Wednesday, 5 May 2021

METHODIST CHURCH OF GHANA: AN 'OPPRESSIVE, ARROGANT AND SHAMELESS THIEF'

 




PRESS RELEASE

05/05/2021

ATTENTION ALL NEWS EDITORS:


METHODIST CHURCH OF GHANA: AN 'OPPRESSIVE, ARROGANT AND SHAMELESS THIEF'

….Before we proceed to the main subject above, let us remind ourselves on the legal framework of Ghana. Before the 1992 Constitution of Ghana came into force; any law, bylaw, regulations or rules that existed and contradicts the 1992 Constitution becomes diseffective. Again, no educational institution can set rules that contradict that of Ghana Education Service Code of Conduct for all educational institutions.

………………………………………...


The Executives of MUYAD Social Service write to seek the attention of the distinguished leaders of Methodist Church of Ghana, a supposed 'dnified, guiders of virtues and preachers of love and peace', it has come to our notice the contempt at which the Church has 'arrogantly disrespected its landlords (Ministry of Education and Ghana Education Service) just in the name of trying to coverup a shame and disgrace your persistent oppression has brought unto thy self. 


I know many of you reading this letter, in reaction to the Press Release issued under the authority of The Most Reverend Dr Paul Kwabena Boafo responding to the Ghana Education Service's directive to Wesley Girl's SHS (a public school), are still wondering to understand why Methodist Church of Ghana is an 'OPPRESSIVE, ARROGANT AND SHAMELESS THIEF'. 


Can a 'HUMBLE' Caretaker or Trustee 'ARROGANTLY' challenge a directive of its landlords and the laws under you got the so-called school rules? 


Did I read 'Mission Schools'? Please, The Most Reverend Dr Paul Kwabena Boafo, kindly help us to understand the legal definition of 'Mission Schools' in the jurisdiction of Ghana's education system. 


Do we still have public schools classified as 'Missions Schools' in Ghana. Can ignorance and a deliberate calculated thievery be equated as pardonable? 


If some of you, the leaders of various churches and Christian denominations, have deliberately used your smart tricks on Ghanaians to paint a negative picture as though, the churches still own the public schools which were ONLY ENTRUSTED in the care of various religious groupings in the country after the government used taxpayers monies to compensate all privately owned schools, the then 'Mission Schools', making those schools a public or government schools before even the 1992 Constitution of Ghana was promulgated. 


I seek for a sincere answer from a sincere supposed child of God, DO THE CHURCHES STILL OWNS THE PUBLIC SCHOOLS WHICH ARE UNDER THEIR CARE?


If you do not own something and you deliberately claim ownership of it, ARE YOU NOT A THIEF? 


If someone who preaches LOVE AND UNITY in the Church room, but in their supposed schools turn to OPPRESS AND DISREGARD other human beings, neighbors and citizens against their religious commandments, are you not SHAMELESS PRETENDER?


Now, how does a Muslim fasting in accordance to her Creators commandments affects you in person, The Most Reverend Dr Paul Kwabena Boafo? Does it reduce your title or does it demolition the school building?


What are rules? Who makes the rules? Are the rules of institutions powerful than the rules of the Creator and the Constitution of a country? Are rules sacrosanct and perpetual? 


Can rules be amended to ensure HARMONY AND UNITY among fellow human beings? 


So, who are those preaching that, DISRESPECT AGAINST AUTHORITY AND LEADERSHIP is a sin?  


Disrespecting and challenging the authority and directives of the owners of a school giving to you to keep in 'TRUST' can then be classified as what action? 


The Most Reverend Dr Paul Kwabena Boafo, will you consider resigning your position for allowing your EGO and Misguidance to bring shame to the entire Methodist Church of Ghana and as well disrespecting the entire citizens of Ghana who pay taxes which were used to develop the school to the level it is now? 


If all Ghanaians decide to claim a pesewa of their taxes used to develop the Wesley Girl's SHS and all other Methodist schools in Ghana, can you pay those monies within a day? 


The Most Reverend Dr Paul Kwabena Boafo, please and with due respect, Ghanaians demand an apology and retraction of your Press Release dated 4th May, 2021 and signed by The Rt Rev Michael Bossman.


Again, in unwarranted press release, you used a phrase "...renowned Muslim ladies…" 


Do you know who is a Muslim? 


'Renowned Muslims' (those who submit to total will of Allah, the Creator) believes in RESPECT FOR ALL, ACCOMMODATIVE AND KNOWS THAT THERE IS NO COMPULSION AND OPPRESSION in practice of Islam. 


 Thank you for your time and anticipated humble apology and retraction. 


Yours Fellow Citizens

Signed:+2AM-

Adnan Adams Mohammed,

Executive Director, MUYAD Social Services

+233244653664

Tuesday, 4 May 2021

AN EPISTLE TO PROF GYAMPO

 



I am sorry for you Prof Ransford Gyampo



By Adnan Adams Mohammed, Executive Director, MUYAD Social Services


Your incessant attention seeking has eluded you to the extent that, you almost forgot yourself and identity as a political science professor who should know better and the fundamental principles of state policies while upholding the tenents of the Constitution of every country. 


Why must you preach or admonish on a divisive, social and religious disintegration among citizens?


What is your sole motive for calling on Muslims to build more schools? So that they stop attending so-called 'mission or Christian schools'? 


What will be the end result if all religious groupings start building their social amenities, will you expect the same citizens to continue paying taxes to the government and those taxes will eventually be used to subvent the public 'mission or Christian schools'?


Have you considered the fact that Professors do not speak base on personal emotions and sentiments but with facts?


Do you have facts on the number of public Islamic schools in Ghana which are serving every citizen without religious discrimination or compulsion?


Do you remember Ghana is a secular country which strives to ensure social, religious, cultural and political tolerance and cohesion?


Have you considered the number of private Islamic schools we have in Ghana? 


Did Muslims complained to you that we lack Islamic schools or the number of Islamic schools are inadequate?


Do you consider Muslims as taxpayers?


Do you remember the so-called 'mission or Christian schools' are public or government property developed with taxpayers funds?


