Ghana: Press zooms in on retention of monetary policy rate at 14.5%, others

The retention of the monetary policy rate at 14.5 per cent by the Bank of Ghana and the warning by…

The retention of the monetary policy rate at 14.5 per cent by the Bank of Ghana and the warning by the Information Minister that the government will not hesitate to enforce new restrictions in view of recent spikes in COVID-19 cases across Europe are some of the leading stories in the Ghanaian press on Tuesday.The Times reports that the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of the Bank of Ghana (BoG), for the fourth consecutive time, has maintained the monetary policy rate at 14.5 percent, citing a positive growth outlook and low risk to inflation.

The monetary policy rate was reduced by 150 basis points from 16 percent in January this year to 14.5 percent in March and since then the rate has been maintained at 14.5 percent.

The Governor of the BoG, Dr. Ernest Addison, who disclosed this at an MPC news conference in Accra yesterday, said the monetary policy rate was maintained because “risks to the immediate outlook for inflation and growth are broadly balanced”.

He explained that the drivers of economic growth were returning to normal with prospects for a good recovery.

“Monetary and fiscal policies have been supportive, providing the necessary underpinnings for the economy to withstand the negative output shock arising from the pandemic [COVID-19],” Dr Addison said.

The newspaper says that the Ghanaian Government will not hesitate to enforce new restrictions in view of recent spikes in COVID-19 cases across Europe.

The report quoted the Minister of Information, Mr Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, as saying that the government had been monitoring happenings across Europe with concern, and even though Ghana’s case count had dwindled, it would still not take any chances.

Addressing the press in Accra on Sunday, Information Minister Kojo Oppong Nkrumah stated that there had been 131 new recorded cases with the active cases at 477 with a total of 299 deaths.

He assured that the robust testing regime deployed at the Kotoka International Airport would help curtail the importation of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) even as parts of the world was going through a second wave of virus infection.

Mr Nkrumah said the government had taken note of the new wave of the virus in some parts of the world and was putting measures in place to prevent a second influx from these affected countries.

The Times also reports that the government has since 2019, injected GH¢18 million into Darko Farms Company Limited, an integrated poultry production company, in Atwima in the Ashanti Region, to revamp its operations.

The financial support, which was channelled through the Ghana EXIM Bank, followed the inclusion of the company in the One District-One Factory (1D1F) programme.

The company, which faced operational challenges due to financial constraints prior to the capital injection, was due for additional GH¢4 million, to enable it expand and produce at maximum capacity.

Touring the company’s three factories yesterday, Minister of Trade and Industry, Alan Kyerematen, said companies such as Darko Farms was the reason government decided to include existing old enterprises in the 1D1F.

The Graphic reports that President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has commissioned an Integrated Composting and Recycling Plant at Adagya in the Bosomtwe District in the Ashanti Region.

The $95-million plant, with a capacity to convert 2,400 tonnes of waste material into by-products daily, has been touted as one of the biggest in Africa. The Kumasi metropolis alone generates 1,200 tonnes of waste daily.

The recycling plant is situated on a 150-acre land and will treat solid and plastic waste from the Kumasi metropolis and adjoining districts into reusable materials and organic products.

The facility also has the capacity to produce 3,000 bags of organic fertiliser daily to support farming in the country.

The $95-million automated plant, financed with a loan facility from Zenith Bank, will sort the waste into the various materials such as paper, metal, organic, glass and plastic, and convert them into raw materials for industrial use.

The newspaper says that some people believed to be members of the Western Togoland secessionist group, Tuesday early morning burnt down an Intercity STC mini bus in Ho in the Volta Region amid firing of gun shots.

They reportedly also attacked some drivers who were spending the night in the bus terminal.

One of the drivers said the attackers pointed a gun at him and asked him to go down on his knees when they stormed the terminal.

They were said to have set the mini bus ablaze in the operation which reportedly happened between 1am and 2am.

The Intercity STC bus terminal is located in the centre of town in Ho.

The Graphic also reports that Sekondi-Takoradi, adjoining districts and municipalities in the Western Region are experiencing erratic water supply due to growing demand and limited rainfall this year.

The situation has resulted in low inflow of raw water into river bodies, particularly the Pra River, where the Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL) harvests water for processing and distribution to the Sekondi-Takoradi metropolis and the Wassa East District.

As a result, GWCL’s undammed intake points — Daboase and Bussumdo — have low water levels, making it difficult to extract enough from them for treatment.

The company’s dam site at Inchaban in the Shama District has equally been affected by the low inflows.

The Western Regional Public Relations Officer of the Ghana Water Company, Nana Yaw Barima Barnie, told the Daily Graphic in Takoradi last Sunday that the only solution was for customers to conserve water.

“While we work to ensure that we meet the increasing demands, we want members of the public to store water and be careful how they use it,” he said.