Category: Uncategorized

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mahama in The Gambia to observe elections

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

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

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

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

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

Source: 3news.com|Ghana

Akuapem Poloo to return to jail after appeal dismissed

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

Akuapem Poloo leaving the court on Friday, April 16

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

But the Minority in Parliament have rejected his assurance.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The minority boycotted the sitting

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

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

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

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

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

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

Below is the full article by Martin Amidu

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Martin A. B. K. Amidu

Parliament approves 2022 budget statement without the Minority

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 Source: Myjoyonline

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Source: Ghana/Starrfm.com.gh

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Finding a job should not be an uphill struggle – Duffuor

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

By Laud Nartey|3news.com|Ghana

Court issues bench warrant to arrest Sosu

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Finance Minister, Ken Ofori Atta

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Majority caucus also insists the 2022 budget stands.

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

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

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

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

Read the full statement below:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[sgd]

MINORITY LEADER HARUNA IDDRISU

28th November, 2021

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

Rockson Nelson Dafeamekpor

Minority insists they constitutionally rejected 2022 budget statement

Parliament next sitting is on Tuesday November 30, 2021

Dafeamekpor wants certain portions of budget expunged before approval


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thirty-one were females while 55 were males.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Parliament rejects 2022 budget

Majority stages walkout

2022 budget happens to be the most progressive ever, Movement

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

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

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

Below is the full statement:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Long live Ghana!!

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

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

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

Bagbin to undergo medical review in Dubai a day after 2022 budget ‘rejection’

The Speaker of Parliament, Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin, is scheduled to travel to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on Saturday, November 27 “to undergo a medical review”.

A fax message sighted by 3news.com lists the wife of the Speaker, Mrs Alice Adjua Yornas, Head of the Parliamentary Clinic Dr Prince Pambo, and his Special Aide, Justice Norvor, as part of his delegation.

The fax to the Head of Mission of the Ghana Embassy in UAE said: “Mr Speaker and his delegation will depart Accra on Saturday, 27th November 2021 at 18.50 hours and arrive in Dubai at 6.20 hours on flight EK788 the next day.”

This comes a day after Speaker Bagbin ruled on a motion filed by the Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta, on the 2022 budget statement.

Already, the Majority Caucus, whose members walked out a few moments prior to the ruling, is accusing Mr Bagbin of “mischief” in presiding over the exercise.

They have since declared their intention to have the “illegality” reversed

What has happened is good for democracy – Gyampo on 2022 budget ‘rejection’

A Professor at the University of Ghana, Ransford Yaw Gyampo, has taken a dig at some government loyalists who “spewed invectives on us” when he and his likes drew attention to some of the policies announced in the 2022 budget statement.

He said the last-minute attempt by Minister of Finance Ken Ofori-Atta to lobby for the budget to be approved was simply a demonstration of “incompetent politique”.

Prof Gyampo believes Mr Ofori-Atta “mistook this current parliament in terms of its composition, to be one of the usual ones we have known since 1992”.

He, therefore, praised the Minority for the stance on the budget, which he said contrasts what happened during the vetting of ministerial nominees.

“Now that we know what a hung parliament can do, let the Finance Minister lead the dialogue session with the minority,” he wrote on Saturday, November 27.

“Without the Finance Minister’s preparedness to dialogue about his figures, the majority group cannot do much.”

Find the full post below:

Prof. Yaw Gyampo writes

  1. When we warned, their social media political land-guards spewed invectives on us, forgetting that emotions are emotions. They are simply incoherent with logic and critical thinking. Every pill that heals is bitter. Parliament cannot be rubber stamp in perpetuity.
  2. The last minute attempt to halt voting for further consultation, was a demonstration of “incompetent politique”. The sector Minister should have been in parliament the very moment the debates commenced for the purposes of listening and making overtures. But it appears he mistook this current parliament in terms of its composition, to be one of the usual ones we have known since 1992.
  3. Given the shoddy work the minority did in the vetting and approval of ministers and the backlash from their party and constituents, there was no way they weren’t going to pacify their party and members by standing their grounds on this particular issue.
  4. Let this be a lesson to the majority group and in particular, the Executive arm of government in deepening consultations ahead of time before any major policy issue or proposal goes to parliament for deliberations.
  5. Now that we know what a hung parliament can do, let the Finance Minister lead the dialogue session with the minority. Without the Finance Minister’s preparedness to dialogue about his figures, the majority group cannot do much.
  6. No one is against taxation and levies that provide resources for governance. But such levies must not overly burden the poor and loyal tax payers. So, let there be sincere talk about this with a view to reducing the levy to anything below one percent. Before a colleague in our Economics Department, Prof Baah Boateng recommended 0.5percent as e-levy, many Ghanaians had already expressed the view favoring a reduction in the levy. So now, let the powers that be listen.
  7. What has happened is good for democracy. Nothing is lost. Real politique must commence now. Afterwards, some very minor revisions and tweaking of the budget in relation to comments and suggestions from inside and outside parliament, should get the statement passed quickly for governance to go on.

Good luck

Yaw Gyampo
A31, Prabiw
PAV Ansah Street
Saltpond
&
Suro Nipa House
Kubease
Larteh-Akuapim

2022 budget not rejected, still standing – Majority

The Majority in Parliament has questioned the legality with which the Speaker of Parliament on Friday, November 26 led a one-sided House to pronounce judgement on the 2022 budget statement as delivered on behalf of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo by his Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, on Wednesday, November 17.

“The motion on the budget as far as we are concerned has not been pronounced on by Parliament,” Majority Leader Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu told journalists a few hours after the Speaker, Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin, ruled on the motion.

“It is still standing in the name of the Minister for Finance and in the fullness of time a properly-constituted House, not one presided over by the Right Honorable Speaker, will make the decision.”

The Speaker had led ruling on the motion after a walk-out by the Majority.

Since there were no members of that caucus, the ‘No’ voice vote by the Minority reverberated in the chamber, leaving the Speaker with no option than to pronounce ruling.

In his address to journalists, Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, who is also Member of Parliament for Suame Constituency, accused the Speaker of “mischief” in supporting his action with the Standing Orders of Parliament.

“What happened [on Friday] involved a decision of the House and in that case it is not Article 102. It is Article 104.”

He said the Speaker erred in supporting his action with the former when he was aware at least two members of the Minority were absent in the House before the voice vote was conducted.

He insists that the “motion moved by the Minister of Finance has not been lost, It still stands”.

By Emmanuel Kwame Amoh|3news.com|Ghana

2022 budget has not been rejected; ignore Bagbin’s declaration – Dominic Nitiwul

Defence Minister Dominic Nitiwul

The Minister of Defence and senior Member of Parliament of the ruling NPP has laughed off reports that the 2022 budget has been rejected by Parliament

The Majority side of the House walked out of the Chamber on Friday evening, and in their absence, the Speaker of the House Alban Bagbin conducted a vote on the budget with only the minority side present.

Speaking to newsmen after the purported rejection of the budget by Parliament, the Defence Minister called what happened inside the chamber a “Bagbin’s declaration” and urged the general public to ignore it.

The Defence Minister buttressed his point with Order 109 of Parliamentary rules, which says the Speaker requires more than half of members of the house, which is at least 138 members, before the Speaker can put a question.

At the time the Majority side walked out of the Chamber, the Minority side could not have had the 138 members, thereby nullifying the Speaker’s purported vote, Nitiwul explained.

The Defence Minister further explained that the house may have a quorum to take questions and statements but 138 ought to have been present for the Speaker to put a question.

WHY THE MAJORITY WALKED OUT

The Majority side of the House explained that the Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori Atta was in Parliament with a prayer to have the opportunity to accommodate the comments made by the minority into the budget.

Key among them were: request to include Ketamine relief efforts in the estimates, request to adjust the e-levy.

According to the majority side, these and other requests of the minority, led by Haruna Iddrisu require consultation and costing if the minister is to include them in the budget

Surprisingly, the same Minority who made the requests, as well as the Speaker, refused to give the Minister the opportunity to incorporate their requests.https://80c775b982441af00c2e01a7e79fbff2.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.html

While refusing the minister the opportunity, the speaker went further to ask the Finance Minister whose budget was being debated, to leave the chamber.

The Majority side further explain that while the Finance Minister was being asked to leave the Chamber, Johnson Asiedu Nketia, NDC General Secretary was left seated and the Speaker ignored requests to ask all other strangers to leave the chamber and public galleries.

The Majority was of the view that Mr Speaker was acting in bad faith and being partisan at such a crucial national junction. The majority said it could not countermance an order by Mr Speaker for Marshals to take the Finance Minister out, hence the majority side consequently walked out.

Source: peacefmonline.com

Five-star Prempeh College win fifth NSMQ title

Prempeh College have been crowned winners of the 2021 National Science and Maths Quiz after seeing off Presbyterian Boys’ Senior High School and Keta Senior High and Technical School in the final on Friday.

With 53 points, the Kumasi-based senior high school prosecuted a host-and-win agenda as the contest was taken to the Ashanti Region capital for the first time in its history.

Presec-Legon had 49 points while Keta SHTS, the first school from the Volta Region to make it to the final, had 33 points.

More to follow. . .

Vice President Charges Head Of Agencies To Dispel NDC Propaganda With Facts

Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia is charging government appointed heads of various public institutions to play a major role in trumpeting of government’s achievements to the public to defuse propaganda of their political opponents.

According to him, the heads of entities are better communicators because they are abreast with facts due to the data they have in their possession which should be made known to the public to counter the deliberate misinformation and propaganda of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC).

He believes that government communication should not be left to party communicators alone as head of the state institutions have crucial role to play to dispel misinformation by their opponents.

Speaking at the closing ceremony of a 3-day retreat for board chairpersons, heads and deputy heads of government institutions at Nkwatia-Kwahu on Sunday, Dr. Bawumia told the heads of state agencies that they should make conscious efforts to also come out and speak.

“You’re at the forefront of the communication in this country and for this government. I know that we can also talk about party communicators and so on but I don’t see any better communicators than the heads of these institutions. You’re the best communicators this party can have because you’re possessed with all the information.

“You know, sometimes you see our party communicators struggling in some issues because they just don’t have the data and they’re confronted in the studio and they don’t have the data to response to issues. But our opponents are very good in propaganda. They’re very very good you know. They’ll just throw out falsehood and if you’re not able to counter it, it takes the aura of truth. But you’re in the best position to counter this propaganda because you’ve the data.

“So, I want to basically emphasis that we expect you to let the people know all the good works that are taking place in your various entities,” Dr. Bawumia stated.

The Vice President cited an instance that after his recent public lecture at Ashesi University where the NDC came out and said John Mahama has made all the investment in fibre optics that’s why the NPP government is benefiting from John Mahama investments.

He noted John Mahama has not done any investment in the fibre optic space which has yielded results in the ongoing digitisation of the country since 88.4 percent of the fibre optics networks were licensing of fibre optic companies were done by President Akufo-Addo govenrment per data available at the National Communications Authority (NCA).

“I’m sure you heard what they said that they’ve invested in fibre optics and now we’re benefiting from it. I said wait a second, I can’t remember any investment of John Mahama in the fibre optics space.

“So, I called NCA and I said give me the data on fibre optics in Ghana. It was very interesting when the data was provided. Currently, NCA has provided 6 fibre optics licensing since Ghana begun, just 6 fibre optics licensing. The first was provided under President Kufuor, which was Vodacom. Of all the 6, 5 was provided under the Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and the NPP.

“So under the NPP since 2017, we’ve licensed entities for a total fibre optics network in Ghana that is being licensed by the government is 6,343 kilometres that’s the total. What the NPP has licensed since 2017 of the 6,343 is 5,610 that’s 88.4 percent of this data and that is data that is in possession of us. We’ve to make that data clearly known,” he mentioned.

The Vice President wondered how Nana Addo’s government would be benefiting from John Mahama investments in the digitisation space when the NPP government invested majority in the fibre optics network of the country.

“How can we provide 88.4 percent of the fibre optics network of Ghana and you say digitisation is riding on your investment when we even started the whole process in 2017? So the data is in your respective entities and you come out and let the people know when they’re issues. Don’t leave it to party communicators alone to do the battle, you’ve the data so let’s help in educating the people otherwise propaganda will take over,” Dr. Bawumia added when asking the heads of state agencies to response to misinformation of the public by their political opponents

Workers who retire after 2037 may not receive pensions – ACRR

The Africa Centre for Retirement Research (ACRR) fears the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) may not be able to fully pay benefits of pensioners after 2037 if the latest actuarial valuation report is anything to go by.

The think tank asserted that the scheme is facing medium- to long-term sustainability danger.

Interacting with journalists on Wednesday, November 24, the Executive Director of ACRR, Abdallah Mashud, observed that if necessary steps are not taken, Ghana’s social security scheme will bend to its knees.

Mr Mashud cited how the 2014 actuarial valuation exercise pegged a depletion of SSNIT’s resources by 2042.

“Three years later, that is, the subsequent valuation in 2017, however, predicts that the reserves [will] deplete in 2037, five years earlier,” he told journalists.

“What this means is that if Parliament, policymakers and stakeholders do not undertake the necessary steps to address the imbalance in the social security finances through parametric and legislative reforms, the Trust funds are unable to pay full scheduled benefits on timely basis in 2037.”

Suggestions have been made for the retirement age to be increased from 60 years to 62 years, especially by 2037.

“ACRR is, however, of the opinion that, considering the SSNIT pensioners’ post-retirement mortality pattern, increasing retirement age by two years will result in more members dying in service, instead of in pension,” he said.

He called on government to rather pay up its indebtedness to SSNIT.

“Government indebtedness to the Trust continues to hurt the schemes compliance rates and scheme’s long-term sustainability.

“Delays in the payment of due contributions by government has been cited in the actuarial valuation reports as hampering the scheme’s level of investible funds.”

He fears the next actuarial valuation report may even pose threatening outcomes to pensioners and Ghanaian workers in general as a result of the effect of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“The next actuarial valuation report will be based on data for the period January 2018 to December 2020. Firstly, considering the economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the financial markets, the Trust may as well report another fiscal year loss on its investments.

“Secondly, the rate of growth of the pensioner population continues to outstrip the corresponding growth rate of contributors. Evidently, the number of workers contributing to support a pensioner dropped further from 9 contributors per pensioner in 2013 to 7 in 2020.

“Therefore, based on income-expenditure dynamics among other considerations for the period 2018 to 2020 and its expected impact on reserves, the depletion date for the next valuation may come earlier than 2037.”

By Emmanuel Kwame Amoh|3news.com|Ghana

Interior Minister imposes curfew on Bawku over shootings

Interior Minister

The Ministry for the Interior has on advise of the Upper East Regional Security Council and by Executive Instrument imposed a Curfew on Bawku Municipality and its environs in the Upper East Region.

Thwe curfew starts from 4:00 p.m to 6:00 a.m effective, Wednesday, November 24, 2021.

The imposition of the curfew has been as a result of threat of insecurity in the communities concerned, a statement said

“Government calls on the Chiefs, Elders, Opinion Leaders, Youth and people of the area to exercise restraint in the face of the challenges confronting them as well as to use non-violent means to channel their energies into ensuring peace.

“Meanwhile, there is a total ban on all persons in the afore-mentioned communities and its environs from carrying arms, ammunition or any offensive weapon and any persons found with any arms or ammunition will be arrested and prosecuted,” the statement added

There are jobs graduates don’t have the skills for – Ken Ofori-Atta

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Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, has said observed there is a gap between what students learn in the universities and what industry requires of them when they graduate.

He said while employers are looking for people to fill certain positions in their companies, they are unable to find graduates with the skills sets they are looking for.

Speaking at 73rd Annual New Year School & Conference at the University of Ghana, the minister said there is the need for university training to be aligned with industry needs especially in the face of rising unemployment among the youth.

According to the minister, about 6.6 million young people would be ready for the job market in 2024 and that the public sector is already full so there is the need for graduates to be trained to be able to venture into entrepreneurship.

“85% of the unemployed youth have just left secondary school, what do we do with them, how do we give them vocational training to be able to become productive citizens? Over 50% of tertiary degrees enrollment occur in fields with limited or no future growth, how do we resolve that in the way we teach our graduates?” he said.

Mr. Ofori-Atta also urged universities to pay more attention to the changes in the global economy and to align the training they give students. He emphasized the need to take advantage of the growing digital economy and train more information technology savvy graduates.

“We have about 9 million people in a global economy that is driven by digitization, even though the jobs are in that direction we have less than a thousand graduates with IT related skills every year from our tertiary universities. What has put the universities to sleep without realizing this major shift in where the world is going?” he observed.

According to the Minister, there is also the need to address the situation where jobs are available but graduates are unable to take up the jobs because they do not have the skills.

“Employers are already feeling the pinch in the misalignment in our inadequacy of talent for their needs and therefore the drop in their looking for internships from our graduates. They report hard-to-fill positions despite high unemployment and we should be able to do something about that

I’m the biggest threat to NDC – Chairman Wontumi fires back

The Ashanti Region Chairman of New Patriotic Party (NPP), Benard Antwi Boasiako, has refuted claims that he is in bed with the opposition and that some staunch members on that side are vouching for his reelection.

Founding member of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) Alhaji Sani Mohammed has called on members of the NPP in the Ashanti Region to maintain Chairman Wontumi, as he is popularly known.

The seeming show of support for the NPP regional chairman has sparked debate especially among the grassroots as some have started reading meanings into this, claiming the “NDC feels Chairman Wontumi is the weakest link that’s why they want him to be maintained so that the NDC gets smooth sail in 2024”.

Responding to the claims on Akoma FM’s current affairs and political show GhanAkoma Wednesday, November 24, Chairman Wontumi explained that “I am the biggest threat to NDC so they feel that attacking my integrity will make me unpopular so that I lose the election for them to sideline me and have their way in 2024 but it won’t wash”.

He further told host of the show Aduanaba Kofi Asante Ennin that “I am the only regional chairman who has brought the party from opposition and have maintained power, so you can tell that I have experience and good track record. That’s why the NDC is seemingly aligning themselves with me so that my party people will believe I am in bed with the opposition so that I lose the election but some of us we have been in politics for a while and these antics are not new to us”.

Mr. Antwi Boasiako further urged party members to be resolute and focused to ensure the wining team is maintained to ‘break the eight’ for NPP to maintain power

Minority won’t accept Agyapa deal in any form – Adongo

Bolgatanga Central Member of Parliament, Isaac Adongo served notice that the Minority in parliament will not accept the Agyapa deal in spite of any readjustment made to the the agreement

In his view, the transaction does not inure to the benefit of Ghanaians hence, the decision by the Minority to oppose it.

“Agyapa by whatever shape will not be tolerated by us” he said on Tuesday November 23 while contributing to a debate on the 2022 budget statement presented to Parliament by Finance Minister Ken Ofori Ata.

The Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta had earlier announced on Tuesday October 12 that the Agyapa Transaction would return to Parliament .

He told journalists that the “Attorney General has looked at the agreement” hence decision to the return the deal.

“The Attorney General has looked at it, we have had a few stakeholder meetings. I think the new board should be energized to review that and then go through the Parliamentary process.

“I am unequivocal that it is the way to go in terms of monetizing our minerals and finding a way to the level of debt that the country has,” he said after inaugurating the new board of the Ghana Minerals Income Investment Fund,” he said.

The agreement, which was approved by the Seventh Parliament on Friday, August 14, 2020, had to be withdrawn after a corruption-risk assessment was conducted by then Special Prosecutor, Martin Alamisi Amidu.

Resigning a few days afterwards, the Special Prosecutor accused President Akufo-Addo of interfering in his assessment on the deal under the Minerals Income Investment Fund Act, 2018 (Act 978).

“The reaction I received for daring to produce the Agyapa Royalties Limited Transactions anti-corruption report convinces me beyond any reasonable doubt that I was not intended to exercise any independence as the Special Prosecutor in the prevention, investigation, prosecution, and recovery of assets of corruption,” Mr Amidu said in his resignation letter to the president.

The Executive Secretary to the President, Nana Asante Bediatuo, replied the resignation letter and said a mere meeting between the president and a Special Prosecutor cannot be said to be interference.

“Your accusation of interference with your functions simply on account of the meeting the president held with you is perplexing. In exercise of what you considered to be your powers under Act 959, you had voluntarily proceeded to produce the Agyapa Report.

“The president had no hand in your work. Without prompting from any quarter within the Executive, you delivered a letter purporting to be a copy of you report to the president.

“The purpose of presenting a copy of the Agyapa report to the president is decipherable from paragraph 32 of your letter to the president in which you indicated that you hoped the report will be ‘used to improve current and future legislative and executive actions to make corruption and corruption-related offences very high risk enterprise in Ghana’.”

Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) also rejected the previous agreement when it was first introduced on the floor of parliament.

Ghana’s legislature approved the controversial agreement on  Friday, August 14 despite a protest from the Minority.

A group of CSOs led by Dr  Steve Manteaw noted that the government of Ghana and Parliament rushed in approving the agreement.

