneered at, particularly when we consider the situation in many other African countries. We are grateful that our efforts at the management of the pandemic and vaccine distribution have been recognised, and we have received these amounts so far. We are still hoping to vaccinate twenty million of our people by the end of the year,” he said.

President Akufo-Addo continued, “Ghana agrees with the call of the Rome Declaration of Global Health for voluntary licensing and technology transfers to boost vaccine production. The Africa Union is working with WHO, WTO and other global partners to expand its vaccine manufacturing and deployment.”

But contributing to a debate on the 2022 budget statement in Parliament on Wednesday November 24, Mr Akandoh who is also the Minority spokesperson on Health, said “Mr Speaker, it is a fact that as a country we have failed to vaccinate our people on time to meet the herd immunity. Mr Speaker, I say so because the government presented to us a vaccination plan and this document is titled ‘ Covid-19 vaccination deployment and vaccination plan’.

According to this document on page 29 we were supposed to have vaccinated about 1.5million people between April and June 2021. Again, from June to August we were supposed to have vaccinated about 6.3million . Between September to October we should have about 9.5million people . At this time we should have vaccinated not less than 17million people.

“Ironically, if you refer to the 2022 budget we have vaccinated on 2.5million. Per their own marking scheme, 2.5 divided 17 is an obvious fail.”

Reacting to these comments in Parliament, Mr Agyeman Manu who is also lawmaker for Dormaa Central said “Our debt situation is not anything that anybody can write home about but let us look at how some of these monies have been spent.

“Honourable Akandoh is asking for complete investigations into Covid expenditures. Because they are materials and that add up to our debt, we will get investigations into that area.

” When I was rushing to get the vaccines to do vaccination very quickly to meet our Covid target, I was called culpable of not having come to Parliament and I have been lambasted to the extent that now, I don’t have any image in this country, [by] your own colleagues in the chambers. Now you stand up and tell me that our vaccinations have been very slow

Ama Benyiwa Doe to be buried Dec 18

The burial of the former member of the Council of State, Ama Benyiwa Doe, will take place on Saturday, 18 December 2021 at Gomoa Abora in the Central Region, the family has announced.

The family made the announcement when they paid a courtesy call on former President John Dramani Mahama at his office in Accra on Wednesday, 24 November 2021.

The visit was to inform Mr Mahama about the funeral arrangements for the former Central Regional Minister.

Former President Mahama described the late Ama Benyiwa Doe as “one of the most inspirational icons to have served our party, the NDC, and this great nation.”

Mr Mahama also noted that she “was not only a politician but also a gender activist and champion of women’s rights. Ama Benyiwa Doe was an embodiment of limitless courage, commitment and passion for service.”

A former Commissioner-General of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), Mr George Blankson, who led the family delegation, revealed that the funeral will take place from Friday, 17 to Sunday, 19 December 2021 at the former Minister’s hometown.

Also present at the meeting was the former Chief of Staff Julius Debrah, the NDC’s election 2020 running mate, Professor Jane Naana Opoku-Agyemang and the General Secretary of the NDC, Mr Johnson Asiedu Nketia.

The former Central Regional Minister passed away on Sunday, 19 September 2021 at Tema.

She was 73 years old.

She battled ailments in her dying embers.

She first became an MP for Gomoa West Constituency in the Central Region after the 1992 election

Joblessness: Accept part of the blame – Gyampo to Ofori-Atta

Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta

A Professor at the University of Ghana, Ransford Gyampo has said the government must accept that it has not been able to create the enabling environment to support private individuals who will want to go into entrepreneurship.

Prof Gyampo was reacting to comments by the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, who had overserved that there is a gap between what students learn in the universities and what industry requires of them when they graduate.

Mr Ofori Atta had indicated that employers are unable to find graduates with the skills sets they are looking for to occupy specific positions.

Speaking at 73rd Annual New Year School & Conference at the University of Ghana, the minister said there was the need for university training to be in sink with industry needs especially in the face of rising unemployment among the youth.

According to the minister, about 6.6 million young people would be ready for the job market in 2024 and that the public sector is already full so there is the need for graduates to be trained to be able to venture into entrepreneurship.

“85% of the unemployed youth have just left secondary school, what do we do with them, how do we give them vocational training to be able to become productive citizens? Over 50% of tertiary degrees enrollment occur in fields with limited or no future growth, how do we resolve that in the way we teach our graduates?” he said.

Mr. Ofori-Atta also urged universities to pay more attention to the changes in the global economy and to align the training they give students. He emphasized the need to take advantage of the growing digital economy and train more information technology savvy graduates.

“We have about 9 million people in a global economy that is driven by digitization, even though the jobs are in that direction we have less than a thousand graduates with IT related skills every year from our tertiary universities. What has put the universities to sleep without realizing this major shift in where the world is going?” he observed.

According to the Minister, there is also the need to address the situation where jobs are available but graduates are unable to take up the jobs because they do not have the skills.

“Employers are already feeling the pinch in the misalignment in our inadequacy of talent for their needs and therefore the drop in their looking for internships from our graduates. They report hard-to-fill positions despite high unemployment and we should be able to do something about that.”

But speaking in an interview with TV3, Prof Gyampo said “Our core mandate is to train people, train their minds so that their minds become so fertile to be able to fit into any other situation they find themselves.

“That is the reason why somebody studies Linguistics, Philosophies and is able to get out of school and is able to head a bank.”

He added “As far as I ma concerned we have several vocational training centres and they churn out students who still cannot find jobs. If you like let us now convert the universities into vocational training centres and see whether the students who go out will find the jobs.

