The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has responded to the minority’s request for some clarification on Ghana’s US$2billion Sinohydro deal with China.
The response from the Brittion Woods Institution asked for more time in order to take a decision as to whether it qualifies as part of government debt or not.
The response is coming after the Minority in parliament wrote to the IMF on August 10, 2018.
The Minority through the letter signed by its leader, Haruna Iddrisu asked the Britton Woods Institution for more clarity on the deal and to stop the Akufo-Addo government from securing $2billion of infrastructural development from Sinohydro.
According to the Minority, such a quantum of money can affect the country’s debt, and thereby thwart the efforts of government and the IMF in the management of the country’s debt.
However a response from the IMF chief indicates that given the transaction’s complexity she is unable to immediately answer questions posed by the minority.
“I have been in consultation with headquarters, including the legal department, and we are going to discuss this issue with the authorities during the upcoming seventh review mission under the Extended Credit Facility."
A former Deputy Finance Minister under the previous Mahama led administration, Cassiel Ato Forson has cautioned the current administration not leave behind a ‘’huge debt’’ following the announcement by government that it was considering a $50billion century bond
A statement issued by the legislator and Minority’s Spokesperson for Finance said, ‘’ I find this idea of floating a $50 billion Century Bond by this Government rather puzzling. It was this same Government that rejected a 40-year Development Plan aimed at putting the country on the path of prosperity and long term development, on the pretext that the planned period was too long. Now the Government is considering committing a sovereign nation to a 100-year bond.’’
In his view, the move when enforced will have dire consequences on Ghana's economy. He said, ''Considering the fact that Ghana's total revenue is only enough to service current Debt and Wages and salaries. An additional Debt servicing of $3.5 billion will mean that Ghana will be borrowing from the domestic market an additional cedi equivalent of $3.5 billion from the domestic market to service the Debt. This singular act will have dire consequences on the Ghanaian economy such as weakening balance of payment, deteriorating exchange rate, a rise in interest rate, and the Crowding out of the private sector.''
Read Below the full statement by Ato Forson:
The $50 Billion Century BOND
1) During President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s visit to the People’s Republic of China, he made it known that the Ministry of Finance and Economists in Ghana are considering floating a $50 billion Century Bond to provide resources to finance infrastructure and industrial development projects in the country.
2) I find this idea of floating a $50 billion Century Bond by this Government rather puzzling. It was this same Government that rejected a 40-year Development Plan aimed at putting the country on the path of prosperity and long term development, on the pretext that the planned period was too long. Now the Government is considering committing a sovereign nation to a 100-year bond.
3) The nominal GDP of Ghana is currently projected at about GH₵ 242 billion by end of December 2018. Using a projected GH₵/USD exchange of 5.1 by end December 2018, the projected Nominal GDP in USD by December 2018 is about $47 billion.
4) With a projected debt to GDP ratio of say 70% (≤70%), if the government is successful with the issuance of the Century Bond, the additional debt of $50 billion will automatically increase the public Debt to GDP ratio to about 180%.
5) The projected tax revenue to GDP ratio of about 16.9% is just enough for debt servicing and payment of wages and salaries including Gratuity (compensation).
As a result, the Government is currently borrowing to settle statutory payment such as GETFUND, DACF, NHIL, RoadFund, etc. when due.
Government is also borrowing to pay recurrent expenditures, such as discretionary spending on goods and services, and capital expenditure.
6) An additional debt of this magnitude will completely crush the already fallible Ghanaian Economy.
The economy lacks the capacity to support additional debt service for a $50 billion debt instrument. Any attempt to issue such a bond will result in a default of Debt service for Ghana.
7) Ghana as country does not have an already prepared project of up to $50billion. Preparing a project of up to $50 billion for infrastructural and industrial development projects may take a minimum of 12 months, after which it will take 36 to 60 months to complete its implementation.
8) Why should the Government Borrow $50 billion to sit in an account whilst it pays coupons on the debt for 36 - 60 months before full utilization. In this regard, it is in the interest of the people of this country to be well informed about the financing terms of the Century Bond.
9) Ghana recently issued a 30 year bond at coupon rate of 9.6%. Even if we assume that the $50 billion bond is issued at a coupon rate of 7% per annum for a 100 year period, it means that the taxpayer will be required to service the debt to the tune of $3.5 billion per annum for a period of 100 years.
If all other things remain the same, it means that an amount of $350 billion will be used to service the debt over the period. Why do you commit a country for 100 years if you are not too sure of the debts servicing and future repayment?
10) Considering the fact that Ghana's total revenue is only enough to service current Debt and Wages and salaries.
An additional Debt servicing of $3.5 billion will mean that Ghana will be borrowing from the domestic market an additional cedi equivalent of $3.5 billion from the domestic market to service the Debt.
