General Secretary of the opposition National Democratic Congress ( NDC ), Johnson Asiedu Nketia , has hinted that , the party will reverse any decision by his government to ratify the agreement allowing the United States forces , to establish a ‘military base ‘ in the country.
Addressing the media at a press conference on the issue, he said, the NDC will suspend the agreement should it assume office in 2020.
The chief scribe of the NDC told the media that the agreement will expose Ghana to threats and possible attacks by terrorists groups when ratified.
He also alleged that the president is in a haste to ratify the agreement because of the praise showered on him by the US Ambassador to Ghana, Robert P. Jackson, who said in a recent interview said that, Nana Addo is more visionary than any recent leader in Ghana.
The agreement he added will also expose Ghana to religious instability because the US has always blamed terrorist attacks to Islam.
Ghana he stressed is a sovereign state and the agreement when ratified, will make the country a puppet of the US government.
Founder of the All People’s Congress (APC), Hassan Ayariga, has called on civil society groups, the Catholic Bishops Conference and other bodies to speak against the Ghana and US military pact agreement.
Addressing a press conference today [Thursday], the political leader posited that, the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP), is selling Ghana’s sovereignty to the US government.
He questioned the benefits Ghana will derive from the agreement and has also raise issues with the $20 million money that would be allocated to government by the US government.
‘’I am patiently waiting for the Civil Society Organizations, The Christian Council of Ghana, the Catholic Bishops Conference and other voices of conscience to speak against this sale of our sovereignty to foreigners and I hope they will do as they did in the past. This time we should not watch animals on TV, our national sovereignty is at stake! With this agreement we shall become 21st Century slaves. We must match to Parliament to protest and stop the ratification of this nonsense.
Our so called great men and women in power have sold out Ghana to Americans,
We have invited the Americans to re-colonized us, (neocolonialism). Mr. President you need to cancelled the celebration of our independence, because we have lost our rights and freedom, once again Danquah Busia tradition has sold out our sovereignty for nothing.
On this note I wish to thank you for your attention. May God bless our homeland Ghana and make us bold to defend forever the cause of freedom and of right…and help us to resist oppressor’s rule with all our will and might forever more,’’ he added.
According to him, ‘’ It is time we think as a nation to safeguard our sovereignty and national interest and security. This must not be politics as usual and our traditional hypocrisy. The NDC and the NPP confuse Ghanaians. When NDC brought the GITMO-2, NPP opposed it and later supported it and now they are here permanently. Now the NDC is against this agreement while the NPP is vehemently defending it. In principle I am totally against the intervention of US security forces in Ghana. The Defence Minister, Dominic Nitiwul have woefully failed to convince Ghanaians he is competent for our Ministry of Defense.’’
The deal he said will expose Ghana to terrorism, expose our nation to international threats, and compromise our national security.
He is also of the view that, the agreement when approved will be the beginning of the legalization of same-sex activities.
Read Below the seven points he raised:
1. Ghana does not need the intervention of American troops to fight terror or wars, the crime rate in America is worse than any country in the world.
2. The intervention of American forces or bases in Ghana will expose our nation to international threats and terrorism.
3. It is the beginning of gays and lesbians in our schools, societies, churches and our communities and we must stop it by all means.
4. American military base or whatever they call it in Ghana will compromise our national security and our national sovereignty.
5. Ghana will be a transit of American security forces to engage in all fields of terror activities.
6. Americans deported over 1,000,000:00 Ghanaians over the years back to Ghana without considering its security implication to the deportees and Ghana, but today our security is of utmost importance to the American people? Mr president and Mr minister please come again with something better.
7. Ghanaians are denied visas to American and you Mr. minister thinks they have your country and people at heart? The only time you see America offering to do something for Africans is when they benefits more than you.
The laying of the controversial Ghana and the United States military pact agreement has been put on hold following disagreements between the Majority and Minority in Parliament.
Rainbow Radio’s Parliamentary correspondent, Naa Darkuah Dodoo reported that, whereas the Majority’s side claimed the report was ready to be laid before the House, the Minority disagreed.
