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Gov’t has not borrowed GHC80billion – Oppong Nkrumah

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Gov't has not borrowed GHC80billion - Oppong Nkrumah

Gov’t has not borrowed GHC80billion – Oppong Nkrumah

Information Minister Kojo Oppong Nkrumah has rejected claims by the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) that the NPP government has in the past two years borrowed 80 billion cedis with no development projects to show for it.

The minority at a press conference had sought to create the impression that the NPP government had borrowed funds in excess of ¢80 billion since the party assumed office in January 2017.

They dared government to point to the various projects that the borrowed funds have been used for suggesting that the borrowed funds have been used for ‘consumption’ placing Ghana in a debt distressed position.

But contrary to their claims, evidence from the central bank and the Ministry of Finance, provided by the Information Minister has exposed the seeming untruth in the claims by the opposition.

Rebutting the claims by the opposition on Accra based Citi TV Mr Oppong Nkrumah challenged the figures put out by the minority arguing that members of the opposition NDC were only ‘confusing themselves’ with Ghana’s ‘debt stock’ and Ghana’s ‘borrowed funds’.

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Mr Oppong Nkrumah explained that the nominal debt stock in cedi terms refers to the cedi equivalent of Ghana’s external and domestic debts at a point in time. This figure he further explained was affected by about five different items only one of which was new borrowing by the Akufo-Addo administration.

The Information Minister noted that the ¢80billion that the minority claim the Akufo-Addo government has borrowed represents the change in the cedi equivalent of the nominal debt.

“We can say that the debt stock has changed by $76 billion. But what we are saying is that you cannot go out and make a claim or suggestion that the change of $76 billion in the debt stock means the Akufo-Addo government has borrowed $76 billion dollars”, the minister explained.

He further explained that the $76 billion is not an amount of money which has been borrowed by the NPP government. He noted that it was rather the amount of money that has been added to the debt stock since the NPP assumed office. He explained that a number of factors including the disbursement of loans contracted in the previous administration, exchange rate differentials and transactional effect account for this $76 billion dollars.

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“What we are saying is that apart from old loans that are being disbursed, there are some of the new additions to the debt stock that are not monies that comes to the administration to be used for projects and we have given examples. Take the Extended Credit Facility (IMF bailout) that my brother Ato Forson and my very good friend Seth Terkper literally led us into under IMF. We are to receive about $1 billion in support that goes to the bank of Ghana. This money doesn’t come to the central treasury for the central bank or for the central government to use for any developmental project. If you take that nearly $1 billion, it is about GHS 5 billion in contemporary terms because it is part of our external debt and I used the current exchange rate”.

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He continued that, “about $5 billion in Ato Forson’s $80 billion change in debt stock, he (Ato Forson) knows it is not money that comes to the central treasury to use for any project, yet they want to create the impression that, it is money that president Akufo-Addo has borrowed and must be able to show for it”.

Providing a list of old loans contracted before President Akufo-Addo assumed office, which is now being disbursed, Mr Nkrumah further challenged the minority that the claim that Akufo-Addo had caused an 80b change could therefore not be sustained.

Source: starrfm.com.gh

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No more expiry of voice, data bundles – Telcos ordered

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No more expiry of voice, data bundles – Telcos ordered

The Ministry of Communications has directed telcos to roll over all unused data and voice bundles purchased by customers.

This will mean unused data and credit will not expire.

“All unused data and voice bundles purchased by subscribers do not expire and must be rolled over with the next recharge,” the Ministry said in the statement that also directed teclos to cease the instant deduction of the Communications Service Tax (CST).

The Ministry assured that Mobile Network Operators will be subjected to “strict compliance with exiting Quality of Service (QoS) standard to ensure value for the subscribers’ money in accordance with their licence obligations.”

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The directive came in a letter written to the National Communications Authority and was copied the Chief Executive Officers of MTN and Vodafone as well as the two Deputy Ministers of Communication.

The Communications Minister, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful said this was part of measures to”minimise the negative impact of deduction of the CST.”

Currently, only AirtelTigo offers data bundles that do not expire.

Source: citinewsroom.com

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Wa Community Co-operative scoops GHC130K profit in 6 months

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Wa Community Co-operative scoops GHC130K profit in 6 months

The Wa Community Co-operative Credit Union (WACCU) made a net surplus of ¢130,426.12 between June 2018 and December 2018, immediate ex-Board Chairman of the Union, Naa Bawa Seidu, has said.

The amount was more than twice the total budgeted surplus of ¢155,833.92 for the period.

Mr Seidu said this while addressing large crowd of members of WACCU during its 2019 Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Wa on Saturday for the financial year to render accounts to contributors.

The AGM was also to elect new executives including Board members, and Supervisory Committee members to oversee activities of the Union for the next four years.

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Within the period, the Union made a total income of ¢1,883,545.04 which fell short of its target income of ¢2,180,423.59.

