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Press highlights plans by Bank of Ghana to pilot digital Cedi, others

The plans by the Bank of Ghana to pilot the digital Cedi in September this year and the report that…

The plans by the Bank of Ghana to pilot the digital Cedi in September this year and the report that the 2021 National Population and Housing Census (PHC) exercise has technically ended on Sunday, July 11, 2021 are some of the leading stories in the Ghanaian press on Monday.The Graphic reports that the Bank of Ghana will September this year pilot the digital Cedi, First Deputy Governor, Dr Maxwell Opoku Afare has hinted.

This, he says, forms part of the BoG’s agenda of creating cash-lite society.

In an era of cryptocurrencies, he said the introduction of the digital cedi would also help Ghanaians who want to trade with digital currencies, do so safely.

Dr Opoku Afare, said this in an interview with the media on the sidelines of a media training organized by the Journalists for Business Advocacy (JBA).

He said the introduction of the digital Cedi which would be regulated by the central bank would further deepen financial inclusion, promote the efficiency and stability of the payment system, and foster competition in the financial sector.

He said the BoG would take its time to design it with all the security features.

“We want to ensure that when we make the e-cedi public no one will be able to create fake ones. So we want to first pilot it in a sandbox to learn lessons, fix what needs to be fixed before we open it up to the entire population.”

He said the Sandbox, which was like an incubator where ideas would be developed was already in place, with lots of FinTechs and banks already connected.

The newspaper says that the 2021 National Population and Housing Census (PHC) exercise has technically ended today, Sunday, July 11, 2021.

The 15-day national exercise started on June 27, this year.

The Head of Publicity, Education and Advocacy of the GSS, Mr Francis Nyarkoh-Larbi, in an earlier interview with Graphic Online, said the listing of structures for the PHC would start from June 13 to June 25 and that on June 26, enumerators would be dispatched to their designated zones across the country.

He explained that after the Census Night, the actual enumeration would start on June 27 to July 11, 2021.

He said although the exercise, technically, would end in July, the agency would only complete its work after it had gathered all the needed data in every zone of the country, noting that some officers were not likely to finish the collection of their data by July 11.

“Census does not end when the work has not been completed,” Nyarkoh-Larbi noted.

A population census is a priority national development programme, as it anchors all national development interventions, given its unique attribute of capturing data on all persons in a country.

The Graphic also reports that the Speaker of Parliament, Mr Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin, has decided to schedule an appropriate time for the Minister of Finance, Mr Ken Ofori Atta, to respond to questions on the cost of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s recent official visits to France, Belgium and South Africa.

The Deputy Majority Leader, Mr Alexander Afenyo-Markin, who announced this in Parliament last Friday, explained that there was no deliberate attempt by the leadership of the Business Committee of Parliament to give Mr Ofori Atta more time to make an appearance in the House to respond to the question.

The Second Deputy Speaker, Mr Andrew Asiamah Amoako, presided over proceedings last Friday.

“Mr Speaker, the question has not been answered not because the Finance Minister is asking for more time but it has been directed by Mr Speaker that he (Mr Bagbin) will schedule an appropriate time,” he stated.

Addressing Parliament last Friday on concerns raised by the National Democratic Congress (NDC) Member of Parliament for North Tongu on why the Finance Minister had been allowed to demand more time to come before the House to answer the question, Mr Afenyo-Markin said.

“Take me for the record that it is Mr Speaker’s decision, not that of the Business Committee. The reason the Finance Minister is not here is because Mr Speaker has directed that he will see to it that he (Finance Minister) is scheduled to do so. So, it is not the case that the minister is asking for more time,” he stated.

The Times says that the Ghana Union of Traders Association has expressed worry about the high freight charges at the ports.

According to the largest trading organisation in the country, the current happenings were unacceptable and wanted the government to take immediate action, particularly when commodities prices, among others have gone up astronomically.

“It has come to the notice of the Ghana Union of Traders Association that Customs is going to adopt the ever increasing freight charges into their duty calculations. This is unacceptable and we want the government to note that world commodities prices have gone up astronomically, freight charges have gone up and other factors have also contributed in making prices of goods go up to the extent that the consuming public are beginning to feel the impact and are no longer able to cope with prices,” it said in a statement.

In this regard, it further said it would not accept the new shipping freight charges by the Customs Division of the GRA, adding “otherwise it is going to worsen our plight.”

Continuing, GUTA said “there is this public discourse as to how prices of goods can be maintained. This intention by Customs will not help in this direction and it is our hope that government take a strong look at this.”

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