Ghanaian press spotlights President’s views on revenues from tax, others

The report that President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has bemoaned the country's tax amounts when compared to the size of…

The report that President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has bemoaned the country’s tax amounts when compared to the size of the economy and the contributions of UNESCO in the establishment of private, independent newspapers and radio stations are some of the leading stories in the Ghanaian press on Thursday.The Graphic reports that President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has bemoaned the country’s tax amounts when compared to the size of the economy.

He said it was a source of concern that Ghana’s tax amounts were smaller than those of its peers in the ECOWAS region and the world over.

Ghana’s tax-to-gross domestic product (GDP) ratio of 14.3 per cent was the least such collection in West Africa, he said, explaining that being the second largest economy in ECOWAS, Ghana should not have one of the lowest tax-to-GDP ratios in the community.

President Akufo-Addo said while the average tax-to-GDP ratio in West Africa stood at 18 per cent, the recommended ratio for ECOWAS member states was a minimum of 20 per cent.

On the other hand, the ratio for Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries was 34 per cent of GDP, and it was no surprise that the developed nations of the OECD could readily find the means to fund their own development, particularly their infrastructural development, whereas Ghana was constantly struggling to do so, he said.

The President made the observation when he swore in members of the National Development Planning Commission (NDPC) at the Jubilee House in Accra last Tuesday.

The 49-member commission is chaired by a Development Economist and immediate past Minister of Planning, Professor George Gyan-Baffour, who is also a former Director-General of the NDPC.

The newspaper says that every November 16, the world celebrates the founding of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) in Paris, France.

The UNESCO emerged as a worthy successor to the League of Nations’ International Committee on Intellectual Cooperation.

UNESCO’s founding mission, which was shaped by the Second World War, is to advance peace, sustainable development and human rights by facilitating collaboration and dialogue among nations.

For the past 63 years, since Ghana signed up as a member of the world body, we have benefited immensely from the activities of UNESCO in Ghana, even as we also contribute to its evolution.

From the training of science teachers for our schools in 1965, UNESCO has helped shape many policies in Ghana’s educational sector, including the recent National Teacher Policy, the Science, Technology and Innovation Policy and the mainstreaming of biosphere conservation plans in the national development agenda.

UNESCO also played a significant role in the establishment of private, independent newspapers and radio stations, thereby contributing to the making of a vibrant and free media in the country.

We are aware that UNESCO has also played a lead role in Ghana with the documentation and preservation of over 75 per cent of the slave dungeons built along the West Coast of Africa to facilitate the barbaric, inhumane trans-Atlantic slave trade as World Heritage sites.

In recent times, UNESCO’s role in interventions to mitigate the negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the educational sector cannot be glossed over.

The list goes on and on, but suffice it to say that, as a country, we acknowledge and appreciate all that the organisation has done to help improve the educational sector of the country.

The Ghanaian Times reports that the Minister of Sanitation and Water Resources, Ms Cecilia Abena Dapaah, has urged the Deputy Speaker of the Hungarian Parliament, István Jakab to “support Ghana to become the gateway to Africa.”

This, she said was because “we are a set of good people, hardworking, very hospitable and we respect the rule of law” for which reason investments in the country towards making it the gateway to Africa was the best decision.

Ms Dapaah said this in Accra on Tuesday when the Hungarian Deputy Speaker of Parliament paid a courtesy call on her.

She noted that the government recognised the full capabilities of Hungary’s expertise in the water sector, particularly in the treatment of wastewater for which reason the country was excited about its partnership with Hungary in treating wastewater.

“We saw the full capabilities of the Hungarian experts in the water sector especially in the treatment of waste water and we are happy that in Ghana you are in partnership with the private sector to treat waste water,” she stated.

As a result, she highlighted the government’s support for the Hungarian private sector initiative in the country, and expressed the government’s gratitude to Hungary for the funding of such initiatives.

The Sanitation and Water Resources Minister assured of the company’s credibility stating that “I can assure that the company is a credible one that can be trusted and I believe that more businesses will accrue from that relationship.”

Speaking on the Dambai water project in the Oti Region which would be funded by Hungary, Ms Dapaah stressed the country’s resolve in playing its role in order to ensure that “we do not delay in any way and work towards getting the project done in the Oti Region.”

She lauded the Hungarian government for the collaborations and thanked the deputy speaker for calling on her.

The Deputy Speaker of the Hungarian Parliament for his part extolled the minister for his audience and registered his excitement for her reassuring and appreciative words.

Mr Jakab agreed with the minister on the need to co-operate as countries, saying that “this is an important thing that will ensure the unification of the two countries.”

The newspaper says that a group of nine Ghanaian cardiology physicians have undergone a special echocardiography course at the German Heart Centre, Berlin and Charite University Hospital, Berlin to help improve cardiovascular healthcare for the underserved communities in Ghana.

It forms part of efforts to develop resilience in cardiovascular healthcare in Ghana during future health crisis.

The nine cardiology physician trainees are from the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital and Cape Coast Teaching Hospital.

A cardiologist is a medical doctor who studies and treats diseases and conditions of the cardiovascular system, involving the heart and blood vessels, including heart rhythm disorders, coronary artery disease, heart attacks, heart defects and infections, and related disorders.

Professor Yankah, President of Pan African Society for Cardiothoracic Surgery (PASCaTS)/Global Heart Care (GHC), Director of Cardiac Surgery Simulation Training and Humanitarian Cardiac Surgery, and organiser of the programme, said the doctors undertook the master class transesophageal echocardiography (TEE) course called AfroEcho Course, Berlin 2021.

In a statement copied by the Ghanaian Times, he explained that “TEE is a diagnostic telescopic test using an ultrasound probe that is passed into the esophagus of the patient and placed at the level to the heart to obtain a high resolution image of the heart structures and muscle.”

The procedures assess the structure and functions of the heart for corrective measures.

The course, he said, was conducted under strict COVID-19 hygiene regulations and controlled environment (full vaccination, wearing of FFP-2 masks, daily group transportation in a bus).

He said Ghana had only one qualified paediatric cardiologist and 14 adult cardiologists for over 30 million population