‘Rather than trying to put the blame on on us us, I think he should accept part of the blame by admitting the fact that they have not been also able to create that kind of environment that would enable people or entrepreneurs to survive.

“Anytime there are interventions for private key people who want to go into entrepreneurship, these interventions go to party foot soldiers, people who are completely clueless about setting up businesses, they are completely ignorant

NDC has better records in ICT than NPP – Kwakye Ofosu to Bawumia

A former Deputy Minister of Communications, Felix Kwakye Ofosu, has said the National Democratic Congress (NDC) has unmatched records in the area of Information and Communications Technology (ICT).

He said the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) cannot compare itself to the NDC’s records in this area.

He was reacting to the achievements of the NPP administration as touted by Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia.

Dr Bawumia during the launch of the ‘Ghana Digital Innovation Week” said “Furthermore, let us use the opportunity of this conversation to highlight our nation’s achievements in the digital innovation ecosystem and lead the conversation on how best Ghana can position itself to drive its development agenda through inclusive and collaborative stakeholder participation in this ecosystem.

“It is only through an open, inclusive and participatory process, where the voices of all can be heard, that we can craft Ghana’s digital future and unleash the true potential that innovation holds,” he urged.

Reacting to him, Mr Kwakye Ofosu in a Facebook post said “I have just seen a video in which Vice President Bawumia dabbles in yet more misleading claims about his bungling government’s performance in the area of ICT infrastructure.

“On the specific issue of fibre optic cables, we in the NDC have been emphatic in our position that while in government, we put in money directly to lay 1000 kilometers of rural Fibre optic cable from Tema to Bawku which passes through 126 towns and over 20 Districts in the Eastern Corridor of our country.

“We also lay claim to a 300km radius Metro Fibre optic cable within Accra and Tema.Now Bawumia claims that he is not aware we did this and that his government through the NCA has “licensed private entities to invest in 88% of Fibre optic cables in Ghana”.

“That is mundane and perfunctory as every operator within the Communications sector of Ghana requires licensing from state regulators like the NCA.

“That is a deliberate attempt to run away from the appalling record of his government in the area of ICT infrastructure.”

He added “Our challenge to him is simple; let him tell everyone, how much money his government has put into laying Fibre optic cables anywhere in Ghana.

“Let him stop claiming the investment of private entities as that of his government

Interior Minister imposes curfew on Bawku over shootings

Interior Minister

The Ministry for the Interior has on advise of the Upper East Regional Security Council and by Executive Instrument imposed a Curfew on Bawku Municipality and its environs in the Upper East Region.

Thwe curfew starts from 4:00 p.m to 6:00 a.m effective, Wednesday, November 24, 2021.

The imposition of the curfew has been as a result of threat of insecurity in the communities concerned, a statement said

“Government calls on the Chiefs, Elders, Opinion Leaders, Youth and people of the area to exercise restraint in the face of the challenges confronting them as well as to use non-violent means to channel their energies into ensuring peace.

“Meanwhile, there is a total ban on all persons in the afore-mentioned communities and its environs from carrying arms, ammunition or any offensive weapon and any persons found with any arms or ammunition will be arrested and prosecuted,” the statement added

There are jobs graduates don’t have the skills for – Ken Ofori-Atta

Google search engine

Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, has said observed there is a gap between what students learn in the universities and what industry requires of them when they graduate.

He said while employers are looking for people to fill certain positions in their companies, they are unable to find graduates with the skills sets they are looking for.

Speaking at 73rd Annual New Year School & Conference at the University of Ghana, the minister said there is the need for university training to be aligned with industry needs especially in the face of rising unemployment among the youth.

According to the minister, about 6.6 million young people would be ready for the job market in 2024 and that the public sector is already full so there is the need for graduates to be trained to be able to venture into entrepreneurship.

“85% of the unemployed youth have just left secondary school, what do we do with them, how do we give them vocational training to be able to become productive citizens? Over 50% of tertiary degrees enrollment occur in fields with limited or no future growth, how do we resolve that in the way we teach our graduates?” he said.

Mr. Ofori-Atta also urged universities to pay more attention to the changes in the global economy and to align the training they give students. He emphasized the need to take advantage of the growing digital economy and train more information technology savvy graduates.

“We have about 9 million people in a global economy that is driven by digitization, even though the jobs are in that direction we have less than a thousand graduates with IT related skills every year from our tertiary universities. What has put the universities to sleep without realizing this major shift in where the world is going?” he observed.

According to the Minister, there is also the need to address the situation where jobs are available but graduates are unable to take up the jobs because they do not have the skills.

“Employers are already feeling the pinch in the misalignment in our inadequacy of talent for their needs and therefore the drop in their looking for internships from our graduates. They report hard-to-fill positions despite high unemployment and we should be able to do something about that

I’m the biggest threat to NDC – Chairman Wontumi fires back

The Ashanti Region Chairman of New Patriotic Party (NPP), Benard Antwi Boasiako, has refuted claims that he is in bed with the opposition and that some staunch members on that side are vouching for his reelection.

Founding member of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) Alhaji Sani Mohammed has called on members of the NPP in the Ashanti Region to maintain Chairman Wontumi, as he is popularly known.

The seeming show of support for the NPP regional chairman has sparked debate especially among the grassroots as some have started reading meanings into this, claiming the “NDC feels Chairman Wontumi is the weakest link that’s why they want him to be maintained so that the NDC gets smooth sail in 2024”.

Responding to the claims on Akoma FM’s current affairs and political show GhanAkoma Wednesday, November 24, Chairman Wontumi explained that “I am the biggest threat to NDC so they feel that attacking my integrity will make me unpopular so that I lose the election for them to sideline me and have their way in 2024 but it won’t wash”.

