Press highlights call for new global financial system for Africa, others

The call by President Akufo-Addo on the Bretton Woods institutions to reset the global financial system rules to give African…

The call by President Akufo-Addo on the Bretton Woods institutions to reset the global financial system rules to give African countries an equal opportunity to develop, in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic is one of the trending stories in the Ghanaian press on Wednesday.The Graphic reports that President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has called on the Bretton Woods institutions to reset the global financial system rules to give African countries an equal opportunity to develop, in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

He said just as the institutions helped to rebuild the post-war global economy and rekindled international economic cooperation 77 years ago, there was now a historic opportunity to restructure the global financial architecture to also respond better to the needs of Africa.

The President, who made the call at the Summit on Financing African Economies in Paris, France, yesterday, said the Bretton Woods Conference, which took place as World War II drew to a close, created a global financial architecture which, over the last 77 years, had proved to be unfavourable to Africa.

President Akufo-Addo said “inequity in the global economic system, as well as leadership and governance issues, have not been favourable to the continent.”

“These challenges have resulted in a global economic system that has proved to be incapable of supporting lives and livelihoods, including allocating sufficient long-term resources to support Africa’s economic transformation,” he added.

President Akufo-Addo further said the cost of Africa’s development did not reflect its economic fundamentals, credit,or default cost, citing the case of Ghana where the sovereign debt is more expensive than that of similarly rated Belarus, which pays some 100 basis points less than Ghana.

The newspaper says that the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) has rolled out a tax incentive scheme for taxpayers to help cushion businesses and people against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

The scheme involves waiving the penalty and the accrued interest on tax arrears for both corporate and individual taxpayers as a motivation for them to regularise their tax obligations during the crisis period.

The package from the authority took effect from April this year and allowed people and institutions that had either not registered with the GRA or breached the tax payment and the filing of returns schedules to apply to the authority for waivers.

It followed the passage of the Penalty and Interest Waiver Act, 2021 (Act 1065) that allowed the GRA to grant waivers to taxpayers for penalty and interest on accumulated tax arrears up to December 31, last year.

Interested people have between now and September 30 to apply for the waiver from the tax collection and administration body.

The authority was responding to a Daily Graphic enquiry about Act 1065, which in part says: “A person who takes advantage of this limited-time opportunity will not be liable to prosecution or face any other enforcement action with respect to the tax due for the relevant period.”

It explained that the waiver was applicable to taxpayers who had not previously registered with the GRA but now wanted to benefit from the waiver.

It said such people would have to apply for registration as taxpayers and “make full disclosure of the necessary information for assessment”.

“The waiver is also applicable to persons registered with the GRA but who have not submitted or filed the required tax returns or have defaulted in the submission of tax returns or are in arrears for the payment of taxes,” it said.

The Times says that the 2021 Population and Housing Census (PHC) will commence on June 28, a day after the census night will have been marked.

Before then, listing of households would be held on June 13 to ensure that all structures were given unique serial numbers to allow for effective enumeration in subsequent days.

This was made known by the Curriculum Reviewer for the 2021 PHC and Dean at the Simon Diedong Dombo University of Business and Integrated Development Studies, Professor Paul Nkegbe, on Monday in Wa.

He said this at an eight-day face-to-face training for more than 300 prospective regional trainers.

Professor Nkegbe added that substantive regional trainers would be selected for the next stage, depending on their performance and conduct at the training.

The participants, who made it to the training after rigorous screening processes that saw their numbers reduced to 300 would receive training on the respective 2021 PHC materials.

The trainees were selected after 15 days of virtual training and undertaking of various assessments.

The newspaper reports that the Accra-based Citi FM and Citi TV has petitioned the National Media Commission (NMC) to investigate the arrest and assault of its journalist, Caleb Kudah.

The company asked the Commission to investigate the subsequent invasion of its premises by operatives of National Security.

A letter signed by Samuel Attah-Mensah, Managing Director of CITI FM/TV, to the NMC, on May 14, said Mr. Kudah was arrested at the National Security Ministry premises on May 11, for filming abandoned MASLOC vehicles parked at the premises of the ministry.

Mr. Kudah was at the Ministry to verify a claim by an official of MASLOC that all the cars had been given out, after he had complained about wastage of public funds on social media.

However, on his way out of the premises of the ministry, he was accosted by officials of the National Security Ministry, who raised the alarm and accused him of filming national security installations, to foment trouble.

According to the petition, Mr. Kudah was immediately surrounded by policemen who seized his phone and roughed him up before sending him into a building in which he met the head of the SWAT Unit DSP Azugu.

It said during questioning, he identified himself to the officials as a journalist from Citi FM/Citi TV, who had come to take photos of abandoned MASLOC vehicles, which was a follow up on a story he had earlier done.

The petition indicated that Mr. Kudah was slapped several times and punched indiscriminately by the officers several times while being questioned by DSP Azugu although he had identified himself as a journalist from Citi FM/Citi TV.

It said one Lt Col Agyeman also gave him a hefty slap and asked him to kneel down, kicked him in the groin and left him lying down.

These actions, according to the company continued for several hours until Mr. Kudah was released at 7:00pm.

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