Seth Terkper writes: Reversal of BoG’s stance on budget deficit-financing

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Columnist: Seth Terkper

During the decade-long Global Financial and other crisis from 2008, BOG did not apply any of its fiscal powers under the Act 612. On the contrary, the BOG and IMF curtailed access to Banks funding under Act 612 during Phase I of the IMF ECF Program, even as the economic plight worsened.

The causes were (a) the Global Financial (2008); (b) disruption in gas supply from WAGPI (Nigeria) that created a major power (“dumsor”) crisis; and (c) aggravating the adverse budget overruns from implementing the 2008 Single-Spine Pay Policy (SSPP) (2010 to 2014). The economy declined further with the fall in crude oil prices from late-2014 to 2016, with a slump in Ghana’s GDP growth rate but not recession as other SSA states. The recovery under ECF Phase II came in 2017, under the current government, with crude oil exports from two (2) new oilfields (Sankofa and TEN) and recovery in its price.

Throughout these problems, BOG cautioned against “fiscal dominance” of monetary policy and was key enforcer of the “zero-financing” rule under the ECF Program. It prepared the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with MOF (ECF Prior Action or PC) to ensured that BoG will not extend a hand during the economic and fiscal crisis—not even use the 5 percent liquidity support under Act 612 to pay the one-time single-spine arrears.

IMF missions also insisted on accessing equally harsh domestic and external financial markets to pay for the deficit (ECF Prior Action or Pperformance Criteria). Ironically, this was required for the IMF to release the next tranche for BOG balance of payment (BOP) support, under market conditions that had to do with the OPEC crude oil price pressures and second BRIC-led crisis (2014-16), when Brazil, China and India (and most SSA states) went into recession. It was then that Ghana floated its 2015 Sovereign Bond at the highest interest rate of 10.75 percent.

2. Reversing BOG’s fiscal stance

Hence, the reversal of BOG fiscal stance beyond COVID-19 fiscal needs defies IMF and BOG caution on “fiscal dominance” and “zero-financing”. In fact, under ECF Phase 1, MOF did not bow to intense pressure to “sweep” the Sinking Fund to lower the budget deficit. Between 2015 and 2017, Ghana used the Fund to redeem US$550 million of the 2007 (US$750) Sovereign Bond to avoid default and expensive rollover. The current Government used US$200 million of the US$550 million to redeem the final balance on October 4, 2017. It also drew down US$250 million in May 2020 from the Stabilization Fund for COVID-19 support, a quarter of the IMF’s RCF US$1 billion loan. Therefore, the current government becomes the main beneficiary of the petroleum (PFMA) fiscal buffers and stabilizers—to which it did not add much despite inhering three (3) from 2017, compared one (1) oil field between 2011 and 2016.

1. Will BOG’s fiscal stance also be permanent

The issue is not about measures that respond to the COVID-19 crisis; the concern is the government’s poor record of making temporary measures permanent—and adhering to the PRMA. The following are concrete examples:

Petroleum buffers and stabilizers

Since 2017, GOG has failed to use two (2) additional oil fields to improve the PRMA buffers. It has (a) not accounted well for the stabilization fund; (b) spent the budget funds (ABFA) mainly on consumption; (c) not retired a single external bond from the sinking fund—despite a low cap that brought in significant flows; (d) not replenished the contingency fund; and (e ) not paid anything into the Ghana Infrastructure Investment Fund (GIIF).

Temporary “nuisance” taxes

GOG did not make the temporary levies lapse, despite calling them “nuisance” taxes and promising to end them from 2017. Since the Rawlings era, past governments use the Budget process for the temporary import duty and fiscal (corporate income tax [CIT]) stabilization levy. As austerity measures, they imposed them during “hard” times and used discretion to return to Parliament to remove them during recovery or in “good” times.

The current levies became effective in 2013, with gradual removal before the 2014 to 2016 global crisis—with certainty to make them lapse in 2017 with new fiscal flows from the TEN and Sankofa oil fields. Despite taking over these fields and Jubilee as well as a recovery in crude oil prices, the current government did not let the taxes lapse. Further, on taxes, it has blocked most VAT Input Tax Credit (ITC) that is due to registered VAT businesses and raised personal income taxes (PIT) on households, resulting in higher consumer prices and tax burden.

