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If Ghana was Okudzeto Ablakwa’s Company would he still support Mills-Mahama to spend $1 million on In-flight Entertainment in 2011?

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If Ghana was Okudzeto Ablakwa’s Company would he still support Mills-Mahama to spend $1 million on In-flight Entertainment in 2011?:

Mr. Okudzeto Ablakwa has started needless propaganda with support from NDC members against the recent foreign trips by President Akufo-Addo to France, Belgium and South Africa.

The premise of Ablakwa’s position is that, renting $15,000 per hour for a private jet for nine-day foreign travel by President Akufo-Addo is a wastage of public funds, and that, if Ghana was President’s private company would he have behaved in that way?

First and foremost, the argument by Okudzeto Ablakwa is without substance, it is completely unnecessary.

If the Presidential jet was in good shape, and in a better condition for long hours far distance travels (France, Belgium and South Africa) there is absolutely NO WAY President Akufo-Addo as prudent as he is, would have gone for renting of a private jet at the cost of GHC2.8 million (around $500, 000).

The discussion should rather be, as a country should we buy a new modern presidential jet, at what cost, specifications, mode of payment or should we only focus on repairing the existing one?

It is very interesting to note that, in 2011, the same Okudzeto Ablakwa raising concerns about the cost of foreign travel by President Akufo-Addo was busy defending the government’s decision of Mills-Mahama to use the taxpayer’s money of over one million dollars for just In-flight entertainment.

The decision of the Mills-Mahama administration to use $1 million for in-flight entertainment in 2011 defended by Okudzeto Ablakwa was very reckless, highly irresponsible and a complete waste of public funds.

Around 20th March 2008, Mr. Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa wrote an article under the headline, “Purchase of Presidential Jets: President Kufuor’s End of Service Package?”

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Okudzeto Ablakwa in his strongly worded and harsh propaganda article questioned and suggested that the proposed purchase of the Chinese two aircraft by Kufuor’s government was intended as the end of service benefits to President Kufuor.

Through the article, Okudzeto Ablakwa was able to use his packaged lies and misinformation against Kufuor’s government in 2008.

However, in 2011, under the Mills-Mahama administration, the same Okudzeto Ablakwa was very busy jumping from one media platform to another defending the Mills-Mahama government’s decision to purchase 5 “Entertainment” aircraft at the cost of over Two Hundred and fifty million dollars ($250 million) at the expense of the taxpayer.

The breakdown was as follows:
1. Embraer E 190 Jet with a hangar purchased with a loan of $105, 370,177.09 from the Brazilian Development Bank.

2. Two BA 42 MPP Guardian Surveillance aircraft with a loan of 11.75 million from the Fidelity Bank Ghana Limited.

3. Two CASA 295 Military Transport aircraft with a credit facility of 60,034,636 from the Deutsche Bank SAE of Spain.

4. $17 million for the building of a hangar.

5. $1 million was used for In-flight Entertainment. In fact, this is one of the worst political decisions ever made since independence.

When Ghanaians complained bitterly about the cost of the Jets, the loans for the purchase of the Jets and its adverse effect on the economy at the time, Okudzeto Ablakwa vehemently told Ghanaians that, “we are buying aircraft not Landcruiser, or Tico or Nissan Toyota so it is important for us to look at the facts of the matter”.

Now, what stops Okudzeto Ablakwa to look at the facts of the matter in the case of President Akufo-Addo’s recent foreign trips?

If anything at all, President Akufo-Addo was able to secure €170 million for the establishment of Development Bank Ghana(DBG) similar to Brazilian Development Bank where Mills-Mahama secured a loan of $105,370,177.09 for the purchase of just E190 Jet.

Okudzeto Ablakwa’s argument against recent foreign trips by President Akufo-Addo is a complete joke.

…. Signed…..
Razak Kojo Opoku
(CVM Founder and President)

General News

Tour Operators’ Union of Ghana outdoors maiden newsletter

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Tour Operators’ Union of Ghana outdoors maiden newsletter

The Tour Operators Union of Ghana (TOUGHA), on Friday, November 24 launched the ‘Tougha Newsletter,’ the maiden publication of the Union.

The 44-page, full colour brochure is awash with information on the activities of TOUGHA including tours to sites and destinations and donations to selected orphanages in various parts of the country. The Union’s support towards promoting domestic tourism is also given much prominence in the new publication. Readers can also learn about travel tips in Ghana in the newsletter. Several articles, including one by TOUGHA President, Mrs. Alisa Osei-Asamoah on domestic tourism is also featured. Also contained in the newsletter are pages where almost all members of TOUGHA and their contact information can be found.
The colouful launch event at the Labadi Beach Hotel attracted a broad spectrum of Ghana’s tourism industry stakeholders, both public and private, traditional authorities, academia and the media.

