The Minority has declared a sit-down strike in Parliament following what they described as disregard for their leader, Haruna Iddrisu, by Speaker, Professor Aaron Mike Oquaye.
Although the Minority members were present in the House today [Wednesday], they failed to participate in the business of the day after the Speaker failed refused to acknowledge their leader who had wanted to make a submission.
This is the second time the Minority is embarking on such an action. They had earlier refused to comment on any business in the House after a report was presented to the House by the ‘cash-for-seat’ Committee which they felt did not include the input of its members on the said Committee.
They have also described him as the worst Speaker in Ghana’s history. Deputy Minority Leader, James Kluste Avedzi speaking to the media said: “We have had a number of Speakers in this country. We’ve had DF Annan, Peter Ala Adjetey, Sekyi Huges, Bamford Addo, Doe Adjaho and now we have a Reverend Speaker and this is the way he’s behaving. If you want to rank him among the six so far, he’s the worst.”
The President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has appealed to banks to reduce their interest rates so as to compliment the efforts being made by his government to create a more stable macro-economic framework in the country.
According to President Akufo-Addo, the first year of his administration has witnessed fiscal discipline being maintained, with fiscal deficit reducing from 9.3% in 2016 to 5.6% in 2017. The projection, this year, he said, is that fiscal deficit will reduce to 4.5%.
“We have seen inflation decline from 15.6% in 2016 to 11.8% in 2017, and, now, at the end of January, 10.3%. The Monetary Policy Rate has also been falling from 25.5% in 2016 and now stands at 20%. The 91-day Treasury bill rate has also been falling from 16.4% in 2016 and now stands at 13.4%,” the President said.
However, President Akufo-Addo noted that banking lending rates still remained high, averaging between 31.7% and 29.3% within the same period.
“The gap between what is happening to the decline in inflation, and the lending rates being charged by the private sector, is a gap we have to bridge. And, if we are to give substantial complement to the vision that we all share, as a Ghana free and globally competitive economy, my challenge to you is to complement the efforts of my government, which is creating a more stable macro-economic framework, by bringing down lending rate,” he said.
The President continued, “I have said that I am in a hurry. I am in a hurry because the Ghanaian people are also in a hurry to see an improvement in the quality of their lives and, therefore, if we are ready to give an impetuous to the private sector in our country, lending rates must come down. And they need to come down as a matter of urgency.”
President Akufo-Addo made this known on Wednesday, 7th March, 2018, when he commissioned the $60 million new Ghana Head Office of Ecobank, in Accra.
The President stated that a strong commitment from a bank like Ecobank, “a leading bank in our country”, to tackle the anomaly of high bank lending rates “would be a very good signal to the others”.
He noted that a reduction in lending rates “would be the way we can grow our private sector, and enable it to create jobs and with all the other linkages, to grow into an enhancement of our general prosperity. So my challenge is for you to look at reducing lending rate as quickly as possible.”
President Akufo-Addo assured that a positive response to his appeal from banks would ensure that “I will definitely lend my voice to an improved banking culture that ensures that people pay back their loans.”
The President congratulated the promoters, the management and Board of Directors of EcoBank for the tremendous strides that have made over the years, typified by this new Ghana Head Office.
He noted that even though the Ecobank is a major pan African bank, the Ghanaian entity is the most profitable within the pan African context.
The Steering Committee of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP), has referred the investigation of a leaked tape of its Deputy General Secretary, Nana Obiri Boahen, to the Disciplinary Committee.
Nana Obiri Boahene, appeared before the party’s Steering Committee today Wednesday March 7 2018 to answer questions on some damaging allegations he made against his party in a leaked audio that has gone viral.
Sources say the deputy scribe defended the statements captured on the tape indicating that, it was heavily doctored to serve a political purpose.
The private legal practitioner had claimed that the presidency gave the party an amount of 50 billon cedis for its annual delegates conference in Cape Coast in 2017, a claim the NPP has since denied and described as ‘’palpable falsehood.’’
