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$100m of Ghana’s Oil Money Missing – Minority In Parliament Blows Alarm

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$100m of Ghana’s Oil Money Missing – Minority In Parliament Blows Alarm

The Minority in Parliament has sent a stern warning to the Minister of Finance, Kenneth Ofori-Atta, to repatriate all funds accrued from the oil revenue into the Petroleum Holding Fund (PHF).

According to the Minority, government is acting contrary to the Petroleum Revenue Management Act (PRMA) as revenues are not being paid into the Fund.

The caucus alleged that monies accruing from oil sales from the Jubilee and TEN fields are being transferred to an off-shore company.

“The decision by the current NPP Government to transfer revenues accruing from about 944,164bbls of crude lifting in the Jubilee and TEN fields to a company established in a safe haven (outside Ghana) without Parliamentary approval, amounts to a gross violation of the Petroleum Revenue Management Act, 2011 (Act 815) and Public Financial Management Act (Act 921),” the Minority stated on Thursday, September 29.

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The statement signed by Ranking Member on the Mines and Energy Committee John Abdulai Jinapor also alleged that Capital Gains Tax was not assessed and collected by the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) in the sale of the 7% interest by Anadarko in the Jubilee and TEN Fields in 2021.

Therefore, the Minority said about $100 million cannot be accounted for.

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“This is surely another ‘Agyapa’ deal in the making and we as a Minority will not sit aloof for this Government to raid the national purse, especially at a time when the nation is struggling to raise much needed revenues for critical expenditure.

“We demand that the Minister of Finance and for that matter Government, must with immediate effect repatriate all such illegal transfer payments back into the Petroleum Holding Fund (PHF).

“Failure to comply with our ultimatum will compel the Minority to use the necessary parliamentary processes to haul the Minister of Finance to parliament for possible censure.”

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Source: www.GhanaCNN.com

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Bawumia Launches Employable Skills Programme To Benefit Young People In Ahafo  

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Bawumia Launches Employable Skills Programme To Benefit Young People In Ahafo

The Vice President, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia on Wednesday launched a youth development employable skills programme that seeks to create jobs for more than 1,200 young people in the Ahafo Region.

Dubbed “Promoting Youth Employment through Employable Skills Training and Entrepreneurship”, the Newmont Ghana Gold Limited (NGGL) and the German Development Cooperation (GIZ) are sponsoring the programme.

The beneficiaries would be engaged in welding and fabrication, barbering, fashion design, hair dressing and dressmaking, bakery, masonry, wood technology, vulcanizing, general spraying and auto mechanics.

Speaking at the ceremony held at Goaso, the Ahafo Regional capital, Dr. Bawumia said about 72 per cent of the nation’s population were young people below 35 years, and thus commended the Ahafo Regional Coordinating Council for the initiative.

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The Vice President noted “this is the first regional-led youth employment and skills training initiative in the country” and promised the government’s support for the programme to yield positive outcomes.

Dr. Bawumia, therefore, stressed the government’s commitment to transform Technical and Vocational Education Training (TVET) to make the sector more attractive for the youth.

Mr George Yaw Boakye, the Ahafo Regional Minister, said the programme’s implementation would well position the beneficiaries to create jobs for themselves to reduce youth unemployment in the region.

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“This would also economically empower young people and help to end the issues of illegal mining and logging in the region,” he added.

Mr Boakye said the Management of NGGL had set aside GhC1 million for the procurement of training equipment and start up tools, and applauded the company for that assistance.

He said an amount of GhC25,000 has been set aside for each of the six politically-administrative districts and municipalities for the implementation of the programme.

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Nana Kwasi Bosompra I, the Paramount Chief of Goaso Traditional Area, advised the youth to develop interest in employable skill training and avail themselves to benefit from the programme.

Source: www.GhanaCNN.com

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2023 Budget: Minority Vows to Resist 2.5% Increment In VAT

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2023 Budget: Minority Vows to Resist 2.5% Increment In VAT

The Minority in Parliament has vowed to resist any attempt by the government to revise the rate of Value Added Tax (VAT) upwards in the 2023 budget.

Government has given an indication VAT rate will be increased from the current 17.5% to 20%.

Speaking to the media in parliament, MP for Asuogyaman, Thomas Ampem Nyarko argued such a move will further exacerbate the current hardship in the country.

The NDC MPs rather want the government to cut down expenditure especially from the presidency vault.

“In fact the information we are picking up doesn’t look good for our dear country. The budget that is due to be read tomorrow promises to be a budget full of taxes. What we are hearing is that this government intends to increase VAT by 2.8 percent. They intend to increase income taxes and they intend to remove a lot of exemptions to Mobile Money (MoMo). So even merchants are going to be subjected to taxes.

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“We have known this government to be insensitive but we never knew that their level of insensitivity would be this high. Because in this time of serious hardship in this country with inflation so high none of us expected that they would be increasing taxes to this level,” the Member of the Finance Committee stated.

He continued: “Our (Minority) posture is that we are willing to support the government in these difficult times. Because they need help if we don’t help this economy will crash. However, the government must come clear to show they are going to reduce expenditure drastically.”

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The Vice Chairman for the Finance Committee, Patrick Yaw Boamah on his part expects that the budget will address the debts unsustainability challenge and offer hope to Ghanaians.

“I pray that the Minister presents a good budget to give Ghanaians the hope for debt sustainability, to ease the economic hardship. To bring a program in collaboration with the Central Bank towards the standardization of our currency.

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“Ghanaians need hope from the budget, that is all what Ghanaians need,” the Member of Parliament for Okaikoi Central reiterated.

Source: www.GhanaCNN.com

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Nobody Has The Right To Be A Minister; Ofori-Atta Must Go – ACEP Director

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Nobody Has The Right To Be A Minister; Ofori-Atta Must Go – ACEP Director

The Executive Director for Africa Centre for Energy Policy (ACEP) has added his voice to calls for the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta to resign.

Speaking in an interview on JoyNews’ The Probe, Mr Benjamin Boakye stated that being a minister is not a constitutional right therefore if people are calling for his resignation, he should go.

“When you have 85% of the people’s representative saying that they have lost confidence in you, they do not want you, I do not think that anybody has the right to be a minister – there is no constitutional right to be a minister for which anybody can defend,” he said.
This comes after the Finance Minister appeared before the 8-member Adhoc Committee of Parliament hearing a motion of censure against him by the Minority to defend himself.

According to Mr Boakye, there is no need for Mr Ofori-Atta to defend himself.

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“This is an unnecessary addition to what we need to do at this point in terms of what we need to do to recover,” he said.

“It is the constitutional process of people voting and the will of the people that say that he has to go at this point. We are told that 85% of his people in his own camp says he should go and the entire Minority, put that together, it is an overwhelming number,” he added.

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He stressed that the Finance Minister must resign.

Mr. Boakye added that “considering the difficulty that Ghanaians are in, we have to clear the air and give confidence to the market and people who want to deal with Ghana for us to come out of the difficulty.”

Source: www.GhanaCNN.com

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