Speaking at a press conference on Tuesday, August 25, Dr Manteaw said: “What we are telling government is let’s slow down…let’s have more transparency, more consensus building around the approach before we go forward with the approach.

“I don’t know of any national emergency that warrants that we should rush the process to raise funds for development.”

On Tuesday, March 9, President Akufo-Addo hinted of sending the deal back to Parliament for re-consideration.

JIn his first state-of-the-nation address to that Parliament on Tuesday, March 9, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo said “in the course of this session of Parliament, Government will come back to engage the House on the steps it intends to take on the future of the Agyapa transaction

Economy is sick, 2022 budget is unrealistic, unacceptable – Ato Forson

The Minority Spokesperson on Finance Casiel Ato Forson has said the 2022 budget statement is unacceptable.

He also noted that the content of the budget is unrealistic.

Contributing to a debate on the budget in Parliament on Tuesday November 23, he said the New Patriotic Party (NPP) administration inherited a debt of GHS120 billion from the National Democratic Congress (NDC) but within four years, it has shot up to 341billion cedis  

“In fact, if you do the maths, within four and half years you have incurred GHS221billion, representing almost 65 per cent of our GDP,” the lawmaker for Ajumako-Enyan-Esiam said.

“This budget is the most inconsistent budget I have ever seen,” he said.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

By Laud Nartey|3news.com|Ghana

Oppong Nkrumah makes ‘strong’ case for approval of 2022 budget

Information Minister Kojo Oppong Nkrumah has told Parliament to approve the 2022 budget statement presented by the Minister of Finance.

He explained during a debate on the budget statement in Parliament on Tuesday November 23 that the document tackles the problems that the country is saddled with at the moment.

For instance, he said, the budget has special arrangement to address the issue of youth unemployment in the country.

This and several other reasons make it crucial for this budget to be approved by the House, the Ofoase Ayirebi lawmaker said.

“The most important question, unemployment is answered by this budget,” he said.

Mr Oppong Nkrumah further urged his colleagues in the Minority to approach the discussion on the budget from nationalistic perspective.

His admonishing comes after the Minority Spokesperson on Finance Casiel Ato Forson had said the 2022 budget statement is unacceptable.

Ato Forson also noted that the content of the budget is unrealistic.

Contributing to a debate on the budget in Parliament on Tuesday November 23, he said the New Patriotic Party (NPP) administration inherited a debt of GHS120 billion from the National Democratic Congress (NDC) but within four years, it has shot up to 341billion cedis  

“In fact, if you do the maths, within four and half years you have incurred GHS221billion, representing almost 65 per cent of our GDP,” the lawmaker for Ajumako-Enyan-Esiam said.

“This budget is the most inconsistent budget I have ever seen,” he said.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A/R: Police arrest four robbery suspects at Ejura

The Police have arrested four robbery suspects and a juvenile who allegedly carry out robbery activities on highways linking Nkoranza and Techiman in the Bono East Region and the Ejura Sekyedumase Municipal area of the Ashanti Region.

They were arrested on November 16, 2021, a statement by the Police said on Tuesday November 23.

The suspects are Ajara Segu, Rashid Ibrahim, Ibrahim Iddrisu, Musa Arijuma and a 14-yr-old

NEWS RELEASE; FIVE PEOPLE, INCLUDING ONE JUVENILE ARRESTED FOR ROBBERY AT EJURA SEKYEDUMASE AREA OF THE ASHANTI REGION. READ MORE FROM THE LINK BELOW HTTPS://T.CO/YIDH8EKAJT PIC.TWITTER.COM/R6B4KSSOXE— Ghana Police Service (@GhPoliceService) November 23, 2021

By Laud Nartey|3news.com|Ghana

Our gov’t is responsible for 88% NCA licensed fiber optic cable investment in Ghana – Bawumia

Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia

The Vice President, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, has provided data to prove that overwhelming majority of investment in fibre optics in Ghana happened under the government of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.

The opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), following a recent lecture on Ghana’s digital economy by Dr. Bawumia, claimed that the New Patriotic Party’s digitization drive has benefitted from investment made by the erstwhile Mahama government in fibre optics.

But speaking at the closing ceremony of a retreat for heads of government institutions in Kwahu Nkwatia over the weekend, Dr. Bawumia provided evidence from the National Communications Authority (NCA) to expose the claims of the NDC as outright lies.

Data the Vice President provided from the NCA on investment history and NCA license of fibre optics in Ghana proved that over 80 percent of Ghana’s total fibre optic investment happened between 2017 and now, under the Akufo-Addo government.

Breaking down the data to the board chairpersons and CEOs, Dr. Bawumia asked them to always arm themselves with facts in order to expose the lies of the NDC.

“Recently, for example, we had an issue come up after the lecture I gave in Ashesi University on digital transformation. The NDC came out and said John Mahama had made all the investments in fibre optics and we are benefitting,” Dr. Bawumia said.

“I said wait a minute, I can’t remember any investment by John Mahama in the fibre optic space so I called the NCA and I said give me the data on fibre optic investment in Ghana. It was very interesting when the data was provided.

“NCA has provided six fibre optic licenses since Ghana began. The first was provided under [former] President Kufuor, which was volta com. Of all the six, five were provided under President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and the NPP. So under the NPP since 2017, we have provided licenses for 5.”

Dr. Bawumia further provided figures to show that the biggest fibre optic investment in the country has happened under the Akufo-Addo government.

“The total number of fibre optic network in Ghana that has been licensed by the government is 6,343 kilometeres. What the NPP government has licensed of that 6,343 since 2017 is 5,610. That is 88.4%. This is data and it is data that is in possession of us. We have to make that data clearly.

“How can we provide 88.4% of fibre optic investment in Ghana and you say our digitization is riding on your investment, when we even started the whole process in 2007?”

Below is a breakdown of NCA’s six fibre optic licenses.

Expand scope of operation to recruit more youth – Bawumia to heads of state institutions

Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia has called on heads of state institutions to repose the confidence President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has placed in them by adding value to their respective institutions.

In his view, doing this will ensure expansion, to create more opportunities for the youth.

“The most serious threat to the nation’s security is unemployment. The Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo government has made significant progress in resolving this issue.

“But there’s a lot more that must be done. The challenge is real and your role in tackling the unemployment quandary cannot be overemphasized,” he said while speaking at the closing ceremony of a retreat for board chairpersons, heads and deputy heads of government institutions at Nkwatia-Kwahu on Sunday November 21.

He added “As heads of institution, if you can expand your scope of operation for maximum returns and profitability, to be able to recruit the youth to tackle this heinous joblessness among the nation’s youth, we will have made significant progress in providing jobs for our youth.”

“You have been specially selected and appointed by the President who has a lot of confidence in your ability to turn around the fortunes of your institutions. I know you will meet this expectation and make the country proud.”

“Let us show the Ghanaian people how grateful we are for the opportunity to serve our country. Let us add value to the public sector

The most serious threat to Ghana’s security is unemployment, gov’t is fixing it – Bawumia

Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia has urged heads of state agencies to adopt a more efficient use of public resources in order to maximise the values of what has been entrusted to them.

Speaking at the closing ceremony of a retreat for board chairpersons, heads and deputy heads of government institutions at Nkwatia-Kwahu on Sunday, Dr. Bawumia told the heads of state institutions that state agencies have crucial roles to play if Ghana’s quest for less reliance on foreign support is to be achieved, hence the need for them to adopt innovative ways of transforming their respective agencies for the benefit of all Ghanaians.

“As Heads of Institution, we have a responsibility to constantly represent the Ghanaian people in a transparent and accountable manner,” Dr. Bawumia said.

“It is our responsibility to always maximize the value of what has been entrusted to us for the benefit of everybody.”

Ghana Beyond Aid

Ghana Beyond Aid, the Vice President noted, is a long-term project, which requires enormous resources from both the public and commercial sectors, in keeping with the goal of becoming less reliant on the charity of external donors.

Stressing on the significant roles the public sector, in particular, is expected to play towards driving Ghana closer to the vision of Ghana Beyond Aid, he urged the heads of institutions to “harness and use the country’s own resources to transform the economy effectively and efficiently for a rapid, but a sustainable growth path.”

“Ladies and gentlemen, to reform our specified entities in realizing a Ghana Beyond Aid, heads of institution, need to be more professional and transparent in their approach to public investments, as well as greater efficiency in the use of all public resources.”

“It necessitates a shift in thought and attitude so that we can begin to do things differently—smarter, more efficiently and effectively, and with a greater feeling of patriotism and civic responsibility.”


Building Technological Capabilities

The Vice President also implored the heads of state institutions to uplift the technological capabilities of their respective organisations, in line with government’s digitization agenda, in order to boost their operations for the benefit of Ghanaians and also to contribute effectively towards the economic transformation of the country.

“To achieve the vision of Ghana Beyond Aid in the shortest possible time, we need to improve our technology capabilities,’ Dr. Bawumia said.

“According to Alexis Ohanian, you needed to open a factory to participate in the industrial revolution; this time around, you only need to open a laptop to participate in the internet revolution. There is a global paradigm shift, and we must not be left behind in this 4th Industrial Revolution,’ he added.

“This has been my primary inspiration for the digitization agenda; that is, to apply technological innovation to transform the ways and means by which we engage in our everyday production and exchange of economic activities. Whether at home, at our offices, farm and factory, whether it is person to person, person to business, business to business, or person and business to government, transparency and efficiency are our watchwords.”

“Our economic transformation can best be aided by digital transformation to overcome some of our development challenges.”

“For example, our use of drone technology in the delivery of medical supplies has helped us to overcome many challenges in the delivery of health care services to the people who live far in the rural areas and far from urban centres.”

“We save lives, provide more efficient management and distribution of critical medical supplies and gain more equitable access to the health care system.”

“When we apply technological innovations to the passport office, to DVLA, to the distribution of pre-mix fuel and fertilizers, we are improving on our production and service delivery capabilities to transform the economy.”

“That is why as heads of public institutions we take this opportunity to implore each one of you to join us in this transformation. Somewhere in your organization, somewhere in your production and delivery of services for a fee, technological innovation and digital transformation procedures can lift the performance of your organization, or help the organization overcome the obstacles we have faced for several years. It is all in innovations of processes, procedures and data management.”


Creating more oportunities for the youth

The Vice President further called on heads of state institutions to repose the confidence President Akufo-Addo has placed in them by adding value to their respective institutions, which will ensure expansion, to create more opportunities for the youth.

“The most serious threat to the nation’s security is unemployment. The Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo government has made significant progress in resolving this issue. But there’s a lot more that must be done. The challenge is real and your role in tackling the unemployment quandary cannot be overemphasized.”

“As heads of institution, if you can expand your scope of operation for maximum returns and profitability, to be able to recruit the youth to tackle this heinous joblessness among the nation’s youth, we will have made significant progress in providing jobs for our youth.”

“You have been specially selected and appointed by the President who has a lot of confidence in your ability to turn around the fortunes of your institutions. I know you will meet this expectation and make the country proud.”

“Let us show the Ghanaian people how grateful we are for the opportunity to serve our country. Let us add value to the public sector

Youth of Yilo Krobo resist prepaid meters installation

Youth of Yilo and Manya Krobo communities are protesting against a move by state power distributor, the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) to introduce prepaid meters in the areas.

The residents have had concerns about wrongful billing, poor investigation into a shooting incident that affected a handful of residents in a violent clash three years ago and ECG’S inconsiderate handling of issues arising.

Convener of the youth group, United Krobo Foundation group , Nathan Boryou, said “prepaid metering within the Krobo states must stop immediately”.

He added “The ECG as an Institution was not able to resolve the problem of their customers within Krobo area .The grievances of customers are so agitating that more problems may occur in days ahead”.

Another youth also said “We are tired of ECG, and we cannot work with them again. Secondly, we are ordering VRA to give us power supply straight from VRA

You want Ghana fixed but you’re against raising revenue to get it fixed – Gabby

A leading member of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP), Gabby Otchere Darko, has said Ghanaians want the challenges facing the country to be addressed but are against the government’s decision to raise revenue through levies to undertake the development projects.

“Ghana’s development paradox. You say you want the country fixed. Yet, you are against raising revenue to get it fixed! Motives matter!” the former Executive Director of the Danquah Institute said in a tweet on Monday November 22.

His comment comes at a time the E-levy policy proposal in the 2022 budget statement presented to Parliament by the Finance Minister has met resistance from Ghanaians including the Minority in Parliament.

For instance, the Member of Parliament for Ningo Prampram, Samuel Nartey George, has said the proposed E-levy is a rip off.

He described it as a ponzi scheme intended to tax the same value of money multiple times.

In a tweet, he said “The more I process the e-Levy, the angrier I get. It is a complete rip off. It is a taxation ponzi scheme designed to tax d same value of money multiple times. It is plain government thievery & I cannot vote to approve a budget that has that levy included.

The Minority Leader Haruna Iddrisu also indicated that the E-levy is a disincentive to the growth of digital economy.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

By Laud Nartey|3news.com|Ghana

Bawumia Calls For More Efficient Approach To Use Of Public Resources

The Vice President, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia has urged heads of state agencies to adopt a more efficient use of public resources in order to maximize the values of what has been entrusted to them.

Speaking at the closing ceremony of a retreat for board chairpersons, heads and deputy heads of government institutions at Nkwatia-Kwahu on Sunday, Dr. Bawumia told the heads of state institutions that state agencies have crucial roles to play if Ghana’s quest for less reliance on foreign support is to be achieved, hence the need for them to adopt innovative ways of transforming their respective agencies for the benefit of all Ghanaians. 

“As Heads of Institution, we have a responsibility to constantly represent the Ghanaian people in a transparent and accountable manner,” Dr. Bawumia said.

“It is our responsibility to always maximize the value of what has been entrusted to us for the benefit of everybody.”

Ghana Beyond Aid

Ghana Beyond Aid, the Vice President noted, is a long-term project, which requires enormous resources from both the public and commercial sectors, in keeping with the goal of becoming less reliant on the charity of external donors.

Stressing on the significant roles the public sector, in particular, is expected to play towards driving Ghana closer to the vision of Ghana Beyond Aid, he urged the heads of institutions to “harness and use the country’s own resources to transform the economy effectively and efficiently for a rapid, but a sustainable growth path.”

“Ladies and gentlemen, to reform our specified entities in realizing a Ghana Beyond Aid, heads of institution, need to be more professional and transparent in their approach to public investments, as well as greater efficiency in the use of all public resources.”

“It necessitates a shift in thought and attitude so that we can begin to do things differently—smarter, more efficiently and effectively, and with a greater feeling of patriotism and civic responsibility.”

Building Technological Capabilities

The Vice President also implored the heads of state institutions to uplift the technological capabilities of their respective organizations, in line with government’s digitization agenda, in order to boost their operations for the benefit of Ghanaians and also to contribute effectively towards the economic transformation of the country.

“To achieve the vision of Ghana Beyond Aid in the shortest possible time, we need to improve our technology capabilities,’ Dr. Bawumia said.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.33~rp.1&w=412&lmt=1637566301&num_ads=1&rafmt=1&armr=3&sem=mc&pwprc=2278969447&psa=0&ad_type=text_image&format=412×343&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.peacefmonline.com%2Fpages%2Fpolitics%2Fpolitics%2F202111%2F456180.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=1637566301527&bpp=26&bdt=7092&idt=27&shv=r20211111&mjsv=m202111110101&ptt=9&saldr=aa&abxe=1&cookie=ID%3D83f3d20a46be5dd0-22c9476678cc0079%3AT%3D1637566299%3ART%3D1637566299%3AS%3DALNI_Man-_g8I2o-U4_G6bS3V-ShXFAKrw&prev_fmts=0x0%2C412x343%2C412x343&nras=2&correlator=3840054676117&frm=20&pv=1&ga_vid=405347351.1637566298&ga_sid=1637566298&ga_hid=1774006921&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=3005&biw=412&bih=793&scr_x=0&scr_y=853&eid=44754331%2C182982000%2C182982200%2C31063182%2C31060475%2C31062930&oid=2&pvsid=288675470231953&pem=728&tmod=947208140&ref=https%3A%2F%2Flm.facebook.com%2F&eae=0&fc=1408&brdim=0%2C0%2C0%2C0%2C412%2C0%2C412%2C793%2C412%2C793&vis=1&rsz=%7C%7Cs%7C&abl=NS&fu=128&bc=31&ifi=9&uci=a!9&btvi=2&fsb=1&xpc=Tz5c2aZHvW&p=https%3A//www.peacefmonline.com&dtd=110

“According to Alexis Ohanian, you needed to open a factory to participate in the industrial revolution; this time around, you only need to open a laptop to participate in the internet revolution. There is a global paradigm shift, and we must not be left behind in this 4th Industrial Revolution,’ he added.

“This has been my primary inspiration for the digitization agenda; that is, to apply technological innovation to transform the ways and means by which we engage in our everyday production and exchange of economic activities. Whether at home, at our offices, farm and factory, whether it is person to person, person to business, business to business, or person and business to government, transparency and efficiency are our watchwords.”

“Our economic transformation can best be aided by digital transformation to overcome some of our development challenges.”

“For example, our use of drone technology in the delivery of medical supplies has helped us to overcome many challenges in the delivery of health care services to the people who live far in the rural areas and far from urban centres.”

“We save lives, provide more efficient management and distribution of critical medical supplies and gain more equitable access to the health care system.”

“When we apply technological innovations to the passport office, to DVLA, to the distribution of pre-mix fuel and fertilizers, we are improving on our production and service delivery capabilities to transform the economy.”

“That is why as heads of public institutions we take this opportunity to implore each one of you to join us in this transformation. Somewhere in your organization, somewhere in your production and delivery of services for a fee, technological innovation and digital transformation procedures can lift the performance of your organization, or help the organization overcome the obstacles we have faced for several years. It is all in innovations of processes, procedures and data management.”

Creating more opportunities for the youth

The Vice President further called on heads of state institutions to repose the confidence President Akufo-Addo has placed in them by adding value to their respective institutions, which will ensure expansion, to create more opportunities for the youth.

“The most serious threat to the nation’s security is unemployment. The Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo government has made significant progress in resolving this issue. But there’s a lot more that must be done. The challenge is real and your role in tackling the unemployment quandary cannot be overemphasized.”

“As heads of institution, if you can expand your scope of operation for maximum returns and profitability, to be able to recruit the youth to tackle this heinous joblessness among the nation’s youth, we will have made significant progress in providing jobs for our youth.”

“You have been specially selected and appointed by the President who has a lot of confidence in your ability to turn around the fortunes of your institutions. I know you will meet this expectation and make the country proud.”

“Let us show the Ghanaian people how grateful we are for the opportunity to serve our country. Let us add value to the public sector

It’s worrying that less than 10% of working class are registered tax payers – Majority Leader

The Majority Leader, Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu has said it is worrying that below 10 per cent of the total working population in Ghana are registered tax payers.

He wondered how the government is going to be able to generate enough revenue to embark on development projects with these statistics in place.

Speaking at a post 2022 budget workshop in the Volta regional capital Ho, over the weekend the Suame Lawmaker said the government had not been able to raise enough domestic revenue to develop the country.

“Our inability to raise enough domestics revenue to meet government expenditure with less than 10 per cent of the total working class registered as tax payers, how can the government implement policies and programmes to improve the living conditions of Ghanaians.

“This is quite worrying and requires urgent steps.”

He added “Another area that requires attention is efficiency in government spending. Higher budgetary allocation alone may not translate into social and economic outcomes unless specific measures are implemented to correct the underlining inefficiency in spending.

“Here, I believe the committees of Parliament are required, as I keep saying, to trace and track the allocations that are made to the various sectors of the economy in order to assure our country men and women that indeed, there is value for money in the expenditures that are made on behalf of the people of this country.”

At the same forum, the Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu, said that his side in Parliament will not support the controversial E-levy policy proposal in the 2022 budget statement.

According to him, the levy serves as a disincentive for the growth of digital economy.

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.”

The introduction of the levy attracted concerns among a section of Ghanaians.

For example, the National Communications Officer of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Sammy Gyamfi said on the Key Points on TV3 Saturday November 20 that the government was punishing Ghanaians for their own recklessness following the introduction of these taxes.

 “They are punishing Ghanaians for their on recklessness,” Sammy said among other things.

Also speaking on the same show, a Fiscal Policy Specialist at Oxfam, Dr Alex Ampaabeng said the minority MPs should be blamed if this disapproved.

He explained that approval of the 2022 budget statement which was presented to Parliament by the Finance Minister Ken Ofori Atta on Wednesday November 17, will require the support of lawmakers from both sides of the house to do so.

Therefore, if the tax on mobile money transaction (E-levy), is approved by Parliament, the National Democratic Congress Members of Parliament should also be held liable, not only those on the government’s side.

“That is the first point that I want to make,” he said.

He further stated that the tax is going to counter the government’s agenda of ensuring a cashless stem because people will now resort to relying on cash transactions.

