Category: Politics

5.6% GDP growth in COVID times better than 3.4% under Mahama – Akufo-Addo

“It is encouraging for my government and party, the New Patriotic Party, to recall that the rate of growth of the economy, 5.6%, against the background of the exceptionally difficult circumstances of the COVID-era, is still considerably better than the 3.4% we inherited (in 2016) in calmer times from our predecessor administration.”

These were the words of the President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, when he delivered the keynote address at the National Labour Conference, held in Kwahu Nkwatia, in the Eastern Region, on Monday 28thFebruary 2022.

According to President Akufo-Addo, Ghanaians “should not forget that, prior to the outbreak of the pandemic, we witnessed average annual GDP growth rates of seven per cent (7%) in 2017, 2018, 2019 and part of 2020, when our economy was then, generally, acknowledged as one of the fastest-growing in the world.”

Speaking at the event, he indicated that the proactive decisions taken by the government to fight the pandemic, as well as revitalising and transforming the economy, with the one hundred-billion-cedi Ghana COVID-19 Alleviation and Revitalization of Enterprises Support (Ghana CARES) ‘Obaatampa’ Programme, to create jobs and prosperity for Ghanaians over a three-year period, have begun yielding results.

The first phase of the Ghana CARES programme, the phase of stabilisation, came to end in 2020.

The second phase, which started in 2021, aims at revitalising and transforming the economy between 2021 and 2023 and is focused on supporting commercial farming and attracting educated youth into agriculture, building Ghana’s light manufacturing sector, developing the engineering/machine tools and ICT/digital economy, developing Ghana’s housing and construction industry, reviewing and optimiSing the implementation of government flagships and key programmes, creating jobs for young people, and expanding opportunities for the vulnerable in society, including physically challenged persons.

“As a result of this programme and the policies being implemented by Government, the economy grew at a provisional 5.2% in the first three quarters of 2021. This growth is expected to be sustained in the medium term,” he said.

President Akufo-Addo continued, “The overall real GDP for the medium term is projected to grow at an average rate of 5.6%, and we remain committed to returning to the fiscal deficit target threshold, as enshrined in the Fiscal Responsibility Act, Act 982, from this year.”

Government, he reassured, will continue to demonstrate the ability, resolve and determination to change the trajectory of our economy in order to help us recover faster from the effects of COVID-19

Many people have accepted the E-levy in principle – Buaben Asamoa

The Director of Communications of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Yaw Buaben Asamoa, has said the E-levy proposal has been accepted by many people in principle.

What is is left is for the communicators of the party to deepen the explanation and conversation on the benefits of the proposal to Ghanains he said.

Speaking at a press conference in Kumasi on Friday February 18, he said the E-levy, if approved, will serve as a catalyst for private sector investment both local and foreign, into productive areas.

The former Member of Parliament for Adentan said ” You should continue to serve the NPP irrespective of the results of the [internal] elections. That brings me to the other thing we are talking about, e-levy.

“You will be surprised how many of NPP officers at local level and communicators are not talking enough about government policies especially the E-levy.

“I was in a couple of funerals yesterday in the region and I took time off to speak to lot of people. Opinion I am getting all the way from the chiefs I interacted with, opinion leaders from across the country and the local people is that the NPP in the community is not stepping out to project the NPP .

“The NPP in the communities must step out and boldly project the party and its achievements , it is so important. Many people have accepted the E-levy in principle but they still need to be spoken with and engagement must continue.

“That is where I pick these conversations up that we members of the NPP ought to be talking more about the E-levy at local level. So some of the information may not be very clear but the reason, we believe at national level, at government level is clear. It is an opportunity to transform local, indigenous capital into local production , creating high skills and then you will have high paying private sector jobs . Because the E-levy will act as a catalyst to drive private sector investments both local and foreign into the productive areas

E-levy: Buaben Asamoa shocked at attitude of NPP communicators

The Communications Director of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Yaw Buaben Asamoa has expressed shock at the low rate at which communicators of the party are projecting the achievements of the government in their communities.

Mr Buaben Asamoa said the party’s communicators are not boldly speaking about the good works done by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and also the proposed policies including the E-levy, in their communities.

He said at a press conference in Kumasi on Friday February 18 that he is picking up signals that the party’s commentators and other executives aren’t doing enough to explain the policies to the chiefs and people within the communities.

The former Member of Parliament for Adentan said ” You should continue to serve the NPP irrespective of the results of the [internal] elections. That brings me to the other thing we are talking about, e-levy.

“You will be surprised how many of NPP officers at local level and communicators are not talking enough about government policies especially the E-levy.

“I was in a couple of funerals yesterday in the region and I took time off to speak to lot of people. Opinion I am getting all the way from the chiefs I interacted with, opinion leaders from across the country and the local people is that the NPP in the community is not stepping out to project the NPP .

“The NPP in the communities must step out and boldly project the party and its achievements , it is so important. Many people have accepted the E-levy in principle but they still need to be spoken with and engagement must continue.

“That is where I pick these conversations up that we members of the NPP ought to be talking more about the E-levy at local level. So some of the information may not be very clear but the reason, we believe at national level, at government level is clear.

“It is an opportunity to transform local, indigenous capital into local production, creating high skills and then you will have high paying private sector jobs . Because the E-levy will act as a catalyst to drive private sector investments both local and foreign into the productive areas

A nation preparing for a bigger presidential jet cannot be in difficulty – Asiedu Nketia

Asiedu Nketia X Dumsor

Government still struggling to pass E-levy bill

NDC scribe accuses government of unaccounted for profligacy

Asiedu Nketia says government must account for previous expenditures


Johnson Asiedu Nketia, General Secretary of the National Democratic Congress has restated the opposition of the party towards the Electronic Transactions Bill (E-levy).

According to the NDC scribe, the government has wasted enough funds in the last few years and has doggedly refused to account for them even in a democracy, hence they cannot be trusted with more money.

Asiedu Nketia specifically cited the issue of hiring luxurious private jets for presidential travels despite Ghana having a functional presidential jet.

He further lamented how the government over the last year refused several Parliamentary invitations to account for the travels citing security implications.null

“All the monies they started collecting, they said they are running a democratic system. In which democracy would you call a Minister to come and account for some government expenditure and he will face you and say that we are not going to account to anybody?” Asiedu Nketia questioned.

According to him, the government was telling Ghanaians by their refusal to account for the travels, that: “when it comes to the comfort and security of the President, monies don’t matter… and we are not going to tell you anything and we are even preparing to buy a bigger jet.

“If you are preparing to buy a bigger jet, then you should know that you cannot convince anybody that the nation is in any difficulty,” he stated in a Joy News interview on January 31, 2022.

The issue of Akufo-Addo’s travels via chartered private jets dominated news headlines in 2021 as North Tongu MP, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa repeatedly mounted ‘surveillance’ on Akufo-Addo’s mode of travel.

He accused the government of profligacy because there was a functional presidential jet yet the presidency opted for expensive flights. His attempts to summon relevant ministers to speak on the cost implications yielded no results as the topic was classified as ‘security information.

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

Why speak for NDC when I’ve no locus? – Koku Anyidoho

Mr. Koku Anyidoho has assigned reasons for distancing himself from the activities of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), a party he once served as the former Deputy General Secretary.

According to Mr. Anyidoho, there is a frosty relationship between him and the current General Secretary of the NDC, Johnson Asiedu Nketia.

He said he took a back seat from all activities of the party because Mr. Johnson Asiedu Nketia once told him in the face that he (Koku) had no locus in the party.

Mr. Anyidoho assigned this reason for distancing himself from all activities of the NDC in an interview with Kwame Obeng Mensah, host of Ghana Yensom morning show on Accra 100.5 FM on Tuesday, January 25, 2022.

He said: “Mr. Johnson Asiedu Nketia in the middle of a media interview at the Police Criminal Investigations Department head office in Accra at the time of the arrest of the National Chairman of the NDC, Samuel Ofosu Ampofo over the supposed treasonable tape walked to the media personnel and told them to shun my company because I have no locus in the party after losing my position as deputy General Secretary.”

Mr. Anyidoho said that act by Mr. Asiedu Nketia was disrespectful to him.

“He told the reporters to disregard me because I have no locus indicating that I am nobody in the party,” he stressed.

He added that he was shocked when the man, who was once his boss at the party’s headquarters did that.

Mr. Anyidoho explained that this is “the reason I’ve distanced myself from the party’s activities and now focusing on building the Atta Mills Institute, showcasing the legacies of the late President John Evans Atta-Mills”.

“Who am I to speak for a party of which I have no locus”? he quizzed.

He explained that Mr. Asiedu Nketia seems not to have forgiven him for taking the bold decision to contest him in the last national executive election.

Explaining why he contested his former boss, Mr. Anyidoho said: ‘Mr. Asiedu-Nketia had an earlier arrangement with me saying he was not interested in contesting for the position and that he had given me his blessings.

For some reason, he made a U-turn that he was still interested in the position so I took the decision to go all out not to disappoint my supporters in the party

Classfmonline.com

NDC MPs’ve already passed e-levy so kicking against it means they didn’t know what they were doing’

Majority leader Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu has wondered why some Minority MPs are still against the e-levy when, according to him, they took part in its approval along with the 2022 budget.

At a capacity-building workshop organised for the Majority Caucus in Parliament and some Ministers of State on Saturday, 22 January 2022, Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu said “it is a difficulty for me when people are kicking against the e-levy when you know that in the adoption of the motion to approve the budget, we approved of that. So, it means that the first step has already been surmounted.”

“Then the e-levy has been factored into the various estimates that we have approved for all the sectors”, he explained.

“That is the second thing we did”, he said, adding: “The third step is: when we encapsulated everything into the Appropriation Bill and passed the Bill unanimously”.

“What does it mean? You have approved of the e-levy.”

“So, when we have done all these three and turn around and say that you [NDC MPs] are opposed to the Bill, then, perhaps, you didn’t know what you were doing,” he said.

Source: classfmonline.com

Cut expenditure and we won’t need e-levy – Ablakwa to gov’t

The Member of Parliament for North Tongu, Mr Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, has advised the government to cut down on expenditure in certain areas as contained in the 2022 budget.

Once the government does that, there will be no need to reintroduce the electronic levy when parliament resumes in January 2022, Mr Ablakwa said.

According to the opposition MP, the Akufo-Addo administration is expecting to raise some GHS6.9billion from the e-levy but Mr Ablakwa said there are outrageous expenditure items that far exceed this revenue target and which can be shelved so that there will be absolutely no need for the government to “recycle the obnoxious e-levy and re-present it in 2022.”

Mr Ablwaka has identified some of these expenditures that, in his view, must be reduced.

First, he wants the government to cut down on the allocation of GHS3,130,633,000 to the Office of Government Machinery (OGM).

This provision, he said, is almost half of what the e-levy is expected to rake in.

In a statement, the lawmaker said: “The OGM has been an unbridled tax guzzler under this regime. Adding over GHS450million to last year’s allocation in a period of pandemic recovery and austerity is extremely inconsiderate. If the allocation to the Health Ministry during a pandemic could be slashed by some GHS2billion compared with 2021 figures, there can be no justification for the self-serving lion share allocation to the OGM. All the suffering Ghanaian people ask, is for President Akufo-Addo to remember he once promised to protect the public purse and so needs to be faithful to Ghana’s Presidential Jet as his predecessors did, and desist from profligate and sybaritic charters of ultra-luxury US14,000.00 an hour executive jets. And if the President will lead by example as he calls on us all to burden share, the OGM certainly does not need this colossal GHS3.1billion allocation which consumes about half of all E-Levy expected revenues.”

Mr Ablakwa further said approvals granted on page 291, Appendix 10C of the budget document for the current Accra International Conference Centre to be razed down for the construction of a new edifice at 116 million Euros “in an opaque non-competitive arrangement must be halted.”

He also noted that prestige and sentimental projects such as approvals to construct a “Standard Stadium” each in Abuakwa South and Sunyani and the construction of regional conference centres and theatres for creative arts contained on page 293 of the Budget should be cancelled because again they do not reflect the times.

Under the current economic circumstances, Mr Ablakwa quizzed if the nation still needs five new university campuses for STEM.

“Can we not scale down to two or one and adopt an incrementalist approach when the economic horizon improves? Don’t forget double-track still plagues the education sector due to an acute lack of facilities,” he said.

Mr Ablakwa further expressed surprise that an austerity budget will contain approvals for fanciful projects such as Boankra Green Technology City and Tourism Village.https://googleads.g.doubleclick.net/pagead/ads?client=ca-pub-4549410436183225&output=html&h=250&slotname=4705176708&adk=1921530005&adf=387235050&pi=t.ma~as.4705176708&w=300&lmt=1640265143&psa=1&format=300×250&url=https%3A%2F%2Fmobile.classfmonline.com%2Fnews%2Fpolitics%2FCut-expenditure-and-we-won-t-need-e-levy-Ablakwa-to-gov-t-29524&flash=0&wgl=1&dt=1640265142493&bpp=4&bdt=2660&idt=646&shv=r20211207&mjsv=m202112060101&ptt=9&saldr=aa&abxe=1&cookie=ID%3Debfcdc171436b141-22b4105ed9ce009a%3AT%3D1640261505%3ART%3D1640261505%3AS%3DALNI_Mau1ws-2TsqoVyhO3IclE3WBHoCnA&prev_fmts=0x0%2C300x250%2C300x250%2C300x250&nras=1&correlator=6732967588679&frm=20&pv=1&ga_vid=1593532869.1640261503&ga_sid=1640265143&ga_hid=1186141050&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=56&ady=3831&biw=412&bih=749&scr_x=0&scr_y=253&eid=31063825%2C31060475&oid=2&pvsid=1574781945904320&pem=12&tmod=215&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=5&uci=a!5&btvi=3&fsb=1&xpc=Vub7iyNxZs&p=https%3A//mobile.classfmonline.com&dtd=670

He also noted that the intention to establish new diplomatic missions in Trinidad and Tobago and Mexico could wait for better times in the future.

He suggested that in any case, Ghana can learn from Mexico, Columbia, Chile and Peru who all share one diplomatic mission in Accra as members of the Pacific Alliance. “It is time to rethink the old dinosaur framework for establishing physical diplomatic missions in favour of a more modern smart diplomatic presence,” he added.

The North Tongu legislator continued that considering that there is no allocation in the 2022 budget for constructing the Keta Port, which cannot be argued against in a period of austerity, the logical consequence is to demand the termination of the appointment of CEO of a non-existing port. In his view, that office remains “an embarrassing drain of scarce taxpayer cedis.”

The statement also said: “The staff strength at the Office of Government Machinery is projected to increase again to 2,111 from 1,597 in 2021. (See page 273 of 2022 Budget). This is curious considering that Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta had only recently told the Ghanaian youth not to put their hopes in public sector jobs as the public sector is bloated. It seems to me that caution doesn’t apply to party apparatchiks who will be engaged in 2022 to occupy the 514 spaces specially created at the OGM for them. Such policy duplicity does not help the credibility of the government and it doesn’t help the government’s expenditure control either.

“I am particularly frightened by the quantum leap in the Contingency Vote from an allocation of GHS186,829,891 in 2021 to a staggering GHS993,007,000 in 2022. (Almost a billion Cedis). That is a jaw-dropping addition of 806,177,109 in just a year. This represents an inconceivable 431.5% increase.

The irony is that despite all the propaganda about E-Levy serving as the main funding source for YouStart – which is the government’s flagship for job creation, Appendix 4C at page 252 reveals that the government allocated only GHS385,088,000 as it expects donor partners to come up with a greater share of GHS614,912,000 to achieve its GHS1billion target. So, this is a government that couldn’t dedicate GHS1billion for its grand job creation agenda as it depends on the benevolence of foreigners to help our youth find jobs, and yet it could allocate a similar amount of a billion for its use as contingency.”

Mr Ablakwa said Parliament can also make a contribution to the expenditure downsizing by reducing the scope and quantity of MPs constituency offices it intends to construct in all 275 constituencies over the next three years.

He suggested that “a sluggish 5- to 6-year arrangement with a reduced scope of works in instalments beginning from the farthest/hardest-to-reach constituencies, preferably in the northern and Oti regions should be more appropriate. That will be a worthy contribution of the legislature towards frugality in a period of austerity and harsh economic conditions.” He stated that if the nation gets its priorities right by taking a hard and sincere look at public expenditure and eliminates blatant corruption, Ghana would not need an “obnoxious, divisive and regressive e-levy

Okudzeto Ablakwa ‘exposes’ govt’s plan to recruit 514 NPP members

New Okudzeto Ablakwa .jpeg

Govt announces YouStart initiative to encourage entrepreneurshiphttps

Govt touts e-levy, says revenue will be used to solve unemployment

Minority opposes e-levy


North Tongu Member of Parliament(MP), Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, has claimed that the government intends to engage the services of New Patriotic Party members in 2022 despite the finance minister’s comment that the government payroll is full.

Speaking at a graduation ceremony at the University of Professional Studies, Accra (UPSA), finance minister Ken Ofori-Atta urged graduates to venture into entrepreneurship as the government could not afford to put them on its wage bill anymore.

“That payroll is full because we are spending some 60% of our revenue on remunerating some 650,000 people. That is not sustainable,” he disclosed.

The minister further indicated to the graduating students that, “you have the skills set to be able to do what you have to do. Our responsibility as a government is to create the environment and the macro stability, currency stability and ensure that you have access to the relevant skills and financing”.

But in an opinion titled “Beyond The Obnoxious E-Levy, A Hard And Frank Look At Public Expenditure”, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa mentioned that the government was planning to clandestinely recruit its party apparatchiks under the Office of Government Machinery (OGM).null

“The staff strength at the Office of Government Machinery is projected to increase again to 2,111 from 1,597 in 2021. (See page 273 of 2022 Budget). This is curious considering that Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta had only recently told the Ghanaian youth not to put their hopes in public sector jobs as the public sector is bloated. It seems to me that caution doesn’t apply to party apparatchiks who will be engaged in 2022 to occupy the 514 spaces specially created at the OGM for them. Such policy duplicity does not help the credibility of government and it doesn’t help government’s expenditure control either”, he chastised.

In 2017, Yaw Osafo-Maafo, who is now a Senior Presidential Advisor, also said the Ghanaian economy as it is cannot support new employment opportunities in the public sector as it is choked.

Giving hints of a possible downsizing in the public sector under the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Programme, he said the government might consider laying off some workers in the public sector, according to online news portal graphic.com.gh.

Below is Okudzeto Ablakwa’s full statement:

BEYOND THE OBNOXIOUS E-LEVY, A HARD AND FRANK LOOK AT PUBLIC EXPENDITURE

As the dust settles on what appears to be a moribund E-Levy after the hugely unpopular tax policy crash-landed in Parliament on Monday, we must begin to pay considerable attention to government’s expenditure agenda as contained in the 2022 Budget.

The Akufo-Addo administration was expecting to raise some GHS6.9billion from the E-Levy. Even though many analysts say it was an ambitious projection that couldn’t have been met, it is not difficult to identify outrageous expenditure items that far exceed this revenue target and which can be shelved so that there will be absolutely no need for government to recycle the obnoxious E-Levy and re-present it in 2022.
https://c473d9c86affbdecb9b9f0765e40afe6.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.html

Respectfully, my well considered suggestions on expenditure items that need to be cut are as follows:

1) The elephantine allocation of GHS3,130,633,000 to the Office of Government Machinery. This provision is almost half of the entire E-Levy projected collections. The OGM has been an unbridled tax guzzler under this regime. Adding over GHS450million to last year’s allocation in a period of pandemic recovery and austerity is extremely inconsiderate.

If allocation to the Health Ministry during a pandemic could be slashed by some GHS2billion compared with 2021 figures, there can be no justification for the self-serving lion share allocation to the OGM. All the suffering Ghanaian people ask, is for President Akufo-Addo to remember he once promised to protect the public purse and so needs to be faithful to Ghana’s Presidential Jet as his predecessors did, and desist from profligate and sybaritic charters of ultra-luxury US14,000.00 an hour executive jets. And if the President will lead by example as he calls on us all to burden share, the OGM certainly does not need this colossal GHS3.1billion allocation which consumes about half of all E-Levy expected revenues.

2) Approvals granted at page 291, Appendix 10C of the Budget document for the current Accra International Conference Centre to be razed down for the construction of a new edifice at a fantastic 116million Euros in an opaque non-competitive arrangement must be halted. Government claims we are in a period of austerity and yet its expenditure patterns are not consistent with their public pronouncements.

3) Prestige and sentimental projects such as approvals to construct a “Standard Stadium” each in Abuakwa South and Sunyani and then the construction of regional conference centres and theatres for creative arts contained at page 293 of the Budget, again do not reflect the times.

4) We need to have an objective discussion if considering current economic circumstances, we still need FIVE new university campuses for STEM? Can we not scale down to two or one and adopt an incrementalist approach when the economic horizon improves? Don’t forget double-track still plagues the education sector due to an acute lack of facilities.

