Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia has taken a swipe at critics who have slammed the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) over the depreciation of the Ghana cedi against major currencies including the dollar.
The Vice President who mounted a spirited defense over the performance of the NPP said the rate of depreciation is much slower than previously.
Comparing the data from 2012 to 2018, Dr. Bawumia said the cedi recorded 17.5% in 2012, 14.6% in 2013, 31.3% in 2014, 15.6% in 2015, 9.6% in 2016 and 4.9% in 2017.
The fundamentals under the NPP he posited are stronger as compared to what we witnessed under the NDC.
He was speaking at the launch of the National School Entrepreneurship Initiative in the Northern Region today [Friday].
Dr. Bawumia said the slower rate of depreciation is because under the Akufo-Addo government, the 'fundamentals of the economy are getting stronger'.
He further explained that the reason why the economy is stronger under the NPP is in the increasing economic growth rate, decreasing inflation rate, decreasing fiscal deficit, decreasing debt to GDP ratio and an improving gross international reserves.
He attributed the cause of the depreciation to happening in the US economy.
According to him, the US Federal Reserve has increased interest rates which has made the dollar attractive to investors.
"You see investors moving money into the US to buy US-denominated assets" because the rewards will be much better,
This move by the US government has far-reaching global implications on the strength of other currencies, he noted.
Bawumia said Ghana's 7% depreciation shows, the managers of the economy have significantly strengthened the cedi against shocks from the dollar.
The Akufo-Addo government, he said, has done "much better than our predecessors and much better than other countries".
The Deputy Minister for Trade and Industry, Hon Carlos Kingsley Ahenkorah, has cut the sod for the construction of a steel manufacturing plant under the One District One Factory (1D1F) Initiative.
In line with Government’s public-private partnership module of ensuring economic stability and reducing pressure on government funds, construction of the new steel manufacturing plant will be fully funded by one of the country's long existing steel companies in the country, B5Plus with government facilitating it.
Government’s support for the project is in the area of provision of incentives to companies operating under the 1D1F initiative.
According to Hon Ahenkorah, completion of the project will help save the country a lot of forex as the country imports between 200,000 to 300,000 metric tones of steel annually.
The project when completed is expected to provide over 3,000 jobs for the country’s youth. This will shore up the already 3,000 people currently employed by the steel manufacturing company B5Plus Limited. The project when completed and made operational will also significantly help improve the country’s export revenue.
Present at the function were Hon Barbara Oteng Gyasi, Deputy Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, the Indian High Commissioner to Ghana, Mr. Brender Singh Yadav and Mr. Mike Thakwani, the Chief Executive Officer of B5PlusLimited.
Some aggrieved customers of Menzgold at Kasoa in the Central region have threatened to embark on a naked demonstration should the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), fail to allow the company resume operations.
The customers who were mostly market women threatened to storm the Jubilee House naked in protest against the directive issued by SEC to Menzgold forcing them to stop operations.
The women are questioning if the president wants them to engage in prostitution in order for them to survive.
A women quizzed, ‘’I want to ask government if they want us to go out there and prostitute our bodies? That is what I want to ask President Akufo-Addo. We voted for him to assume the role as president but he has failed to give the youth jobs to do. God has brought in someone who has created jobs for us to do and government wants to close down the company. What does he [President] wants us to do if the company is shutdown?
Another aggrieved customer of Menzgold threatened, ‘’we are storming the Jubilee House naked. We voted for Nana Addo because we had hope in him. We voted for him because we trusted in him. There are no jobs and I have managed to set up my own business, gathered some money and invested it at Menzgold and now, you want to shut it down; this is not good and so we are ready to storm the Jubilee House naked.’’
The customers threatened to vote against his administration in 2020 should the challenges and issues of Menzgold be treated in a suspicious manner.
Others wondered why Menzgold is being treated ‘’unfairly’’ despite opening branches in other countries.
Meanwhile, another group calling itself Coalition of Concerned Youth have also called on the president to investigate his Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta because they suspect he is in engaging suspicious dealings at the disadvantage of financial institutions in Ghana.
The group and the customers of Menzgold staged a demonstration in Kasoa today [Friday].
Management of Menzgold announced on Thursday morning that it has temporarily halted its collectables and any new business related to its gold vault market with immediate effect.