Mrs. Alisa Osei- Asamoah described as historic, the publication of the newsletter. “Indeed, this is a day that I have looked forward to for a really long time. This day marks yet another important milestone in the forward march of our beloved union,” she said.
She added that the newsletter seeks to offer a credible and authoritative medium for disseminating critical industry information, analysis of sector trends, and among others, offer alternatives to policy initiatives and inspire right partnerships and penetration into unexplored products of the country’s tourism sector.
Mrs. Osei-Asamoah postulated: “TOUGHA is contributing this newsletter as a tool that we believe can perform a useful role in facilitating the creation of a more congenial environment for sustainable growth and development of the travel and tourism industry in Ghana.”
Deputy Minister of Tourism Arts and Culture, Mark Okraku Mantey congratulating TOUGHA also highlighted the significant role in Ghana’s tourism, stating that “We could not call ourselves a Ministry of Tourism without TOUGHA.” He said the Ministry would continue to partner and work with the Union to achieve the goals of building a robust tourism sector for the country.

Also pledging their continuous support and collaboration was the CEO of the Ghana Tourism Development Company, Kwadwo Odame Antwi who also spoke on behalf of the Ghana Tourism Authority CEO, Akwasi Agyeman.

 


A representative of Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu, the Life Patron of TOUGHA, Manwerehene Baffour Osei Hyiaman Bretuo VI commended TOUGHA for the initiative to publish a newsletter. Calling for more support from the Ministry and its agencies for the Union, the Manwerehene said TOUGHA has over the years established itself as a formidable body for which reason the doors of the Asantehene were open to them on the regular.
Alongside the launch of the newsletter, founding members of TOUGHA were also given citations of honour for their pioneering role in establishing the Union. Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Dr. Ibrahim Mohammed Awal and CEO of Ghana Tourism Authority, Akwasi Agyeman were also presented with citations for constantly supporting TOUGHA’s activities and Ghana’s tourism.
The evergreen Winneba Youth Choir and whiz kid, Nakeeyat were also in attendance to serenade patrons with beautiful music renditions and poetry performance respectively with exciting cultural music and dance also on display.
An e-version of the newsletter is available for download at www.touroperatorsgh.com

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Unemployment rate started rising under Mahama – Duffuor

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Unemployment rate started rising under Mahama – Duffuor