The Speaker subsequently ruled that, the report be skipped and laid later when the two come sides come a consensus.
The National Democratic Congress (NDC) Bia East MP, Mr. Richard Acheampong, has taken a swipe at Finance Minister, Ken Ofori Atta.
He opines that the minister is collapsing the financial sector.
He was reacting to the decision by the Bank of Ghana (BoG) to hand over management of uniBank to KPMG.
The Governor of the Bank of Ghana, Dr. Ernest Addison, says uniBank is currently insolvent.
Addressing a press conference in Accra, Dr. Ernest Addison stated that, KPMG has been appointed to manage the bank to save it from collapse.
‘’Section 107 of Act 930 empowers the Bank of Ghana to appoint an Official Administrator to take official control of a bank when its capital adequacy ratio (CAR) has fallen below 50% of the required minimum of 10% (i.e. below 5%). Under section 108 of Act 930, the Official Administrator is authorized to exercise a variety of powers to rehabilitate and return the bank to regulatory compliance within a period of six months, at the end of which the bank will be returned to private ownership and management…. The bank has failed to submit its monthly returns to the Bank of Ghana for January and February 2018, and as a result Bank of Ghana has no evidence to suggest that its CAR has been restored to the regulatory minimum of 10%,’’ the governor said.
But reacting to the takeover, the legislator said the decision by the Central Bank to hand over management of the private bank to KPMG will indirectly collapse the bank.
He also said the bank will be hit by panic withdrawals due to the announcement by the BoG and when that happens, the bank may suffer serious challenges in releasing depositors’ fund.
‘’Allowing KPMG to take over management has indirectly collapsed the bank because nobody will deposit at the bank again. No investor will deposit his money at the bank,’’ he said.
He is also alleging that the takeover was fueled by the announcement by uniBank to takeover ADB.
The BoG has said, uniBank in making that move, did not comply with the necessary laid down procedures as required by Act 930 for acquiring significant shares or exercising control by virtue of a transaction.
“More recently, the bank’s [Unibank’s] announcement of a purported pledge of ADB Bank shares in its favour by its shareholders to secure commitments for recapitalization, were deemed by the Bank of Ghana to be null and void as no prior approval had been obtained from the Bank of Ghana as required by Act 930 for acquiring significant shares in a bank or exercising other forms of control by virtue of any transaction,’’ the governor said.
But reacting to the issues, the MP said the BoG connived with the Finance Ministry to collapse uniBank because the bank was in a tango with the central bank over 10 percent shares in ADB.
‘’The Central Bank and the Finance Ministry deliberately collapsed uniBank because of the 10 percent shares in ADB,’’ stressed.
A lecturer at the Faculty of Law and International Relations is advocating for the immediate dismissal of Defence Minister, Dominic Nitiwul for exhibiting lack of understanding on the Ghana, US military pact agreement.
Professor Kwame Agyenim-Boateng, believes the minister has been inconsistent in his explanations surrounding the issue.
The Defence Minister has disputed claims that the US seeks to establish a military base in Ghana.
“It’s not a military base. We don’t even have enough space in the agreed area for them to put up big structures. It’s just around the airport area,” he stated.
According to Nitiwul, it is only a facility to camp US soldiers in the country saying “they will not be stationed here.”
The Government of Ghana has sent to Parliament for ratification, a Memorandum of Understanding on defence cooperation between Ghana and the United States, to give the Americans some space in the country to set up a camp for its military forces.
The minister has revealed the document has been in his custody for 8 months and went through renegotiations and cabinet approval awaiting parliamentary approval.
But Professor Boateng says the minister has insulted Ghanaians with his explanations and refusal to accept that, the US is seeking to establish a military base.
‘’If Dominic Nitiwul is incompetent, then he should be relieved of his post. You are trading our sovereignty and you are justifying it? Don’t we have sensible people in this country? They [leaders] should tread cautiously,’’ he told Kwame Tutu on Rainbow Radio 87.5Fm.