11) This singular act will have dire consequences on the Ghanaian economy such as weakening balance of payment, deteriorating exchange rate, a rise in interest rate, and the Crowding out of the private sector.
12) Mr. President, be reminded that Ghanaians gave you a four (4) year mandate, out which you have served almost two (2) years. Please, do not hang Ghanaians to an everlasting bond of 100 years.
13) Mr. President, a good father leaves a good inheritance. Let posterity vindicate you and not victimize you. Please don’t leave us with this huge debt.
14) Lastly Mr. President, we hope that you have not been Misled.
15) God bless Ghana
CASSIEL ATO FORSON, MP
Ajumako/ Enyan/ Essiam Constituency
Ranking Member of the Finance Committee
Deputy Sports Minister, Perry Okudzeto, has assured Ghanaians prosecution will soon begin to ensure persons who were implicated in the Anas Number 12 expose, are brought to book.
Speaking in an exclusive interview with Rainbow Radio’s Worlanyo Warlace, the Deputy Minister said, the police are still probing the matter and at the appropriate time, they will surely come out with their findings.
He was optimistic the measures adopted by government will help sanitize football administration in Ghana.
‘’The security agencies are still conducting investigations and I believe prosecution will surely be initiated,’’ he added.
The Attorney General, Madam Gloria Akuffo, in a recent interview with Rainbow Radio 87.5Fm disclosed she has not received any docket to prosecute any person captured in the Anas video.
’I have not received any docket for prosecution. It will be recalled that when the issues started, the CID started a probe. The probe is still on going and when they forward anything to me, I will look at it,’’ she explained.
The investigative team of Anas Aremeyaw Anas bribed more than 70 referees, match commissioners, officials of the Ghana Football Association (GFA), officials of the National Sports Authority (NSA) and the Ministry of Sports with sums as low as GH¢300 to influence the award of red cards, yellow cards, penalties and visa deals. Money paid to the officials ranged from GH¢300 to GH¢5,000. The President of the GFA, Mr Kwasi Nyantakyi, was allegedly paid the highest amount of $65,000 for assuring the investors, who later turned out to be Anas’s team members, of his readiness to get them good sponsorship deals and juicy contracts in government. He is challenging the content of the video and refuted all the claims raised against him.
Founding Member of Ghana Electrical Association, Mr Daniel Kissi Adofo, has blamed the Ghana Standards Authority (GSA) over the influx of substandard electrical on the Ghanaian market.
A Market Surveillance conducted by the Ghana Standard Authority (GSA) has revealed that 96 per cent of electrical products sold at the Opera Square and Zongo lane, in Accra were counterfeit and failed to meet standards.
The Surveillance discovered that, out of the 204 electrical products sampled for laboratory testing, more than 92 per cent of them failed to meet the GSA L.I. 1541 labelling requirements, adding that, all extension boards failed the critical parameters test and general labelling requirements.
The Surveillance also revealed that more than 94 per cent of footwear sampled failed to conform to standards.
Reacting to the story, Mr Kissi Adofo confirmed that the substandard goods in the market have been in existence for years due to the GSA failure to crack the whip.
He quizzed how the substandard goods got on the market when there are authorities in place to check such unlawful acts.
One major challenge affecting Ghanaians and influx of these products is selfishness on the part of some staff at these offices.
‘’In reality the GSA is not doing their job. If they were doing their job, these things will not happen,’’ he added.
As an industry player with over 25 years working experience, Mr Kissi Adofo, told Nyankonton Mu Nsem on Rainbow Radio 87.5 Fm that, some industry players manufacture fake products by using the original ones so they will make profits and all these fake products pass through the GSA.
Two members of the joint consultative committee on the creation of Oti region, Mr James Oberko and Richard Adjei have justified reasons for the creation of region.
Mr Adjei who is the spokesperson of the committee said, majority of residents agreed to name the region Oti- expected to be carved out from the Volta region.
The Oti region he recounted formed part of the Trans-Volta Togo Land.
The Oti Region is a newly proposed region to be created in Ghana. The region will have administrative and governmental legislature like any of the ten already existing regions in Ghana.
He argues that the new region will open up for development; new investments opportunities, new educational facilities and more social facilities.
The plan to have Oti region created he indicated started under the era of late Busia through the era of former President Rawlings and now President Akufo-Addo.
He lamented the poor education infrastructure, poor health facilities, and poor road network, lack of scholarship despite being the major contributor of cocoa in the area.
‘’Development of the region has stalled and so the creation of the new region is important.
In narrating the history he said, Anloland (generally the area from Keta to the south of Ho) which was formerly part of the Eastern Region of the Gold Coast, and Tongu-land an independent zone under the British Crown, became Southern Volta Region and was added to the bulk of Trusteeship territory of Togoland from Ho to the south of Bimbila.