ESLA extended to 15 years and beyond

Parliament passed the Energy Sector Levies Act (ESLA) in November 2015, with the energy and enhanced road levies, to resolve high levels of arrears that affect the banking sector. ESLA was to lapse within 3-to-5 years, which was the repayment period for the first ESLA restructuring loans with 15 domestic banks. Since 2018, the duration for the levy depends on the refinancing of some ESLA Bonds for about 15 years.

Given this background, the large fiscal gap could keep BOG’s funding over a long period. The Minister’s Statement is vague on the period of deferral for MOF’s interest payment obligations to BOG, as “… 2022 and beyond”. Parliament could should set a “renewable sunset date” for proper monitoring and repayment as economic conditions improve—a recovery in crude oil prices from the below US$20 pbl to US$30 pbl (plus) in the last three (3) weeks.

4. BOG’s Balance Sheet “strong”

The fiscal support will weigh on BOG’s balance sheet, deprive it off valuable incomes, and add to domestic debt without servicing. The BOG facility of Ghc5.5 billion (possibly Ghc10 billion) to GOG has a moratorium of two (2) years, during which period, there will be no servicing of interest and principal.

This will add to the deferral of interest payments on BoG debt of Ghc1.22 million approved by Parliament at the request of the Minister. These two significant (existing and new) domestic debt will add to the Public Debt (estimated to exceed 70 percent at end-2020) with annual cumulative effect, as the deferred amounts increase the principal. Hence, it is important to keep proper accounts of these accrued liabilities.

BOG’s engagement implies that it has a healthy balance sheet to withstand the weight of fiscal intervention and monetary intervention would have been a more useful mandate. It important to be cautious since the bulk of liability to depositors during the banking sector restructuring fell on the fiscal as loans, including the ESLA Bond. The redemption period for some bonds to customers of defunct banks for 3-to-5 years at zero (0) interest rate. Further, some state banks have not fully met their recapitalization.

It seems BOG did not get immediate and full foreign exchange flows and reserves benefits from recent MOF external loans. The MPC Statement notes: “GOG’s decision to access the Eurobond market earlier in the year and Rapid Credit Facility (RCF) financing from the IMF resulted in a build-up in reserves of US$1.5 billion (2.2 % of GDP)”—from a gross inflow of US$4.5 billion made up of Sovereign Bond (US$3 billion) and RCF (US$1.0 billion). This may be due to refinancing (backed by hard currency) and repayment of previous loans.

5. Conclusion

The post-COVID expectation is that BOG’s stance and measures will remain expedient and not bring back the ghost of “deficit” or “budget” financing. Ghana has experience of deficit-financing in the pre-SAP/ERP era in the 1970/80s which may seem a long time but still worth remembering. On occasions, BoG’s balance sheet has been impaired in the process and needed to fixing by the government. The frontloading of Public Debt that includes the full use of its IMF quota, early in the COVID-19 era, is worrisome since there is no prediction yet about when it will end. Ghana economic performance under the ECF Program was exceptional by African standards but the rush with which applied for the RCF loan not being followed by most “weaker” African states.

Given the varied experiences under the ECF Phases I and II, the IMF must develop “crisis” intervention guidelines—along the lines of mild, medium, and exceptional—for monetary and other interventions. COVID-19 is unique, with measures such as lockdowns, border closures, face masks, strain on health facilities, and social distancing rules that exacerbate its health and economic effects. The call for “crisis guidelines” is due to virtually conventional impact (though different in significance) of financial and non-financial crisis on developing countries: fall in aggregate demand in advanced economies [and elevated supply-chain disruptions]; consequential fall in demand for commodities and fall in their prices; fall in foreign currency flows and reserves; loss of fiscal revenues; and loss of production and employment.

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No person or authority can control us; our stance to compile new register unchanged – EC to Minority

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Source: Class FM

The Electoral Commission has said no individual or authority can direct or control it as far as carrying out its constitutional mandate is concerned.