According to the company, the halt of what is also called extra value payments takes effect from today Thursday, September 13 and will be in place for six days, "by which time we believe all pending issues related to the Gold Vault Market Product would have been ironed out."
"This decision, though very unfavourable to us has been informed by our commitment to the rule of law, absolute respect to state agents, agencies and total submission to the state," the statement from the company said.
The Ghana Anti-Corruption Coalition comprising of organizations dedicated to the fight against corruption has issued a statement following the petition the Auditor-General, Daniel Yaw Demelevo over interference in his work by Board Chair of the Audit Service, Prof. Dua Agyeman.
The statement, which was signed by all the 21 organizations under GACC, considers the allegations in the petition as troubling.
GACC in the statement said ‘’we consider these developments extremely troubling and a threat to the ongoing efforts by the Audit Service to protect the public purse and promote public accountability.’’
The statement further said: ‘’If we are going to seriously achieve a Ghana Beyond Aid we need a stronger and more committed Audit Service and Auditor-General. We hope that at the end of this process we would have taken positive steps in that direction. Yours in the service of Ghana.’’
President Nana Akufo-Addo has instructed his Secretary to look into a petition by Auditor-General, Daniel Yao Domelevo, accusing his Board Chair, Prof. Edward Dua Agyeman of interference.
Nana Asante Bediatuo has also been tasked to report the outcome of discussions between the two public officials.
Daniel Domelevo has accused Prof. Dua Agyeman, a former Auditor-General between 2001 and 2009 during the administration of John Agyekum Kufuor, and the Governing Board, of unlawfully interfering in his work.
Read Below the full statement:
The Coalition of national civil society organizations dedicated to the fight against corruption under the umbrella of the Ghana Anti-Corruption Coalition (GACC) has taken careful notice of a petition from the Auditor General, Mr. Daniel Domelevo to the President leaked to the media. The petition, which has been confirmed as authentic, raises concerns about activities of the Board Chairman of the Audit Service Board, Professor Edward Dua Agyeman and members of Board, amounting to interference with the functions of the Auditor General and in some cases represent a violation of the Public Procurement Act 2003 (Act 663). We consider these developments extremely troubling and a threat to the ongoing efforts by the Audit Service to protect the public purse and promote public accountability.
Article 187 (7) of the 1992 Constitution of the Republic of Ghana is very clear that in the performance of his functions the Auditor General “shall not be subject to the direction or control of any other person or authority”.
Those functions include auditing the public accounts of Ghana, all public offices including universities, courts and local assemblies. This independence is thus essential in ensuring the Auditor General carries his duties impartially, professionally and in pursuit of the public interest. Thisis why the Constitution under Article 187 (8) provides a very narrow set of circumstances for even the President to request the Auditor-General to conduct audits outside of planned audits.
The Coalition therefore finds it unfortunate that Professor Dua Agyeman, a former Auditor General himself, credited with initiating important reforms at the Audit Service that has helped in building the institution to its current level is the one implicated in this worrying situation. This scenario mirrors a number of Board – Executive impasse that has engulfed the public sector and reflect the weaknesses of our corporate governance arrangements. Notwithstanding, this general observation, the Constitution is very clear about the limited role the Board of the Audit Service should play. We have taken notice of the swift action of the President, once the matter became public, to investigate the matter and we urge that this task is undertaken with alacrity to ensure the ongoing work of the Auditor General and the morale of the Service is not affected. Finally, the Coalition wish to state unequivocally that it holds Mr. Daniel Domelevo and the staff of the Audit Service in high regard for the work they have embarked upon to ensure that our leaders are held accountable for how they utilize public resources. If we are going to seriously achieve a Ghana Beyond Aid we need a stronger and more committed Audit Service and Auditor-General. We hope that at the end of this process we would have taken positive steps in that direction. Yours in the service of Ghana.