Due to the hue and cry over this policy proposal, Energy Minister Dr Mathew Opoku said a lot of education is required on the e-levy that has been introduced in the 2022 budget statement.

Speaking on the New Day show on TV3 he said the levy affects specific transactions, not all.

“The implementation is going to come with education, not everything that is affected. For example less than hundred cedis transaction is not affected. There is a lot of education that needs to be done,” the Manhyia South MP told TV3’s Johnnie Hughes on Thursday November 18.

His colleague lawmaker for Ningo Prampram, Samuel Nartey George for his part, said the government did not engage the telecom companies before announcing the introduction of the tax on mobile money services in the 2022 budget statement.

“Let me state for the records that the government has not engaged any of the service providers in the telecoms space on how the draconian ‘digital tax’ would be implemented. How do you announce a tax when those to implement it & be affected by it are left in the dark? Clueless bunch,” he said in a tweet.

He added “The NCA and the Ministry of Communications are now inviting Telcos and Service providers in the space to a meeting on Friday to discuss implementation of a policy announced in the budget? Such a clueless bunch of managers. Post facto thinking.”

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

I can remove Akufo-Addo from office; he can’t remove me – Alban Bagbin

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The Speaker of Parliament, Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin has said he can remove the president, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo from office.

He said the law gives Parliament to powers to remove a president but does not give the same powers to a president to be able to remove a Speaker of Parliament.

Speaking at the post-budget forum held at Ho in the Volta Region over the weekend, Mr. Bagbin was concerned that Parliament approves budgets that benefit the executive more than the legislature and the judiciary.

This, he said was their own making and asked that steps be taking to fix the situation.

“This year, all the laws we have been passing are laws we passed to benefit the executive, even we forget about Parliament in the language we use, this is self-inflicted; it is not a deficiency in the constitution, it’s a deficiency in Parliament itself. We must correct it”, he said.

He also reminded the Members of Parliament of the powers they wield in law and that they must as Parliament be able to stand for themselves and not to play to the whims and caprices of the executive. He cited for example that the house has powers to remove the president from office.

“Let me reemphasized that the 8th Parliament is properly positioned not to allow itself to be bullied into playing second fiddle to the executive. Parliament can remove His Excellency the President; His Excellency cannot do that to Parliament. As Speaker, His Excellency cannot remove me, but I can through Parliament get him [the president] removed”.

He however added that though he has such powers, he will not do it.

Source: 3news.com|Ghana

Akufo-Addo expected to resume work today after his ‘much-deserved’ leave

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo is expected to resume work today Sunday November 21, after going on a 7-day leave.

The President started his leave on Saturday November 13 to, among other things, enable him attend an event in France.

A statement issued by the Director of Communications Eugene Arhin said “President Akufo-Addo will from Saturday, 13th November, to Saturday, 20th November, take a much-deserved, long overdue seven-day leave of absence, during which he has accepted an invitation to preside over the panel that will adjudicate a debate in the French Parliament on ‘he Trial of Progress’ on Friday, 19th November.

“The President is expected back in Ghana on Saturday, 20th November, and, whilst away, the Vice President, Alhaji Mahamudu Bawumia, will act in his stead.”

Mr Akufo-Addo led a Ghanaian delegation to attend, at the invitation of UNESCO’s Director General, Audrey Azoulay, the 75th anniversary ceremony of the founding of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), which held at its headquarters in Paris, France

E-Levy to rescue Ghana from Mahama’s ‘dumsor’ economy inherited by Akufo-Addo – John Kumah

The government’s recently introduced E-levy in the 2022 budget is meant, among other things, to turn around the “dumsor” economy inherited by the Akufo-Addo government from the Mahama administration, Deputy Finance Minister John Kumah has said.

“The E-Levy is expected to formalise transactions that take place in the ‘shadow economy’ where there is not much visibility”, he told journalists at a press conference on Friday, 19 November 2021, adding: “It will also help accelerate the turnaround of the ‘dumsor’ economy we inherited in 2017”.

“This singular action is expected to bring in an estimated amount of GH¢ 6,96 billion in 2022, GH¢7.89 billion in 2023, GH¢8.92 billion in 2024 and GH¢10.09 billion in 2025”, Mr Kumah said.

The E-levy takes effect from February 2022.

Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta explained that the upsurge in the use of e-payment platforms as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic has been an impetus for the introduction of the levy.

As a result, Ghana recorded a total of GHS500 billion from e-transactions in 2020 compared with GHS78 billion in 2016.

He said: “It is becoming clear there exists an enormous potential to increase tax revenues by bringing into the tax bracket, transactions that could be best defined as being undertaken in the informal economy.”

He noted, therefore, that the government is charging an applicable rate of 1.75% on all electronic transactions covering mobile money payments, bank transfers, merchant payments and inward remittances, which shall be borne by the sender except inward remittances, which will be borne by the recipient.

“Mr Speaker, to safeguard efforts being made to enhance financial inclusion and protect the vulnerable, all transactions that add up to GHS100 or less per day, which is approximately GHS3,000 per month, will be exempt from this levy,” he stated.

He said E-Levy proceeds will be used to support entrepreneurship, youth employment, cyber security, and digital and road infrastructure, among others.

“Mr Speaker, this new policy also comes into effect once appropriation is passed from 1st January 2022. The government will work with all industry partners to ensure that their systems and payment platforms are configured to implement the policy,” he said.

The NPP believes the levy is a better alternative.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=1637431961&psa=0&format=300×250&url=https%3A%2F%2Fmobile.classfmonline.com%2Fnews%2Fpolitics%2FE-Levy-to-rescue-Ghana-from-Mahama-s-dumsor-economy-inherited-by-Akufo-Addo-John-Kumah-28722&flash=0&wgl=1&dt=1637431955965&bpp=3&bdt=2951&idt=5248&shv=r20211111&mjsv=m202111110101&ptt=9&saldr=aa&abxe=1&prev_fmts=0x0%2C300x250%2C300x250%2C300x250&nras=1&correlator=4284947682094&frm=20&pv=1&ga_vid=2007115370.1637431959&ga_sid=1637431961&ga_hid=1031998094&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=3285&biw=412&bih=749&scr_x=0&scr_y=4549&eid=31063736%2C31060475&oid=2&pvsid=1122877684139808&pem=316&tmod=149011062&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%7CEe%7C&abl=CS&pfx=0&fu=0&bc=31&ifi=5&uci=a!5&fsb=1&xpc=k9Hc3CBba9&p=https%3A//mobile.classfmonline.com&dtd=5289

Read the full press statement of the NPP below:

November 19, 2021

NPP PRESS CONFERENCE ADDRESSED BY HON JOHN AMPONTUAH KUMAH, DEPUTY FINANCE MINISTER, AT THE PARTY HEADQUARTERS

Good morning Ladies and Gentlemen of Press

Today’s press briefing shall focus on the 2022 budget statement which was excellently presented to Parliament on behalf of H.E the President by the finance minister on Thursday, 18th November 2021. In particular, we are going to touch on the Electronic Transaction Levy, the removal of road tolls and related matters.

ELECTRONIC TRANSACTION LEVY (E-LEVY)

Government, in its quest to provide and expand road infrastructure, support entrepreneurship drive, provide lasting solutions to youth unemployment, combat cyber security threats, expand digital infrastructure, among others, is introducing the “Electronic Transaction Levy” of 1.75% effective February 2022.

As you may be aware, the domestic tax mobilisation efforts of Ghana is far below our peers. Indeed, according to the World Bank, tax revenue to GDP in Ghana for 2019 was 12.2% which is below the Sub-Sahara Africa average of 16.5%. For South Africa, tax revenue to GDP is 26.7%, and Senegal is 16.4%. Certainly, the situation with tax mobilisation in Ghana requires urgent attention. At the same time, there is a gaping infrastructure need across the various facets of the economy. The huge mismatch between revenue efforts and infrastructure needs clearly is not sustainable if we are to accelerate the economic transformation of our country within the shortest possible time.

Fortunately, the potential to improve tax revenue efforts and tax administration abounds in Ghana. Government is, therefore, determined to take the needed steps to steadily improve domestic resource mobilisation without compromising its pro-poor interventions. The revenue to accrue from this levy will help the government “Building Forward Better” agenda in the post-COVID-19 pandemic era.

In this regard, the E-Levy is expected to formalise transactions that take place in the “shadow economy” where there is not much visibility. It will also help accelerate the turnaround of the “dumsor” economy we inherited in 2017. This singular action is expected to bring in an estimated amount of GH¢ 6,96 billion in 2022, GH¢7.89 billion in 2023, GH¢8.92 billion in 2024 and GH¢10.09 billion in 2025.

The E-LEVY will be implemented as a transaction fee for digital transactions done from a Mobile Money or Bank Account anytime you transfer money to someone or make a payment to a merchant/service provider. The E-LEVY will be paid by the sender of the transfer/payment. The levy will be assessed on the following types of transactions:

• Mobile Money Transfers: sending money from your wallet to another person using mobile money;

• Mobile Money Merchant Payments: when you pay for a service or a product from a merchant using your mobile money account;

• Merchant Payments Using POS or QR: transactions at merchant locations that are done using a POS, QR or alternative payment channel will be charged the levy; and • E-Commerce/Online Payments: the E-LEVY will be charged to the customer for payments for goods and or services.

However, not all transactions will be impacted by the levy. The government has exempted the following types of transactions from the levy.

• Bank transfers and cheques – bank transfers and cheques will be exempt from the E-levy

• Daily Free Limit – every user will be able to send up to GHS100 / day without being levied (approximately GH¢3,000 per month). • Transfers between your own accounts – if you are moving money between your own accounts (i.e., of the same User) then you will not be charged the levy.

ii. REMOVAL OF ROAD TOLLS

One major outcome of the 2022 budget is the removal of tolls from some public roads. As you may be aware, the rationale for the introduction of tolls on some selected public roads was to help mobilise resources for road construction and maintenance.

However, the policy has suffered significant bottlenecks. It includes the heavy traffic created on tolled roads with attendant lengthening of travel time. We are also seeing the negative effects of the long stay in traffic on productivity. Air pollution from vehicles around tolling points cannot also be overlooked. Clearly, the negative impact of the tolling points far outweighs the benefits government is currently deriving from them. To this end, this government, being a listening one, has decided to scrap tolling on all public roads and bridges. This move, we believe, will reduce the challenges commuters face on tolled roads and bridges.

Also, all toll collection personnel will be resigned so “No One” will lose their job, contrary to what is being circulated.

This Policy will undoubtedly help reduce congestion at sections of tolled roads, allow free flow of vehicles, reduce travel time and the pollution caused by emissions from vehicles in and around the tolling points.

The expected impact on productivity and reduction in environmental pollution will certainly be much more than the revenue that will be forgone on account of removing the tolls. This is what leadership entails.

Thank you for the audience

We Are Charting A New Path – IGP

Dr George Akuffo Dampare, the Inspector General of Police (IGP), has stated that the Service was charting a new path in order to become the most respected institution in Ghana.

He said the path was also aimed at making the Service become a reference point to the rest of Africa.

Dr Dampare speaking at Young Entrepreneurs Breakfast Meeting in Ho as part of his tour of the Volta Region, said the Service had the will to chart the path.

“We know we can do it because we have the will and where there is a will, there will be a way.”

The Meeting, being the maiden, is part of activities to mark the ongoing Fifth Volta Trade and Investment Fair in Ho.

Dr Dampare said the Police Service had closed the chapter on the past, which he referred to as a book which had been withdrawn from the shelve, which had been replaced with the one that would make the Service arrived at a destination citizens would be proud of.

He said he was aware almost every Ghanaian had had an experience with the Police Service at an individual or institutional level.

Dr Dampare said the new paradigm of the Ghana Police Service was as a result of the support he was given by all his colleagues nationwide and commended them for their support.

He said he could not wait for the era where the name of the institution (Ghana Police Service) would override his name.

Dr Dampare said it required strong leadership with commitment and hard work to be able to reform and transform an institution.

He told the entrepreneurs that the size of their successes would be determined by the number of times they failed and urged them not to give up.

Dr Dampare assured that the Police was there for the citizenry, adding that “you are our masters and we are the servants.”

He urged the entrepreneurs to contact the police when there was the need for their services, which would help thrive their businesses.

Dr Archibald Yao Letsa, Volta Regional Minister, called on the entrepreneurs to be prepared to take risks to be able to “make it.”

He noted that the future belonged to the young people.

Mr Dela Gadzanku, the Volta, Eastern, and Oti Regional Chairman of the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI), noted that the meeting was aimed at bringing young entrepreneurs in and outside the Volta Region to hold discussions while stakeholders work with the Volta Regional Coordinating Council on a mission to industrialise the region.

He said they wanted to open the region to investment, adding that, he was aware that the youth were at the centre of the “mission.”

Mr Gadzanku revealed that the meeting would become a yearly affair to continue to engage young entrepreneurs.

The Dean of Volta Municipal and District Chief Executives, Mr Flolu Etornam James, advised the participants not to rush with the idea of becoming successful overnight, but rather take their time.
He urged them to take every opportunity of the meeting to learn and grow.

The Fair on the theme: “Promoting Sustainable Trade and Investment”, is focusing on agribusiness, tourism and ICT”, and it began on Monday, November 15 and will end on Sunday, November 28, 2021.

Source: GNA

We’ll not support MoMo tax – Minority

The Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu, has said that his side in Parliament will not support the controversial E-levy policy proposal in the 2022 budget statement.

According to him, 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.”

The introduction of the levy attracted concerns among a section of Ghanaians.

For example, the National Communications Officer of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Sammy Gyamfi said on the Key Points on TV3 Saturday November 20 that the government was punishing Ghanaians for their own recklessness following the introduction of these taxes.

 “They are punishing Ghanaians for their on recklessness,” Sammy said among other things.

Also speaking on the same show, a Fiscal Policy Specialist at Oxfam, Dr Alex Ampaabeng said the minority MPs should be blamed if this disapproved.

He explained that approval of the 2022 budget statement which was presented to Parliament by the Finance Minister Ken Ofori Atta on Wednesday November 17, will require the support of lawmakers from both sides of the house to do so.

Therefore, if the tax on mobile money transaction (E-levy), is approved by Parliament, the National Democratic Congress Members of Parliament should also be held liable, not only those on the government’s side.

“That is the first point that I want to make,” he said.

He further stated that the tax is going to counter the government’s agenda of ensuring a cashless stem because people will now resort to relying on cash transactions.

Due to the hue and cry over this policy proposal, Energy Minister Dr Mathew Opoku said a lot of education is required on the e-levy that has been introduced in the 2022 budget statement.

Speaking on the New Day show on TV3 he said the levy affects specific transactions, not all.

“The implementation is going to come with education, not everything that is affected. For example less than hundred cedis transaction is not affected. There is a lot of education that needs to be done,” the Manhyia South MP told TV3’s Johnnie Hughes on Thursday November 18.

His colleague lawmaker for Ningo Prampram, Samuel Nartey George for his part, said the government did not engage the telecom companies before announcing the introduction of the tax on mobile money services in the 2022 budget statement.

“Let me state for the records that the government has not engaged any of the service providers in the telecoms space on how the draconian ‘digital tax’ would be implemented. How do you announce a tax when those to implement it & be affected by it are left in the dark? Clueless bunch,” he said in a tweet.

He added “The NCA and the Ministry of Communications are now inviting Telcos and Service providers in the space to a meeting on Friday to discuss implementation of a policy announced in the budget? Such a clueless bunch of managers. Post facto thinking.”

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.

By Laud Nartey|3news.com|Ghana

Media ignorant of human rights issues – Akoto Ampaw

Akoto Ampaw Parliament

A Private Legal Practitioner, Akoto Ampaw has called on the media to better educate themselves on human rights issues before delving into matters that come with them.

He said the media is an important institution for dissemination of information which also helps shape public opinions therefore by understanding the history of human rights and the law they will be in a better position to educate the public on issues pertaining to human rights.

Mr Akoto Ampaw said the issue in the public domain makes it clear that the media is ignorant of human rights and its implications.

Mr. Akoto Ampaw said this on the sidelines at a workshop for Civil Society Organizations under the UN Universal Periodic Review in Accra.

Mr. Akoto Ampaw said “the notion of upholding the Ghanaian culture is not in doubt, but there are some important values that are negative and does not help society”.

He advised that human rights be inculcated into the School curricula.

Source: gbcghanaonline.com

FixTheCountry Movement to demonstrate over 2022 Budget on Nov. 26

According to leaders of the social advocacy group, certain aspects of the Budget are inherently “ridiculous”, hence their decision to resent it.

The convenors of the #FixTheCountry Movement say they will demonstrate on November 26, to register their dissatisfaction with the 2022 Budget.

In a statement on Friday, the convenors said they have already notified the Ghana Police Service about their intentions and are ready to pour onto the streets to express their disgust.

According to leaders of the social advocacy group, certain aspects of the Budget are inherently “ridiculous”, hence their decision to resent it.

They further said the 2022 Budget smacks of “purposeful deceit” and “the absence of truth and genuine accountability”, a situation the convenors say they will not tolerate.

They are, therefore, imploring the 275 MPs to outrightly reject the 2022 Budget estimates, which were tabled before Parliament on November 17.

“The protest is to register our displeasure at the ridiculous proposals of the 2022 Budget and demand Parliament not to approve the Budget in its current form,” the statement said.

The protest is expected to begin from the Tema Station in Accra, near the National Hockey Stadium, after which the protestors will head to the front of the Parliament House.

Members of the #FixTheCountry Movement are also craving the indulgence of all well-meaning individuals and the media to rally behind their intended demonstration and accord them the needed support.

On Wednesday, November 17, the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, presented the 2022 Budget estimates to Parliament for approval.

As part of his presentation, he indicated that government wants to abolish all road tolls and the imposition of a 1.75% E-levy on all electronic transactions.

These two items in the Budget have since sparked a series of debates in public discourse, with many splitting hairs on the said proposals, amongst others.

Meanwhile, the Police have, upon receipt of the letter, invited the convenors at the regional HQ on Monday, November 22 “for further deliberation to ensure a peaceful demonstration.”

Source: Myjoyonline

Weak accountability systems causing corruption – Opoku-Agyemang

Jane Naana Opoku Agyemang 1

The Vice Presidential Candidate of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) in last year’s elections, Professor Jane Naana Opoku-Agyemang, has said that weak accountability systems in Ghana is causing the rise in corruption.

This situation, she said, must be dealt with immediately in order to tackle the issue of corruption due to its effects on society.

Speaking at an anti-corruption forum in Accra on Thursday, November 18, the former Minister of Education said if the laws are to be changed to ensure the fight against graft becomes successful, that should be done with immediate effect.

“Regardless of what it takes, we need to fight corruption. We can never say that because it is difficult [We can’t].

“Let me use the analogy of illness. Some illnesses are very difficult to treat yet the doctors are not giving up, they try to find ways to mitigate the effect of the illness if not to cure it. They never throw up their hands in despair,” she said.

She added “With our collective effort we can deal with it. I am particularly glad that the subject of corruption has been tabled for discussion.“

She added “The flippancy that some of these problems are received in politics, it is as if it is a game, it is not, it is about human livesnull

“This is something that we must get rid of and if it is the law that we must change to change the perception of even the people so be it.

“The present situation finds itself among the worst we have seen on the road of getting rid of corruption.”

She added “This comes at a great cost in every sector of our society. I was in a certain hospital about two weeks ago asking what I could do and I was shocked that even at the hospital they were saying that they didn’t have a blood pressure monitor and I asked myself how much is one.

“Why is this happening? So all these things, issues of corruption have come in thick and fast, depriving us of the minimum things that we even need to work with.

“It is one thing that government officials engage in corruption and get away with it because of weak accountability systems and it becomes rather unfettered with the personal examples of the leaders at the highest levels offer little words by way of encouraging all of us to come down the ladder of corruption. This should not be the case.”

Source: 3news.com

Work on Agenda 111 will start soon – Health Minister

Agyeman Manu Back

The Minister for Health, Kwaku Agyeman Manu, has told parliament that consultants and contractors working on the agenda 111 hospitals are finalizing their activities for the projects to begin.

Appearing before parliament to answer questions on the status of the projects, the Minister said: “Work on the projects will start shortly, but the exact date when the project will start in Daffiama, I cannot say because I do not know the challenges that the contractors will face.

“The contractors are now mobilizing with the consultants to get themselves ready to [go to the various] sites. That is why I am unable to tell exactly when they will put mortar and brick on the ground.”

He was responding to questions specifically asked by the Member of Parliament for Daffiama/Bussie/Issa, Dr. Sebastian Sandaare.

“But I am very sure, it will come up very soon. The project duration for all these district hospitals is supposed to be 18 months and in fact, if I am unable to tell you the commencement date, I will not be able to tell you the exact date of completion as well.,” he added.null

The agenda 111 project will see the construction 101 new district hospitals in districts without hospitals.