So today you want us to believe that, a citizen can be denied access to a public space or institution base on religious affiliation?


Oh! So, all this while, you are not a believer of democracy and unison? 


I am sorry for not knowing this fact about you. 


It is clear to me and other Ghanaians today.



Yours Disappointed Cherisher

Signed: #2AM@

Adnan Adams Mohammed

+233244653664


Monday, 3 May 2021

 A LETTER TO THE VICE PRESIDENT


From: Adnan Adams, Executive Director of MUYAD Social Services


03/05/2021


THE ANTI-ISLAM GES DIRECTORS MUST BE SACKED NOW BEFORE THEY CAUSE UNCONTROLLED TENSION IN THE COUNTRY


Your Excellency Vice President of Ghana, Dr Mahmud Bawumia, I know you have heard or been informed about recent humiliation of some Muslim students (citizens of the land who are also protected by the 1992 Constitution of Ghana) in some PUBLIC SCHOOLS in the country as well as other Muslims in the country. 


I write to humbly draw your attention once again to these happenings in our schools and many other institutions including the public health institutions, state owned enterprises and corporate organisations, that is, if you are already not aware of such HUMILIATION AND DISCRIMINATION AGAINST MUSLIMS in the country.


This is based on the fact that, as the EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF MUYAD SOCIAL SERVICES, I have copied your office several petitions on humiliations and discriminations against Muslims in the country. 


Back to history, at the 2017 and 2021 January 7 swearing-in ceremonies, Ghanaians were proud that, the country recognizes Christianity and Islam as legitimate religions in the country, which the 1992 Constitution has endorsed.


The 1992 Constitution of Ghana, being the supreme law of the land, also, allows every legitimate religion in the country and their followers to "...practice and manifest their religion without any discrimination.." (Article 21)(1)(c)) of the Constitution of Ghana. But, the real life situation in the country is highly untold of a country which prides itself as a beacon of democracy in Africa. As the Christians in the country are perpetrating an 'ANTI-ISLAM AGENDA'.


On several occasions, this agenda has been manifested by Christian heads and superiors of many public and private institutions against Muslims (mostly our women) on issues of freedom to worship, discrimination against wearing of hijab, forcing Muslims to attend Christian church/worship services in schools and at offices, denying Muslims of employment opportunities, forcing Muslim women to take of their hijab when taking official pictures among others. 


Your Excellency, you do not only owe Muslims in the country a 'duty of service' religiously but politically as well. This is because, aside His Excellency the President of Ghana priding with you to Ghanaians and Muslims that, the Jubilee House is balanced religiously as the Bible and Quran can always be found at the highest office of the land, politically many Muslims today follow your political party because you are a Muslim, advertently increasing the support base of your party among the Muslims community.


So, what do you have to show to the allegiance you owe the Muslims in the country as a Muslim?


Now, let me break down the issues:


GHANA EDUCATION SERVICE AND SOME HEAD OF SO-CALLED 'MISSION SCHOOLS' ON ANTI-ISLAM AGENDA


In very recent times, there have been uproar between Muslim parents and the Headmistress and Management of Wesley Girl's SHS (Cape Coast) over the several decades of religious discrimination against Muslim students posted by the computerised system to that school because it is a 'public or government subvented school'. The headmistress is on public record to have pronounced that the practice of Islam is forbidden in the school and in manifesting her pronouncements, she again forbade Muslim students in the school from fasting in the Holy month of Ramadan in which Muslims across the globe are required to do. 


That notwithstanding, the Board, Management and Heads of the Methodist, Catholic, Anglican, Presbyterian, AME Zion and other Christian Education Units have arrogated to themselves, 'powers of the President of the land' with support and supervision from the GES, to take the laws into their hands (an act the President will not even find it easy to do) to humiliate and discriminate against Muslims in the country. 


Your Excellency the Vice President, I am very much aware that, you can still recall the famous incident of Abdul Gaffar, of blessed memory (May Allah grant him paradise among the martyrs), which happened at another 'so-called mission school' Adisadel College (Cape Coast). Let us assume the deceased was a Christian and the incident happened in an Islamic school….. Your guess is as good as mine!



GES SUPERVISED AND SUPPORTED A CHRISTIAN HEADMASTER TO USE ASSETS OF AN ISLAMIC SCHOOL TO FORM 'CHRISTIAN MOTIVATED SCHOOL'


In one of the petitions which I copied your office; dated 16/01/2020, addressed to The Director-General of Ghana Education Service on the subject line: "PETITION FOR ACTION AGAINST THE 'UNQUALIFIED' HEADMASTER OF TAWHEED SHS", the Muslim population in Ghana and all Ghanaians who are religiously tolerant, especially those in the Asokore Mampong Municipality, expected a resounding response or outcome, but as usual the petition was swept under the carpet with impunity by the Director-General of GES. Please, your Excellency, you can kindly refer to your archives of "receipts" or petitions for a copy of the petition so you can get the details of the whole scenario. 



OTHER PETITIONS TO THE MINISTRY OF EDUCATION ON RELIGIOUS DISCRIMINATION AGAINST MUSLIM STUDENTS IN PUBLIC SCHOOLS


Again, MUYAD SOCIAL SERVICES on the 30/09/2019 petitioned, The Minister of Education on the subject line: "PETITION AGAINST RELIGIOUS DISCRIMINATION AGAINST MUSLIMS IN PUBLIC AND PRIVATE SCHOOLS AND COLLEGES" and copied your high office. Yet, there was neither a response nor an action taken and we also did not see, nor hear any action or directives taken by your office to the minister. 


A reminder was sent to the Minister of Education dated 31/10/2019 and copied your high office. No response nor any action was taken to resolve the predicament of Muslim students in the country.



THE HYPOCRISY OF GES AND SOME CHRISTIAN MISSIONARIES ON THEIR PRETENTIOUS AND FAKE PUBLIC LOVE FOR MUSLIMS


To explain further the deliberate and calculated actions of the GES and the Board and Heads of Christian 'Mission Schools' to undermine the practice of Islam in the country, despite their double standards, hypocritical, pretentious and fake love for Muslims in the country; let me borrow and re-echo the write-up of a brother in Islam as a reaction to the lame and unfounded excuses the GES, Board of  Wesley Girl's SHS and the Methodist Church Ghana gave as a response to the uproar and resistance to the school's directive to stop Muslim students from fasting in the month of Ramadan.