But Mr Seidu added that ¢274,510.97 loan loss provision was made to “cater for our deteriorating portfolio quality and for risk growth”.

He assured union members that their leadership would not relent in their efforts to explore available viable means including effectual loan recovery mechanisms and legal processes to recover overdue loans.

The management of WACCU, according to him, was pursuing ten loan cases in court while 26 others had been handed over to Purple Holdings Debt Recovery services to recoup monies due the Union, without resorting to the court.

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“These court actions, though expensive to the Union in money and time, are meant to send a strong signal that the Union will never renege to use the legitimate processes to defend the rights of its members and secure the Union’s resources,” Mr Seidu said.

The newly elected Board Chairman of WACCU, John K. Seidu, pledged that the new board would work to ensure progressive and sustainable growth of the co-operative Union in both membership and financial bases.

He said they would do a feasibility assessment to map out districts and areas to extend their services and ensure its easy access by WACCU members for their mutual benefits.

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As at December 2018, the Wa Community Co-operative Credit Union had 12,208 members with 10,747 fully paid up members, comprising 4,767 females, 5,939 males 1,502 groups and organisations.

Source: ghananewsagency.org

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Africa’s three richest men have more wealth than the poorest 650m people across the continent

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Africa’s three richest men have more wealth than the poorest 650m people across the continent

Three African billionaires today have more wealth than the poorest 50% – or 650 million people across the continent, reveals a new Oxfam report today.

The report, called “A Tale of Two Continents”, is launched as African political and business leaders gather this week for the World Economic Forum Africa meeting in Cape Town, South Africa. It shows how rising and extreme inequality across Africa is undermining efforts to fight poverty.

A Tale of Two Continents reveals that while the richest Africans fortunes are increasing, extreme poverty is rising in the continent. The report also looks at how unsustainable levels of debt and a rigged international tax system are depriving African governments of billions of dollars in lost revenue each year – money that could otherwise be invested in education, healthcare and social protection.

The continent is rapidly becoming the epicentre of global extreme poverty. While the number of people living on less than $1.90 a day has plummeted in Asia, this number is rising in Africa. The World Bank estimates that 87% of the world’s extreme poor will be in Africa by 2030, if current trends continue.

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Winnie Byanyima, Executive Director of Oxfam International, said:

“Africa is ready to rise – but only once it’s leaders have the courage to back a more human economy that works for the many and not a few super-rich men. They can achieve this by investing in inequality-busting, universal and quality public services like health and education and by developing truly progressive tax systems. These are particularly powerful for women and girls living in poverty. They can also back a transformation towards decent and dignified work that protects the rights of workers, especially in the age of the African Free Trade Area and the new digital era.”

The report features a first-ever ranking of African nations on their commitment to tackling inequality. The Commitment to Reducing Inequality Index, developed by Oxfam and Development Finance International, ranks countries on their policies on social spending, tax, and labour rights – three areas the organizations say are critical to reducing inequality. South Africa and Namibia take first and second place respectively, with their strong social spending and a progressive tax system. Nigeria meanwhile has an unenviable distinction of being at the bottom of the Africa ranking, as well as the global ranking for two years running.

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The report shows that:

3 African billionaires now have more wealth than the poorest 50% – or 650 million people across the continent

The most unequal country in the region, Swaziland, is home to one billionaire, Nathan Kirsh, who is estimated to have $4.9bn. If he worked in one of the restaurants that his wholesale company supplies on a worker’s minimum wage, it would take him 5.7 million years to earn his current level of wealth

The combined wealth of the 5 richest Nigerians is more than enough to end poverty in Nigeria. Nigeria’s girl population makes up 60% of the more than 10 million children who do not go to school.

75% of the wealth of African multi-millionaires and billionaires is held offshore, as result the continent is losing $14billion annually in uncollected tax revenue.

Dangerous and unsustainable levels of debt are hurting social spending. In 2018, Angola spent 57% of government revenue on debt repayments while public spending was cut by 19% between 2016 and 2018. Similar trends are present in Ghana, Egypt, Cameroon and Mozambique

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African women and girls are also most likely to be poor. They also stand to lose the most when public services like healthcare and education are underfunded. In Kenya, a boy from a rich family has a one-in-three chance of continuing his studies beyond secondary school. However, a girl from a poor family has a 1-in-250 chance of doing so. Women and girls also bear the brunt of failing healthcare systems, clocking in hours of unpaid care work looking after sick relatives. In Malawi, women spend seven times the amount of time on unpaid care work than men.

Ms Byanyima said:

“African political and business leaders face a clear choice. They can stay on the path of increasingly extreme inequality, where poverty continues to rise while wealth in the hands of a tiny elite and foreign companies’ spirals. Or they can choose another way: towards a more prosperous and equal Africa that invests in and respects the dignity of all its people.”

Source: Oxfam International

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