In a statement bearing the signature of the election management body’s Acting Director of Public Affairs, Mrs Sylvia Annor, the EC said it has “noted, with grave concern, comments made by Minority Leader Haruna Iddrisu during a press conference held on 7 May 2020 that sought to attack the integrity and mandate of the Electoral Commission as well as the creation of an erroneous impression in the minds of the general public on its attitude as far as the COVID-19 pandemic is concerned”.

Among other things, Mr Iddrisu told the media that EC Chair Jean Mensa, “sometimes, also comes to us as if she is running an NGO”, adding: “Let her be reminded that she is running the Electoral Commission of Ghana – a state institution expected to be independent”.

He also said: “The Constitution provides for a terminal end of the mandate of the President and Members of Parliament after every four years and presidential and parliamentary elections ought to be conducted and conducted by the availability and presence of a credible voter register, which is the responsibility of that Commission. No excuse will be accepted.”

“The fact that it is not ready means somebody is incompetent or somebody is not up to the particular task,” Mr Iddrisu added.

The Minority Leader also questioned the priorities of the government and the EC as the coronavirus festers.

“It is absolutely troubling and shocking that in the face of such a pandemic, our government chooses to supply PPE to officials of the Electoral Commission when doctors, nurses and other frontline healthcare workers are crying for PPE”, the Tamale South MP said.

“All these come at a time the EC’s plan to begin its infamous and life-threatening registration in June this year, has been exposed after a presentation the EC made to ECOWAS leaked. It is worth noting that the EC’s timetable, as presented to ECOWAS, remains unknown to Parliament and opposition political parties,” Mr Iddrisu added.

In its response to the Minority, however, the EC said Mr Iddrisu “is reported to have registered the displeasure of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) on the management of the COVID-19 pandemic by the Commission in the performance of its official duties as well as its unchanged stance to compile a new voter register with a new voter management system.”

The Commission said contrary to the claims of the Minority Leader, “it has not stated anywhere that it has received personal protective equipment (PPE) from the government”, stressing: “For the avoidance of doubt, the Commission has not received any protective equipment from the government.”

The Commission, therefore, said it “finds it troubling that the leader of the Minority party in parliament will put out information of this nature without substantiating its authenticity.”

The EC also denied claims that it has been disregarding the COVID-19 safety protocols while carrying out its duties.

“The EC would like to state that since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, it has taken concrete steps in adhering to the rules and regulations regarding the protocols spelt out by the Ghana Health Service and the Ministry of Health, and, therefore, has not violated any safety protocols in the discharge of its duties.

“The Commission takes collective decisions on all electoral processes in conformity with the country’s republican Constitution. It is, therefore, equally worrying that a statement would be made to suggest otherwise with the ultimate aim of tarnishing the image of key officials of the Commission”.

“As stated in Article 36 of the 1992 Constitution, the EC would like to reiterate that it shall not be subject to the direction or control of any person or authority in the performance of its functions, except as provided for in the Constitution or any other law consistent with it.

“All stakeholders are hereby reminded that plans are far advanced for the compilation of new voters register with a new voter management system for the upcoming 2020 presidential and parliamentary elections. The Commission is, however, sensitive to the current state of affairs due to the COVID-19 pandemic and will abide by the necessary precautions and safety protocols in the execution of its mandate when it deems it appropriate to begin the compilation of the register.”

“The general public is being cautioned to disregard any fictitious election timetable and other letters circulating on social media purporting to have emanated from the Commission. The Commission wishes to call on all well-meaning Ghanaians to cooperate with it for the success of the 2020 presidential and parliamentary elections”.

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British government supports Ghana to decongest prison-Mrs. Kim Bridger (Justice and Home Affairs)

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The Justice and Home Affairs Advisor at the British High Commission Mrs. Kim Bridger has charged management of Ghana Prison Service to reduce congestion in prison and also to treat inmates in human dignity. The British government is prepare to support Ghana’s drive towards criminal justice reforms to create environment that truely support rehabilitation. The British government is also determine to support the health and well being of vulnerable communities and societies as their well being affects societies. Justice and Home Affairs Advisor affirm these commitment when she visited Ankaful Prison Complex to inspect projects sponsored by the British government.

