Minority criticizes Bawumia’s vision, saying he cannot absolve himself from govt’s policies

Accra: Dr Cassiel Ato Baah Forson, the Minority Leader, has criticized the campaign policy of Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, Flagbearer of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), saying he cannot disassociate himself from the policies and programmes the Government is implementing.

He said Dr Bawumia, as Head of the Economic Management Team, played a critical role leading to the passage of the E-Levy and, therefore, he could not turn around to tell Ghanaians he was not part of it.

The Vice President, at his national campaign launch in Accra on Wednesday, February 7, promised Ghanaians that when given the mandate in the December 7 general election to lead the country, he would revive the economy, fight corruption and give a boost to the private sector.

He promised to abolish the E-Levy, Emissions and Betting taxes.

However, Dr Forson, in his address to the Parliamentary Press Corps in Accra on Thursday, in reaction to the Vice President’s campaign policy, reiterated that Dr Bawumia, as Ghana’s sitting Vice Pres
ident, had the power to remove any taxes if he so wished.

‘This is obviously for the simple reason that our Vice President is the Chairman of the Economic Management Team, he chairs the deliberation of all economic policies at his office,’ Dr Forson said.

The Minority Leader said all the economic policies President Akufo-Addo had implemented since 2017 were supervised by the Vice President; adding that Dr Bawumia’s position had further been strengthened because he was now the Flagbearer of the governing NPP.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Ghana Union Movement dismisses Bawumia’s vision for Ghana

Accra: The Ghana Union Movement (GUM) has described Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia’s envisioned development plan for the country as a ‘cover-up to win votes.’

The Union questioned the decision by the Vice President not to ‘own the failures of the Government’ and expressed doubt over his promise to abolish some of the taxes introduced by the current government.

In an interview with the Ghana News Agency, Reverend Christian Kwabena Andrews, the Founder and flag bearer of the GUM, took issue with the Vice President for not objecting to some taxes introduced by the Government prior to his election as flag bearer.

‘He (Bawumia) is part of the regime that introduced the e-levy and other tax measures; so, if he makes a U-turn and says he will abolish it, I do not think it is true because he was the leader of the economic giants that were managing the country,’ he said.

The Vice President, who is also the flag bearer of the ruling New Patriotic Party, addressed Ghanaians on Wednesday night, outlining a slew
of policies he plans to implement if elected President.

Dr. Bawumia, who has prioritised digitisation, stated that he intends to use technology and the private sector to create long-term jobs, generate revenue, and build systems that would propel Ghana into the modern global economy.

The Vice President promised to among others abolish the e-levy, which imposed a 1.5 per cent charge on all electronic and mobile money transactions over GHS100 per day.

He also promised to align Ghana’s port charges with that of Togo to check smuggling of goods.

Reverend Andrews said the GUM was in favour of the free port system and explained that the ‘heavy’ taxes on machinery imported into the country undermined investments in the industrial sector.

On the issue of employment, he said economic policies should target jobs that would add value to the country’s resources instead of focusing on the service sector.

‘Jobs in the service institutions do not add any economic value to the country. If you want to create jobs, we sh
ould focus on the production sector and create value,’ he said.

Touching on preparations towards the 2024 General Election, Rev. Andrews said the Party will, in March this year, open nominations for interested persons to pick parliamentary forms at the various constituencies.

He said the Party had also extended a public invitation to Mr Alan Kyerematen, the Leader and Founder of the Movement for Change, to be its running mate in the 2024 presidential election.

Rev. Andrews stated that Mr Kyerematen’s ideals and developmental objectives were consistent with those of GUM, hence the invitation.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Election 2024: NCCE urges public to reject candidates who do not promote peace

Anloga: The Anloga District Office of the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) in the Volta Region has urged the public to reject any political candidate who does not promote peace ahead of the 2024 general election.

That, the NCCE said, would help prevent any disturbance before, during, and after the polls.

Madam Emmanuella Woelikplim Afetorgbor, the Assistant Civil Education Officer at Anloga, in an interaction with the Ghana News Agency, encouraged the public to be ambassadors of peace.

‘We cannot afford to lose any life to election violence so the electorates must reject any candidate who would not promote and embrace peace,’ she stated.

Madam Afetorgbor further stated that violence always endangered the lives of the vulnerable, which include children and women in society which needed to be protected.

