President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has said in his State of the Nation Address (SoNA) on Wednesday, March 8 that his government has not been reckless in borrowing.
Although he says questions that have been asked regarding the debt situation of the country are legitimate, he said there are projects to show for the borrowings that have been done over the period.
He said “Beyond the use of COVID funds, there are legitimate questions being asked about how the country’s debt situation got where it is. Mr Speaker, let me state emphatically that we have not been reckless in borrowing and in spending. It is worth noting that the debts we are servicing were not only contracted during the period of this administration.
“Mr Speaker, we have spent money on things that are urgent, to build roads and bridges and schools, to train our young people and equip them to face a competitive world. Considering the amount of work that still needs to be done on the state of our roads, the bridges that have to be built, considering the number of classrooms that need to be built, the furniture and equipment needs at all stages of education, considering the number of children who should be in school and are not, considering the number of towns and villages that still do not have access to potable water, I daresay no one can suggest we have over borrowed or spent recklessly.
He mentioned among other things that frontline health workers were given 50 percent tax relief for the period. Also, he said, electricity and water tariffs were subsidized for Ghanaians during the period.
This comes in the wake of a recent audit report on Covid spending issued by the Auditor General.
The Auditor-General report stated that “During our review, we noted that senior management staff and other supporting staff of the Ministry of Information paid themselves a total amount of GH¢151,500.00 as COVID-19 risk allowance for coming to work during the lockdown.”
It further indicated that the Ministry of Health (MoH) entered a contract signed on 15 December 2021 for the supply of 26 Toyota Hiace Deluxe Ambulances valued at US$4,049,460.12 out of which US$607,419.02 was paid to vide PV No. IPF 22-007 of 2 September 2022 is to be delivered by 15 January 2022.
However, the report said, the ambulances remained undelivered as of 28 November 2022.
We’ll ensure there are enough funds for 2023/2024 cocoa purchasing season – COCOBOD
COCOBOD has assured that concrete steps have been taken to ensure it is able to secure enough funds to finance its annual cocoa purchases in the 2023/2024 crop season.
Against the backdrop of a reportage by Reuters that the firm had borrowed up to $200 million from cocoa traders to plug its funding gap, COCOBOD said it had adopted a two-prong financing strategy to ensure that it obtained the required funds for the purchasing season.
A statement from COCOBOD in response to the Reuters report indicated that it had had firm assurances from its bankers of making funds available in time for the purchasing season and that a “Cocoa syndicated Loan has been laid in Parliament for consideration and approval.”
Below is COCOBOD’s full statement.
FINANCING OF PURCHASES FOR 2023/24 CROP SEASON
There have been some recent publications in the news media in relation to funds for cocoa purchases for the 2023/24 Crop Season.
We wish to brief our stakeholders on this very sensitive national issue as follows:
COCOBOD planned a two-prong financing for the 2023/2024 Crop Season in an effort to diversify Its source of funding for the annual cocoa purchases.
The strategy was therefore, to use a prefinancing arrangement with the international buyers to raise an amount of US$400 million for purchases at the beginning of the Season in September 2023.
These initial funds were expected to be augmented by an additional US$800 million loan from a syndicate of lenders by the end of November 2023. After engagements with buyers for several weeks, the arrangement was however discontinued.
Thus, since the beginning of the Season, cocoa purchases have been financed with noncollateralized cocoa sales proceeds. COCOBOD is therefore still in the process of securing the syndicated loan for the 2023/24 Crop Season.
As a matter of fact, the Board has so far received firm response from our bankers in this regard, and the Cocoa syndicated Loan has been laid in Parliament for consideration and approval.
We wish to use this medium to assure our stakeholders that the necessary arrangements have been made to secure enough funding for cocoa purchases for the year under review.
ISSUED BY: PUBLIC AFFAIRS DEPARTMENT
Ghana is a good place to do business – Bawumia tells Czech investors
Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia is actively seeking Czech investors for the country.
Dr. Bawumia emphasized that Ghana remains the best country in Africa for investment due to its stability, peace, and growth opportunities for businesses.
He made these remarks during his meeting with the Czech Prime Minister, Peter Fiala, at the Jubilee House in Accra.
“Ghana is an excellent place for doing business. We are the most peaceful country in West Africa and the second most peaceful country in Africa. It is crucial for anyone looking to invest in Africa to consider Ghana as the ideal destination for business.”
“I am confident that this will open up opportunities for our respective business sectors,” he stated.
Mahama’s ’24hr Economy’ project will revolutionize Ghana – Dafeamekpor
South Dayi Member of Parliament, Rockson Nelson Dafeamekpor, has said that the ’24-hour Economy’ project conceived by the flagbearer of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) Former President John Dramani Mahama will turn the economy around if implemented.
Mr Mahama proposed the ’24hr Economy ‘ project when he met with officials of the country’s mother workers union on Tuesday, November 7, 2023 at the start of his engagement with key stakeholders in a quest to return to power.
Dubbed ‘Building Ghana Tour’, the interactions with the stakeholders is to apprise them of the policies the next NDC administration will implement to transform the economy.
At Tuesday’s engagement, he said “NDC was left alone as the solitary voice seeking to hold the government accountable and speaking up for the voiceless Ghanaian and we were often cast out as spoilt brats who were ranting just because we have lost power.
“Today, the chickens have come home to roost and we are all affected.”
Commenting on this in a tweet, Mr Dafeamekpor said “Some concrete Examples of John Mahama’s ‘24hr Economy’ Projects include Terminal 3 at Kotoka, Tema Port Container Terminal, New Ridge Hospital, Maritime Hospital, Tema, UGMC, Legon, Kejetia Market, Accra Data Centre, the TamaleTeaching Hospital. It’ll revolutionize the economy.”