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Press focuses on slight increase in June inflation rate to 7.8%, others

The slight increase in inflation rate for June 2021 which stood at 7.8 percent compared to 7.5 percent in May…

The slight increase in inflation rate for June 2021 which stood at 7.8 percent compared to 7.5 percent in May is one of the leading stories in the Ghanaian press on Thursday.The Daily Guide reports that the Government Statistician, Professor Samuel Kobina Annim said on Wednesday that Year-on-year inflation stood at 7.8 percent in June compared to 7.5 percent in May, pushed slightly by transport and food items.

Speaking at a press briefing to announce the rate, Prof Annim said food and transport were the dominant drivers for the higher rate of inflation in June 2021.

Food contributed 41.8 percent to overall inflation while transport contribution increased from 16.5 percent last month to 18.1 percent.

“Inflation for June 2021 indicates that the six-month continuous decline in food inflation has been reversed by 1.9 percentage points,” he said.

The Month-on-Month inflation was 1.3 percent while the Month-on-month food inflation exceeds non-food inflation by 1.0 percentage point.

Year-on-year variation between food 7.3 percent and non-food inflation 8.2 percent was 0.9 percent.

“A reversal in the declining trend of food inflation has been observed for the first time in six months as it increases by 1.9 percentage points between May and June 2021. This has contributed in closing the gap between food and non-food inflation,” Prof Annim said.

The Graphic says that Vice President, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, has said that the successful launch of the Ghana.Gov digital platform, is a culmination of strategic steps to digitise government sectors over the past four years.

The Ghana.GOV platform, which is available to all citizens, residents and non residents, is the payments and revenue collection platform that provides a single point of access to all services of ministries, departments and agencies of government.

Speaking at the launch of the digital platform in Accra on Wednesday, July 14, 2021, Dr. Bawumia said, while there had been an attempt by the previous government at a similar exercise, albeit not successful, the Akufo-Addo government knew exactly what it wanted to achieve with Ghana.Gov, so it set out, right from the onset of the administration in 2017, to set up strong pillars which would allow the implementation of an effective and efficient Ghana.Gov.

“While Ghana.GOV is not a government’s first attempt at digitizing the provision and delivery of all government services on a single platform (the previous government attempted to do so), the approach this time is novel,” Dr. Bawumia explained.

“We knew from the beginning that certain key pillars have to be in place before a single platform for the effective delivery of government services can be implemented.”

These pillars, which the Vice President stressed the government has evidently established, include providing a unique national identity card for citizens and residents, a digital residential and business addresses, financial inclusion for citizens and residents through mobile money interoperability, the expansion of TIN numbers of tax payers, as well as the digitization of government operations such as the paperless port, passport office, DVLA, NHIA, Registrar General, etc.

“It is only after putting all these key elements in place that we have built this Ghana.Gov platform,” Dr. Bawumia stressed.

The newspaper reports that the Bank of Ghana (BoG) as part of measures to increase financial literacy in the country has now taken financial education to the doorstep of churches and mosques.

This is to help create awareness of happenings in the financial sector and also help inform the public about the activities and role of the central bank.

Speaking at its maiden edition at the St Paul Roman Catholic Church at New Town, the Head of Market Conduct, Financial Stability Department of the BoG, Mr Innocent Asamoah, said the business of money was an important thing and must therefore be regulated, hence the establishment of the BoG.

He advised the public to ensure that any financial institution they deal with is regulated by either the BoG, or any of the three financial institutions regulators; the National Insurance Commission, the Securities and Exchange Commission, and the National Pensions Regulatory Authority.

“As a customer, the first thing you need to know when you enter any bank branch is to make sure that, the institution is licensed. The institution is to have their license from the BoG pasted on the wall so look around and if you don’t see it, you have the right to ask them.

“If you suspect that they are not licensed or you are in doubt, you can report to the BoG for verification,” he stated.

Mr Asamoah, also noted that the BoG was clothed by the Banks and Specialised Deposit Institution Act, 2016 (Act 918) to protect the interest of customers.

The Graphic also says that the Ministry of Health has taken delivery of 16 ultra-negative cold chain pieces of equipment for vaccine storage.

A global shipping and logistics company, United Parcel Services (UPS), donated the equipment, commonly known as vaccine fridges, for distribution to the 16 regions as part of the company’s corporate social responsibility (CSR).

 All vaccines, based on their characteristics, require certain strict storage and movement temperature known as cold chain requirements, right from the point of manufacturing right into the syringe for it to stay efficient, safe and potent.

Receiving the vaccine fridges in Accra yesterday, the Minister of Health, Mr Kwaku Agyeman-Manu, said the ultra-negative cold chain equipment would help the country to boost its capacity for vaccine storage and be able to procure and accept vaccines that required ultra-cold storage and movement temperatures.

“Unfortunately, any time we start looking for vaccines, signing vaccine agreements and placing orders, we only look for vaccine candidates that our cold chain system could support. We did not have much space for ultra-low temperature vaccines and, therefore, vaccines like Pfizer and Moderna were not options.

“We have been looking at AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson, which we only had capacity to store. But with these donations and the bigger ones that the government is buying, which will arrive by next week, we can make arrangements to buy more of the others that require ultra-cold storage temperature,” he said.

Mr Agyeman-Manu added that with limited options for vaccines due to its storage capacity gaps coupled with the global shortage and the closure of borders by countries from where the AstraZeneca was being drawn, it had become critical to boost national storage capacity.

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