He further told host of the show Aduanaba Kofi Asante Ennin that “I am the only regional chairman who has brought the party from opposition and have maintained power, so you can tell that I have experience and good track record. That’s why the NDC is seemingly aligning themselves with me so that my party people will believe I am in bed with the opposition so that I lose the election but some of us we have been in politics for a while and these antics are not new to us”.

Mr. Antwi Boasiako further urged party members to be resolute and focused to ensure the wining team is maintained to ‘break the eight’ for NPP to maintain power

The most important issues are being answered by the 2022 budget – Oppong Nkrumah

Information Minister Kojo Oppong Nkrumah has said the 2022 budget statement answers the most important issues on the minds of Ghanaians.

Contributing to a debate on the budget, he said, “By 2016, when the immediate past administration was leaving office, growth had come to as low as 3.4%. Until COVID hit us, this government was growing the economy at an average of 7% on year on year.

“What that meant was that a lot of young people were getting jobs in the private sector. Additionally, even in the public sector, the government of Ghana under the leadership of President Akufo-Addo ensured that at least about 300,000 young Ghanaians were recruited in the public sector both for those who are paid by the Controller and Accountant General and from those from the Non-Subverted Agencies.

“This is very different from the days we were told that because we were down to the bone and had gone to the IMF, we couldn’t have recruited people into the public sector.

“But what is even exciting is that in this 2022 budget, this administration has made available GHS1 billion to support young men and women who want to embark on their own business known as the YouthStart initiative. And so, Mr. Speaker, the most important issue on the minds of Ghanaians is being answered by the 2022 budget,” he added.

He told Parliament to approve the 2022 budget statement presented by the Minister of Finance because the document tackles the problems that the country is saddled with at the moment.

For instance, he said, the budget has special arrangement to address the issue of youth unemployment in the country.

This and several other reasons make it crucial for this budget to be approved by the House, the Ofoase Ayirebi lawmaker said.

“The most important question, unemployment is answered by this budget,” he said.

Mr Oppong Nkrumah further urged his colleagues in the Minority to approach the discussion on the budget from nationalistic perspective.

His admonishing comes after the Minority Spokesperson on Finance Casiel Ato Forson had said the 2022 budget statement is unacceptable.

Ato Forson also noted that the content of the budget is unrealistic.

Contributing to a debate on the budget in Parliament on Tuesday November 23, he said the New Patriotic Party (NPP) administration inherited a debt of GHS120 billion from the National Democratic Congress (NDC) but within four years, it has shot up to 341billion cedis  

“In fact, if you do the maths, within four and half years you have incurred GHS221billion, representing almost 65 per cent of our GDP,” the lawmaker for Ajumako-Enyan-Esiam said.

“This budget is the most inconsistent budget I have ever seen,” he said.

The Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta announced a new levy to be charged by government in 2022 on all electronic transactions to widen the tax net and rope in the informal sector.

“It is becoming clear there exists enormous potential to increase tax revenues by bringing into the tax bracket, transactions that could be best defined as being undertaken in the ‘informal economy’,” Mr Ofori-Atta observed on Wednesday, November 17 as he presented the 2022 budget statement in Parliament.

“After considerable deliberations, government has decided to place a levy on all electronic transactions to widen the tax net and rope in the informal sector. This shall be known as the ‘Electronic Transaction Levy or E-Levy’.”

He explained that the new E-levy will be a 1.75 per cent charge on all electronic transactions covering mobile money payments, bank transfers, merchant payments and inward remittances to be borne by the sender except inward remittances, which will be borne by the recipient.

This will, however, not affect transactions that add up to GH¢100 pr less per day.

“A portion of the proceeds from the E-Levy will be used to support entrepreneurship, youth employment, cyber security, digital and road infrastructure among others.”

This new levy is scheduled to start Saturday, January 1, 2022.

In 2020, total value of transactions was estimated to be over GH¢500 million with mobile money subscribers and users growing by 16 percent in 2019.

According to a Bank of Ghana report, Ghana saw an increase of over 120 percent in the value of digital transactions between February 2020 and February 2021 compared to 44 percent for the period February 2019 to February 2020 due to the convenience they offer.

This was definitely heightened by the advent of Covid-19 especially during the lockdown

There will be no sky trains in Accra – Minister retracts government’s earlier promise

The Minister of Railway Development, John Peter Amewu has disclosed that an intended sky train project in Accra by the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) government has been shelved.

He said the government has no plans to go ahead with the project because of its cost.

Speaking in an interview on Accra based Citi TV, the Minister said funding for the project has become problematic.

“The sky train that we are talking about is the one that is going to run on columns in the sky like the ones you see in Dubai but no agreement has been signed.”

“It is not possible to be done now. I don’t see any sky train being done in the next 3-4 years. There is not going to be any Sky train in the country. It is not possible.”

He also added that funding for the construction of some of the already started projects is becoming problematic for the government.

“Rail construction takes a lot of time and it is also capital intensive. A kilometre of a railway line is about four to five times the cost of building a concrete infrastructure in terms of building an asphaltic road.”

“So considering the fiscal space that we have in the country, facilities to absorb it is becoming problematic for the government and you know our current debt to GDP which is in excess of 70%.”

In November 2019, the government through the then Minister for the sector, Joe Ghartey, signed an agreement for the construction of the Accra SkyTrain Project on the sidelines of the African Investment Forum in South Africa.

The proposed initiative in Accra provides for the development of five routes, four of which are comprised of radial routes that originate at the proposed SkyTrain Terminal, at the heart of Accra, at the Kwame Nkrumah Circle, and one route that provides an intra-city commuter loop distribution service, also emanating from Circle.