She said the public should help create and sustain within societies the awareness of the principles and objectives of the 1992 Constitution as the fundamental law that protected everyone.

need to educate and encourage one another to defend the Constitution at all times against any form of abuse or violence,’ she said.

She encouraged the public to keep practicing societal values such as peace, patriotism, unity, respect, empathy, inclusive interactions, and others for the development of the country.

Madam Afetorgbor urged all eligible electorates to vote for candidates who would create more jobs and opportunities and promote individual tolerance.

She charged the chiefs, political parties, corporate organisations, heads of institutions, and individuals to be peace ambassadors to create a conducive environment for all.

She appealed to journalists to avoid biased presentations on political issues as they had a vital role to play in promoting peace, being the Fourth Arm of Government.

Source: Ghana News Agency

‘This is what Ghana needs’ – Ministers, others react to Bawumia’s vision

Accra: Some government officials, including ministers of state, have praised Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia’s envisioned development plan for the country as ‘dynamic’ and ‘refreshing.’

The Vice President, who is also the Flagbearer of the ruling New Patriotic Party, addressed to Ghanaians on Wednesday night, outlining a slew of policies he plans to implement if elected President.

Dr. Bawumia, who has prioritized digitisation, stated that he intends to use technology and the private sector to create long-term jobs, generate revenue, and build systems that would propel Ghana into the modern global economy.

In separate interviews with the Ghana News Agency, some appointees of the government expressed delight about the message of the Vice President, saying his decision to digitalise all sectors of development was timely and necessary.

Mr Dan Botwe, the Minister of Local Government, Decentralisation and Rural Development, said the policies proposed by Dr Bawumia ‘gives us hope of continuity.’

He said the
focus on digitisation ‘will make systems work’ to reduce the problems faced in various sectors.

‘It is a very good speech. It gives us so much hope of continuity. New ideas with dynamism, strength and it are clear the emphasis on values that he is going to stand on to move the country is so touching and refreshing,’ Mr Botwe said.

Mr Joseph Cudjoe, Minister for Public Enterprises, said the formalisation of the economy ‘is what we need to bring Ghana among the comity of modern nations.’

‘The delivery by the vice president is extremely visionary and it is borne out of willingness and readiness to solve Ghana’s problems and take the country into the future.

‘We should all support… He has shown he understands development paradigm in modern terms,’ he said.

Mr Bice Osei Kuffour, the Managing Director of the Ghana Post Company Limited, said: ‘This is a well-thought-out plan. This is someone who understands Ghana’s development, has thought about it and is tabling plans.’

Mr Richard Ahiagbah, the Director of Co
mmunications, NPP, told the GNA that Ghana ‘will enter a new phase of possibility and development’ if the country bought into the plans of the Vice President.

‘My hope is that fellow Ghanaians will support us to make sure that this comes through,’ he said.

Meanwhile, the Importers and Exporters Association stated that it would thoroughly examine the Vice President’s address, particularly those that affect the freight sector.

Mr Asaki Samson Awingobit, the Executive Secretary of the Association, said the group would request further explanation to some of the critical issues, including flat tax rate for spare parts operators.

‘The Ghanaian tax bill has 22 tax components and so the flat tax rate that the vice president is proposing, at what percentage is it going to be?’ he asked.

Source: Ghana News Agency

My ministers and deputy ministers will not exceed 50 – Dr Bawumia

Accra: The Vice President and the Flagbearer of the New Patriotic Party, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, says he will work with not more than 50 ministers and deputy ministers under his presidency.

At the first public event following his election as NPP Flagbearer in Accra to outline his vision, Dr Bawumia said an efficient system of governance would require fewer ministers, hence, his decision to have less ministers.

”I would have no more than 50 ministers and deputy ministers,” Dr Bawumia assured.

Dr Bawumia underscored the need to enhance the role of the private sector along with fiscal and administrative decentralisation, improving our systems and the way our institutions function as that would lead to greater efficiency.

That, he said, would help to cut waste and ensure value for money in procurement.

”The move towards the private sector provision of many public services would create fiscal space of at least 3% of GDP. This represents a major paradigm shift. Additionally, an efficient system of governance w
ill require even fewer ministers,’ the NPP Flagbearer added.

‘An independent Fiscal Responsibility Council will be set up to reduce budget deficits and interest rates under my Presidency,’ Dr Bawumia stated.