They would also be the construction of 10 selected regional and specialized hospitals.

There will also be the construction of two new psychiatric hospitals for the Middle Belt and Northern Belt, respectively, and the rehabilitation of the Effia-Nkwanta Hospital in the Western Region.

Each of the hospitals will cost $16.88 million, with $12.88 million being used for the construction of the hospitals and $4 million for medical equipment.

Source: rainbowradioonline.com

Accept 1.75% e-levy; MoMo to bank transactions won’t be levied – Gov’t pleads with Ghanaian

The government has asked Ghanaians to accept the 1.75 per cent E-levy on Mobile Money and all electronic transactions.

Addressing the media at the New Patriotic Party’s headquarters in Accra, Deputy Minister of Finance John Kumah, said “so, the government is pleading with the entire citizenry in the country that we acknowledge the hardship that we are in. We are pleading that Ghanaians would accept the tax which is the E-levy”.

“It is only when you send GHS200 [that] you are charged GHS1.75 per cent. Even your first GHS100 would not be charged, the MoMo levy would apply on your second GHS100″.

“Secondly, all money from your MoMo account to your bank account would not attract any charges, likewise, when you transfer money from your bank account to your MoMo account you don’t pay any charges”, he explained.https://googleads.g.doubleclick.net/pagead/ads?client=ca-pub-4549410436183225&output=html&h=250&slotname=4705176708&adk=1921530005&adf=2366005940&pi=t.ma~as.4705176708&w=300&lmt=1637393940&psa=0&format=300×250&url=https%3A%2F%2Fmobile.classfmonline.com%2Fnews%2Fpolitics%2FAccept-1-75-e-levy-MoMo-to-bank-transactions-won-t-be-levied-Gov-t-pleads-with-Ghanaians-28716&flash=0&wgl=1&dt=1637393938914&bpp=8&bdt=4624&idt=1112&shv=r20211111&mjsv=m202111110101&ptt=9&saldr=aa&abxe=1&prev_fmts=0x0%2C300x250&nras=1&correlator=7230316782341&frm=20&pv=1&ga_vid=997030201.1637393940&ga_sid=1637393940&ga_hid=800035810&ga_fc=0&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=1497&biw=412&bih=793&scr_x=0&scr_y=1272&eid=31063183%2C31060475&oid=2&pvsid=1768172715073481&pem=421&tmod=533496941&ref=https%3A%2F%2Flm.facebook.com%2F&eae=0&fc=1920&brdim=0%2C0%2C0%2C0%2C412%2C0%2C412%2C793%2C412%2C793&vis=1&rsz=%7C%7CEe%7C&abl=CS&pfx=0&fu=0&bc=31&ifi=3&uci=a!3&fsb=1&xpc=vKumf1DuPv&p=https%3A//mobile.classfmonline.com&dtd=1151

“Now, I beg to say that it is not with joy that the government imposes tax but the truth of the matter is that there is no nation that can be built without taxes”.

“We need as a citizen and as a nation help to raise resources so that we can spend on the things that we expect the government to do. In building us roads, hospitals, infrastructure and providing jobs for the young people”, he added.

Ghanaians have raised eyebrows over the 1.75 per cent tax on MoMo as announced by Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta in the 2022 budget presentation on Wednesday, 17 November 2021.

Presenting the budget, Mr Ofori-Atta explained that the upsurge in the use of e-payment platforms as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic has been an impetus for the introduction of the levy.

As a result, Ghana recorded a total of GHS500 billion from e-transactions in 2020 compared with GHS78 billion in 2016.

He said: “It is becoming clear there exists an enormous potential to increase tax revenues by bringing into the tax bracket, transactions that could be best defined as being undertaken in the informal economy.”

He noted, therefore, that the government is charging an applicable rate of 1.75% on all electronic transactions covering mobile money payments, bank transfers, merchant payments and inward remittances, which shall be borne by the sender except inward remittances, which will be borne by the recipient.

“Mr Speaker, to safeguard efforts being made to enhance financial inclusion and protect the vulnerable, all transactions that add up to GHS100 or less per day, which is approximately GHS3,000 per month, will be exempt from this levy”, he stated.

He said E-Levy proceeds will be used to support entrepreneurship, youth employment, cyber security, and digital and road infrastructure, among others.

“Mr Speaker, this new policy also comes into effect once appropriation is passed from 1st January 2022. The government will work with all industry partners to ensure that their systems and payment platforms are configured to implement the policy,” he said

I’ve been battling liver disease but strong enough to work’ – Ofori-Atta

The Finance Minister, Ken Ofori Atta, has opened up over his recent battle with ill-health leading to his change in looks.

Speaking on Good Evening Ghana on Thursday, Mr Ofori-Atta told Metro TV’s Paul Adom-Otchere that, after recovering from Covid-19, he was diagnosed with jaundice and after a series of tests, it was discovered that his liver was inflamed.

“I got COVID in somewhere of November [2020] and got out of the hospital emergency maybe the 10th of December and came home. Things were pretty good, the COVID was gone, then, I began to feel jaundiced and so feeling quite unwell.

“I eventually got diagnosed that the liver was inflamed, therefore, it required some work to determine what was really happening. That took some time to begin to find the probable cure which involved steroids and all of that.

“So, I went back for review in August and the inflammation is pretty much gone and so, they are now titrating to see how to bring the steroids down so that one can get back to a normal life.

“But essentially pretty much minded and need to manage my rest and sleep and exercises and some good food,” Ken Ofori-Atta noted.

When asked if the good food will include some waakye, the Minister was quick to say that he is being careful with oil.

“But it is good. I think it was quite clear that the issue of prayers and intervention and all of that; and so we are very grateful to God and a lot of people who held us in prayer. But clearly, the DNA is strong enough to be able to do the work that we do,” he stressed.

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

Cost of poor governance can be enormous – Prez Akufo-Addo

President Akufo-Addo has said that everyone should be concerned about governance infractions as when they arise, they exact enormous costs that affect the entire society.

“The cost of poor governance can be enormous,” he stressed in remarks presented on his behalf by Minister of State at the Finance Ministry, Charles Adu Boahen, to the Institute of Directors, Ghana (IoD-Gh) at its stakeholders’ forum.

According to President Akufo-Addo, no sooner had the government assumed office in 2017, than it realised it had inherited “a deficient financial infrastructure” and ended up spending over GH¢21 billion “to remedy the consequences of bad corporate governance in the financial sector” and a further GH¢4.5 billion “to protect investors in failed asset management companies.”

“Poor corporate governance across public enterprises has also had a significant adverse impact on our fiscals, with state owned enterprises reporting significant and persistent operating losses”, the President said, adding that by the end of 2019, a cumulative total of GH¢16.37 billion in outstanding on-lend loans stood against state-owned enterprises.

Similarly, in 2020 and amidst the Covid-19 pandemic, government had to transfer over GH¢166 million as government support to a number of these state owned entities.

“These resources could have been used to expand social welfare programmes to mitigate the impact of the pandemic for the average Ghanaian, amongst others,” he said.

President Akufo-Addo expressed the hope that the forum would foster strong collaborations amongst various public and private stakeholders to promote good corporate governance and ethical leadership to build a more resilient economy while promoting the Ghana Beyond Aid agenda.

He pointed to a number of measures taken to address the challenges, including engaging extensively with the management of SOEs and setting up the State Interests and Governance Authority (SIGA) which is leading efforts to ensure SOEs can run efficient and profitable operations and fulfil basic statutory requirements.

“We can equally relate to the impact of good and bad corporate governance and it is this shared experience that has brought us all here today,” he said, and pointed out that “Good governance requires credible and trustworthy institutions built on transparency and accountability.”

The IoD-Gh has been holding its 4th Annual Directors’ Week Celebration with a number of activities between 16th and 19th November.

The Annual Directors’ Week Celebration brings directors in public and private sector, and members of the Institute together to build their capacity, network and share ideas on how to promote professional directorship and good corporate governance.

The 2021 edition of the celebrations is on the theme “Good Corporate Governance and Ethical Leadership: An Essential Requirement for Organizational Turnaround”.

President of the Institute of Directors, Ghana (IoD-Gh), Mr. Rockson Dogbegah, said the quest for good corporate governance is now a global issue, and noted that it has been 15 years since the African Union peer-reviewed Ghana in Khartoum, Sudan, and recommended among others, a harmonized set of guidelines for corporate governance for the country.

He recalled the launch on November 4, 2021, of a project to complete within one year, the development of a common corporate governance code for Ghana

Toll directive was to save chaotic situations – Road Ministry clarifies

The Ministry of Roads and Highways has clarified that its earlier statement decreeing that toll collection be stopped across the country following the abolishment of road and bridge tolls in the 2022 budget, was to intervene in the chaotic situations that occurred at the various booths.

A statement issued on Thursday November 18 explained that soon after the Finance Minister had announced the abolishment of the toll collection, some motorists misunderstood the announcement and engaged in fisticuffs with toll booth operators.

In order to stop this from degenerating, the statement said, the ministry issued the earlier directive ordering the suspension of the collection.

“It was to avert further unfortunate incidents that the ministry intervened by issuing the directive,” portions of the the statement clarifying the earlier directive said.

This comes after the Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin directed the Minster of Roads and Highways, Kwasi Amoako Atta to reverse the decision to stop road toll payments in the country.

The Speaker said in Parliament on Thursday November 18 that the Minister who is also Member of Parliament for Atiwa West acted wrongly by issuing that command.

“These are policy  proposals  that the Minister of Finance has presented to the House. Until they are approved nobody has the authority to start implementing something that doesn’t exist.

“Does [the road minister’s order] amount to a disrespect  of the House?  That is where I may differ.

“The Minister of Roads and Highways, because this is not a court of law,  might have misunderstood or misapplied the law and so it is for us  to draw his attention and tell him that you have no such authority. In spite of all the legal and linguistic gymnastic that have been displayed , it is very clear that what the minister sought to do he had no such authority  to do that.

“I want to clearly direct that what the Minister  has released  is complete Brutum Fulmen, it means it is an empty boast , it has no effect  and therefore I call on him  to honorably withdraw that directive. Failure to do so  will be a serious breach of the directive of the speaker and that would amount to contempt of parliament.

“I think that it is proper for us to direct the minister, a member of this house, in fact a senior member of this house, I think that he might have acted wrongly and therefore I call on him to reverse this decision,” he ruled.

Mr Kwasi Amoako-Atta, on Wednesday November 17 directed the cessation of collection of tolls on public roads and bridges effective Thursday, November 18 after the Finance Minister Ken Ofori Atta had announced in the 2022 budget statement the cancellation of the tolls.

A press release issued a few hours after the announcement by the Minister of Finance, said the directive will take effect from 12:00am Thursday.

“Motorists are kindly advised to approach the locations with caution and observe all safety measures that will be put in place,” the press release said.

But during deliberations on the floor of the House on Thursday , Minority leader Haruna Iddrisu questioned the powers that the Minister relied on to issue this directive when the budget had not been approved by Parliament.

Supporting Mr Iddrisu’s submission was the lawmaker for Adaklu, Kwame Agbodza.

Mr Agbodza said “It is quite clear that the Minister sidestepped parliament by pretending that he as a minister, not even the finance minister,  has the right to  waive taxes in this country. My senior colleague the road minister is a lawyer  and a very experienced one. I submit that  this action is not a mere action.

“To make it quite serious, on Tuesday Mr Speaker, your committee on Roads and Transport met  and invited the minister of roads  and transport  to work on a referral which is to build the road between Manfe and  Koforidua. At that meeting I asked  the Ministry  representative where the minister was . The response they gave me was  the Minister was on an official trip  with the president

The Minister should have known that he has no such powers.

In any case he was not in the jurisdiction. So Mr Speaker, we want you to direct that the Minister has  no such powers  to waive the payment  of charges  in this country expect Parliament. Mr Speaker direct that the Minister rescind his decision, if he so wishes he should present that to parliament.”

For his part, Member of Parliament for Abuakwa South, Samuel Atta Akyea defended the Minister saying he did not disrespect Parliament and the laws by issuing that order when the budget had not been approved.

He said “Even in the Supreme Court , with the greatest of respect Mr Speaker, sometimes there is a misreading of the law which does not amount to the fact that the law lords are disrespecting the law. So at such a time that we we made that distinction we cannot attribute to the honourable Minister for Roads and Highways he is disrespecting the law.”

He added “Probably , with the greatest of respect, this could be an administrative error which should not be , It happens

Dumsor’ will never be back – Energy Minister

Energy Minister Dr Mathew Opoku Prempeh has said that the country will never return to the days of the erratic power supply that was christined in the local parlance ‘dumsor’

Although he admits that there are few challenges in the power sector that need to be addressed, the country will not go through that period of energy rationing due to the measures taken by this administration.

“The feedback that I am picking is that when it is even raining the lights are on,” he told TV3’s Johnnie Hughes on the New Day show on Thursday November 18.

He stressed “Dumsor is never going to be back.”

By Laud Nartey|3news.com|Ghana

Investing GHC10 billion in the youth is unprecedented, says Ofori-Atta

Ken Ofori-Atta, Minister for Finance

 Ken Ofori-Atta is the Minister for Finance and Economic Planning

The government is set to implement the YouStart initiative which proposes to use GHC1 billion to create one million jobs for the youth

The Minister for Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta says the government’s decision to invest about GHC10 billion in the youth of the country is unprecedented.

He said the move will help to create an enabling environment for the youth to succeed.

Speaking with Kweku Adoboli on the Asaase Business Round Table Thursday (18 November) Ofori-Atta said, “For the first time we’ve been able to put together a YouStart and entrepreneurial programme where GHC10 billion is going to be invested in the youth to create an enabling environment for them to succeed.”

He said, “It is going to be a very interesting time in our country where we will see the youth energised to take business risks; some may lose money but then that is part of the learning process [in doing business].”

Ofori-Atta added, “You have an army of unemployed [youth] … and situations where living standards are quite low and difficult, however, you need to tackle the matter of revenue before you can stabilise your economy. The question is, who pays for it?”

YouStart 

The government is to roll out a new initiative dubbed “ YouStart” aimed at creating one million jobs for the youth, the Minister of Finance has said.

YouStart is a vehicle for supporting young entrepreneurs to gain access to capital, training, technical skills and mentoring to enable them to launch and operate their own businesses.

Delivering the 2022 Budget Statement and Economic Policy of Government in Parliament on Wednesday (17 November), Ken Ofori-Atta said the initiative will start with an initial funding of GHC1 billion.

“This understanding of the youth employment challenge, as well as extensive consultations with stakeholders including youth associations and educational institutions across the country, have led to the development of the YouStart initiative which proposes to use GHC1 billion to create one million jobs and in partnership with the Finance Institutions and Development Partners,” he said.

”In addition, our local banks have agreed to a package that will result in increasing their SME portfolio up to about GHC 5 billion over the next three years.”

Soft loans

Under the initiative, soft loans of up to GHC50,000 will be provided to beneficiaries to help start-ups (in particular by young graduates and school leavers) and small businesses to expand.

“Starter packs (Soft loans tied to equipment acquisition) of up to GHC50,000 for individuals and GHC100,000 for associations/groups. A standardised loan package of between GHC100,000 to GHC400,000 at concessional rates for SMEs through financial institutions,” he said.

“The Ghana Enterprises Agency (GEA), the National Entrepreneurship and Innovation Programme (NEIP), and partner financial institutions, will serve as the implementing arms of YouStart. Entrepreneurs will be able to apply for support through a dedicated YouStart online portal. NEIP will also engage our faith-based organisations as partners for the delivery of essential artisanal skills,” Ofori-Atta added

Amoako-Atta committed error in stopping toll payments – Atta Akyea

Abuakwa South Member of Parliament, Samuel Atta-Akyea has said that the Minister of Roads and Highways , Kwasi Amoako Atta committed an administrative error in issuing the order for road toll payments to stop when the 2022 budget statement had not been approved by Parliament.

Mr Amoako-Atta incurred the wrath of Parliament for issuing an order to stop road toll payments in the country.

Some lawmakers, mainly from the opposition side, said he exercised ultra vires in issuing that order.

Mr Kwasi Amoako-Atta who is also Member of Parliament for Atiwa West, on Wednesday November 17 directed the cessation of collection of tolls on public roads and bridges effective Thursday, November 18 after the Finance Minister Ken Ofori Atta had announced in the 2022 budget statement the cancellation of the tolls.

A press release issued a few hours after the announcement by the Minister of Finance, said the directive will take effect from 12:00am Thursday.

“Motorists are kindly advised to approach the locations with caution and observe all safety measures that will be put in place,” the press release said.

But during deliberations on the floor of the House on Thursday, Minority leader Haruna Iddrisu questioned the powers that the Minister relied on to issue this directive when the budget had not been approved by Parliament.

Supporting Mr Iddrisu’s submission was the lawmaker for Adaklu, Kwame Agbodza.

Mr Agbodza said “It is quite clear that the Minister sidestepped parliament by pretending that he as a minister, not even the finance minister,  has the right to  waive taxes in this country. My senior colleague the road minister is a lawyer  and a very experienced one. I submit that  this action is not a mere action.

“To make it quite serious, on Tuesday Mr Speaker, your committee on Roads and Transport met  and invited the minister of roads  and transport  to work on a referral which is to build the road between Manfe and  Koforidua. At that meeting I asked  the Ministry  representative where the minister was . The response they gave me was  the Minister was on an official trip  with the president

“The Minister should have known that he has no such powers.

“In any case he was not in the jurisdiction. So Mr Speaker, we want you to direct that the Minister has  no such powers  to waive the payment  of charges  in this country expect Parliament. Mr Speaker direct that the Minister rescind his decision, if he so wishes he should present that to parliament.”

The Speaker said in Parliament on Thursday November 18 that the Minister acted wrongly by issuing that command.

“I think that it is proper for us to direct the minister, a member of this house, in fact a senior member of this house, I think that he might have acted wrongly and therefore I call him to reverse this decision,” he said.

Mr Bagbin added “These are policy  proposals  that the Minister of Finance has presented to the House. Until they are approved nobody has the authority to start implementing something that doesn’t exist.

“Does [the road minister’s order] amount to a disrespect  of the House?  That is where I may differ.

“The Minister of Roads and Highways, because this is not a court of law,  might have misunderstood or misapplied the law and so it is for us  to draw his attention and tell him that you have no such authority. In spite of all the legal and linguistic gymnastic that have been displayed , it is very clear that what the minister sought to do, he had no such authority  to do that.

“I want to clearly direct that what the Minister  has released  is complete Brutum Fulmen, it means it is an empty boast , it has no effect  and therefore I call on him  to hnourably  withdraw that directive . Failure to do so  will be a serious breach of the directive of the speaker and that would amount to contempt of parliament

“I think that it is proper for us to direct the minister, a member of this house, in fact a senior member of this house, I think that he might have acted wrongly and therefore I call on him to reverse this decision,” he ruled.

For his part, Member of Parliament for Abuakwa South, Samuel Atta Akyea defended the Minister saying he did not disrespect Parliament and the laws by issuing that order when the budget had not been approved.

He said “Even in the Supreme Court , with the greatest of respect Mr Speaker, sometimes there is a misreading of the law which does not amount to the fact that the law lords are disrespecting the law.

“So at such a time that we we made that distinction we cannot attribute to the honourable Minister for Roads and Highways he is disrespecting the law.”

He added “Probably , with the greatest of respect, this could be an administrative error which should not be , it happens.”

By Laud Nartrey|3news.com|Ghana

This is not the first time Ghana has defeated South Africa and it won’t be the last’ – GFA hits back at SAFA

The SAFA further accused Ghana and Senegalese referee, Maguette Ndiaye of match-fixing.

The Ghana Football Association (GFA) has asked the officials of the South African Football Association (SAFA) to eat the humble pie and accept their defeat in the final second-round group game of the 2022 World Cup qualifiers.

The Bafana Bafana were beaten at the Cape Coast Stadium by the Black Stars on Sunday, November 14, with a connected spot kick from skipper, Andre Ayew.

However, the South Africans have lodged a complaint to the World’s highest governing body of football, FIFA, to investigate the performance of the match officials on the day.

The SAFA further accused Ghana and Senegalese referee, Maguette Ndiaye of match-fixing.

The GFA, on the other hand, has warned the SAFA not to tarnish the Black Stars’ image.

In a statement issued on Thursday, November 19, 2021, the GFA called on its South African colleagues to show respect to the achievement of the Black Stars on the said day.

“…this is not the first time Ghana has defeated South Africa and this will not be the last time,” the Association was categorical.

It further added, “In fact, every South African knows the pedigree of the Black Stars in football, a reason the team has a lot of following in South Africa.”

GFA further called out on what it described as “lies” churned out by SAFA.

Citing a tweet by SAFA prior to the game that the Bafana Bafana lads took nine hours to arrive at Cape Coast, the Communique emphasised the allegation was frivolous, baseless and lacks merits.

