A Member of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) Communications Team, Godwin Edudzi Tameklo has described Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia as someone who enjoys engaging in “rush–talk.”
He said this attribute of Dr. Bawumia has exposed his lack of understanding as regards how public policies work.
In his words, “You know, our Vice President has this penchant for engaging in rush-talk. This rush-talk, with the benefit of time, has rather exposed the fact that our Vice President is really not thorough when it comes to policy issues.”
Explaining his assertion, Mr. Tameklo said the Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia led the government in striking a $2 billion deal titled Master Project Support Agreement (MPSA) with a hydropower engineering and construction firm, a Chinese state – run firm, Sinohydro Corporation Limited in September 2018.
The firm is enjoined by the deal to finance and execute the construction of infrastructural projects across the length and breadth of Ghana in exchange to having access to sites to mine bauxite in the country.
Mr. Tameklo said although the Minority warned Dr. Bawumia that the deal was going to incur debts, he (Dr. Bawumia) indicated that members of the opposition party do not read.
Mr. Tameklo said on JoyNews’ Newsfile on Saturday that, true to their suspicion, the deal has added to the country’s debt.
Touching on government’s Gold for Oil policy, Mr. Tameklo said Dr. Bauwmia who is credited with the initiative has failed to provide critical details of the programme to make for proper assessment.
According to him, Mr. Bamumia should be able to make known to the public, the quantum of gold the government gets from small scale miners and other mining companies and also indicate how much these gold are worth in order to purchase a specified metric tonnes of oil the country seeks to buy.
Mr. Tameklo’s comments come on the back of an assertion by Dr. Bawumia that the current reduction in fuel prices at the pumps is due to the Gold for Oil deal.
According to the Vice President, the ‘Gold for Oil’ policy which is now in its third month is already yielding a positive impact and is expected to cause a reduction in prices of petroleum products at the pumps from March 16, 2023.
Dr. Bawumia who was speaking at the commissioning of a new head office for the Bulk Oil Storage and Transportation Company in Accra said the country will make an annual savings of $4.8 billion to accelerate economic development.
“The savings in foreign exchange when we do, this will be an annual savings of $4.8 billion every year and that means the oil importing companies will not be going to the Bank of Ghana looking for $4.8 billion to buy oil”, he said.
However, some experts have expressed contrary views. They posited that the current reduction in petroleum prices is not necessarily attributable to the Gold for Oil policy.
A Political Risk Analyst, Dr. Theo Acheampong, also speaking on Newsfile, disagreed with government’s claim that the recent drop in fuel prices is a result of the Gold-for-Oil policy.
According to him, the price for gold-for-oil products are higher compared to existing products on the market.
He said the Bulk Oil Distributing Companies (BDCs) who did not participate in the policy are rather selling at lower prices.
Gov’t to restrict importation of rice, ‘yemuadie’ and other products
The government is set to lay before Parliament today, November 21, a Constitutional Instrument (C.I) seeking to restrict the importation of selected strategic products into the country.
The items, numbering over 20, will include rice, tripe (popularly called “yemuadie” in Ghana), and diapers.
The government said the move is part of efforts to enhance local production.
Speaking during a press briefing in Parliament, the Minister of Trade and Industry, K.T Hammond said, “Stomach of animals, bladder and the chunk of intestines (yemuadie), the country had had to put in an amount of about $164 million towards the importation of these items. We are taking steps to ensure that in terms of rice, there’s no poverty of rice in the country.”
He emphasized, “By these restrictions, we are not going to ensure that there’s no food in the country at all; that is not the point at all. There have to be some efforts by the government to ensure that we go back to Acheampong’s operation feed yourself. There are about 22 items on the list, one of them, I think, is diapers.”
He announced the introduction of the Ghana Standards Authority Regulations 2023, which also seeks to streamline the manufacturing of cement to ensure competitive pricing.
Mahama doesn’t understand 24hr economy; don’t vote for him – Bawumia
Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia says former President John Dramani Mahama does not understand the 24-hour economy policy he is proposing.
According to the Vice President, that policy is already being implemented in the country, as hospitals, fuel companies, among others, operate a 24-hour system.
Dr. Bawumia, therefore, urged Ghanaians to ignore Mahama during the 2024 polls since he has nothing new to offer and vote for the New Patriotic Party.
“John Mahama says he has a new idea. What is the idea? He says he wants a 24-hour economy. He doesn’t even understand that policy. Today in Ghana, our hospitals work 24 hours, our electricity company works 24 hours, our water company works 24 hours, our fuel stations work 24 hours, and many chop bars work 24 hours. Today because of digitalisation, you can transfer money 24 hours, you can receive money 24 hours… So he doesn’t understand his own policy. It doesn’t make sense.”
“So I want you to vote for me in 2024 because I will bring a new vision, I will bring a new policy. Mahama is the past, Dr Bawumia is the future. If John Mahama was there, we would say we have a dumsor economy, you can’t have a 24-hour economy in dumsor. So, you want to vote for Dr Bawumia in 2024, we will take the country to new heights,” Dr Bawumia stated.
Bagbin rebukes IMF over alleged pressure to pass some bills under certificate of urgency
The Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin, has accused the International Monetary Fund (IMF) of pressuring the House to pass a number of bills under a certificate of urgency.
Mr. Bagbin cited bills such as the Affirmative Action Bill, which is allegedly being pushed by the IMF as part of the conditionality for the balance of the $3 billion credit facility for Ghana.
Speaking at the Speaker’s Breakfast Meeting on Monday, Alban Bagbin insisted that the House will not be coerced by the IMF to pass the bill.
“Even in this budget, you can see the arm of the IMF in a lot of provisions in the budget. A critical bill like the Affirmative Action Gender Equality Bill has come to Parliament under a certificate of urgency. Please, it won’t happen; we won’t pass it under a certificate of urgency.”
“There are critical stakeholders we must consult and make sure we go together. We will not be dictated by the IMF; that one, you can be assured. This is a very critical bill that the IMF should know that we need the buy-in of the stakeholders to be able to implement it,” Alban Bagbin said.
The Affirmative Action Bill, when passed into law, would seek to expunge the historically low representation of women in decision-making spaces and promote democracy and development through all-inclusive participation.