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Ghana’s Debt Reaches GH¢23.4bn PDF Print E-mail
Source: daily-guide   
Thursday, 22 December 2011 14:55

Ghana’s debt escalated to an all time high of GH¢23.4 billion at the end of November 2011, indicating an increase of 39.2 percent over the end of December 2010 level.

The amount is equivalent to 43.9 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and indicates government’s appetite for borrowing, both locally and externally.

According to the latest Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) report ending December 2011, domestic debt was estimated at GH¢11.7 billion at the end of November 201, while the external debt stock was estimated at $7.6 billion, an increase of 21.7 percent over the December 2011 level. The $3 billion Chinese loan is however excluded.

Though some economists and policy think tanks have expressed concern about the rate at which government was borrowing, Governor Paa Kwesi Amissah Arthur, who made reference to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) assessment of the Ghanaian economy, said there was no problem with the rate at which government was borrowing.

Briefing the press yesterday on developments in the economy during the last quarter of the year, the Governor of the Bank of Ghana, said the Bank of Ghana’s Composite Index of Economic Activity (CIEA) indicates a continued momentum in economic activity.

“The CIEA recorded a growth of 6.4 per cent between August and October 2011. On a year-on-year basis, the CIEA posted a growth of 18 percent. The increase was reflected in growth in all the indicators of the Index,” he added.

With regards to the relative instability of the local currency, particularly in the last six weeks against the U.S dollar, the Governor assured all and sundry that the Central Bank has been intervening in the market on hour and daily basis to strengthen the Ghana cedi against the dollar.

CITY & BUSINESS GUIDE learnt that $50 million has been injected into the market by the Bank of Ghana this week to prevent the Ghana Cedi from falling.

On fiscal developments, total revenue and grants from January to November 2011 increased to GH¢9.3 billion from GH¢6.4 billion recorded for the same period in 2010.

Total expenditure, excluding foreign financed capital expenditure for the first 11 months of 2011, amounted to GH¢11.5 billion compared to GH¢8.2 billion a year ago. Wages and salaries and related expenditures totaled GH¢4.5 billion.

However, total expenditure, excluding foreign financed capital expenditure for the first 11 months of 2011, amounted to GH¢11.5 billion compared to GH¢8.2 billion a year ago. Wages and salaries and related expenditures alone totaled GH¢4.5 billion.

On some macroeconomic indicators, the balance of trade data showed provisional deficit of$2.6 billion for the first 11 months of 2011 compared with $2.4 billion for the corresponding period in 2010.

Total merchandise imports since the beginning of 2011 amounted to $14.4 billion, representing an annual growth of 49.9 per cent while total merchandise exports increased to $11.8 billion in 2011, representing a growth of 64.7 per cent over the value for the same period in 2010. This was driven by gold and cocoa prices with a boost from crude oil.

The Gross International Reserves of the Bank of Ghana stood at $4.8 billion as at the end of September 2011 compared to $4.7 billion in December 2010.

…Policy Rate Remains At 12.5%

The Bank of Ghana’s Policy Rate, the rate at which it lends to the banks and financial intermediaries, remained at 12.5 percent confirming assertions by analysts that it will be maintained for another period.

“While upside risks remain, the slowdown in the global economy, low foreign inflation, weak domestic business and consumer confidence as well as tight credit conditions for SMEs are expected to exert a moderating effect in the outlook,” Mr. Amissah Arthur said.

Interest rates broadly went down throughout the year. On the money market, the 91-day and 182-day Treasury bill rates declined to 9.6 and 10.8 per cent respectively in November 2011 from 12.3 and 12.7 per cent respectively in December 2010.

The rates on the 1-year note also declined by 140 basis points from the beginning of the year to 11.3 per cent in November 2011, while the 2-year fixed note rates went down by 60 basis points to 12.1 per cent over the same period.

The average three-month deposit rate of commercial banks fell to 7.8 per cent in November 2011 from 10.5 percent in December 2010. Similarly, average savings deposit rate also declined to 4.4 per cent from 5.9 per cent over the same period.

Average base rate within the banking industry declined to 22.8 per cent in November 2011 from 25.8 per cent in December 2010.

