Terkper shares thoughts on 2019 Mid-year Budget Review

DON’T RUSH TO PRAISE ALL OF AFRICA’S “POPULAR” BUT FISCALLY UNSUSTAINABLE PROGRAMS

Introduction

– Context is 2019 Mid-Year Review and the need to be realistic about the fiscal prospects for the country—based on past views in interviews and articles.

– A general call on those who relate to Africa and its leaders not to ingratiate or praise all “popular policies and initiatives”, even if well-meaning, that eventually lead to waste of fiscal and economic resources—even disaster.

– The call goes for domestic leaders (e.g., chiefs, experts, clergy) and foreigners (e.g., multilateral and bilateral institutions, development partners, CSOs, professionals, etc).

Background

– Even the President now concedes (e.g., Oxford University lectures) that the Free Senior High School (F-SHS) will take a lot of resources, including:

– diversion of petroleum revenues from the path of investment to consumption

– including early hints of the use of “Heritage Fund” for F-SHS;

– accumulation of arrears (e.g., pensions, roads, bailouts cost, etc) at May Day Speech;

– higher levels of borrowing than the government had anticipated; and

– despite three (3) (two (2) additional) oil fields with almost 3 times the output since 2017 and recovery of prices that has tripled revenue from petroleum.

– It will involve serious long-term commitment—merit only in leaving a legacy that future leaders will grapple with for decades.

– Note that the Minister for Finance also highlighted the point but was quickly shouted down by hawks within the Cabinet and the Party.

The “unsustainable promise” of F-SHS and other political promises

F-SHS appeared sustainable because—

Unlike the original promise of a “big bang” during elections (starting with all students), SHS program was “staggered” to start with only Year 1 students:

– Years 2 and 3 students continued to pay fees—while program remained “untargeted”, with even middle-class and affluent parents benefitting;

– additional petroleum (oil and gas) revenues provided initial buffer from 2017—but these one-time inflows are against expanding expenditures (F-SHS and other very expensive electoral promises such as 1D1F);

– averting global and SSA recession and investments in energy sector

Ghana among few SSA states to avoid recession

– reverse rate of accumulation of national debt from positive to negative;

– investing directly and supporting private-sector investments in TEN and Sankofa petroleum fields;

– a substantial part of highly-rated fiscal consolidation came through another “illusion”—budget “offsets” rather than a program of paying down arrears;

– bequeath of buffers—previous administration bequeathed buffers:

a. Sinking Fund: use to pay off outstanding balance of Ghana’s first 2007 Sovereign Bond;

b. Ghana Infrastructure Investment Fund (GIIF): balanced used; VAT flow diverted to consumption; and no further allocations made to Fund;

c. Energy Sector Levy (ESLA): continuous flow of Ghc3 billion annually for clearing arrears directed at providing relief for domestic banks;

GDP “rebasing” provided fiscal room and breadth, through

– room for borrowing through GDP growth and “illusionary” lowering of Debt/GDP ratio that is being trumpeted as an achievement by the government; and

– deferred the impact of increasing costs.

– “capping”—has not provided needed fiscal relief, despite diverting vital resources from vulnerable programs (i.e., education {GETFund} and health {NHIL}; rural development {DACF}; and institutions {IGF}

Fiscal signs not favourable—going into Mid-Year

– one-time cushions—the “bump” in GDP growth from rebasing and additional crude/gas production is “one-time” and will no longer cushion the worsening indicators like debt and budget deficit;

arrears owed to contractors and suppliers—large amounts owing to these vital economic players in various sectors, including Presidential initiatives, are becoming apparent and are now acknowledged by the Government—

– pensions—concession at May Day celebrations by HE the President;

– contractors and suppliers—concessions by Roads and Finance ministries and “demonstrations” by contractors;

– salaries—civil servants, nurses, and presidential initiative employees;

– banking sector “bail-out” costs—despite unprecedented funds from ESLA;

F-SHS—no comprehensive disclosure yet to Parliament and the nation on true costs and inevitable arrears;

– increasing tax burden—retention of temporary (“nuisance”) taxes & introduction of new tax measures

