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Decision On IMF Can’t Be Blamed On Govt – President Akufo-Addo



Decision On IMF Can’t Be Blamed On Govt – President Akufo-Addo

The decision to seek an International Monetary Fund (IMF)-supported programme cannot be blamed on the government, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has said.

He said while a section of the public blamed the government for mismanaging the economy, the situation was way beyond the making of the government, as it was occasioned by current global crises which had not spared other economies around the world.

“In fact, the big difference that we are having in Ghana today and why we have gone back to the IMF is that everybody recognises it is not as a result of my mismanagement, as was the case during the tenure of the previous government.

“The reality is that there are global inflation, high commodity prices, among others, and all these have been the principal reasons for the difficulties we are having as a country,” he said.

President Akufo-Addo said this in an interview with Damongo-based PAD FM in the Savannah Region yesterday as part of his two-day tour of the region.

Notwithstanding the challenges, he indicated that the government was determined to find a solution to the situation to help bring relief to the citizenry.

The IMF programme

Following a directive from President Akufo-Addo to the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, the country, on July 1, 2022, started discussions with the IMF to support a homegrown economic programme through an IMF arrangement.

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The IMF, in a statement, said it stood ready to assist Ghana to restore macroeconomic stability, anchor debt sustainability, promote inclusive and sustainable growth and address the impact of the war in Ukraine and the lingering COVID-19 pandemic.

An IMF team was in Accra from July 6 to 13 to begin initial discussions with the Ghanaian authorities on a possible IMF-supported programme.

“Even though we are still at an early stage in the process, the mission was constructive and kick-started the process, laying the ground for our continued engagement,” the IMF said after the Accra discussions.

IMF staff will continue to monitor the economic and social situation in the country very closely and engage with the authorities to formulate a homegrown reform plan that can be supported by an IMF arrangement and validated through broader stakeholder consultations.

Delivering on promises

Addressing the people of Damongo via the local radio station, the President said in spite of the current economic difficulties, the government was delivering on its promises.

“You can see that a lot of work is ongoing across the country and a lot more is yet to be done before I leave office,” he said.

He stressed that the government was much focused and systematically addressing the challenges facing the country.

“As a government, there is always room for improving the quality of your output, but in all, we are coming to grips with what needs to be done and I see that happening,” he said.

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Touching on roads, President Akufo-Addo indicated that 156 road projects were ongoing in the Savannah Region, with about 29 already completed.

“For the first time in the history of Damongo, the Savannah Regional capital has got asphaltic roads all over the place. We never got that, so you can see that there is a deliberate attempt to improve on road infrastructure in the region.

“I think we should all tell the truth that the extent of road development that is taking place here, which is the home region of my opponent, is something which has never happened before,” he noted.

On the Damongo Water Supply project, he indicated that the government had taken steps to commence work on it as soon as possible to help address the perennial water crisis in the area.

On Wednesday, July 29, 2020, the President cut the sod for the construction of the $49-million Damongo Water Supply project to meet the water demands of Damongo and its surrounding communities.

However, work is yet to start on the project, and the President attributed the delay to the COVID-19 outbreak and some bureaucratic barriers.

“The COVID-19 affected the delivery of most projects and the difficulties that came from the point of view of the financiers, but what I can say is that now virtually every bureaucratic step that needs to be taken to bring the project on stream has been done, and I can say with considerable confidence that by the end of this year, the Damongo Water Supply system will be completed to deal with the water situation for the people,” he asserted.

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President Akufo-Addo began his two-day tour of the Savannah Region last Tuesday, August 23.

He is expected to inspect and inaugurate some projects, as well as pay courtesy calls on some chiefs in the region.

He has also held a meeting with municipal and district chief executives, as well as Savannah Regional executives of the New Patriotic Party (NPP).

Today, Thursday, August 25, the President is expected to wrap up his tour with courtesy calls on the Paramount Chief of the Wasipe Traditional Area, Wasipewura Mumuni Kabasagya, and the Paramount Chief of the Kusawgu Traditional Area, Kusawguwura Alhassan Soale Bonyanso II, and inspect ongoing construction work on the Bunjai-Fufulso road.



Bawumia Launches Employable Skills Programme To Benefit Young People In Ahafo  



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.


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



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.


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



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.”


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