The much talked about Let My Vote Count Alliance (LMVCA) organised â€œBaamu Yaddaâ€ demonstration aimed at getting the EC to validate the votersâ€™ register for the November 7 polls is currently underway in Kumasi.
The running-mate to the flagbearer of the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP),Â Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, says the government of President John Mahama will be replaced by that of Akufo-Addo in exactly 216 days.
Head of the Political Science Department of the University of Ghana, Dr Bossman Asare has commended the Ghana Police Service's decision to provide security for candidates and their running mates who will be running in the upcoming November 7, presidential elections saying it was in the right direction.
The Ghana Police Service at meeting with political party representatives last Friday outlined its plans on security for flagbearers and their running-mates.
The plan gives the parties the option to choose the security personnel to be detailed for them.
Many people however have criticised the plan saying the police only brought it up because the New Patriotic Party (NPP) invited three ex police officers to train their own party security personnel.
But speaking of Peace FM on Tuesday, Â Dr Asare who agreed with this notion, said though the police should have been pro-active and done this long ago, it was still worth the while since the flagbearers needed to be protected.
He suggested that since some of the parties drew larger crowds than others, it would be better if the police reconsidered the decision to provide just four police escorts for flagbearers and two for their running mates and provided more for the larger parties.
He added that the plan, in the future, should be made to accommodate all persons who vie in presidential primaries.
The New Patriotic Party (NPP) has denied claims by Accra-based Neat FM presenter, Adakabre Crimping Manso that its flagbearer, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, Â in Â 2014 abused and threatened him saying the claims are all part of "continuous attempts to tarnish the image of Nana Akufo-Addo".
The veteran radio presenter who is also a lawyer had in an interview on Joy FM on Monday Â accused Nana Akufo-Addo of abusing and threatening him adding that "I was so sad and scared but I kept quiet because I didnâ€™t want to be the fall guy through which something happens and they would say it is because of Adakabre so I kept quiet. I was afraid becauseâ€¦I was told to the face that you will be killed at a specific date, I have all the evidence, I can substantiate themâ€¦I have everything on my phone, I have kept the phones and I would be willing to show it to anybody who wants to see them"
But in a statement signed by Deputy Communications Director, Anthony Abayifaa Karbo, the NPP described Adakabre as "completely false, unfounded and mischievously put out all in the continuous attempts to tarnish the image of Nana Akufo-Addo and paint him as an intolerant and violent person. It is not surprising that a known Akufo-Addo hater, like Adakabre, would join this NDC-led propaganda bandwagon aimed at denting the image of Nana Akufo-Addo. Unable to defend their non-existent record of achievement, and their abysmal mismanagement of the Ghanaian economy, which has brought untold hardships to the people of Ghana, the NDC and its minions have resorted to fruitless attempts to paint Nana Akufo-Addo black".
"It is instructive to note that in Adakabreâ€™s interview on Joy FM this morning, he claims to have evidence on his phone about the threats Nana Akufo-Addo made against him, and is prepared to â€˜show it to anybody who wants to see. We dare Adakabre to publish in full the evidence he claims to have on his phone, which points to the fact that Akufo-Addo threatened him. Additionally, threats against the life of a person is a criminal act and we would encourage Adakabre to lodge a formal complaint against Nana Akufo-Addo at the nearest Police Station, and subsequently the matter referred to the Court of Law", part of the statement read.
Below is the full statement:
The attention of the New Patriotic Party has been drawn to the contents of an interview granted by Adakabre Frimpong Manso on Monday, April 4, 2016 on Joy FM, where, amongst others he stated that Nana Akufo-Addo had made threats on his life and abused him.
Adabkabre is quoted as saying that â€œNana Addo abused and threatened me, I was so sad and scared but I kept quiet because I didnâ€™t want to be the fall guy through which something happens and they would say it is because of Adakabre so I kept quiet. I was afraid becauseâ€¦I was told to the face that you will be killed at a specific date, I have all the evidence, I can substantiate themâ€¦I have everything on my phone, I have kept the phones and I would be willing to show it to anybody who wants to see them.â€Â
We would like to state emphatically, without any shred of doubt, that the above statements made by Adakabre are completely false, unfounded and mischievously put out all in the continuous attempts to tarnish the image of Nana Akufo-Addo and paint him as an intolerant and violent person. It is not surprising that a known Akufo-Addo hater, like Adakabre, would join this NDC-led propaganda bandwagon aimed at denting the image of Nana Akufo-Addo. Unable to defend their non-existent record of achievement, and their abysmal mismanagement of the Ghanaian economy, which has brought untold hardships to the people of Ghana, the NDC and its minions have resorted to fruitless attempts to paint Nana Akufo-Addo black.