The project envisaged a total track length across all routes of 194 kilometres.

EC to accept only Ghana Card as proof of citizenship

The Electoral Commission (EC) says it is ready to adopt the Ghana card as the only document to prove one’s citizenship in the next voter registration exercise.

Dr Serebour Quaicoe, Director, Electoral Services at the EC, told the Ghana News Agency in an interview that the Commission had already reached a consensus with the political parties and was waiting for an amendment of the registration laws by Parliament to give legal backing to the move.

He said when the law is amended, persons who did not have the Ghana card would not be able to register to vote because the law would not allow the use of passport or guarantors as substitute for the Ghana Card.

“We are going to amend the law to incorporate that. What it means is that going forward, anybody who turns 18 and want to register, you have to come with evidence of the Ghana card to show that you are a Ghanaian and 18 years then we will register the person. You can’t use your passport or guarantors when the law is amended,” he said.

The EC’s last voter registration exercise was conducted in June 2020, ahead of the general elections.

In that registration exercise, the EC accepted the Ghanaian passport and Ghana card as proof of citizenship. Persons who did not have both documents were made to provide two guarantors who had already registered to get registered.

The National Identification Authority, as of October this year, said it had issued cards to about 12 million Ghanaians.

Dr Quaicoo said the EC was still reviewing the 2020 elections and is working closely with the political parties and stakeholders to implement reforms to enhance the country’s electoral management processes.

“Our doors are open for proposals and recommendations and if it is in accordance with the law, we are going to assess it together and if possible, we will add it to our reforms,” he said.

Article 51 of the 1992 Constitution grants the EC the power to, by constitutional instrument, make regulations for the effective performance of its functions, and in particular, for the registration of voters, the conduct of public elections and referenda.
The 2020 voters registration exercise was governed by the Public Elections (Registration of Voters) (Amendment) Regulation, 2020 (C.I. 126), which was passed by Parliament in June 2020.

Source: GNA

Police warn persons who display weapons on social media

IGP

The Ghana Police Service has issued a stern warning to persons who have developed the penchant of displaying weapons on social media.

The law-enforcement agency said such acts will be dealt with according to law if the persons behind them are arrested.

The warning was issued after the arrest of one Nii Ponponsuo, who was seen brandishing a weapon amid threats on social media.

He was arrested on Monday by personnel from the Police Intelligence Directorate and set to be arraigned before court Wednesday, November 24.

A search conducted led to the retrieval of one 12 bore SB pump-action gun.

The police warned the public to be wary of such acts as they will not be spared when found.

The warning also comes a few weeks after award-winning hiplife artiste AMG Medikal was arrested for same offence.

He has since been put on trial and will reappear on Tuesday, December 7 after being granted a GH¢100,000 bail

2022 budget will offer jobs – Oppong Nkrumah

Minister for Information, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, says the 2022 budget statement and economic policy responds to concerns of youth unemployment in the country.

According to him, the spate of youth unemployment in the country brought on by the coronavirus global pandemic has compelled government to propose policies that will create avenues for young men and women to find descent jobs in both the public and private sectors of the country. He said this during the 2022 budget debate on the floor of Parliament on Tuesday November 23, 2021.

“By 2016, when the immediate past administration was leaving office, growth had come to as low as 3.4%. Until COVID hit us, this government was growing the economy at an average of 7% on year on year. What that meant was that a lot of young people were getting jobs in the private sector. Additionally, even in the public sector, the government of Ghana under the leadership of President Akufo-Addo ensured that at least about 300,000 young Ghanaians were recruited in the public sector both for those who are paid by the Controller and Accountant General and from those from the Non-Subverted Agencies.

“This is very different from the days we were told that because we were down to the bone and had gone to the IMF, we couldn’t have recruited people into the public sector. But what is even exciting is that in this 2022 budget, this administration has made available GHS1 billion to support young men and women who want to embark on their own business known as the YouthStart initiative. And so, Mr. Speaker, the most important issue on the minds of Ghanaians is being answered by the 2020 budget,” he added.

Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta on November 17, 2021 presented the 2022 budget to Parliament. The budget, on the theme: “Building a sustainable entrepreneurial nation: fiscal consolidation and job creation”, emphasizes a post-COVID-19 economic recovery agenda, centered on youth entrepreneurship.

Accordingly, the YouthStart initiative was announced in the budget as the vehicle for supporting young entrepreneurs to gain access to capital, training, technical skills and mentoring to launch and operate their businesses. The initiative is expected to create some 1 million jobs and support young entrepreneurs to develop commercially viable businesses

Bagbin benefiting from a position he didn’t work for, says John Boadu

John Boadu, NPP

 John Boadu, NPP general secretary

The general secretary of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) says the Speaker of Parliament has been passing comments that sometimes are strictly unnecessary

John Boadu, the general secretary of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) says the Speaker of Parliament Alban Bagbin is only a beneficiary of a position he never worked for; the reason for some of his comments in recent times.

According to him, comments from the Speaker of Parliament indicating that he (Alban Bagbin) has the “powers to remove the president but the president cannot remove him” is unfortunate and serves no purpose.

“The Speaker as we all know is only benefitting from what he didn’t work for and as a result, he has been passing comments that sometimes are strictly unnecessary. For instance, he passed a comment that he has the capacity to impeach or remove the president and the president cannot remove you (Alban Bagbin) is totally unnecessary because he forgets that as a Speaker, he doesn’t even have a vote.”

“So, on what basis is he saying that or he’s going to supervise a distorted proposal for impeachment or what? I think it’s time he recognises that he’s benefitting from something he didn’t work for,” he stated.

