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Minority wants government to come clean on cocoa prices

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Minority wants government to come clean on cocoa prices

The Minority in Parliament has accused the government of saying that the story the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has advised it to reduce the producer price of cocoa to reflect changes in international cocoa prices.

The Ranking Member, Food, Agriculture and Cocoa Affairs, Mr Eric Opoku, said the government wanted to create the impression that it was under pressure from the IMF to bring down the producer price of cocoa in order not to increase the price for farmers.

Speaking in an interview with journalists last Wednesday, Mr Opoku, who is the National Democratic Congress (NDC) Member of Parliament (MP) for Asunafo South, asked the government to come clean on the matter.

He said the release of the purported directive from the IMF was a “pre-emptive” move by the government to prepare the minds of cocoa farmers that the producer price of cocoa in Ghana was too high and so they should not expect any increases.

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IMF directive

Per the information from the IMF, the downward adjustment had become necessary because the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) was grappling with a funding gap of GH¢1 billion due to the government’s inability to reduce producer prices paid to cocoa farmers at a time global prices of the crop had been falling.

In its seventh and eighth review documents under the recently concluded Extended Credit Facility (ECF) Programme, the IMF explained that the adjustment was needed to save COCOBOD from expanding the financing gap.

“The state-owned cocoa marketing company (COCOBOD) is also experiencing difficulties. COCOBOD faces an estimated financing gap of GH¢1 billion (0.3 per cent of gross domestic product) in the current crop year.

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“In (IMF) staff’s view, producer prices should be adjusted to reflect changes in international cocoa prices,” the IMF was quoted as saying in one of the documents that were released this month.

Government’s posture

Reacting to the IMF’s directive, the COCOBOD said it would not yield to the directives of the IMF to reduce the current prices of cocoa because it would push farmers into selling their cocoa farms to illegal miners despite government’s efforts to deal with the menace.

It said the decision would force farmers to easily give out farmlands to illegal miners compared with the prices of their products.

Speaking on the issue, a Manager at the office of the Chief Executive Officer for COCOBOD, Mr Fiifi Boafo, said “Reducing price of cocoa will become an incentive for farmers to sell farmlands to illegal miners.”

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Cocoa prices

Before the commencement of a cocoa season, mostly in October every year, COCOBOD normally announces the producer price of cocoa in the crop season.

That price was last increased by 11.76 per cent in October 2016 to cover the 2016/2017 season. The price has since remained unchanged at GH¢7,600 per tonne, translating into GH¢475 per bag of 64 kilogramme (kg) gross weight.

According to the International Cocoa Organisation (ICCO), the price of cocoa on the international market within the same period dropped from an average of US$2,500 per tonne in November 2016 before ending that year at US$2,287 per tonne.

Source: Graphic.com.gh

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UT Bank’s Kofi Amoabeng Exonerated As State Drops Charges Against Him

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News reaching the desk of ENewsGhana.com indicates that the CEO of the collapsed bank, UT Bank, Prince Kofi Amoabeng has been exonerated. This comes after the state dropped all charges against him.

Some few weeks ago, the state filed a case of money laundering and stealing against him at an Accra Circuit Court. However, mynewgh.com reports that the circuit court later granted him bail.

Justice Essandor granted the bail and he was granted bail to the tune of ¢110 million with two sureties who earn not less than ¢2,000

Not long ago, the state has stated that all charges have been dropped.

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According to ASP Emmanuel Nyamekye, Mr. Amoabeng is not yet free.

He stated that the State intends to file a fresh case against Mr. Amoabeng at the High Court in Accra.

Source: ENewsGhana.com

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1 million waste bin project launched in Accra

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1 million waste bin project launched in Accra

Universal Plastic Products and Recycling(UPPR) Ghana Limited in collaboration with Ecobank Ghana Limited and the Environment Service Providers Association has launched a 1 million Waste Bin project aimed at reducing “indiscriminate disposal” of waste in Ghana.

The launch which took place at the headquarters of ECOBANK GHANA LIMITED saw in attendance various stakeholders in the sanitation value chain,including the ministry of sanitation, members of Parliament, municipal assembly members and the media.

According to the managing director of Ecobank Ghana Limited,Mr Dean Sackey, Ecobank Ghana’s collaboration in this big project stems from its commitment to helping in the creation of massive awareness about environmental cleanliness among Ghanaians.

He reiterated the need for every home in Ghana to have a waste bin which according to him is essential in ensuring proper disposal and recycling of waste.