Nana Osei-Bonsu Chair - Ghana Anti-Corruption Coalition (GACC), CEOPEF Beauty Emefa Narteh Executive Secretary – GACC 2. Prof. H. K. Prempeh Executive Director, Ghana Center for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana) 3. Prof. E. GyimahBoadi Executive Director, Afrobarometer 4. Linda Ofori-Kwafo Executive Director, Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII) 5. Benjamin Boakye Executive Director, Africa Centre for Energy Policy (ACEP) 6. Emmanuel O. Akwetey Executive Director, Institute for Democratic Governance (IDEG) 7. George Osei Bimpeh Country Director, SEND-Ghana 8. Kwami Ahiabenu Executive Director, Penplusbyte 9. Elizabeth Executive Director, Financial Accountability & Nkrumah Transparency-Accra (FAT-Africa) 10. Steve Manteaw Campaign Coordinator, ISODEC/CSO Oil and Gas Platform 11. Franklin Cudjoe President , IMANI – Ghana 12. Sulemana Braimah Executive Director, Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) 13. Nana Afadzinu Executive Director, West Africa Civil Society Institute (WACSI) 14. Mina Mensah Regional Coordinator, Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI)/RTI Coalition 15. Gladys Gillian Naadu Tetteh Deputy Director, Centre for Local Governance Advocacy (CLGA) 16. William Nyarko Executive Director, Africa Centre for International Law and Accountability – ACILA 17. Samuel Obeng Executive Director, Parliamentary News Africa – PNAfrica 18. Godson Aloryito Coordinator, CSO Platform on IMF 19. Frank Bodza Programmes Manager, WILDAF Ghana 20. Edem Senanu Co-Chair, Citizens Movement Against Corruption (CMaC) 21. Daphne Lariba Nabila Executive Director, Legal Resources Centre (LRC)
Finally the peace pipe has been smoked together as Shatta Wale and representative of Stonebwoy led by his manager, Blakk Cedis met at a location to settle their differences amicably.
This was necessary because of the recent misunderstanding between the two-dancehall music heavyweights in Ghana.
Both acts have been on and off on their union and fall out, but on September 14, 2018 the reunion was made possible by Papa Loggy who want to see Shatta and Stonebwoy unite to take their music to next level.
Meanwhile, Stonebwoy was not present at the meeting because according reports; he had an emergency he had to attend to.
The Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) as part of efforts to promote waste segregation in the city has presented 12 colour coded waste bins to the Ministry of Health (MOH) Basic School.
The presentation follows a successful implementation of a pilot waste segregation programme for basic schools located in the Osu Klottey sub metro and it is aimed at promoting the culture of waste separation among school children.
The Headmaster of the MOH Basic School, Mr. Alfred Ohene who received the waste bins promised to put the bins into good use in order to achieve the purpose for which it was presented.
He thanked the Mayor of Accra, Mohammed Adjei Sowah, and the Assembly for including the MOH Basic School in the waste segregation programme adding that the children would be educated to shape their behaviours.
“We are so grateful to the Mayor, we promise to put it into good use and educate the children to segregate the waste so that we can all help to keep Accra clean,” he added.
The President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, will from Friday, 14th September, 2018, embark on a 4-day working visit of the Central Region.
Following visits to the Brong-Ahafo, Western, Volta, Northern, Upper East, Upper West as well as the Ashanti Regions, the tour is a continuation of the President’s ongoing nationwide visits.
The Central regional tour will see the President visit the Komenda Edina Eguafo Abirem, Cape Coast, Gomoa West, Mfantseman, Agona West and Effutu constituencies.
Beginning with a Durbar of Chiefs and people of the Komenda Traditional Area, President Akufo-Addo will pay a familiarization visit to the Komenda Sugar Factory, and inspect and commission the Peterfield Citrus factory also in Komenda, under the “1-District-1-Factory” initiative.
The President will also cut the sod for the establishment of a Tourism Enclave Re-development Scheme in Elmina.
As part of his activities in the Region, he will inspect a 300-acre sweet potato farm under the “1-District- 1-Factory” initiative at Gomoa Bewadze, and commission a 20 Mega Watts Solar Farm at Onyadze, in the Gomoa West constituency.
The visit will also include interactions with Chiefs and Religious leaders in Apam, Mankessim, Nyakrom and Agona Swedru.
In Winneba, President Akufo-Addo will be the Special Guest of Honour at the investiture and induction ceremony of the 4th Vice-Chancellor of the University of Education, and also commission the largest lecture theatre in Ghana.
The President will end the tour on Monday, 17th August, 2018.
The Electoral Commission of Ghana (EC), has outlined guidelines for the creation of the new regions.
As part of the preparations, a limited Voters Register will take place throughout the country as required by law.
Addressing the media today [Friday], EC chairperson, Mrs Jean Mensa said as part of the strategy, the EC will zone the country into two zones.
Zone One according to her will have their Limited Registration Exercise conducted online through the Commission’s Voter Management System (VMS).