– retention of temporary (“nuisance”) taxes such as ESLA, special import levy (SIL), national fiscal stabilization levy (NFSL)

– implicit.increase in ESLA levies:  introduced at a period of low crude prices low US$40s pbl so consumers are paying more now at current higher price above US$60pbl;

Implicit ESLA levy: levy should have lasted 3-to-5 years but increased duration of ESLA Bond to 7-to-10 years;

– new tax measures—increase in top rate of personal income tax (PIT); 2.5 percent increase in VAT rate (from 15% to 17.5%); luxury tax (user fee) on vehicles; blocking VAT input tax credit (ITC);

– discretionary change in basis (valuation and classification) for calculating import duties, VAT, fees/charges; etc;

– fiscal expansion—the worsening fiscal gap may not taper or abate due to

– subtle, not bold, new tax measures (e.g., luxury tax etc.)

– continuing with expenditure programs (likely borrowing, not reallocation to support the pace of president’s electoral promises;

– fiscal deficit and borrowing—these indicators are deteriorating fast and corrections for offsets in, and lowering of estimates, will make these indicators worse;borrowing to support the increasing fiscal deficit;

– borrowing to finance belated infrastructure;

– pledge of resources (e.g., royalties from minerals, bauxite deposits, etc.) to support the budget;

– Sinking Fund—despite three (3) oil fields, not using the SF to reduce debt (as was done from one (1) oil field for the NPPs first 2007 Sovereign Bond;

– Ghana Infrastructure Investment Fund (GIIF)—diverting funds (i.e., VAT and ABFA) for investment in infrastructure to consumption.

Wanted now—cautious voices

“Measured” approach is fiscally prudent—being “measured” with

– F-SHS [e.g., alternative “progressive” approach] and other programs is consistent with fiscal prudence, as elicited in Public Financial Management Act [PFMA] and Budget Responsibility Act [BRA];

– Benefits of being “realistic”—refreshing to hear the voices of caution emerging

– Domestic experts—professors, experts, think tanks, and chairperson of vital constitutional commission have sounded note of caution;

– Opinion leaders—it is important for other domestic opinion leaders to follow a realistic lead (e.g., clergy and chiefs must reflect condition in religious and community schools);

– IMF/WB MD—sounded note of caution, not ringing endorsement, on government expenditure and debt programs; nonetheless

– roll-back of tax measures (e.g., VAT on non-core financial sector and commercial real estate) in Program;

– failing to acknowledge Ghana’s avoidance of recession; permitting fiscal expansion; and not being critical of “offsets” that underestimated arrears and gave impression of accelerated fiscal expansion;

– Development Partners (DPs)—countries that may be capable of free (education) social programs choose to make them “targeted” (i.e., tuition-free programs, as Ghana had) and adopting alternative options (e.g., concessional student loans);

 – Preference for using fiscal support for investments, not consumption, is global

– in advanced countries (e.g., quantitative easing): invest in infrastructure to support private sector and rural/urban development, not place scarce fiscal resources in consumption;

– MIC states—approach adopted by middle-income countries (MICs) such as Emirates and Asian economies;

– Developing countries—Angola and South Africa now showing a preference for infrastructure development through Sovereign Wealth Funds (SWFs) as in Ghana’s PRMA.

Conclusion

– Current fiscal environment is different from late 2014-16 when many SSA countries were headed into recession, due to global financial crisis, fall in crude oil and other commodity prices, and domestic pressures such as non-supply of gas from Nigeria

– Now, three (1) oilfields, not one (1); rebound in commodity prices, and, therefore, enhanced budget buffers.

– Problem is unbridled expenditure due to electoral promises; non-conventional approach to managing arrears; and borrowing

– Time for realistic review and appraisal as well as domestic and international experts toning down their praise or holding back their reservations on Africa’s politically-motivated “popular” but unsustainable electoral and fiscal promises.Source: Ghana|Seth E. Terkper

Give more tax power to local authorities – Dr. Patrick Awuah tells gov’t

Founder of Ashesi University College Dr. Patrick Awuah wants government to pay attention to empowering local authorities to solve problems facing communities.

