Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta has said the former National Democratic Congress (NDC) derailed the IMF programme before the current administration took over.
In his opening at the 2018 mid-year budget review presentation in Parliament toady [Thursday], the minister touted the achievement of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) saying emphatically that, the Nana Addo led administration has brought the economy back on its feet.
Supporting his statement with comments from the IMF the Finance Minister said, in 2015, the NDC government had sought and received approval to bring in the IMF to redeem them from the economic stress they have put the country into…In October 2016, after one and half under the programme, this was the IMF’s assessment of their performance and I quote ‘’economic outlook remains difficult and fiscal challenges are mounting. The growth outlook for 2016 and 2017 has weakened, revenues are under performing and the deteriorated financial situation of some SMEs in the energy sector is posing fiscal risk…Domestic revenues are under performing reflecting lower than expected projected oil prices, weak economic activities of lower business profits and personal incomes as well as lower than expected revenue impact from several measures implemented so far.’’
Mr Ofor-Atta said the assessment came as no surprise because the NPP government inherited an economy in distress.
The government he lamented inherited a debt over hand which has exceeded 73 per cent of our GDP, GDP growth which had declined to 3.7 per cent, the lowest in three years.
The prudent management by the current administration brought the IMF programme back on track after it derailed under NDC and after ‘’one year of managing the economy, the same IMF had this to say in April 2018 and I quote, ‘’implementation of the ECS supported programme has significantly improved in 2017. Growth has rebounded; the fiscal deficit has declined leading to a primary surplus for the first time in 15 years…The external position has strengthened generating a buildup of external buffers and key steps have been taken to address fragilities in the financial sector. Reforms should continue to entrench these hard won gains.’’
Ghana entered into a three-year programme with the IMF on April 3, 2015 for an Extended Credit Facility of about 955.2 million dollars over the period.
The programme among others aims to restore debt sustainability and macroeconomic stability in the country to foster a return to high growth and job creation, while protecting social spending.
Rehabilitation works on the Accra-Nsawam Railway line is expected to be completed by December 2019, the Minister of Railways Development, Joe Ghartey has announced.
Appearing before Parliament yesterday [Wednesday] The Minister said passenger and light train service will be restored by December this year.
The rehabilitation contract which was signed in 2017, was awarded to the Ghana Railways Company and valued at GHc15,034 million.
But the Minister told Parliamentarians that the contract had to be extended due to unforeseen circumstances.
He particularly made reference to the difficulty related to acquisition of treated wooden sleepers.
He said, ‘’the acceptable quality of the sleepers could not be obtained in Ghana. An offer from the United States of America also proved unsuitable. Suitably treated wooden sleepers were identified in China. An order has placed and the sleepers will be delivered by August 2018.’’
The Minister also lamented the deterioration of the formation, caused in some cases by human activity.
‘’The ballast will be replaced and all rotten sleepers will be replaced. The formation will be restored where it has been destroyed. The existing stations will also be rehabilitated under this rehabilitation programme.’’
“Mr Speaker, the evaluation of the responses to the request for qualification has been completed and 14 firms have been invited to participate in the final stage of the procurement process which is Request for Proposals. The communication for Request for Proposals was issued to the successful bidders on Thursday 12th July 2018 and the deadline for response is August 27th 2018,” he told Parliament as an answer to questions posed by Frank Annoh-Dompre.
He continued, “Mr Speaker, after this, Government shall commence the process of negotiation with the successful bidder. It is intended that the agreement with the successful bidder will be concluded in or before October 2018 and presented to Parliament for approval. Soon, thereafter the construction of the new standard gauge Eastern Rail Line will commence.”
The Ghana Association of Administration Management (GAPAM) has organized a workshop on the role of public sector to achieve sustainable development goals with the aim of ending poverty in the country by 2030.
Sustainable development goals are worldwide goals to ensure peace, end poverty and to ensure sustainability on earth. To achieve these goals, it involves people, she stressed.
The President of GAPAM, Dr. Gifty Oforiwaa Gyamera further said that, they will work hand in hand with the public-sector workers to develop a universal aim to end poverty, protect the lives and properties as well as ensuring peace and prosperity for all Ghanaians by 2030.
Adding, she stated that the public sector directly provides needed goods to enhance these achievement goals so by 2030, they are certain to have attained these sustainable development goals with their cooperation with the public-sector workers.