5) It’s most surprising that an austerity Budget will contain approvals for fanciful projects such as: “Boankra Green Technology City and Tourism Village.” It appears the grotesque wish list has no end in sight.
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6) As I made clear during the parliamentary debate on the estimates for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, the intention to establish new diplomatic missions in Trinidad and Tobago and Mexico could wait for better times in the future. In any case, we can learn from Mexico, Columbia, Chile and Peru who all share one diplomatic mission in Accra as members of the Pacific Alliance. It is time to rethink the old dinosaur framework for establishing physical diplomatic missions in favour of a more modern smart diplomatic presence.

7) Considering that there’s no allocation in the 2022 Budget for constructing the Keta Port, which cannot be argued against in a period of austerity, the logical consequence is to demand the termination of the ridiculous appointment of CEO of a non-existing port. That office remains an embarrassing drain of scarce taxpayer Cedis.

8)The staff strength at the Office of Government Machinery is projected to increase again to 2,111 from 1,597 in 2021. (See page 273 of 2022 Budget). This is curious considering that Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta had only recently told the Ghanaian youth not to put their hopes in public sector jobs as the public sector is bloated. It seems to me that caution doesn’t apply to party apparatchiks who will be engaged in 2022 to occupy the 514 spaces specially created at the OGM for them. Such policy duplicity does not help the credibility of government and it doesn’t help government’s expenditure control either.

9) I am particularly frightened by the quantum leap in the Contingency Vote from an allocation of GHS186,829,891 in 2021 to a staggering GHS993,007,000 in 2022. (Almost a billion Cedis). That is a jaw-dropping addition of 806,177,109 in just a year. This represents an inconceivable 431.5% increase.

The irony is that despite all the propaganda about E-Levy serving as the main funding source for YouStart – which is government’s flagship for job creation, Appendix 4C at page 252 reveals that government allocated only GHS385,088,000 as it expects Donor Partners to come up with a greater share of GHS614,912,000 to achieve its GHS1billion target. So this is a government that couldn’t dedicate GHS1billion for its grand job creation agenda as it depends on the benevolence of foreigners to help our youth find jobs, and yet it could allocate a similar amount of a billion for its use as contingency.

10) Finally, it is my considered view that Parliament can also make a contribution to the expenditure downsizing I advocate by reducing the scope and quantity of MPs constituency offices it intends to construct in all 275 constituencies over the next three years. Perhaps a sluggish 5-6 year arrangement with a reduced scope of works in installments beginning from the most far/hard to reach constituencies, preferably in the northern and Oti regions should be more appropriate. That will be a worthy contribution of the legislature towards frugality in a period of austerity and harsh economic conditions.

Clearly, if we get our priorities right by taking a hard and sincere look at public expenditure and eliminating blatant corruption, Ghana which according to World Bank data already has a high tax to GDP ratio of 12.2% compared with an average of 11.7% among our lower middle-income peers, we obviously wouldn’t need an obnoxious, divisive and regressive E-Levy.
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Special greetings of the season.

May we use the many blessings God has endowed us with to transform our dear nation and bring happiness and empowerment to all.

https://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fokudzetoablakwa%2Fposts%2F4611260945622453&show_text=true&width=500

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

No Gov’t Will Reduce Fuel Prices; Don’t Trust Politicians – Allotey Jacobs Cautions Ghanaians

Bernard Allotey Jacobs

Social Commentator, Bernard Allotey Jacobs, says Ghanaians should stop having hope in any government that will promise to come and reduce fuel prices.

Allotey Jacobs noted that all previous and successive governments act the same when it comes to the issue of fuel prices.

He was commenting on the recent brouhaha in Parliament resulting in a scuffle between the Members of Parliament.

On Monday, the MPs traded blows in an attempt to prevent one another from advancing their moves in the House.

Allotey Jacobs, discussing the incident during Peace FM’s Kokrokoo”, specifically touched on the fuel prices that have got many Ghanaians, particularly vehicle drivers, to complain bitterly about the Akufo-Addo government.

Some commercial vehicle drivers, locally called ‘trotro drivers’, recently embarked on a nationwide strike in protest against the increment in fuel prices.

The strike was ended on a notice that their Union leaders had had a meeting with the Presidency to intervene in their situation.

Allotey Jacobs has cautioned Ghanaians not to trust the politician, stressing “. . don’t believe the politician. Anything the politician will do to convince the masses to tow their line, so they march forward for them to come into power, they will do it”.

Speaking to host Kwami Sefa Kayi, Allotey Jacobs warned; ”This is what Ghanaians should bear in mind that, from one regime to another, nobody will come and tell you that I will reduce the price. So, let us look at it holistically that what is our flagship or what is our policy that we use to help our tax regime for every successive government to get adequate revenue to do good works. If you are a patriot, this is what you should think about, not to cut your colleague with a blade.”

https://www.youtube.com/embed/qO2_z4FAPmE

Source: Ameyaw Adu Gyamfi/Peacefmonline.com/Ghana

Don’t Believe Minority In Parliament; They’re Just Thirsty For Power – Allotey Jacobs

Former NDC Central Regional Chairman, Bernard Allotey Jacobs has cautioned Ghanaians against the guiles of the Minority in Parliament as he claims the Minority don’t have the interest of the citizenry at heart.

According to him, the Minority portray themselves as fighting for the ordinary Ghanaian regarding their position on the e-levy but what they are doing, in actual fact, is fighting for the comeback of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) into government.

Allotey Jacobs was commenting on the brawl on Monday night involving some Members of Parliament.

Proceedings in the House turned violent as the MPs, from the Minority and Majority sides, wrestled with one another when the First Deputy Speaker, Joseph Osei-Owusu, affectionately called Joe Wise, decided to hand over to the Second Deputy Speaker in order to pave way for him to participate in the voting on the e-levy.

The Minority has been against the e-levy since the Finance Minister announced it on the floor during his presentation of the 2022 budget.

Reacting to the matter, Allotey Jacobs asked Ghanaians not to be ”fooled” by the Minority saying ”the Minority position in Parliament, on the e-levy, they won’t accept it and that they are protecting the interest of Ghanaians is deception. Don’t believe them. It is never true.”

He continued; ”I tell you don’t believe the politician. Anything the politician will do to convince the masses to toll their line, so they march forward for them to come into power, they will do it.”

To him, the Minority are feigning to defend Ghanaians on the e-levy so they will win them to vote the NDC into power, come 2024.

”The Minority is thirsty for power…In politics, you take advantage of your enemies disadvantage. So, the Minority in Parliament is taking that advantage to drive home with their propaganda for them to win the sympathy of Ghanaians, irrespective of whatever happens. Because, critically, when you look at what’s happening, they are holding the NPP government to ransom”, he stated.

Allotey Jacobs made these submissions on Peace FM’s ”Kokrokoo” on Wednesday.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/qO2_z4FAPmE

Source: Ameyaw Adu Gyamfi/Peacefmonline.com/Ghana

Akufo-Addo must know that most Ghanaians are against E-levy – Kwakye Ofosu

A former Deputy Minister of Information, Felix Kwakye Ofosu, has told President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, that most Ghanaians are against the E-levy, not members of the main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC).

In a tweet, Mr Kwakye Ofosu said “The day the Akufo-Addo/Bawumia government wakes up to the reality that this E-Levy battle is not just against NDC MPs, but the people of Ghana including some of their own supporters, sanity would prevail.”

THE DAY THE AKUFO-ADDO/BAWUMIA GOVERNMENT WAKES UP TO THE REALITY THAT THIS E-LEVY BATTLE IS NOT JUST AGAINST NDC MPS,BUT THE PEOPLE OF GHANA INCLUDING SOME OF THEIR OWN SUPPORTERS,SANITY WOULD PREVAIL.— Felix Kwakye Ofosu (@FelixKwakyeOfo1) December 21, 2021

Meanwhile, the Majority Leader in Parliament, Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu has said the adjournment of the sitting on the e-levy will afford the Majority and government more time to do further consultations on the proposal.

First Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Joseph Osei Owusu announced on Tuesday December 21 that Parliament has adjourned sitting sine die.

Addressing the press after the adjournment, Majority Leader Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu said “I think that this will also allow us sometime to have further consultations among ourselves, it is the reason why the First Deputy Speaker had to adjourn the House sine die. As you know, the budget has been passed , there was an attempt to portray that that there is no budget, there is a budget , the appropriations bill passed.”

JOE WISE’S ATTEMPT TO VOTE WAS AN UNSPEAKABLE ABBERATION. IT WAS COMICAL,BRAZENLY UNLAWFUL AND MADE NO SENSE.THE DIVISION WAS CALLED TO VALIDATE THE VOICE VOTE WHICH HE DIDN’T PARTICIPATE IN. HOW COULD HE BE PART OF THE VALIDATION OF A VOTE HE PLAYED NO PART IN?— Felix Kwakye Ofosu (@FelixKwakyeOfo1) December 21, 2021

He added “I think that this will also allow us sometime to have further consultations among ourselves ,it is the reason why the First Deputy Speaker had to adjourn the House sine die . As you know, the budget has been passed , there was an attempt to portray that that there is no budget, there is a budget , the appropriations bill passed.”

On Monday December 20 Members of Ghana’s Parliament could not hold their emotions as some exchanged brawls in the House just before the final vote on the controversial Electronic Transfer Levy Bill, also known as e-levy.

The sit-in Speaker, Joseph Osei-Owusu, had announced that a division would be followed to approve the Bill, presented under a certificate of urgency, and he was going to vote as well in his capacity as a Member of Parliament.

That appeared to have provoked the National Democratic Congress (NDC) members, who questioned his decision to vote after presiding over the night’s proceedings.

They moved to the front of the dais, issuing threats at the Bekwai MP.

This got the Majority MPs to also start agitations and immediately Mr Osei-Owusu handed the presiding role to the Second Deputy Speaker, Andrew Amoako Asiamah, the fight broke out

Violence has never been a legitimate tool – Oppong Nkrumah to Minority

Information Minister Kojo Oppong Nkrumah has criticized the Minority over the disturbances that occurred in Parliament on Monday regrading the e-levy proposal.

He described the chaotic scenes in Parliament on Monday December 20 as unacceptable and uncalled for.

Speaking on the mid day news on TV3 Tuesday December 21, the Ofoase Ayirebi lawmaker said “The first thing we need to is that, we need to deal with the growing conduct of some Members of Parliament that whenever they do not agree with with something, whether it is the Speaker’s rule or a position of the executive or a position of Member of parliament, they resort to violence and physical attacks in the chamber.

“That is the reason for which we have had to adjourn today because today, Mr Speaker is still not in the House, we are not able to proceed with business without rancor because what it would mean is that the First Deputy Speaker or the Second Deputy Speaker would have to take the Chair. Under the circumstances if a matter comes up to a vote and he chooses to exercise his casting votes which he is entitled to, our colleagues on the other side will resort to violence .

“Everybody now sees it clearly, so what next is that the Republic of Ghana needs to address this situation where some Members of Parliament resort to violence as a way of expressing their displeasure. It is totally unacceptable, totally uncalled for. The Marshals department under the leadership the Speaker has to have a handle of this because it doesn’t matter that today, it is e-levy, tomorrow it could be anything and when some particular member of Parliament is not happy with it then there will be a resort to violence and fisticuffs, that is what next to be dealt with.”

Regarding the levy, he revealed that some changes have been made to the proposal following consultations.

“If you read paragraph 361 of the budget statements the executive initially proposed inward remittances, bank transfers, merchant payments, Mobile money to be charged at 1.75 per cent in addition to the 2 per cent that already the telcos are charging. After all the consultations and memos and engagements, remittances had been taken out, bank transfer of business had been taken out , merchant payment had been taken out, .025 of the money moneys operators charges had been taken out , so now it is no longer going to be a cumulative, about 3.75, it has now come to 3.5.

“That is evident that there has been engagement, there has been a listening. If all of that has taken place at the committee and you still think you are opposed to it and the vote has taken place and you have lost that vote you don’t come onto the floor and resort to physical violence to prevent the business of the Houses from going on and I think we must be clear on that. Let us not mixed that with consult more, violence has never been a legitimate tool,” he said.

The Majority Leader in Parliament, Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu also chastised the Minority for the fight that occurred in the House.

Addressing a press conference on Tuesday December 21, he said lawmakers must debate with their brain-power, not brawl.

“Why the injection of violence with the Minority moving from their place to come and physically prevent the deputy speaker from assuming the chair. Why? In Parliament we debate issues with brain power not brawl , with brain power not brawl .

“So if you disagree with me , I was telling the Minority Leader yesterday , whenever the Minority Leader is speaking, we always want to listen to him. Whenever any member from the Majority we want to listen. Where form that ?,” he quizzed.

On Monday December 20 Members of Ghana’s Parliament could not hold their emotions as some exchanged brawls in the House just before the final vote on the controversial Electronic Transfer Levy Bill, also known as e-levy.

The sit-in Speaker, Joseph Osei-Owusu, had announced that a division would be followed to approve the Bill, presented under a certificate of urgency, and he was going to vote as well in his capacity as a Member of Parliament.

That appeared to have provoked the National Democratic Congress (NDC) members, who questioned his decision to vote after presiding over the night’s proceedings.

They moved to the front of the dais, issuing threats at the Bekwai MP.

This got the Majority MPs to also start agitations and immediately Mr Osei-Owusu handed the presiding role to the Second Deputy Speaker, Andrew Amoako Asiamah, the fight broke out

Why NPP failed to address proposals at delegates conference – Buaben Asamoa explains

Communications Director of the New Patriotic Party, Buaben Asamoa has explained the reason the much anticipated proposals tabled by individuals and groups for amendment failed to see the light of day at the just ended national delegates conference.

According to Mr Buaben Asamoa, the proposals, initially numbering 128 were whittled down by the National Executive committee to 38, which included 91 motions.
He noted that the highest decision body could not review the proposals because they were too many for the 8000 delegates present.

The Communications Director posited that the action made article 19 of the NPP’s constitution not fit for purpose anymore.

Under Article 19, constitutional amendments must be approved by a two-thirds vote at the National Delegates Conference.

“National Executive Committee thought that it will be very difficult to propose 91 individual motions before an 8000 member conference in order to debate each one to a conclusion and either adopt or reject in order to effect a constitutional change.”

“We have brought article 19 into sharp focus; we are now going to refine the process for amending the constitution. Because we found out at the moment that, it is unworthy. The numbers are incapable of dealing with the amendment as effectively as they ought to be dealt with,” Mr Buaben Asamoa furthered in an interview with 3FM.

The party’s hierarchy of decision comprises of National Delegates Conference, National Council, National Executive Committee and the Steering Committee.

He however noted that the National Council would have to review the Article 19 components in order to resubmit to the National Delegates Conference.

The New Patriotic Party did not conclude on proposed amendments, which had been tabled as the main agenda for the annual Conference over the weekend.

Key among the proposals was a proposal to elect a presidential candidate two years before a major election.

Currently, the Party elects its Presidential candidate two years before General Elections if the Party is in opposition and a year when it is in power.

There are concerns by some within the party that the current arrangement makes it difficult for a newly elected candidate to mend bridges among aspirants and other party members

We’re better than NDC even under coronavirus – Bawumia

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Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia has said the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) has an enviable economic track record despite the ravaging effect of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Addressing teeming members of the NPP at the party’s National Delegates Conference in Kumasi on Sunday, December 19, the Vice President reiterated that COVID-19 has affected the cost of living virtually everywhere in the world and Ghana is not an exception.

“It is important to remind ourselves that notwithstanding the global adverse impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on economic growth, debt levels and deficits at the macro-economic level. Notwithstanding all of these challenges inflation, today stands at 12. 2% which is lower than what it is in 2016 which was 15.4%.

“Average bank lending today at 21% is much better than what they were in 2016 at 32%. According to the Bank of Ghana, the average exchange rate depreciation over the last 4-years of our first term is the lowest for any first-time government since 1992. The year 2020 witnessed the lowest rate of depreciation of the currency in 28-years and cumulative exchange rate depreciation this year November 2021 stands at 6.2% in 2017 it was 9.7%,” he disclosed.null

Vice President Bawumi further stated the NPP government has created over 750,000 jobs unlike their opponents the NDC who froze public sector recruitment.

“For the first time in over two decades’ trade balance, that is the difference between our import and export, recorded a surplus for four consecutive years. This year the data shows it will be five consecutive times notwithstanding COVID. Growth at the international reserve is 10.8 billion dollars,” he added.

Source: starrfm.com.gh

Bawumia next to lead!’ – NPP delegates chant, as Ashanti MPs mob him

Vice-President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia was ushered into the grounds for the New Patriotic Party’s National Delegates Conference in the Ashanti Region by almost all the governing party’s MPs who have constituencies in the region, when he arrived at the venue on Sunday, 19 December 2021.

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The Vice-President, upon reaching the entrance to the conference grounds, had to succumb to pressure from all the MPs in the region, as they offered to lead him inside the conference.

Delegates were heard chanting “next to lead” as the Vice-President entered the congress grounds.

Meanwhile, President Akufo-Addo has told the NPP delegates that whoever they choose as his successor will become the next president of Ghana after he leaves office.

Speaking at Juaben in the Ashanti Region after inaugurating the party’s constituency office complex, Mr Akufo-Addo said: “The party is having its national delegates conference”.

“Some people want to tempt us but they cannot match us. We have what it takes to make us achieve what we want”, he noted.

He added: “The person you choose to succeed me will become President after I leave office”.

According to him, “all Ghanaians are observing the conference” and, therefore, “I am pleading with you all to be disciplined. I also want you all to show unity among ourselves”.

“Let’s comport ourselves to ensure everything goes on smoothly”, the president urged, noting: “No party has been able to do what we have been able to do by organising constituency, and national delegates conferences”.

“We are also proving to Ghanaians that we are pioneers of democracy. I am, therefore, appealing to you all to be disciplined especially as it is happening in our stronghold.”

President Akufo-Addo also expressed reservations about the two-time rejection of his Chief Executive nominee for Juaben, Mr Alex Sarfo Kantanka.

The nominee is currently being investigated by the Office of the Special Prosecutor for allegedly demanding a refund of the bribe he paid to the assembly members to buy their vote.

President Akufo-Addo said: “Anyone who opposes my nominee next time will incur my wrath”.

“I am here to congratulate the residents of Juaben for having this beautiful edifice. If it can be replicated in all 275 constituencies across the country, it will help the NPP a lot.”

Speaking about national issues, the president said: “I admit that Ghanaians are going through difficult times; some people are trying to say that it is my fault but you know that is not the case”.

“I am hopeful that if you all support the vision of this government, we will be able to turn things around

FULL TEXT: Bawumia’s Address At NPP’s National Delegates’ Conference

Kukrudu!
Kukrudu!!
Kukrudu!!!
The National Chairman of the New Patriotic Party, Hon. Freddie Blay,
Your Excellency President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo
Your Excellency, Former President John Agyekum Kufuor,
Members of the National Council of the NPP,
Honourable Ministers of State
Majority Leader
Honourable Members of Parliament,
Distinguished Elders of our Party,
Chiefs and Traditional Leaders,
Members of the Diplomatic Corps,
National, Regional, Constituency, and Polling Station Executives,
Rank and file of the great Kukrudu Family,
Representatives of other political parties,
Members of the Media,
Assalamu Alaikum!

This is our first annual delegates conference since the 2020 election. Congratulations to each and everyone of us for our victory. My thanks to everyone including our footsoldiers, polling station executives, electoral area coordinators, constituency executives, regional executives, and national executives and party supporters who in diverse ways worked so hard for this victory; those who were in the markets, those who went door to door, those who contributed resources, those who manned the polling stations, those who collated our results, those who secured our pink sheets, and so on. Ayekoo to all of you!

Interestingly, the NDC decided to challenge our victory at the Supreme Court. However, rather than mounting a serious effort, they rather went there to tell us that they were given tea without biscuits!

You remember that when we went to the Supreme Court after the 2012 election we presented over 10,000 pink sheets. We told the Court that we were relying on the data contained in the Pink Sheets because “You and I were not there”. When Asiedu Nketia went to the Supreme Court he said rather surprisingly that they were not there to challenge the results! Really? And when they asked him for the pink sheets he said and I paraphrase “My Lords the pink sheets are not there”.

The Supreme Court told them that ‘no pink sheet no case.’ Their case was fundamentally incompetent.

So bottom line is that they had no evidence to challenge our victory notwithstanding all the noise they made to deceive their members.

Kukrudu!

