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NPA new levies: Gov’t is being insensitive to citizens – former NPA Boss

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Adnan Adams MohammedGovernment’s decision to introduce two new levies on petroleum products including Liquified Petroleum Gas has been described as insensitive to citizens at a time when the world economy is at its worst times.“Government is being insensitive towards consumers”, Alex Mould, former CEO of NPA and GNPC has said. The NPA, in a circular issued on April 1, 2020, announced a new levy of GHp13.5 as Cylinder Investment Margin, to help the LPG marketing companies offset aspects of the cost involved in procuring and branding cylinders for the new energy policy (the Cylinder Recirculation Model) as well as an increase in Fuel Marking Margin from GHp3.0 to GHp4.5 per litre for fuel. But, the energy and finance expert, instead, wants the government to reduce fuel prices drastically to help cushion commercials drivers who are asked to reduce number of passengers amidst social distancing. “I am hearing that the National Petroleum Authority has introduced new levies on the price buil…

Ghana gets US$100 million from World Bank for COVID-19 Response

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Ghana gets US$100 million from World Bank for COVID-19 Response Adnan Adams MohammedThe World Bank has announced a package of US$100 million to assist Ghana in tackling the COVID-19 pandemic. This $100 million will be made available to the government and the people of Ghana as short, medium and long-term support.This financing package includes US$35 million in emergency support to help the country provide improved response systems. Under this emergency package the World Bank will support the Government of Ghana to help prevent, detect, and respond to the COVID-19 pandemic through the Ghana Emergency Preparedness and Response Project (EPRP).The EPRP will help strengthen Ghana’s National Laboratories by providing robust systems for the early detection of COVID-19 cases and providing real time disease surveillance and reporting systems of outbreaks. It will also improve response systems by providing social and financial support and free health services to COVID-19 patients and families w…

Social worker saddened with the ‘Kayeye’ situation

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Mike Owusu, Program Coordinator of Light for Children Ghana is saddened by the way the head porters (Kayaye) situation is being handled. He called the bluff of the leadership National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO) for not being proactive to put in measures to cushion the living condition of the less privileged who sleep and live on the streets in the major cities. Part of the country are experiencing partial lockdown under executive orders which started, yesterday, 30/03/2020, for the next two weeks in attempt to help curb the spread of the pandemic COVID-19. “Whoever is in charge of NADMO must bow his head in shame”, he said. “In deciding the lockdown, we should have anticipated the homeless and our people in the streets, and how to handle them.” However, Mr Owusu suggested some immediate measures to help solve the situation. “Ok I do not intend to rant. I wish to propose the following:1. We must as a matter of urgency identify all the schools and churches available for us…

Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa writes on gov’t’s intent to use Heritage Fund for COVID-19 fight ….suggests alternatives

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After listening to the Hon. Finance Minister in Parliament earlier today justify the need to use the heritage fund in the fight against COVID-19, I shall humbly submit that before the Akufo-Addo administration depletes the heritage fund reserved for the next generation, we first consider the following 10 suggestions:1) 50% pay cut for all political office holders;2) Reduce by 60% the number of Ministers and Presidential Staffers;3) Close and realign many of the Ministries which would become redundant after the ministerial downsizing; 4) Lay off all Personal/Special Assistants to Ministers and Presidential Staffers;5) Suspend all Ex-Gratia payments;6) Interim closure of at least 50% of our diplomatic missions abroad and recall staff to Accra;7) Cancel contracts of all consultants in the public sector; 8)Put a freeze on all prestige projects which can wait including the national cathedral, marine drive project, new passport office and the regional coordinating council offices for the si…

Social distancing in public transports: reduce fuel price by 20%

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Adnan Adams MohammedAlexander K. Mould, a finance and energy expert, is calling on the government to effect a 20 percent reduction in fuel prices to help alleviate public transport social distancing losses as the commercial drivers are directed to reduce the number of passengers the buses take. In a press statement issued, yesterday, the former National Petroleum Authority Boss noted that increased transportation cost will worsen the anticipated effect of the global pandemic (COVID-19) on the general economy and the cost of living of ordinary citizens such as loss of income and businesses and increase in the costs of goods and services. The challenges of the current season provide a responsibility to quickly visit “win-win” opportunities to alleviate some of the financial burdens on all Ghanaians as April 1st, 2020 presents a “no-brainer” opening to reduce the cost of petrol at the pump.“Petrol is at its lowest price since the 1990s – $0.38/gallon wholesale from U.S refiners and Whole…

Heritage Fund for COVID-19 fight: Experts speak against it, provide alternatives

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Adnan Adams MohammedSome finance and extractive sector experts have called on the government to abort or reconsider its intention to seek for amendment of the Petroleum Revenue Management Act, 2011(ACT 815) as amended to allow it use the Heritage Fund for the COVID-19 emergency expenditure.Professor John Gatsi, a finance and economics expert is suggesting the government rather utilize the Stabilization Fund and take its hands off the Heritage Fund. He expressed that, “Any use of majority strength in parliament to rope in the Heritage Fund defeats the fine arrangement which serves current fiscal interest, public expenditure interest in times of huge petroleum revenue loss and intergenerational protection.”The Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, yesterday, requested Parliament to amend the Act to allow government to use monies from the Heritage Fund. Consequently, a researcher is calling on the government to cut some budgeted expenditure and use the funds for the COVID-19 emergency expend…

Coronavirus Alleviation Program (CAP): The Applause and Questions

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By: Prof. John Gatsi 
Restrictions on movement of people affect livelihoods. Reduction in hardships, protection of economic activities and  general support for the vulnerable have been the issues for which Ghanaians were calling on the President and the government to consider a package that may address these concerns to make a lockdown limit the transmission of the Coronavirus.
The President, in response to these calls that have been made by Ghanaians for almost a week, finally announced in his late-night address the establishment of the CAP to address economic disruptions to businesses and households, hardships, and job losses occasioned by the pandemic and the measures to contain it.
Ghanaians appreciate the president's response to the calls they have made in recent days. The announcement, however, should be clarified further.
The details of the CAP and its application are not known as it must first be presented to and approved by parliament. As a result, the total amount of money b…