Vice President Commissions New Air Force Aircraft PDF Print E-mail
Source: -gna   
Tuesday, 20 December 2011 22:27

Vice President John Dramani Mahama has commissioned a twin-turboprop transport aircraft for the Ghana Air Force with a call on the pilots and crew to regularly maintain the plane to achieve its maximum benefits.

He said the CASA C-295-M, which is manufactured by Constucciones Aeronauticas SA in Madrid, Spain, would replace the Fokker 27 plane that had been used by the Air Force for the past 37 years.

The new aircraft, which has a civil forward facing capacity of 46 seats, military troop capacity of 70 seats and 24 medical evacuation stretchers, can fly for 11 hours non-stop and maximum speed of 245 knots with a range up to 2100 nautical miles.

The aircraft, apart from carrying passengers and goods would, also be used for supply dropping, surveillance, search and rescue and communications purposes.

Vice President Mahama said the Ghana Air Force would in March next year take delivery of a similar aircraft, while plans were far advanced to procure surveillance and training aircraft and four helicopters in subsequent times.

He commended the Ministers of Defence, Finance and Economic Planning for working out effectively with the government of Spain to procure the plane adding “this will go a long way to strengthen the already cordial relations between Ghana and Spain.”

Lieutenant-General J. H Smith (rtd), the Minister for Defence, said the procurement of the aircraft fromed part of government’s better agenda programme.

He said the government had gone through all mandatory and statutory approvals and appealed to the public against politicising national issues.

Minority demands Mould-Iddrisu's dismissal PDF Print E-mail
Source: citifmonline   
Tuesday, 20 December 2011 22:23

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The New Patriotic Party (NPP) minority in Parliament has revealed that the NDC financier, Alfred Agbesi Woyome, was paid a whopping GH¢58 million in a judgment debt and not GH¢42 million being reported in the media.

The minority has called on President John Evans Atta-Mills to relieve Betty Mould-Iddrisu, the former Attorney General and Minister for Justice, of her current ministerial post as education minister for being “negligent, reckless and unprofessional” in the case.

They have also urged the president to probe the case since the manner in which Woyome was awarded a judgment debt smacks of corruption and that amounts to financial loss to the state. The minority described the amount as the “single largest loss” to Ghana since independence.

“We demand investigations into this fraudulent contract,” Minority Leader Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu told the press in Accra at the House of Parliament.

He said Mr. Woyome never entered into any contract with the government of Ghana during the tenure of the NPP administration and therefore cannot sue as an individual let alone receive such huge amount.

“Woyome sued for services rendered in 2001 when the NPP government hadn’t bid for the 2008 Africa Cup of Nations rights,” he said.

Woyome has spent time in the last few days justifying his right to the judgment debt received in 2010 for what he has widely described as the illegal termination of a contract awarded him to renovate some stadia towards Ghana’s hosting of the 2008 African Cup of Nations.

Mensah-Bonsu claimed that President Mills’ request for a detailed report into the case is a “self-serving” attempt to “protect one of his own. ”

“He [Mills] is seeking to buy time… we demand that instead of a self-serving report, a truly independent inquiry like the Ghana@50 probe must be instituted to cleanse the soul of the nation and appease its spirit.

“There are more questions than answers,” he added.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 10 July 2013 19:15
Constitution Review Commission presents report to President Mills PDF Print E-mail
Source: gna   
Tuesday, 20 December 2011 22:18

Accra, Dec. 20, GNA -

The Constitution Review Commission, constituted by President John Evans Atta Mills in January last year to undertake a consultative review of Ghana’s 1992 Constitution, on Tuesday presented its final report.

The Report consists 15 chapters, and suggests measures that the Government might wish to take to translate its recommendations into constitutional, legislative and administrative actions that would improve national governance and the people’s lives.

Professor Emeritus Albert Kodzo Fiadjoe, Chairman of the Commission, in presenting the Report, said the “Current constitution is good and care must be taken not to engage it in an unwarranted amendment.”

However, in terms of substantive content, a review exercise must among other things cultivate and strengthen a culture of good governance, put national development planning on a firm and non-political pedestal , strengthen national culture as a source of national identity and recognise that the national diversity is a source of richness and wealth.