Below is the write-up:


"SHAMS Writes..


"The attempt by Wesley Girls High School and the GES to massage the ignoble act of religious discrimination has been exposed. The leadership of the two institutions went into a meeting and subtly created the impression that, Fasting causes health conditions among Muslims and other groups who fast.


"From time immemorial, Doctors and Scientists have acknowledged the health benefits of Fasting. Who are you to turn the face of truth to suit your narrow, parochial and callous agenda of discriminating against Islam? Where is this new theory coming from? The assertion that, Muslims develop unpleasant health conditions when they fast is a fallacy and a shameful lie 


"In any case, the rules of Fasting provides that, people who have health challenges are exempted from Fasting. So, if the girl had any health condition for which she should not fast, the parents would have known and informed the school authorities accordingly. 


"Now, on what grounds did Wesley Girls High School deny the student the right to fast?"


SHAMS

2nd May, 2021"


Your Excellency, to cut my letter short, as a Muslim what will be your jihad (legitimate course of action or actions as the Vice president of Ghana) taken on behalf of Muslims in the country on all these unlawful treatment, humiliation and discrimination?


Your Excellency, to update yourself with the whole 'ANTI-ISLAM AGENDA' endorsed by the GES and other public institutions, kindly let your capable research team help you do further researches on the following topics below:


The link between Tawheed Islamic SHS and J.A. Kuffour SHS (Sokoban) all in Ashanti region. How was a Christian made a headmaster of an Islamic school? This same headmaster with support and supervision from MOE and GES stole the assets of the Islamic school to form another school.


Do we still have public schools which are classified as 'Mission Schools' in the country which are owned solely by the churches even after those churches were compensated some decades ago with taxpayers monies?



Thank you for your kind attention and time to read my long letter as we expect your response and a feel of your presence as a Muslim Vice President. We gladly await your swearing-in as the president of Ghana in fulfilment of your ambition. 


 

A Sincere Citizen

Signed: √2AM∆

Adnan Adams Mohammed

+233244653664

Sunday, 2 May 2021

New VAT rate stands at 19.25% - Mould

 


 

Adnan Adams Mohammed

 

A former banker has justified that the Value Added Tax (VAT) charged on goods and services in the country which took effect last weekend, May 1, 2021, is now 19.25 percent.

 

The government in its 2021 budget statement announced new taxes with one of them being the COVID-19 Health Recovery Levy charged on goods and services, and imports (Except Exempt Supplies and Imports).

 

According to the Ghana Revenue Authority, this new levy, which comes into effect from May 1, 2021 will be an addition to the sales taxes. However, the former banker gave a detailed explanation in his recent statement shared with the Economy Times on how the VAT System with COVID-19 Levy works.

 

 

"How does this change the structure of sales taxes? The COVID-19 Levy is a 1% addition to both the current VAT Standard and the VAT Flat Rates. Currently the VAT Standard works as: GETFUND – 2.5%; NHIL – 2.5%; and VAT – 12.5%", Former Executive Director of Standard Chartered Bank, Alex Mould emphasized. "With the new levy, this changes to: GETFUND – 2.5%; NHIL – 2.5%; COVID-19 Levy – 1%; and VAT – 12.5."

 

 

Read full details of his calculation and justification below:

 

How the VAT System with COVID-19 Levy works.

 

There has been the imposition of a special levy known as the COVID-19 Health Recovery Levy on goods and services, and imports (Except Exempt Supplies and Imports).

 

This new levy is mainly to help to raise revenue to support COVID-19 expenditures.

 

According to the Ghana Revenue Authority, this new levy, which comes into effect from May 1, 2021 will be an addition to the sales taxes we currently have.

 

How does this change the structure of sales taxes?

The COVID-19 Levy is a 1% addition to both the current VAT Standard and the VAT Flat Rates. Currently the VAT Standard works as:

GETFUND – 2.5%; NHIL – 2.5%; and VAT – 12.5%.

 

With the new levy, this changes to:

GETFUND – 2.5%; NHIL – 2.5%; COVID-19 Levy – 1%; and VAT – 12.5.

 

What does this mean for prices of goods and services? Let us illustrate how this new change affects prices of products and services. Say a product costs GHS1,000 and you want to determine the VAT to apply on it:

 

Old system:

 

Product Gross Cost – GHS1,000

NHIL (2.5% x 1,000) – GHS25

GETFUND (2.5% x 1,000) – GHS25

Sub-total (1,000+25+25) – GHS1,050

VAT (12.5% x 1,050) – GHS131.25

Total price to customer (1,050 + 131.25) – GHS1,181.2

 

New system:

 

Product Gross Cost – GHS1,000

NHIL (2.5% x 1,000) – GHS25

GETFUND (2.5% x 1,000) – GHS25

COVID-19 Levy (1% x 1,000) – GHS10

Sub-total (1,000+25+25+10) – GHS1,060

VAT (12.5% x 1,060) – GHS132.50

Total price to customer (1,060 + 132.50) – GHS1,192.5

 

This means that the new effective compound standard VAT rate is 19.25% (192.5/1,000 x 100), which is 1.125% more than the old effective rate of 18.125% (118.25/1,000 x 100).

 

Also, the VAT Flat rate changes from 3% to 4%, with the increment being the 1% COVID Levy.

 

Just like NHIL and GETFUND, the COVID-19 Levy is non-recoverable, meaning GRA will not allow you to deduct it as an input.

Ghana's 2019 economic growth ranked 73 among world economies

 


 

 

Adnan Adams Mohammed

 

A recent report released by the World Bank has indicated that Ghana’s economy was ranked 73 in the world in terms of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the year 2019.

 

The Bretton Wood institution reported that, Ghana’s economy stood at about US$67 billion in size in 2019, making it the 8 biggest economy on the African continent.

