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Quadruple Whammy – World Bank Country Director Vindicates Bawumia Over Draining Mahama-era Energy Contracts

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Quadruple Whammy – World Bank Country Director Vindicates Bawumia Over Draining Mahama-era Energy Contracts

The World Bank Country Director for Ghana, Pierre Frank Laporte, has vindicated Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia over his ‘quadruple whammy’ assertion listing the causes of the NPP government’s precarious financial position.

Dr Bawumia, during a lecture on the economy in Accra, listed four factors which handicapped the NPP government – the COVID-19 pandemic, the Russia/Ukraine conflict, the $7bn financial sector clean-up and Ghc 17bn of energy sector debt inherited from the Mahama administration – dubbing all four the quadruple whammy!

Speaking during a recent interview, Pierre Frank Laporte vindicated Dr Bawumia as he pointed out what he labelled as losses from the energy sector, as well as the impact of COVID, as heavily handicapping the Ghanaian economy.

“The big issue has been on the fiscal side. Before the current crisis happened, we observed certain challenges on the budget side that really has been the area more hit by everything. Also where actions are required now to deal with them. For instance, on the revenue side, we have always been saying that this is an area where Ghana should do better. We are encouraged by the fact that this should be one of the areas for potential programmes and support from the World Bank. The problem is fiscal, not just revenue,” Laporte said.

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He added: “The problem is that there are also spillovers from other sectors, or instance, the energy sector. There are about one billion dollars going to the energy sector because of losses. The sector itself is not financially viable and to keep it going you have to subsidize. Actions are required. Of course with COVID-19, the general business environment is been a bit more difficult.”

The NPP government has supervised over an interrupted period of power production, a stark departure from the energy sector crisis (dumsor) that plagued the previous Mahama administration.

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This is due to the NPP government’s unflinching commitment to settling power producers, including a nearly $1bn annual expenditure on power the country doesn’t need, stemming from contracts the Mahama administration signed.

Meanwhile, Laporte in the same interview again praised the NPP government for using COVD-19 funds received from the World Bank for exactly their intended purposes.

“We know each and every dollar that is spent and accounted for. We have done audits.

“There are always a few things here and there and some documentation that needs to be followed, but largely speaking, we are very satisfied that our resources were spent in line with the procurement requirements that existed,” he said.

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The World Bank gave Ghana $430m at the height of the pandemic to help deal with its aftereffects.

Another $130 million was later expended to Ghana for the purchase of vaccines.

Source: www.GhanaCNN.com

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SIM Card Re-Registration – Blocking Of Unregistered SIM Cards Postponed, Final Decision Next Week

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The intended exercise to block all unregistered SIM cards effective tomorrow, Saturday, October 1st 2022, has been postponed.

According to new reports, a final decision on the next steps to be taken by the National Communication Authority (NCA) and the Ministry of Communications will be communicated to the public next week.

According to sources, a roadmap for the intended sim card blocking exercise is being drawn up and would be finalised by next week.

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Under the new modalities, the punitive measures introduced earlier in September which were later scrapped would be brought back.

According to Graphic Online citing sources close to the decision-makers, subscribers who have done stage one (linked their Ghana Cards to their SIM cards via *404#) will have up to the end of the year to complete stage two of their registration.

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Meanwhile, those who have not registered their SIMs at all, will be blocked from receiving calls, making calls, using data services, among other things.

Those blocked will however, be able to access *404# to start their registration, and also be able to receive their Unique codes via SMS.

Source: theGhanaianVoice.Com



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$100m Crude Revenue Was Used To Pay GNPC Loan – Samuel Atta-Akyea

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The Chairman of the Mines and Energy Commission of Parliament, Samuel Atta Akyea, has debunked claims by the minority that $100m oil revenue has gone missing from the Petroleum Holding Fund (PHF).

According to him, the funds were used to settle upfront, a loan taken from the Ministry of Finance by GNPC Subsidiaries which was used to purchase shares in the TEN and Jubilee oil fields on behalf of the state.

Atta Akyea said there might have been an administrative error in not placing the money in the fund before being used but there can be no doubt that the money was used to engage in activities which will inure to the benefit of the state.

“Well, I think it’s a storm in a teacup because sometimes the impression is being given that the money has been spirited away. There was an opinion from the attorney general to the effect that they needn’t place the money in that account for the simple reason that there’s a seven-per cent equity acquisition in the TEN and Jubilee fields by GNPC Subsidiary and they didn’t have the money so the ministry of finance borrowed them the money so they do this acquisition; they are trying to improve the governmental stakes in these petroleum blocks,” Atta Akyea said.

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“When they [GNPC Subsidiaries] took the loan, they were unable to pay, so, they used the petroleum receipts due them to settle it, so, the ministry of finance took the money and paid for the loan upfront”, Mr Atta Akyea explained.

“The whole problem is simple: that the sheer fact that the money was not lodged in the PHF does not mean the money has been spirited away or stolen. … It’s all a balancing account but when push it to the political dimension that some money has been spirited away, it leaves much to be desired.

“The sum of money, if you look at it, is equal to the seven per cent equity stake that the government, through GNPC Subsidiary has acquired. Let’s look at it from that perspective. So, when somebody is using his ingenuity to confer advantage and benefit to Ghana, ultimately, how can that be a problem? And if the money was not so lodged in the PHF but it is shown that, indeed, the shares have been acquired, and the shares have been paid for, how can that be anything to undermine this country, financially?” he wondered.

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The minority in Parliament accused the New Patriotic Party (NPP) government of engaging in a new clandestine ‘Agyapa deal’.

According to a statement dated September 29th, 2022, the NPP government has failed to account for $100m of oil revenue accruing from Ghana’s Petroleum lifting in the first quarter of 2022.

According to the Minority, the decision by the 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 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).

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The statement signed by John Abdulai Jinapor, Ranking Member on the Mines and Energy Committee of Parliament, said that the NPP government has proven over and over again that they cannot be entrusted with the country’s oil revenues.

Source: theGhanaianVoice.Com



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E-Levy To Be Reviewed As Proceeds Woefully Below Expectations – Ken Ofori-Atta

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The Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta, has revealed that the electronic transaction (e) levy is set to be reviewed as the proceeds so far are woefully inadequate.

Speaking during an interview, Ofori-Atta said the levy has so far failed to raise even 10% of Ghc 600m monthly figure that the government projected it to raise.

Ergo, Ken Ofori-Atta said the government will soon review the programme and also take measures to increase the number of Ghanaians who are compliant with the tax.

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He said the review is part of measures to increase domestic revenue mobilisation.

“Such exercises form part of an ongoing drive to ensure we take significant steps forward in remedying long-standing challenges with domestic revenue mobilization, indiscipline, corruption and leakages,” Ofori-Atta said.

“Of course, heightened tax compliance and increased tax audit exercises will continue to be complemented by policy initiatives that allow us to tap into a wider pool of taxpayers in the years ahead. Towards this therefore we are looking at areas around the E-Levy to ensure its efficient implementation,” he added.

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Currently, Ghanaians are paying 1.5% of the value of any electronic transaction above Ghc 100 to the government, the controversial e-levy.

Recently, Ghanaians have complained that the tax is being charged even on transactions below Ghc 100.

Source: theGhanainVoice.Com

 



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