One way to do this, he said, is to ensure authorities like the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies are able to raise local taxes enough to address local needs.

He was speaking ahead of an expected increase in taxes as the Finance minister reads the 2019 mid-year budget review. Government could be targetting consumption items with an inelastic demand such as energy and communication.The expected increase brings back another conversation about the efficient use of taxes cutting waste in government and corruption.Speaking on the Joy FM Super Morning Show Monday, the celebrated education innovator Dr. Patrick Awuah observed that those who collect the most taxes are not those who are directly responsible for addressing the needs of the community.

But those who are directly responsible, local authorities, rely heavily on the central government for funds for their communities.

The Ashesi University College founding President faulted this arrangement as ineffective.

“When people feel that they are paying taxes and it is going to be used by some remote government officials for their own ends in a way that doesn’t benefit them directly….that is something every government should pay attention to.”

He said he would vouch for “a system where there is very broad local taxation that is used for local development.”  Dr. Awuah said Ghana needs to design a system that gives local authorities power to raise funds from local taxation.Gha

na runs a unitary system of government that collects and aggregates money at the central government level for distribution through the local government system and the ministries.

The system, while expected to promote uniform development, has been faulted as incapable of addressing local development effectively. There has been an increasing agitation in communities with poor infrastructure with central government often under pressure to fix local concerns.Despite a decentralisation system in Ghana’s constitution, experts say without deeper fiscal decentralisation, local authorities will continue to struggle to solve community problems.

Budget review: Finance Minister wants ¢6.3bn more to spend in 6 months

Finance Minister Ken Ofori Atta is seeking approval to spend some ¢6.3 billion in its Supplementary Budget for the remaining months of the fiscal year.

This was contained in the order paper for Monday’s proceedings in parliament as the Minister presents the Mid-year Review as well as Supplementary Budget. 


This could mean that government’s expenditure limit for 2019 would be peg at ¢85 billion for 2019.  Based on the 2019 appropriation bill, the Finance Minister was given the approval to spend some ¢78.7 billion

The Deputy Finance Minister Kweku Kwarteng has already disclosed to JoyBusiness that the Minister would announce some new tax measures.

These are part of measures to help improve governments revenue for development  and helping improve the livelihood of Ghanaians

Discrimination against private university graduates makes me very angry – Prof Adei

Consummate educationist and Chairperson of the National Development Planning Commission (NDPC), Prof. Stephen Adei has expressed outrage at what he describes as “discrimination” against private university graduates in Ghana.

According to him, “those who have trained themselves should not be punished for not burdening the state” bemoaning the lack of automatic employment for graduates from the private institutions as opposed to their counterparts who were trained at the expense of the state.

Prof. Adei was the Guest Speaker at the 11th Congregation of the Garden City University College in the Ashanti region on Saturday, July 27, 2019, where hundreds of students graduated with degrees and diplomas ranging from Health Sciences, Business Studies and Applied Sciences.

Speaking on the theme, “The 21st Century Innovator: Challenges and Prospects”, Prof. Adei applauded the private sector for offering the “cheapest education in Ghana” and challenged the state to ” include the private sector in its thinking of support, so that the support is not because it is a private or a public, but because a Ghanaian student is being educated”.

In so doing, he said students would have the “same access to facilities like every other student”.

“Sometimes the discrimination against private universities’ graduates makes me very angry; because in the case of nurses, all of them take the same examinations and all are judged by the Nursing and Midwifery Council, they all pass the same examination and yet if you are in the public sector you are supposed to be guaranteed employment and if you don’t get employment, they go and wave a flag and private university nurses are left on their own”, he said.

Prof. Stephen Adei cautioned the state not to look down on private universities but take a cue from the fact that at the basic education level, “private schools are twice better than the state, so much so that, even teachers in the public schools send their children to private schools; an indictment of the bad jobs they are doing in the public sector, for I always will fight them until they change”.

He suggested that “the time has come for us to have the reverse; those who have trained themselves should not be punished for not burdening the state”.

The Garden City University College (GCUC), located in the Kwabre East Municipality of the Ashanti region, boasts a mission of providing a centre of excellence in teaching, learning and research with distinctive scholarship and competence, by blending business, information technology, education, social sciences and health sciences to develop innovators in the industrial and other socio-economic sectors in Ghana and the international community.