Sekondi-Takoradi MCE died of coronavirus – Akufo-Addo confirms

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President Nana Addo Danquah Akufo-Addo has revealed the cause of death of the Municipal Chief Executive (MCE) of Sekondi/Takoradi Metropolitan Assembly, Anthony Kobina Kurentsir Sam.

According to President Nana Addo, his late appointee died after being infected with the novel coronavirus disease.

Mr. Sam reportedly died Friday afternoon after a short illness weeks after his driver reportedly tested positive for COVID-19.

News went viral that he died of the virus but family sources debunked the assertion.

However, President Akufo-Addo, while addressing the country for the 11th time on measures his administration is putting in place to fight Covid-19, said the statesman died of the virus.

He eulogised the late Sekondi/Takoradi MCE and commended him for ensuring social distancing in markets under his jurisdiction.

“Permit me to pay brief tribute to the memory of an old and valiant colleague in the struggle of the New Patriotic Party and in the work of the Akufo-Addo government, the Mayor of Sekondi-Takoradi Metropolis, the Chief Executive of the Sekondi-Takoradi Metropolitan Assembly, Hon. K.K Sam, Egya Sam to me and many, whose efforts in enforcing social distancing protocols at the Sekondi and Takoradi markets were, recently, highly commended by me, and who sadly passed away on Friday, as a result of a COVID-related death.

May his soul rest in perfect peace in the bosom of the Almighty until the Last Day of the Resurrection, when we shall all meet again,” he said.

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Anomaba Trad Council appeals to Prez Akufo-Addo to turn 1D1F poultry farm billboard into real poultry farm

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Kyedom hene of Anomabo Traditional Council Nana Owia Ansah V has made passionate appeal to President Akufo-Addo to transform 1D1F big poultry farm bill board that has been erected at Anomabo for several years into real poultry farm to benefit the people of the traditional area. The council also called on President to fix their roads since almost all roads in the traditional area are feeder roads and unmotorable, upgrade Anomabo health center to hospital to meet health delivery needs of the growing population. The council commended President for the construction of Anomabo Fishery College, Free Scholarships, free SHS, the fight against Covid-19 pandemic and above all the construction of water project to benefit 146 communities across nine districts in the Central Region. Nana made the appeal when President Akufo-Addo and his entourage commissioned 47.5 million dollar Anomansa cluster water project.

President Akufo-Addo in delivery his address at the commissioning of the project has called on investors to take advantage of 1D1F flagship program to establish to establish small and medium scale factories in addition to already established poultry farm to provide jobs and expand the local economy. The community Water and Sanitation Agency is mandated to ensure that water for productive used program is linked to support 1D1F initiative is implemented to support small scale industries. Government determination to expand access to water for all to manifest it commitment still remains a key priority. Government has secured another funding for two other rural base water supply projects to increase access to potable water in rural communities under Aqua Africa Water Project to benefit 150 communities in the Ashanti, Eastern, Oti, Greater Accra and Volta. In addition, government has awarded contract for the construction of 645 mechanize borehole system nationwide.

The sector minister Cecilia Abena Dapaah said access to potable water which gives improve sanitation is key to social economic development of the country. Provision of water will ease daily burden on women and children but will also help retain many children in school especially the girl child. The vision of the president for the Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) program is unparalleled in the history of this country.  Government has been faced with a challenge of meeting ever increasing demands of improved water supply, good sanitation facilities and improved hygiene across the length and breadth of the country with rapid population growth. The sector is grateful to the President for creating an opportunity for them to better coordinates the WASH sector to accelerate the delivery of WASH services to Ghanaians.  She said President Akufo-Addo is a promise keeper, he promised the much needed water and has delivered.

Some beneficiaries who dressed in New Patriotic Party colours could not hide their joy but to share with Adom News. They are happy that President Akufo-Addo and their Member of Parliament Ekow Kwansah Hayford have given them water.

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Ghanabanews is not responsible for the reportage or opinions of contributors published on the website. 

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Queen to honour Ghana’s fundraising WW2 veteran

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A 95-year-old Ghanaian World War Two veteran is to be honoured by Queen Elizabeth for his fundraising efforts.