Road tolls

On the suspension road tolls, Boadu stated that although Parliament has the sole responsibility to enact or suspend laws, the government also has the responsibility to institute administrative measures to curb any form of confusion and conflicts that will emerge as a result of the policies of the government.

“With the removal of road tolls, I think strictly and technically speaking, it is Parliament that enacts and suspend laws so nobody is lost to it. But in the interim as we wait for Parliament, particularly when the government has put in a proposal of a reduction or zero-rated tolls, for instance, it is necessary for the government to put in administrative measures in other not to create confusion. Because if the minister had not operationalised the non-collection of tolls at that time, there’ll have been a lot of confusion at our toll booths,” he said.

Cessation of road tolls

The Minister of Roads and Highways, Kwasi Amoako Attah directed the cessation of road tolls effective Thursday, 18 November 2021.

This followed an announcement by the government that abolished all tolls on public roads and bridges in the 2022 Budget Statement.

However, the Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin directed the Roads and Highways Minister to reverse the directive on the cessation of road tolls until Parliament provides appropriate legislation.

According to the Speaker, the minister lacks the legal mandate to issue such a directive and has suggested that the minister initiates legislation under a certificate of urgency to seek the approval of the House

Kumasi Theatre Will Be Ready By 2022 – Okraku Mantey

Deputy Minister for Tourism, Arts and Culture Mark Okraku-Mantey has hinted that the Kumasi theatre promised by the government will reach its full completion by the end of 2022.

He gave this information when he appeared on Happy FM’s ‘Showbiz Xtra’ hosted by Doctar Cann.××

“Government’s job for the creative industry is to create an enabling environment, give you the logistics that as individuals we cannot buy like a theatre. That is why the creative arts school in Kumasi right now has a theatre that is going to house close to 2000 people.

“We asked for it when I was with you four years ago and the President has taken steps that we must start. By next year, pictures of Kumasi’s theatre will be out. By end of next year, the theatre will be complete,” he told Doctar Cann.

Two years ago, during his third State of the Nation Address on February 21, 2019, the President of Ghana, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo announced that work on the construction of the performance theatre was underway in Kumasi.

“The Eastern Region Theatre has been completed, and work is currently ongoing towards the construction of the Kumasi theatre,” he said.

Last year, it was reported that the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture on behalf of government had signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with China Bengbu International Technology & Economic Cooperation Ltd for construction of a two thousand capacity theatre/conference Centre to be built in Kumasi, the Ashanti Regional capital.

In 2016, the New Patriotic Party (NPP) promised to build a large theatre for each region should they win power. In its manifesto, the NPP said, “Pursue the construction of modern large seating theatres in every regional capital except Accra, beginning with Takoradi, Tamale and Kumasi, as well as setting up an additional copyright office in Tamale to cater for the northern sector in addition to the existing ones in Accra and Kumasi.”

In 2019, Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia reiterated the New Patriotic Party (NPP’s) campaign promise to build large seating event theatres in all regions of the country.

-etvghana

E-Levy Is a Brilliant Move By Gov’t – Nana Akomea

STC Managing Director, Nana Akomea, has charged Ghanaians to embrace the e-levy policy of the government.

According to him, the e-levy is a “brilliant move by government”,  stressing “that’s the only way we can accurately account for economic activities in the country”.

The Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, reading the 2022 budget statement, said “government has abolished all tolls on public roads and bridges. This takes effect immediately the Budget is approved”.

Road tolls across the country, according to the Information Minister, amounts to 78 million cedis per annum.

Government has therefore introduced the e-levy for Parliamentary approval to support infrastructure development in the country.

Ken Ofori-Atta expouned;”After considerable deliberations, Government has decided to place a levy on all electronic transactions to widen the tax net and rope in the informal sector. This shall be known as the ‘Electronic Transaction Levy or E-Levy.’ Electronic transactions covering mobile money payments, bank transfers, merchant payments and inward remittances will be charged at an applicable rate of 1.75%, which shall be borne by the sender except inward remittances, which will be borne by the recipient”.

“Mr. Speaker, to safeguard efforts being made to enhance financial inclusion and protect the vulnerable, all transactions that add up to GH¢100 or less per day (which is approximately GH¢3000 per month) will be exempt from this levy. A portion of the proceeds from the E-Levy will be used to support entrepreneurship, youth employment, cyber security, digital and road infrastructure among others. 3y3 Baako, Ye nyinaa bey tua. Mr. Speaker, this new policy also comes into effect (once appropriation is passed) from 1st January, 2022. Government will work with all industry partners to ensure that their systems and payment platforms are configured to implement the policy.” 

Nana Akomea, speaking on Peace FM’s ‘Kokrokoo’ programme, was shocked at the amount of road tolls across the nation saying it’s meagre and in no way enough to revamp the road sector.

To him, the e-levy is the right alternative, disclosing electronic transactions in Ghana exceed bank transactions and generate GHc 960 billion of revenues.

“In fact, the transactions there is propably bigger all the transactions in the banks. That’s how big and mature the e-economy is.”

He supported the e-levy stating, “the nation needs revenue. We are a poor country. We don’t really have money and we complain everyday that we borrow too much. Today, the borrowing is about 78% of GDP. If you don’t raise revenue from your country, won’t you go and borrow”.

He, however, appealed to Parliament to have a relook at the 1.75% rate since there are complaints that it’s high.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/yltJaH_FRjk

Source: Ameyaw Adu Gyamfi/Peacefmonline.com/Ghana

E-levy: Minority to demand a proper vote on the subject – Haruna Iddrisu

Haruna Iddrisu Parliament20223123123

Haruna Iddrisu says his side will demand a proper vote on e-levy

He said the Minority will vote against the levy

He spoke on Joy News

Haruna Iddrisu, the Minority Leader, has indicated that the NDC Caucus in Parliament will demand a proper vote on the electronic levy [E-levy] proposal which was announced by the Finance Minister in the 2022 budget statement to Parliament.