Those persuading me to resign are ‘corrupt’ – Martin Amidu snarls

Martin Alamisi Burnes Kaiser Amidu, Ghana’s Special Prosecutor has taken on those persuading him to resign from his current position in the midst of accusations he is not living up to expectation.

According to him, he considers anybody who approaches him to persuade him to resign as fuelling corruption by obstructing him from performing his duties.

“Those who know my track record in public office over the decades know that no Member of the Council of their Elders would dare speak to me on resigning my public office as the Special Prosecutor. Anybody who approaches me to persuade me to resign my office will be considered to be obstructing me in the performance of my anti-corruption duties as the Special Prosecutor. This time the Office of the Special Prosecutor will handle the matter by itself and not farmed it out to another law enforcement office so that the case will also lie fallow again like the previous widely published complaint and complaint statement of obstruction I lodged for investigation”, he revealed in his latest epistle sighted by MyNewsGh.com.

He added that there are some persons within the NPP and NDC who will rejoice of news of his resignation or his sackbut served notice that it is never going to happen as far as he is concerned.

“The concerted efforts by the political elite to distract me from the duties of my office with calls for me to resign will not move me to abandon the electorate who made the establishment of the Office possible. I also know that there are lots of people in both the NDC and the NPP who would be too happy to hear that I have resigned or been removed from office. I know further that when the President brought up my nomination he faced serious opposition from his own, just like the Asiedu Nketias of the other side also did, but he insisted he wanted an impartial person like me for the job. Watch the TV news on the various stations on 4th June 2019 and you will see the number of NPP MPs who opposed any prosecution of any Member of Parliament for corruption. I have written already on the bi-partisan position of the Leadership of an NPP Majority Parliament under a Pastor Speaker”, he revealed.

“FREE SHS SAVED ME GH¢4,500 IN SCHOOL FEES” – BREMAN ESSIAM CHIEF

The Paramount Chief of Breman Essiam in the Ajumako-Enyan-Essiam, Odeifuor Afoakwa III, has expressed his appreciation to the President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, for the implementation of the Free Senior High School Policy.

According to Odeifuor Asankwa III, the Free SHS policy is not a discriminatory policy, and has unified all Ghanaians in terms of its benefits.

“I am a beneficiary of the Free SHS policy, since I have two children enrolled. One is in Form 2, and the other is in Form 1. I didn’t pay a dime,” he said.

The Breman Essian Chief continued, “When the one in Form 2 was at the JHS level, you had not come to power, so I saved against his education. So, when you introduced the Free SHS programme, I had managed to save GHS4,500. I used this money to buy 150 bags of cement to construct my building. Mr. President, God richly bless you!”

Odeifuor Afoakwa III made this known on Thursday, 25th July, 2019, when a durbar of Chiefs was held in honour of President Akufo-Addo in Essiam, in the Ajumako-Enyan-Essiam constituency, at the commencement of the President’s 3-day tour of the Central Region.

The Free SHS policy, he added, has resulted in an increased enrolment, necessitating the Double Track System, and has “led to graduates with education background from the University of Cape Coast (UCC) and University of Education, Winneba (UEW) who were at home unemployed, including my own nephew, to be employed as a teacher at Fiaseman Secondary School.”

The Breman Essian Chief noted that monies which, hitherto, would have been used to pay for school fees of a few children of the town are now being channeled into developmental projects of the town.

“This education policy will lead to Ghana producing so many graduates in future. You are building a confident, elite society for the future. Every nation’s future is contingent on its youth, and not every youth is a youth unless you have been educated formally,” he stressed.

Odeifuor Afoakwa III was confident that “in future, Ghana will develop because many more will be able to write and read to enable them to work without hustles or supervision. Mr. President, God bless you abundantly.”

On the “One Million Dollar, One Constituency” pledge of the Government, he indicated that his town has been a beneficiary of the projects being implemented under the policy.