Dominic Nitiwul has also clarified the tax exemption part of the agreement saying it is in the best interest of the US military.
“If you give them a building it is up to them to be able to make some corrections in the building to suit the purpose which they are looking for. Military buildings and military purpose vehicles are different from the civilian ones. So if you give them a building or facility, they deserve the right to bring in contractors to make sure that they correct it to the standard they are looking for. And they are saying that when the contractors are working here in Ghana and they are bringing facilities in, Ghanaians should not take tax from them.”
He said the US government has established such facilities in over 50 countries in the world with Ghana being second in Africa after Senegal.
But Professor Boateng says the agreement smacks common senseless and an insult to citizens of the republic.
International Relations expert, Prof. Kwame Agyenim Boateng, has said Ghana’s sovereignty would be mortgaged if parliament ratifies the US, Ghana pact agreement.
Speaking to Kwame Tutu on Rainbow Radio 87.5Fm, the lecturer at the Kings University College, Faculty of Law and International Relations Department said, the agreement is faulty because it has no time limit.
In his view, the Defence Minister lacks understanding of the issues surrounding the agreement and because of that, he is dabbling in a pool of confusion.
‘’There is no limit and is extremely worrying. How can you agree on something without time limit? If you are going to agree with someone on something, and there is no limit, then you do not have to sign the agreement,’’ he stated.
The US ‘military base’ will be cited near Ghana’s International Airport.
When approved, the US Forces will have full control of the facility.
Cabinet approved the MoU on March 8, 2018, and recommended that Parliament ratify the agreement to allow the US forces and their equipment unhindered access in Ghana.
In the agreement, the US military force will among other things, be exempted from paying tax on equipment to be brought into Ghana and will also be given the chance to use Ghana’s radio spectrum free of charge.
Reacting to this, the professor described it as a worrying situation because if in the future, we want to expand our airport, we will not be able to it because of this agreement.
‘’You are a sovereign country and you are allowing such an agreement? This is not a diplomatic package but a bad deal. Every country is a sovereign state and we should not allow another country to joke with our sovereignty. This is a bad agreement. It will not benefit the country. We should consider our national interest and not treat this issue in a partisan manner.’’
The Minority in Parliament has issued a statement in reaction to the decision by the Bank of Ghana (BoG) to take over the management of private ban, uniBank.
The Minority in the statement has challenged government to come out with a comprehensive report on the takeover.
The statement said ‘’ There has been a lack of openness in the ad hoc Statements on Capital and UT Banks, especially after the government failed to take the opportunity of the presentation of the 2018 Budget to inform Ghanaians about the IMF's imposition to borrow or issue Bonds to pay depositors and, thereby, increasing Ghana's public debt.’’
Read Below the full statement
MINORITY STATEMENT ON BANK OF GHANA TAKEOVER OF UNIBANK
The Minority caucus in Parliament has received with apprehension, news of the takeover of uniBank by Bank of Ghana (BOG) and the appointment of KPMG to manage its affairs for a period of six months. Pending a comprehensive assessment of the situation, we wish to issue the following cautionary statement:
TIME FOR BOG TO COME CLEAN
A) The Minority calls on Bank of Ghana to take immediate steps to furnish Ghanaians with a comprehensive update on the situation in the Banking and Financial Sector. This will afford deeper understanding of events and the decision-making processes resulting in the liquidation or takeover of Banks since the Akufo Addo government came to power.
B) Our call for the Government to come clean with a more comprehensive position is based on the following:
(i) So far, BOG has been adhoc, not proactive, in issuing its case-by-case Statements;
(ii) There has been a lack of openness in the ad hoc Statements on Capital and UT Banks, especially after the government failed to take the opportunity of the presentation of the 2018 Budget to inform Ghanaians about the IMF's imposition to borrow or issue Bonds to pay depositors and, thereby, increasing Ghana's public debt; and
(iii) By BOG's own admission, the Central Bank and MOF also failed to make full disclosures in the Budget of public funds being used to provide support to the banking sector compared with the approach the Mahama administration took on ESLA.