 “It is shocking, irresponsible, and outright disrespect to note that our colleagues from South Africa Football Association (with whom we have good relationships with and mutual sporting respect) have chosen to spread falsehoods to the media rather than project the real picture of events before, during and after the game,” the statement read.

In GFA’s view, these “mountains of lies” by the SAFA are nothing but a planned scheme to “shift focus from the defeat, divert attention from their failure to qualify for the play-offs.”
It, therefore, urged all and sundry to disregard the said allegations.

“The GFA wishes to state clearly that we will always operate within the FIFA Regulations.

“As a good sporting Association, we know that Bafana Bafana gave it their all but lost to a better team (and must be forthright to tell the South African public this). We wish Bafana Bafana and our colleagues at SAFA better luck next time,” it added.

Source: Ama Cromwell||Myjoyonline

Bagbin directs reversal of suspension of road toll payment

Speaker of Parliament

The Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin has directed the Minster of Roads and Highways, Kwasi Amoako Atta to reverse the decision to stop road toll payments in the country.

The Speaker said in Parliament on Thursday November 18 that the Minister who is also Member of Parliament for Atiwa West acted wrongly by issuing that command.

“I think that it is proper for us to direct the minister, a member of this house, in fact a senior member of this house, I think that he might have acted wrongly and therefore I call him to reverse this decision,” he ruled.

Mr Kwasi Amoako-Atta, on Wednesday November 17 directed the cessation of collection of tolls on public roads and bridges effective Thursday, November 18 after the Finance Minister Ken Ofori Atta had announced in the 2022 budget statement the cancellation of the tolls.

A press release issued a few hours after the announcement by the Minister of Finance, said the directive will take effect from 12:00am Thursday.

“Motorists are kindly advised to approach the locations with caution and observe all safety measures that will be put in place,” the press release said.

But during deliberations on the floor of the House on Thursday , Minority leader Haruna Iddrisu questioned the powers that the Minister relied on to issue this directive when the budget had not been approved by Parliament.

Supporting Mr Iddrisu submission was the lawmaker for Adaklu, Kwame Agbodza.

Mr Agbodza said “It is quite clear that the Minister sidestepped parliament by pretending that he as a minister, not even the finance minister,  has the right to  waive taxes in this country. My senior colleague the road minister is a lawyer  and a very experienced one. I submit that  this action is not a mere action.

“To make it quite serious, on Tuesday Mr Speaker, your committee on Roads and Transport met  and invited the minister of roads  and transport  to work on a referral which is to build the road between Manfe and  Koforidua. At that meeting I asked  the Ministry  representative where the minister was . The response they gave me was  the Minister was on an official trip  with the president

The Minister should have known that he has no such powers.

In any case he was not in the jurisdiction. So Mr Speaker, we want you to direct that the Minister has  no such powers  to waive the payment  of charges  in this country expect Parliament. Mr Speaker direct that the Minister rescind his decision, if he so wishes he should present that to parliament.”

For his part, Member of Parliament for Abuakwa South, Samuel Atta Akyea defended the Minister saying he did not disrespect Parliament and the laws by issuing that order when the budget had not been approved.

He said “Even in the Supreme Court , with the greatest of respect Mr Speaker, sometimes there is a misreading of the law which does not amount to the fact that the law lords are disrespecting the law. So at such a time that we we made that distinction we cannot attribute to the honourable Minister for Roads and Highways he is disrespecting the law.”

He added “Probably , with the greatest of respect, this could be an administrative error which should not be , It happens

MoMo Tax: Clueless gov’t did not engage service providers before introduction – Sam George

Ningo Prampram lawmaker Samuel Nartey George has said the government did not engage the telecom companies before announcing the introduction of the tax on mobile money services in the 2022 budget statement.

Sam George who is also a member of the communications committee of Parliament described the government as ‘clueless bunch’.

“Let me state for the records that the govt HAS NOT engaged any of the service providers in the telecoms space on how the draconian ‘digital tax’ would be implemented. How do you announce a tax when those to implement it & be affected by it are left in the dark? Clueless bunch,” he said in a tweet.

LET ME STATE FOR THE RECORDS THAT THE GOVT HAS NOT ENGAGED ANY OF THE SERVICE PROVIDERS IN THE TELECOMS SPACE ON HOW THE DRACONIAN “DIGITAL TAX” WOULD BE IMPLEMENTED. HOW DO YOU ANNOUNCE A TAX WHEN THOSE TO IMPLEMENT IT & BE AFFECTED BY IT ARE LEFT IN THE DARK? CLUELESS BUNCH.🦁— Sam ‘Dzata’ George (@samgeorgegh) November 17, 2021

He added “The NCA and the Ministry of Communications are now inviting Telcos and Service providers in the space to a meeting on Friday to discuss implementation of a policy announced in the budget? Such a clueless bunch of managers. Post facto thinking.”https://platform.twitter.com/embed/Tweet.html?dnt=true&embedId=twitter-widget-1&features=eyJ0ZndfZXhwZXJpbWVudHNfY29va2llX2V4cGlyYXRpb24iOnsiYnVja2V0IjoxMjA5NjAwLCJ2ZXJzaW9uIjpudWxsfSwidGZ3X2hvcml6b25fdHdlZXRfZW1iZWRfOTU1NSI6eyJidWNrZXQiOiJodGUiLCJ2ZXJzaW9uIjpudWxsfSwidGZ3X3NwYWNlX2NhcmQiOnsiYnVja2V0Ijoib2ZmIiwidmVyc2lvbiI6bnVsbH19&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1461080710505287690&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2F3news.com%2Fmomo-tax-clueless-govt-did-not-engage-service-providers-before-introduction-sam-george%2F&sessionId=079a143257c2ab8090a5ed01ae046387d4e898fa&siteScreenName=tv3_ghana&theme=light&widgetsVersion=f001879%3A1634581029404&width=550px

THE NCA AND THE MINISTRY OF COMMUNICATIONS ARE NOW INVITING TELCOS AND SERVICE PROVIDERS IN THE SPACE TO A MEETING ON FRIDAY TO DISCUSS IMPLEMENTATION OF A POLICY ANNOUNCED IN THE BUDGET? SUCH A CLUELESS BUNCH OF MANAGERS. POST FACTO THINKING. 🦁😡— Sam ‘Dzata’ George (@samgeorgegh) November 17, 2021

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.

By Laud Nartey|3news.com|Ghana

You’re not poor if you can MoMo GHS100+ a day – Ursula; says gov’t to bag GHS500m/month from E-Levy

Any Ghanaian who is able to send more than GHS100 day via mobile money platforms is not poor, the Minister of Communications and Digitalisation, Mrs Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, has said.

Once the 2022 budget is approved, all electronic transactions in Ghana will attract an Electronic Transaction Levy or E-Levy, as part of moves by the government to shore up its revenue mobilisation.

Finance Minister, Mr Ken Ofori-Atta, who made the announcement when he presented the 2022 budget to parliament on Wednesday, 17 November 2021, explained that the upsurge in the use of e-payment platforms as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, has been an impetus for the introduction of the levy.

As a result, Ghana recorded a total amount of GHS500 billion from e-transactions in 2020 compared with GHS78 billion in 2016.

He said: “It is becoming clear there exists an enormous potential to increase tax revenues by bringing into the tax bracket, transactions that could be best defined as being undertaken in the informal economy.”

He noted, therefore, that the government is charging an applicable rate of 1.75% on all electronic transactions covering mobile money payments, bank transfers, merchant payments and inward remittances, which shall be borne by the sender except inward remittances, which will be borne by the recipient.

“Mr Speaker, to safeguard efforts being made to enhance financial inclusion and protect the vulnerable, all transactions that add up to GHS100 or less per day, which is approximately GHS3,000 per month, will be exempt from this levy,” he stated.

He said E-Levy proceeds will be used to support entrepreneurship, youth employment, cyber security, and digital and road infrastructure, among others.

“Mr Speaker, this new policy also comes into effect once appropriation is passed from 1st January 2022. The government will work with all industry partners to ensure that their systems and payment platforms are configured to implement the policy,” he said.

Defending the E-levy, Mrs Owusu-Ekuful said: “The state is saying that if you are sending up to a GHS100 a day, cumulatively you can send up to GH3,000 a month. That is all going to be tax-free”, she noted.

She added, however, that “if you have more than a GHS100 to send a day, then you’re not poor”.

“So, if you really are poor and you are in a position to send a GHS100 a day, then we need to re-classify our definition of who really the beneficiaries of these are”, she explained, noting: “And, it is only the sender who pays, not the recipient unlike the telcos where both the sender and receiver pay”.

The Ablekuma West MP, who spoke on Accra-based GHOne TV on Thursday, 18 November 2021, said the government could raise GHS500 million from the E-Levy per month.

“So, if you are looking at bulk payments, cash-outs, person-to-person transfers, wallet-to-bank transfers; as of October, we are looking at about GHS11 million. if you are looking at the merchants, debit payments, sending, transfers, transfers to vouchers and the cash-outs; we are looking at GHS440 million”.

“If you are looking at GhIPSS and merchant payments and direct debit payments and organisations paying to customers and paying bills and sending money, we are looking at GHS45 million. So, in total, it is possible for the government to get about GHS500 million from this in a month

Sosu Turns Fire On Police, Sues IGP

Embattled Member of Parliament for Madina, Francis-Xavier Kojo Sosu, has sued the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Dr George Akuffo Dampare.

In a motion on notice, the Madina MP is praying for the enforcement of his fundamental human rights.

Sosu is seeking an order that the attempt by Officers of the IGP to arrest him on October 25, this year without informing him (Sosu) over reasons for his arrest was unlawful.

He is also seeking an order of the court that the attempt by the officers of respondents to arrest him at the church without reason, was unlawful.

The Legislator is further seeking an order of the court directed at the IGP to pay him compensation for unlawful and unwarranted breach of his (Sosu) human rights.

The applicant (Sosu) is seeking a declaration that the conduct of the IGP was in breach of the standards of “fairness and reasonableness under Article 23, proper use of discretion under Article 296 and all implied rights inherent in a democracy intended to secure the freedom and dignity of man which include, the right not to be subjected to arbitrary and malicious prosecution under Article 33 (5) of the 1992 Constitution.”

Applicant is seeking “a declaration that the Police action violates rights to protest and demonstrations.”

In his affidavit in support of the motion on notice, the MP said on October 25, this year, as part of his parliamentary duties, he led the chiefs, elders and youth and organisation associations along the Ayi Mensah, Kweiman, Danfa, Adoteiman and Otinibi to protest and demonstrate against the deplorable roads in their communities.

According to Sosu, the said demonstration was done in accordance with the Public Order Act and there was no destruction of public or private properties and “we recorded no casualties.”

“That said peaceful protest and demonstration was done in the glare of the media and Police officers who were with us throughout the demonstration, and there was no single news item of any destruction of public property.”

According to him, in his capacity as MP, he picked up intelligence that the community wanted to take the law into their own hands and hit the road and demonstrate on account of the bad roads.

Based on the intelligence, Sosu said he reached out to the various community leaders and the various stakeholders and a communique dated on September 27, 2021, by which a 14-day ultimatum was given to the government for contractors to show up within the communities.

He said after expiration of the ultimatum and without any response, he issued a letter to the Ghana Police Service through the Divisional Commander at Adenta/Abokobi.

The Legislator said the said letter dated October 11, this year, notified the Police about the intended protest on October 18, this year.

He said he received a response from the police that the said demonstration should be held on October 25, this year.

Sosu said after the said demonstration, he admonished the youth that the reasons for the demonstration was to draw the government’s attention to the plight of roads.

Soon after addressing the youth, Sosu said the Police informed him that the Police needed to send him to the Commander to answer a few questions.

The MP said he informed the Police that he was on his way to Parliament for some Parliamentary duties. The Police insisted that I go with them.

“That the attempt by two officers of the respondent to publicly arrest and manhandle me amounts to an act intended to impede and obstruct the legitimate discharge of my duties as a Member of Parliament and the said act is an affront to the Parliament of the Republic of Ghana.”


By Joyce Danso, GNA

MoMo tax needs a lot of education – Napo

Google search engine

Energy Minister Dr Mathew Opoku has said a lot of education is required on the e-levy that has been introduced in the 2022 budget statement.

Speaking on the New Day show on TV3 he said the levy affect specific transactions, not all.

“The implementation is going to come with education, not everything that is affected. For example less than hundred cedis transaction is not affected. There is a lot of education that needs to be done,” the Manhyia South MP told TV3’s Johnnie Hughes on Thursday November 18.

Meanwhile his colleague lawmaker for Ningo Prampram, Samuel Nartey George has said the government did not engage the telecom companies before announcing the introduction of the tax on mobile money services in the 2022 budget statement.

“Let me state for the records that the govt HAS NOT engaged any of the service providers in the telecoms space on how the draconian ‘digital tax’ would be implemented. How do you announce a tax when those to implement it & be affected by it are left in the dark? Clueless bunch,” he said in a tweet.

He added “The NCA and the Ministry of Communications are now inviting Telcos and Service providers in the space to a meeting on Friday to discuss implementation of a policy announced in the budget? Such a clueless bunch of managers. Post facto thinking.”

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.

By Laud Nartey|3news.com|Ghana

A/R: Police gun down two armed robbers at Manso-Nkwanta

The Ashanti Regional Police Anti-robbery Patrol team has gunned down two suspected armed robbers on Wednesday, 17 November 2021 on the Manso-Nkwanta road in the Amansie West District of the Ashanti region.

Another suspect was arrested by the police after an attempt to escape failed.

The incident occurred when the gang of armed robbers were robbing some traders on the Manso-Nkwanta Road.

The Police, who were on patrol, came across the scene, leading to the killing of two of the robbers.

An AK 47 assault rifle which the suspects were using in their robbery operation was retrieved by the police.

The Ashanti regional police command has assured the general public of maximum security before, during and after the Christmas festivities.

The command, has therefore, urged the general public to volunteer information on the suspicious movement of people with ill motives in their communities for a swift response

Parliament won’t beg for the release of our allocation again – Bagbin warns Ministry of Finance

Bagbin.png

Speaker of Parliament Alban Bagbin has warned the Finance Ministry

He says the House won’t beg for release of budgetary allocation henceforth

Ken Ofori-Atta presented the 2022 budget on November 17


Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin has cautioned that the legislature will not beg for its budgetary allocation from the executive i.e. the Ministry of Finance, as has been the practice.

In a pre-budget presentation comment he made on Accra-based Joy FM last Tuesday, November 16, Bagbin said he will not tolerate the status quo and that allocations must be effected as they are done for all other state entities.

“Even Parliament itself after the approval will have to go cap in hand, begging the Ministry for the release of its own budget estimates. There is no way that I will tolerate that. No.

“We won’t go to the Ministry of Finance to beg for the release of our estimates. It must be done like it is done for others,” he stressed.

He continued: “so it is refreshing to note that the issue that we are raising here today particularly dealing with public goods and services is so crucial at this time, where the people of Ghana are looking up to us for hope.”



The budget statement for the year 2022 was presented by Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta on Wednesday, November 17, 2021.

There was a delay in the advertised time presentation by two hours even when the house was packed. When the speaker the leaders eventually entered the chamber, Bagbin explained that some differences had held them up in the conclave.

“Your leadership and my good self have grave differences with the Ministry of Finance, the presentation will be done today but as we go along, we believe that there will be enough time for the differences to be ironed out smoothly.

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

Most MoMo users poor so it shouldn’t be taxed’ – Ghanaians remind Bawumia of own words

In August 2020, Vice-president Mahamudu Bawumia granted an interview to Accra-based Peace FM’s morning show Kokrokoo in which he disagreed with intentions, at the time, to tax mobile money transactions.

He told show host Kwame Sefa Kayi: “I don’t think Mobile Money should be taxed because most of the people who use the service are poor people so if you put more taxes on it they will suffer”.

The government’s recent introduction of a MoMo tax has, therefore, caused some Ghanaians on social media to remind the Vice-president, who is currently the Acting President, about his own past words.

Once the 2022 budget is approved, all electronic transactions in Ghana will attract an Electronic Transaction Levy or E-Levy, as part of moves by the government to shore up its revenue mobilisation, Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta told parliament on Wednesday, 17 November 2021 when he presented the 2022 budget to the house.

Mr Ofori-Atta explained that the upsurge in the use of e-payment platforms as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, has been an impetus for the introduction of the levy.

As a result, Ghana recorded a total GHS500 billion from e-transactions in 2020 compared with GHS78 billion in 2016.

He said: “It is becoming clear there exists an enormous potential to increase tax revenues by bringing into the tax bracket, transactions that could be best defined as being undertaken in the informal economy.”

He noted, therefore, that the government is charging an applicable rate of 1.75% on all electronic transactions covering mobile money payments, bank transfers, merchant payments and inward remittances, which shall be borne by the sender except inward remittances, which will be borne by the recipient.

“Mr Speaker, to safeguard efforts being made to enhance financial inclusion and protect the vulnerable, all transactions that add up to GHS100 or less per day, which is approximately GHS3,000 per month, will be exempt from this levy,” he stated.

He said E-Levy proceeds will be used to support entrepreneurship, youth employment, cyber security, and digital and road infrastructure, among others.

“Mr Speaker, this new policy also comes into effect once appropriation is passed from 1st January 2022. The government will work with all industry partners to ensure that their systems and payment platforms are configured to implement the policy,” he said

Okudzeto bemoans ‘cruel’ neglect of Volta tidal waves in 2022 budget

Member of Parliament for North Tongu Constituency Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa has described as “most shocking and an unpardonable dereliction” the total silence of the 2022 budget on the raging disaster along the coast of the Volta Region.

He said having combed through the budget as presented by the Finance Minister on Wednesday, November 17, absolutely no word was mentioned on the tidal waves in Ketu, Anlo, Keta and their environs.

To him, “just as the President refused to say a word of empathy or solidarity prior to the budget presentation so has the budget which is delivered on his authority pursuant to Articles 179 and 180 of the 1992 Constitution been dead silent on this national emergency”.

He wrote on Thursday, November 18 that this comes in sharp contrast to assurances by the Minister of Works and Housing, Francis Asenso Boakye, that the Finance Minister has been engaged to make provision for Phase 2 of the Blekusu Coastal Protection Project in the budget.

2022 BUDGET MAKES NO PROVISION TO ADDRESS TIDAL WAVES CRISIS /1 PIC.TWITTER.COM/BNK1SVKJQW— Sam Okudzeto Ablakwa (@S_OkudzetoAblak) November 18, 2021

By Emmanuel Kwame Amoh|3news.com|Ghana

Charcoal is being smuggled out of Ghana – Apaak

Member of Parliament for Builsa South Dr Clement Apaak, has alleged that charcoal has become an important commodity, not only as the source of energy in the country but as a raw material for the pharmaceutical industry locally and internationally, making it a smuggled commodity.

According to Dr Apaak, charcoal is highly demanded both locally and externally because its traditional use as the source of fuel for many homes in the country has evolved to the level where they use it as the base material for pharmaceutical products such as toothpaste and medicated charcoal.

Dr Apaak posited that the usual sight of long trucks carting charcoal from the northern part of the country to the southern parts does end up in homes to be used as fuel but is also smuggled out of the country to meet international demands.

He said this is worrying to the country considering the revelations at the recent Conference Of Parties (COP26) in Glasgow, Scotland where there was a resolution to keep the rise in global temperatures below 2c as adopted in 2015 by the United Nations (UN).

Dr Apaak hinted that this international demand that has engendered the smuggling of charcoal is making people cut down more trees to burn them for charcoal, which will end up emitting more carbon into the atmosphere.

“When you see those trucks between Tamale and Kintampo, Kumasi, they are not bringing that charcoal for you and me to go and prepare tea, the charcoal is being smuggled out of the country.

Once the charcoal has gained another use and it is a product of timber, you know what is going to happen,” Dr Apaak portended on the New Day.

He disclosed this in an interview with Johnnie Hughes on the New Day on TV3, Wednesday, November 17.

On the budget reading by the Minister of Finance Ken Ofori-Atta on the floor of parliament on Wednesday, November 17, Dr Apaak said his expectations will be that of the people, especially the people in his constituency whom he represents.

Dr Apaak pointed out that the citizenry is not enthused about the budget anymore based on what they have witnessed in past budgets, saying the indices in the build-up towards the budget do not give hope that it is going to ameliorate the hardships of Ghanaians.

“Some of the issues people are talking about, my constituents, Ghanaians have to do with the increase in fuel prices and how that affects other aspects of human, social endeavors. You and I know that once it affects fuel prices, it affects transport prices, it is bound to affect food prices and almost every other service around that,” he said.

He wondered if the 2022 budget is going to bring some relief to the people by taking away the many taxes that are embedded to push the cost of fuel to a reduced rate?

Dr Apaak inquired if the government is going to present the nation with a budget policy that is going to address the increasing cost of building materials in the country.

He was speaking on the horn of the budget reading by the Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta in parliament on Wednesday, November 17.