“The programme started and in my town here, there is rig digging the ground for an ultra modern toilet system to be constructed. This is not found only in my town but in other parts of the district, Enyan Denkyira, Abaasa, Ajumako, Enyan Mim, and many other places,” he said.

The Breman Essiam Chief stressed that “if anybody tells you that one constituency one million dollars promise has not taken effect, tell that person it is not true because I am a living witness to them.”

Odeifuor Afoakwa III urged all Ghanaians to support President Akufo-Addo and his government, and “eschew all prejudices, and support all the policies that the President is implementing. Because, at the end of his 8 years as President, the results will be to the benefit of us all as Ghanaians.”

GHANA TELECOM RIGGERS CRY FOUL OVER HUAWEI MONOPOLY- DEMAND GOV’T INTERVENTION

The Ghana local network installers have expressed a strong dissatisfaction over their inability to get contracts as result of the takeover by Huawei Technologies Company to fixing networks in the country.

“Huawei is enjoying monopoly in the network business ever since it took over the installation of network in the country, our job have totally become irrelevant, network providers do not seek our services any longer”. The statement of the group.

The group said Huawei has smashed down prices of contracts they award the local contractors.

Little prices are giving out to them and “when you talk about it, Huawei will take you off the project then bring on foreigners ( Nigerians)”.

“We feel very feel neglected since none has intervened on our behalf”.

They have demanded a immediate government intervention to negotiate with Huawei Technologies to increase prices of the contracts else they will deal with the foreigners.

Who are the Telecom Riggers

They are Responsible for installing and maintenance of BTS,RBS,Telecommunication microwaves,GSM Antennas etc. to ensure networks are running smoothly and upgrades networks to provide maximum.

“Local area networks (LANs), wide area networks (WANs), the Internet, intranets, and other data Telecommunication providers.

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BY: Asonadehye Kwarteng

Ghana’s Perpetual Bermuda Triangle

It’s a well-established fact that Ghana has a profound love for the sport-soccer.

I rephrase; Ghana has immense love for the senior national team the Black Stars.

If you could describe it in human terms, it’s like that wife who makes you fall in love all over again and is quick to drill Valyrian steel misery down your heart every once 2 years.

As we speak Ghanaians, have their blood pumping and still trying to wrap their heads around the fact that the Republic has spent over 4.5 million American dollars at the 2019 Nations Cup and have nothing to show for it.

But do we have genuine cause to rant?

The Saddle

Before we analyse, a bit of context in the saddle must be unpacked.

Since 1982, Ghana is yet to lay claim once more to the African Nations Cup. I will admit I wasn’t around when Ghana last lifted the Nations Cup but it’s a thirst we have nursed for 37 years and the wait continues.

Come end of club season 2019 and all eyes turned to the elusive hunt for the golden cup. Before the 30 million-strong national coaching academy could talk tactics and selections, a rumpus erupted. Captain of the Black Stars Asamoah Gyan issued a statement announcing his retirement from the senior national team and his reason was Coach Kwesi Appiah was about to strip him of the captaincy.

The new captain eventually will be Fenerbachè midfielder Andre Dede Ayew. That set the stage for the mood to be poisoned and later Mr President intervened. The consensus- Gyan rescinds retirement and becomes General Captain; Andre Ayew remains Captain and Kwadwo Asamoah his deputy.

Then on June 1 this year, when the team had jetted off to Dubai, the 29-member provisional team was published.

The announcement was via a list circulated on the Football Association’s social media portals. No press conference was held to explain the choices and a holistic brief on the extent of preparations.

That was the first time such a stunt was pulled.

Two preparatory games were played in the UAE after camping and the squad pruned to 23.

Ghana headed to the tournament with eyes on several indicators- the quality of play, tactical shape, conditioning of team and most of all how better we’d perform compared to our last showing in 2017 (all the way to semi-finals losing to Cameroon and placing 4th beaten by Burkina Faso).

Our Showing

Many expected anything less than a semi-final berth. As the results showed, we drew 2 all against Benin, drew goalless against defending champions Cameroon, won by 2 goals against Guinea Bissau and beaten by Tunisia in a 5-4 penalty shootout after a one-all draw in 120 minutes.