Mr. Boahen also claimed that despite playing a key role in NPP’s victory in the last general elections, he had been ignored since the party came into power.
The Minority in Parliament has called on the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta and the Governor of the Bank of Ghana, Dr. Ernest Kwamina Yedu Addison, to provide details of the true burden of cost of liquidation of Capital and UT Banks.
The caucus at a press conference today [Wednesday], also called government to assure Ghanaians that the end-2016 budget deficit has been adjusted as well as clarification on the consistent application of the rule on calculating commitments at the end of 2017.
They are also alleging that the tax payer will bear the cost of liquidation due to the way and manner the process was carried out.
According to the Minority, this will be done through the issuance of a GH₵1.6 billion bonds and therefore, want the Finance Minister and the Governor of the central bank to speak to the issue.
“We urge you, Hon. Minister and Governor, to respond immediately and explain the entire circumstances of the liquidation to Ghanaians, who will be forced to bear the brunt of the liquidation. This is contrary to the perception that the GCB Bank will absorb the loss as well as the policy prescription in the advanced countries where the burden of these costs are now to be put on shareholders and investors”, a letter dated March 5, 2018, and signed by the Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu, and the Ranking Member on the Finance Committee, Cassiel Ato Forson, in part read.
“We note that it is over two months since the 2018 Budget was read. We also observe that the Minister did not pronounce on the implications of the rule change and he has not done so to date. The Governor has also not pronounced on the matter in presenting MPC reports to Ghanaians. We wish to make a formal request on the matter to the Hon. Minister and the Governor, to appraise the Minority of the full implications of the rule change”, the letter in part further read.
They have also asked the Finance Minister and the Governor of the Bank of Ghana to make public the outcome of the audit done on the end-2016 budget deficit which in their opinion, has been adjusted.
Graphic Online can confirm that the Bank of Ghana (BoG) will later Wednesday denounce as null and void, the purported take over of ADB Bank [Agricultural Development Bank] by its counterpart indigenous lender, uniBank Ghana Limited.
The BoG’s position on the matter will be announced by the Governor, Dr Ernest Addison.
A source familiar with the BoG’s position on the matter said in confidence that the stance by the banking sector regulator is informed by the fact that uniBank as an entity does not have majority shares in ADB.
The decision by some shareholders of ADB to pledge their shares, proceeds, entitlement and voting rights to uniBank, leading to the alleged takeover was also not sanctioned by the BoG, the source added.
“The thing is uniBank does not, in their own, have majority shareholding in ADB but what happened was some shareholders of ADB promised to support uniBank at the board level.
“But if someone pledges to support you, do you go out there to say you have taken over a bank? But can you even take over a bank without permission from the regulator,” the source asked.
“You see the funny part, the regulator does not know anything about this; they had no faintest of ideas because nothing of that sort had come to their attention,” it added.
The source added that BoG’s position on the matter, expected before close of Wednesday March 7, will render the action of Belstar Capital, Starmount Development Company Limited, EDC Investments Limited and SIC-FSL – shareholders of ADB null and void.
Gladstorm Akwaboah Jnr known in showbiz circles as Akwaboah Jnr has revealed in an interview with Sokoohemaa, the host of the mid-morning drive on Rainbow Radio 87.5Fm that, he is not ready for a relationship anytime soon.
He stated that every relationship deserves some level of commitment but he is busy with his music career at the moment.
He went on to say that, every woman deserves attention and care and so, it will not be fair to enter into a relationship and not give the lady all of that.
The SarkCess Label signee, assured listeners that he will start dating or even get married, when his career reaches its peak
Akwaboah Jnr was signed onto the SarkCess Record Label in 2016.
He doubles as a songwriter and has written songs for artistes like Becca, Efya, S.P. Kofi Sarpong and many others.
He is also set to release his new album ‘’Matters of the Heart“soon.
By: Festus A. Hammond
A communications team member with the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP), Nana Asafo Agyei, has called on Ghanaians to congratulate President Akufo-Addo for reducing electricity tariffs, which was one of his major campaign promises.