GOVERNMENT SHOULD STOP THE DECEIPT
C) We urge the Government, its Ministers and officials, and surrogates to stop creating the impression that assets by these Banks are being auctioned or sold to pay depositors.
D) It is now certain that the IMF Resident Representative in Ghana would not have granted an interview to support the issuing of Bonds if estimates (of the proceeds of sales of assets) by the Fund, the Ministry of Finance (MOF) and BOG were deemed to be sufficient to settle the liabilities.
E) As the IMF noted, the expectation is that the net liability will be settled with a sovereign Bond, to be repaid by the taxpayer.
EXPLAIN RECENT BIZARRE DEVELOPMENTS
F) It appears that uniBank has been a target for a while, with BOG now confirming hints from the grapevine of liquidation or a bail-out. Was it deliberate to delay adding the Bank to the measures taken on Capital Bank and UT? Has the delay and lack of openness by BOG not rather worsened the situation of the Bank?
G) Against this background, the Minority calls on BOG and MOF to avoid further delays in coming out to fully explain the recent bizarre developments involving uniBank, Belstar, and ADB Bank.
H) The Bank of Ghana appears to know about the weak state of, and non-cooperation by, uniBank; which makes it surprising that the Bank and MOF (with a Minister who was giving loan directives to ADB) were not aware of the major developments in the background on the ADB deal. It is important for BOG to fully explain the public pronouncements of the takeover of ADB.
I) Why has BOG appointed an Administrator for uniBank when the latter was sure it could raise funds to take over ADB through Belstar? Was the pledge and promise to bring in funds to take over ADB a hoax?
ROLE OF IMF
J) The BOG and MOF should explain to Ghanaians if the IMF gave the final push on uniBank, when the Staff decided to defer taking the 5th ECF Program Review to the Board.
K) Does the support of the IMF Resident Representative on Bond issue extend to uniBank?
L) We ask these questions of the IMF because it has suddenly stopped issuing exit Statements after Staff visits and reviews. We also note the delays in posting Staff Reports on Ghana on its Website. Further, we note the stoppage of regular interviews to Ghanaian journalist by its External Relations Unit on the Ghanaian economy.
M) If unibank has always been in the works, then it is time for MOF and BOG to let Ghanaians know about the full amount of Bonds to be added to the Public Debt.
N) We take note of the assurances to Depositors by BOG and the Administrators. In urging calm, the Minority also takes note of the assurances by the President of the Association of Bankers that the ESLA initiative has substantially stabilized the financial situation of many Banks in the country. We are also mindful and have taken note of the interview granted to the Media by the 2nd Deputy Governor, about the plan to resolve the uniBank crisis in six (6) months.
O) The Minority urges MOF and BOG to explain the full situation to Ghanaians, failing which it will compel the Minister and Governor to appear promptly before the House to do the right thing.
Cassiel Ato Forson
Ranking Member, Finance Committee of Parliament, Ghana
Wednesday, 21st March, 2018
The minister of Education, Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh has announced a partnership between the Ministry of Education and the Varkey Foundation, aimed at improving the skills of thousands of school leaders across Ghana.
“Having achieved access to education for all those qualified across Ghana, our priority focus is now to improve the quality of education for students to ensure they have the knowledge and skills they need to compete on a global stage,” Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh said.
He added, “We recognize the expertise the Varkey Foundation has in this area, through their work in Ghana to improve the learning outcomes of students across the country, and their school leadership development projects across the world, and we look forward to partnering with them to raise the capacity of school leaders in Ghana.”
The leadership training programme which is set to commence in June, will combine intensive face-to-face training to school leaders with supported periods back in school to apply new practices, with core training modules which are designed to create leaders with the skills and competencies to drive continuous school improvement.
The partnership, which was announced during the plenary session of the just ended Global Education and Skills Forum in Dubai, will build on Varkey Foundation’s four years of work in Ghana and its teacher and school leadership training programmes in Argentina and Uganda, to address the Ministry’s priority of training all in-service and aspiring school leaders to be able to manage their schools effectively.