This meant Ghana had crashed out at the Round of 16, two places worse than our last outing in 2017 and the worst record since 2006 (when we crashed out at the group stage).

The Surgery

Once the dust on our participation settled, the 30 million strong coaching academy returned in full force and the focus was on one man- Coach Kwesi Appiah.

All manner of stories (the logical and the atrocious kinds) emanated as the tricky question of why we had just slumped found expression.

The pundits believed the team was just not good enough, there was no real show of tactical nous from the manager and some other off the pitch issues including the captaincy row had caused a split in camp with power play being a major issue.

But as seen at the press conference, the captain Andre Dede Ayew accepted responsibility, as did the coach with all else.

All eyes then got focused on the one issue, which was shrouded in secrecy since our journey to the tourney- at what cost did this entire showing at Egypt pinch our nation’s purse of?

The Money

This week Sports Minister Isaac Asiamah presented the breakdown of the money spent for the preparation and participation of the Black Stars at the 2019 African Nations Cup.

– Total funds spent stands at four million five hundred and fifty-four thousand three hundred and fifty two US dollars ($4,564,352)

– The breakdown indicates that 924, 168 dollars was spent on airfare (flights for team to Dubai, Egypt and back to Ghana).

– Almost 190 thousand dollars (187,050) was spent as per diem for the 23 players.

– The technical staff also pocketed almost 130 thousand dollars (129,600) as their per diem.

– Then there was additional technical staff also taking almost 91 thousand dollars (90,750) as per diem.

– As far as rewards for winning games go the 23 players took home cheques of almost 42 thousand dollars each (41,974) totalling almost a million dollars (965,405). Kindly note that Ghana won one match and the ministry says this represents the win against Guinea Bissau, which qualified us for the round of 16.

– For the technical staff, they collectively walked home with 347 027 dollars.

– The additional technical staff was not left out as they walked away with 177 thousand dollars.

– Ghana spent one million one hundred and forty-three thousand five hundred and nineteen dollars (1,143,519) to ensure players and the entire team had the best of places to rest while they prepare and participate at the tournament.

– The team had to eat well and so that meant the nation doled out four hundred and nineteen thousand three hundred dollars (419,300) to ensure that happened.

– The games had to be watched and so we paid forty-one thousand seven hundred and fifty dollars (41,750) for match tickets.

– Some forty-four thousand five hundred and seventy-four dollars (44,750) was paid to ensure the team were kept in the best of medical conditions.

– Visa fees for the team had us spend eight thousand five hundred and forty-one dollars (8,541).

– The commute for the team (internal transportation) from hotels to training pitches and match venues set us back another forty-three thousand and ninety-two dollars (43,092).

– The last item on the expenditure list is INCIDENTALS. That’s forty-two thousand five hundred and seventy six dollars (42,576).

Making sense of the data

Once the Sports Minister told the nation how much had been spent, he proclaimed this run 1.8 million dollars short of the 6.3 million dollars dedicated for the tournament. He added that a detailed and comprehensive budget would be presented in the coming days.

I then proceeded on Morning Starr (the morning show I host) to seek clarity ahead of time.

Speaking to the Sports Minister’s aide and Communications consultant for the ministry, Ahmed Usmanu Ali, he explained this budget presentation was without the expenses for the supporters who were airlifted to Egypt which number close to five hundred. He was definite that some of the supporters are still in Egypt and are due to return by August 4.

Also, the INCIDENTALS refer to unplanned expenses, which came up during the preparation and participation (details not given).

For the winning bonuses, the amount mentioned is tax inclusive and was paid via cheques by the accountant who was with the team.

When I finally asked if this expenditure represents money well spent considering the winner of the tournament received 4.5 million dollars as prize money, his reply- “this was money wisely spent”.

The Questions

There are a number of questions this situation presents for all 30 million members of the national coaching academy to ponder over:

– Why did the Sports minister fail to present a budget to parliament for approval ahead of Ghana’s preparation and participation to the tournament?

– Why did the Sports committee fail to summon the minister to present the budget before the start of the tournament in fulfilling its oversight responsibility?

– What source of funding was the over 4.5 million dollars drawn from?

