I’m clearing Mahama’s $2.4bn energy debt; we now export power to B. Faso, Togo next – Akufo-Addo
resident Nana Akufo-Addo has said that except for one or two unfortunate incidents, “we have been able to handle ‘dumsor’, adding that the $2.4 billion legacy debts he inherited from the Mahama government is being cleared, and consequently, “Today, we are exporting energy to Burkina Faso, we will begin, again, to Togo.”
The provision of sustainable, reliable power, the President said, is key to the smooth operation of the bauxite, iron and steel industries that are being created by his administration.
Speaking at a town hall meeting with members of the Ghanaian community on Saturday, 30 March 2019 in Worcester, Massachusetts, President Akufo-Addo said the 16th International Monetary Fund (IMF) Programme, entered into by the Mahama government in 2015, should be the last time Ghana resorts to such a progamme for the restoration of fiscal discipline in her economy.
He noted that the 2015 IMF programme had to be entered into because “the Mahama government had lost control over the management of the economy.”
It was, thus, necessary to go through the programme to restore a certain amount of discipline into Ghana’s public finances.
“Even when they left office in 2016, the issue was still at large. But, by discipline, by honest management of our public’s finances, we have brought the situation back to where it should be. So, we have exited the IMF programme,” the President said.
He continued, “What I am saying to Ghanaians, to all of us, is that, in the 62 years of our independence, this was the 16th IMF bailout programme that the nation had gone into. Let it be the last time that we would resort to an IMF programme.”
President Akufo-Addo assured that: “From now on, we are going to maintain the discipline in the management of our public finances, so that we will never have to have recourse to an IMF bailout programme again.”
In order to ensure that his government and successive governments “keep within bounds”, the President told the gathering that his government has passed the Fiscal Responsibility Act, which, amongst others, caps the fiscal deficit at not more that 5% of the nation’s GDP at any given year.
“We have also established a Presidential Advisory Council headed by some very distinguished, eminent Ghanaian economists who will advise the President on the measures to make sure that we maintain fiscal discipline. We are going to maintain fiscal discipline because that is the basis of managing an economy intelligently and rationally, and giving confidence to investors that they can look into your economy and invest in Ghana,” he added.
The prevailing economic conditions in Ghana, coupled with the government’s determination to maintain fiscal discipline, according to President Akufo-Addo, is the reason why major global companies have indicated their readiness to set up shop in Ghana.
“All of them are doing this and making plans in Ghana because, now, the fundamentals of the economy are in the right place. The Ghanaian economy is looking robust, and is being organized and managed in a disciplined manner,” the President stressed.
On the “worrying phenomenon of vigilantism”, President Akufo-Addo reinforced his determination to rid the country of it, stressing that, regardless of the outcome of the meeting between the New Patriotic Party and the National Democratic Congress, “legislation is on its way to ban it. We are still going ahead to pass the ‘vigilante law’.”
No more expiry of voice, data bundles – Telcos ordered
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.”
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.
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.
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.
“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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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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