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Suspend Free SHS until economy picks up – Seth Tekper tells Akufo-Addo

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A former Minister of Finance has asked the government to suspend the Free SHS policy until the economy rebounds. 

Mr Seth Tekper said the current economic crisis does not support the implementation of policies such as the Free SHS and that all capital intensive projects should be reviewed urgently. 

“I am going to use the Free SHS, unfettered free SHS, I am free to say it because in 2017 I tweeted and said unfettered free SHS was attractive but cannot be achieved. Ghana cannot do unfettered free SHS,” he said. 

He added that the IMF deal will come with constraints to expenditure. So should the flagship policy be suspended, the money from it can be used for roads construction and hospitals.

“If we have a project which we have signed to complete in three years, I think we can suspend it for one year until we improve the situation…for instance some roads or some hospitals.”

The government and the Bretton Woods Institution in a joint press statement on Monday, December 12, said a Staff-Level Agreement on economic policies has been reached. 

This is to be supported by a new three-year arrangement under the Extended Credit Facility (ECF) of about $3 billion.

According to a statement from the fund, the government’s strong reform programme aimed at restoring macroeconomic stability and debt sustainability while protecting the vulnerable, preserving financial stability and laying the foundation for strong and inclusive recovery, was key in this decision.

However, the staff-level agreement is subject to IMF Management and Executive Board approval and receipt of the necessary financing assurances by Ghana’s partners and creditors.

Meanwhile, the government announced it is suspending debt service payments on certain categories of external debts, including Eurobonds, commercial loans and most bilateral debt.

According to the government, this is aimed at bringing the country’s unsustainable debt level under control – a statement from the Ministry of Finance said.

Source: myjoyonline.com

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‘The 24-hour economy is the solution to Ghana’s economic difficulties – Mahama

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John Dramani Mahama, the flagbearer of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), has declared that his planned 24-hour economy proposal is the solution to Ghana’s financial and economic problems.

In a unique live broadcast titled ‘Mahama Conversations,’ the former president stated that the planned 24-hour economic project is the solution to Ghana’s current and future concerns.

Mr. Mahama stated that the effort will provide an enabling and supportive environment for enterprises, companies, and government agencies to create more jobs and hire more people.

He detailed the benefits of the 24-hour economy project, which he claims would raise and increase the standard of life for many more Ghanaians.

“The 24-hour initiative is the answer for now and in the future. It will create an enabling environment with deliberate policies for businesses, companies, and government institutions to operate 24/7 in a three-eight-hour shift system.

“In addition to the traditional 8-hour shift system, the two additional work shifts that my administration will introduce will double and sometimes triple the number of jobs that participate in public and private entities that we currently have.

“This is the 24-hour economy optimization strategy: giving more to society, providing efficient service delivery, and generating decent and well-paying jobs. The benefits of this system will include but not limited to; 24-hour port and harbour services, 24-hour customs services, 24-hour DVLA services, 24-hour agro-processing factories, 24-hour manufacturing industries, 24-hour construction companies and many more.”

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Mahama: My administration will retrieve riches taken via corrupt methods

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Making reference to former Sanitation Minister Cecilia Dapaah's controversial stashing of over $1 million in her Abelemkpe residence, which was stolen by her domestic staff, Mr. Mahama pledged in a live broadcast titled 'Mahama Conversations,' that he will foster collaborations in his quest to recover every Cedi that was illegally taken from taxpayers. "Despite all of these socioeconomic challenges, the young people continue to witness the affluence of the [New Patriotic Party] administration's leaders and their families chartering private aircraft for $20,000 per hour for journeys that our own Falcon Executive Jet could have completed.

John Dramani Mahama, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) flagbearer, has pledged that if elected president in the upcoming December 7 general elections, his administration will work with relevant authorities and partners to recover funds and properties obtained through corruption.

Former President Mahama lamented the mounting incidences of corruption and apparent contempt for fiscal discipline by the Akufo-Addo administration, promising to do his utmost to guarantee that any funds wrongfully gained are recovered if he wins the forthcoming elections.

Referring to former Sanitation Minister Cecilia Dapaah’s controversial stashing of over $1 million in her Abelemkpe residence, which was stolen by her domestic staff, Mr Mahama pledged in a live broadcast titled ‘Mahama Conversations,’ that he will foster collaborations in his quest to recover every Cedi that was illegally taken from taxpayers.

“Despite all of these socioeconomic challenges, the young people continue to witness the affluence of the [New Patriotic Party] administration’s leaders and their families chartering private aircraft for $20,000 per hour for journeys that our own Falcon Executive Jet could have completed.

“And as the Minister for Defence explained, it [the Falcon Executive Jet] had no shower for a presidential bath. Ghana’s youth have further experienced how a minister could stash millions of dollars in her home and only God knows the full extent of Ghanaian taxpayers’ money that has been stashed away by many others.

“But I say to the good people of Ghana that, working with Ghanaians and international anti-corruption partners, we shall do all that is humanly possible to retrieve such wrongly acquired wealth.”

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Mahama promises 20% salary incentive for rural teachers if voted

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This adds to Mr Mahama's various plans and pledges made to Ghanaians ahead of the December 7 election.

John Mahama, the flagbearer of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), has vowed that if elected President, teachers who agree to serve in a rural school will receive a 20% wage increase.

The former President believes the idea would motivate more teachers to accept posts in rural regions.

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Mr Mahama revealed this in a Facebook post.

This adds to Mr Mahama’s various plans and pledges made to Ghanaians ahead of the December 7 election.

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