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He revealed that Ecobank on its part has invested at least 10 million dollars as a medium term loan facility to support the production of waste bins to be distributed across the country.

The president of the Environmental Service Providers,Dr Joseph Siaw Agyepong indicated that the current filth insurgency engulfing the country can be attributed to the lack of sufficient waste bins in homes,workplaces,public bus stations and other places of the public sphere.

Speaking on the project,the chief Operating Officer for technical and Logistics Cluster of the Jospong Group of companies,Mr Alex Atakorah indicated that ensuring good sanitary conditions in Ghana can only come about through Public-Private partnership approach which is currently being pursued.

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According to him,the Sustainable development goals which support a clean environment could never be achieved without the use of waste bins.

He also revealed that most of the operation the the Universal Plastic Products and Recycling are sourced and recovered from their dumpsites and landfills which all contribute immensely towards reducing the waste burden on the country.

The 1 million Waste project is expected to further complement the existing sanitation initiatives by the various government institutions in the country including Metropolitan assemblies and District Assemblies.

Background

The special waste bins under the 1 million Waste Bin project have been fitted with Radio Frequency Identity tags that enable the Waste management companies to closely monitored to record how often the bins get emptied.

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This feature is expected to eliminate the current situation of “Over-spill” of waste bins which often lead to air pollution and contamination.

Uniformed officials of the waste management companies with ID cards are expected to move into communities for the purposes of distributing and registering of the waste bins to homes,schools,offices and other public spaces.

Source: ghanaweb.com

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Ghana signs deal to buy six aircraft for new national airline

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Ghana signs deal to buy six aircraft for new national airline

The government on Tuesday, November 18, 2019, signed a deal with De Havilland Aircraft of Canada at the on-going Dubai Air Show to buy six Dash8-400 aircraft to start its national airline.

Citi Business News understands that the aircraft will be purchased by the first quarter of 2020.

The plan to reestablish a national carrier has been on the drawing board for some time now.

Following the signing of the agreement, issues of financing and others are expected to be finalized which will be presented to Cabinet for approval and then to Parliament.

The new deal, signed by the Aviation Minister, Joseph Kofi Adda, is expected to boost Ghana’s dream of seeing to it that a new national airline hits the skies.

The Minister of Aviation, Joseph Kofi Adda, who signed the Memorandum of Understanding on Ghana’s behalf, said “They’re manufacturing Dash-8s, which used to be called Q-400, that can take upwards of 82 passengers. That will be able to serve the domestic and regional needs of the passengers. We’ve done our research and we’ve assessed all the aircraft available, and we think these ones are the ones most efficient and suitable given the weather and so on, that we can use to carry Ghanaians within the country and also send them to other West African countries all the way up to Senegal, The Gambia, Cameroun, and Congo as well”.

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“So these are things that the route planning people will work on as far as the details are concerned. But we want to be sure we’ve got the critical sets of aircraft that the airline can start operating them.”

Ghana signs MoU for 3 Dreamliners

Ghana has also signed an MOU (Letter of intent) for three (3) Boeing 787-9 planes.

“The second one is the Boeing 787-9, that’s a long haul. Long haul means it goes trans-oceanic. It goes to Europe, North America, it can go to Middle East and Asia. These were signed for three of the aircraft. These are all Memorandum of Understanding; they’re letters of intent indicating our desire to procure these aircraft. There are other processes we have to go through now with the manufacturers themselves, the government of Ghana, the approvals that would be required from all the government levels, we have to go through that between now and the end of the year to secure that.”

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The Minister says Government will be assessing the various options in procuring the aircraft.

“There are different ways of procuring an aircraft. There’s a leasing arrangement that can go on with a third party paying for the aircraft, then you will pay periodically may be monthly or quarterly for the service of the aircraft with some down payment. There’s also the outright purchase which is another option. So these are options that we’ve weighed and we will place before the government. We’re hoping that once the government makes a decision on this, we will be able to make payments that are required for the aircraft to be delivered. We’ve been able to get some good discounts from where we are starting with the two manufacturers, and we think they’re reasonable terms which I cannot disclose for now, but once I meet cabinet and parliament these will become public knowledge.”

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A name for new home-based airline

According to the Aviation Minister, a search is still ongoing on how to call the new national airline.

“So we’re happy that this has brought us to one tip of the bridge, so once we conclude the procurement, then we cross over to the next end of the bridge which means that we’re now airborne with a home-based airline. The name itself we’re waiting to discuss that at the government level, and gathering some inputs from different parties.”

Source: citinewsroom.com

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