It is very important to remind ourselves that our party and the Danquah-Busia-Dombo tradition was built on the patriotism, strategic thinking, actions, dedication, sacrifices and accomplishments of such great political icons of our country and party such as Dr. J.B. Danquah, Chief S.D. Dombo, Baffuor Osei Akoto, Edward Akufo-Addo, Mr.William Ofori Atta, Alhaji Yakubu Tali, Tolon Naa, Obetsebi Lamptey, Prof. K.A. Busia, Jato Kaleo, Naa Abayifa Karbo, Alhaji Aliu Mahama, C.K. Tedam, S.G. Antor, Albert Adu-Boahen, R.R. Amponsah, J.B. Da Rocha, J.H. Mensah, J.A. Kufuor and Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo. Without them we would not be here.

We are also indebted to so many men and women who have sacrificed and continue to sacrifice for our party and country on a daily basis most of whom may not have gotten outward recognition.

Mr. Chairman, it is our collective responsibility, as members of the great Kukrudu family and as Ghanaians, to ensure that the sacrifices of these great men and women have not been in vain. They have built and handed over to us a party and a tradition that we must always treasure. We have a charge to continue this great legacy.

We have worked hard as a government under the leadership of H.E. Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and are committed to continuing to serve the good people of Ghana. Protecting our efforts, vision and legacy means we necessarily have to break the eight as we have termed it.

In this regard, let us all be aware that breaking the eight will not be easy. It has not been done before in our history but I believe that if we are united, we will break the eight. United we stand, divided we fall. Our success will depend on how well we conduct ourselves going forward; a strong united party with a focus on highlighting our successes while countering the desperate, misleading and misguided NDC propaganda. Rather than taking down each other, we must focus on taking down the NDC who will be a disaster for this country.

Kukrudu!

The NPP has a solid record of achievement in the Fourth Republic. Our party has become the most important driver of the Ghanaian vision and development agenda. We have been responsible for the most important policies which touch every Ghanaian in every corner of our nation, the NHIS, the school feeding program, the free antenatal services, the Free SHS, the free TVET program etc.

As we meet here today at Conference, we are reminded that it is the party that birthed the government. Thus, strengthening party-government relations is key to our collective success.

I believe that Insha Allah we will be able to break the eight because our record is a superior record. Whether we are talking about agriculture, industry, roads, housing, education, health, transformational policies like digitalization, social interventions and so on the comparison between us and the NDC will be like night and day. Can you remember any transformational policy implemented by the NDC in their last 8 years in Government? Can you remember any social intervention implemented by the NDC in their last eight years in government to reduce the suffering of Ghanaians?

KUKRUDU!

It is important to acknowledge that we in the NPP have not solved all the problems facing Ghanaians but we have solved many problems and we have a plan we are working to. Afterall, we are only in the first year of a four year mandate which was given to us at the end of last year.

The COVID-19 pandemic has increased the cost of living virtually everywhere in the world including countries like the US, UK, Germany, Japan, Nigeria, Cote d’Ívoire, etc. and Ghana has similarly been affected.

Nevertheless, it is important to remind ourselves that notwithstanding the global economic adverse impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on economic growth, debts and deficits, at the macroeconomic level,

Inflation in Ghana today at 12.2% is lower than it was in 2016 (15.4%)

Average Bank lending rates in Ghana today (21%) are much lower than they were 2016 (32%)

According to the Bank of Ghana, the average exchange rate depreciation over the last four years (7.3%) is the lowest for any first term government since 1992. The year 2020 recorded one of the lowest rate of depreciation in the last 28 years. The cumulative exchange rate depreciation of 2.6% in November 2021 the year is lower than 9.7% depreciation recorded in 2016.

For the first time in over two decades, the trade balance (the difference between what we export and what we import) recorded a surplus for four consecutive years from 2017-2020.
Gross International Reserves are at $10.8 billion (4.9 months of import cover compared to $6.9 billion (3.5 months of import cover) in 2016

Our record of creating jobs (over 750,000 jobs) is vastly superior to the record of the NDC government which froze public service recruitment.

So if our performance on the key macroeconomic indicators (inflation, interest rates, depreciation, external reserves, trade balance and jobs) during the worst global pandemic in 100 years is better than your performance without such a pandemic how can you say your economic management is better?

KUKRUDU!

The changes we are making as a party in government are historic and we are building on the distinguished legacy of President J.A. Kufuor. Ours is a government that is thinking outside the box to transform Ghana.

Under the leadership of Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo:

For the first time in our history, Ghana has successfully issued a digital National ID card

For the first time in our history, Ghana has implemented a Digital Property Address system

For the first time in our history, Ghana has Mobile Money Interoperability

For the first time in our history, any Ghanaian who has a National ID card can open a bank account using their mobile phone

For the first time in our history, over 80% of adults in Ghana have Tax Identification Numbers versus 4% in 2017

For the first time in our history, Ghana has drones for medical delivery and is the world’s largest medical drone delivery service.

For the first time in our history Ghana is implementing One district one district hospital (AGENDA 111). By the end of our second term we would have built more hospitals than any government in our history.

For the first time in our history Ghana is implementing One district one factory – Our government has facilitated the establishment of more factories than any other government since independence.

For the first time in our history, Ghana has Paperless clearing of goods at the ports

We have digitized the process of passport acquisition

For the first time in our history, Ghana has digitized the process of drivers license acquisition

For the first time in our history, Ghana has implemented the Ghana.Gov platform. A one stop shop for public service delivery

For the first time in our history, Ghanaians can renew their NHIS membership from their mobile phones

For the first time in our history, Ghanaians can apply for scholarships on their mobile phones

For the first time in our history, Ghanaian students can apply for student loans without the need for a guarantor

For the first time in our history, Government is implementing a pension scheme for cocoa farmers

For the first time in our history, Ghanaians and law enforcement can find out the insurance status of any vehicle on their mobile phone using the Motor insurance database

For the first time in our history, Ghanaians were provided free electricity for life line consumers for a year during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic

For the first time in our history, Ghanaians were provided 50% reduction in electricity tariffs for non-life line consumers for a year during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic

For the first time in our history, Ghanaians were provided free water for a year during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic

For the first time in our history import duties on all goods were reduced by between 30%-50%

For the first time in our history, Government has provided Free Wifi to over 700 senior high schools, 42 colleges of education and 13 public universities

For the first time in our history, Ghanaian pensioners can obtain their SSNIT pension 10 days after making an application.

For the first time in our history, Ghana is implementing a Nationwide E-Pharmacy which I will launch next week. We will be one of a few countries in the world to have a nationwide E-Pharmacy.

For the first time in our history, Government, has implemented a One Constituency One Ambulance programme

For the first time in our history, Government has established a Zongo Development Fund

We have built more roads in our first term than the first term of any government in the Fourth Republic and we are continuing.

For the first time in our history, we are implementing Free TVET and have established the Ghana TVET service

For the first time in our history, our Government has implemented Free SHS and confounded the naysayers.

And by the Grace of God, for the first time in the history of the Fourth Republic, we will break the 8!

The future is bright for the youth and for Ghana, so lets stay with the elephant.

Thank you for your attention.
God Bless the NPP and
God bless our homeland Ghana

I want to hand over power to NPP govt in 2025 – Akufo-Addo

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has expressed the desire to hand over power to an NPP government in 2025 but indicated that internal party actions leading to the next election will actualise that dream or not.

“Every step taken now leading to 2024 is going to be decisive either to give us victory or not,” he told party delegates in Kumasi on Sunday.

The New Patriotic Party is in Kumasi for it’s annual delegates conference to take stock, amend portions of it’s constitution and touch base with it’s grassroots.

The president said competition within the party could not be avoided but “it help the party and not hinder it so we can break the eight.”
But he reckoned that it would require discipline and a united front; promising a level playing field for all presidential aspirants to produce an acceptable leader to be backed by all.

Economy

On the economy, the president said he was aware of the situation in the country and the difficulties people were going through as a result of the economic slowdown caused by the COVID 19 pandemic.

However, he said it was not time to through our hands in despair as a people indication his government was determined to bring Ghanaians out of the situation.

The president said the solution lied with the “Obatampa” economic programme which if followed through will lead to progress and prosperity for all.null

Touting his economic achievement in the last five years, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo said his government has spent more money on education, health, agriculture, infrastructure especially roads than any other government under the fourth republic.

He said most of the programmes and projects being executed were thought through while in opposition challanging the main opposition party, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) to point to one social intervention they rolled out while in government.
Majority in parliament

President Akufo-Addo seized the opportunity to clarify what appear to be a wrong impression about the majority and minority status in parliament.

Himself, once an MP said the standing orders of Parliament focused on majority groupings and not party saying as things now NPP are the majority groupings following the addition of the Fomena MP.

He commended NPP parliamentarians for supporting government business and passing the appropriation budget last Friday with the hope of navigating the final fave of the bill.

Veep Bawumia

The Vice president, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia jabbed the NDC by making mockery of it’s 2020 presidential election petition describing it as “fundamental incompetence.”

He said after deceiving it’s followers of winning the election, the NDC came to court to change the narratives that indeed no one won the election.

To him, the NPP has become the most important driver of the Ghanaian vision and developmental agenda and responsible for most important policies that touched on the lives of everybody.

The Vice president said comparing the NPP and the NDC was like comparing day and night.

Focusing more on the NDC the Vice-president said the opposition party has no transformational policy unlike the NPP which has rolled out at least 25 social interventions to reduce the suffering of Ghanaians.

He reckoned that the government had not solved all the problems facing Ghanaians but per the macro economic indicators, the NPP has performed better.

For instance, he said inflation as of today stood at 12.2 per cent while under the NDC in 2016 it was 15.4.

According to him, average bank lending rate under the NPP is 21 per cent while under NDC it was 32 per cent.

To him, average exchange rate depreciation over the last four years is the lowest since 1992 while trade balance has recorded surpluses consistently for four conservative years.

On jobs, the vice president said the government has created at least 750,000 to the unemployed youth.

Kufuor

In a message sent to the conference, former President John Agyekum Kufuor, called for reconciliation among the rank and file of the party membership.

“With unity and committed fellowship, the party and government’s attractiveness will be urgently restored and deepened,” he said.

Former president Kufuor said the party must urge party headquarters to urgently equip itself with a professional strategic team to ensure that it’s opponents do not outsmart the party in the current battle of wits which is pervading in the national political arena.

He said this has to be sustained to guarantee victory for the party in the 2024 general elections.

The former president said under no circumstances must leadership of both party and government become detached from the grassroots since it will destroy the tradition’s of Democratic genome.

Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu

The Majority Leader and Minister of Parliament Affairs, Mr Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, appealed for a serious introspection of things that were holding the party down.

According to him, if the NPP is able to unleash it’s full potential it will be difficult for any other political party to operate in contemporary time.

But he insisted that this could only be realised if the party members were able to burry their hatred against each other after primaries.

Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu said the increasingly monetization that accompanied the party’s internal elections called for refection on the appropriate methods in choosing party leaders at all ranks of it’s structure.

He said the current system only helps to widen and deepen the gaps rather than helping to build a united party.

The Majority Leader reckoned that the current system only breeds factionalism which is tearing the party apart.

The Suame legislator applauded the people of Ashanti for playing a central role in the party’s last election and it was time to connect with the grassroots.

He described the region as the nerve centre of the party saying that Kumasi was always crucial in determining who wins any general elections.

Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu said, however, that as a party it was time to confront the reality and not assume that everything was right.

Wontumi

The Ashanti regional Chairman of the party, Bernard Antwi Boasiako (Wontumi), in a characteristic mood touted Ghana as a better place to be even better than the USA and the UK under the COVID-19 regime.

He reiterated the need for unity because according to him, “development will not fall from heaven.”

He reassured party faithful that the party was working hard to win the 2024 election and beyond because “it’s a movement and cannot be stopped.”

Chairman Wontumi as he is affectionately called said not even the NDC could stop it.

NPP conference: Ghana now better than US, UK because of Akufo-Addo – Wontumi



The Ashanti regional Chairman of the New Patriotic Patriotic Party Bernard Antwi Bosiako known popularly as Chairman Wontumi says Ghana is currently better than the United States of America and the United Kingdom because of the governance of President Akufo-Addo.

According to him, the progress Ghana has seen since the NPP won power in 2016 has been unprecedented.

“Ghana is now better than United States, Ghana is better than UK because of the development Akufo-Addo is bringing to Ghanaians, everyone can see it,” he said at the party’s ongoing National Delegates Conference in Kumasi.

Ahead of the conference, President Akufo-Addo has challenged members of the party to prove to Ghanaians that they understand democracy.

“The party is having its national delegates conference. Some people want to tempt us but they cannot match us. We have what it takes to make us achieve what we want. The person you choose to succeed me will become President after I leave office. All Ghanaians are observing the conference. I am pleading with you all to be disciplined. I also want you all to show unity among ourselves,” the President said this at Juaben in the Ashanti Region when he commissioned the party’s constituency office complex.

He added: “Let’s comport ourselves to ensure everything goes on smoothly. No party has been able to do what we have been able to do by organizing constituency, and national delegates conferences. We are also proving to Ghanaians that we are pioneers of democracy. I am therefore appealing to you all to be disciplined especially as it is happening in our stronghold.”



Source: Ghana/Starrfm.com.gh/103.5FM

Show us evidence of your thought through policy – Akufo-Addo dares Mahama

President Akufo-Addo has dared former President John Mahama and the National Democratic Congress to show Ghanaians evidence of any thought through policy while in opposition.

The President while addressing NPP supporters at the ongoing national Delegates Conference in Kumasi, the President said he is aware that Ghanaians are currently going through hardships but he is working to fix things.

“We have spent more money in improving the circumstances of our people than any government in the 4th republic. So when u leave here be proud that you have produced a government that has been most diligent in improving the lives of the people than any other government in the history of this country.

“All the things that we have done in government are things we thought about while in opposition, what is the one policy that the NDC and their leader John Mahama have thought about in five years that they have been in opposition. There is not one policy, the answer is zero,” the President said.

Bawumia

Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia has told supporters of the New Patriotic Party in Kumasi at the ongoing National Delegates Conference that ‘breaking the 8’ will be difficult but a possibility if they work together.

The Vice President said the NPP has an enviable track record of performance as compared to the opposition National Democratic Congress.

“Breaking the 8 will not be easy, it has not been done before in our history but if we stand together it is possible and it will be done,” he said a thunderous applause from party supporters.

Also, the Ashanti regional Chairman of the New Patriotic Patriotic Party Bernard Antwi Bosiako known popularly as Chairman Wontumi says Ghana is currently better than the United States of America and the United Kingdom because of the governance of President Akufo-Addo.

According to him, the progress Ghana has seen since the NPP won power in 2016 has been unprecedented.

“Ghana is now better than United States, Ghana is better than UK because of the development Akufo-Addo is bringing to Ghanaians, everyone can see it,” he said at the party’s ongoing National Delegates Conference in Kumasi

We want to break the 8 for Ghana – Akufo-Addo

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has said that he is determined to hand over power to the next presidential candidate of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) in the 2024 general elections.

He said the NPP is determined to break the 8-year cycle in order to sustain the economic growth seen under his administration.

Speaking at the NPP’s delegates conference in Kumasi on Sunday December 19, he said “I am determined to hand over the baton to the next NPP presidential candidate.

“We want to break the 8 not just for ourselves but for Ghana because we know the zigzag, NPP comes to clean for them to be polluted , this is not the way progress will be brought to our country.

“We need secure period in office to make that irreversible change in the fortunes of our nation and we are capable of doing it. We will get a candidate that will unify our party and all of us will campaign to make that candidate the next president of the Republic.”

He further urged members of the NPP to embrace internal competition because competitions are part of the political exercise but cautioned the party against unhealthy competition that will hinder the determination of the party to break the 8-year cycle in the next general elections.

Mr Akufo-Addo said “Competition, we cannot avoid competition. Competition there will be but let that competition help the party and not hinder the party so that we can break the 8 in 2024.”

Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia for his part said that the Akufo-Addo administration is thinking outside the box to transform the country.

He said a number of initiatives have been introduced by the government to transform the economy through digitalization

“Ours is a government that is thinking outside the box to transform the country,” he said.

He added “For the first time in our hoistory Ghana has drone for medical delivery, Ghana is implementing one district one hospital under agenda 111

“By end of our second we would built more hospitals that any government. Our government is building one district one factory.

“For the first time in our history students can apply students loan without a guarantor.”

Dr Bawumia further urged members and supporters of the NPP to remain united and rally behind the government.

Majority Leader Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu for his part lamented the actions of some leaders of the NPP that cost the party more parliamentary seats during the 2020 elections.

He said bitterness, division and the failure to unite the supporters after internal elections were some of the issues that affected the party.

He also raised issues against the way primaries are conducted to elect parliamentary candidates for the party.

The Suame Lawmaker noted that currently, defending the government in Parliament has become the work for a few lawmakers because the experienced ones who would have done that were dropped in the primaries.

“The history of 2008 should guide us,” he said.

He added “I want to sound this caution because we have enough time to correct them.”

“The lies, the hatred will not advance the interest of the Dankwa-Busia-Dombo great tradition,” he further stated

You can’t stop NPP from winning 2024 elections – Wontumi to NDC

Bernard Antwi-Boasiako is the Ashanti Region Chairman of the NPP

Ashanti regional chairman of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Bernard Antwi Boasiako (Chairman Wontumi) has assured the party that they will win the 2024 elections.

He said during the national delegates conference of the NPP in Kumasi on Sunday December 19 that the main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) cannot stop the governing party from winning the next elections.

“It is a movement and no one can stop us,” he said.

The Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) Joseph Boahen Aidoo also said the NPP has learned its lessons out of government and in government.

Speaking to TV3’sa Roland Walker in Kumasi in the ongoing national delegates conference of the NPP, he said “We have gone out of government before and we have come to power so we have learned lessons.”

former Member of Parliament for Tema East, Nii Kwartei Titus Glover, has asked the NPP to remain united after the national delegate conference on Sunday December 18.

He cautioned members of the party against making utterances that give the main opposition party political weapons to use against them ahead of the 2024 general elections.

The former Deputy Transport Minister told TV3 in an interview that “I want to see us at the end of this conference more united, we need to see ourselves as one NPP family.

“The target is how continue to be in power , the polices and programmes of his excellency Nana Addo and Dr Bawumia are so phenomenal.

“The party people will cotinine to see that it is only when you are in power that we can do a lot for our people. I will appeal to our part rank ad file, they need to to be a bit cautious.

“Sometimes some of our commentaries, some of our pronouncements are not good enough because the more you start making negative kinds of commentaries you energize the opposition.”

The NPP are expected to take key decision during the conference.

Another stalwart of NPP based in the United States, Dr Arthur Kobina Kennedy penciled a number of issues he believes the party has to address if they are to break the 8-year cycle.

Ahead of the event, Dr Arthur Kennedy in a statement said “The first issue we must address is that of who is entitled to vote for our National leaders and Presidential candidate.

“There are many proposals to enlarge the electorate. Some want ex-MPs, others want more Nasara co-ordinators etc.”

By Laud Nartey|3news.com|Ghana

NPP gov’t is best to manage Ghana’s economy – Freddie Blay

National Chairman of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) Freddie Blay, has said the governing NPP is the best to manage the economy of this country.

To that end, he called on the party to remain united ahead of the next general elections in order to continue staying in power to deliver good governance to Ghanaians.

Speaking during that NPP’s national delegates conference in Kumasi on Sunday December 19, he said “we have to remain united so that at the end of the four years the people will vote for us or whoever represents in the 2024 elections.”

He further noted that his party is in a contest with a formidable opposition party that is ready to take advantage of their weakness.

He has therefore asked the NPP to remain united, eschew arrogance and keep its base stronger in order to withstand the opposition party, the National Democratic Congress (NDC).

Speaking at the national delegates conference in Kumasi on Sunday December 19, he said “if we are united, if we eschew arrogance, if we work with our people, if we keep base, come 2024 we shall still retain power.”

Ashanti regional chairman of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Bernard Antwi Boasiako (Chairman Wontumi) assured the party that they would win the 2024 elections.

He said during the national delegates conference of the NPP in Kumasi on Sunday December 19 that the main opposition NDC cannot stop the governing party from wining the next elections.

“It is a movement and no one can stop us,” he said.

The Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) Joseph Boahen Aidoo also said the NPP has learned its lessons out of government and in government.

Speaking to TV3’sa Roland Walker in Kumasi in the ongoing national delegates conference of the NPP, he said “We have gone out of government before and we have come to power so we have learned lessons.”

By Laud Nartey|3news.com|Ghana

Be disciplined, let’s comport ourselves – Akufo-Addo to NPP

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has asked members of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) to be disciplined because Ghanaians are watching.

He said this at Juaben in the Ashanti Region when he commissioned the NPP’s constituency office complex, where he called on inhabitants to support whoever he nominates as the Municipal Chief Executive for the area.

“The party is having its national delegates conference. Some people want to tempt us but they cannot match us. We have what it takes to make us achieve what we want.

“The person you choose to succeed me will become President after I leave office. All Ghanaians are observing the conference. I am pleading with you all to be disciplined. I also want you all to show unity among ourselves.