To achieve this, we believe that there is the need to equip them with skills, knowledge and capacity to be able to meet the sustainable development goals. We need to harness all our efforts together with these key players to meet our goals, she stated.
By: Priscilla Obeng Asantewaa (Intern, Rainbow Radio)
President Nana Akufo-Addo has eulogised the late Nelson Mandela for his dynamism and hard work.
The Ghanaian leader in his speech to commemorate the late South African leader said although he became president at an older age, he was a great leader.
‘’President Nelson Mandela, in government, was an inspiration. He made much of being an old man, and he was 76, when he became president. But his period in office was marked with dynamism and hard work. He led by example, and could point to concrete achievements,’’ he said.
The president in his speech said made reference to a statement the official biographer of the late leader said about the late African leader.
He said: According to Anthony Sampson, Mandela’s official biographer, by the end of his administration, and I quote: “three million people were connected to telephone lines and safe drinking water, 1.5 million children were brought into the education system, 500 clinics were upgraded or built, two million people were connected to the electricity grid and 750,000 houses were built providing shelter for nearly three million people.”
He opined that, ‘’these are impressive figures by any standard, and the infrastructure developments would be cited forever, but I believe the area that would demonstrate the greatest impact of Mandela would be in his style of leadership.
He added: ‘’It was often said that the biggest problem with Mandela was he was too willing to see the good in other people. He did not deny this, but the answer he gave is worth recounting here.’’
President Akufo-Addo further said: ‘’ But Mandela was not a naïve man. Just as he insisted that he was not a saint, he knew that even the best of men would often succumb to the temptations of office. Let me recall here what he said on this, and I quote: “history never stops to play tricks even with seasoned and world-famous freedom fighters. Frequently, erstwhile revolutionaries have easily succumbed to greed, and the tendency to divert public resources for personal enrichment ultimately overwhelmed them. By amassing vast personal wealth, and by betraying the noble objectives which made them famous, they virtually deserted the masses of the people and joined the former oppressors, who enriched themselves by mercilessly robbing the poorest of the poor.”
In other words, whereas he would treat everyone from the perspective that that they were men of integrity and honour, he was well aware that the best of them often succumbed to greed, and enriched themselves from public funds.’’
Obaatanhene of Gomoa Buduburam in the Gomoa East District of the Central region, Nana Ekow Amoasi I and the some unit committee members in the area have apprehended seven minors engaging in prostitution.
The girls who are between the ages of 12 and 15 years parade the streets of the Buduburam camp selling their bodies to clients and offering sex in exchange for money and other benefits.
Speaking in an interview with Nyankonton Mu Nsem on Rainbow Radio 87.5Fm, the chief said he has served notice to some young people in the area who engage in smoking and the sex trade to stop but all provide futile.
He lamented that, some of these activities are carried out in front of his palace and that was something he frowned upon.
The traditional ruler said he had to mobilize support and that was what led to the arrest of the minors.
“The girls go and chase after men in the evening for sex and I have instructed that their cubicles be destroyed. The area is gradually turning into a hub of prostitution and other acts that society frowns upon and I will not sit unconcerned,’’ he stated.
The Chairman of pro-New Patriotic Party (NPP) vigilante group, Delta Force, Kojo Fosu Bamba has challenged the Ashanti regional Police Command to conduct proper investigation into the killing of some seven suspected robbers some few days ago.
Three of the suspected robbers have identified as members of the Delta Force and its chairman has also confirmed on Rainbow Radio 87.Fm that, the three identified provided security for the party at the recently held delegates’ conference in Koforidua.
Seven suspected armed robbers were on Tuesday afternoon gunned down by a team of personnel from the Ashanti Regional Police SWAT Unit at Poano near Anhwiakwanta on the Kumasi-Obuasi road.
The gun-wielding robbers, believed to belong to a gang who killed the late Lance Corporal Daniel Tieku of the SWAT Unit, last week (June 11, 2018), in one of their operations, were said to have attempted to open fire on the police as they approached them.
But Bamba told Kwame Tutu on Frontline on Rainbow Radio 87.5Fm that, the three are not known robbers rather members of the Delta Force who were providing security for the NPP.