Reacting to the announcement by the Public Utility Regulatory Commission (PURC), on the reduction of tariffs, the NPP communicator said, it calls for commendation.
He described the reductions as ‘’gargantuan and remarkable.’’
The PURC on Monday issued a statement announcing reduction in electricity tariffs effective March 15, 2018.
Residential customers per the new tariff cuts are to enjoy a 17.5% reduction, while non-residential customers will see tariffs cut by 30%.
Those in the mining sector have also been given a 10% tariff cut, and 25% cut for Special Load Tariff Customers (LV, MV & HV).
The opposition NDC has however pooh-poohed the announcement and alleged that, the PURC was bullied by government to reduce the tariffs.
But Asafo Agyei believes the unnecessary noise by the opposition is born out of mischief.
‘’The reduction was remarkable and in my honest opinion, the president and his appointees should be commended for reducing the tariffs. It has brought relief to Ghanaians. We never witnessed any reduction under Mahama but rather increment. That shows the difference between the NDC and NPP, and I think it would be prudent for the NDC to commend Nana Addo for fulfilling his promise,’’ he said.
He added, ‘’President Akufo-Addo is different from Mahama. We cannot compare Mahama to Nana Addo because they are two different individuals. President Akufo-Addo is someone who deliver on his promises whereas Mahama failed to deliver on his promises. This is a listening government; the NPP is a government that creates opportunities for the private sector to thrive. We have stabilized power in the country and further reduced electricity tariffs. Ghanaians should commend the PURC.''
He appealed to PURC to work hard to reduce water tariffs just like it has been done for electricity.
Former Deputy Chief Executive Officer for the Youth Enterprise Support, Prince-Derek Adjei has accused President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, of breaching the constitution of Ghana in order to protect the Chief Justice, Sophia Akuffo.
Speaking on Frontline on Rainbow Radio 87.5Fm, the communication team member of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), alleged that, the president is hiding a petition brought against the Chief Justice by some traditional leaders in La.
According to him, for some two weeks now, the president has failed to act upon the petition calling for the removal of the CJ from office.
The NDC communicator said the refusal by the president to act on the petition is against Article 146 (6) and 146 (7).
Article 146 (6) of Ghana’s constitution states that “Where the petition is for the removal of the Chief Justice, the President shall, acting in consultation with the Council of State, appoint a committee consisting of two Justices of the Supreme Court, one of whom shall be appointed chairman by the President, and three other persons who are not members of the Council of State, nor members of Parliament, nor lawyers”.
He was reacting to a Daily Post publication which has alleged that it has intercepted a petition by some seven persons from La who have petitioned the President for the removal of the Chief Justice.
According to the paper, the petitioners are Nii Yemoh Yemofio (Patapaa We), Prince Derick Nii Sowah Adjei (Akornor We), Nii Adjah Mensah (Anarhor), Rev Ben Tetteh Odoi (Yemo We(, Mathew Nii Okpoti Tetteh (Adjei Nkpa We), Ben Nii Adjei Mensah(Nmate Wansa We) and Nii Ozo Adjei Kwao.
The petition is dated February 14, 2018 and is titled PETITION FOR THE REMOVAL OF THE CHIEF JUSTICE HER LADYSHIP SOPHIA ABENA BAFO AKUFFO.
Prince-Derek Adjei has therefore challenged the president to make public the petition and stop hiding it in the Flagstaff House.
The petitioners say their action is based on a petition signed by Nii Dr. Kpobi Tettey Tsuru III (La Mantse) and copied the Chief of Staff notifying the Attorney General about a pending law suit by the La Traditional Council against the Ministry of Land & Natural Resources and the Lands Commission over the “Irregularities and clandestine compulsory acquisition of La Stool Lands and the unlawful usage, development and granting of Leases for valuable consideration to third parties and its effects on Peace and tranquility of the La locality and National Security in the first year after the 2016 Presidential elections.”