 

The country’s economy was also ranked 141 in terms of GDP per capita and 143 most complex economy, the Economic Complexity Index captured.

 

This, some economists believe calls for a more decisive and swift action to push the economy to a better position as there is huge disparity between the size of the economy and its per capita income.

 

Meanwhile, the latest data from the Ghana Statistical Service, released last week, confirms the widely anticipated fact that the national economy exited its first recession in some four decades during the last quarter of 2020.

 

The economy grew by 0.4 percent for the full year in 2020, gathering steam in the last three months after contractions in the second and third quarters due to the coronavirus outbreak.

 

Ghana’s gross domestic product grew 3.3% year-on-year in the fourth quarter as economic activities picked up following the easing of COVID-19 restrictions.

 

However, the GSS revised the contractions it had computed on provisional basis in the second quarter to 5.9 percent, up from 3.2% previously, and for the third quarter to 3.2 percent, up from 1.1% as originally pronounced last year.

 

GIPC challenged on FDI inflow figures

 


 

 

Adnan Adams Mohammed

 

A financial expert has challenged the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC) on its Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) inflows figure announced for the year 2020.

 

The expert argued that, the US$2.7 billion reported as investment inflows is not accurate. He posited that, it is an act of misinformation for anyone or government official to mislead the public with the wholesome figure which is rather an expression of interest and not actual investment recorded or realized.

 

His reaction was to correct the misinformation of the Minister of Information, Mr. Kojo Oppong-Nkrumah, who at a press conference last week sought to indicate that, the GIPC FDI figure reported was an actualised investment. But the expert has challenged that, there was no US$2.7 billion investment flows recorded into the country last year.

 

"That number reported by GIPC is what Investors have informed them that they anticipate bringing into the country - over time", Former Executive Director of Standard Chartered Bank, Alex Mould stressed.

 

Mr Mould who was also the former Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) CEO further explained that, "The GIPC and BoG have not been able to reconcile what actually came into the country."

 

The Information Minister in his speech said, "The US$2.7 billion in investment inflows reported by the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC) for the year 2020 will be put to prudent use for the benefit of Ghanaians.

 

"The investment will be in areas such as manufacturing, services, building and construction, agriculture, mining, petroleum and export trading with a projected job for more than twenty-seven thousand people to help bolster the Ghanaian economy towards recovery and better the lives of Ghanaians."

 

It is based on this statement, the expert challenged that, the minister spoke with certainty as though the US$2.7 billion was already in the country.

 

 

Read the full reaction below:

 

GIPC Reports on FDI Do NOT Indicate Actual inflows but rather intended Inflows

 

There were no US$2.7 billion investment flows recorded into the country last year.

 

That number reported by GIPC is what Investors have informed them that they anticipatebringing into the country - over time!!

 

The GIPC and BoG have not been able to reconcile what actually came into the country.

 

GIPC focus and reports on initial FDI with the exclusion of reports on Actual FDI is due to the ff reasons:

 

A.  Initial FDI disclosure and registration is backed by the GIPC Act to ensure commitment by investors.

 

Where actual initial and additional FDI reporting by investors is required, it has no legal backing compared to the initial as such GIPC systems are weak in their monitoring and validation at their primary sources when reported.

 

B.  Though investors report on Actual inflows over time especially during registration renewal, the data reported need to be validated with the primary sources (i.e BoG and Customs division of GRA) to ensure their accuracy prior to reporting.

 

The process of cross agency validation has been met with challenges due to varying degree of automation to harness such information. At a point in time BoG and GRA pleaded for time to complete their systems to grant the needed interface for the needed validation of actual FDI data prior to their reporting by GIPC.

 

It would be good for GIPC to track all these investments over time and to let fellow Ghanaians know how much investment that has actually come into the country via goods, services and cash.

 

This is NOT the first year that the people of Ghana are being hoodwinked to think that the Number reported by GIPC is the actual investment inflows (equipment, cash, and services) in any particular year.

 

The number put out by GIPC is NOT actual inflows but rather the inflows anticipated as indicated by the investor when he was filling out the forms.

 

The actual Inflows is obtained from a reconciliation between BoG and GRA. Inflow include Goods, services, Cash and equipment.

 

The question is why is GIPC not reporting Actual Inflows but rather anticipated inflows especially when the year has ended and they should have all the data from the investor and can also do a complete reconciliation with GRA, and BoG.

 

Why misinform fellow Ghanaians??

 

 

AKM

27Apr2021

Banks profit growth drop significantly

 


By Elorm Desewu

The profitability growth of Universal Banks operating in the country for the first two months of 2021 has dropped significantly compared to the profit growth recorded during the same period in 2020.

The growth in profit after tax slowed to 5.9 percent from a high record of 38.8 percent during the prior year. This was attributed to declines in growth in revenue lines and higher loan provisions.

Interest income growth declined to 9.5 percent in February 2021 from 22.0 percent February 2020 due to the relatively low growth in credits while net fees and commissions increased by 13.7 percent, lower than the 18.4 percent recorded in the previous year.

Slower growth in credits, trade-financing and other off-balance sheet transactions contributed to the decline in growth of fees and commissions during the review period. Similarly, net interest income growth declined from 25.9 percent in February 2020 to 10.9 percent in February 2021, notwithstanding the dip in growth in interest expenses from the contraction in borrowings.

Cost control measures continue to impact positively on the sector with operational costs declining marginally by 0.3 percent, as against a growth of 18.6 percent over the same period in 2020. The marginal gain in operating cost was however offset by higher loan provisions.

Total provisions increased by 62.2 percent in February 2021, compared to 6.5 percent in February 2020, due to the rising NPLs partly from the general pandemic-induced repayment challenges as well as some bank specific loan recovery challenges.

Due to the slower growth in profits, profitability indicators declined, yet remained strong as at February 2021. Return on Equity (ROE) declined from 25.1 percent to 22.1 percent, while Return on Assets (ROA) dipped from 4.9 percent to 4.4 percent over the same comparative period Banks’ interest spreads narrowed marginally from 2.1 percent to 1.9 percent between February 2020 and February 2021, reflecting lower interest rates between the periods.