Private Joseph Hammond walked two miles (3.2km) a day for a week in May, raising $35,000 (£28,000) for frontline health workers and veterans in Africa.

a man wearing a hat and glasses: Private Joseph Hammond wants to raise $600,00 in total© Forces Help Ghana/GUBA Foundation Private Joseph Hammond wants to raise $600,00 in total“I was overwhelmed and filled with joy,” he said on hearing he was to get a Commonwealth Point of Light award.

He said he had been inspired by fellow veteran Capt Tom Moore, who raised more than £32m in the UK to fight Covid-19.

Capt Moore completed 100 laps of his garden in the run-up to his 100th birthday in April for NHS charities.

This prompted Pte Hammond to start his own campaign to raise money to buy personal protection equipment (PPE) for health workers and to protect vulnerable veterans on the African continent.

He started each day’s walk in the capital, Accra, early in the morning so he could complete his two miles before the heat and humidity of the day peaked, reports the BBC’s Thomas Naadi.

He wanted to raise about $600,000 in total, so the former Ghanaian soldier, who like Capt Moore fought in Burma, hopes donations will continue to be made, our reporter says.

‘He is a force of nature’

Iain Walker, the UK high commissioner to Ghana who joined Pte Hammond on his walk, said the Queen presented Points of Light awards to outstanding volunteers across the Commonwealth who changed the lives of their community.

“Pte Hammond exemplifies these qualities. It has been a privilege to get to know Pte Hammond and to experience his selflessness,” he said.

“He is a force of nature and an inspiration to many, including me.”

Pte Hammond, who was drafted into the Royal West African Frontier Force at the age 16, will receive the award at the UK High Commission in Accra at a date still to be decided.

“This is marvellous, this is wonderful, it’s beyond my comprehension,” he tweeted in a video produced by the Guba Foundation and Forces Help Africa, the two non-governmental organisation helping him in his fundraising efforts.

“Surprises keep coming – I’m short of words, I don’t know what to say,” he said.

Earlier this month, he had received a letter from Prince Harry, the Queen’s grandson, commending him on his walk.

Pte Hammond had met Prince Harry, who works to support veterans, during an event at the Field of Remembrance in the grounds of Westminster Abbey in London last year.

Three years after the end of World War Two, Ghana, then the Gold Coast, was rocked by riots following the killing of three Ghanaian veterans who had been demanding compensation for their service during the conflict.

It became a milestone in Ghana’s struggle for independence, which was achieved in 1957.

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Who becomes running mate for NDC in 2020?

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With 11 months to the much anticipated 2020 elections, the largest opposition party the National Democratic Congress (NDC) who has elected John Dramani Mahama as flagbearer of the party is yet to decide on who partners their candidate.

This has led to political actors taking advantage of throwing various names around due to their personal permutations of the individual they deem fit for the position of the running mate of the social democratic leaning party.

Some of the names being bandied around are the venerable economist Prof Kwesi Botchwey, finance & banking expert Dr. Kwabena Duffour, educationist Prof Joshua Alabi, educationist Prof Jane Naans Opoku Agyemang, lawyer & politician Edward Doe Adjaho, finance expert & academic Sylvester Mensah, diplomat Ekow Spio-Garbrah, lawyer Goosie Tanoh, Emmanuel Armah Kofi Buah and Eric Opoku.

Based on regional balance, professional competencies, political expediency, public appeal, gender balance, succession plan etc. The aforementioned names have popped up to be one the likely preferred choices of the presidential candidate John Mahama.

As to whether any of these names emerge as the one to join forces with the candidate only time shall tell.

Columnist: Worlanyo Tibu

Suspension not enough, cancel DTT channel cut directive – GBC staff to President

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Source: Class FM

Unionised staff of the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC) have asked the President to totally cancel rather than just suspend, the recent directive given to the state broadcaster by the Minister of Communication, Mrs Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, to reduce its channels on the Digital Terrestrial Television platform by three.

A similar directive was given to privately-owned Crystal TV.

However, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, on Thursday, 23 July 2020, “directed the Minister of Communication … to suspend the implementation of the directives … pending further consultation with stakeholders”, a statement signed by the Director of Communication at the Presidency, Mr Eugene Arhin, said.