Just as the NPP has complained time without number about the conduct of Adakabre Frimpong Manso on his show on Neat FM, which has resulted in the party boycotting the latterâ€™s show, Nana Akufo-Addo also expressed his displeasure about the treatment being meted out to him on a daily basis by Adakabre on his show in April 2014, at the residence of the late Alhaji Aliu Mahama in Tamale, when the pair met. This was not done in private, but in the full glare of other persons present at the time. Nana again, confronted him at a press soiree in his home at Nima. At no point, in these discourse, did Nana Akufo-Addo make threats on the life of Adakabre Frimpong Manso. Threats on the lives of people do not form part of Akufo-Addoâ€™s politics.
It is instructive to note that in Adakabreâ€™s interview on Joy FM this morning, he claims to have evidence on his phone about the threats Nana Akufo-Addo made against him, and is prepared to â€˜show it to anybody who wants to see. We dare Adakabre to publish in full the evidence he claims to have on his phone, which points to the fact that Akufo-Addo threatened him. Additionally, threats against the life of a person is a criminal act and we would encourage Adakabre to lodge a formal complaint against Nana Akufo-Addo at the nearest Police Station, and subsequently the matter referred to the Court of Law.
If Adakabre fails to substantiate these accusations against Nana Akufo-Addo, we demand nothing short of a retraction of these baseless and false allegations and an unconditional apology to Nana Akufo-Addo.Â
Majority Leader, Alban Sumani Kingsford Bagbin's bid for seventh consecutive terrm in Parliament looks to be under threat from the National Chairman of the Peopleâ€™s National Convention (PNC), Bernard Ambataayela Mornah, who is gearing up to unseat him.
Ghana's fight against corruption is failing because the media is corrupt, Dr Edward Nasigre Mahama, Â Flagbearer of the Peopleâ€™s National Convention (PNC), has pinpointed, positing that 99.5 percent of them are corrupt.
Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, NPP Vice-Presidential Candidate, has outlined a comprehensive ten-point plan to boosting job creation and ending the massive joblessness that affects millions of the Ghanaian youth today.
Dr. Bawumia laid out this plan during a Lecture on the topic â€“ â€˜High Graduate Unemployment and the Employment Embargo, What is the Solutionâ€™ to students of the Kwame Nkrumah University College at a Public Lecture organized by the Economics Students Association on Tuesday.
He stated that the goal for now is to build the most people friendly and most business friendly, globally competitive economy in Africa.
Formalizing the Economy
The first key, according to Dr. Bawumia, to creating the needed jobs and transforming the Ghanaian economy is formalizing the economy. He noted that no developed economy could have reached their current status without formalizing their economies.
He indicated that a comprehensive National identification database with unique identifiers for each person and a well-functioning property address system are some of the pillars to formalising the economy.
He said that a Data Revolution was critical to Ghanaâ€™s development, indicating that such a Revolution would involve linking databases across institutions such as DVLA, Police, Courts, Immigration, Revenue Agencies etc.
â€œAll modern economies all formalized. Formalization makes the collection of taxes, discipline and job creation easier. The keys to formalizing an economy are the existence of a National ID System and a functioning Property Address System. The benefits of a national ID system or a unique identification number for residents and a well-functioning Property Address System are significant. Activities of residents with regards to taxes, loan applications, crime, job applications, housing, insurance, health, etc. are uniquely identifiableâ€, he said.
Dr. Bawumia also identified the movement from cash to electronic payments using mobile and other ICT platforms as another pillar to formalizing the economy.
The second key for Dr. Bawumia is financial inclusion â€“ banking the unbanked.