To sustainably reduce the budget deficit and interest rates, Dr Bawumia explained that his government would enhance fiscal discipline through an independent fiscal responsibility council enshrined in the Fiscal Responsibility Act, 2018 (Act 982).

The Fiscal Responsibility Act would also be amended to add a fiscal rule that required that budgeted expenditure in any year did not exceed 105 per cent of the previous year’s tax revenue.

‘This will prevent the experience of budgetary expenditures based on optimistic revenue forecasts, which don’t materialise,’ Dr Bawumia explained.

Furthermore, his government would reduce the fiscal burden on government by leveraging the private sector.

He said the Akufo-Addo-led government, over the past seven years, had rolled out many social safety nets like Free SHS a
nd Free TVET to lessen the financial burden of Ghanaians.

‘With all these social safety nets in place, my government will now focus on jobs and wealth creation by the private sector for all Ghanaians. My administration will incentivise the private sector to complement government in the provision of many infrastructure and other services to reduce government expenditure and improve maintenance.”

The event was on the theme: ‘Ghana’s Next Chapter: Selfless Leadership and Bold Solutions for the Future,’ which enabled the NPP Flagbearer for the December Election to outline his vision and priority policies for the nation.

Mrs Rebecca Akufo-Addo, the First Lady, Wife of the Vice President Hajia Samira Bawumia, former President John Agyekum Kufuor, former Speaker of Parliament, Professor Mike Aaron Oquaye, and Mrs Osei Frema-Opare, the Chief of Staff were in attendance.

The others include the National Chairman of the NPP, Stephen Ayensu Ntim, Mr Justin Kodua Frempong, General Secretary of the Party, former presi
dential aspirants, ministers of State, members of Parliament, Party Executives, Council of Elders of the Party, and the diplomatic community.

The Kofi Ohene Konadu Auditorium of the University of Professional Studies, Accra (UPSA) where the forum was held, was filled to capacity with enthusiastic party supporters and sympathizers having to find space outside the auditorium.

Source: Ghana News Agency

DANIDA Alumni Network holds forum on sustainable agriculture

Tolon: The DANIDA Alumni Network has held a forum with farmers in the Tolon District of the Northern Region to share knowledge on sustainable agricultural practices.

The forum was to discuss ideas and opportunities and formalise what is known as the Lead Farmer Concept, where farmers have been trained to take up advisory roles aimed at bridging the extension officer-to-farmer ratio gap in the area.

It formed part of the Ghana Agricultural Innovation Network (GAIN), a project being undertaken by a four-member group of the DANIDA Alumni Network, under a grant by the DANIDA Fellowship Centre.

The GAIN project, which has been running for a year, seeks to present innovative concepts to transfer knowledge in the smallholder farming systems in the Northern, Savannah and North East regions.

Mr Eugene Dela Setsoafia, a Member of the DANIDA Alumni Network, who led the forum, said the concept was informed by the Alumni members’ observation, which showed that there were challenges in the northern smallholder farming

He said the initiative was to train farmers as leaders, who were capable of transferring knowledge to other farmers to cover up the lapses that resulted from lack of agriculture extension services.

Mr Setsoafia said experienced and knowledgeable farmers, who had some social capital, were in a better position to advice their peers to adopt this knowledge.

Participating farmers at the forum shared some perceived challenges they might encounter practicalising the concept of lead farmers, notable among them being the issue of logistics.

He said despite the challenges that the lead farmer concept could face it presented great opportunities for innovation.

Madam Garcia Amelle Honvoh, a Representative of the Denmark Embassy, Accra, who joined the forum virtually, said DANIDA invested in diverse fields, including Agriculture, by offering grants to people who had potentials of making significant impact in the industry.

He lauded the DANIDA Alumni Network for their involvement in the GAIN project and exp
ressed his hope for insightful outcomes.

Mr Bassit Abdul Zakari, the Tolon District Director, Department of Agriculture, lauded the lead farmer concept saying it had the potential to bridge the persisting agriculture extension services gap in the district.

He noted that the extension service officer to farmer ratio was 1:3000 as against the recommended ratio of 1:500.

Mr Zakari said the beneficiary lead farmers trained for the project were from various communities in the district, which meant that their acquired knowledge with on new technologies and sustainable farming practices would be shared effectively with most farmers in the area.

Source: Ghana News Agency