The registration will take place in the 47 District Offices of the Electoral Commission carved for the referendum.
The EC boss announced that the registration exercise will take place from Sunday 16th September, 2018, to Tuesday 25th September, 2018 between the hours of 7:00am and 6:00pm each day including Saturdays and Sundays.
Applicants are required to satisfy the criteria for eligibility as set out in C.I 91 Public Elections (Registration of Voters) Regulations, 2016 Regulation 1.
According to the EC boss, applicants must be a Ghanaian, should be 18 years and above, should reside in the area where she/he wants to be registered as a voter.
The applicant should also be a registered voter and must be the person he/she claims to be and also be qualified by law.
Proof of eligibility includes Ghanaian passport, Ghanaian Driver’s Licence, National Identification Card (Ghana Card) and Voters ID Card (Non Biometric).
The Commissioner as stated the role of agents and political parties and they include: political party agents may observe the registration process from 7am to 6pm daily and may challenge an applicant if they believe the person is not qualified to be registered and agents are not to interfere in the registration process. An agent can be asked to leave the registration centre if the registration officer feels he/she is obstructing the registration process.
The EC has also adopted publicity strategy to ensure effective publicity and public education with regards to the first Limited Voters Registration Exercise.
The second phase of the registration exercise will take place at the District Offices of the non-affected areas.
This will also be done online through the Commissions VMS at the District Offices of the Commission. The dates and modalities would be announced later, she added.
A returnee from Libya, Benjamin Ocansey, has given a chilling account of the horrible scenarios migrants go through in the hands of rebels.
The returnee speaking in an exclusive interview with Kwame Tutu on Frontline on Rainbow Radio 87.5Fm, disclosed how they are treated inhumanly to the point of death.
Benjamin Occansey told the host the rebels sometimes inserts sharp objects into their anal region on the premise of retrieving hidden money.
Narrating how it is done, he said, the rebels will insert the sharp objects including knives in the anal region of men and cut through to the genitals to remove monies hidden there.
The women he disclosed suffer similar treatments because the rebels inserts the knifes in their genital region and anal part to retrieve hidden monies.
Some die as a result of the pain and loss of blood.
According to him, there is no form of treatment after this is carried out, a situation he disclosed causes the deats.
Access to balanced meal he said is an illusion because they do not get access to food and the only option available to them is to use bones of dead human beings as firewood to prepare rice and eat.
The journey to European countries through Libya he added increases on daily basis despite the chilling and horrible stories told by returnees.
When asked why he went to Libya, he revealed his aim was to go through Libya with the aim of revenging a fraudster who defrauded him and escaped from Ghana.
He advised Ghanaians who have planned of traveling to Europe through Libya to rescind their decision and use legitimate means.
The number of deaths recorded on the journey he lamented are uncounted because on the journey, you are on your own and when someone falls off the vehicle we journey on, you are not rescued due to the speed at which the vehicles travel.
More than 100 migrants died in early September when their crowded rubber boats were wrecked off the coast of Libya, the MSF aid agency on Monday quoted survivors as saying.
The two vessels had set out from the Libyan coast early on September 1st, each carrying scores of people, mostly African, Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) said in a statement on its website.
One boat’s engine failed later that day and the other began to deflate, it quoted a survivor as saying. Some survived by clinging to floating wreckage.
Deputy General Secretary of the main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), Koku Anyidoho says he does not think President Akufo-Addo has the capacity to fight corruption.
The aspiring general secretary told Kwame Tutu on Rainbow Radio 87.5Fm the president has not shown leadership in the fight against corruption.
The President has not proven to us that, he has the capacity to fight corruption, he added.
According to him, the corruption under Nana Addo has gone through the roofs and due to that, his ministers are resigning from their jobs.
He stressed that the president doesn't have the capacity to fight corruption and he has failed the country.
"And I hope that Ghanaians cannot wait to vote him out in 2020," he said.
He was optimistic the NPP would be voted out in 2020 because the corruption is unprecedented.
He was emphatic corruption is at the seat of government hence the inability of Nana Addo to fight it.
When asked what he was expecting to see to convince him of the zeal of the president to fight corruption, he said, the over bloated appointees under him is a mark of corruption and so, looking at Nana Addo's number of appointees, I will say I am convinced he is not ready to fight corruption and in 2020, Ghanaians will vote him out.