Accordingly, the industry’s gross yield declined from 3.1 percent to 2.8 percent while banks’ interest payable declined from 1.0 percent to 0.9 percent during the period. The sector’s interest margin to total assets also recorded a marginal decline from 1.4 percent to 1.3 percent over the period. The interest margin to gross income ratio however increased to 56.6 percent from 55.2 percent, reflecting the slower growth in gross income during the period.

The composition of banks’ income in February 2021 reflected the structure of the balance sheet. In line with the increase in banks’ investment holdings, interest income from investments remained the largest source of banks’ income, with its share increasing to 51.1 percent in February 2021 from 42.5 percent in the previous year.

 Interest income from loans was the second largest source of banks’ income but its share declined to 31.1 percent from 38.7 percent, reflecting the slowdown in credit growth. The share of fees and commissions however increased marginally to 12.3 percent from 11.7 percent over the same comparative period while the share of other income sources declined to 5.5 percent from 7.2 percent.

Total banking sector assets as at end-February, 2021 increased by 18.5 percent year-on-year to GH¢152.0 billion, marginally higher than the annual growth of 17.8 percent as at end-February 2020.

The higher growth in total assets reflected similar stronger growth in domestic and foreign assets of 19.1 percent and 11.1 percent; compared to the respective rates of 18.7 percent and 8.2 percent a year earlier.

Growth in banks’ investment holdings outpaced other asset classes due to the higher propensity of banks to invest more in less risky government instruments as a result of the pandemic-induced elevated credit risks and slowdown in credit demand. Investments shot up by 45.9 percent to GH¢67.9 billion, compared to the growth of 7.2 percent in the prior year. Accordingly, the share of investments in total assets scaled up further from 36.3 percent to 44.7 percent over the review period.

Gross loans and advances continued to experience a subdued growth, at 3.6 percent, a sharp decline from the 26.0 percent growth in the corresponding period last year. This is attributable to weak credit demand, higher repayments and banks’ increasing appetite for less risky assets.

Adjusting gross loans for provisions and interest in suspense, net loans and advances grew by 2.2 percent to GH¢41.4 billion, down from 27.2 percent over the same comparative periods. New loans and advances for the first two months of 2021 of GH¢4.7 billion also reflected the sluggish credit market condition with a 24.6 percent decline from the pre-pandemic level of GH¢6.2 billion for the first two months of 2020.

The expanded assets size of the industry was largely funded by deposits. Total deposits grew by 25.1 percent (year-on-year) to GH¢104.0 billion as at end-February 2021, compared to 15.6 percent a year earlier. Liquidity flows within the domestic economy from the COVID-19 fiscal stimulus as well as payments to contractors, SDI depositors, and clients of SEC-licensed fund managers provided additional funding to the banking sector to support asset growth.

Additionally, increased savings by individuals and firms against the pandemic-related slowdown in consumer and investment spending in some sectors also contributed to the strong observed deposit growth.

Growth in shareholders’ funds was stronger and is indicative of adequate capital buffers within the banking sector to withstand shocks. Shareholders’ funds grew by 21.2 percent to GH¢22.2 billion as at end-February 2021, compared with a 14.6 percent growth a year earlier, reinforcing the stability and resilience of the banking sector. The sustained growth in banks’ total net worth was driven by strong profit retention.

Banks continued to cut back on borrowings as they relied on relatively cheaper sources of funding from deposits and shareholders’ funds to fund assets’ growth. Total borrowings at end-February 2021 therefore contracted by 23.4 percent to GH¢14.3 billion, in sharp contrast to growth of 30.7 percent a year earlier. The decline in borrowings reflected mainly in short-term borrowings while long-term borrowings increased during the year.

 

Govt borrows ¢21.43bn from domestic market

 


By Elorm Desewu

The government through the Bank of Ghana, (BoG), plans to borrow GHC21.4 from the domestic market, through the issuance of Treasury Bills, Notes and Bonds for the second quarter of 2021.

According to the issuance calendar almost 80% of the amount to be used to service existing debt, while the remaining would be used to support government operations.

According to the calendar, the government will issue a 91-day Treasury bills worth ¢11.3 billion whilst ¢5.5 billion will be mobilized through the issuance of the 182-day T-bills. ¢1.57 billion is, however, expected to be raised from the one-year bill.

For the five-year bond, ¢2 billion is expected to be raised, whereas ¢1.0 billion will be mobilized through the issue of the seven-year bond.

Per this calendar, the 91-day and 182-day will be issued weekly, whilst the 364-day bill will be issued bi-weekly also through the primary auction with settlement being the transaction date plus one working day.

Securities of two-year up to seven-year will however be issued through the book-building method consistent with the Medium Term Debt Management Strategy (MTDS).

Government may however announce tap-ins/reopening of other existing instruments depending on market conditions.

The government assured all stakeholders and the general public that it continues to strive for greater predictability and transparency in the domestic bond market.

The calendar took into consideration government’s liability management programme, market developments (both domestic and international) and the Treasury & Debt Management objective of lengthening the maturity profile of the public debt.

Ghana’s total public debt stock reached an all-time high of ¢291.6 billion in December 2020, approximately 76.1% of GDP, the Bank of Ghana said.

According to the figures, external debt alone stood at ¢141.8 billion, approximately $24.7 billion. This is also equivalent to 37.0% of GDP.

The domestic debt was however slightly higher at ¢149.8 billion at the end of 2020, about 39.1% of GDP.

The financial sector debt also stood at ¢15.3 billion in December 2020, but ¢100 million lower, from the September 2020 data. This is however equivalent to 4.0% of GDP.

Saturday, 24 April 2021

MoMo accounts hits 17mn.. an impetus for e-Commerce


 



Adnan Adams Mohammed

First Deputy Governor of the Bank of Ghana has indicated that Mobile Money accounts registered by the telecommunication network companies in Ghana has reached over 17 million.

This, he believes provides a solid foundation and platform for e-Commerce to thrive in the country as the global is digitilising.

The more than 17 million active mobile money accounts, provides ample evidence of the increasing adoption of digital payments and provide a fertile ground for businesses to explore digital channels to interact with customers. I must emphasise that the financial sector digitisation programme is part of the bigger project of the Government in a bid to formalise the economy through digital technology.

