Ghana-IMF $3bn deal to be finalised before end of year – IMF boss
The Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Kristalina Georgieva, has stated that a deal between Ghana and the IMF should be reached and finalized before the end of the year.
In a closed-door meeting with the President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, on Monday, 5th September 2022, on the sidelines of the Africa Adaptation Summit, in Rotterdam, Netherlands, the IMF boss told President Akufo-Addo THAT “we understand the urgency, and we will move as quickly as possible.”
Describing Ghana as a “superb country”, she reiterated the determination of the Fund to work with Government and the Ministry of Finance, to ensure that an agreement is in place before the end of the year.
On his part, President Akufo-Addo indicated to the IMF boss that a lot of work has been done by Cabinet and the Ministry of Finance, and the document to be presented by the Ghana side “is ready for the scrutiny of the IMF.”
Meanwhile, Kristalina Georgieva has emphasized that Ghana’s current economic challenges are not locally generated but from external shocks.
Speaking on the sidelines of the Fund’s engagements with the Ghanaian delegation, Kristalina Georgieva stated that, contrary to the narrative from some opposition elements that Ghana is not in these challenges because of any bad policies of the Akufo-Addo administration, the IMF boss stated that the factors are exogenous.
“We have started very constructive discussions already and to the people of Ghana, like everybody on this planet, you have been hurt by exogenous shocks,” she said.
She mentioned the extraneous factors which have contributed to Ghana’s economic woes, leading to the West African country seeking a programme from the IMF.
“First the pandemic, then Russia’s war in Ukraine. We need to realize that it is not because of bad policies in the country but because of this combination of shocks, and, therefore, we have to support Ghana”, she said.
She also indicated that Ghana is a member of the IMF, “a strong country with fantastic people”, and as such, it is incumbent on the Fund to lend the country support.
Kristalina Georgieva also indicated, “we have to support Ghana because your strength contributes to the strength of your neighbours; it contributes to a stronger world”
Ghana is before the IMF for US$3 billion to help the country navigate through the hostile economic crisis it finds itself in as a result of the adverse effects of the deadly coronavirus pandemic and the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine.
President Akufo-Addo has stated, on occasion, that “we have decided to seek the collaboration of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to repair, in the short run, our public finances, which have taken a severe hit in very recent times as a result, whilst we continue to work on the medium to long-term structural changes that are at the heart of our goal of creating a Ghana Beyond Aid, that is building a resilient, robust Ghanaian economy.”
Pastor closes church after winning bet
After winning 100 million Ugandan Shillings from sports betting, a pastor in a local church in Uganda abandoned his church members by closing the church.
Explaining his motivation, the overjoyed pastor revealed that the lottery was a gift from God and a quick way to get him out of poverty, which he had been experiencing.
He also revealed that he established the church as a source of income rather than through anointing.
“I must admit I opened this church due to greed but not anointing. I saw how several pastors make money by having large crowds and making false prophecies to attract more,” he opened up.
He stated that running a church without a calling became extremely difficult, resulting in sleepless nights. Burdened with guilt, the pastor chose to close it and seek other sources of income.
“As time went on, I realized this was not right; I started having sleepless nights and I would always have weird dreams.
“Before I opened this church, everything was normal on my side. Even without money, I did not have any strange dreams. So I decided to abolish this and look for other ways of making money” he said.
The pastor stated that he tried his luck at gambling, putting a whopping Ush1 million on the line.
“I had to pay for these games and surprisingly it took me about a month to receive them. They told me they had issues with their system and the process of securing games takes time. I almost gave up and called them scammers but they contacted me with the details and wow! I went full swing and got odd of 700,” he said.
He stopped going to church after discovering that he made far more money gambling than he had ever made operating a church in his entire life.
The Energy Ministry has not been disconnected from the power grid – ECG
The Managing Director of Ghana’s Electricity Company, Samuel Dubik Mahama, has denied reports that the Ministry of Energy had been disconnected from the national grid due to unpaid bills for power supplied.
Mr Mahama hinted that reports of the Ministry’s disconnection are just a few of the innuendos thrown into the media sphere in an attempt to divert attention away from the power distribution company’s revenue mobilisation drive.