“Let’s comport ourselves to ensure everything goes on smoothly. No party has been able to do what we have been able to do by organizing constituency, and national delegates conferences.

“We are also proving to Ghanaians that we are pioneers of democracy. I am therefore appealing to you all to be disciplined especially as it is happening in our stronghold,” he said.

He added “I admit that Ghanaians are going through difficult times, some people are trying to say that it is my fault but you know that is not the case. I am hopeful that if you all support the vision of this government, we will be able to turn things around,” the President said this at Juaben in the Ashanti Region when he commissioned the party’s constituency office complex on Saturday

Sustain NPP in power, NDC will collapse all good policies if they win power – John Boadu

The General Secretary of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) John Boadu has pleaded with Ghanaians to keep the party in office in the next general elections in order to continue implementing good policies to benefit Ghanaians.

He said the NPP has over the years implemented pro-poor policies and programmes to support Ghanaians hence, should be kept in power to ensure sustained economic growth.

Speaking duirng the NPP’s delegates conference in Kumasi on Sunday December 19, he said “I will like to humbly appeal to Ghanaians vote massively for the NPP to continue the good work.”

“If we allow the NDC to come back to government they will collapse the policies. They do not believe in Free SHS, I believe they will collapse it, they do not believe in NABCO and I believe they will collapse it,” he said among other things.

 He further said the NPP is better at organizing elections and collating results than the main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC).

According to him, the NDC has not been able to collate the results for both the 2016 and 2020 general elections.

“NDC has still not been able to collates it s 2016 and 2020 election results,” he said.

For his part, the Majority Leader Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu lamented the actions of some leaders of the NPP that cost the party more parliamentary seats during the 2020 elections.

He said bitterness, division and the failure to unite the supporters after internal elections were some of the issues that affected the party.

He also raised issues against the way primaries are conducted to elect parliamentary candidates for the party

NDC’s election petition was fundamentally incompetent – Bawumia

Mahama’s petition on the 2020 elections was unanimously dismissed by the Supreme Court

Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia has mocked the National Democratic Congress (NDC) following the petition they filed at the Supreme Court to challenge the 2020 election results.

Speaking at the New Patriotic Party’s national delegates conference in Kumasi on Sunday December 19, he said the petition was fundamentally incompetent.

“Interestingly, the NDC decided to challenge our victory at the Supreme Court . However rather than mounting a serious efforts they rather went to the Supreme Court to tell us that the electoral commission gave them tea without biscuits .

“You remember that when we went to the Supreme Court after the 2012 elections to challenge he result we presented over 10,000 oink sheets to support our case. we told the court the that we were relying on the data contained on the pink sheets because you and I were not there.

“When Asiedu Nketia went to the Suprema Court he was asked where is you evidence, where are your pink sheets, Asiedu Nketia said and I paraphrase him , Mr Lords the pink sheets are not there . Then why are you here? he said my Lords we are not here to challenge the results.

“Their election petition was fundamentally incompetent. The bottom line is that they had not evidence to challenge our victory not withstanding all the noise they made to deceive their supporters.”

Dr Bawumai further urged members and supporters of the NPP to remain united and rally behind the government.

“Ours is a government that is thinking outside the box to transform the country,” he said.

He added “For the first time in our hoistory Ghana has drone for medical delivery, Ghana is implementing one district one hospital under agenda 111

“By end of our second we would built more hospitals that any government. Our government is building one district one factory.

For the first time in our history students can apply students loan without a guarantor

NPP Conference: Ghanaians are suffering – NDC’s ‘fraternal’ message to Akufo-Addo

The Ashanti Regional secretary of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Kwame Zu, has told President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and the New Patriotic Party (NPP) that Ghanaians are suffering under their administration.

Delivering the NDC’s solidarity message during the NPP’s national delegates conference in Kumasi on Sunday December 19, Mr Zu said “Teachers are suffering, doctors are suffering, market women are suffering.”

He further asked the president to reconsider the e-levy proposal in the 2022 budget because in his view, it will worsen the plight of Ghanaians.

“This is not the time for the set of draconian set of taxes. reconsider your decision to impose the 1.75 per cent el-levy,” he said.

Meanwhile, the National Chairman of the NPP Freddie Blay has said the governing party is the best to manage the economy of this country.

To that end, he called on the party to remain united ahead of the next general elections in order to continue staying in power to deliver good governance to Ghanaians.

Speaking during that NPP’s national delegates conference in Kumasi on Sunday December 19, he said “we are have to remain united so that at the end of the four years the people will vote for us or whoever represents in the 2024 elections.”

He further noted that his party is in a contest with a formidable opposition party that is ready to take advantage of their weakness.

He has therefore asked the NPP to remain united, eschew arrogance and keep its base stronger in order to withstand the opposition party, the National Democratic Congress (NDC).

Speaking at the national delegates conference in Kumasi on Sunday December 19, he said “if we are united, if we eschew arrogance, if we work with our people, if we keep base, come 2024 we shall still retain power

Lies, hatred won’t help us – Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu to NPP

The Member of Parliament for Suame, Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu has warned members of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) against the lies and dislike for one another.

The Majority Leader said this attitude will not help the party going forward as they seek to remain in office beyond eight years.

He said these while speaking at the NPP’s national delegates conference in Kumasi on Sunday December 19.

He further said the experience of the 2008 elections in which the NPP lost power, denying them the opportunity to break the 8 after the Kufuor administration, should guide the NPP ahead of the 2024 general elections.

Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu further lamented the actions of some leaders of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) that cost the party more parliamentary seats during the 2020 elections.

He said bitterness, division and the failure to united the supporters after internal elections were some of the issues that affected the party.

“The history of 2008 should guide us,” he said.

He however noted that the party has enough time ahead of the next elections to right the wrongs.

He added “I want to sound this caution because we have enough time to correct them.”

“The lies, the hatred will not advance the interest of the Dankwa-Busia-Dombo great tradition,” he further stated.

It’s baseless to accuse NDC MPs of obstructing gov’t business – Minority Leader

The Minority Leader in Parliament, Haruna Iddrisu has said the opposition lawmakers are not frustrating the business of government in Parliament following the equal numbers in the House.

Mr Iddrisu stated that the minority have since the beginning of this parliament demonstrated fidelity to the collective aspirations of the people of this country and most importantly to the constitution of the republic.

In commitment to these democratic tenets, he said, the MPs on some occasions have been the subject of attacks by otherwise concerned members of its own political party.

“It is therefore without basis for anyone to suggest that this minority group seeks to obstruct government business at the least opportunity,” he said in a statement.

His comment comes at a time the Speaker of Parliament Alaban Bagbin has made a commitment not to preside over a House to frustrate the business of government.

In Parliament on Thursday December 16, Mr Bagbin said “Hon. Members, to conclude on these matters, let me reiterate my solemn pledge to the people of Ghana which I canvassed in my first formal communication to this House.

“I would not superintend over a Parliament to frustrate Government business, But, I will equally not preside over a weak House or be tagged as an errand boy of the Executive arm of government.

“This House is fully focused in discharging its mandate and will do so without any fear or favour, affection or ill-will in ensuring the ultimate best interests of the Ghanaian people are served.

“Let us continue to strengthen our channels of communication, foster dialogue, encourage broader stakeholder consultation and allow the processes we have adopted for our burgeoning democracy to thrive.”

The Asantehene, Otumfou Osei Tutu II, had also asked Parliament not to frustrate government in its role of implementing policies.

The Asantehene made the statement at Manhyia on Sunday December 12 after the debate on the 2022 budget statement was characterised by back and forth between the Majority and Minority legislators.

“It is to our good that our representatives in Parliament subject national budget to the most vigorous scrutiny and to call for changes. Government must always also have the humility to acknowledge and embrace useful inputs from all sources.

“But our representatives need to also bear in mind that  it is not the role to  either determine  policy for the executive  or to frustrate them from  performing their legitimate duty,” he said.

Mr Iddrisu’s statement said “The minority group in parliament have since the beginning of this parliament demonstrated fidelity to the collective aspirations of the people of this country and most importantly to the constitution of the republic. In commitment to these democratic tenets, the group on some occasions have been the subject of attacks by otherwise concerned members of its own political party. It is therefore without basis for anyone to suggest that this minority group seeks to obstruct government business at the least opportunity.

“On the contrary, we have at every instance demonstrated commitment to good governance, the 1992 constitution and the standing orders of parliament. An objective overview of the group’s stance on the current budget amplifies our fidelity to the national interest.

“Right after the Minister for Finance presented the government’s budget on behalf of the President, the minority group through its leadership indicated its opposition to aspects of the budget and called for a review, failure of which would compel the minority to reject the budget. Consistent with this call for a review which were not heeded to, the minority got the required votes to reject the budget policy on the 26th of November 2021.
The Majority responded to this lawful rejection with an irregular and illegal procedure purporting to rescind the earlier rejection and the nation looked on as they debased, in their usual fashion, democratic tenets.

“The minority’s efforts to reverse such rape of the constitution and gross disrespect of parliament’s standing orders were frustrated by an extremely partisan majority group and 1st Deputy Speaker.
Nonetheless the Minority group’s action compelled an engagement with the finance minister who have since made all concessions but one(The Killer E-Levy) on behalf of the President. He has written officially to parliament to modify the initial budget statement to reflect these concessions.

“Taking into consideration these concessions and modifications to the 2022 Budget Statement and Economic Policy, the Minority have since examined the sector ministries estimates, but remain vehemently opposed to that which the government remains adamant to withdraw, the killer E-Levy of 1.75%, which undoubtedly will subject Ghanaians to immense financial pressure and further thwart our nation’s ease of doing business and digitization drive.

“The Appropriation Bill for 2021 to cater for ordinary government business for 2022 has just been passed. The killer E-Levy bill has yet to be considered by Parliament. For the avoidance of doubt the Minority continues its opposition to the e-levy.

We in the Minority remain committed to exploring lawful and democratic means of getting the government to abandon this insensitive, obnoxious and regressive tax. Absolutely nothing can be more Ghanaian and progressive at this stage, than a demand that Government consider the economic challenges of the ordinary Ghanaian in rolling out taxes. We shall continue to hold government accountable and do so in the best interest of this country at all times. Thank you

NPP Nat. delegates confab: Let’s put party interest first before ours – Ntim to members

National Chairman hopeful of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) Stephen Ntim has urged party members who will attend the upcoming National Delegates’ conference on Saturday, 18th December 2021 in Kumasi to place the party’s interest first before their personal interests.

He has also reminded party members that they belong to the same family and party, hence all differences should be buried.

The former National First Vice Chairman in a statement to wish the NPP a successful conference said he fully endorses the directives from the party against the display of t-shirts, banners and posters within the Greater Kumasi Metropolis before and during the annual national delegates’ conference.

“It is important we use the conference to rather reflect and strategize to break the 8. I will like to seize this opportunity to call on all my cherished supporters to abide by all rules and guidelines issued by the party leadership for this year’s conference,” the experienced politician added.

Below is the full statement

MR Stephen Ayesu Ntim Wishes The New Patriotic Party a Successful National Delegates’ Conference.

Ahead of the National Delegates’ conference on Saturday, 18th December 2021 in the Ashanti Regional capital, Kumasi, I wish all dignitaries, party executives, party faithful, and teeming grassroot members of Our great party who will commute from far and near to the National Delegates conference a safe journey.

It is my fervent prayer that the Good Lord will grant all and sundry traveling mercies and protect you all from your origins to Kumasi and back home safely.

It is overtly enshrined in Article 9 of the NPP constitution that the party shall hold a National Annual Delegates Conference each year, to deliberate on all important matters concerning our great party. I would like to use this opportunity to show my delight in a tranquil manner the conferences across the 275 constituencies and the (16) Sixteen regions were held.

It is the synergy of our efforts that would make the Conference a success. I would urge everyone in attendance to place the party’s interest first before our personal interests. I would also want to remind all of us that we belong to the same family and party and should bury our differences.

I fully endorse the directives from the party against the display of t-shirts, banners and posters within the Greater Kumasi Metropolis before and during the annual national delegates’ conference. It is important we use the conference to rather reflect and strategize to break the 8.

I will like to seize this opportunity to call on all my cherished supporters to abide by all rules and guidelines issued by the party leadership for this year’s conference.

Finally, we are going to meet in Kumasi over the weekend. We have been looking forward to this day, and let’s keep this relationship alive. Meet you there.

I wish all delegates a successful conference.

Thank You

TIME ASOOOO TIME ASO!!!!

Stephen Ayesu Ntim
Former 1st Vice National Chairman

Remove ‘premature-ejaculating’ NPP flagbearer aspirants from govt – Baako tells Akufo-Addo

Seasoned Journalist, Abdul Malik Kweku Baako says President Nana Akufo-Addo should expel from his government any of his appointees who aspire to become flagbearer of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP).

The NPP will on Saturday, December 18, 2021, hold a conference at the Baba Yara Stadium in Kumasi, Ashanti Region, to deliberate on party matters.

Ahead of the conference, the leadership has warned their members and supporters not to mount billboards nor campaign for any person.

“Prior to and during the conference from December 18 to 20, 2021, no billboards and or signboards, banners or any kind of outdoor signage with the images and or names of individual members, with or without the consent of the individual, shall be acceptable. This applies to the area within the Greater Kumasi Metropolis. All such displays, if put up already, should be removed,” a statement by the party read.

It continued; “Any person, with or without his or her consent, whose image is flaunted on any advocacy material and who does not take active steps to desist from any public display of aspiration for a position within the precincts of Greater Kumasi runs a higher risk of disqualification in the event nominations are declared open.”

This notwithstanding, there are reports of billboards showcasing some leading members of the party for Presidential positions being mounted in Kumasi ahead of the conference.

Recounting a similar thing that happened during the reign of Ex-President J.A Kufour, Kweku Baako charged President Akufo-Addo to crack the whip on his officials who cannot discipline themselves but reveal their intentions now to contest the flagbearership race.

Making his submissions on Peace FM’s ”Kokrokoo”, he said; “It was in 2007 that this thing started, meaning the third year in the second term. This is the first year in the secon term. It doesn’t make sense. I believe the President should begin to use reshuffle as part of his bargaining chip . . . He should start using it; crack the whip indirectly there and then!”

He urged the President not to favour any person stating emphatically that, “no matter how big you are, if in the first year, you can’t hold onto your Presidential ambitions in check, then you must as well just not be in the system . . . if they will prematurely ejaculate before even the third year, if I were the President, I would adopt this method . . . if you won’t reshuffle them, get them to resign”.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/X4lxAwM59e4

Source: peacefmonline.com

Mahama is under immense pressure not to engage me – Koku Anyidoho claims

Former NDC General Secretary and now CEO of Atta Mills Institute, Koku Anyidoho has thrown the gauntlet to former President John Dramani Mahama for a sit-down talk regarding accusations levelled against him by some loyalists of the latter.

According to him, the conversation will bring closure to the never-ending saga of a supposed running battle with Mr Mahama.

Speaking on Okay Fm’s Ade Akye Abia programme, he explained that several attempts to meet John Mahama has proven futile as the then Chief of Staff, Julius Debrah who was his friend had to write him off.

“I personally drove to Julius Debrah’s house at Dome demanding to see the former president but Julius told me that he was under immense pressure not to engage me.

“I just need to engage him for him to know that claims that i hate him are false and also let him know that all that boys have been telling him about me are lies.

“Kwame (referring to the host), for me to be at peace with John Mahama and for him to be president again, we must have that open conversation.

“I never went to John Mahama’s office when he was president, I was considered an enemy to him. But did he do anything to dispel that information?” he said

Watch Video Below:

https://www.youtube.com/embed/83cjFecjVVQ

Source: peacefmonline.com

Can an unvaccinated Ghanaian be prevented from entering his own country? – Baako queries GHS

The Ghana Health Service (GHS) has directed that all unvaccinated Ghanaians and people with residential status returning to the country to mandatorily be vaccinated on arrival.

Additionally, all persons 18 years or above arriving in the country are required to provide evidence of full vaccination for COVID-19.

The directive forms part of a review of the national COVID-19 preventive protocol instituted at the Kotoka International Airport (KIA) to limit the importation of COVID-19 and also prevent a possible rise in cases during the Christmas and New Year festivities.

The government dreads a fourth wave may occur if these new measures are not enforced.

Delivering his submissions on the directive during Wednesday’s ”Kokrokoo” on Peace FM, the Editor-in-Chief of the New Crusading Guide, Kweku Baako seeks to find out how the Health Service is going to enforce this new order.

He asked if a Ghanaian national returning to Ghana could be prevented from entering the country on grounds that he or she must be compulsorily vaccinated before being granted a permit into his/her own country.null

Speaking to host Kwami Sefa Kayi, he asked; “If a Ghanaian citizen is returning, can you stop him because he has not been vaccinated? Can you; a Ghanaian citizen entering his own jurisdiction?”

Admitting he supports the compulsory vaccination, he however thinks person(s) who may want to try the laws on the directive should be encouraged to do so to bring closure on the mandatory vaccination and its enforcement.

“I believe in the mandatory, compulsory vaccination. I believe in it but it doesn’t mean those who feel it’s unconstitutional don’t have the right to go and challenge it. And I think we should encourage those who are interested in doing that litigation to proceed. I believe so,” he said.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/TLALN0JHPhg

Source: peacefmonline.com

Ignore those ‘braggarts’ against compulsory vaccination – Allotey Jacobs supports GHS

Social Commentator, Bernard Allotey Jacobs, has thrown his weight behind the new directive by the Ghana Health Service(GHS) for all persons entering Ghana to be fully vaccinated before they are allowed entry.

According to the GHS, all unvaccinated Ghanaians and people with residential status returning to Ghana after 14 days from Monday midnight will be vaccinated on arrival; as well all persons 18 years or above arriving in the country are required to provide evidence of full vaccination for COVID-19.

However, the directive, which came into force from December 14, 2021, has invited some divided opinions.

The National Communications Officer of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Sammy Gyamfi, has condemned the directive saying in a Facebook post that, “vaccination must be by choice and not by force. The imposition of compulsory COVID vaccination requirement on all Ghanaians traveling into and out of Ghana by the Ghana Health Service is reprehensible and an affront to the 1992 Constitution. And some of us are determined to fight this madness through every available legal means no matter the cost or stigma”.

Ningo Prampram MP, Sam George also reacting to the directive, argued on his Twitter page that the “compulsory vaccination upon entry to the Republic? Infringement of rights or public health policy? This is sound public health policy and a very good step by govt. I support it and hope it is implemented vigorously. Public health considerations supersede personal liberties”.

To Allotey Jacobs, the mandatory vaccination is in the right order.null

He argued that ensuring that all Ghanaians are fully vaccinated against the Coronavirus, particularly in the wake of the Omicron variant, is the way to go to protect the citizenry against the disease.

He condemned the criticisms about the directive saying, “immediately, you issue a mandatory [directive] on COVID that it should be compulsory for every person to vaccinate against COVID, you won’t be surprised to see those we call the braggart [they] will come out and say certain things against that order”.

Allotey Jacobs called on the government to activate the Information Service Department to begin educating the masses on the importance of compulsory vaccination in order to defeat the arguments by those he termed as “pessimists”.

“Where is the Information Service Department? Because, with this mandatory decision by government, by this time the ISD should behave rolled to the towns and villages explaining reasons why one should take the injection and we too should be asking the Ministry of Health where the injections are, telling them to bring it for us to vaccinate . . . they should do the by force [vaccination] . . . I support the decision that we should all vaccinate by force,” he said during Peace FM’s ‘Kokrokoo’ programme.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/e3HMfis8ydo

Source: peacefmonline.com

‘I never entered the office of President Mahama’ – Koku Anyidoho opens up

Koku Anyidoho has opened up with his relationship John Mahama

He said, the former President never invited him to his office

Anyidoho indicated people around him considered him as an enemy


Samuel Koku Anyidoho, CEO of the Atta Mills Institute, has revealed that he never entered the office of John Dramani Mahama, when he became the President after the passing of Prof John Evans Atta Mills in 2012.

According to him, people around the former President considered him as an enemy to John Mahama.

He said on Okay FM that, former President John Dramani Mahama never did anything to quash the misinformation of him being his enemy.

“President Mills passed on July 24, 2012, we buried him on August 10, 2012, so, we spent the last months of 2012 at the Castle; I never entered President Mahama’s office and before he moved to the Flagstaff House, I never entered his office,” Anyidoho explained.null

He noted that, if he [Anyidoho] asked the then Vice President Mahama whether or not he had an appointment with the late President Mills when he wanted to visit him as it is being speculated, then “he [Mahama] must have been a very weak Vice President”.

“I had no authority, no power to prevent Vice President John Dramani Mahama from seeing his boss the President,” he said.