‘’We were with them in Koforidua. One of them was providing security for one of the candidates who contested the Nasaara Coordinator position. We know them. We cannot deny them because they are dead.’’
‘’The police claims the three were armed robbers but we disagree. We have not witnessed or seen them engaging in robbery before. And so, we will appeal to the police to launch an investigation into the matter. I will not fault the police until they have been able to conclude an investigation into the case. We [Delta Force] has also launched an investigation into the matter and if it is established that they were armed robbers, we will hand over everything to God and if it turns out that they were not armed robbers, we will also hand over everything to God.’’
He however, called for calm and advised members to desist from taking the law into their own hands and rather allow the police to conduct proper investigation into the matter.
‘’Do not take the law into your own hands and misbehave. Allow the police to probe the matter. If you misbehave, we will assist the police to arrest you,’’ he warned.
The Chairman of pro-New Patriotic Party (NPP) vigilante group, Delta Force, Kojo Fosu Bamba has commended General Secretary and National Organizer in the persons of John Boadu and Sammy Awuku respectively for their immense support.
In an interview with Kwame Tutu on Rainbow Radio 87.5Fm, Fosu Bamba said the party has not neglected them after winning political power.
He told the host the party has supported them and the party’s National Organizer and General Secretary have been of immense support.
He was responding to a series of questions posed by the host of Frontline and whether they have achieved the aim for which they supported the NPP during the 2016 campaign period.
According to him, they supported the NPP because it is the only party with better policies to create opportunities for every Ghanaian. The legacy of former President Kufour he indicated provided opportunities for young people and so, we supported Nana Addo because we knew he was to improve upon what Kufour did.''
‘’We are been treated well. The party has not disappointed us. To tell you the truth, Sammy Awuku and John Boadu are taking good care of us…Our aim was to support the NPP because we wanted a party to turn the fortunes of the country around. We were hopeful that Nana Addo will deliver on his promises,’’ he stated.
The Member of Parliament for Asawase in the Ashanti region, Muntaka Mubarak has called for an end to the ‘’shoot and kill approach’’ by the police because it is becoming ‘’unacceptable.
Reacting to the killing of some 7 suspected armed robbers in the region few days ago, the legislator in a statement condemned the act and indicated that, information he has gathered on the matter dos not add up.
He is therefore calling on the Vice President who is the chairman for the Police Council to intervene.
‘’ I hereby call on the Vice President (Chairman of the Police Council), the Minister for National Security, the Interior Minister and the Attorney General to constitute an independent committee to investigate the case and present the reality of what led to the sudden shooting of the young men in our quest to getting justice delivered to them and their families; a call that should not be undermined.’’
THE POLICE MUST COME CLEARER; THE SHOOT TO KILL APPROACH IS BECOMING UNACCEPTABLE
I received the news of the painful demise of seven (7) youngmen from my constituency, who have been confirmed shot and dead by the police yesterday, with absolute dismay and pain.
I wish to first of all register my deepest condolences to friends and families of all the seven (7) persons shot by the police. I further assured them of my full support to ensure that thorough investigation is carried out and the perpetrators of this act, if established, are brought to book.
Since the occurrence of the incident last night, I have interacted with sections of my constituents and some family members of the deceased persons. The information I have garnered so far, frankly, are not adding-up as to the real cause of this shooting. This raises a lot of question for me as their MP, the community and Ghanaians at large.
I hereby call on the Vice President (Chairman of the Police Council), the Minister for National Security, the Interior Minister and the Attorney General to constitute an independent committee to investigate the case and present the reality of what led to the sudden shooting of the young men in our quest to getting justice delivered to them and their families; a call that should not be undermined.
The police must come clearer, because their shoot to kill approach to handling issues is unacceptable and affecting many people who are considered innocent.
In recent times, there have been several of such cases that affected families who are yet to come to terms with their losses; I know very well that the police can do better than they are doing now.
As I call on the authorities to investigate the matter, I hereby appeal to the residents of Asawase especially the youth to remain calm and peaceful as we follow the due process to demand justice for our brothers who have lost their lives. I appeal to all to refrain from any action that has the tendency of escalating the existing tension in the community.
I assure you that I will leave no stone unturned in demanding justice for our lost brothers.
I pray for Allah’s mercy for our brothers.
Hon. Muntaka M. Mubarak