Mr Mahama revealed on Citi TV’s Point of View that government establishments owe 15% of the GH5.7 billion he hopes to recover within a month.
He emphatically disclosed that “The Ministry of Energy doesn’t owe us and the Ministry is exclusively on prepaid meters and that is the case with most of the MMDAs and state-owned enterprises.”
“We are not going to favour anybody and our main debtors are industry, they are not doing what they are supposed to do, and they are pretending not to know that they owe us,” Mr Mahama further lamented.
The power distribution company is currently on the ground, attempting to recover debts owed to it in order to improve its operations.
Mr Mahama also stated that the company is putting in place the necessary processes to digitalize power vending in order to increase revenue inflows and eliminate long lines at vending points.
“Hopefully, in the next month or two and with my digital process, queues will be a thing of the past because very soon consumers will be able to purchase ECG credit with their mobile devices with NFC connection.
“Very soon there will be no queues, and we are going to be customer-driven and even now postpaid customers are able to sit in the comfort of their homes to pay their electricity bill.”
Pantang Hospital employees put their lives in danger by living in a dilapidated structure
Several squatters and Pantang hospital employees are forced to occupy unfinished and dilapidated buildings at the risk of their lives.
The Ministry of Health declared the structures unsafe following a structural integrity test in 2021.
The structure was originally built to house hospital staff, but nursing students and other community members have turned the dilapidated and worn-out structure into their home, despite hospital management’s warnings to vacate the building.
A visit to Pantang on March 16, 2023, revealed that the structure was still in use despite its deplorable condition.
There were various types of cracks and leaks, exposed and rusted iron rods, and exposed wires.
All of the stairs connecting the ground floor to the other floors were completely destroyed. One of the stairs in the Okonkwo Building was made of rotten wood, and the structure was crooked, but the building’s occupants continued to use it unconcerned.
Delali Tomegah, an environmental officer with the Pantang hospital, said he was given the accommodation by the hospital when asked if he came to live in the building of his own free will.
“The walling of the hospital affected my accommodation, so the hospital authorities asked me to move into the building.”
He has lived in the building for two years and believes the structure is sound.
“The structure is very strong, but from the outside, it appears weak. It only appears to be old; with a little TLC, it will look brand new.”
A resident – name withheld – stated that, while she is terrified that the building will collapse, she has no choice.
“I am scared the building may collapse on us one day, but we have nowhere to go”.
Doris Attiogbe, a mother of two, told Citi News about her dangerous living conditions.
“The building soaks the water anytime it rains, I don’t know about the other tenants though. The cement component along the stairs has recently begun to fall off.”
She added that after 5 years in the building and numerous evacuation notices, she is now ready to leave.
Dr Frank Baning, the hospital’s Medical Director, denied that the hospital’s management had authorised their stay.
“I can tell you for a fact that none of them, at least not that I am aware of, will be able to show you that they were given a letter to go and live in such a structure, and I have been at the helm of affairs since 2016.”
He also stated that the hospital is situated on an earthquake fault line in Ghana.
“I am the one pushing for it to be demolished because I’m afraid that if you are not careful, one of these days it will collapse on staff and that’s been one of my fears. You know we fall within the fault lines. Anytime there is one of those earth tremors, we at the Pantang Hospital usually feel it here, so you can just imagine if the scale goes up a little what will happen to that building. So those are some of the fears, and we won’t ask staff to live in a place like that.”
Dr Baning went on to say that the fact that residents live in the building rent-free indicates that their stay was not approved by hospital management.
He added that they were unable to evict them as planned because the occupants had filed an appeal with the Ministry of Health.
“They petitioned my bosses, that is the mental health authority and the Ministry [of Health] so as far as I’m concerned, it’s been taken up by a higher institution than Pantang hospital and [it is] being dealt with. So I would say the best people to talk to would be the Ministry because they went to petition them”.
“The minister delegated the Deputy Minister of health to come here and resolve the issue, they all saw it and said no it must come down. The municipal assembly put together a team made of engineers and security people to come and take a look and the conclusion is that it should be pulled down.”
Mahama and three other NDC flagbearer candidates to be vetted next week
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