It followed a rejection of the Minister’s orders by the National Media Commission and others stakeholders.

However, the Chairman of the GBC union, Mr Sam Nat Kevor, told journalists on Friday, 24 July 2020 that: “The staff will also want to state that, the directive is also illegal, so, we will appreciate if it is cancelled and not suspended”.

“The rank and file of the staff are feeling that the suspension means the directive can be reissued”, he said.

“So, there is a mixed reaction to that statement”, he noted.

“We, therefore, want to say we accept that directive from the President as a cancellation”.

In his view, “GBC has what it takes to run the DTT.”

The Minister’s earlier directive said the move was aimed at cutting cost and freeing up space on the platform.

GBC then petitioned the NMC to intervene.

The Commission, in a subsequent statement signed by its Chairman, Yaw Boadu-Ayeboafo, said: “It is the view of the Commission that any action by any entity which culminates into limiting or depriving the media of the use of public resources legitimately allocated to them undermines their capacity to serve the nation as anticipated by the Constitution”.

“The Commission wishes to state clearly that the directive given to GBC and Crystal TV by the Minister for Communications purports to usurp the constitutional mandate and authority of the National Media Commission and same cannot be obliged under our current constitutional dispensation,” the statement noted.

It added: “To put our concerns on the DTT in context, we wish to state that the National Media Commission has always held and articulated the foregoing view since the process of migration started a little over a decade ago. In the intense partisanship of public policy debate in Ghana, we feel obliged to reiterate that this is not only a matter of fact, but also that of principle.

“The National Media Commission assures the general public that it is highly aware and alert to the huge responsibility it bears as the shepherds against any form of encroachment by individuals, politicians and state agencies on the freedom and independence of the media, and we shall continue to perform our constitutionally-mandated guardian role with high sense of dedication, alertness and patriotism”.

The NMC’s intervention came after the Ghana Journalists Association also kicked against the move.

The GJA asked the minister to immediately suspend the directive.

According to the GJA, the directive “will significantly impact the operations of GBC and among to interference by the government in the work of the state-owned media and this is against the provisions of chapter 12 of the 1992 Constitution.”

The GJA, in a statement, further noted that the directive has the practical effect of curtailing the broadcast of GBC and will lead to some of its content or programmes going off the air.

“The GJA thinks the actions of a minister of state, with respect to a critical national media infrastructure, cannot and should not be placed on the same level as that of private business transactions. The directive by the communication minister has the potential of curtailing the operations of media houses particularly a state-owned media which the constitution has specifically asked to be insulated from governmental control by a constitutional body,” the statement said.

The association has, thus, asked the Ministry of Communication to “suspend the directive immediately to both GBC and other media houses”.

The GJA’s position dovetailed into that of the Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA), which also believes the directive undermines relevant constitutional and regulatory provisions on institutional governance and operational independence of GBC as well as media pluralism, generally.

“Guided by the lessons of history, the 1992 Constitution and other enabling pieces of legislation have sought to raise guardrails around the state media in particular. These legal provisions are meant to stave off interferences in the management and editorial discretion of the state media. The provision is also designed to enable the state media offer fair voice and visibility to all segments of the national population including minority groups and interests,” MFWA said in a statement.

It added that: “Ghana is also signatory to a number of regional charters and conventions – the relevant ones of which include the African Charter on Broadcasting adopted in Windhoek in 2001, and the Joint Declaration on Media Independence and Diversity in the Digital age, adopted in Accra in 2018 – which seek a shared vision for independent and inclusive media systems. Not only is this attempt by the Minister of Communication to sequester three of the TV channels of the state broadcaster an expression of ministerial overreach; it also unfairly reduces the public service broadcaster’s footprint within the current 40-channel platform.”

MFWA has, thus, called on the Minister of Communication, Ms Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, to withdraw the directive.

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Ghanabanews is not responsible for the reportage or opinions of contributors published on the website. 

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NPP’s Abronye et al sued GHC10m for defamation

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Former CEO of COCOBOD, Dr. Stephen Opuni has filed a suit against the Bono Regional Chairman of the New Patriotic Party, Kwame Baffoe popularly known as Abronye DC, seeking 10 million cedis in general damages for accusing him of embezzlement.

