The current administrative party, New Patriotic Party (NPP), and the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) communicators yesterday exchanged heated arguments at the auditorium of Citizen Eye Ghana’s (CITEG) headquarters at Tantra Hill in Accra at a forum over the 2022 budget and the proposed Electronic Transaction Levy (E-Levy).
Kojo Danquah and Peter Akwasi Mensah, National Communication Team Members of the opposition NDC clashed with Communicators of the NPP as Nyame Kwame Bempah and Shadrach Appiah, both Communications Coordinator and Public Relations Officer respectively of Citizen Eye Ghana took a neutral position by calling for a reduction in the E-Levy.
The NDC communicators slammed the government for the increase in taxes and petroleum products describing it as cruel and inappropriate.
They noted that the taxes imposed on fuel prices including the 20 pesewas Energy Sector Recovery Levy on every litre of diesel and petrol, 10 pesewas Sanitation levy (“Borla”) tax on every litre of diesel and petrol and 18 pesewas energy sector recovery levy on every kilogram of LPG was insensitive.
The NDC team members accused Vice President Dr Mahamud Bawumia of being behind the new set of killer taxes presented during the reading of the 2022 budget before Parliament saying the Bawumia (Digital) Tax of 1.75% on all electronic transactions including Momo Transaction is shameful.
However, the NPP Communicators faulted the NDC for fuel increments in the country saying they need not have the power to do the worse.
Founder of Citizen Eye Ghana (CITEG) Alex Kwaku Tetteh said the 1.75 per cent rate E-Levy was high and called for a reduction.
While faulting the minority over their conduct in rejecting the budget including that of the Speaker, Alban Bagbin in talking down on Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta, Mr Tetteh praised Dr Bawumia for his innovative policies including the country’s digitalization drive.
Below is the full text of the statement by Citizen Eye Ghana;
01ST DECEMBER, 2021.
PRESS CONFERENCE BY CITIZEN EYE GHANA (CITEG) ON THE REJECTION OF THE GOVERNMENT’S 2022 BUDGET STATEMENT AND ECONOMIC POLICY
Good morning, ladies and gentlemen,
We are very grateful for your attendance at this very important press conference by
Citizen Eye Ghana (CITEG) to put on the fore the recent damning act of the Minority Members and Speaker of parliament constitute unconstitutionality and illegality by rejecting the government’s 2022 Budget Statement and Economic Policy read in the House by the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, last week. The last time a national budget was rejected was that which was meant for the 1981/1982 fiscal year is one of many issues former Presidential Advisor during the Limann era, Prof Ivan Addae-Mensah wrote about in his book ‘Hilla Limann, scholar, diplomat, statesman.’ This budget was prepared in the wake of the negotiations with the IMF for which the President had been pressing for the fund to be reasonable in its demands and conditionalities.
Citizen Eye Ghana is a non-partisan Civil Society Organization Our main aim as an organization is to play the role of a good citizen and guard against any activity detrimental to the country. It is also our firm conviction that every Ghanaian deserves to be happy and we maintain that our collective happiness as a people is inextricably linked to responsible governance.
It is upon this that we wish to bring to light a few articles from the 1992 constitution of the Republic of Ghana.
Article 111 of the 1992 constitution of Ghana states that “The Vice-President, or a Minister or Deputy Minister who is not a member of Parliament, shall be entitled to participate in the proceedings of Parliament and shall be accorded all the privileges of a member of Parliament except that he is not entitled to vote or to hold any office in Parliament”. For that matter, the finance minister must be accorded all privileges.
Also, Article 58(1) (3) states that (1) The executive authority of Ghana shall vest in the President and shall be exercised in accordance with the provisions of this Constitution. (3) Subject to the provisions of this Constitution, the functions conferred on the President by clause (1) of this article may be exercised by him either directly or through an officer subordinate to him.
What is the parliament doing about the police officers taking money from drivers by the road without issuing a receipt that money can contribute to paying their salaries?
What is the parliament doing about the kidney machines that are killing people in our various hospitals?
And what is the parliament doing about the motor (OKADA) riders in the country that contribute to about 50% of the accidents in the country?
Out of the several leadership and winnable qualities possessed by Dr. Bawumia, one that is fit to mention in this regard is his unmatched marketability on 3 different fronts: He (Dr Bawumia) is currently the most marketed personality within the NPP as far as the base of the party is concerned. Since he was nominated running mate for President Akufo-Addo in 2008 and for the past 13 years, he has consistently maintained touch with party grassroots across the country.
He has travelled extensively throughout the various constituencies preaching party policies to members during campaigns and Government policies whilst in power. He has probably done several tours across the country in a few years meeting party grass-roots members than all those popping up as potential aspirants have done all together in their political careers and these are some achievements of Dr Bawumia
Dr Bawumia stated the government’s eagerness to start implementing its second term programs, Vice President Bawumia, who is also head of the government’s economic management team, has also outlined major first-term accomplishments of the Akufo-Addo government.
“Dear Friends, as we look forward to the implementation of the 2021 budget in our second term, it is important that we take note of the accomplishments of the Nana Akufo-Addo government in our first term after inheriting an economy in crisis. Here are some:” Dr Bawumia wrote on Facebook on Sunday.
He then went on to list all the major first-term accomplishments in different sectors.
On macroeconomic management, DDrBawumia stated the reduction of inflation from 15.4 per cent in 2016 to 10.4 per cent at the end of 2020, reduction of average lending rates from 32 per cent in 2016 to 21 per cent in 2020, lowest average exchange rate depreciation for any first-term government since 1992 at 7.3 per cent, increased internal reserves $6.1b in 2016 to 68.7b in 2020, upgraded sovereign credit rating from B- to B, among other economic gains.
In other sectors, the Vice President also listed massive industrialization success under 1D1F, increased food production through Planting for Food and Jobs, the introduction of pension scheme for cocoa farmers, about 550,000 public employment opportunities, which included doctors, teachers, nurses, other health workers, and police officers.
Dr Bawumia also touched on the government’s efforts at reducing the rate of debt accumulation per anum; from an average of 243 per cent per anum between 20122016 to an average of 137 per cent per anum between 2017 and 2020.
As the government looks forward to its second term, Dr Bawumia acknowledged some challenges facing the Ghanaian economy, especially the impact of COVID19, and assured that the government will do its best to transform the Ghanaian economy for the benefit of all.
“Notwithstanding these solid achievements, there are still challenges facing the Ghanaian economy and Ghanaians following the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and I look forward to working with President Akufo-Addo to address these challenges and deliver on his vision to transform and modernize the economy for the benefit of all Ghanaians in our second term,” Dr. Bawumia wrote. To this, we say who else if not Dr. Bawumia
We are grateful for your presence for this coverage and we are convinced that the news will be streamed on your distinguished platforms. Thank you for coming, ladies and gentlemen from the press.