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Ghanaians To Pay Tax For Covid-19 ‘Free Water’ Enjoyed To Fill Economic Gap – Oppong Nkrumah Discloses

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Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, Information Minister,  has indicated that Ghanaians will have to pay for the free provision of water and electricity introduced by the government in 2020 as part of measures to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus.

President Nana Akufo-Addo in April 2020, announced a free utility package for the vulnerable in the country to lessen the virus’ negative impact following a lockdown in Accra and Kumasi.

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Again, President Akufo-Addo in his 21st address to the nation said: “With the continuing difficulties occasioned by the pandemic, I want to state that government intends to continue to support the most vulnerable in our society.

“Government will, thus, continue to pay the electricity bills for our nation’s one million active lifeline customers for the next three months, i.e. January, February and March.”

But speaking on PM: Express Monday, Mr Nkrumah said: “It was free to the people of Ghana at the time.”

According to him, the decision last year was because the pandemic was a looming crisis and the government had to improvise for the country’s well-being.

“When we say free electricity it doesn’t mean that the IPP producer is also going to say because the President has said free electricity I won’t charge for it.”

Speaking to Evans Mensah, Mr Nkrumah said Ghana has spent about ¢19 billion on Covid-19 related issues and that includes the relief package on the utilities.

“But that 19 billion cedis has to be paid for at some point, the liabilities we have incurred has to be paid for,” he indicated Monday night.

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“So I am going back to Ofoasi to explain to my people why we need to ensure that we all pay that 1% extra so that we can continue to provide those services for the people of Ghana to protect lives and livelihoods,” he said.

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This, according to him, will help ameliorate the economy and bridge the gap between the country’s income and expenditure.

He said the gap has been widened even further by Covid-19 adding that “we are at a point where you have to make a choice.”

He noted that there is a need to, “get our people collectively across the device to understand that at some point, we have to get out of this economic one-step-forward half-a step-back, sometimes one step forward, two steps backwards conundrum in which we find ourselves.

“To do that, we cannot consistently borrow our way out of our problems, domestic resource mobilisation has to be tweaked and it has to be done in a way that you can raise resources without overburdening the people.”

The Information Minister told JoyNews that “everything we consume in this country is paid for.”

“If not, we will arrive at that graph you showed us earlier where the gap keeps widening.”

According to him, the government’s decision to provide the free utilities was a strategic choice made on behalf of Ghanaians.

He cited: “If we are at war and the government has to make a decision that we have to procure ABCDEFG to go war and win that war and does not necessarily task the population for it today and mobilises for us to achieve it, it is well in order for the government when we have won the war or on a clear path to winning the war.”

READ ALSO: Dismissal of Mahama’s Election Petition Big Lesson To Politicians, Political Parties – Wontumi

He, therefore, observed that failure to introduce some tax components to solve the problem means “we will get to a point where our economy cannot pay for basic service debt, pay wedges and salaries and do things that prior to 2016 we found ourselves doing.”

Meanwhile, Former Deputy Finance Minister, Dr Cassiel Ato Forson on the same programme maintained the government had been reckless with its expenditure.

According to him, the impact of Covid-19 on the economy is not as bad as the government seeks to portray.

Source: Ghanaarticles.com/myjoyonline

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Thousands Ghanaian Youth Storm El-Wak Stadium For Medical Screening Ahead of Army Recruitment [Photos]

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Thousands Ghanaian Youth Storm El-Wak Stadium For Medical Screening Ahead of Army Recruitment [Photos]

Thousands of Ghanaians on Monday, July 19 thronged the El Wak Sports Stadium in Accra to participate in the documentation and medical screening process for recruitment into the Ghana Army.

These people, according to the Commanding Officer for the 5th Infantry Battalion, Lieutenant Colonel Prince Tandoh, include Senior High School graduates, and degree and diploma holders.