Also joined in the suit is U2 Company Limited owners of United Television (UTV), and the Despite Media Group, all based in Accra.

Abronye has alleged on UTV that the National Democratic Congress doesn’t like a private firm Kroll and Associate because its forensic audit discovered an amount of $106 million belonging to COCOBOD was with an NDC financier Seidu Agongo. The maverick politician further claimed that the firm found out that “an amount belonging to COCOBOD, an amount belonging to Ghanaians $420 million is with Opuni and is at the Court…

“So, if someone has done a clean investigation and had found two NDC members, the company that Nana Yaw Osafo brought that had led to the arrest of two NDC members who are in court…”

Dr. Opuni who is an internationally acclaimed trauma and reconstructive surgeon said since the utterance of these words by Abronye in November 2019, he has been inundated with numerous calls and has had to answer “very embarrassing and difficult questions and inquiries” from different persons, including associates, colleagues, friends and concerned family members in Ghana and abroad.

In his statement of claim filed in December 2019, the plaintiff asserted that the comments by Abronye suggested that the former was “corrupt, a thief, reckless” in the discharge of his financial and administrative duties and had engaged in some unlawful criminal enterprise to the financial detriment of his previous employers and the government of Ghana.

According to Dr. Opuni, what the NPP chairman said “are not only inaccurate, but highly malicious and defamatory and deliberately contrived to reduce the hard-earned reputation and good name of Plaintiff”.

The statement therefore noted, “plaintiff denies that he has ever stolen/embezzled and/or otherwise taken possession of an amount of $42O million or any other amount of money from the COCOBOD or the Government of Ghana and that he has never been involved in any way whatsoever in any such fraudulent conduct as falsely contained in the publication under reference”.

Dr. Opuni, among others, is seeking exemplary damages of GHC10,000,000.00 against the defendants as well as a retraction and apology on the 2nd defendant’s UTV AdekyNsroma programme with the same prominence.

He is also seeking perpetual injunction restraining the defendants jointly and/or severally either by themselves or their agents, associates or assigns from further publishing or causing to be printed, published and or distributed or otherwise circulated the said defamatory words and or any other similar words;

The former COCOBOD boss also wants an order of the Court directed at the 2nd Defendant to remove or cause to be removed, the said defamatory content from its media platforms particularly its Facebook page where the said program was streamed live.

Source: 3news.com

NPP MP: My 3yr better than NDC 8yr record-AAK MP (Elvis Morris Donkoh) touts achievement

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The Member of Parliament for Abura-Asebu-Kwamankese Constituency Elvis Morris Donkoh has touted his three year achievements to be better than NDC’s eight year records. According to the MP, there is no single community in the two hundred and sixty-five (265) villages that make up the constituency without his project. Speaking to what has been achieved under employment, he said they have given jobs to thousands of youth under afforestation and Nation’s Builders Corp programs. In addition to that, he has personally supported over five hundreds youth to undergo apprenticeship training in beautician, fashion design, carpentry and others. His contribution to access to potable water and health care delivery is not left out.

Adom News gathered divergent views from the voters when we spoke to them to ascertain the MP’s claim of superior records under his three year stewardship. Some voters told www.ghanabanews.com they could not see his development projects he spoke about whiles others confirm his claim. Some of those we spoke to expressed that they campaigned for the New Patriotic Party during 2016 election. Some even said they sent money to people living outside Abura-Asebu-Kwamankese constituency to come and vote for the party. Looking at the economic hardship being experienced, the same can’t be said about the party. They have lost interest in the party and doesn’t think they can campaign for the party come 2020 election.

When quizzed about voters inability to see his numerous development projects as he claimed, especially the people of Moree.  He was shocked voters expressed divergent views as far as his contribution and visibility is concern most especially where some of those who spoke to Adom News claimed to be NPP members and had campaigned for the party during 2016 election. The Member of Parliament quickly attributed the situation to lack of effective communication. He pledged to work with the party’s communication team to strongly communicate the good works of the party and government to the people.