The Northern remaining half of the Trust Territory of Togoland namely Yendi and Mamprusi were added to Northern and Upper regions respectively.
Mr James Oberko on his part said, the consultative committee have travelled across the length and breadth of the area and over these long periods, they have not witnessed major development.
He has challenged Ghanaians to embark on a number of journeys to understand why residents are yearning for the creation of the new region.
The only way residents could equitably benefit from the national cake is the creation of the new region.
He claims the Oti area is about 58.9% of the landmass of the entire Volta region and of the 86 secondary schools, only 17 are in the Oti area with the remaining in the Southern part.
The 17 secondary schools he lamented serves over 800, 000 people while the 79 schools in the Southern sector serves about 1 million.
He also touched on the judicial service claiming that the Oti area lacks access to a high court while the Southern part has six (6).
President Nana Akufo-Addo in July this year advised inhabitants of the Volta Region to desist from acts that could create tension in the area following the decision to create the Oti Region out of the existing Volta Region.
According to him, the Oti Region will rather bring more development to the two regions and thus should be accepted by everyone.
“Please, we should not see it in an antagonistic way. It is not meant to be a prescription for making hostilities between one group of people and another lot of people. Volta Region is been noted for cohabitation amongst all kinds of people for a very long time. The creation of the Region is not intended to disturb it. In my view, God willing, it will in fact, heighten the cooperation, the collaboration and the friendship between all the people in the Volta Region,” he said.
He also rejected claims the decision to create the new regions was for votes saying: “There is no political underlying agenda in this thing. I am not doing it for votes. I don’t know how the people in this region are going to vote. That becase they have their region it means automatically they are going to vote for Akufo-Addo? Why is that the case? There are plenty of reasons why they don’t vote for me, why would there be a vote difference if this region is created? There is no political agenda in this matter, and there is no attempt to create ethnic antagonisms or passions in this exercise. It is meant to try to improve the governance of our people,” he added.
Out of the 521, 710 registered candidates who sat for the Basic Certificate Examination (BECE), only 490, 514 candidates have qualified to be placed into senior high schools by computerised school selection placement system.
A statement issued by Ghana Education Service (GES) said the qualified candidates were done automatically while the 67, 382 could not be matched with any of their choices.
According to the statement, unplaced candidates are therefore to do a self-placement to get themselves into schools with vacancies.
The statement, which was signed by the Public Relations Director of the GES, Cassandra Twum Ampofo, further indicated that students paced on the green track will resume on September 11, 2018 whereas the gold track students will resume on November 8, 2018.
Students with genuine concerns can visit any of the Regional Solution Centres at the Regional Education Offices to have their issues resolved, the statement added.
The statement also added that a Solution Centre has been set up at the Independence Square in the Greater Accra Region.
Parents and wards can also call any of the following helplines for assistance: 0800-900-101 and 0267372258 (WhatsApp only).
“Our Social media platforms are also active to respond to questions. Facebook: Free SHS Ghana, Twitter: Free SHS Ghana, Instagram: Free SHS Ghana. Email: info@freeshs. gov.gh,” the statement said.
Process for self-placement
Dial *713*24# to buy a placement pin code of GH¢5.00
After obtaining a pin code log onto the site www.cssps.gov.gh
Enter the ten digit index number and add 18 as year of completion. Eg: 123456789218
Enter the pin code details (serial number and pin)
Click on submit and wait for placement to show up
Print the form if you have been placed and send to school to begin admission process
Proceed to Self - Placement module on the same portal if a candidate has not been placed. Select a school by filling the following:
• Click on Submit
• Print placement form
• Send placement form to school to begin admission process
The Nation Builders Corps (NaBCo) has notified some 54, 500 applicants of their placement under five different modules
Out of the figure, 49, 642 successful applicants have accepted their placements and have subsequently sent in their acce3ptance letter and sre set to start working on October 1, 2018.
The five modules to kick off on October 1 are the Civic Ghana, Revenue Ghana, Educate Ghana, Enterprise Ghana and Digitise Ghana mod The second batch of placements is expected to be done on September 11, 2018, and will involve those selected for the Heal Ghana and the Feed Ghana modules.
Speaking to Daily Graphic, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of NaBCo, Dr. Ibrahim Anyars, told the Daily Graphic applicants under the heal Ghana module are to go through a training programme and professional verification hence the delay.
“We have to verify those credentials from the NMC or the colleges of agriculture to make sure that the applicants are in good standing, so that they do not get posted to institutions where they will be rejected because they are not in good standing in terms of their professional membership’’
The Nation Builders Corps (NABCO) programme is a government initiative to address graduate unemployment to solve social problems. The focus of the initiative will be solving public service delivery in health, education, agriculture, technology, governance and drive revenue mobilization and collection.