“I am calling former President John Dramani Mahama to an open conversation if I ever disrespected him, I want him to tell the whole world. Your Excellency John Dramani Mahama, me [Samuel Koku S. Anyidoho], I’m calling you to an open conversation that, if I ever disrespected you as Vice President, come, meet me and let’s talk about it.

“Your boys have lied about me, created stories even to the point of the death of my daughter last year – one of your boys said I killed my daughter – I will meet you John Dramani Mahama in an open debate, speak to me and I will speak to you and I’ll tell you things that you did against Atta Mills, things you did against me…” Koku Anyidoho said. “If he does not dare come and speak to me, then he is not fit to be the President of Ghana again. If John Mahama does come and dispel the rumour about me, then he [can’t be the President again].”

Koku Anyidoho stressed that he tried to make a move through the former Chief of Staff, Julius Debrah, to have a discussion with John Dramani Mahama but he was rebuffed with the statement that, “Charlie we no go fit be buddies again.”

https://www.youtube.com/embed/83cjFecjVVQ

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

Mahama wanted Asiedu Nketia out as General Secretary – Anyidoho alleges

Koku Anyidoho is alleging John Mahama wanted Asiedu Nketia out as General Secretary

He said, they contacted him to contest Asiedu Nketia

And the Mahama camp also got people to contest Kwabena Adjei and Yaw Gyan


Koku Anyidoho, a former Deputy General Secretary of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), has alleged that former President John Dramani Mahama wanted some key members of the party who were occupying executive positions out during his time as the leader of the party.

He mentioned names like Kwabena Adjei, Asiedu Nketia and Yaw Gyan.

According to him, John Dramani Mahama and his group got people to contest both Kwabena Adjei and Yaw Gyan, so, they decided to persuade him [Koku Anyidoho] to contest Johnson Asiedu Nketia.null

He said, when he asked the rationale behind such motive, he was told that John Dramani Mahama wanted all Atta Mills people out from the party’s top leadership positions.

“John Mahama wanted to remove Kwabena Adjei, Asiedu Nketia and Yaw Gyan in 2014. President Mills had died on July 24, 2012, on the night, Vice President John Dramani Mahama was sworn in as the President and I [Samuel Koku Anyidoho] was in Parliament during the swearing-in, I stayed at the Castle for the period, that is, from July till December 2012. I worked and let me state that in the period, the new President never invited me to his office.

“I am a servant and when the master and the king does not invite you into his palace, you dare not go because you can lose your life…President Atta Mills will invite me to his office…I had no authority, no power to prevent Vice President John Dramani Mahama from seeing his boss the President…It is in that humble spirit that I could leave the presidency and go and work as Deputy to Johnson Asiedu Nketia, people didn’t understand it,” Koku Anyidoho explained to Okay FM on Wednesday, December 15.

“So, you John Dramani Mahama, after we won 2012 your agenda was to get rid of Kwabena Adjei, Asiedu Nketia and Yaw Gyan; so, you found people to contest them. You got somebody to contest Kwabena Adjei, you got somebody to Yaw Gyan, it was me, Koku Anyidoho, that your people came to and said I should contest Johnson Asiedu Nketia. This was in 2014.”

Anyidoho continued: “I asked the rationale behind it and I was told that John Dramani Mahama wants to kick out all those perceived to be in Atta Mills’ camp…You, Asiedu Nketia, you drove to me – let him come and swear on anything that he believes in – and thank me for not contesting him.null

“Let me tell you, he drove to me at the Castle…Kwadwo Asiedu Nketia, if you want to die today, pat yourself on your chest and say you did not come to me at the Castle, to thank me for not contesting you. He even told me that, he is going for the third time but not the fourth.

“So, come as my Deputy and after, you can take over as the General Secretary. On that day, he said, George Lawson and Kofi Adams did not respect him as Deputies and he cannot leave things with them to handle but for me [Koku Anyidoho] he can leave things for me to handle…”

Koku Anyidoho further noted that he did not desire to contest Johnson Asiedu Nketia and he will not contest Asiedu Nketia even today as General Secretary.

“I did it because Asiedu Nketia said he will not go and said I should go. He came back later and betrayed himself, his trust and everything but I, Samuel Koku S. Anyidoho, I shall not contest again for the position of General Secretary of the NDC,” he stressed.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/83cjFecjVVQ

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

Without e-levy, we can neither fix, build new roads nor pay GHS4.6bn owed contractors – Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu

Without the proposed 1.75 per cent e-levy in the 2022 budget, the government cannot maintain the existing roads nor build new ones, Majority Leader Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu has said.

Addressing journalists in Accra on Wednesday, 15 December 2021, the Minister of Parliamentary Affairs said he found it “surprising” that the Minority Caucus and the opposition NDC are fighting the e-levy.

He said the cost of borrowing has “escalated” and the country’s debt-to-GDP ratio has also risen as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, “so, we must look inward to mobilise resources for the country to develop, to build our roads, to build clinics, health facilities, to build educational facilities, to deliver potable water and one of the ways to do this is by the introduction of e-levy and people say: ‘No, we would not allow you to borrow outside, we will not allow you to also raise revenue from inside this country’”.

“So where are we going? We want development or we don’t want development? Do we want our roads to be built or not to be built?” he asked.

The Suame MP observed that the “cost of road construction and road maintenance has escalated over the past 20 years”.

“Why? Because over the past 20 years, the road network of this country has doubled”, he answered.

“When President Kufuor took over the administration of this country, the total road network was 39,000 km. When President Kufuor was leaving the scene, the road network had almost doubled – from the 39,000 km, it had increased to 69,000 km within eight years. … The NDC assumed the reins of power, they added on to that; from 69,000 km, it went to 73,000 km, an additional increase of 4,000 km”.

Also, he said President “Akufo-Addo’s first four years increased from 73,000 to 78,000 km”.

“So, over just two decades – from the year 2000 to 2021 – the road network has increased by more than 100 per cent”, Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu noted, adding: “We need to maintain them, we need to service them, we need to build new roads”.

“So, from independence up to 2000, we had only 39,000 km [of road]; just 20 years after, it’s more than doubled to, as we speak today, 79,000 km. We need to maintain them”.

“Where do we have the money to maintain them if we don’t mobilise resources from within? Today, as we speak, local road contractors, the government is indebted to them to the tune of about GHS4.5, GHS4.5 billion. We’re not having money to pay them”, he bemoaned.

He added: “The e-levy, we are told – in fact, the Road Fund contributes something but it’s not much; the road tolls, yielding altogether about GHS72 million a year. What is it going to do? But, in the meantime, that section of the road where you have the road tolls, often because they stop there, the roads end up being warped and furrowed. So, you have ridges and furrows at that place”.

“So, every year, you have to maintain that portion of the road. It’s the GHS78 million that you collect that you are going to use some to even maintain those sections of the road. How much is left?” he lamented.

“The e-levy, we are told, is going to yield about GHS8 billion as opposed to GHS78 million. That will yield enough for us to be able to do the roads. Of course, I do know that it’s not everything that is going to be used for the construction of roads but if you have GHS8 billion, GHS9 billion from the e-levy, it’s going to be substantial for you to be able to engage in development programmes and projects. So, the dialogue sessions indicated to us that we needed to do this”, he added

There can only be two political parties in Ghana in terms of ideology – Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu

Majority Leader in Parliament

Majority Leader in Parliament, Osei Kyei-Mensa-Bonsu has said that there can only be two political parties in Ghana in terms of ideologies.

A party can either belong to the left or to the right, he said.

The Minister for Parliamentary Affairs explained that there are several political parties in Ghana that should not be recognized as such because they do not exist in two thirds of districts in the country as is required by law.

To that end, the Suame lawmaker called for strict enforcement of the regulation of the parties.

He suggested that the power to regulate political parties should be taken away from the Electoral Commission (EC) because in his view, the elections management body is struggling to perform that function.

Addressing the press in Accra on Wednesday December 15, he said “There must be a state-funding of political parties with clearly defined modalities for its implementation, strengthen the internal political parties mechanisms, the need for consistent public education on the ill-effect of monetisation of politics on national development.

“The mandate of the Electoral Commission must be reviewed and a different institution established to be solely responsible for the regulation of political parties.

“The EC is charged with the conduct of elections but the regulation of political parties is something that has become difficult for Electoral Commission. Perhaps the time has come to assign another institution with that responsibility.

“The law provides that if you don’t exist in two thirds of the districts in this country you don’t have to be registered as a political party.”

The Minister for Parliamentary Affairs added “The EC without recourse to this provision in the constitution would usually give them a provisional certificate.

“When they don’t exists in two thirds of the districts we should be religious about that and once we are able to do this the multiplicity of political parties that we have in the system, more than 32 or so registered political parties yet we know that in terms of ideology there can only be two political parties

“You either belong to the left or you belong to the right. The directive principles of state policy which has defined the broad goal of development for us as a nation compels all political parties to belong to the centre.

“So in spite of ourselves, I belong to the NPP and we are a liberal party, the rightist liberal party, the NDC is pride of themselves also belong just a little bit of the left to the Centre.”

By Laud Nartey|3news.com|Ghana

Be consistent; speak truth to power – Afriyie-Ankrah to Clergy

Afriyie Ankrah At Press Conference E1607389532770 750x375

Former Minister for Youth and Sports, Elvis Afriyie-Ankrah has entreated the leadership of churches in the country to be concerned with the current governance being witnessed in the country.null

The Director of Elections for the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), who was speaking to the congregants of the Jehovah Shammah Temple of the Assemblies of God Church during a gathering to celebrate their 25th anniversary in Accra over the weekend, noted that the church has a critical role to play to put the leaders of the country to order whenever they went wayward.

“The church must speak truth, righteousness consistently; it has to be consistent,” Afriyie-Ankrah stated. “It doesn’t matter which party is in power because wrong is not determined by a political dispensation.”

“If something was wrong yesterday and it is happening today, it is still wrong,” he added.

His admonition comes at a time Ghanaians have kicked against the E-levy that has been suggested in the 2022 budget and economic policy of the Akufo-Addo administration.

Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta said the revenue accrued from the levy next year will be used to support small businesses and embark on massive road construction.

But the opposition has said the 1.75% e-levy will double the hardship Ghanaians are battling, and went ahead to use it’s numbers in Parliament to reject the budget which was later overturned by the majority caucus.null

Recently commercial drivers embarked on a sit down strike across the country over the incessant fuel prices, which led to thousands of commuters in Accra and Kumasi walking miles to work.

It is on the back of these development that Afriyie-Ankrah wants the church, whose thousands of members are affected daily by these policies, to speak against the bad faith the government is showcasing.

“….And therefore the church has enormous power to influence policy direction. We must speak truth to power and call people to order when they’re going astray irrespective of their political persuasion,” he entreated.

To him, that is the only way by which the church will ensure that officials work in the interest of the people when in power.

“…And politicians, we are interested in numbers and votes so if you know that the whole Assemblies of God; the whole Church of Pentecost; the whole Charismatic movement, what you are doing is against them, and they’ll speak against it, you’ll be guided by what you do,” he emphasized.

“So it is not just for mere political purposes to benefit one party or the other, but it is meant to set the country on the path of righteousness.”null

“And that is why we have to be consistent, so when the NDC does something which is wrong, please speak it. And I want to commend Rev. Frimpong Manso. He has been very consistent. And that is how it should be. We have to be consistent; if NPP does it and it is wrong, we have to speak it otherwise we stand the danger of plunging this country into difficult situations.”

Award

Afriyie-Ankrah was at the church to receive a citation on behalf of former president John Mahama who had been recognised and honoured for his selfless leadership to the people of Ghana by the Assemblies of God Church.

Mr Mahama was presented with a citation by the Jehovah Shamah Temple of the church at its 25th Anniversary Celebration.

Receiving the citation on behalf of the 2020 NDC presidential candidate of the NDC were, Afriyie-Ankrah, Dr. Sherry Ayittey and NDC Deputy National Women’s Organiser, Maame Efua Sakyiwaa Houdjeto.

Source: myxyzonline.com

Bagbin Overturns 2022 Budget On Dubai Sick Bed?

Alban S.K. Bagbin

The Majority Leader, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, has disclosed that the Speaker of Parliament, Alban S.K. Bagbin has reportedly minuted on the motion filed by the Minority in Parliament seeking to overturn the 2022 budget while he was on sick leave outside the country.××

Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu expressed concern that although the First Deputy Speaker, Joseph Osei-Owusu, assumed full responsibility for the conduct of business in the Chamber, while the Rt. Hon. Speaker was away but the motion filed by the Minority to overturn the 2022 Budget Statement and Economic Policy of Government approved in the last sitting has been minuted on by Mr. Bagbin at the period he was supposed to be in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

He mentioned if it turns out that Mr. Bagbin indeed admitted the motion, then it does not auger well for parliamentary practice in Ghana and if it appears fake also leaves room for probe.

The Minister of Parliamentary Affairs said: “The First Deputy Speaker is assuming full responsibility for the transaction of business in the Chamber, but my understanding is that the Rt. Hon. Speaker has minuted on the motion [from the Minority] that he has admitted it. If that is the case, then we are in for something dangerous.”

The Minority filed a motion challenging the conduct and ruling of the First Deputy Speaker on the approval of the 2022 budget on December 1.

However the motion was bounced by the First Deputy Speaker which provoked the Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu to also release statement on Monday, December 13, 2021, serving notice of not relenting in its effort to challenge the First Deputy Speaker’s ruling on their motion to set aside the approval of the 2022 Budget Statement and Economic Policy.

According to him, he will pursue the motion when the Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin, returns from his medical trip on December 14, 2021.

He was of the opinion that the December 1, 2021 ruling by the First Deputy Speaker “contravenes the Rules, Conventions, and Practices of the House and was actuated by bias.”

“The NDC Minority Caucus which I lead, and my good self, vehemently disagree with your position on the motion and your conduct in this matter. We take the strong view that your conduct affronts Orders 79, 81, 82, and 90 of our standing orders and can no longer be tolerated.”

“In that regard, we are resolved to pursue this matter further with the Right Honourable Speaker upon his return.”

By Vincent Kubi

Court Throws Out ‘Canada’ MP

James Gyekye Quayson

The Court of Appeal in Cape Coast yesterday dismissed two out of three preliminary applications filed by opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) Member of Parliament (MP) for Assin North, James Gyekye Quayson, who has been ordered by a Cape Coast High Court to vacate his seat in Parliament with immediate effect.

The embattled MP in early August was ordered by the High Court presided over by Justice Kwasi Boakye, to leave Parliament on the grounds that he was holding dual citizenship.

He has been challenging the declaration by the High Court and as part of the process, filed an appeal at the Cape Coast Court of Appeal.

Three Applications

There were three preliminary applications he filed after the High Court found that he was holding both Canadian and Ghanaian citizenships whilst filing to contest the 2020 parliamentary election which he won on December 7, on the ticket of the NDC.

First, he filed an application for a stay of execution pending the appeal.

Second, he is asking the appellate court to refer to the Supreme Court for interpretation of Article 94 (2) (a) of the 1992 Constitution.

Finally, the ‘Canada’ MP is asking the appellate court to grant him leave to file additional grounds of appeal.

Yesterday, when the court met in Cape Coast, the embattled MP who was led by Tsatsu Tsikata, was dismissed on the issue of the reference to the Supreme Court for interpretation of Article 94 (2) (a) of the 1992 Constitution.

The court then took the issue of his request for leave to file additional grounds of appeal and that was also dismissed.

However, on the application for stay of execution, pending appeal, the MP said he was filing an application for supplementary affidavit in support of the application for stay of execution, and the court granted the leave and adjourned the case to January 24, 2022, for hearing of the stay of execution.

Main Petition

The petitioner, Michael Ankomah Nimfah, on January 6, 2021, applied for an interlocutory injunction to restrain the then MP-elect from being sworn in and holding himself as MP for Assin North because he claimed the MP held Canadian citizenship.

The High Court granted the application, but in flagrant disregard for the court’s order, James Gyekye Quayson then was subsequently sworn in to be part of the Eight Parliament of the Fourth of Republic on January 7.

In the substantive petition that challenged the qualification to be an MP, the petitioner intimated that per Article 94 of the 1992 Constitution, the Representation of the People Law, Act 284 and the CI 127, Mr. Quayson was not qualified at the time of filing to contest the 2020 parliamentary elections, and should be disqualified.

The petitioner had claimed that as at the time Mr. Quayson was filing his papers with the Electoral Commission to enable him to go to Parliament, he was holding dual citizenship (both Ghanaian and Canadian), which the 1992 Constitution expressly does not allow for all those aspiring to hold public office in Ghana.

The petitioners therefore, asked the court to declare the Assin North Parliamentary Election null and void, and order fresh election.

Final Judgment

A Cape Coast High Court in early August cancelled the results of parliamentary elections in the Assin North Constituency in the Central Region, which Mr. Quayson won on December 7, 2020.

The court subsequently ordered that the filing of parliamentary nomination forms by Mr. Quayson when he held a Canadian citizenship at the time of filing the said nomination forms between October 5-9, 2020 with the Electoral Commission (EC) violates Article 94 (2) (a) of the 1992 Constitution, Section 9 (2) (a) of PNDCL 284 and C.I. 127.

The court also ordered that the EC’s decision to clear Mr. Quayson to contest the parliamentary elections in the Assin North Constituency when the latter was not qualified as a candidate on account of his holding allegiance to Canada other than Ghana, violates Article 92 (2) (a) of the 1992 Constitution, Section 9 (2) (a) of PNDCL 284, as amended and C.I. 127.

According to the court, the decision by the EC to allow Mr. Quayson to contest the parliamentary elections in the Assin North Constituency when he held a Canadian citizenship at the time of filing his nomination forms, violated the electoral laws of Ghana and is of no legal consequence.

The court said Mr. Quayson’s election “is null and void and of no legal effect whatsoever as same violates the electoral laws of Ghana,” because at the time of the election the respondent was not qualified to contest as a candidate in accordance with the electoral laws of Ghana.

“The Court hereby cancels the Parliamentary Elections in the Assin North Constituency organised in December 2020 and further orders 2nd Respondent to conduct fresh Parliamentary Elections in the Assin North Constituency as such,” the judge held, adding that Mr. Quayson “is hereby restrained perpetually from holding himself out as Member of Parliament-Elect for Assin North Constituency and or presenting himself to be sworn in as a Member of Parliament.”

The court also overruled the MP’s challenge that the petitioner, Michael Ankomah Nimfah, did not have the capacity to mount the challenge, and said the petition was competent because the jurisdiction of the court was properly invoked by the petitioner.

The court held that the independence of the EC in the conduct of elections is always guaranteed and the court can only intervene when an illegality resulting in an unconstitutional action has been committed by the commission.

MP’s Argument

Per the grounds of appeal, Mr. Quayson is arguing that “the High Court did not allow for proof of foreign law in the determination of the issues whether or not the appellant owed allegiance to a country other than Ghana.”

He is also arguing that the High Court acted contrary to Article 129(3) when it departed from a Supreme Court decision which stated that nomination period extends beyond the nomination day(s) announced by the Electoral Commission and rather limited itself to the nomination days of October 5 to October 9 announced by the EC.

He is also arguing that the High Court breached Section 20(1) (d) of the Representation of People Act, 1992, (PNDC Law 284) “when purporting to decide that the election of the appellant as a Member of Parliament on December 7, 2020, was void.”

Mr. Quayson is also arguing that the High Court erred in law when it refused or failed to proceed to the trial of the issues raised by the pleadings.

“The decision of the High Court to determine the suit solely on legal arguments where a matter of foreign law was pleaded is in breach of Order 38 Rule 1 and Order 32 Rule 7 of the High Court Civil Procedure Rules, 2004 (C.I. 47) as amended by sub rule 2 of Rule 3B and Rule 7A of the High Court (Civil Procedure) (Amendment) rules, 2014 (C.I 87) respectively.”

Again, he insisted that the “High Court erred in law and out of jurisdiction by not referring the interpretation of Article 94(2)(a) of the 1992 Constitution to the Supreme Court having regard to the different interpretations of the parties in the suit.”

Again, he averred that the High Court erred in law when it held that an election petition in the High Court is a competent procedure for challenging the decision of the EC to clear him for the December 7, 2020 parliamentary election.

The appeal filed by his lawyer, Justin Pwavra Teriwajah, who was yesterday led by Tsatsu Tsikata, concluded that the nullification of the December 7, 2020 parliamentary election in Assin North and a further order for a fresh election lack any constitutional and legal basis as the “judgment is wholly against the weight of the evidence

Government spent over GHC32m on conferences under COVID-19 – Minority

Muntaka Mubarak

Minority to investigate government expenditure

Minority to hold government accountable

We won’t allow government to waste Ghana’s resources

The Minority in parliament has revealed that the government spent over GHC30 million on conferences during the height of the Coronavirus pandemic in the country.

According to the Minority Chief Whip, Mohammed-Mubarak Muntaka, they are ready to demand full details on how these monies were spent to ensure Ghanaians know how the nation’s scarce resources are being used under the Nana Akufo-Addo administration.