Survey: 56% of Ghanaians have confidence in Dampare’s leadership of Police

A survey by the Bureau of Public Safety has revealed about 56% of Ghanaians have confidence in the leadership of Dr. George Akuffo-Dampare as Inspector General of Police.

Some 59% of the citizenry also say they have seen some significant improvement in the conduct of the Police since Dr. Dampare assumed office.

“While we acknowledge that a 100th Day measure for the IGP has not been the norm, and thus we do not expect to see any significant changes in the realm of safety and security within this short period, we are minded by the fact that this survey will provide hints and leads into the general opinion of the public on safety and security cum police performance.

“Responses from the survey also throws lights on policing aspects that the Ghana Police Service will need to focus attention and resources on in the short to medium term, if not the long term.

Overall, the survey polled responses from 583 respondents
“56% of the respondents indicated that they have confidence in the new Police Administration, while 37% remained neutral, and 7% said they do not have confidence in the new administration,” the Survey said.

The survey also noted: “Only 19% of respondents considered themselves safe in the past 90 days, as against 25% who considered themselves unsafe, and another 46% who were unsure about their safety. 57% of respondents said Officers of the Ghana Police Service did not show concern for citizens, and only 8% claimed that Officers showed concern for citizens.

“Nonetheless, 66% of respondents indicated that they will not hesitate to call on the Police Service for assistance. On Police Visibility, 38% of respondents indicated dissatisfaction and another 27% remained neutral, while 35% indicated satisfaction”.

Gov’t to continue construction of Abiriw, New Edubiase stadiums

Ken Ofori-Atta

Government will continue the construction of the Abiriw and New Edubiase stadiums in 2022, Minister of Finance Ken Ofori-Atta said on Wednesday.

While the Abiriw project started under this government, the New Edubiase stadium was started by the John Mahama-led government in 2016.

Also, Sunyani Coronation Park will be rehabilitated.

“In 2022, Government will continue with the construction of the Abiriw and the New Edubiase sports stadia as well as commence the rehabilitation of the Sunyani Coronation Park,” Mr Ofori-Atta said in Parliament while delivering the 2022 budget statement.

The Finance Minister noted that government will focus on getting the Borteyman Olympic Stadium ready for the 2023 All-African Games.

“Mr. Speaker, in 2022, Ghana will participate in the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham and continue with preparatory activities towards organising and hosting the 13th African Games in Accra in 2023.

“Government will procure sports logistics and equipment and begin the construction of a new multipurpose sports hall, hostel facilities and an olympic-size swimming pool at Borteyman in Accra.”

On benefits enjoyed by the sports industry in 2021, Mr Ofori-Atta stated “some stadia across the country were renovated in 2021 and are at various stages of completion as follows: Accra Sports Stadium – 98% complete; Phase I of Baba Yara Stadium – 98% complete; Essipong Stadium – 90% complete; and Cape Coast Stadium – 60% complete.”

There was no mention of the budget allocated for Black Stars participation in next year’s Africa Cup of Nations tournament in Cameroon.

But it is believed that the $25 million being raised by the government with support from corporate bodies would cover that.

Source: 3news.com|Ghana

Fisheries Ministry donates fingerlings to James Camp Prisons

The Ministry of Fisheries and Aqua-culture Development as part of its flagship programme dubbed ‘Aquaculture for Food and Jobs’ on Monday, November 15, 2021, donated 4,000 fingerlings and 320 bags of fish feeds to the James Camp Prison to boost the camp’s fish farming business.

According to the Ministry, the donation was to help inmates of the camp develop the skills of rearing fish for job after their incarceration.

The James Camp Prison is one of the over 95 institutions benefiting from the Ministry’s flagship program rolled out under the current Minister.

The Minister, Hawa Koomson presenting the items to officers at the camp at a ceremony held in Accra, explained that her Ministry had plans to reach additional 105 institutions by the year 2025.

“As a teacher, I believe that reforms must be comprehensive with skills development at the center stage of the reformation process,” she said.

She stressed that this programme will equip the inmates with the needed skills to enable them go into be fishing farming at the end of their reformation programme

Ghana’s debt’ll hit GHS355bn by end of 2021, GHS426bn by end of 2022 – Minority

The minority in parliament has said judging from the 2022 budget presented by Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta on Wednesday, 17 November 2021, Ghana’s debt stop would balloon by the end of the year and get even worse in the next year.

Speaking to journalists in parliament right after the minister’s presentation, the minority’s spokesperson on finance, Dr Cassiel Ato Forson, said: “Now, the major issue again that is confronting us is the issue of debt sustainability”.

“In fact, according to the minister of finance, Ghana’s public debt stood at GHS341.76 billion as of September 2021”.

“This marks an increase of 221.76 billion over the GHS120 billion they inherited in the year 2017 with a debt-to-GDP ratio of 56 per cent”, he computed.

“This huge increase is as a result of borrowing occasioned by a record 15.6 per cent interest rate and a primary balance of 8.8 per cent in the year 2020”, said Dr Forson.

He explained: “The huge and unsustainable debt overhang has led Ghana to lose access to the international financial market due to a total loss of confidence in our ability to meet further debt service obligations”.

Again, he added, “we had expected that the 2022 budget will show clear signs of how the government intends to reduce the public debt and regain the confidence of the investors”.

“Unfortunately,” he bemoaned, “the budget presented by the finance minister does not offer much hope that this one is going to happen”.

“In view of the above, we project that the public debt will hit GHS355 billion the end of December 2022, representing 82 per cent of GDP, which is the highest since HIPC”.

“Again, the budget indicated that the situation will worsen in the year 2022 as the public debt will reach 426 billion by the end of the year 2022, representing 85 per cent of GDP”.

“Based on the trend, we, in the minority, concur with Fitch’s recent projection that the general government debt-to-GDP is going to rise up to 90 per cent by the year 2023”.

He said “it was obviously imperative for the 2022 budget to respond to some of these critical challenges facing us and to bring the economy back on track. Unfortunately, what has just been presented falls far below what is required and the crisis within the economy is set to deepen”, he projected.

“I had always anticipated and had the fear that this budget would introduce some hardships but unfortunately, I never anticipated that the magnitude of the hardships that this budget will introduce, will be so high”, he observed.

According to him, the 2022 budget has been presented at a time when the Ghanaian economy is in “deep crisis and is, indeed, in complete shambles”.

“The key issues affecting the economy in the run-up to the presentation of this budget include the following: huge and unsustainable public debe leading to the loss of assets to the international financial market; deteriorating credit ratings and a complete loss of confidence in the Ghanaian economy; unprecedented budget deficit of 15.6 per cent and primary deficit of 8.8 per cent in the year 2020 which has led to more borrowing; severe hardships and extreme cost of living caused by the imposition of a raft of taxes; rapid depreciation of the Ghanaian currency; ever-increasing fuel prices and general food inflation; massive unemployment, non-payment of contractors, poor quality of government expenditure and the misuse of our scarce resources on ostentatious creature comforts of government officials

NDC MPs threaten to reject 1.75% MoMo levy

Bolgatanga Central MP Isaac Adongo

The minority MPs in parliament have threatened to reject new taxes announced by Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, in the 2022 budget presentation.

Ofori-Atta announced the scrapping of road tolls and the introduction of E-levy to cover Mobile money transactions, remittances and other electronic transactions.

Fees and charges of government services have also been increased by 15%.

“Total value of transactions for 2020 was estimated to be over GHS 500 billion Cedis compared to GH¢78 billion Cedis in 2016 just 5 years ago, while total mobile money subscribers and active mobile money users have grown by an average rate of 18% and 16% respectively between 2016 and 2019. Mr. Speaker, it is becoming clear there exists an enormous potential to increase tax revenues by bringing into the tax bracket, transactions that could be best defined as being undertaken in the “shadow economy”.

“After considerable deliberations, the 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.”

Reacting to the presentation Ranking member for the finance committee Cassiel Ato Forson and his deputy Isaac Adongo argued the levies will overburden the already suffering masses.

They assured the minority will scrutinize the levies and reject them if need be.

“These are people who keep exploiting our vulnerabilities in order to throw a bitter pill down our throat…So I just want to encourage Ghanaians that going forward when these people tell you that they are bringing good things, look at how much they are taking from your pocket,” Isaac Adongo told Starr News.

General Secretary for the NDC Johnson Asiedu Nketia has accused the government of failing to relieve the masses of the current hardships in the budget.

According to him, the government is revisiting the plan to construct a new chamber of parliament in spite of the financial difficulties the country is going through.

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

Ghanaian stabbed to death in South Africa over argument on Black Stars Bafana Bafana clash

The argument became heated where he was stabbed in the process in a small town called Mzuluku.

A Ghanaian has been stabbed to death following an argument on the Black Stars victory over Bafana Bafana in the 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers.

Ghana defeated Bafana Bafana by a lone goal in the last round of the qualifiers at the Cape Coast Sports Stadium.

The 39-year-old with the name Yaw Owusu, who was a barber in Durban, was reported to have had an argument with one of the locals ahead of Ghana’s last World Cup qualifying game against South Africa.

Owusu, according to reports returned to work on Monday and had another argument with the accused who is on the run over the legitimacy of the penalty.

The argument became heated where he was stabbed in the process in a small town called Mzuluku.

Former King Faisal spokesperson, Obeng Boadu popularly known as Owuraku, who currently works in South Africa, gave an account of the incident Kumasi-based Fox FM on Tuesday, November 16, 2021, with Rockson Adjei Yeboah.

“Yaw Owusu, a 39-year-old man who works at a saloon had a few arguments with his apprentice before the game on Sunday, the argument resurfaced on Monday morning after the controversies on the penalty and he stabbed him to death,” he said.

“We are now trying to find his family members in Ghana. The tension on Ghanaians here are very high. The South Africans have threatened to deal with Ghanaians here after their petition to FIFA.

“We are pleading with authorities to come to our aid here since things may be scarier soon. I don’t think Ghanaians are too safe as I speak to you,” he added.

Senegalese referee Ndiaye awarded Ghana a penalty which was utilised by Andre Ayew as the Black Stars booked a place in the playoffs.

Meanwhile, the South Africa Football Association has lodged a complaint at FIFA and CAF, insisting the referee was manipulated therefore the game should be replayed on a neutral ground.

Source: ModernGhana

2022 Budget: Replacing road toll with new taxes regressive, says NDC

Asiedu Nketiah on road toll in 2022 Budget

 Asiedu Nketiah

Johnson Asiedu Nketiah says scrapping the road toll and introducing E-tax is a “regressive” approach

Johnson Asiedu Nketiah, the General secretary of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), has lashed out at the government for introducing new taxes in the 2022 Budget, describing it as regressive.

Speaking to the media after the budget presentation to Parliament on Wednesday, Nketiah, however, commended the government for scrapping the road toll and introducing innovative ways to tax property tax.

“Those who have money in difficulties like this, you tax those ones and then those who can barely make ends meet you give them some stimulus package.

“So cancelling the road tolls and bringing in E-tax is a regressive move. I am happy they spoke about the need to tap into property rate,” Nketiah said.

He added: “Of course that is a very progressive way of taxing because there is a real estate boom and many of the properties have not been valued for years and so on, it is an area that must be taxed rather than introducing new taxes.”

Mobile money charges to go up 1 February

Meanwhile, the government has decided to place a levy on all electronic transactions to widen the tax net and rope in the informal sector.

Ofori-Atta said: “Electronic transactions covering mobile money payments, bank transfers, merchant payments and inward remittances will be charged at an applicable rate of 1.75%, which shall be borne by the sender except for inward remittances, which will be borne by the recipient.”

“This new policy comes into effect from 1 February 2022. The government will work with all industry partners to ensure that their systems and payment platforms are configured to implement the policy.”

As of January 2021, 38.9% of the population aged 15 years and older had a mobile money account in Ghana.

The share of mobile money users increased over the previous three years but decreased slightly in 2021 from 39% in 2020.

Share of population with a mobile money account in Ghana from 2018 to 2021

We’ll bag GHS100.5bn in 2022 – Ofori-Atta

Ghana is expected to rake in a total revenue of GHS100.5 billion in 2022, Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta has announced.

“Mr Speaker, total revenue and grants for 2022 is projected to rise above GHS100 billion for the first time – GHS100.5 billion, equivalent to 20 per cent of GDP up from a projected outturn of GHS70.3 billion, equivalent to 16 per cent of GDP for 2021”, Mr Ofori-Atta told parliament on Wednesday, 17 November 2021 when he presented the 2022 budget.

He said: “Domestic revenue is estimated at GHS99.5 billion and representing an annual growth of 44 per cent over the projected outturn of 2021”.

“The increase in domestic revenue by 44 per cent”, he noted, “is as a result of the impact of a major progressive tax policy complemented by improvement in tax compliance and reforms in revenue administration that we have outlined in the budget”.

Mr Ofori-Atta also observed that despite the COVID-19 pandemic, not a single public sector worker was laid off.

Meanwhile, the government has indicated that it will streamline the country’s tax regime to prevent large companies from abusing tax exemptions.

With Ghana losing about five per cent of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) annually due to excesses in taxes of companies operating in the free zones enclave, the government says it is putting in place measures to handle wasteful tax exemptions.

In the same budget, Mr Ofori-Atta said the government, through the Exemptions Bill which will be laid in the house in 2022, will trim down wasteful tax exemptions to ensure the country gains significant returns from companies enjoying tax exemptions.

“We wish to reiterate that we are in challenging times, which require radical measures; so, let us embrace these new policies to enable the government to address the fundamental issues affecting the economy to ensure that our nation continues to maintain its position,” he said.

More Reliefs for Textile Industry

The Minister also announced a two-year extension of the Value Added Tax (VAT) relief on African prints for textile manufacturers in the country. According to him, the extension is to enable them to resuscitate their operations and provide affordable textiles to the market.

Limiting of VAT flat rate to retailers

Mr Ofori-Atta also indicated that the 3 per cent VAT (flat rate) on the supply of goods by wholesalers and retailers which was introduced in 2017, will now be limited to only retailers explaining that all other supply of goods and services will attract the standard rate.

The minister explained that the object of the flat rate is to provide a simplified system for small-scale enterprises noting that to ensure that this objective is achieved, the rate will be applied to retailers with annual turnover not exceeding GHS500,000.

All other retailers and wholesalers will charge the standard rate

Gov’t sets aside GHS1bn to support young entrepreneurs

The government of Ghana has put together a framework to provide direct support for young entrepreneurs to enable them to create new businesses and expand existing ones.

Under the programme known as YouthStart, the government will direct financial and technical support toward young entrepreneurs in the country to develop commercially viable businesses and create jobs for the youth.

The Minister of Finance, Mr Ken Ofori–Atta, who announced this in his presentation of the 2022 budget statement and economic policy to parliament on Wednesday, 17 November 2021, said the intervention will help address the challenges young entrepreneurs currently face in the country.

“Mr Speaker, this understanding of the youth employment challenge, as well as extensive consultations with stakeholders including youth associations and educational institutions across the country, have led to the development of the YouStart initiative which proposes to use GH¢1 billion to create 1 million jobs and in partnership with the Finance Institutions and Development Partners”.

“In addition, our local Banks have agreed to a package that will result in increasing their SME portfolio up to about GHC 5 billion over the next 3 years”.

“YouStart is a vehicle for supporting young entrepreneurs to gain access to capital, training, technical skills and mentoring to enable them to launch and operate their own businesses. The Ghana Enterprises Agency (GEA), the National Entrepreneurship and Innovation Programme (NEIP), and partner financial institutions, will serve as the implementing arms of YouStart”.

“Entrepreneurs will be able to apply for support through a dedicated YouStart online portal. NEIP will also engage our Faith-Based Organisations as partners for the delivery of essential artisanal skills,” he added.

According to him, the YouStart initiative is designed to instil proper commercial orientation in the beneficiaries.

This he said will include financial institutions determining the credit metrics and GEA and NEIP providing training support especially for the standardized SME loans noting that the initiative will be operational by March 2022.

The government in the past has created numerous initiatives to address the spate of youth unemployment in the country. Programmes such as the Ghana CARES ‘Obaatanpa’ and programmes pursued by the NBSSI now GEA and NEIP are designed to make access to finance and skills in entrepreneurship, agriculture, small-scale industry, tourism, and trade, easier for the youth.

Additionally, government has been working to establish the Ghana Development Bank to provide funds for industries and manufacturing sectors of the economy.

These initiatives coupled with government interventions through the 2022 budget according to the Minister will provide the youth with abundant opportunities to nurture and grow their businesses.

Gov’t introduces e-levy on mobile money transactions

Finance Minister Kenneth Nana Yaw Kuntunkunuku Ofori-Atta has 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

The word politics or politician sounds sour in the mouths of many Ghanaians’ – Bagbin

Alban Bagbin 2020212121

Ghanaians are unhappy about politics and with politicians

Parliament must play its role as the last hope of the people

These are views expressed by Speaker Alban Bagbin


Speaker of ParliamentAlban Bagbin has observed that Ghanaians are unhappy about politics and politicians.

Using the analogy of taste, Bagbin said on Tuesday, November 16, 2021, that many Ghanaians have a sour taste in their mouths when it comes to ‘politics and politicians.”

He, therefore, tasked Parliament to see itself as the hope of the people and to work to lift the spirits of the citizenry.

“I can tell you that the word politics or politician now sounds so sour in the mouths of many Ghanaians. They don’t want to hear it at all but we cannot do without it.

“What do we do to bring up the spirits of the people? So Parliament is the hope and we cannot afford to fail the people of Ghana. So whiles these factors are very important, I think there is the need for us to go beyond that,” he stressed.



He was speaking ahead of the presentation of the 2022 budget statement before Parliament today by the Finance and Economic Planning Minister, Ken Ofori Atta.

The presentation is in accordance with Article 179 of the 1992 Constitution and Section 21 (3) of the Public Financial Management Act, 2016, (Act 921).

The budget, which is termed as the most anticipated budget in Ghana’s history is said to focus on expanding Ghana’s economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Ministry of Finance, ahead of the budget reading in a statement hinted that the budget will among other things dwell on “creating a climate-friendly entrepreneurial state to address unemployment and import substitution.”

It also mentioned the “digitalisation of the economy, skills development and entrepreneurship as among the key issues in the presentation.”

Ken Ofori-Atta in a Joy News report monitored by GhanaWeb stated that the government of Ghana is committed to putting in place those measures that will help deal with the unemployment situation in the country as well as recent challenges with the employment of fresh graduates for the public sector

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

Let’s burden-share to grow Ghana’s economy – Ofori Atta

Finance Minister Ken Ofori Atta has asked all Ghanaians to join hands in growing the local economy to benefit all.

Presenting the 2022 budget statement in Parliament on Wednesday November 17, he said every adult Ghanaian will have to contribute to the delivery of critical infrastructure, social services and improve lives.

This revenue mobilisation, he said, must be a collective effort and we must all contribute to make this a reality.

“A key focus of the budget fiscal consolidation to enhance debt and fiscal sustainability as we implement our economic revitalisation and transformation programme post Covid-19 to save more lives from the Covid-19 pandemic and better the
lives of Ghanaians.

“It is for this reason that Government is proposing for the consideration and approval of Parliament the revenue enhancing and expenditure rationalisation measures in this budget.

“In deed the approval and implementation of the measures will lead to significant fiscal adjustment from a projected fiscal deficit (including Energy IPP Payments and Finsec Clean-up cost) of 12.1% of GDP in 2021 to 7.4% in 2022, representing an adjustment of 4.7 percentage points in just one year.

“Mr. Speaker not only are we significantly bringing the fiscal deficit down, we are posting a primary surplus of 0.1% of GDP in 2022 from a negative primary balance of 4.7% in 2021.

“Mr. Speaker these measures will no doubt slow down debt accumulation and will put the debt to GDP ratio on a declining path. We expect this new paradigm shift to create the needed fiscal space to continue to support broad-based inclusive growth.

“Mr. Speaker, as a people, we are very proud of our history and heritage. We believe in our ability to be self-sustaining. After all, we are a country that became the world’s largest producer of Cocoa with farmers working on small farmlands. These farmers bring in US$2billion annually.

We believe in our capability to mobilise the resources (human, natural and domestic finances) to transform our lives. This will require that we share the burden so that every adult Ghanaian will contribute to the delivery of critical infrastructure, social services and improve lives. This revenue mobilisation must be a collective effort and we must all contribute to make this a reality.

“Mr. Speaker, the Ghana Statistical Service has completed the preliminary report on the 2021 Population and Housing Census. The Census provided useful information that will inform the effective planning and implementation of government policies.
However, the data presented also shows some trends that need to be addressed to build a more equitable society.”

By Laud Nartrey|3news.com|Ghana

Sosu Lands In Parliament After Swerving Court

Francis Xavier Sosu

Contrary to claims that the Member of Parliament for Madina is outside the country performing parliamentary duties, Francis Xavier Sosu has been strangely spotted in Parliament for the 2022 budget reading after ‘missing’ court hearings on two occasions.

