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Press highlights virtual emergency meeting of ECOWAS on Guinea, others

The virtual emergency meeting of the Economic Community of West African States to be chaired today by President Nana Addo…

The virtual emergency meeting of the Economic Community of West African States to be chaired today by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to discuss the happenings in Guinea is one of the leading stories in the Ghanaian press on Wednesday.The Graphic reports that the Chairperson of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo will chair a virtual emergency meeting with the regional bloc today (Wednesday, September 8, 2021,) to discuss the happenings in Guinea.

According to the Director of Communication at the Presidency. Mr. Eugene Arhin, President Akufo-Addo will lead his colleague Heads of State to address the coup that has led to the moval of Alpha Conde as the president of Guinea.

He said this at a press briefing on Tuesday, September 7, 2021, in Accra.

“The president will chair an emergency virtual summit of heads of state and governments of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) basically to reaffirm the long term held belief that the ballots and not the bullets should be the only legitimate means of effecting change in the political leadership of any country within the ECOWAS community.”

He said the meeting will try to find a lasting solution to the Guinea crisis.

The ECOWAS has earlier demanded that the members of the Guinean defence and security forces who embarked on the coup in that country return it to constitutional rule.

The newspaper says that President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has refunded GH¢237,974, being increment on his emoluments for the period January to August this year, to the Pensions and Salaries Accounts of the Controller and Accountant-General’s Department (CAGD).

The refund is in line with the decision he took on May 1, this year that members of the Executive arm of government would not enjoy salary increment as part of their modest contribution to public revenue to hasten the recovery of the economy from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Director of Communications at the Presidency, Mr Eugene Fiifi Bentum Arhin, disclosed this at the third in the series of engagements with the Presidential Press Corps at the Jubilee House in Accra yesterday.

The increment was proposed by the Professor Yaa Ntiamoa-Baidu Committee, as enshrined in the 1992 Constitution, for Article 71 office holders.

But during this year’s May Day celebration, President Akufo-Addo had announced: “I have taken the decision to freeze salary increment for this year, 2021, for myself as President, the Vice-President, ministers, deputy ministers and all appointees of the Executive.”

“It is our modest contribution to reduce the damage to our public revenue and help hasten our nation’s recovery from the ravages of the pandemic,” he had added.

Mr Arhin said when President Akufo-Addo received his accrued salary from January to August this year, he noticed that the directive had not been enforced, hence the decision to return the money.

The Graphic also reports that in spite of the ravages of the COVID-19 pandemic which have brought many economies to their knees, the government is working to attain five percent growth in domestic productivity.

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, who gave the assurance, said pursuing that level of growth for the economy would enhance the prospects of a win-win environment for both the private sector and the country and create an environment where companies did not just survive but actually thrived.

Giving the assurance when he opened the maiden annual investment summit dubbed: “Spark Up Summit” in Accra yesterday, the President noted that his government inherited an economy which was growing at an average of 3.4 per cent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), which measures productivity in the domestic economy.

Spark Up is organised by the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC) and the Ministry of Information to stimulate conversations among investors, facilitating agencies, private service providers and the public to fully unlock Ghana’s investment potential.

It is a single platform that connects all efforts in the foreign direct investments (FDIs) ecosystem and it is expected to re-ignite investments into Ghana and facilitate business growth.

President Akufo-Addo said the government had been able to move the economy to become one of the fastest growing in the world between 2017 and 2020 at an average of seven per cent GDP annual growth rates, up from the 3.4 percent growth it inherited in 2016.

He noted that while the economies of many countries around the world were in recession last year, having recorded negative growth, largely as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, Ghana’s economy was one of the very few that still managed to record a positive GDP growth of 0.1 percent.

The Times says that former president John Dramani Mahama has appealed to Ghanaians to support the new Special Prosecutor (SP), Mr Kissi Agyebeng to succeed in the fight against corruption.

Mr Mahama made the appeal in a radio interview on Tuesday, in Techiman during his ‘thank you’ tour of the Bono East Region.

According to the former president, Mr Matin Amidu, the first SP could not work to expectations due to inadequate resources and budgetary allocation to his office, coupled with political interference.

“If the new SP is treated same, he will have no alternative than to resign from his position. He must be given enough human, financial and logistics resources to perform,” he emphasised.

Mr Mahama urged the citizenry to give the new SP a free hand to work independently saying that, “let us all do our best to make him succeed.

The former president said he was in the Bono East Region to show his appreciation to the people for voting massively for the National Democratic Congress (NDC) during the last elections.

Mr Mahama indicated that “our party recorded overwhelming vote increase of 44,000 in the presidential elections. You also gave the NDC nine out of the 11 parliamentary seats in the region”

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