Speaking to Starrnews, the lawmaker said, “I can tell you this, a lot of these ministries are sweating, I mean if people can choose to spend GHc32million on conferences during COVID, you have to provide details. And if one particular office can spend 1billion, we need details and they are sweating already,” Starrnewsonline quoted.

He explained that they intend to do this to ensure that they are following procedures of the House in such matters.

“We do not want these things to stand uncontested and exhaustive because if you allow it to stay, it becomes part of rules of the House. We want to be sure that all avenues would be exhausted then we are certain that this is what we want to be part of the proceeding of the House. Remember, I have always said the House is by three things, the Standing Orders, the Constitution and our practice,” he added.

Muntaka Mubarak added that the Minority caucus will ensure Ghanaians have full details of how government is using the nation’s scarce resources under the Akufo-Addo administration while they hold the government accountable.

“Our concentration is to do our bid and our bid is that we are holding the government to account for its stewardship. We are saying that we will not allow you to waste our resources, resources that have been given to you. You must account for it properly. If you want to do anything use the right procedure,” he said.

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

Kumasi: Manhyia stops Bawumia supporters from campaigning at Akwasidae

Supporters of Vice President Dr. Mahamadu Bawumia were stopped from campaigning during Sunday’s Akwasidae festival hosted by Otumfuo Osei Tutu II in the Ashanti Region.

The near clashes between the supporters from Dr. Bawumia and Trade Minister, Alan Kwadwo Kyeremanteng was stopped by the timely intervention of security guards at the Manhyia Palace.

The arrival of Vice President Dr. Bawumia and government entourage to the Manhyia durbar grounds turn the 2021 Akwasidae festival celebration into a political campaign grounds amidst singing, drumming and open display of party colours, Ultimate FM’s Isaac Bediako Justice reported from the festival grounds.

The inner perimeter of the durbar grounds became more charged when the supporters of Dr. Bawumia openly displayed “break the 8 with Dr. Bawumia’’ banners.

The action by the Bawumia’s supporters provoked the Alan camp at the festival who also resorted to chanting at the National Executives.

According to the Alan Supporters, the National Executives have failed to ensure that party members comply with the directive of no campaign in order not to create tension within the party ahead of the various internal elections.

The two supporter groups have threaten a show down during their impending National delegates conference scheduled to happen in Kumasi on 23rd December 2021.

“We will not tolerate any act of “stupidity” here if they dare what they did in Manhyia today at the conference. We will react in equal measure to prove to them that Kumasi is our home,’’ the Alan supporter warned.

Baba Iddrisu, a supporter of Dr. Bawumia also replied that “we are aware of plans by Alan Kyeremanteng’s camp for the conference. So therefore, this is a warning to them. They will overpower us if we remain silent, don’t forget Ashanti Region is their stronghold.”

Meanwhile, the Ashanti Regional Executives say the incident will not go unaddressed adding that “the right decision will be taken in preparation to have a successful National delegates conference.”

Source: Ghana/Starrfm.com.gh/103.5FM/Isaac Bediako

Free SHS: Stop the chest-beating, fix the challenges – Suhuyini to Akufo-Addo

Tamale North Lawmaker, Alhassan Suhuyini has asked President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to stop giving himslef a pat on the back following the implementation of the free senior high School (SHS) programme and address the challenges the programme is saddled with at the moment.

He said Mr Akufo-Addo must be reflective, open-minded and accept the concerns raised against the implementation in order to address the issues.

Mr Suhuyini was speaking on the New Day show on TV3 Monday December 13 after Akufo-Addo expressed utmost satisfaction with the Free SHS policy, introduced by his administration in September 2017, that is currently guaranteeing a minimum of senior high school education for all of Ghana’s children.

According to President Akufo-Addo, “five (5) years on following the implementation of the Free Senior High School programme, which has guaranteed a minimum of Senior High School education for 1.6 million Ghanaian children, I want to state, without any equivocation, that I am very proud of the policy and of its results thus far.”

Speaking at the 70 th anniversary celebration of the Tamale Senior High School (TAMASCO) in Tamale, on Saturday, 11 th December 2021, the President stressed that the experiences of developed nations have shown that the most efficient way to create a society of opportunities, and, thereby, guarantee the future of a nation, is by investing in education and skills training of the youth.

Without an educated populace, he stated that, Ghana cannot transition from the status of a developing to a developed nation, adding that “it is the people of Ghana, Ghanaians like you and I, and especially the youth of today, who are going to build Ghana.”

The results of the 2020 and 2021 WASSCE results, the President stated, give further evidence of why the Free SHS policy has been a success so far.

“There were some who described Free SHS as “a waste”; some said it would “destroy our Ivy League Schools”, and some indicated that the policy was going to compromise the quality of senior high school education. None of these have happened, and I am sure they have eggs on their faces now, or should have, President Akufo-Addo stated.

He continued, “The 2021 WASSCE results of the second batch of the “Akufo-Addo graduates” shows 54.08% of students recording A1-C6 in English, as opposed to 51.6% in 2016; 65.70% recording A1-C6 in Integrated Science in 2021, as opposed to 48.35% in 2016; 54.11% recording A1-C6 in Mathematics, as compared to 33.12% in 2016; and 66.03% recording A1-C6 in Social Studies, as compared to 54.55% in 2016. Lest we forget, the 2021 batch of students were the pioneers of the double track system, which elicited a lot of vilification and unfounded criticism on its introduction.”

Another indication of the value of the Free SHS policy, he stated, is the dramatic increase in the percentage of students from TAMASCO, who have qualified to attend University.

“In 2015, it was 29.2%; in 2016, it was 31.4%; in 2017, it was 34.7%; in 2018, it was 31.3%; in 2019, it was 46.3%; and in 2021, it was 45.8%. Surely, Chairperson, there can no longer be any controversy about the validity of the Free SHS policy and its consequential measures. It is working,” he said.

The President, thus, appealed to all Ghanaians to “forgo partisan, parochial considerations, which confer little benefit, and all agree that Free SHS has to be a part of our national educational architecture, for, at least, a generation, if not forever. Our nation will clearly be empowered and enriched”.

But Suhuyini who is also a former teacher and broadcaster said “You don’t taunt those who say we have a problem over here.

“Those who raise issues get taunted by the president, it tells you that there is something wrong. The attitude of the president is wrong. The president must stop the chest-beating.”

By Laud Nartey|3news.com|Ghana

I’m Chasing, Duffuor, Dauda, Others For GH₵2bn, $850m Swallowed By Fraud, Other Crimes – Prez Akufo-Addo

President Nana Akufo-Addo has said, as part of his fight against corruption, his government, through the Attorney General, is prosecuting some high-profile persons for various offences including fraud, economic crime, procurement breaches and money laundering.

Speaking at the National Anti-Corruption Conference on Friday, 10 December 2021, President Akufo-Addo said the Office of the Attorney General and the Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO), in addition to the countless cases being prosecuted around the country, have successfully prosecuted a number of high-profile cases, including a case of stealing in the Republic vs. Eugene Baffoe-Bonnie & Others. 

“Many other high-profile prosecutions involving corruption, economic crime, fraud, procurement breaches and money laundering, like the Republic vs. Alhaji Collins Dauda & 4 Others in the Saglemi Scandal; Republic vs. Ernest Thompson & Others; Republic vs. Dr Kwabena Duffuor & Others are ongoing. It is worthy to note that these cases have, as their sole object, the principle of holding public officers to account, and involve sums in excess of $850 million and GH₵2 billion,” he added. 

The President also said the Attorney General, on behalf of the government, is currently leading the effort to enact a law on the conduct of public officers. 

He said, “inasmuch as public officials are required to declare their assets upon taking office as a tool of fighting corruption, I am, however, of the candid opinion that existing legislation on corruption, relating to the conduct of public officers in Ghana, appears to be inadequate to deal extensively with public office accountability.” 

According to the president, “the need to lay down a set of far-reaching and a more fit for purpose set of regulations for the conduct of public officers, which will give effect to the provisions of Chapter 24 of the Constitution on conduct of public officers, is, in my view, now self-evident”. 

To this end, he revealed that the Attorney General, over the past four months, has undertaken various stakeholder consultations with a number of public sector organisations, civil society and other interest groups to this end. 

When passed into law, President Akufo-Addo indicated that the Conduct of Public Officers Act will follow the example of legislation in other jurisdictions like the United States Ethics in Government Act of 1978, Public Officers Ethics Act of Kenya, and the U.K. Constitutional and Governance Act of 2010, in addressing issues regarding financial portfolios held by public officers before assuming public office, links to family business, improper enrichment, care of public property, professional practices, property, investments/shareholdings and other assets, self-dealing, partiality in the performance of duties, use of public or confidential information to further private interest, amongst others. 

“The Bill provides a gamut of stringent administrative measures and sanctions to deal with violations of the law, ranging from a bar against holding public office for limited and indefinite periods to penal measures. The Bill also seeks to strengthen the role of CHRAJ in the investigation of allegations of contravention of or non-compliance with the Code of Conduct for Public Officers, including conflict of interest, non-declaration of assets, and illicit enrichment,” the President added. 

Updating the Conference about some of the important contributions of the Office of Attorney General in the detection and prosecution of high-profile corruption cases, as well as in the protection of the public purse, the President acknowledged that the state’s tight purse is very much affected by the award of judgment debts, in various unconscionable transactions. 

“The recent example of a financial house claiming payment of interest of some GH¢1.3 billion after 11 years, from a transaction involving a meagre GH¢268,000 in 2008, even after the state had already paid some GH¢79 million, comes to mind”. 

“Through the effort of the Attorney General, the Supreme Court declared further payment as unlawful, saving the State some two hundred and thirty million dollars (US$230 million),” he said.  

He also told the gathering about how, on 31 July 2021, the Attorney General succeeded in setting aside a judgement debt in excess of US$15.3 million imposed by the High Court, Kumasi, in an action arising out of the activities of the erstwhile Inter-Ministerial Committee on Illegal Mining about two years ago.

Source: classfmonline.com

Akufo-Addo is the biggest promoter of corruption’ – Sammy Gyamfi

“Whether or not President Akufo-Addo is not the clearing agent of corruption does not lie in his mouth,” Sammy Gyamfi said.

National Communications Officer of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Sammy Gyamfi, has accused President Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo as the biggest enabler of corruption Ghana has ever had.

His comment follows President Akufo-Addo’s assertion that all allegations of corruption leveled against his appointees so far, have been probed.

Speaking on Accra based Joy FM’s Top Story on Friday, December 10, 2021, Sammy Gyamfi said President Akufo-Addo has not shown positive attitude towards addressing corruption in the country.

“Whether or not President Akufo-Addo is not the clearing agent of corruption does not lie in his mouth. It has to do with his conduct, as it is said, action speaks louder than words and so what can the good people of Ghana reasonably infer or deduce from the conduct of President Akufo-Addo that is what matters. It is not about coming out to say I am not a clearing agent of corruption.

“It is about what your conduct says, it is about how you handle corruption matters and scandals and the kind of signals that is sent to the populace. And if you look at the countless cases of corruption we have witnessed under President Akufo-Addo and how same have been handled by him, you cannot but come to the inevitable conclusion that President Akufo-Addo is the chief corruption clearing agent. He is the mother serpent of corruption as Martin Amidu told us and he is the biggest enabler and promoter of corruption ever that we have had in this country,” he said.

Citing many corruption scandals such as the PPA scandal, the SSNIT scandal, the ‘Cocoa Nti’ scandal among others under the Akufo-Addo administration, Sammy Gyamfi indicated the government has failed in fighting corruption in Ghana.

“Why must the special prosecutor be the one prosecuting this case [the PPA scandal] if President Akufo-Addo is interested in fighting corruption. Who is prosecuting Dr. Opuni? Who is prosecuting Seidu Agongo? Who is prosecuting Sedinam Tamakloe? Who is prosecuting Ernest Thompson? Is it not the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice appointed by President Akufo-Addo?

“If his Attorney-General and Minister of Justice had prosecuted former appointees of the erstwhile NDC regime, why can’t they prosecute his own appointees who have been found by independent constitutional and investigative bodies to have engaged in corruption,” he added.

Reacting to the comments by Sammy Gyamfi, the Director of Communications of the NPP, Yaw Buaben Asamoa said the country must build a resilient institution to fight against corruption in the long term and not leave the menace into the hands of presidents.

He noted independent institutions mandated by the Constitution to fight corruption must step up and deal with the canker.

“We shouldn’t leave this in the hands of presidents, we should build a system that is resilient that serves us over the long term, and the institutions vested with the authority and power to fight corruption must step up and deal with this canker once and for all because they have the freedom, they are free to do so particularly the Office of the Special Prosecutor.

Source: Myjoyonline

NDC is not against taxation – Asiedu Nketia sets records straight

Gen Mosquito Johnson Asiedu Nketia.jpeg

NDC MPs reject 2022 budget over taxes

NDC holds presser on 2022 budget

NDC code names 2022 budget ‘Awudie Budget’

Contrary to assertions that Members of Parliament on the Minority side fighting against some taxes and levies introduced in the 2022 budget, are against taxation, John Asiedu Nketia says that is not so.

The General Secretary of the NDC explained that the party rather has a different approach to the subject of taxation.
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Speaking during a public forum on the 2021 ‘Awudie Budget’ organized by the NDC, he elaborated the stance of the party, stating that taxing people should benefit the nation and its people more than it impoverishes them.

“NDC is not against taxation. Indeed, our philosophy is based on taxation. We believe in redistributive justice and taxation is a means of achieving redistribution of wealth in the country. Our philosophy is hinged on the belief that what we have come together and we want to fight, we have different means: some will get rich, others will get richer, others will remain poor whatever happens but if we want to live in a group to ensure that everybody can have the basic needs in life, we believe that it is through taxation.

“Our principle of taxation is each according to his means. So, those who have bigger means will pay more than those who don’t have. And we are very conscious about what taxation and how those taxations are implemented. Because, if you put in taxation measure that works to put the greatest burden on the people who are already sinking then you are not helping to build a well-fed society,” he said.

The Minority in parliament had, on November 26, 2021, rejected the 2022 Budget Statement and Economic Policy in a historic event, but that decision was overturned days later on November 30, 2022, by the Majority.

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

Turn Parliament Into Supermarket And Sell ‘Kobi, Kako’ – Allotey Jacobs Fires ‘Spoiled Children’ MPs

Social Commentator, Bernard Allotey Jacobs, has reprimanded the Members of Parliament over their conduct in the House.

The Majority and Minority have shared dissenting opinions on the 2022 budget that was presented by the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta.

With the Minority kicking against the budget, the Majority have approved it.

To the Minority, the budget, with particular reference to the government’s e-levy, will compound the hardships of Ghanaians whereas the Majority strongly believes the budget named “Agyenkwa Budget” will rather relieve Ghanaians.

On Wednesday, December 1, 2021, things escalated quickly while the Minority and Majority were broaching issues on the floor of Parliament resulting in the Minority members attempting to attack the Deputy Speaker, Joseph Osei Owusu (Joe Wise) who sat in for the Speaker, Alban Bagbin.

The Speaker’s seat was pulled away by a Minority member in protest against the Deputy Speaker.

Addresssing the issue during a panel discussion on Peace FM’s ‘Kokrokoo’, Bernard Allotey Jacobs scolded the Parliamentarians for playing with the budget.

‘”The budget is our destiny for the year 2022. It involves and includes everyone, even an unborn baby in the womb and we have turned the budget into gutter to gutter playing sides depending upon how people are being influenced from behind the scenes,” he said.

“Some of the Parliamentarians are like spoiled child or spoiled children, so they are playing with the Parliament,” he further slammed the MPs.

To him, it would be better to turn Parliament into a “supermarket Africana and sell kobi, kako and other things” if the MPs can’t be serious in Parliament, adding, “when a foreigner comes and wants to go to a chop bar in the Parliament House, you will find the Parliament House very clean”.

”You can’t hold the destiny of this country. You can’t!”, he warned them.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/-NzWtt1Lexc

Source: Ameyaw Adu Gyamfi/Peacefmonline.com/Ghana

Ofosu Ampofo Planned Harm On Others

Ofosu Ampofo

The police investigator testifying at the trial of National Chairman of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Samuel Ofosu Ampofo and a communications officer of the party, Anthony Kwaku Boahen, has insisted that the NDC Chairman had planned to endanger the lives of other people.

According to Chief Inspector Bernard Berko, the leaked audio tape from a meeting organised for communicators of the NDC which was played in court, captured Mr. Ofosu-Ampofo planning to endanger the lives of the Chairman of the National Peace Council (Prof. Emmanuel Asante) and Chairperson of the Electoral Commission (Jean Mensa).

This, he said, was the reason why Ofosu-Ampofo and Kwaku Boahen who allegedly conspired to commit those offences, were charged and put before the court to be tried.

Chief Inspector Berko was responding to a question by Tony Lithur, counsel for Ofosu-Ampofo while under cross-examination on the basis for charging the two accused persons.

The lawyer had asked the witness whether an interview granted by Kwaku Boahen in the aftermath of the leaked tape that those in attendance supported what the party chairman had said, was the basis for charging the two with conspiracy.

“There was a plot to commit those offences and it was done by A1 (Ofosu-Ampofo) and A2 (Boahen) that was why they were charged with those offences,” the witness responded.

Mr. Lithur further asked if those comments in the interview were the basis of the plot as alleged by the investigator, and he answered that it was based on the plan to endanger the lives of others, that they were charged.

“My Lord, the audio was played in open court. A1 was heard planning to endanger the lives of other people, attacking the Chairman of Peace Council, Chairperson of Electoral Commission. It was based on those plans that they were charged before this court,” the witness answered.

“My question was about A2 (Boahen). Since you yourself admitted that you did not hear A2 speak during the meeting, was these comments which he made during the interview what you said constitute the plot?” Mr. Lithur probed further.

“My Lord, so many people attended the meeting but not all of them were heard. Also A2 in an interview said he was part of the meeting and he appreciates whatever A1 (Ofosu-Ampofo) said and he supports it. This is why he was charged to appear before this court,” Chief Inspector Berko responded.

“I suggest to you that A2 did not say in that whole interview that he supported what A1 said. The statement clearly was that his political party, the NDC supported what A1 was alleged to have said,” Mr. Lithur fired.

“On Page 7 line 9 of Exhibit 1 (transcript of interview), he said he appreciates whatever A1 said and he supports it,” the witness responded.

“Are you suggesting that when he said ‘we’ he meant he?” the lawyer asked, and the witness answered “It means he and others.”

Mr. Lithur then suggested to the witness that those others referred to as ‘we’ are the members of the NDC, and the witness said ‘that is so’, adding that “Since the meeting was meant for NDC communicators, it can be true the others are members of the same party.”

Hearing has been adjourned to January 18, 2022 for continuation.

Main Trial

Ofosu-Ampofo has been charged with one count of conspiracy to cause harm and two counts of assault against a public officer, while Kwaku Boahen is facing one count of conspiracy to cause harm.

They have both been granted bail of GH¢100,000, with one surety each.

Mr. Ofosu-Ampofo and one of the party’s leading communicators, Kwaku Boahen, are on trial over the audio recording containing the chilling strategies the NDC allegedly intended to use for the 2020 elections – one being the kidnappings of family members of political opponents.

Per the prosecution’s facts, they had planned to commit crimes in the country and turn round to blame them on the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) in the run up to the 2020 general election which the NDC lost.

Among the strategies were the creation of a general state of insecurity in the country through kidnappings, arson and verbal attacks on public officials like the Chairman of the National Peace Council, Prof. Emmanuel Asante, and Electoral Commission boss, Jean Mensa.

The audio detailed how Ofosu-Ampofo, for instance, was asking the party members to make those officials “know their lives are in danger” as well as taking the EC Chairperson “to the cleaners.”

At one point on the tape, the NDC Chairman appeared to express delight that their ‘tactics’ were working after he heard one of the targets was not able to sleep in the house

I’ll respect the two term limit – Akufo-Addo assures

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has pledged to continue to respect the two term presidential limit and abide by the the Economic Community of the West African States (ECOWAS) protocol on democracy and good governance.

He insisted that good governance must exclude political manipulations to stay in power beyond given mandates.

President Akufo-Addo who was speaking at the 2021 Kofi Annan Peace and Security Forum at the Kofi Annan Peace Keeping Centre in Accra, reiterated ECOWAS’ resolve to restore democracy in Mali and Guinea.

 The two day 2021 Kofi Annan Peace and Security Forum which is dedicated to the 20th anniversary of the ECOWAS protocol on democracy and good governance, has adopted a hybrid format and focused on the theme, democracy in the context of complex crisis in west Africa.

The forum will aim at building political will to reaffirm the avowed commitment to democracy and credibility of elections on the west African sub region.