He was spotted in the Chambers after he failed to honour a criminal summons filed against him by the Ghana Police Service.

Sosu was summoned by the court following several failed attempts by the police to arrest him for allegedly breaching the public order law during a recent demonstration he led his constituents to embark on in the area.

The legislator has however failed to appear in court on two occasions after being served court summons.

According to a letter, signed by a Deputy Clerk of Parliament, Eric Owusu Mensah, and addressed to the Registrar of the Kaneshie District Court in response to a hearing notice noted that the MP was still on Parliamentary duty, and out of the jurisdiction.

The letter as read by the Court Clerk on Tuesday, “Francis-Xavier Sosu is attending at the proceedings of the 3rd Meeting of the 1st Session of the 8th Parliament which commenced on Tuesday 26th October 2021, and is also currently representing Parliament and the country in a conference in the United States of America”.
His lawyer, Kojoga Adawudu also claimed that his client was not available.

The MP organised a demonstration exercise on October 25, 2021, for some of his constituents to express their displeasure over the poor nature of their roads.

The exercise came off amidst the blocking of roads and burning of tyres, as well as alleged destruction of public property.

Francis-Xavier after failing to honour police summons accused the security agency of being disingenuous with their account of events.

Meanwhile, Mr. Sosu appearance in Parliament Wednesday raised doubts in the minds of some Ghanaians that the MP was indeed out of the country

No more road tolls on public roads; phone transactions levy to pay for roads – Finance Minister

This was announced by the Minister for Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta in his presentation of the 2022 budget statement and economic policy to Parliament on Wednesday, November 17, 2021.

Explaining the rationale behind the scraping of the road tolls, the Minister said the revenue that accrues to the state for the construction and maintenance of roads is inadequate and hence, government has to look elsewhere to equitably generate revenues for the construction and maintenance of our roads.

“Over the years, the tolling points have led to heavy traffic on our roads and lengthened travel time from one place to another, impacting negatively on time and productivity. The congestion generated at the tolling points, besides creating these inconveniences, also leads to pollution in and around those vicinities.

“To address these challenges, Government has abolished all tolls on public roads and bridges. This takes effect immediately the Budget is approved. The toll collection personnel will be reassigned. The expected impact on productivity and reduced environmental pollution will more than off-set the revenue forgone by removing the tolls,” he added.

The Minister said to compensate for the road tolls, government is looking to introduce innovative ways of raising revenue such as the proposed 1.7% phone transactions levy payable by mobile money users per transaction above GHS 100. He said this will help government to shore up revenue inflows to fund road projects in the country

2022 budget: No public sector worker was laid off – Ofori Atta

Finance Minister Ken Ofori Atta has told Parliament that no public sector worker was laid off despite the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the country’s finances.

Presenting the government budget statement for the 2022 fiscal year on Wednesday November 17, he highlighted the negative impact of the pandemic on the local economy.

 “I am proud to announce that not a single  public sector worker  was laid off  as a result of the impact of  the pandemic on our  economy and finance.

“We have managed to pay  them monthly  and we are grateful to the unions for their cooperation in this regard.”

Mr Ofori Atta further told Parliament that small and medium enterprises have been the hardest hit following the outbreak of the pandemic.

The government, he said has initiated steps to support the SMEs cope with the situation.

“Under the Coronavirus Alleviation Programme Business Support Scheme (CAPBuSS), Ghana Enterprises Agency provided 302,001 successful applicants across various sectors and regions with loans amounting to GHȼ523.11 million.

“Mr. Speaker, we also ensured payment of our obligations to contractors and provided payroll support to some State-owned Enterprises to guarantee jobs.

“Thankfully, our President led and acted, decisively and intelligently and his leadership paved the way for many other countries in Africa and beyond.”

By Laud Nartey|3news.com|Ghana

Akufo-Addo not sleeping due to Ghana’s current economic challenges – Ofori-Atta

Minister of Finance Kenneth Nana Yaw Ofori-Atta has admitted that the country is facing economic challenges due to the high expenditure which characterised the 2020 financial year.

He told legislators on Wednesday, November 17 that the country recorded a total budget deficit of 15 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP) in 2020.

As a result, he stressed, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo is not losing sleep to ensure that the economy returns to pre-Covid-19 levels.

“Mr. Speaker, we are under no illusions as to the economic challenges facing our country today,” he said in his delivery of the 2022 budget statement and government’s economic policy.

“How to ease the sufferings of Ghanaians, transform the economy to create jobs and share the expected wealth across all households, such as providing security and education are what keep the President awake at night. How to broaden the revenue base, keep a grip on expenditure, protect the public purse and at the same time build with urgency the needed infrastructure, collecting revenue, managing our debt and expenditure commitments, and paying the bills to stimulate economic activity are the orders he has given to us, his Ministers and other appointees, to carry out over the next three years.”

He assured that they will steer the economy back to stable waters just like the President had stated in the height of the deadly pandemic.

“Mr. Speaker, we have no doubt in our capacity as a government to turn things around,” he promised.

“We turned around the economic crisis we inherited in 2017. We are turning around the economic crisis the pandemic brought in 2020. The challenge is on and we are determined to prevail and with the people behind us and the Almighty on our side we know we shall prevail.”

By Emmanuel Kwame Amoh|3news.com|Ghana

Budget: NPP has better records in debt mg’t than NDC – Oppong Nkrumah

Information Minister Kojo Oppong Nkrumah has said that the Akufo-Ado administration has better records in the management of public sector debt than what the National Democratic Congress (NDC) did.

He indicated that the debt figures and statistics do not favour the main opposition party.

Speaking to TV3 ahead of the 2022 budget presentation on Wednesday November 17, the Ofoase Ayirebi lawmaker indicated that when the NPP administration took over in 2017, several measures including the enactment of the Fiscal Responsibility Act, were put in place to check government spending.

“There are rules about borrowing that we ourselves have come to parliament  to put in place  that borrowing need not to be zero  but it should not be more than 5 per cent of GDP, that is what we call the Fiscal Responsibility Act.

This portrayed a government that was willing to ensure fiscal discipline, he added.

“Because of Covid we have had to suspend it  and we are now around 10 per cent of GDP , you will see in this budget  the fiscal part coming back  down. We are bringing it down to about  7.9 per cent. In the next budget may be about 6 per cent and we will bring it back to 5 per cent.

“It is evident that we are reducing the rate of debt accumulation, it is evident that we are reducing the deficit of 11 to about 5. If you look at the  cedi denominated debt stock, I keep telling my colleagues, you will be misled because if the exchange rate  is one cedi one dollar, if you owe hundred dollars , it is hundred million cedis. If the exchange rate changes to 1.5, you don’t need to borrow more , the next morning the same hundred  million dollars  is now hundred and fifty  million cedis . So if you see that it was 100million cedis is now  150 million cedis , you have more than fifty million cedis and that, show me what you have done with it. 

“That fifty million changed in a cedi  denominated debt stock. It is not as a result of borrowing. That is why all over the world  they use debt to GPD ratio , they use deficit , they use other debt sustainability  indicators  and that is what we are encouraging  that we should also now watch  those ones and see  because for the cedi denominated debt  stock  it can very much misleading . Even for that those who want to do politics with we can compare their about 9 billion cedis that the NDC inherited  to the about 124billion  that they left.  And compare the 124 billion of the NPP  to the about 300 billion that  we have now and strike the percentage and see who will be ore  responsible when it comes to  debt. But that kind of nominal comparison  wont get us anywhere. Even if we choose to play that game we will play it better  than our colleagues on the other side  but that kind of game wont get us anywhere.”

Former President John Dramani Mahama recently said that Ghana’s current debt situation was exposing the country to very high risk of debt default.

He indicated that the debt has ballooned to unsustainable levels- topping 80% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) owing to the mismanagement of the economy by the government.

“Our debt has ballooned to unsustainable levels- topping 80% of GDP- exposing us to very high risk of debt default. Almost all of our tax revenue is used to service our debt and the effect has been the introduction of several new taxes.

“This has led to rampant increments in the prices of goods and services. This is primarily responsible for the hardships Ghanaians are going through now.

Government has been supporting Keta tidal wave victims – Letsa

Government says it has been providing support for victims of the tidal wave that affected Keta and its environs on November 6, 2021, barely two days after the wave hit.

Contrary to speculation that it had abandoned victims, Volta Regional Minister, Archibald Yao Letsa said the government through the Regional Coordinating Council (RCC) has been supporting victims with relief items.

This comes at the back of claims by the Member of Parliament (MP) for the Ketu South constituency, Dzifa Abla Gomashie and other leading members of opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) that the government has abandoned victims of the tidal wave.

However, Mr Letsa in an interview with journalists on Monday, November 15, 2021, described their claims as unfortunate because the government has taken several steps towards alleviating the plight of the victims.

“We have been in contact with the National Disaster Management Organization (NADMO) ever since the tidal waves hit. In the week that it struck, we got some relief items from them, and these relief items were dispatched to the area. These include mattresses, blankets, mosquito nets, mats, rice, maize, cooking oil and detergents. When the items arrived, I gave the instructions that they should be sent to Keta and distributed to the three affected assemblies: Ketu South, Keta and Angloga,” he said.

While empathizing with the people of Keta, Mr Letsa said a long-term solution was also being pursued by the government to end this perennial disaster. He said phase two of the Keta sea defense is in the offing and in due time, work will start.

He also assured that government will not neglect the victims of the tidal wave and will do all it can to offer support in every possible way.

NDC poorly managed 2020 elections – Yamoah Ponkoh concedes

A leading member of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) in the Ashanti Region Afrifa Yamoah Ponkoh has admitted that the NDC accepted defeat in 2020 because of some influential people in society who spoke to the leadership.

According to him, the records proved that the NDC won the election but the power was stolen by the use of security personnel and the machinations of the Electoral Commission (EC).

Yamoah Ponkoh said in as much as he will blame the Electoral Commission (EC) for their problems, the NDC should also take part of the blame because they did not manage their elections well.

He indicated that although the NDC will continue to let the world know they were cheated in 2020, they have decided to be more vigilant in 2024 where they know they will wrestle power from the governing NPP.

“Kwame, they have a point when they say we do not have our own collated results because I believe we have to take some of the blame because I cannot defend that everything went smoothly for us. I will be a hypocrite to say that we managed our elections well. We have our shortcomings but if you do the maths, I tell you that John Mahama won.

NDC won the majority of seats too but it was a calculated machination they engaged in that worked for them with the help of certain people especially some people who were clad in Military uniform who are not Military men. These people went to kill people in Techiman.

I’m still saying and I will not hide it that the declaration of Nana Akufo-Addo as the winner of the 2020 election was a lie, he stole the election, the EC rigged the election but we have kept quiet because there are elderly people in the country. But we have decided to drum home what happened as a move to ensure vigilance in the 2024 election”, he said on Accra-based OKAY FM.

Former President of Ghana and the leader of the NDC in the 2020 election, John Dramani Mahama has said that he is willing to testify if ECOWAS will investigate Ghana’s 2020 elections and the fraud that went on.

He believes that the Electoral Commission stuffed ballot boxes because the Commission printed extra one million ballot papers which was in contravention of the electoral laws of the land.

The NDC as a political party has also petitioned the new Inspector-General of Police to as a matter of urgency probe their claims of printing extra one million ballot papers by the electoral Commission.

NDC Playing With Supporters’ Minds With Election PetItion To IGP-Dame

Attorney General and Minister for Justice, Godfred Yeboah Dame says the National Democratic Congress continuous claims that the 2020 elections were rigged is just a ploy to win back confidence of their supporters over their shambolic performance in the 2020 elections.

According to him, NDC is misleading their supporters into believing that their flagbearer, John Mahama performed better than he actually did in the last elections.××

The AG said that the NDC’s continued insistence without proof that the 2020 general elections were not credible is just a desperate attempt to take the spotlight off the abysmal performance of their candidate.

He wondered why the party would take up its allegations to the police after it failed to prove its case at the Supreme Court during the election petition hearing.

The Attorney-General was speaking at the Commonwealth Election Professionals Initiative Africa Region Training Program in Accra on Monday, November 15, 2021, where he also commended the Electoral Commission for conducting credible and fair elections in the midst of the pandemic.

“Where that [claim] emanated from, I don’t know. What is even more surprising is the forum at which they made the allegation. They had the opportunity of filing such a claim at the Supreme Court, and they couldn’t even prove it. They couldn’t even tell the number of votes they obtained. I think it shows the total confusion that they are living under and in my view, it is just an attempt to unnecessarily deceive their supporters to think that Mahama performed any better, he did not,” Godfred Dame said.

The National Democratic Congress has recently petitioned the Inspector General of Police (IGP), to probe the alleged illegal printing of excess presidential ballot papers in the 2020 general elections.

The party has also insisted that there was over voting in the 2020 elections.

The party said its petition was occasioned by the fact that there had not been any update on investigations on electoral malpractices and violence that characterized the election and voter registration exercise.

The NDC has consistently said there was over-voting in the 2020 general elections.

The Electoral Commission recently urged the Ghana Police Service to investigate claims by former president John Mahama that there was over one million votes in the 2020 general elections credited to the eventual winner, President Akufo-Addo.

A Deputy Chairperson of the EC in charge of Corporate Affairs, Dr. Eric Bossman Asare, disputed the claim and appealed to the police to immediately investigate it.

Xavier-Sosu Absent In Court: Case Adjourned Again

The Kaneshie District Court has for the second time, adjourned the case involving the National Democratic Congress (NDC) Member of Parliament for Madina, Mr Francis-Xavier Sosu.

This was after the MP, who has been charged for unlawfully blocking a public road and the destruction of public property, failed to appear before the court for the second time forcing the court presided over by Oheneba Kufuor to adjourn the case to November 29.

When the case was called today (Nov 16), counsel for the legislator, Mr Victor Kwadjoga Adawudu, told the court that his client was still out of the country and was expected to return next week.

He, therefore, prayed the court to adjourn the case to November 29.

For his part, the prosecution, represented by Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Sylvester Asare told the presiding judge that the Police had not received any communication to indicate the inability of the accused person to attend court.

Letter

The judge, in his response, indicated that he had received a letter on his file signed by the Deputy Clerk to Parliament, Eric Owusu Mensah which read: “Please refer to your letter No. KDC/202/22 and dated 9th November, 2021 which attached a Hearing Notice on the above matter for service on the Honourable Member for Madina Constituency, Hon. Francis-Xavier Sosu”.

The letter further read; “I have been directed by the Rt. Hon. Speaker to bring to the attention of the Hon Court that the Hon. Member is attending at the proceedings of the 3rd Meeting of the 1st Session of the 8th Parliament which commenced on Tuesday 26th October 2021 and is also currently representing Parliament and the Country in a conference in the United States of America”.

“Pursuant to article 117 of the 1992 Constitution of the Republic, I am unable to bring the service to the attention of the Member of Parliament as requested” the letter dated the 10th of November 2021 indicated.

After the court had read the letter, ASP Asare requested a certified true copy of the said letter for police records.

The court subsequently adjourned sitting to 29 November 2021.

Background

The MP joined his constituents of Ayi-Mensah, Danfa and the Otinibi in a demonstration over poor roads on Monday, October 25, 2021.

During the protest, some of the protestors allegedly blocked roads, burnt tyres and destroyed some public property.

Following the demonstration, the police have been unsuccessful in their attempts to arrest Mr Sosu with Parliament upholding its privileges and requesting proper procedures for MPs who must face criminal prosecution.

It is the case of the police that Mr Sosu had questions to answer in respect of the criminal act the protestors engaged in they tried to invite the MP to assist with investigations.
 
However, the MP had been on the defence that he followed due process in organising the protest and, therefore, stated that there was no basis for his arrest.

After the first attempt to arrest him, Mr Sosu filed a formal complaint in Parliament accusing the Greater Accra Regional Operations Commander, Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Mr Isaac Kojo Asante, and the Adentan Divisional Commander, ACP Mr Eric Winful, of contempt of Parliament.

The Speaker of Parliament has since referred the complaint against the two police officers to the Privileges Committee of Parliament.

He was first expected to appear in court on Monday, November 8, this year but was absent.

The prosecution notified the court that the Police had received a letter from the Speaker of Parliament indicating that Lawyer Sosu was out of the country on Parliamentary duties, a situation which compelled the court to adjourn the case to today (Nov 16).

 

Source: graphiconline.com

Landguard butchers cripple for allegedly splashing toilet on his face

According to Akua, the landguard says people have been throwing faeces on his land everyday which has become worrying to him.

An aggrieved landguard has butchered a cripple at Weija in the Ga South Municipality of the Greater Accra Region. 

Onua TV/FM’s Akua Sarpomaa, who narrated the incident to Captain Smart on ‘Maakye’ said the landguard went to the residence of the cripple and assaulted all the inhabitants after a faecal material mixed with urine and tied in a polythene was thrown at him from the cripple’s house whilst weeding on the property. 

According to Akua, the landguard says people have been throwing faeces on his land everyday which has become worrying to him. 

Unfortunately for the perpetrator(s), the last one they threw splashed his face whilst weeding the place, getting him furious to storm the house where it was thrown from and started beating everyone up. 

Akua added that, the landguard entered the room where the cripple was and started beating him up, making him fall on the ground from his wheelchair. 

“He then hit his eyes with the grip of the gun he was holding and butchered his skull and neck with a cutlass,” Akua narrated Tuesday, November 16, 2021. 

“You better kill me than to beat me and leave me like this,” the cripple is said to have uttered when the landguard started beating him. 

According to reports, there is no toilet facility in the said house, and residents find it difficult affording the public toilet in the area, making them dispose off faeces on the said property. 

PSource: SmartMediaGh.com

NHIA Adds Family Planning To NHIS Benefit Package

The National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) is to fully operationalize Family Planning in the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) Benefit Package, in line with the national agenda of attaining Universal Health Coverage (UHC) by 2030.   

The First Lady, Mrs. Rebecca Akufo-Addo made the announcement at the official launch of the 2021 NHIS Week celebration, themed, “NHIS: Using the Ghana Card for Expanding Access to Health Care,” held at the Accra International Conference Centre (AICC).   

She further announced a one week “Waiver” for new members and those who will renew their membership during the week-long celebration. 

Family Planning has improved the lives of hundreds of millions of people. Its overall contribution to poverty reduction, gender equality, public health, development and human rights cannot be underestimated.   

The Health Minister, Hon. Kwaku Agyeman-Manu said government would consistently support the NHIA to succeed in attaining Universal Health Coverage (UHC). 

“The President as part of his regional tours recently opened two new District Offices for the NHIS in the Amansie East district in the Ashanti Region and the Bibiani-Anhwiaso-Bekwai district in the Western North Region. We will deliver our promise of binging primary healthcare services to the doorsteps of our people  without fail,” he stressed. 

The Health Minister appreciated the NHIA’s home grown innovations. “I am delighted that the NHIA continues to introduce new innovations to expand the NHIS operations. As a government, we will continue to ensure that the NHIS finances are released on time to solve the problem of unpaid bills to healthcare providers. The smooth operationalization of the National Health Insurance Scheme is government’s major priority,” he reiterated

Kennedy Agyapong Files US$9.5 million Defamation Suit Against Kevin Taylor

 Kevin Taylor and Kennedy Ohene Agyapong

The Member of Parliament for Assin Central and chairman of the Parliamentary select committee on Security, Defense, and Intelligence, Kennedy Ohene Agyapong, has filed a defamatory suit against United States-based self-styled journalist, Kevin Taylor, and his Loud Silence Media (LLC) organisation, seeking US$9.5 million in damages.××

According to a 15-page court document filed at the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, Alexandria Division, Agyapong’s action “arises from the false and defamatory statements in a series of videos and an email correspondence published by Defendants (Keven Taylor and Loud Silence Media) via Facebook, YouTube, and other social media platforms about Plaintiff” (Kennedy Ohene Agyapong), a Member of Parliament (“MP”) of the Republic of Ghana, reputed entrepreneur, philanthropist, and well-known businessman”.

“With malice and reckless disregard, Defendants falsely ascribed Plaintiff on several occasions as a criminal.

Defendants falsely stated that Plaintiff is a “murderer,” “drug dealer” and “drug addict,” “thief,” and green card fraudster”.

“These false and defamatory statements have caused severe harm to Plaintiff’s personal, business, and political reputation. Plaintiff has also suffered severe embarrassment and personal humiliation due to Defendants’ defamatory statements,” the nature of the action section of the suit read.

Factual background

The factual background given in support of the action states among others that the: Defendants till date continue to repeat these false and defamatory statements about Plaintiff on their social media platforms and other news outlets or platforms have also shared or republished Defendants’ false statements.

“As Defendants are aware, Plaintiff is not a murderer: Plaintiff has never been the prime suspect of any murder investigation, he has never been charged or been before any grand jury for murder, nor has he been convicted of murder in any jurisdiction”.