According to him, his side is willing to vote against the revenue and some other revenue measures which were part of the budget.

The Tamale MP explained on Joy News’ ‘PM Express’ programme that aired on Monday, November 22, that, “We will reject it outright. There’s no way the Minority will stand with the government on the introduction of the e-levy. It’s not just opportunistic but an oppressive tax regime but also lazy. It will derail the progress we have made as a country on the digital economy. We are united and collectively, we will subject it to a vote and be counted standing in opposition.”

He noted that the government could have used other means to raise sustainable revenue without resorting to “lazy” tax measures.

He suggested that, one of the ways in which government can raise sustainable revenue is by cutting down on its “profligate” expenditure to raise revenue to build the country.

“I just think that it’s a no no for the country at this material time. You tax when you don’t discipline your opulent and profligate expenditure, that is not encouraging. You cannot be asking Ghanaians to tighten their belts whilst you lose your excessive and unexplained expenditure. Take the rental of presidential jets for instance, and you’d hear arguments that the president must bath in the air and you hear the amount of money that is spent, colossal, on travels,” Haruna Iddrisu added.

1.75% levy on electronic transactions

Ken Ofori-Atta introduced a new 1.75% levy on all electronic transactions such as Mobile money transactions, remittances and other electronic transactions.null

Fees and charges of government services have also been increased by 15%.

The Finance Minister explained, “It is becoming clear there exists an enormous potential to increase tax revenues by bringing into the tax bracket, transactions that could be best defined as being undertaken in the informal economy.

“As such government is charging an applicable rate of 1.75% on all electronic transactions covering mobile money payments, bank transfers, merchant payments, and inward remittances, which shall be borne by the sender except inward remittances, which will be borne by the recipient.

“To safeguard efforts being made to enhance financial inclusion and protect the vulnerable, all transactions that add up to GH¢100 or less per day, which is approximately ¢3000 per month, will be exempt from this levy,” Ofori-Atta revealed.

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

Youth unemployment will be the next pandemic to hit Africa if… – UN Peace Ambassador

The United Nations Peace Ambassador in Ghana, Bishop Samuel Ben Owusu, has expressed worry that youth unemployment is going to be another major catastrophe to hit the African continent if measures are not taken to address the menace.

The Senior Pastor at the Pottersville  Church and  also the Country Director  of International Association  of World Peace Advocates implored African governments to as a matter of urgency initiate measures to tackle the problem.

Addressing the press in Accra on Sunday after his trip to the UN General Assembly in New York, he said “I told the president that as we are fighting Covid 19 today, if we are not careful the next pandemic that will hit Africa will be youth unemployment if we do not have a very deliberate strategy  for the youth of Africa.

“Youth unemployment has contributed to a lot of crimes, this has contributed to social bully, social media insults and more especially hate speeches.”

Meanwhile, the Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia has also said the most serious threat to Ghana’s security is unemployment but the government of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo is fixing it.

He urged heads of state agencies to adopt a more efficient use of public resources in order to maximise the values of what has been entrusted to them.

Speaking at the closing ceremony of a retreat for board chairpersons, heads and deputy heads of government institutions at Nkwatia-Kwahu on Sunday, Dr. Bawumia told the heads of state institutions that state agencies have crucial roles to play if Ghana’s quest for less reliance on foreign support is to be achieved, hence the need for them to adopt innovative ways of transforming their respective agencies for the benefit of all Ghanaians.

“As Heads of Institution, we have a responsibility to constantly represent the Ghanaian people in a transparent and accountable manner,” Dr. Bawumia said.

“It is our responsibility to always maximize the value of what has been entrusted to us for the benefit of everybody.”

Ghana Beyond Aid, the Vice President noted, is a long-term project, which requires enormous resources from both the public and commercial sectors, in keeping with the goal of becoming less reliant on the charity of external donors.

Stressing on the significant roles the public sector, in particular, is expected to play towards driving Ghana closer to the vision of Ghana Beyond Aid, he urged the heads of institutions to “harness and use the country’s own resources to transform the economy effectively and efficiently for a rapid, but a sustainable growth path.”

“Ladies and gentlemen, to reform our specified entities in realizing a Ghana Beyond Aid, heads of institution, need to be more professional and transparent in their approach to public investments, as well as greater efficiency in the use of all public resources.”

“It necessitates a shift in thought and attitude so that we can begin to do things differently—smarter, more efficiently and effectively, and with a greater feeling of patriotism and civic responsibility.”

The Vice President also implored the heads of state institutions to uplift the technological capabilities of their respective organisations, in line with government’s digitization agenda, in order to boost their operations for the benefit of Ghanaians and also to contribute effectively towards the economic transformation of the country.

“To achieve the vision of Ghana Beyond Aid in the shortest possible time, we need to improve our technology capabilities,’ Dr. Bawumia said.

“According to Alexis Ohanian, you needed to open a factory to participate in the industrial revolution; this time around, you only need to open a laptop to participate in the internet revolution. There is a global paradigm shift, and we must not be left behind in this 4th Industrial Revolution,’ he added.

“This has been my primary inspiration for the digitization agenda; that is, to apply technological innovation to transform the ways and means by which we engage in our everyday production and exchange of economic activities. Whether at home, at our offices, farm and factory, whether it is person to person, person to business, business to business, or person and business to government, transparency and efficiency are our watchwords.”