According to the seven, the lawsuit will be in the courts of Ghana presided over by the Chief Justice Sophia Abena Boafoa Akuffo, a situation they hold is an avoidable situation which could lead to a travesty of justice because she is documented as being one of the persons who bought the said lands, an 0.28acre State land at the Cantonments Residential area in La, which is documented as one she purchased at a price of GH ¢7,000 as part of a transaction undertaken by the Lands Commission under circumstances that have been described severally as “corrupt”, “fraudulent” and “toffee & kelewele” by various state officials including the current Lands Minister [Hon. John Peter Amewu] and a former Lands Minister [Hon. Inusah Fuseini] publicly.
According to the seven, “If confirmed, it will make the Chief Justice unfit to hold that office and be a fair arbiter in cases relating in particular to La Lands, which lands she has been cited as being a beneficiary of, under circumstances described as fraudulent and corrupt.”
The petitioners are also requesting the President “…in accordance with Article 146 (10) (a)…to sign the warrant to suspend the Chief Justice pending the outcome of the inquiry; mindful of the enormous power of the Supreme Court headed by the Chief Justice in exercising the final judicial power vested in it with jurisdiction in all civil and criminal matters [including Land Courts, Land Cases and interpretation of Constitutional provisions regarding land ownership, acquisition and related issues by the Supreme Court], in order to avoid any possibility of interference of the process pending completion of the inquiry and without prejudice to any recommendations from the Committee.”
By(rainbowradionline.com with additional files from Daily Post)
Highlife artiste Akwaboah Jnr has appealed to his fans and Ghanaians in general to exercise patience with him because his style of music is extremely difficult to promote.
The musician and songwriter in 2016, signed onto SarkCess Music Label owned by BET award winner, Sarkodie.
However, after almost two years of signing onto the label, Akwaboah Jnr who is originally known as Gladstone Akwaboah Jnr, has been lambasted for failing to churn out hit tracks.
But speaking to Sokoo Hemaa Kukua on Rainbow Radio 87.5Fm, Akwaboah Jnr said, his style of music is difficult to promote as compared to the danceable tunes which are less difficult to promote.
He described Sarkodie as a good person and someone who has impacted positively into his musical career.
He told the host that, Sarkodie has invested heavily into his career and has also encouraged him to believe in himself.
Sarkodie he revealed invested over ghc30, 000 into shooting his music video without necessarily asking him to get the money back ‘’because he [Sarkodie] knows it takes a lot of years to promote my type of music. Record labels usually looks for artistes who can release hit songs so they get their profits in three months but Sarkodie, is not like that. He understands the kind of music I do. He is still investing in me. The kind of songs I do take time to promote, I cannot compete with those who do danceable tunes. So I will entreat my fans to understand that I am working hard. We are working,’’ he added.
Musician, songwriter and performer, Gladstrom Kwabena Akwaboah Jnr. known by his stage name Akwaboah Jnr. Has revealed on Rainbow Radio 87.5Fm that, female musician Becca, did not pay him a pesewa for the hit track, ‘Daa Ke Daa’ which he wrote for her.
Speaking in an exclusive interview with Sokoo Hemaa Kukua, on the mid-morning show, the musician and performer said, he failed to commercialize his works because he was ignorant in the past.
He was however quick to add that, he has now acquired the knowledge and he is no longer writing songs for free again.
According to Akwaboah Jnr. all the musicians he wrote hit songs for did not pay him a pesewa including Becca.
‘’When I wrote ‘Da Ke Daa’ for Becca, I did not have the knowledge on how to commercialize my works. But I have the knowledge now so I am no longer writing songs for free. Becca did not pay for ‘Daa Ke Daa’. At the time I wrote the song, I was not aware about the commercial aspect. I was only interested in writing hit songs for the musicians to perform. All I wanted to do was to get a song out there. Becca only performed ‘Daa Ke Daa’, it was not her original work,’’ he said.
When asked if he would be demanding for payment from the musicians he wrote for, Akwaboah Jnr. said, ‘’If I want to demand for money, I can do so. They have to pay me for my work.’’
He further revealed that, Efya, did not also pay for the ‘Best In Me’ song which he wrote for her to perform.