“As Defendants are aware, Plaintiff is not a “drug dealer:” Plaintiff has never been investigated for engaging in the business of illegal drugs, he has never been charged with engaging in illegal drugs, nor has he been convicted for engaging in illegal drugs in any jurisdiction”.

“As Defendants are aware, Plaintiff has not participated in immigration (green card) fraud. Plaintiff has never been investigated by the United States Center for Immigration Services (USCIS) or any law enforcement for engaging in green card fraud, he has never been charged with green card fraud, nor has he been convicted for engaging in green card fraud in any jurisdiction”.

“As Defendants are aware, Plaintiff is not a thief. Plaintiff has never been investigated for engaging in theft, he has never been charged with engaging in theft, nor has he been convicted for engaging in theft in any jurisdiction” Kennedy Agyapong’s suit stated as part on the facts in the court action.

Mr Agyepong’s suit further contends that “Defendants’ factual assertions to the contrary are false, offensive and damages the reputation of Plaintiff as an MP.

Their false factual assertions are offensive and damages the reputation of Plaintiff as a reputed entrepreneur and businessman. “Defendants published the false statements about Plaintiff maliciously and without regard to the truth or falsity of the statements made”.

“Defendants either knew the falsity of those statements or acted in reckless disregard of the truth and chose to peddle falsehood that Plaintiff is a murderer, “drug dealer,” immigration fraudster, and a thief”.

Reliefs sought

The Ghanaian lawmaker to this end, is seeking seven (7) reliefs from the commonwealth of Virginia court.

First, an injunctive relief prohibiting Defendants, and each of them, from posting on any media outlet any further defamatory remarks, per se or otherwise”.

Second, “an apology from Defendants’ via and through the same channels Defendants used to defame Plaintiff including LSM social media platforms and email correspondence sent to individuals, including the mayor of Worcester”.

Third, “compensatory damages, including economic and non-economic damages of at least $9,500,000.000 and fourthly, “punitive damages in the amount of $350,000.00 pursuant to Va. Code § 8.01-38.1.

The fifth, sixth and seventh reliefs Mr Agyapong is seeking are “Attorneys’ fees, or consideration of such fees in determining punitive damages, costs, of this action and disbursements, to the extent permitted by law, Pre- and post-judgment interest; and Such other or further relief as the court deems just”.

Source: Asaase Radio

GIJ student absconds, leaves suicide note after losing GHC200k in online trading

Nancy Asante Bannor left behind a suicide note

A final year student of the Ghana Institute of Journalism (GIJ) has absconded and left a suicide note after she lost a total of GHC200,000 in online forex trading.

According to roommates of Nancy Asante Bannor, their friend who has been in forex trading for some time now has become an agent through whom lot of people including her church members invest in the platform.

According to them, they returned from church service Monday night to see a note from their friend narrating her ordeal and the fact that her clients do not appear to be believe that the investment has indeed been depleted on the trading platform.

In the note sighted by Starrfm.com.gh, Miss Asante Bannor said ” I don’t know what the night has for me and what awaits me but the only thing I pray for now is death and nothing else. Please tell God to forgive me and if possible give me another chance. I can’t kill myself at home that’s why I came back and I can’t do it here as well. Please forgive me”.

The matter has been reported to the Adabraka Police.

One of her roommates Bernice Mensah told StarrFM.com.gh Tuesday that the incident has shocked everyone in the hostel since their friend is well behaved and has no history of misdemeanor.

“She is a good  girl and a good friend. She is well behaved and a good student. Her parents have been informed of the incident and her father says she should come home but she hasn’t gone home. She says the people she invested the money for do not trust that the money is indeed missing and they now suspect her”.

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

Asiedu-Nketiah is a parasite who has outlived his parasitic usefulness’ -Koku Anyidoho

Koku Anyidoho Poowe

Koku Anyidoho is former Deputy General Secretary of the NDC

He was suspended from the party in February 2021

He has rubbished the suspension and is on the warpath with Johnson Asiedu Nketia


Former Deputy General Secretary of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Samuel Koku Anyidoho, has described his former boss, Johnson Asiedu Nketiah, as a parasite who has outlived his parasitic usefulness.

According to him, the current general secretary of the NDC cannot consider himself “one of the true owners of NDC” despite serving the party for some decades now.

“The NDC has real owners. Johnson Kwadwo Asiedu-Nketiah is not and shall not be one of the true owners of NDC. Asiedu-Nketiah is a parasite who has outlived his parasitic usefulness,” he said in a tweet.

Although it is unclear what may have sparked the outburst of the founder of the Atta Mills Institute, ardent observers of Ghana’s political space have attributed it to the current feud with the chief scribe of the NDC over his suspension.

The NDC in February this year suspended Samuel Koku Anyidoho.

Johnson Asiedu Nketiah, in a letter dated February 8, 2021, said the Functional Executive Committee of the party met on January 20, 2021, to consider two petitions brought against the Chief Executive Officer of the Atta Mills Institute by members of the party.

He explained that the two petitioners lodged an official complaint against his former deputy, “which is viewed in breach of the party’s disciplinary code for its members as contained in the NDC constitution.”

Johnson Asiedu Nketia indicated that after deliberations on the petition, the party decided to suspend Koku Anyidoho based on Articles 46(1), 46(6) and 46(8)(b) of the party’s constitution.

But in an Accra-based Okay FM interview, Samuel Koku Anyidoho rubbished the suspension from the party, insisting his membership was not in doubt.

“Nothing has happened to me in the NDC…I have not received any letter of suspension. I am saying that they are bluffing…I am saying that the NDC belongs to all of us. As I speak to you today, let me state unequivocally that nobody can push me out of the NDC. Let anybody dare to push me out of the NDC, and we will see what will happen. God forbid that through me, Koku Anyidoho, that the NDC will be destroyed. In the same vein, God forbid that I, Koku Anyidoho, will do something to destroy Ghana’s democracy. I work for this Republic, I work for this nation, and my membership of the NDC is not in doubt,” he said.

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

I Don’t Fear Anyone In Ghana – Owusu Bempah Speaks

The Head Pastor for the Glorious Power Ministries International, Isaac Owusu Bempah has stated that whiles he gives due respect to everyone in the country, it must be noted that he is fearless and even President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo knows that.

It was widely reported last week that he had been re-arrested by Police shortly after a case he was involved in was dismissed by the court.

But in an interview last week carried on a number of social media channels, including Gh Page TV on YouTube, Owusu Bempah dismissed the report.

“We give respect to everyone but we don’t fear anyone. And no one can gag anyone in Ghana. For all it is worth, we give due respect to the President of the country but I, Owusu Bempah, do not fear anyone in Ghana.

“Even he (the president) admits that Owusu Bempah will speak truth to power if need be. We are all people and mistakes are bound to happen but if they want the issues to be laid out in court, a lot of shocking tales will be revealed in court,” he added.

The preacher also suggested that there were some influential persons who were behind some of his current headaches.

“I will let everyone know that it was some influential persons who asked me to make that move, in due course, all those issues will come to light. So let all our well-wishers know that everything is in God’s hands. All will be well in due time.

“God will take charge of our affairs as he always has. If a person hates you, they wish your downfall but we thank God for his protection in all things,” he added.

Owusu Bempah is known to be a supporter of Akufo-Addo and a sympathizer of the ruling New Patriotic Party. He is facing charges for his role in a publicly filmed threat on a female preacher, Nana Agradaa, months back.

A private legal practitioner, Maurice Ampaw, has cautioned the government that its (mis)treatment of Owusu Bempah could cost them the 2024 general elections

Too Many Of Our People Are Dying’ – Ofosu-Ampofo Cries

The Chairman of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Samuel Ofosu-Ampofo, has said he is worried about the recent death of members of the party.

This comes after reports of the death of the former Minister of Transport, Dzifa Attivor, in the early hours of Tuesday, November 16, 2021.

“Too many of our people are dying and that’s a big worry for us (NDC),” Ofosu-Ampofo said on the ‘Anopa Bofuo’ morning show on Angel FM.

Reacting to the news of her death, Samuel Ofuso-Ampofo described her death as a big blow describing her a key member of the party.

“I called her ‘The Special One’ because she was a very key member of the party,” Ofosu-Ampofo noted.

Dzifa Aku Attivor, former Minister for Transport under the NDC government died in the early hours of Tuesday, November 16, 2021, after being sick for a while.

She was 65-years-old.

Dzifa Attivor was one of the leading members of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) in the Volta Region.

The Ghanaian politician and businesswoman was appointed February 2013 as the Minister for Transport until she resigned in December 2015 due to a controversial bus re-branding contract.

The former Minister’s family is expected to receive sympathisers at her Adentan residence in Accra later in the day

Tidal waves: Afenyo-Markin apologizes for displaying ‘fake’ picture

Deputy Majority Leader, Alexander Afenyo-Markin has apologized for using a picture from a different jurisdiction to make a case in Ghana following the tidal waves in Keta in the Volta region.

Speaking on the New Day show on TV3 Tuesday November 16, he said “…Let us come to the issue of the picture which some people conveniently decided to highlight on to score a point.

“Yesterday I apologize for it sincerely for relying on that picture to connect to to the realty. we all make mistakes , we rely rely on World Bank reports , UNCESCO Funded research, BBC report on the activity of sand winning and its effect are all over.”

His comments come after some Ghanaians have asked him to apologize for his action.

For instance, private legal practitioner and member of the communications team of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Gordon Edudzi Tameklo, stated that for the benefit of hindsight the majority caucus in parliament should retract and render an apology to the people of Keta for the alleged picture of sand winning activities in the area that has resulted in the tidal wave.

He said the picture bandied about by the deputy majority leader in parliament Alexander Afenyo-Markin on Friday, November 12, has nothing to do with Keta but rather a foreign image from Sierra Leone that was showcased by the majority caucus to justify the affliction that has visited the area.

Mr Tamekloe said in the people’s time of grief, what the majority side shouldn’t have done was to associate a conduct or an act that does not represent the people of Keta and its environs thus it is only fair that they apologize and retract those pictures.

He however stated that anyone who has an appreciation of the coast line from Axim to Keta would appreciate that “the issue of sand winning is not a recent phenomena and the records will show that Job 600 was built with sand that they basically got from our shore line”.

Mr Tamekloe posited that the problem of sand winning in the area is not in “commercial quantity” but the picture the majority caucus exhibited in parliament has to do with sand winning in commercial quantities leading to environmental challenges.

According to the legal practitioner, that is an entirely different issue thus there should be no premise to blame sand winning on the tragedy that has visited Keta and the affected communities in the region.

He said the majority caucus got it all wrong and that they should do the needful to retract and apologize to the people of Keta.

Mr Tamekloe said this in an interview with Johnnie Hughes on the New Day show on TV3, Monday, November 15.

He was reacting on the back of the hullabaloo in parliament over an alleged photo of sand winning activities in Keta and its environs that was exhibited by the majority caucus in parliament on Friday, November 12, to prove that the people are engaged in sand winning in commercial quantities that resulted in the tidal wave on the area.

“The majority in parliament put up a picture claiming that picture is as a result of sand winning in the area. First of all, we need to reprimand, if I may use that word, the majority group in using that picture. It has nothing to do with Keta, it is only fair that with the benefit of hindsight, the majority group will retract and apologize to the people in those areas. 

“In their time of grief, what you should not do is to associate a conduct or an act which is not what they represent so it is only fair that they apologize and retract those pictures. They were taken in Sierra Leone, they have nothing to do with Ghana,” he charged on the New Day.

By Barima Kwabena Yeboah|3news.com|Ghana

When God blesses you with a position, use it well for the people’s benefit – Bawumia

Vice President Alhaji Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia has admonished leaders, especially political leaders, to use their positions very well so that they can make a meaningful impact on their people.

Addressing thousands of Muslims at the 2021 National Chief Imam’s Maulid in Accra over the weekend, Dr. Bawumia said leadership position is a special grace from God, and as such, it is important for those who benefit from this grace to work in the interest of the people.

“The National Chief Imam always says that when Allah bestows His grace on you, be thankful to Him and let the people also benefit from the grace,” Dr. Bawumia said.

“For us political leaders, the position we hold is by the grace of God, which should not be for our interest.

“So when we have this position, it has to be for the good of the people; everybody, especially the vulnerable, women, men and the poor.

“As a leader, the people will always ask you; what did you do for us with the position? We have to work and do the right thing so that the people will benefit.”

Maulid is the celebration of the birth of Prophet Muhammad S.A.W.

The Vice President was the Special Guest for the ceremony

DCE of newly created Guan District reported dead

Marlon Anipa

Specialist Consultant Marlon Anipa is reported dead a few days after getting wholly endorsed as the District Chief Executive (DCE) of the newly created Guan District.

Family sources in Hohoe confirmed the news to 3news.com on Tuesday November 16.

He officially started work Monday November 15 and toured some centres in the ongoing Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) in the district, the sources added.

The District was created for the people of Santrokofi, Akpafu, Likpe and Lolobi (SALL) who were without a district and a constituency following the creation of the Oti Region in 2018.

After a successful inauguration of the newest district on Friday, October 8, 2021, Minister of Local Government, Rural Development and Decentralisation Daniel Botwe, by powers vested in him by the President, nominated Marlon Anipa as the Chief Executive.

He was handsomely endorsed by Assembly members on Friday, November 5 after he polled 18 out of 18 votes, representing 100 percent.

He expressed humility in the outcome of the votes and thanked President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo for nominating him.

However, reports emerged on Tuesday morning that he has passed on.

The reports say he took suddenly ill a few days after assuming office.

Source: 3news.com|Ghana

You can’t arrest Sosu; it’s an obstruction – Bagbin to Police

Alban Bagbin on Morning Starr | Photo: Miranda Aforkor Tetteh

Alban Bagbin on Morning Starr | Photo: Miranda Aforkor Tetteh

The Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin, has stated that the Police Administration cannot arrest the Member of Parliament (MP) for Madina, Francis Xavier Sosu after they approved the Madina demonstration.

Addressing the Speaker’s Breakfast Forum in Kumasi on Monday, 15th November, 2021, Mr. Bagbin described the attempts by the Police to arrest the MP as obstruction of his duties as a Legislature.

“This public discourse in recent times about the privileges and immunities of MPs, officers of Parliament, and Parliament itself, is not new. Since I became an MP, it has been coming up from time to time, and even now, a number of these things come to my desk, and we have processed them well. You are all aware a number of MPs are before the court, and they are being prosecuted. So, there is nobody saying, MPs or Parliament are above the law no.

“But this particular instance of the Member of Parliament for Madina, I can put my neck on it. That you have no such powers after he had gone through all the processes with you, and you set the date and as well send your men to the procession. He is addressing them then you send a different contingent to go and arrest him while he is talking to his constituents. That is obstruction and Article 122 is very clear on that, that constitutes contempt. How can that be said to be the speaker preventing an MP from being arrested. We cannot tolerate that,” he stated.

Background

The Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin, has rejected a request from the Police Administration to release the Member of Parliament for Madina Constituency, Francis Xavier Sosu to assist in investigations.

In a statement responding to the Police, the Deputy Director Legal in Parliament, Nana Tawiah Okyir stated that portions of the 1992 Constitution bars the request by Police.

“I am directed by the Rt. Hon. Speaker to inform you that proceedings of the 3rd Meeting of the 1st Session of the 8th Parliament commenced on Tuesday 26th October, 2021 and having regard to the limitations of Article 117 and 118 of the 1992 Constitution of the Republic, he is unable to release the Member of Parliament as requested in your letter,” Deputy Director Legal disclosed.

The Police Administration after several failed attempts to arrest the legislator alleged to have breached the law during a recent demonstration by residents of Oyarifa and its environs filed charges against the MP at the Kaneshie District Court in Accra.

This was because the police received a letter from the Speaker of Parliament indicating that Lawyer Sosu is out of the country on Parliamentary duties.

The Court subsequently adjourned the case to Tuesday, 16TH November, 2021

Ofori-Atta Presents 2022 Budget Wednesday

Ken Ofori-Atta

FINANCE MINISTER Ken Ofori-Atta is expected to present next year’s national budget statement to Parliament on Wednesday.

This follows the reversal of an earlier announcement which put the date for Monday, November 15, 2021.

However, Second Deputy Speaker and MP for Fomena, Andrew Asiamah Amoako, has announced it will take place on Wednesday since Parliament will discuss a lot of issues on November 15.

Minister for Parliamentary Affairs, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, last year, presented the budget to Parliament because Mr Ofori-Atta had travelled outside the shores of Ghana to seek medical attention.

Speaking to journalists in Accra on new things to expect from the budget on Wednesday, Information Minister, Kojo Oppong-Nkrumah, indicated that the Akufo-Addo-led administration could initiate new taxes in the 2022 budget to mobilise revenue for development projects.

According to him, “Obviously, we would need to introduce some new broad-based taxes if we are to rake in the needed revenues to deliver what our people desire.”

“New taxes may have to be imposed on items that exclude the poor and do not have a high cascading effect so that it does not increase the difficulties that the Ghanaian is going through.”

Recently, there have been national discussions by CSOs and other stakeholders on comprehensive ways by which the government could mobilise revenue to bridge the wide fiscal deficit.

Also, the coronavirus pandemic has caused the country’s revenue levels to reduce because of the slowdown in business activities.

Furthermore, regarding tax to gross domestic product (GDP), Ghana appears to be trailing most of its peers in West Africa.

Ghana is recording below 15%, countries in the sub-region like Cote d’Ivoire and Nigeria are doing an average of 18%. This, therefore, has brought to the fore whether an increment in taxes could assist Government make some more money and undertake its development projects.

Mr. Oppong Nkrumah says Government has to find ways to pool resources through taxes to fund the demands for roads, schools and hospitals, among others

Vice President Of Dangote Group Is Dead

Sani Dangote, the vice president of the Dangote Group and brother to Aliko Dangote, is dead.

Mr Dangote reportedly died in the United States Sunday after a protracted illness.

Relatively less popular than his billionaire brother, Mr Dangote had investments in manufacturing, agriculture, banking and oil services.

He sat on the boards of several companies including Dangote Cement, Dangote Sugar, Dangote Agro Sacks, Dangote Refinery, Petrochemical and Fertiliser company.

He was better known for his role as the Chairman of Dansa Holdings, a subsidiary of the Dangote Group that produces beverages.

He also owned Dansa Foods Limited, Dansa Energy, Sagas Energy Limited, Bulk Pack Services Limited, Dansa Agro Allied Limited, and Dangote Farms Limited.

He was a member of several Chambers of Commerce, a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Shipping of Nigeria

Court remands headteacher into prison custody over fatal boat accident

The Tamale Magistrate Court has remanded 43 year old headteacher of of St Charles Lwanga R/C Junior High School Jashain Emmanuel into prison custody.

He is to reappear on November 29, TV3’s Northern Regional correspondent Christopher Amoako who was in court, reported.

He was arrested after he allegedly took some 31 pupils of the school to harvest rice from his farm leafing to the boat accident.

The 43-year-old was arrested after he turned himself in to the police.

On Friday November 12 at about 3pm, 10 out of 31 pupils of the St Charles Lwanga R/C JHS who were returning from their headteacher’s farm in a canoe got drowned after the boat on which they were crossing the Mabor river capsized.

Nine out of the ten missing bodies have since been retrieved by a search party.

All nine were buried at the river bank

Project abandonment is a specialty of Akufo-Addo government – Mahama insists

John Mahama And Nana Akufo Addo

• John Mahama has accused the Akufo-Addo government of abandoning projects

• He says no previous government has acted as the current government

• Mahama says when he comes to power, projects will be continued

Former President John Dramani Mahama has said that the phenomenon of abandoning projects started by previous administrations was a specialty of the Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo-led government.

He stated last week in an interview on Power FM / TV XYZ that none of the previous governments under the Fourth Republican Constitution had resorted to such tactics.

“It is only under this government, under Nana Addo’s government that we are seeing this. Since Rawlings’ era did you hear that Kufuor had abandoned any projects of the Rawlings era?

“All contractors continued working, those who finished did and others had their contracts terminated etc. When Kufuor left and Atta Mills came, did we hear anything like that? We did not. It is only this government so media people should put the blame where it matters. It is happening now under this government.”

He continued: “I have pledged not to abandon any projects when we come to power because when the plaudits come, they go to the one who started and the one who completed it.”

He cited the case of the Bui dam project, explaining that the Rawlings government birthed its conception, Kufuor and Mills administrations secured funding and works began. He stressed that it was for this reason that he invited the then ex-president Kufuor to be part of the inauguration ceremony when he was President.

“But this government would rather abandon projects because the credit will go to Mahama so they have opted to abandon lots of projects. Look at the hospitals, the schools are not as painful as the hospitals. Roofs have been destroyed by rains and facilities are rotting away. I mean, it is not Mahama’s money, it is our commonwealth,” he added.



His views were on the back of recent reports about E-block projects started under his government but left uncompleted five years on.

A comment by the Aflao Paramount chief received a presidential response that was slammed as insensitive and defended by pro-government persons

.Source: www.ghanaweb.com