“I must emphasise that the financial sector digitisation programme is part of the bigger project of the government in a bid to formalise the economy through digital technology”, Dr Maxwell Opoku-Afari empasized in a speech delivered at the 5TH CEO Summit held on 20 April 2021 on the theme: ‘Digital Transformation: Powering Business and Government Reset for a Post-Pandemic Economic Resilience – A Public-Private Sector Dialogue.’

Read Dr Maxwell Opoku-Afari’s full speech below:

“DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION: Powering Business and Government RESET for a Post-Pandemic Economic Resilience – A Public-Private Sector Dialogue”

A Speech by the First Deputy Governor, Dr. Maxwell Opoku-Afari at the 5TH CEO Summit 20th April 2021

The Chairman of the 5th CEO Summit CEO and Founder of the CEO Summit Captains of Industry Distinguished Guests Ladies and Gentlemen All Protocols Observed A very Good Morning to you all.

1. It is a pleasure to share a few words with you at the launch of the 5th CEO Summit. I would like to thank the CEO and Founder of the CEO Summit for the honour to speak at this august function.

2. The theme for this year’s summit, “DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION: Powering Business and Government RESET for a Post-Pandemic Economic Resilience. A Public-Private Sector Dialogue” is an excellent one for this present time as we seek to re-position the economy on a path of recovery and sustainable growth post-COVID-19 pandemic. The theme is also more appropriate within the context of how the economy has leveraged on digitalisation and other forms of electronic payments to navigate the pandemic to ensure that businesses and economic activity were almost seamless.

3. In fact, one school of thought posits that, if properly harnessed over the medium term, resetting the economy to fully harness the ongoing process digitisation is what will trigger structural reforms and economic transformation in developing economies, with Ghana at the forefront.

4. Over the past few years, the Bank of Ghana, through carefully crafted strategies, has been implementing programmes to transform the banking and payments system landscape from one dominated by cash to a cashlite environment. A key feature of the financial sector transformation project has been efforts being pushed to foster the promotion of digital financial services for an inclusive, efficient and convenient financial services industry.

5. To prosecute this agenda, the Bank of Ghana, has, in recent years been working collaboratively with stakeholders to put in place critical interbank payments infrastructures to serve as the core of an integrated and interoperable electronic payments environment. Once this core infrastructure has been put in place, it can be leveraged to stretch the boundaries of an efficient payments systems agenda. It becomes the base hub where innovation and growth in the FinTech landscape could be explored.

6. In addition, the regulatory environment has been revamped for a more competitive and innovative industry that is better positioned to serve the diverse digital financial services needs of individuals, businesses and government by creating a competitive environment for FinTechs. These projects have laid a solid foundation for businesses to receive and make digital payments that are convenient and safe by engaging relevant entities licensed by Bank of Ghana.

7. Obviously, the more than 17 million active mobile money accounts, provides ample evidence of the increasing adoption of digital payments and provide a fertile ground for businesses to explore digital channels to interact with customers. I must emphasise that the financial sector digitisation programme is part of the bigger project of the Government in a bid to formalise the economy through digital technology.

8. In spite of the tremendous achievements towards building a financial inclusive society through digitisation, the COVID-19 containment measures put in place at the height of the pandemic by the Government highlighted the digitisation gap and brought to fore the extent to which this gap can be exploited by businesses for economic efficiency and growth. The inability of businesses to incorporate and embrace digitalisation in their business models will undoubtedly create a void with dire consequences for the survivability of businesses during a post-pandemic pandemic.

9. Let me be clear that this transition will not be an easy one as there will be costs associated with changing business models. But this is where businesses will have to be resolute and remain steadfast in the pursuit of their ideals and take a long-term view of where they want to see their operations a decade from now. I am fully aware that some businesses are beginning to internalise this new normal and are taking adequate steps to adopt digital technology in their operations to ensure their relevance as well as grow their business traffic.

10. As the surge in customer online transactions progressed, in large part due to the COVID-19 restrictions imposed on the economy which limited movements, we are beginning to witness strong and enduring habits that are gravitating more toward online customer-business interactions. A customercentric business would of necessity have to restructure its operations to accommodate the increasing customer preference for online buying.

11. To make it easier for businesses to receive and make online payments, some payment service providers licensed by the Bank have been permitted to provide merchant acquiring and payment aggregation service for businesses. The solutions are designed and made available to businesses in a manner that does not impose high infrastructure cost and complex connectivity requirements. In furtherance of this, the Bank of Ghana has issued a three-tier merchant digital account with proportionate onboarding requirements to guide financial service providers in meeting the peculiar needs of small and medium scale enterprises. This policy change is expected to facilitate acceptance of digital payments by small and medium-size enterprises so as to provide convenience to their customers and also expand the geographical reach of their business.

12. I must state that the bank is aware of the importance of businesses, particularly SMEs, in the Ghanaian economy and is working with the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) on a Business Sans Borders project to enable SMEs 6 in Ghana leverage digital technology to improve on their businesses as well as give them access to explore global market opportunities.

13. In conclusion, I would like to assure CEOs that Bank of Ghana is very much aware of the changing times in our business environment, and is continuing to monitor the evolution of new trends. We stand ready to continue to provide and build upon the requisite infrastructure needed for development and ensure smooth business operation and will make sure the policy environment for businesses is enhanced and fine-tuned in a post-COVID19 environment.

14. A clear demonstration of the Bank of Ghana’s commitment to these ideals is the establishment in 2019 of a FinTech and Innovation Office, staffed with well-seasoned personnel, to oversee an orderly development of the growth of this burgeoning sector. I will encourage businesses to work conscientiously with banks and FinTechs in the implementation of their digitisation strategy. The Central Bank will welcome any form of engagement with industry to provide clarity on opportunities available in the banking and payments industry to assist businesses overcome the challenges of the pandemic and also reposition their operations for a post-COVID-19 environment.

15. With these few remarks, I wish you well in your endeavours.

Thank your very much for your Kind attention.