The objectives of the programme are to: Provide temporary employment to unemployed graduates; Improve skills and employability for transition from programme to permanent employment; Improve public service delivery; Improve on government revenue mobilization and
To provide needed infrastructure to improve access to basic public services
Under the programme, graduates will be trained, equipped with the necessary work tools and deployed around the country to engage in the following programmes: Educate Ghana, Heal Ghana, Feed Ghana, Revenue Ghana, Digitize Ghana, Civic Ghana and Enterprise Ghana.
Health Minister, Kwaku Agyemang Manu, has hinted of a collaboration between his ministry and that of the Defence Ministry on the best methods to manage waste from the 37 Military Hospital especially the mortuary department.
Highly infectious liquid medical waste from 37 Military Hospital has been flowing freely into Accra’s main gutters, with authorities at the hospital making no attempts to reverse the trend.
This was captured in the latest Auditor General’s report.
Standards require proper disposal of medical waste because improper disposal of waste may lead to infectious diseases by infectious agents, and contamination of the environment by venomous and perilous chemicals.
International standards therefore require proper management of medical waste to reduce the environmental and public health risk such wastes pose.
The minister speaking with Rainbow Radio’s Afia Kwarteng said the Military is not managed by the Ghana Health Service (GHS) and so his ministry does not have oversight responsibility. However, he has promised to work closely with the Defence Ministry to resolve the challenge.
He assured Ghanaians government will not relevant in its efforts in ensuring proper disposal of medical waste are adhered to.
Biomedical waste has a higher risk of injury or infection compared to ordinary waste, therefore, safe and reliable methods for its management are crucial. Inadequate and inappropriate handling of biomedical waste is likely to have serious public health ramifications through direct contact or indirectly through the environment.
An example of the indirect impact is observed when farmers irrigate their crops with the same source of water from drains that are used to dispose of the biomedical waste.
In 2012, this allegedly occurred in Accra, when liquid medical waste from the 37 Military Hospital flowed freely into the main gutters of the capital city for over a year, affecting the health especially of those living close to the hospital.
In March 2016, policy think tank, IMANI Africa issued a paper on the need for an urgent legislation on medical waste.
I9MANI Africa in its report stated that: ‘’Though some existing laws assign functions to some institutions such as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) (Act 490) and National Sanitation Policy (1999), there is no existing specific law that addresses biomedical waste or enforces the adherence to the guidelines in the existing policy. Consequently, this has not only led to non-adherence to the policy guidelines, reluctance by health facilities to spend on proper medical waste collection and treatment processes, but also limited investment by the private sector in improving existing medical waste management infrastructure. ‘’
They also recommended that ‘’The health and environmental risks associated with the biomedical waste
management affects everyone. The Ministry of Health and the EPA should engage in
an intense public awareness campaign to educate Ghanaians on the dangers of
improperly managed biomedical waste. Health facilities across the country should
consistently educate all health workers as well as auxiliary support service providers,
such as cleaners, on the operation guidelines of biomedical waste management.
Waste segregation using colour codes as described in the Ministry of Health’s policy
guidelines should be enforced strictly. This would greatly reduce risks associated with
biomedical waste to the immediate health workers and the general public at large.’’
Former Deputy Education Minister under former President John Dramani Mahama, Mr Alex Kyeremeh, has cautioned the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP), to seek advice if they are unable to manage the education sector.
The former deputy minister is also warning of dire consequences following the planned implementation of the double-track system.
He said, although we want quantity, we cannot sacrifice the quality aspect of our educational sector.
The double-track he posited is useless and will not inure to our benefit as a country.
He indicated that the previous administration initiated a number of reforms, which were geared towards the successful management of the sector including the licensure exams.
He reiterated the need for government to consult stakeholders and rescind the decision to implement the double-track.
Former President John Mahama called for a national consultation to build a sustainable framework for the implementation of government’s Free Senior High School policy.
According to Mr. Mahama, the mode of implementation for the Free SHS on an ad-hoc basis is improper.
President Akufo-Addo has said the policy would only be applicable in schools facing infrastructure challenges due to a large number of students admitted under the free SHS programme.
Speaking at the Asafotufiami festival for the people of big Ada, the president said the system would reduce class sizes and increase the number of holidays.
“This double track calendar system is not going to be applied to all senior high schools but only to those whose current capacity will be exceeded by the number of admitted students. This system will not destroy our educational system, as the professional naysayers would want you to believe,” he said.
The highest court in the Democratic Republic of Congo has barred the opposition leader, Jean-Pierre Bemba, from running in the presidential election due in December, upholding a ruling by the electoral commission.
Mr Bemba, a former warlord, was ruled ineligible because of a conviction at the International Criminal Court for bribing witnesses.
The popular opposition figure was recently acquitted of war crimes by the court after spending 10 years in detention. Last month he returned home to a rousing reception from his supporters.
He was thought be one of President Joseph Kabila's most feared electoral rivals.