Former Finance Minister Dr Kwabena Duffuor has said he was able to assist the late Professor John Evans Atta Mills to reduce unemployment rate from the time Prof Mills became President in 2009 to 2012.
But, he said, the rate started increasing from 2013 to 2015, the period that Former President John Dramani Mahama was in office.
Delivering a public lecture in Accra on Monday November 29, he said “High and rising inflation increases the cost of living at a fast pace, thereby eroding people’s real incomes and savings. By fueling wage pressures and raising the cost of other production inputs, it also increases the cost of doing business. Furthermore, rising inflation forces up interest and lending rates, since savers—whose surplus funds are lent to borrowers—naturally demand a higher reward for deferring consumption to the future. Higher lending rates then lead to the cancellation of otherwise viable investments, with negative effects on economic growth and employment generation.
“Historically, Ghana has experienced these effects of inflation in their most destructive forms, as the country’s post-independence economic history is marked by many episodes of runaway inflation, including prolonged periods of hyperinflation in the 1970s and 80s.
“Because Ghana relies heavily on imports to meet its consumption needs, a rapidly depreciating exchange rate is a major source of inflation. In addition, given the country’s rapid build-up of foreign debt, which accounts for about half of total public debt, a sharply weakening exchange rate significantly increases the size of the foreign debt and the cost of servicing it in domestic currency terms. In fact, research conducted by the Institute for Fiscal Studies has shown that exchange rate depreciation is a significant driver of Ghana’s public debt dynamics, as it accounted for almost 30% of the growth of public debt between 2006 and 2019.
“These problems call for the effective management of inflation and the exchange rate to ensure their stability to protect living standards and support rapid economic growth and development. To achieve this requires, from the macroeconomic perspective, disciplined fiscal and monetary policies.
“Mr. Chairman, this has been done before. In 2009–2012 under the Mills NDC administration, our success in lowering the fiscal deficit from 14.5% of GDP in 2008 to 4% of GDP by 2011, as well as our success in slowing the rate of monetary growth, facilitated a fall in inflation from 18.1% in December 2008 to single digits for 31 consecutive months starting from June 2010 to December 2012. This remains to date the longest period of single-digit inflation in Ghana since independence. The exchange rate also achieved a measure of stability during the period, as it depreciated by 10.1% per annum on average in 2009–2012, which is one of the lowest rates of average depreciation during the Fourth Republic. The World Bank indicated in their 2011 report that in 2011, Ghana was the fastest growing economy in the World with GDP of 14.5% and a decline in interest rates to the lowest level in four decades.
“In his 1999 speech at ‘President Ball and Fundraising dinner’ at the Tema Rotary Club, Dr. J.L.S Abbey lauded the 1998 Macro-Economic Performance of Ghana, saying ‘Last year, most of the financial targets of Government were met: monetary growth over the period was less than 18 percent: the exchange rate depreciated by less than 5% and the rate of inflation declined. These targets were achieved by the strong enforcement of laws relating to banking and use of foreign currency, by prudent use of repurchase agreements in monetary management, and by placing a limit on excessive budgetary spending by government’. We have done this before. Mr. Chairman, I have personally been part of doing this before, so I know it can be done and that it must be done.
“As concerns mount about rising inflation in recent months, the government should take a second look at its fiscal and monetary policies, especially the former, and ensure that they are sustainable and conducive to the effective control of inflation and the maintenance of a stable exchange rate.
“Besides firm fiscal and monetary policies, good real sector policies that lead to strong economic growth play a critical role in ensuring price and exchange rate stability. The stellar performance of real GDP growth in 2009–2012 was therefore a significant factor that led to the stable macroeconomic environment during the period. From 2009–2012, overall real GDP grew at an average rate of 9%, which is the highest rate under any administration in Ghana’s history. Even the non-oil real GDP growth rate, which stood at an average of 7.4% during the period, is the highest under any administration in the country’s history. Effective real sector policies should therefore be pursued to achieve high economic growth and employment creation, as it happened between 2009–2012, and thereby helped to maintain a stable macroeconomic environment.
“Again, through effective real sector policies, unemployment was tamed under the Mills NDC Administration and I was the Minister of Finance and Economic Planning.  The total unemployment rate which stood at 10.4% in the year 2000 witnessed a declining trend to 5.3% by the end of 2010 and further declined to 2.2% by the end of 2013. However, after 2013, total unemployment rate saw another upward swing, increasing sharply to 6.8% by the end of 2015.
“It is therefore clear that the stellar performance of real GDP growth in 2009–2012 was a significant factor that led to lower unemployment level and which further led to job creation during 2009–2012 period.”
By Laud Nartey|3news.com|Ghana

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CODA Hands Over Two Projects At Breman Essiam in Ajumako Enyan Essiam District 

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CODA Hands Over Two Projects At Breman Essiam in Ajumako Enyan Essiam District

The Coastal Development Authority (CODA) has handed over a Lorry Park and a modern Community Library to the chiefs and people of Breman Essiam in the Ajumako-Enyan-Essiam District.

Community Library at Breman Essiam

Community Library at Breman Essiam

The ceremony was graced by traditional leaders led by the paramount Queen mother of Breman Essiam, Nana Efua Esiwa II, the DCE of Ajumako Enyan Essiam, Hon. Ransford Kwesi Nyarko and the DCD, Mr. Abdul Mohammed K. Also in attendance was the Assembly Member of the area, Hon. Ibrahim Issakah, Staff of the AEEDA, Representatives of GPRTU and the general public.

The DCE recounted the deplorable state of the Lorry Park and the Library in the past and commended the efforts made by the Omanhene of the Breman Essiam Traditional Area, Odefour Afankwa III in getting these projects.
Hon. Ransford Nyarko, stated that the projects are a dream come true for the community and the District at large.

The CEO of CODA Jerry Ahmed Shaib ESQ expressed the delight of CODA for the achievement. He was glad that the projects were not imposed by the Authority but rather ones that met the needs and aspirations of the people based on proper consultation with all stakeholders.

He again revealed that the projects being handed over and many others ongoing in the District run under the Infrastructure for Poverty Eradication Programme (IPEP). He commended President Akufo-Addo for fulfilling his “one million dollars per constituency” promise to the people of Ghana especially, rural folks. The CODA boss also took the opportunity to outline other projects which were being executed within District.

The gathering was assured of ongoing collaborations with institutions like the Ghana Library Authority to stock the Library as well as GIFEC to provide ICT equipment for the E-Learning wing of the Library.

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