The forum which has brought together some former african heads of states and leaders,  is expected to contribute to the ongoing discussion on how to strengthen the role of democratic institutions in their function as gatekeepers in promoting and maintaining peace and stability.

He also appealed to Ghana’s diplomat, Mohamed Ibn Chambas to assist the Authority of Heads of States of the ECOWAS to restore Guinea to constitutional rule.

Mr Akufo-Addo who is also Chair of the ECOWAS admitted that the task to restore Guinea to democratic path is a sensitive one that requires persons such as Dr Chambas who has just been appointed as the Chair of the Kofi Annan Peace and Security Forum.

“I must at the outset congratulate Ghana’s distinguished diplomat , the chair of the Kofi Annan Peace and Security Forum, Dr Mohamed Ibn Chambas on his new appointment as ECOWAS Envoy to Guinea.

“He is has won many hearts in the course of of his stellar career and I want to assure him of the support of the of the Authority of ECOWAS whose Chair I am privileged to be the current occupant , in the collective quest to restore Guinea on the path of democracy and stability.

“If there is anyone who can assist the authority to accomplish this sensitive task , it is my good friend of many years Mohamed Ibn Chambas,” he said while speaking at the 2021 Kofi Annan Peace and Security Forum at the Kofi Annan Peace Keeping Centre in Accra, on Wednesday December 8.

ECOWAS had imposed sanctions on Guinea in a bid to get the country back to the democratic governance after the regional body held an extraordinary meeting in Accra on Thursday September 16 to deliberate on happenings in Guinea after Alpha Conde’s government was overthrown on Sunday, September 5 by members of the Special Forces of Guinea, led by Colonel Mamady Doumbouya, who has now formed the National Committee for Reconciliation and Development (CNRD).

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They as well as their family members have been banned from travelling and their financial assets have been frozen. This has been communicated to international bodies like AU, UN, EU and other bilateral bodies.

A decision was taken for the Chair of the Authority to personally travel to Conakry to convey the messages to the military leaders.

“[The heads of state] also, of course, reaffirmed ECOWAS’ firm commitment to work and help Guinea in this process of restoring the constitutional order.

“They insisted also on the close support of traditional partner the United Nations, the African Union, European Union and also other bilateral countries and they also decided that there will be a visit by the Chair of the Authority to the Republic of Guinea as soon as possible to convey those messages regarding the decision of the Summit personally.”

Source: 3news.com|Ghana

Akufo-Addo governing through violence, intolerance – NDC Recounts ‘Violent 2020’ Polls

The National Democratic Congress (NDC) has noted that the December 7, 2020, polls was a terrible blot on Ghana’s democracy.

General Secretary of the party, Johnson Asiedu-Nketiah said the government unleashed its goons on Ghanaians during the elections, a situation which led to the death of some 8 persons.
The chief scribe said although the current president was touted as a man who respects the rule of law, his governance had been characterized by violence, intolerance and machoism.

The party also recounted the death of journalist Ahmed Hussein Suale without concrete outcome.

Read the full statement below:

A statement issued and signed by the party’s General Secretary Johnson Asiedu Nketia on Monday December 6 said, “For us in the National Democratic Congress, who were the victims at the hands of the NPP goons who have been unlawfully integrated into the security services, that day will always remain a terrible blot on the much-acclaimed democratic credentials of Ghana whose genesis we in the NDC are proud to be associated with.

“It is a matter of grave irony that the one person who, before the elections of 2016, was touted as the best thing that could happen to Ghana’s leadership, turned out to be a politician whose style of governance is dominated by intolerance, violence and machoism.

It was during the first term of President Akufo-Addo that the politically-motivated murder of Ahmed Suale took place. Ahmed Suale was murdered almost 3 years ago, and yet nobody knows when his murderers would be apprehended and brought to trial. But that is not all.”

It added that “In the first year of the 2nd term of President Akufo-Addo, another obviously politically-motivated murder has been committed, this time in Ejura in the Ashanti Region. The callous murder of Ibrahim Mohammed, alias Kaaka and the apparent silence and inaction of the security agencies to find his killers, has fortified us in our belief that President Akufo-Addo is not fully committed to his oath to preserve the lives of Ghanaians, and that anyone who dissents cannot count on his protection.

“It is a matter of great regret that a President who in his professional career, spent several years defending human rights issues would, upon the assumption of the highest office in the land, preside over such egregious violations of the rights of citizens.”

“Today, we recall, with grave sadness and sorrow that eight (8) Ghanaians were needlessly murdered by agents of the state under the ultimate control of the Presidency during the 2020 general elections. What is even more baffling over and beyond the tardiness of the Akufo-Addo government in bringing to book the perpetrators of these heinous crimes, is the fact that the President has never for once acknowledged that his victory was secured over the lifeless bodies of his fellow citizens.

“The National Democratic Congress wishes to place on record its promise to the families of the deceased and the injured that, at the earliest possible opportunity, we shall seek justice for the bereaved and the injured, and take all appropriate steps to ensure that compensation is paid to the families of those who were murdered or needlessly assaulted by NPP hoodlums. These dead persons, in our humble opinion, are the martyrs of the 4th Republic. And we will never forget them.

“Let it also never be forgotten that this ready resort to violence on the part of President Akufo-Addo and his NPP predates his accession to the Presidency. For even in opposition, violence was freely employed by he and his supporters to cow his adversaries in his own party into submission. And it is this clearly visible trait that has plunged the country into the confusion surrounding the approval of the 2022 Budget.

“We now have a President who obviously does not believe in dialogue nor negotiations and would, at any stage of engagement, seek to employ the tactics of a wannabe dictator to bully his way through. Unfortunately, in a real democracy, such methods do not yield peace or stability. And fortunately, the people of Ghana awarded the NDC with enough seats in Parliament to ward off the President’s intolerant approach to governance.

“We in the National Democratic Congress wish to place on record our unblemished admiration for our 137 MPs who, in the face of naked power play and threats, have stood up to be counted. We honour them most especially for their forthright rejection of the E-levy. By ensuring the successful election of the vintage Rt. Hon. Alban Sumana Bagbin as the Speaker of the 8th Parliament, the gallant NDC MPs have carved out a name for themselves and posterity.

“The people of Ghana are now assured that Parliament has assumed its proper role as an oversight institution that checks the excesses of the government of President Akufo-Addo. The National Democratic Congress salutes all Ghanaians who, despite the threats to their much cherished rights, despite the unjustified killing of as many as eight citizens, despite the intolerance of the Akufo-Addo government, went to the polls and cast their votes a year ago.

“We pledge to fight as hard as possible within the law, to prevent the current government from bastardising our democracy; and we promise that no sacrifice on our part would be too much for us to bear in order to secure for ourselves and our posterity, the benefits of the democracy that we toiled so hard to establish.”

Safeguard Democracy – Asiedu Nketiah Entreats Ghanaians

The General Secretary of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Mr Johnson Asiedu Nketiah, has called on stakeholders to help safeguard the country’s democracy.

He said the events in Parliament in the past two weeks did not augur well for the country and undermined the country’s multi party system of governance.

Speaking in an interview with the Daily Graphic, Mr Nketiah said the current situation where statesmen and women were avoiding commenting on national issues was not good.

He, therefore, urged all Ghanaians to help ensure peace and stability in the country.

He said after practising uninterrupted democracy for 30 years under the Fourth Republic, it was important that state institutions and the various arms of government exhibited maturity in the conduct of state affairs.

Institutions

He said Ghana had come far under the 1992 Constitution and it was important that all arms of government lived up to their functions and not become subservient to any other arm of government.

Similarly, he said, if the populace lost confidence in any arm of government, it would not augur well for the country’s democracy.

Mr Nketiah urged Ghanaians not to take the relative peace and stability in the country for granted but work hard to protect it.

“This is the only country we have. Let us ensure we safeguard its peace and stability,” he said.

On November 26, 2021, the Majority walked out of Parliament. In its wake, the 2022 Budget Statement and Economic Policy was rejected.

However, on November 30, 2021, the Majority rescinded the decision of the Minority to reject the budget by getting it approved. In this instance, it was only the Majority caucus who were in Parliament as the Minority also staged a walkout.

An attempt by the Minority to reverse the decision of the Majority resulted in chaos on the floor of the House on December 1, 2021.

Source: graphiconline.com

2020 polls: Akufo-Addo won on the bloody altar of violence and mayhem – NDC

The main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) says it is marking the first anniversary of what it describes as the controversial 2020 General Elections.

They said President Akufo-Addo secured his victory in that election on the bloody altar of violence and mayhem.

A statement issued and signed by the party’s General Secretary Johnson Asiedu Nketia on Monday December 6 said “For us in the National Democratic Congress, who were the victims at the hands of the NPP goons who have been unlawfully integrated into the security services, that day will always remain a terrible blot on the much-acclaimed democratic credentials of Ghana whose genesis we in the NDC are proud to be associated with.


“It is a matter of grave irony that the one person who, before the elections of 2016, was touted as the best thing that could happen to Ghana’s leadership, turned out to be a politician whose style of governance is dominated by intolerance, violence and machoism.
It was during the first term of President Akufo-Addo that the politically-motivated murder of Ahmed Suale took place. Ahmed Suale was murdered almost 3 years ago, and yet nobody knows when his murderers would be apprehended and brought to trial. But that is not all.”


It added that “In the first year of the 2nd term of President Akufo-Addo, another obviously politically-motivated murder has been committed, this time in Ejura in the Ashanti Region. The callous murder of Ibrahim Mohammed, alias Kaaka and the apparent silence and inaction of the security agencies to find his killers, has fortified us in our belief that President Akufo-Addo is not fully committed to his oath to preserve the lives of Ghanaians, and that anyone who dissents cannot count on his protection.


“It is a matter of great regret that a President who in his professional career, spent several years defending human rights issues would, upon the assumption of the highest office in the land, preside over such egregious violations of the rights of citizens.”

“Today, we recall, with grave sadness and sorrow that eight (8) Ghanaians were needlessly murdered by agents of the state under the ultimate control of the Presidency during the 2020 general elections. What is even more baffling over and beyond the tardiness of the Akufo-Addo government in bringing to book the perpetrators of these heinous crimes, is the fact that the President has never for once acknowledged that his victory was secured over the lifeless bodies of his fellow citizens.


“The National Democratic Congress wishes to place on record its promise to the families of the deceased and the injured that, at the earliest possible opportunity, we shall seek justice for the bereaved and the injured, and take all appropriate steps to ensure that compensation is paid to the families of those who were murdered or needlessly assaulted by NPP hoodlums. These dead persons, in our humble opinion, are the martyrs of the 4th Republic. And we will never forget them.


“Let it also never be forgotten that this ready resort to violence on the part of President Akufo-Addo and his NPP predates his accession to the Presidency. For even in opposition, violence was freely employed by he and his supporters to cow his adversaries in his own party into submission. And it is this clearly visible trait that has plunged the country into the confusion surrounding the approval of the 2022 Budget.


“We now have a President who obviously does not believe in dialogue nor negotiations and would, at any stage of engagement, seek to employ the tactics of a wannabe dictator to bully his way through. Unfortunately, in a real democracy, such methods do not yield peace or stability. And fortunately, the people of Ghana awarded the NDC with enough seats in Parliament to ward off the President’s intolerant approach to governance.


“We in the National Democratic Congress wish to place on record our unblemished admiration for our 137 MPs who, in the face of naked power play and threats, have stood up to be counted. We honour them most especially for their forthright rejection of the E-levy. By ensuring the successful election of the vintage Rt. Hon. Alban Sumana Bagbin as the Speaker of the 8th Parliament, the gallant NDC MPs have carved out a name for themselves and posterity.

“The people of Ghana are now assured that Parliament has assumed its proper role as an oversight institution that checks the excesses of the government of President Akufo-Addo. The National Democratic Congress salutes all Ghanaians who, despite the threats to their much cherished rights, despite the unjustified killing of as many as eight citizens, despite the intolerance of the Akufo-Addo government, went to the polls and cast their votes a year ago.


“We pledge to fight as hard as possible within the law, to prevent the current government from bastardising our democracy; and we promise that no sacrifice on our part would be too much for us to bear in order to secure for ourselves and our posterity, the benefits of the democracy that we toiled so hard to establish.”7

By Laud Nartey|3news.com|Ghana

NDC suffering leadership crisis in Parliament – Afenyo Markin ‘cries’ for Haruna

Afenyo Markin 221212122

The Minority are suffering from a leadership crisis

Leader Haruna Iddrisu is facing internal and external opposition

Afenyo Markin says the crisis affects business in the House

Deputy Majority Leader in Parliament, Alexander Kwamina Afenyo Markin has alleged that the National Democratic Congress (NDC) caucus is suffering a leadership crisis in Parliament.

According to him, the party’s leadership is not in control of its members, which situation had led to discordant tunes from some members and the leadership.

He cited the events of November 26, 2021, during a sitting to vote on the 2022 budget statement when Ningo Prampram MP, Sam Nartey George, held a press conference accusing the NPP of refusing to enter the chamber to proceedings to begin. Markin noted that at the time of the press conference, the leadership of both parties and the Speaker were in a meeting.

“Going forward, the budget has been approved. If they will be fair, they have no leadership. The NDC as it stands today, they have no leadership, because the leader speaks, a backbencher says no.

“Because that Friday (November 26) when we were having a meeting with Mr. Speaker, my colleague Sam George held a press conference to say the majority side was refusing to come to the chamber.

“Meanwhile, we are at a meeting at the instance of Mr Speaker with his own side, yet he held a press conference that we didn’t want to sit. So I think that the NDC should put its house in order,” he added.



According to him, even a recent 20-man bipartisan committee meant to deescalate tensions between the caucuses saw members challenging their leaders on choice of representatives.

“We know what is happening in their caucus because even the 20-man committee, the 10 (reps) some other group said, they don’t agree, why were they not selected.

“So they have a problem, leadership crisis or some hawks have taken over their party, some external interests making life difficult for us. So at the end of the day, they will visit their displeasure on us. They will come and think that we should take responsibility for their own instability in their backyard,” he added.

Afenyo Markin was speaking on the December 4, 2021, edition of Joy FM’s News File programme. His views were rejected by Sam George who was also a guest on the programme.

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

‘I fear for my life when I sit in the chamber sometimes’ – Afenyo-Markin

Alexander Afenyo Markin Efutu MP1

Parliament has been at an impasse over the 2022 budget

Efutu MP fears for his life

Parliament sets up committee to iron out chaos


Deputy Majority Leader in ParliamentAlexander Kwamina Afenyo-Markin has admitted to living in fear of his life during and after some proceedings in the House.

According to him, some sessions which involve heated debate has sometimes culminated in threats of physical harm and abuse.

Speaking on the News File segment on Joy News, Afenyo Markin alleged that the recent impasse over the 2022 budget statement has revealed a plot by the minority to physically abuse, Joseph Osei-Owusu who presided over a ruling as the First Deputy Speaker of Parliament.

“Sometimes I sit in the chamber and I fear for my own life. I fear for my life because one moment we are debating then you threaten someone that I will beat you. You should call them out. Sam George is apologizing on behalf of the minority and majority, we don’t need you to apologise for us. With all due respect, apologize for your caucus. NPP has been gentle,” he said.null

Meanwhile, Parliament has come under intense criticism over the behaviour of the both Majority and the Minority clashing heads as a result of a ruling by 1st Deputy Speaker Joseph Osei-Owusu who was acting as speaker.

Ningo Prampram MP, Sam George, making his submission on the News File segment, rendered an apology on behalf of the house.

His apology was, however, rejected by the Deputy Majority leader, Afenyo Markin, who implied that the chaos was orchestrated by the NDC side of the house.

“Sam George is apologizing on behalf of the minority and majority, we don’t need you to apologise for us. With all due respect, apologize for your caucus. NPP has been gentle,” Afenyo Markin stressed.

https://cdn.jwplayer.com/players/9cAjQW1j-eqk5XVg5

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

If it’s not Adwoa Safo, is it her mother?’ – Kwamena Duncan sarcastically replies Minority

Former Central Regional Chairman, Kwamena Duncan, has thrown a subtle jab at the Minority over their claim of impersonation against the Dome-Kwabenya Member of Parliament and Minister of Gender, Adwoa Safo.

Adwoa Safo reportedly joined her colleague MPs to vote for the 2022 budget on Tuesday, November 30 but her person is being challenged by the opposition party.

There are speculations that the person who participated in the voting in the name of Adwoa Safo is an impersonator as the opposition believe the woman in the pictures and videos circulating around isn’t the Dome-Kwabenya MP.

According to North Tongu MP, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, the Minority is investigating the impersonation case.

“Following pictures and videos we are reviewing this morning, it is becoming quite apparent to us that there may be a case of impersonation with regards to the lady who was presented as Adwoa Safo. It’s beginning to appear that she may not be Adwoa Safo,” he said in an interview on Joy FM’s Super Morning Show.null

Hon. Kwamena Duncan has ridiculed the impersonation claims.

He finds it very risible that any person could say Adwoa Safo isn’t the woman who voted in Parliament on Tuesday.

Replying the Minority on Peace FM’s ‘Kokrokoo’ in what appeared to be a passing comment, the former Minister satirically asked them ”if it’s not Adwoa Safo, is it her mother?”

https://www.youtube.com/embed/YQNGWLc8SuU

Source: peacefmonline.com

Alban Bagbin was ‘forced’ to reject 2022 budget – Allotey Jacobs alleges

Social Commentator, Bernard Allotey Jacobs, has jabbed the Minority in Parliament over last Friday’s incident where the Majority walked out from the August House allowing the Minority to vote alone on the 2022 Budget Statement and Economic Policy of government.

The Minority rejected the budget but their position was declared unconstitutional by the Majority who, on Tuesday, November 30, held another voting thereby approving the budget.

The Minority’s vote was counted invalid because, according to the standing orders of Parliament, voting could only take place in the presence of a majority number, with at least half of all the members in the House.

Discussing the 2022 budget and matters arising, Allotey Jacobs, former Central Regional Chairman of the NDC found the incident on Friday very distasteful.

In his view, the Speaker of Parliament, Alban Sumana Bagbin, was forced to accept that the Minority’s decision despite being aware that his action together with the Minority is unconstitutional.

“For me, what I saw on last Friday was not in a good taste, because even when you looked at Bagbin’s face, you would see he was forced to do it,” he told host Kwami Sefa Kayi on Peace FM’s ‘Kokrokoo’.null

He concluded that “what happened on Friday was null and void”.

Allotey Jacobs, however, called for consensus-building stressing what the nation needs is not the chaos that transpired in Parliament.

“We need consensus building in this country,” he emphasized, adding it should “cut across the political divide”.

Allotey further stated the Minority’s presser following the budget approval was done out of envy.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/SCYQT7f35Ic

Source: peacefmonline.com

Not even a class one pupil will behave like that – Sammy Gyamfi shreds sit-in Speaker Joe Wise

Sammy Gyamfi 1.png

Joe Wise presided over controversial budget approval

Minority put in application to overturn budget approval

Sammy Gyamfi says Joseph Osei-Owusu’s behaviour shameful


The National Communications Officer of the National Democratic Congress has taken the First Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Joseph Osei-Owusu, to the cleaners, describing his actions on November 30, 2021, as something not even a Class One pupil would do.

On that day, the House overturned the Friday, November 26, 2021, rejection of the budget, going on to approve it with only members of the Majority in the Chamber, with the sit-in Speaker counting himself as the 138th member.

This allowed for the House to form a quorum and for which reason they were able to vote for the approval of the 2022 Budget Statement and Economic Policy.null

On December 1, 2021, when the Minority MPs returned to the Chamber and attempted to move an application for the overturning of that decision from the day before, things did not go as planned, throwing the House into chaotic scenes.

In the long run, the Bekwai MP and sit-in Speaker rejected their application, even after all the constitutional arguments presented by MPs against his decision to accept the approval of the budget.

Reacting to this while speaking on Good Morning Ghana on Metro TV, and monitored by GhanaWeb, Sammy Gyamfi, without mincing words, said this was a shame and something not even a first-year pupil would do.

He also argued that based on the Standing Orders of Parliament, the House did not form a quorum.

“Yes, they had 138 members in parliament on that day but one of them was in the seat as Presiding Speaker – the honourable member for Bekwai, meaning that the number of MPs who were present in the Chamber were 137. They didn’t have 138 and so they could not have rescinded the decision parliament took on that Friday,” he said.

Sammy Gyamfi further described the conduct of Joseph Osei-Owusu as shameful.

“His conduct was shameful. Not even a Class One pupil would do this. Anybody who has read the Standing Orders of Parliament will know that when a motion is moved on the floor, the Speaker has the right to admit the motion. If it is admitted, it is seconded, debated, the Speaker cannot rule – he has to put it to a vote and announce his verdict on the vote,” he said.

The House is currently adjourned till Tuesday, December 7, 2021, after MPs travelled to their respective constituencies to join in the national celebration of farmers on National Farmers’ Day.