The Report recommends that a review exercise must strengthen Parliament, enhance the role of traditional authority in local governance, strengthen Independent Constitutional Bodies to better protect the institutions of State and the rights of people.

Finally, the Constitution must speak to the issues of corruption, ethnicity, dysfunctional politics, wastage of national resources, revenue leakages and unbridled government spending.

Professor Emeritus Fiadjoe made it clear that government must share the full contents of the Report with the people of Ghana in its entirety.

“I am happy to state that this Report represents the most comprehensive socio-political data base that Ghana has put together since independence. It contains the hopes and aspirations of the people of Ghana, even their fears and tribulations."

Later at a press conference in reaction to why many commissions reports were never made public, Professor Fiadzoe said: "This Report is yours, it is your intellectual property and carries your clear signature. The lifeless words embedded in these to me represent your living in vibrantly expressed public wishes and desires

"They also provide a reasonably safe and well considered road map to your new vision of retrofitted constitutional, architectural design which should guide Ghana’s future.

“Let no Government, State institution or political party deprive you of the fruits of your labour by taking these recommendations for granted.”

President Mills thanked the Commission for the work done.

Describing the document as consultative, he said it incorporated views of Ghanaians both at home and in the Diaspora.

He said the Executive Provisions would be looked at, and assured the Commission that Government would make as many copies available.

President Mills expressed gratitude to those who laid the foundations of Ghana’s constitutional documents that had nurtured democratic governance to its present levels.

He commended the Commission with its supporting staff, which was given a two- year mandate, for finishing ahead of schedule, explaining it was a mark of discipline for rapid national growth and development.

The exercise, for which an amount of $2.7 million was budgeted ended with $6.3 million in cash and logistics because of unanticipated additions like consultations from the Diasporan community and the need for more logistics.

Nduom to Quit CPP ? PDF Print E-mail
Source: the-chronicle   
Tuesday, 20 December 2011 22:13

Information gathered by The Chronicle indicates that the 2008 presidential candidate of the Convention Peoples Party (CPP), Dr. Paa Kwesi Nduom, who has been at the centre of controversies in the party, is girding up to announce his resignation from the party to form his own.

Nduom took the back stage on activities concerning the CPP, after he came under blistering attack by some executives of the party, who accused him of hijacking the party, and subverting the authority of the newly-elected executives.

Now, he is rallying his supporters for what he terms as a "new strong third force" for the upcoming general elections, with himself as leader.

Additionally, he is encouraging those who want to go to parliament in 2013, and are prepared to work and make sacrifice, to step forward. He has also invited those who want to join his campaign for president in 2013, to organise themselves and join his presidential train, a member of his communications team has said.

A few weeks ago, the Youth for Nduom 2012, argued that the failure of 98 percent of the electorate to vote for the CPP in the last three elections, was indicative of the fact that a lot of work needs to be done outside the CPP.

They further conveyed Dr. Nduom's intention to focus his attention on organising potential campaign supporters and volunteers outside of the CPP, who would help attract floating voters and the youth.

In furtherance of this agenda, it looks more likely that Dr. Nduom would part ways with an already limping cockerel.

According to the head of Dr. Ndoum's Communications team, Mr. Richmond Keelson, several messages of support had been received from independent-minded people, who are yearning for a real alternative to the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the New Patriotic Party (NPP).

"They often cite the problems encountered in the CPP, PNC, GCPP and DFP, and want an alternative movement that is independent of the NDC and the NPP, to rise and occupy the vacuum being created in the Ghanaian political landscape.

"Their call is the need for a Third Force, that is united, independent, and a progressive movement for Ghana. They see Dr. Nduom as the leader who can lead such a new progressive political force... Specifically, Dr. Nduom is saying a big yes to the entire well-wishers and supporters who have been calling on him to move now and not wait." he said.

According Keelson, Dr. Nduom holds the view that one does not need to have an affiliated seat in parliament to become president, since the country is governed by a presidential system, and not a parliamentary one.

"It is the President who makes or doesn't make things happen," he argued.

In all these, one thing is clear, Dr. Nduom will run as a presidential candidate in the upcoming general elections, with or without the CPP.


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