“Our economic transformation can best be aided by digital transformation to overcome some of our development challenges.”

“For example, our use of drone technology in the delivery of medical supplies has helped us to overcome many challenges in the delivery of health care services to the people who live far in the rural areas and far from urban centres.”

“We save lives, provide more efficient management and distribution of critical medical supplies and gain more equitable access to the health care system.”

“When we apply technological innovations to the passport office, to DVLA, to the distribution of pre-mix fuel and fertilizers, we are improving on our production and service delivery capabilities to transform the economy.”

“That is why as heads of public institutions we take this opportunity to implore each one of you to join us in this transformation. Somewhere in your organization, somewhere in your production and delivery of services for a fee, technological innovation and digital transformation procedures can lift the performance of your organization, or help the organization overcome the obstacles we have faced for several years. It is all in innovations of processes, procedures and data management.”

The Vice President further called on heads of state institutions to repose the confidence President Akufo-Addo has placed in them by adding value to their respective institutions, which will ensure expansion, to create more opportunities for the youth.

“The most serious threat to the nation’s security is unemployment. The Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo government has made significant progress in resolving this issue. But there’s a lot more that must be done. The challenge is real and your role in tackling the unemployment quandary cannot be overemphasized.”

“As heads of institution, if you can expand your scope of operation for maximum returns and profitability, to be able to recruit the youth to tackle this heinous joblessness among the nation’s youth, we will have made significant progress in providing jobs for our youth.”

“You have been specially selected and appointed by the President who has a lot of confidence in your ability to turn around the fortunes of your institutions. I know you will meet this expectation and make the country proud.”

“Let us show the Ghanaian people how grateful we are for the opportunity to serve our country. Let us add value to the public sector.

The government has announced the creation of one million jobs for the youth of this country.

This was announced by the Finance Minister Ken Ofori Atta in the budget statement for the 2022 fiscal year on Wednesday November 17.

He said “The understanding of the youth employment challenge, as well as extensive consultations with stakeholders including youth associations and educational institutions across the country, have led to the development of the YouStart initiative
which proposes to use GH¢1 billion each year to catalyze an ecosystem to create 1 million jobs and in partnership with the Finance Institutions and Development Partners, raise another 2 Billion Cedis.

“In addition, our local Banks have agreed to a package that will result in increasing their SME portfolio up to GHC 5 billion over the next 3 years.

“This, Mr. Speaker results in an unprecedented historic 10 Bn Cedis commitment to the private sector and YouStart over the next 3 years.

“Mr. Speaker, YouStart is a vehicle for supporting young entrepreneurs to gain access to capital, training, technical skills and mentoring to enable them launch and
operate their own businesses.

“Mr. Speaker, the Ghana Enterprises Agency (GEA), the National Entrepreneurship and Innovation Programme (NEIP), and partner financial institutions, will serve as the implementing arms of YouStart.

“Entrepreneurs will be able to apply for support through a dedicated YouStart online portal.

“NEIP will also engage our Faith-Based Organisations as partners for the delivery of essential artisanal skills, business competitions, and feasibility studies and introduction to financing institutions with a commitment of up to 10% of GOG contribution to the YouStart Programme.”

By Laud Nartey|3news.com|Ghana

Minority won’t accept Agyapa deal in any form – Adongo

Bolgatanga Central Member of Parliament, Isaac Adongo served notice that the Minority in parliament will not accept the Agyapa deal in spite of any readjustment made to the the agreement

In his view, the transaction does not inure to the benefit of Ghanaians hence, the decision by the Minority to oppose it.

“Agyapa by whatever shape will not be tolerated by us” he said on Tuesday November 23 while contributing to a debate on the 2022 budget statement presented to Parliament by Finance Minister Ken Ofori Ata.

The Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta had earlier announced on Tuesday October 12 that the Agyapa Transaction would return to Parliament .

He told journalists that the “Attorney General has looked at the agreement” hence decision to the return the deal.

“The Attorney General has looked at it, we have had a few stakeholder meetings. I think the new board should be energized to review that and then go through the Parliamentary process.

“I am unequivocal that it is the way to go in terms of monetizing our minerals and finding a way to the level of debt that the country has,” he said after inaugurating the new board of the Ghana Minerals Income Investment Fund,” he said.

The agreement, which was approved by the Seventh Parliament on Friday, August 14, 2020, had to be withdrawn after a corruption-risk assessment was conducted by then Special Prosecutor, Martin Alamisi Amidu.

Resigning a few days afterwards, the Special Prosecutor accused President Akufo-Addo of interfering in his assessment on the deal under the Minerals Income Investment Fund Act, 2018 (Act 978).

“The reaction I received for daring to produce the Agyapa Royalties Limited Transactions anti-corruption report convinces me beyond any reasonable doubt that I was not intended to exercise any independence as the Special Prosecutor in the prevention, investigation, prosecution, and recovery of assets of corruption,” Mr Amidu said in his resignation letter to the president.

The Executive Secretary to the President, Nana Asante Bediatuo, replied the resignation letter and said a mere meeting between the president and a Special Prosecutor cannot be said to be interference.

“Your accusation of interference with your functions simply on account of the meeting the president held with you is perplexing. In exercise of what you considered to be your powers under Act 959, you had voluntarily proceeded to produce the Agyapa Report.

“The president had no hand in your work. Without prompting from any quarter within the Executive, you delivered a letter purporting to be a copy of you report to the president.

“The purpose of presenting a copy of the Agyapa report to the president is decipherable from paragraph 32 of your letter to the president in which you indicated that you hoped the report will be ‘used to improve current and future legislative and executive actions to make corruption and corruption-related offences very high risk enterprise in Ghana’.”

Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) also rejected the previous agreement when it was first introduced on the floor of parliament.

Ghana’s legislature approved the controversial agreement on  Friday, August 14 despite a protest from the Minority.

A group of CSOs led by Dr  Steve Manteaw noted that the government of Ghana and Parliament rushed in approving the agreement.

Speaking at a press conference on Tuesday, August 25, Dr Manteaw said: “What we are telling government is let’s slow down…let’s have more transparency, more consensus building around the approach before we go forward with the approach.

“I don’t know of any national emergency that warrants that we should rush the process to raise funds for development.”

On Tuesday, March 9, President Akufo-Addo hinted of sending the deal back to Parliament for re-consideration.

JIn his first state-of-the-nation address to that Parliament on Tuesday, March 9, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo said “in the course of this session of Parliament, Government will come back to engage the House on the steps it intends to take on the future of the Agyapa transaction

Approach 2022 budget with national agenda in mind – Kojo to Minority

Information Minister, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, has asked the Minority in Parliament to approach the debate on the 2022 budget statement from a nationalists perceptive.

He indicated that the budget contains policy proposals which seek to tackle the fundamental challenges facing the country hence, must be approved.

“We want to have a conversation with the national agenda ahead of us,” he said during a debate on the budget in Parliament on Tuesday November 23.

“This house should approve the economic proposals in the budget,” he added.

He further asked Parliament to approve the 2022 budget statement presented by the Minister of Finance.

He explained during a debate on the budget statement in Parliament on Tuesday November 23 that the document tackles the problems that the country is saddled with at the moment.

For instance, he said, the budget has special arrangement to address the issue of youth unemployment in the country.

His comments came after the Minority Spokesperson on Finance Casiel Ato Forson had said the 2022 budget statement is unacceptable.

Ato Forson also noted that the content of the budget is unrealistic.

Contributing to a debate on the budget in Parliament on Tuesday November 23, he said the New Patriotic Party (NPP) administration inherited a debt of GHS120 billion from the National Democratic Congress (NDC) but within four years, it has shot up to 341billion cedis  

“In fact, if you do the maths, within four and half years you have incurred GHS221billion, representing almost 65 per cent of our GDP,” the lawmaker for Ajumako-Enyan-Esiam said.

“This budget is the most inconsistent budget I have ever seen,” he said.

The Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta announced a new levy to be charged by government in 2022 on all electronic transactions to widen the tax net and rope in the informal sector.

“It is becoming clear there exists enormous potential to increase tax revenues by bringing into the tax bracket, transactions that could be best defined as being undertaken in the ‘informal economy’,” Mr Ofori-Atta observed on Wednesday, November 17 as he presented the 2022 budget statement in Parliament.

“After considerable deliberations, government has decided to place a levy on all electronic transactions to widen the tax net and rope in the informal sector. This shall be known as the ‘Electronic Transaction Levy or E-Levy’.”

He explained that the new E-levy will be a 1.75 per cent charge on all electronic transactions covering mobile money payments, bank transfers, merchant payments and inward remittances to be borne by the sender except inward remittances, which will be borne by the recipient.

This will, however, not affect transactions that add up to GH¢100 pr less per day.

“A portion of the proceeds from the E-Levy will be used to support entrepreneurship, youth employment, cyber security, digital and road infrastructure among others.”

This new levy is scheduled to start Saturday, January 1, 2022.

In 2020, total value of transactions was estimated to be over GH¢500 million with mobile money subscribers and users growing by 16 percent in 2019.

According to a Bank of Ghana report, Ghana saw an increase of over 120 percent in the value of digital transactions between February 2020 and February 2021 compared to 44 percent for the period February 2019 to February 2020 due to the convenience they offer.

This was definitely heightened by the advent of Covid-19 especially during the lockdown

MoMo tax is a killer, a monster – Adongo

The e-levy proposal in the 2022 budget statement is a monster and a killer, Bolgatanga central Lawmaker, Isaac Adongo, has said during a debate on the 2022 budget statement in Parliament on Tuesday November 23.

He said the proposal should not be approved because it will further impoverish the people.

“The e-levy is a monster, it is a killer,” he said while rejecting the proposal.

The Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta announced a new levy to be charged by government in 2022 on all electronic transactions to widen the tax net and rope in the informal sector.

“It is becoming clear there exists enormous potential to increase tax revenues by bringing into the tax bracket, transactions that could be best defined as being undertaken in the ‘informal economy’,” Mr Ofori-Atta observed on Wednesday, November 17 as he presented the 2022 budget statement in Parliament.

“After considerable deliberations, government has decided to place a levy on all electronic transactions to widen the tax net and rope in the informal sector. This shall be known as the ‘Electronic Transaction Levy or E-Levy’.”

He explained that the new E-levy will be a 1.75 per cent charge on all electronic transactions covering mobile money payments, bank transfers, merchant payments and inward remittances to be borne by the sender except inward remittances, which will be borne by the recipient.

This will, however, not affect transactions that add up to GH¢100 pr less per day.

“A portion of the proceeds from the E-Levy will be used to support entrepreneurship, youth employment, cyber security, digital and road infrastructure among others.”

This new levy is scheduled to start Saturday, January 1, 2022.

In 2020, total value of transactions was estimated to be over GH¢500 million with mobile money subscribers and users growing by 16 percent in 2019.

According to a Bank of Ghana report, Ghana saw an increase of over 120 percent in the value of digital transactions between February 2020 and February 2021 compared to 44 percent for the period February 2019 to February 2020 due to the convenience they offer.

This was definitely heightened by the advent of Covid-19 especially during the lockdown