READ ALSO: 11,840 NABCO Personnel To Be Permanent Workers At Ministries, Police And Military Effective August 1

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The screening process, which began as early as 7 am on Monday, will end on Saturday, July 24, 2021.

Some applicants had been at the stadium as early as 5:00 am.

The Army is looking at recruiting about 1,000 persons who will take an aptitude test as the next stage for recruitment.

Thousands Ghanaian Youth Storm El-Wak Stadium For Medical Screening Ahead of Army Recruitment [Photos]

Thousands Ghanaian Youth Storm El-Wak Stadium For Medical Screening Ahead of Army Recruitment [Photos]

Lt Col. Tandoh said the military had done their best to adhere to coronavirus safety protocols.

“Only those with print out forms will be allowed to come in, and you can also see we have sanitisers and veronica buckets around, so we are doing our best to maintain the protocols.”

Some persons who took part in the process say, although it has been stressful, they are hopeful of being among the few who will be recruited.

READ ALSO: Bird Flu Outbreak Hits Ghana; Greater Accra, Central And Western Regions Greatly Affected

“As I entered, I felt pressure because the people here were too many. I did not even expect to finish early,” one of the applicants said.

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Source: GhanaArticles.com/citinewsroom

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Good News Hits Groupe Nduom After Gold Coast Securities Wins GH¢174m Judgment

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The Commercial Division of an Accra High Court On Thursday 15, July 2021, presided over by Justice Shiela Minta ordered Health Network Company (Healthnet) to pay GH¢174 million to the Ghana Growth Fund Company/Gold Coast Advisors, a Groupe Nduom Company.

The High Court also awarded a cost of GH¢50,000 to the lawyer of the Plaintiffs.

READ ALSO: Govt Announces Tuesday, July 20 As Public Holiday

This is the first of a number of court cases pending before the law courts, that were initiated by Groupe Nduom companies.

They involve private sector companies, government agencies and regulators.

Groupe Nduom in a statement said it believes that when all is said and done, the allegations of wrongdoing made against specific Groupe Nduom companies and shareholders will be put to rest.

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This particular suit, it explained, was started by Writ of Summons and Statement of Claim issued at the Registry of High Court, Accra, Commercial Division dated 11th October 2019.

READ ALSO: 11,840 NABCO Personnel To Be Permanent Workers At Ministries, Police And Military Effective August 1

After failed attempts to get all the four defendants to be served in the ordinary manner prescribed by the Court rules, an application was brought before the court for substituted service to enable the plaintiff to serve the defendants by substitution which application was granted.

Source: Ghanaarticles.com

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Govt Announces Tuesday, July 20 As Public Holiday

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The government, through the Interior Ministry, has declared Tuesday, July 20, 2021, as a public holiday as Muslims celebrate their annual Eid-ul-Adha.

This was announced in a statement issued by the sector Minister, Ambrose Dery.

READ ALSO: 11,840 NABCO Personnel To Be Permanent Workers At Ministries, Police And Military Effective August 1

“The general public is hereby informed that Tuesday, 20th July 2021, which marks Eid-ul-Adha, is a statutory public holiday and should be observed as such throughout the country,” the statement read.

Eid-ul-Adha is an Islamic festival to commemorate the willingness of Ibrahim, also known as Abraham, to follow Allah’s (God’s) command to sacrifice his son.

READ ALSO:   Students and Police clash over seizure of Phones

Muslims across the world started this year’s month-long fasting on April 13, to mark the eighth month of the Islamic calendar.

The festival is commemorated by offering special prayers and slaughtering livestock, usually a goat, sheep, or a cow.

READ ALSO: Bird Flu Outbreak Hits Ghana; Greater Accra, Central And Western Regions Greatly Affected

The National Chief Imam, Sheikh Dr Osman Nuhu Sharubutu, has announced that this year’s national Eid-ul Adha prayers will be marked inside the new Mosque Complex at Kawkudi on the Kanda highway in strict adherence to the covid-19 safety protocols.

Read the full statement below:

Source: GhanaArticles.com

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