– What informed the rationale for paying over 40 thousand dollars for the players in winning bonuses when two years ago only 5000 dollars was paid (more than eight times jump)?

– Why are payments of per diems and winning bonuses for technical and additional technical staff paid separately?

– What kind of food prepared cost the nation close to half a million dollars for a tournament of less than a month?

– Why is there no accountability given as yet for how much has been spent on the almost 500 supporters who were airlifted to Egypt?

– Did this expenditure glean any lessons at all from the 2014 World Cup episode in terms of payments and lack of transparency?

– Why has the Normalization committee been dead silent on what budget they presented to the Sports ministry and their accountability to the Ghanaian people?

– Why will we budget for a tournament for which our expenses will outstrip the prize money? (Uganda spent 2 million dollars and crashed out at the same round as Ghana)

I’m sure you can add to the plethora of the questions bugging the minds of the Ghanaian citizens.

Conclusion

It’s clear that the passion of the nation has been the zone where monies are pumped and accountability is never guaranteed.

Until date, no one has been held responsible for the fiasco in Brazil and the Dzamefe Commission report sits cold and waiting. The Maputo report also adds to the cold reports freezing away into oblivion. Some have argued that every time Ghana participates at any international sports tournament, questions of questionable expenses pop up and no accountability.

It remains to be seen if this latest episode from the land where civilization started will follow the same pattern.

Until and unless Ghana decides to put in place proper structures, which guarantee transparency, accountability and value for money, Ghana’s senior national team (Black Stars) will be the nation’s perpetual Bermuda Triangle; where the state’s funds feed an elusive dream and the investment will always disappear into thin air with no consequences.

Someone once said Ghanaians have a short memory. Maybe that’s why this black hole has come to stay.

Afoko’s bail: Don’t believe in everything Kweku Baako says – A Plus

Vociferous activist of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP), Kwame Asare Obeng otherwise known as A Plus, has cautioned members of the party to hasten slowly in believing everything said by the Editor-In-Chief of the New Crusading Guide Newspaper, Abdul Malik Kweku Baako Jnr.

Vociferous activist of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP), Kwame Asare Obeng otherwise known as A Plus, has cautioned members of the party to hasten slowly in believing everything said by the Editor-In-Chief of the New Crusading Guide Newspaper, Abdul Malik Kweku Baako Jnr.

“This is a letter the court wrote to the police asking them to bring Gregory Afoko for a bail bond to be executed. This was the order the police flouted with impunity and were cited for contempt. The fact that you are a young person in this country does not mean you are a fool. The fact that you are a member of the NPP does not mean you must believe everything Kweku Baako says. Kwaku Baako, at this age start fighting for Ghana and our democracy. You have fought very hard for the NPP. Congratulations!!! It’s now time to fight for Ghana too!!!” he said in a post sighted by MyNewsGh.com.

One of the lawyers representing the accused person, Nana Yaw Osei has however reacted to the claims made by Kweku Baako on Accra-based Peace Fm.

“The documents you read on PEACE FM’s Kokrokoo programme on (17/7/19) were a one-sided unlawful busy-body interaction between the police and the Lands Commission.It’s the exclusive duty of the court (the Registrar/Registry) to ensure that bail conditions imposed by a Court of Competent Jurisdiction are met by accused persons who have been granted bail, except if the court for whatever reason(s) orders the police or any other person or body to do so”, he said

Release NAM 1, we need our monies – Angry Menzgold customers to govt

The Coalition of Aggrieved Customers of Menzgold, a gold dealership firm, has urged the government to release the Chief Executive Officer, Nana Appiah Mensah (NAM 1) to enable him pay their monies.

Speaking at a press conference in Accra on Wednesday, the spokesperson of the group, Fred Forson accused the government of conniving with NAM1 to rob them of their investment.

“We want to hear from NAM1, we have supported him all this while and it is time we hear from him. We will soon march to demand from the Criminal Investigations Department that we want to meet Nana Appiah Mensah in person. Wherever he is, he needs to address us as leaders of Menzgold customers,” he said.

According to the group, government must not rush to prosecute NAM 1, but should be interested in the payment of customers’ monies.

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