Ghana: Press highlights Ex-President’s report on tragedy of Akufo-Addo administration, others

The X-ray of the Akufo-Addo's administration by former President John Mahama is the trending story in Ghanaian press on Friday. The…

The X-ray of the Akufo-Addo’s administration by former President John Mahama is the trending story in Ghanaian press on Friday. The Graphic reports that the tragedy of the Akufo-Addo administration by former President John Mahama stated that it is not only the collosal debt it has saddled Ghanaians with. It is not only the huge fiscal deficit he has created even before #COVID-19.

According to him, it is not only the hundreds of projects he has abandoned causing taxpayers money to go waste. It is not only his poor infrastructure record.

This particular tragedy is in the destruction and politicization of our institutions. A judiciary that lacks impartiality, an oppressed Parliament, a pliant Electoral Commission, an Auditor General hounded out of office, a misused military, anticorruption institutions in bondage, an intimidated media, and a terrified moral society.

These constitute the tragedy of the four years of Akufo-Addo’s administration.

The newspaper says that a Member of Parliament (MP) for Assin Central, Mr. Kennedy Ohene Agyapong, has presented $428,650 to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration to support the evacuation of more than 700 stranded Ghanaians in Lebanon.

Mr. Agyapong contributed $200,000 himself, while he mobilised the rest through an appeal he launched for other Ghanaians to support the initiative.

The support will help cover the evacuation of the fourth and fifth batches scheduled for August 11 and 13, respectively.

At the presentation event last Wednesday, Mr. Agyapong said: “It is not in everything that we expect the white man to save us or take care of for us. We need to prove that we are capable of managing our own affairs.”

 The Graphic also reports that the novel Coronavirus pandemic has now killed 206 people in Ghana.

This was contained in the latest figures released by the Ghana Health Service (GHS) today (August 7, 2020) in which it reported eight new deaths.

The GHS update also disclosed that even persons are in critical condition from Coronavirus-related illnesses. Four of the persons in critical condition are breathing with the assistance of a ventilators.

In the update, the GHS also announced 455 new positive cases of Coronavirus, increasing the country’s cumulative case count to 40,097.

The Times reports that the Parliament has granted the request of the Finance Minister for the suspension of the Fiscal Responsibility Rule for the 2020 financial year.

Section Two of the Fiscal Responsibility Act, 2018, enjoins government to ensure that “the overall fiscal balance on cash basis for a particular year shall not exceed a deficit of five per cent of Gross Domestic Product for that year.”

The Act also requests of the government to ensure that “an annual positive primary balance [are] maintained”.

It, however, provided that when there is the need for the suspension of the rule, the minister shall, within 30 days, present to Parliament for approval facts and circumstances for the suspension, plans for restoring public finances within a reasonable period after a force majeure or unforeseen economic circumstances have elapsed.

The approval of the request comes on the back of a threat by the Minority Caucus to initiate censure procedures against the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, when he announced during the presentation of the mid-year budget review that the deficit was expected to hit 11.4 percent of GDP.

 The newspaper says that the Director General of the Ghana Education Service (GES), Professor Kwasi Opoku-Amankwa has directed all heads of schools to release names of students who vandalised and destroyed school properties during their protest against school authorities for enforcing social distance protocols during their West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) on Monday for the necessary disciplinary actions.

According to him, the action of the students in some schools was most unfortunate and could not be countenanced by authorities.

“Those properties destroyed were for government and not for individuals and we will not allow anyone to vandalise them. If you cannot leave on campus to write exams we will let you go home,” he said.

Professor Opoku-Amankwa said this during a stakeholder discussion via zoom on the impact of the students’ action on the education sector monitored by the Ghanaian Times yesterday in Accra.

The stakeholders included President of Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT), Madam Philippa Larsen, Executive Director of African Education Watch, Mr Kofi Asare and Ranking Member of Parliament’s Committee on Education, Mr Clement Apaak.