 

Digitisation of the 'susu' is to enhance financial inclusion - BoG

 


 

Adnan Adams Mohammed

The Bank of Ghana has said it is aiming at digitising the ‘susu’ system through its crowd-funding policy was to ensure many Ghanaians are able to access funding through savings on a fast and reliable platforms.

The 'susu' system is an age old form of savings where many people come together to commit themselves to saving an amount of money through an individual who goes round daily to take the savings and at the end of month the contributor either recoup the savings or keep it with the collector for some periods.   

Speaking at the Mobile Technology for Development (MT4D) Conference held recently on the theme: ‘The Role of Financial Inclusion in a COVID-19 Pandemic’, First Deputy Governor of the central bank, Dr Maxwell Opoku-Afari said: “while new business models are being explored to promote financial inclusion, the Bank is also facilitating the modernisation of indigenous financial services such as ‘susu’ with digital tools”.

“It is for this reason that the Bank issued the crowd-funding policy”, he explained, adding that it is “expected to encourage clubs, associations, market women and farmers to work with entities approved and licensed by the Bank of Ghana to provide refined susu services for our people without the need for much physical contact and with strong controls to guarantee safety of resources of participant”.

Read Dr Maxwell Opoku-Afari’s full speech below:

First Deputy Governor’s Speech at the Mobile Technology for Development (MT4D) Conference

The Role of Financial Inclusion in a COVID-19 Pandemic

A Speech by the First Deputy Governor, Dr. Maxwell Opoku-Afari at the Mobile Technology for Development (MT4D) Conference

20th April 2021

His Excellency, the Vice President, The Honourable Minister of Communication, Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen.

1.   Introduction

It is a pleasure to address the 2021 Mobile Technology for Development conference under the theme “The Role of Financial Inclusion in a COVID-19 Pandemic”.

I would like to thank the Telecommunications Chamber and the Financial Inclusion Forum for their commitment to sustaining this event, and also the invitation to the Bank of Ghana to be part of this important event.

This year’s event is taking place at an unprecedented time in recent global history, and provides an opportunity for stocking of our digitisation efforts as well as retooling strategies for effectiveness. In March 2020, the maiden MT4D was held and the Governor’s speech on “The Role of Regulators in Advancing Financial Inclusion and Innovation” was read at a physical event. Barely a month after the programme, COVID-19 evolved from an epidemic to a pandemic, scourging every country in the world, Ghana inclusive.

2. COVID-19 Policies

To prevent the spread of the virus, Ghana went into lockdown in March 2020 with restrictions on movement of persons, shut down of businesses not considered essential, and schools. These measures necessitated financial sector policy responses to sustain economic activity and livelihood by enabling remote payments and banking transactions as well as supporting vulnerable sectors of the society. The raft of policies implemented by the Bank were as follows:

· The primary reserve requirement for banks was reduced from 10 per cent to 8 per cent to provide more liquidity to banks to support critical sectors of the economy. Effectively, targeted reserves for small and medium enterprises under the Enterprise Credit Scheme was extended to all critical sectors;

· Capital Conservation Buffer (CCB) for banks of 3 per cent was reduced to 1.5 per cent. This was to enable banks provide the needed financial support for the economy; and

· Provisioning for Loans in the “Other Loans Especially Mentioned” (OLEM) category was reduced from 10 per cent to 5 per cent for all banks and Specialised Deposit-Taking Institutions (SDIs) as a policy response to loans that may experience difficulty in repayments due to slowdown in economic activity. Besides the above measures aimed at enhancing liquidity of banks, the following measures were also implemented to facilitate efficient and digital forms of payments.

· Mobile money funds transfers of up to GH¢100, excluding cash-out, was made fee free;

· All mobile phone subscribers were permitted to use their pre-existing mobile phone registration details to be onboarded for Minimum KYC Account;

· Daily mobile money transactions limits and maximum account balances were revised to enable users carry out more remote transactions; and

· Aggregate monthly transaction limits saw the most dramatic revision as transaction limits were abolished for Medium KYC and Enhanced KYC accounts. The only account type with limit imposed is the Minimum KYC.

3. Impact of COVID-19 Policies

A review of mobile money transactional data following implementation of the Bank’s COVID-19 financial sector policies indicated significant uptake of digital financial services. It was noted that inactive customers activated their wallets while existing users increased usage of wallets. For instance, activation of dormant wallets increased from an average of 71,984 per week before the measures to 84,025 per week significantly, the simplified onboarding requirements which leveraged GSM registration data contributed to new KYC accounts of 208,120. Also, average wallet balances increased by about 27% during the intervening period. Furthermore, the number of active merchants recorded a growth of 14 per cent, and reflected the growing digital payment acceptance by merchants. It was, however, noted that although interoperability transactions increased during the lockdown, it was not remarkable compared with on-network peer-to-peer transactions. This development was attributed to price sensitivity in mobile money transactions.

 

4. New Interventions

Ladies and Gentlemen, COVID-19 pandemic has tested the effectiveness and resilience of Ghana’s financial inclusion efforts. In general, the strategies and the specific COVID-19 interventions have proven to be effective. Notwithstanding, the crisis has exposed some gaps in policies and underscored the need to revise strategies to improve their usefulness. In response, the Bank has implemented a number of policies to accelerate digital financial inclusion in order to reduce the impact of COVID-19 on individuals, businesses and governments.

Among the measures implemented by the Bank are:

· Tiered Licence Categories

The Bank, in July 2020, published a Licence Application Pack under Notice Number BG/GOV/SEC/07 which provides for various licence categories for payment service providers. With this licensing framework, the Bank aims to promote an inclusive environment for competitive offering of innovative digital financial services targeting diverse customer groups in the Ghanaian society. This is expected to boost competition and promote financial inclusion through wide offering of digital financial services.

· Merchant Account Categorisation

An important policy intervention that has been made by the Bank to accelerate financial inclusion is the publication of Merchant Account Categories. In spite of the 14% increase in active merchants, it was observed that the requirements for onboarding merchants was steep, onerous and unfriendly to small and medium enterprises, which constitute about 90% of businesses in the country. This situation limits the feasible use cases of digital payment instruments for paying for goods and services. Also, businesses of merchants in the SME category suffered on account of their inability to meet the requirements for establishing merchant accounts. As a consequence, a three-tiered merchant account framework was published by the Bank for a more inclusive digital payment acceptance.