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

There is wealth in agriculture – Akufo-Addo

The Ghanaian Leader, Nana Akufo Addo 1 7

Farmers Day is celebrated annually on the first Friday in December

You ensured there was no shortage of food, Akufo-Addo

Farmers, fisherfolk feed our neighbouring countries too, Akufo-Addo

As Ghana celebrates farmers and fisherfolk today, December 3, 2021, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has disclosed that a lot of money can be raked from agriculture.

He noted that his government is always poised to create enabling environment for these farmers and fisherfolk to produce more to grow the agriculture sector.

In a Farmers Day message to celebrate persons in the agriculture sector, President Akufo-Addo also pointed out that farmers ensured there was no shortage of food in the country during the peak of the global pandemic, coronavirus.

He said to ensure their growth, policies and programmes have been rolled out to facilitate their growth.

“This year’s event has taken on added significance because of the efforts of our farmers and fisherfolk in ensuring that there were no shortages of food at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. There is wealth in agriculture and government will continue to create the enabling environment and put in place the necessary poli?cies and programmes for the rapid growth of the agricultural sector,” part of his message read.

Farmers Day is an annual observance in various countries to celebrate the national contributions of farmers and agriculturers.

The 37th National Farmers’ Day celebration will be held at Cape Coast and about 157 farmers and fishermen will be honoured.

The 2021 National Best Farmer will receive a two-bedroom apartment at a preferred location of the winner.null

It will be hosted jointly by the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, the Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development, and the Ghana Cocoa Board.

This year’s celebration is themed “Planting for food and jobs: Consolidating food systems in Ghana.”

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

Anyidoho resurrects ‘fight’ with Asiedu Nketia, says he is still waiting for his dismissal letter

A former Deputy General Secretary of the National Democratic Congress(NDC) Koku Anyidoho, has ‘fired’ the General Secretary of the NDC, Johnson Asiedu Nketia again.

This time, Koku says that Asiedu Nketia is bereft of ideas because he Koku is no longer around him to be issuing press releases on his (Asiedu Nketia) behalf.

“I was the one who used to write and issue Press Releases, in the name of Asiedu-Nketiah. I am not doing for him any longer so he is bereft of ideas,” he said in a tweet.

Another one said “I don’t hate Asiedu-Nketiah: he betrayed me; and he shall have to live with his betrayal of me. He will pay a very high price for his betrayal. He begged me; he will beg me again to forgive him for his wickedness.”

“Johnson Asiedu-Nketiah CANNOT sack me from the NDC. He thought he will provoke me to leave the NDC. Asiedu-Nketiah is ashamed of himself!!!. He has not been able to serve me with any Dismissal letter. I am NDC for life.”

The Functional Executive Committee (FEC) of the NDC suspended after a meeting on Wednesday, January 20.

Two separate petitions were said to have been brought against the former Presidential Spokesperson.

A letter signed by NDC’s General Secretary, Johnson Asiedu Nketia, to Mr Anyidoho explained that the petitions from Oti Region’s Communications Officer, Mobarak Abdul-Karim, and Bono Region’s Deputy Communications Officer, Eric Adjei, have been referred to the Disciplinary Committee for further action.

“You are therefore by this letter to take note, and notice is hereby given, that your membership of the NDC is suspended pending the hearing and final determination of the petitions against your conduct,” Mr Asiedu Nketia, who was contested against by Mr Anyidoho at NDC’s last national executive congress, stated in the letter dated Monday, February 8, 2021

We’ll reject e-levy at committee and plenary – Sam George

Ningo Prampram lawmaker, Samuel Nartey George, has said that the E-levy will be rejected at the committee level in Parliament.

He said it is the will of the people that the levy is rejected hence, the Minority will ensure that happens.

“As far as I know, the position of the Minority as a Caucus is that we would reject the imposition of an e-Levy at Committee and Plenary. That’s the will of the People!,” he tweeted.

Meanwhile, his leader in Parliament, Haruna Iddrisu has said the Minority would accept the e-levy if it is reduced to 1% from 1.75% proposed in the budget statement.

“A week ago, we said no, we won’t accept e-levy but having listened to officials in government, including the Minister of Finance, I am convinced to accept a departure from my original no to accepting a one percent e-levy,” Mr. Iddrisu said at the 10th-anniversary launch of the Ghana Chamber of Telecommunications in Accra on Thursday, December 2, 2021.

“We are not against it, but we want it fixed at one percent. We fear for double taxation because we already have the Communication Services Tax,” he said.

Mr Iddrisu had earlier said the levy serves as a disincentive for the growth of digital economy.

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.”

“That is the first point that I want to make,” he said.

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

We’re not against e-levy; we just want it pegged at 1% – Haruna Iddrisu

The Minority Leader in Parliament, Haruna Iddrisu has disclosed that he is willing to accept a reduction of the controversial e-levy.

According to the Tamale South MP, he has shifted from his previous stance of no e-levy at all to a reduction of the initial 1.75%.

Speaking at the 10th Anniversary launch of the Ghana Chamber of Telecommunications in Accra on Thursday, the Tamale South MP, the Minority Caucus in Parliament will accept a reduction of the proposed e-levy to 1% from the original 1.75%.

“A week ago, it was no no no, we won’t accept e-levy but having listened to officials in government, including the Minister of Finance, I am convinced to accept a departure from my original “no” to accepting a one percent e-levy,” Iddrisu said at the launch.

He noted that when the e-levy is pegged at one percent, it will be a great contribution to fiscal consolidation and would ensure the economy did not collapse going forward. The digital economy, according to Haruna Iddrisu, was doing well and had facilitated a revolution in financial inclusion, hence it was unwise to overburden the telecommunication sector.

“We are not against it but we want it fixed at one percent. We fear for double taxation because we already have the communication services tax,” he said.

Haruna Iddrisu and his Minority Caucus initially disagreed with the deduction fee for business transactions not exceeding the GHC100.00 threshold a day and called for it to be pegged at GHC500.00.

He, in a similar vein, suggested that the money be pegged at GHC300.00 after revising his notes.

Ghana Is Pursuing A Strong Social Protection Agenda For The Vulnerable – Frema Osei-Opare

The Chief of Staff, Mrs Akosua Frema Osei-Opare has revealed that Ghana is steadily working towards a comprehensive and universal social protection programming which is a requisite safeguard and a pedal to accelerate sustainable development.

This she noted would guarantee that as much as possible, all members of society irrespective of age, gender, ethnicity, geographical location, education, disability and status in society live dignified lives.

Mrs. Akosua Frema Osei-Opare stated these when she delivered her keynote address at the 2021 University of Ghana Alumni lectures, under the theme, Social Protection in Ghana; Are we on track?

The Chief of Staff opined that the state has provided an appreciable amount of social protection in the last 20 years.

She noted that research data from the National Health Insurance Authority indicates that as of September 2021, the authority had recorded a total membership of twenty-four million, four hundred and four thousand, five hundred and fifty-seven (24,404,557).

Out of this total, 63.4% that is, fifteen million, four hundred and seventy-two thousand, four hundred and eighty-nine (15,472,489) persons were exempted from the payment of premium and processing fees as a condition for enrolment. These exemptions are granted to indigents, prison inmates, persons with mental disorders, persons in foster homes/leprosaria, pregnant women, TB patients and children under the school feeding programme and LEAP beneficiaries.

The Chief of Staff added that another significant social protection initiative of the government is the Ghana School Feeding Programme (GSFP), which targets public schools in urban and deprived communities to eradicate hunger and improve nutrition.
She said at the inception of the programme, 10 pilot schools drawn from each region of the country participated. By August 2006, the School Feeding programme had been expanded to 200 schools covering 69,000 pupils in all the 138 districts at the time and the coverage has steadily increased in selected schools in all Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies. Currently, the school feeding programme has reached 3.4 million pupils in 10,560 schools nationwide.

It is important she said to underscore that in 2018, GSFP achieved an unprecedented 30% expansion of coverage (of both schools & pupils) and also increased feeding grant from eighty pesewas (GHC 0.80) to one cedi (GHC 1.00) per pupil per day. Ghana School Feeding Programme Cost-Benefit Analysis Report shows that the school feeding programme has a clear impact on enrolment for both boys and girls.

The former Member of Parliament for the Ayawaso West Wuogon constituency also accentuated the positive impact LEAP has had on the vulnerable and poor communities in Ghana.

She said its implementation commenced in 2008 with 1,654 households in 21 Districts and currently (2021) has been expanded to cover 344,023 households comprising over 1.5 million individuals across all districts in Ghana.

She added that expenditure has also more than tripled from about GH¢60 million in 2008 to over GH¢ 190 million by the end of 2019. Depending on the household beneficiary composition, the bi-monthly cash grants range from GH¢ 64, GH¢ 72, GH¢88 and GH¢106. Even though these amounts may appear small, their impact on these households remains tremendous. Impact studies conducted (by ISSER in collaboration with the University of North Carolina and UNICEF in 2016) on the programme indicate improvements in school enrolment by (12%), food security (65%), and investments in Productive Inclusion Livelihoods (63%).

Given that the LEAP programme as a social protection intervention is currently covering 344,023 households, Mrs Osei-Opare declared the intention of the Akufo-Addo government as stated in the 2022 National Budget is to expand coverage of the programme by 150,000 more households. This means that in 2022 LEAP would reach 494,023. If we had an integrated poverty profiling system in place, potentially, LEAP would be reaching about 90% coverage.

She used the occasion to express optimism on the future of social protection programs and interventions in the country.
‘I would like to reiterate the point that, this country is pursuing a strong social protection agenda for the vulnerable that increasingly guarantees provision for good healthcare, education, poverty alleviation and support for persons with a disability she said.

Mrs Akosua Frema Osei-Opare used the opportunity to call on the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection to have a national dialogue to unlock innovative ideas to tighten the delivery of Ghana’s social protection agenda.

‘As we vigorously pursue the social protection agenda, to make it universal, I reiterate the call to the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection to convene a national social protection dialogue, of all key stakeholders in order to identify sustainable financing mechanisms, generate stakeholder commitment, explore sustainable public-private partnerships and to unlock innovative ideas to tighten the delivery of Ghana’s social protection agenda so that nobody is left out!’

The saviour budget is struggling to survive – Franklin Cudjoe

Founding President of Imani Africa, Mr Franklin Cudjoe has proposed a 0.75% e-levy rather than the 1.75 in the budget statement.

In a Facebook post regarding the debate on the budget, he said

“The 2022 budget christened “Agyenkwa”( “Saviour” in English) is itself struggling to survive. How about 0.75% E-levy instead of 1.75%, and a $3bn value for 49% royalties in Agyapa instead of govt’s projected $1bn (based on present value calculation of gold prices)?” he wrote.

There was pandemonium after the First Deputy Speaker of Parliament Joseph Osei Wusu (Joewise) justified the approval of the 2022 budget statement.

During deliberations in the House on Wednesday December, 1 Joewise 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.

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

Budget approval an attack on Parliamentary rules, null and void – Dr. Apaak

The Member of Parliament for Builsa South Dr. Clement Apaak stated that the decision was taken today purporting to approve the budget is unconstitutional.

The legislator averred that the decision today, Tuesday, November 30, 2021, was at variance with the standing orders of parliament.

Although the budget was rejected by the House last Friday by the Minority, the Majority Caucus overturned the decision today, Tuesday, November 30, 2021, and approved the policy document.

The First Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Joseph Osei Owusu, who presided said the revision was null and void and had no effect.

In his view, the Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin, erred in overseeing the exercise since there was no clear majority in the House during the proceedings last Friday.

“My attention has been drawn to the record, page 10 of the Votes and Proceedings of Friday, which showed that the confirmed numbers of the Members of Parliament at the time the question was presented was less than half of the Members of Parliament. Records show that 137 members were present.

“That is less than half of the full Members of Parliament. Article 104 and our standing order clearly spell out the process of decision-making in the house. It clearly states that a question shall not be put on any matter unless at least half of the members are present in Parliament.”

“The Speaker appeared not to have paid attention to the Constitution and procedural provision. I’m certain that given his expertise, he would not have made this error if his attention was drawn to it.

“The consequence of this unfortunate error is that it is void and inconsequential since it was done in violation of Article 104 (1) of the constitution.”

But Dr. Apaak says what transpired today was unconstitutional and an attack on Ghana’s parliamentary proceedings and our democracy.

He said the process to approve the budget was something that cannot hold.

The House he added did not have the 138 members needed for them to vote when the question was put by the First Deputy Speaker.

“We there consider what happened today as null and void. The 2nd Deputy Speaker has no vote, and since they were 137, it cannot be claimed that they overturned what was rejected by 137 votes. If 137 cannot make a decision, how can 137 overturn a decision and make another.”

Let’s focus on how 2022 budget will ease economic hardship – Gabby Otchere-Darko

Leading member of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP), Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko, has asked that attention should be moved to how the 2022 budget statement and economic policy of government will address the myriads of issues confronting the country.

The lawyer, taking to social media after the majority side approved the budget, said the fuss around the rejection or otherwise of the budget should be shelved.

“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?” he said in a tweet on Wednesday December 1, 2021.

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?

— Gabby Otchere-Darko (@GabbyDarko) December 1, 2021

A one-sided majority side voted to approve the 2022 budget after the minority side refused to show up in the Chambers.
In a dramatic fashion, the first deputy speaker, Joe Osei Owusu counted himself as the 138th MP to make up the majority to take a decision per constitutional requirement in Article 104.

“Honourable members, the numbers presented to me by the clerks at table is 137 of you plus me, MP for Bekwai, 138. Honourable members, for the avoidance of doubt. Let me read out the Constitutional requirement, so that there is no confusion as to who can vote…what numbers are required to vote to take a decision. Article 104 (1) except as otherwise provided in the constitution matters of parliament shall be determined by the majority of members present and voting.

“The majority of members present and voting with at least half of all members of parliament present. What this means is that before you take a decision, there must be at least majority of all members present. With me we are 138 members. That’s a majority,” he explained.

Article 104 (1) states “Except as otherwise provided in this Constitution, matters in Parliament shall be determined by the votes of the majority of members present and voting, with at least half of all the members of Parliament present”.

But the conduct of the acting speaker has been criticized by the minority who have described it as an illegality.

Dozen NPP MPs wanted to vote against the 2022 budget – Captain Smart alleges

Captain Smart Onua Maakye

Captain Smart says some NPP MPs wanted to vote against the 2022 budget

He said the party was saved by backbencher, Mpraeso MP

He claims the MP suggested the Majority walk out of the chamber

Godsbrain Blessed Smart, popularly known as Captain Smart, the host of Onua FM’s Morning Show, is alleging that about a dozen NPP MPs wanted to vote against the 2022 budget which was presented to Parliament by the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta.

Speaking on the Monday, November 29 edition of his show, Smart stated that the party was saved by a backbencher, Davis Opoku Ansah, who is the MP for Mpraeso.

“Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, the Majority Leader, noted the budget was a useless budget; he cries in chambers anytime he reads the budget but he cannot say it. The Mpraeso MP studied the trend and noted that if the approval of the budget goes into voting, it would be even.

“Some NPP MPs about twelve of them wanted to vote against the budget…almost twelve of NPP MPs wanted to vote against the budget when the approval process had entered into voting…so, what happened was that the Mpraeso MP saved the party…how I wish I had the power like I would have made the Mpraeso MP a senior minister immediately.

“How come the Mpraeso MP, who is a backbencher, instructed the Majority to stage a walkout, can you imagine?” he asked.

Parliament has approved the 2022 Budget Statement and Economic Policy of government presented by Minister for 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 the 2022 Budget, which was unanimously approved by the Majority MPs.

The sitting on Tuesday 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.

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

It’s Her’ – Kweku Baako Deflates ‘Imposter’ Adwoa Safo Rumor

There is currently an ongoing debate about the Dome/Kwabenya MP, Adwoa Safo taking part in the voting on the 2022 budget held on Tuesday, November 30 which saw the Majority in the Parliament approving the budget that was earlier ‘rejected’ by the Minority.

The Minority on Friday, November 26, 2021 voted against the budget in the absence of the Majority after the latter walked out of the House following some misunderstandings.

The Minority unanimously rejected the budget but their vote is said to be unconstitutional because, according to the Parliamentary standing orders, voting could only be held when there is a majority, with at least half of all the members in Parliament.

On Tuesday, by 138 representation of the Majority which included the Deputy Speaker of Parliament,  Joseph Osei Owusu who sat in for the Speaker, the Majority voted for the budget.

Nonetheless, there are speculations that Adwoa Safo, who doubles as the Minister of Gender, wasn’t present during the voting and that the woman perceived to have voted in her name is an impersonator.

The North Tongu MP, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa has reportedly disclosed that the Minority in Parliament is investigating the case of impersonation of the Dome/Kwabenya MP.

“Following pictures and videos we are reviewing this morning, it is becoming quite apparent to us that there may be a case of impersonation with regards to the lady who was presented as Adwoa Safo. It’s beginning to appear that she may not be Adwoa Safo,” he said on Joy FM’s Super Morning Show on Wednesday.

Briefly responding to these rumors, Kweku Baako, known for his impeccable ability to set records straight, revealed that Hon. Adwoa Safo returned to Ghana from her trip abroad Saturday dawn and therefore, without doubts, noted there was no impersonator in Parliament.

Assessing the videos circulating around showing the said Adwoa Safo or her purported impersonator, he concluded; ”I think it’s her. She returned on Saturday morning”.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/vKQhG_D9NmU

Source: Ameyaw Adu Gyamfi/Peacefmonline.com/Ghana

2022 Budget Approval: Minority Is ‘Confused’ – Abu Jinapor

Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, Samuel Abu Jinapor, has taken a swing at the Minority claiming the side is confused about the Constitutional Provisions that stipulates the numbers that constitute a quorum for doing business and for taking a decision.
 
According to him, the decision was taken by the House on Tuesday 30th November 2021 to overturn the ruling of Speaker Alban Bagbin of Friday 26th November 2021 was constitutional because the House had a quorum to make a decision.
 
Contributing to a Motion by the Minority challenging the constitutionality of the decision of the House to approve the 2020 Budget on Tuesday, the Minister argued Article 102 and 104 are distinguishable.
 
He noted that while article 102 is on quorum for conducting business, 104 speaks of a quorum for taking a decision determined by the vote of the majority of members present and voting with at least half of all the members present.
 
“This is the distinction; and that is whereas Article 102, the framers of the Constitution deliberately mentioned the persons presiding, for the purposes of conducting business. In Article 104 the framers of the Constitution deliberately omitted to mention the person presiding.”
 
That, he said, is the law hence Parliament on Tuesday was clothed with the authority to conduct business and make a decision because 138 members were in Chamber, enough to form a quorum for business to be conducted and for a quorum to start the business.
 
Commenting on the controversial statement by Speaker Alban Bagbin that he is the second in command after the President, Mr Jinapor noted Article 57 (2) of the Constitution states the President takes precedence over all other persons in Ghana.
 
He said, “And in descending order, the Vice President, the Speaker of Parliament and the Chief Justice shall take precedence over all other persons in Ghana. In this Article 57 (2) the order is the President, the Vice President the Speaker and the Chief Justice.
 
The Lands Minister who is also the MP for Damongo noted that in Article 20 where it provides for succession, the framers of the Constitution talk about the President, when the President is absent, the Vice President and the Speaker and deliberately omitted the Chief Justice.
 
According to him, on the principle of interpretation, the Chief Justice cannot be included in Article 20 and stressed this is a similar principle that has been provided in Article 102 and 104.
 
The events of yesterday, he said, therefore satisfy the constitutional provision because out of the 275 members of Parliament, 138 were present and 137 voted

Source:

Osei-Owusu throws out Minority’s motion to quash budget approval

The First Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Mr Joseph Osei-Owusu, has thrown out the Minority caucus’ motion that sought to quash the approval of the 2022 budget by the Majority caucus.

The Majority caucus, on Tuesday, 30 November 2021, approved the 2022 budget without the Minority caucus, who have argued that the move was unconstitutional because the required 138 quorum was lacking at the time.

In parliament today, Wednesday, 1 December 2021, Minority Leader Haruna Iddrisu moved a motion for the Speaker to rescind the decision to approve the budget.

But First Deputy Speaker, Joseph Osei-Owusu, who presided over the business of the house in the stead of Speaker Alban Bagbin, who is Dubai for a medical review, threw the Minority’s motion out.

He argued that a Deputy Speaker could not be described as a speaker hence, the arguments being made by the Minority that the number of MPs in the chamber during the approval of the budget was not enough could not hold water.

Mr Osei-Owusu said: “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.”

Unhappy with the ruling, Asawase MP Mubarak Muntaka stood on his feet and angrily shouted: “You’re not the Speaker and cannot make a determination”.

This resulted in a near brawl as some Minority MPs rushed onto Mr Osei-Owusu but the marshals intervened.

He then suspended sitting for an hour

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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