â€œThe financial system cannot develop to its potential and monetary policy cannot be effective if the majority of the population continues to be excluded from access to financial services. The importance and urgency of banking the unbanked is something that is clearly not appreciated by many governments. As well as formalizing the economy, it holds the key to reducing interest rates sustainably with the support of disciplined fiscal policy. This is because banking the unbanked increases the supply of savings in the banking system.â€
Citing examples from various countries, Dr. Bawumia noted that a deliberate governmental policy was necessary to spur financial inclusion and that if achieved, it will ensure that businesses can borrow at very low and stable rates to grow business and employ more.
â€œWide access to financial services in the developed economies increased the supply of savings in their banking systems and reduced the cost of borrowingâ€, he added.
Diversifying Export Base & Developing the Property Market
The third key, according to Dr. Bawumia, is diversifying the export base of the country and deliberately pursuing policies to make Ghana the production hub in the sub-region to attract the needed industries and investment to create jobs.
The fourth key in the ten point plan is developing the mortgage market which, according to the NPP Vice-Presidential Candidate, holds the key to awakening the dead capital in Ghanaâ€™s property market and boosting growth and jobs.
He noted that developing the mortgage market requires finding a solution to the issues that bog land acquisition and streamlining the processes around the acquisition and development of property.
â€œFrom our Zongos like Nima, our inner cities like James Town to our well developed neighbourhoods like East Legon in Accra, so many people do not have titles to land. Our people are sitting on very valuable property but without title to them. Finding a solution to this problem would jump start the mortgage market in a big way.
â€œSolving this problem would increase the supply of houses by the private sector, empower the poor who would be able to borrow against the collateral of their houses and start or expand businesses, and result in a housing sector led boom in the economy and higher tax revenue for government.
â€œA blossoming Mortgage Market, with the necessary structures and pillars, will see openings for several well-paying jobs which our youth can be beneficiaries of. The property market is perhaps one of the most labour intensive sectors and it is thus a critical cornerstone for an economy that seeks to win the war against employmentâ€, he said.
Favourable Policy Framework & Economic Stability
The fifth key to ending the massive joblessness that confronts the nation today is putting in place a trade policy that encourages production, especially in key sectors Ghana has a competitive advantage in and one that utilizes tax policy to boost production and jobs instead of focusing on revenue to the detriment of production and jobs.
â€œGhana should focus on providing the tax incentives for increasing production and generating employment. In the process revenue can be raised from corporate and income taxes. What we should not allow to happen is for the desire to generate revenue to kill businesses and cause unemploymentâ€, he said.
Dr. Bawumia also stated that the institution of a tax credit incentive for businesses that employ fresh graduates will encourage the hiring of more youths and discourage the tendency of businesses to require â€˜years of experienceâ€™ before they employing job seekers.
The sixth key to creating an economy of jobs is macro-economic stability and debt sustainability.
Dr. Bawumia pointed out that macro-economic instability affects businesses negatively and hinders business growth and employment.
â€œHigh fiscal deficits, high current account deficits, -high inflation, high interest rates, exchange rate depreciation, do not provide supportive environments for job creation. They in fact result in job lossesâ€, he said.
â€œWith such large scale borrowing, government is crowding out the private sector which is unable to borrow to grow their business. Risk free Treasury bill rates are around 25% (up from 10.6% in 2011) and bank lending rates are on the rise because of excessive government borrowing. Lending rates are now above 30 percent.
â€œThis development means it has become virtually impossible for business to borrow in the financial sector to grow and produce more. Government has today become the biggest competitor to private business and by its actions squeezing the little life left in them.â€
He noted that while the economic slump the country faces has discouraged several investors from setting up businesses in Ghana, preferring countries like La Cote dâ€™ivoire and others with favourable economic conditions, the situation had led the government into introducing several desperate policies like astronomic increases in taxes, which had affected businesses more negatively and the abolishment of several expenditure items, which is hampering the development of the quality human resource needed by the country.
The four other critical keys to creating an economy of jobs which Dr. Bawumia explained were increase infrastructure investment to match growth in economy and to support production; addressing corruption, the cost of which is borne ultimately by businesses and citizens, prioritizing Agriculture and ensuring value addition to raw materials and investing in skills training and research.