· GhQR

Further to that, you may recall that the Ghana Interbank Payments and Settlement Systems (GhIPSS) introduced the first national QR Code payment solution on the continent amidst the pandemic, and shortly after the maiden MT4D conference. With a goal of simplifying merchant payment and reducing the use of cash, this unified solution has been made available to banks and payment service providers in Ghana. With the introduction of the new merchant account categories, we look forward to seeing merchants of all sizes, even small food vendors, accepting payments through GhQR.

· Crowdfund Policy

Ladies and Gentlemen, while new business models are being explored to promote financial inclusion, the Bank is also facilitating modernisation of indigenous financial services such as “susu” with digital tools. It is for this reason that the Bank issued the Crowdfunding Policy. The policy is expected to encourage clubs, associations, market women and farmers to work with entities approved and licensed by the Bank of Ghana to provide refined susu services for our people without the need for much physical contact and with strong controls to guarantee safety of resources of participant.

Ladies and Gentlemen, though COVID-19 presented its challenges to us as a country and to our economy, it also became a potent catalyst for digitisation. Let us continue to work together as stakeholders to advance financial inclusion by exploring innovative digital financial services solutions that keep us safe and create economic growth opportunities to improve livelihoods.

Thank you.

Economic growth slows in 2020; ends year at 0.4%

 



 

Adnan Adams Mohammed

Ghana Statistical Service's released provisional figures on Ghana’s economy shows a 0.4 percent growth in the year 2020.

The rate represents a slower growth compared to the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank  projections of 0.9% and 1% respectively.

Also, the rate of growth was lower than the revised rate of government in its midyear budget. Government in its 2020 mid-year budget revised the economic growth rate of the country for the year 2020 from 6.8% to 0.9% at the peak of the Coronavirus pandemic.

However, while sharing the Gross Domestic Product figures at constant prices for 2020, Professor Samuel Kobina Annim revealed that the economy grew at a slower rate than anticipated.

“The provisional constant annual GDP estimate (incl. oil) for 2020 was GH₵165,992.7 million while the estimate for 2019 was GH₵165,307.6 million. This translates into a provisional annual Oil GDP growth rate of 0.4% for 2020", the Government Statistician, Professor Samuel Kobina Annim at a lecture at the University of Cape Coast disclosed.

On a quarter on quarter basis, Professor Kobina Annim, indicated that the economy grew by 3.3% in the 4th quarter of 2020 when compared with the 6% growth rate recorded in the 4th quarter of 2019.

He however added that the contractions experienced in the second and third quarters were worse than originally anticipated.

“We are yet to return to the pre-COVID 19 growth rates. It is important to note that the provisional figures that were released in the 2nd and 3rd quarters of 2020 indicated that the economy contracted by 3.2% and 1.1% respectively. Based on finalized figures we’re now seeing a contraction of 5.9% and 3.3% respectively. It is also important to note that based on the provisional figures the economy grew by 4.9% in the 1st quarter of 2020, but per the revised figures the economy grew by 6.8%.”

TUC hopeful minimum wage will be welcomed by all employees

 


Adnan Adams Mohammed

The Trades Union Congress is hopeful the outcome of the tripartite committee concerning the minimum wage for 2021 will be welcoming for employess.

They anticipate a wholistic approach considering the devastating state the COVID-19 bestowed on cost of living globally. The national daily minimum wage is the least wage any employer in the country can pay a worker in a day.

Secretary-General of TUC when speaking to journalists in Accra after a meeting on the minimum wage indicated that, organised labour has received the assurance of the Minister of Employment and Labour Relations, Mr Ignatius Baffour-Awuah, that as soon as the technical committee set up by the National Tripartite Committee to produce a report on the minimum wage finishes its job in the next two weeks, a negotiation meeting would be convened to discuss the matter.

“The process is that we have to put in place a technical committee, which will consider all happenings within the economy – things like the inflation rate and the growth of the economy – and submit the report to us”, Dr Anthony Yaw Baah, Secretary-General of TUC intimated. Adding that, “It is a very complex process and we hope they will do a good job”.

He, however, pointed out that the report of the technical committee is “usually not taken as a final product”.

“It is also negotiated”, he noted.

In 2019, the National Tripartite Committee (NTC) announced an 11 per cent increase in the National Daily Minimum Wage (NDMW) from GH¢10.65 to GH¢11.82.

It was expected to have taken effect on 1 January 2020.

Announcing the increase in Accra at the time, Mr Baffour-Awuah also stated that the NTC had agreed that the new minimum wage should be tax-exempt.

 

Thursday, 22 April 2021

Tax Appeals Board to be set up

 


All things being equal, the government will be making appointments to set up the Independent Tax Appeals Board (ITAB) in the next couple of months.. 


The new statutory body is to help adjudicate disputes between taxpayers and the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA). The board was created through the Revenue Administration (Amendment) Act 2020, which became law in October last year. One of its goals is to limit taxpayers’ recourse to the law courts to settle their tax disputes, as the board will be the first forum to hear appeals against contested decisions of the Commissioner-General of the GRA. 


Speaking at a virtual tax dialogue organised by the UK-Ghana Chamber of Commerce (UKGCC), Head of the Tax Policy Unit at the Ministry of Finance, Daniel Nuer, said there was a delay in composing the board and its secretariat due to the elections and the subsequent process of constituting the new government. 


“We expect that within the first half of the year, the appointments can be done and the secretariat can start setting up, so we all have the ease of looking at issues relating to decisions made by the GRA,” he added. 


The amended revenue administration law provides that a person who is dissatisfied with a decision of the Commissioner-General of the GRA may within 30 days appeal against the decision to the ITAB. 


Prior to the amendment, a person dissatisfied with any tax decision of the Commissioner-General could only seek redress through the courts. ITAB is expected to reduce tax litigation and improve taxpayer confidence in the revenue administration system.