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The Bank Hospital is Mahama’s legacy – Ato Forson counters Kweku Baako

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National Democratic Congress (NDC) Member of Parliament for Ajumako-Enyan-Esiam, Cassiel Ato Forson, has countered claims by Kweku Baako that the Bank Hospital cannot be said to be a project by former President John Mahama.

According to the Ranking Member on Parliament’s Finance Committee, it is an unblemished fact that the hospital, managed by the Bank of Ghana (BoG), was constructed during the tenure of the John Mahama.

“The Bank Hospital remains an unimpeachable John Mahama legacy,” he headlined a short piece on the matter.

According to him, Mr Mahama provided the needed leadership and vision to ensure project success.

“For the record and for the avoidance of any scintilla of doubt, the Government of Ghana is the shareholder of the Bank of Ghana just as the Ghana Cocoa Board,” Mr Forson said.

Mr Forson wrote his opinion piece in response to claims attributed to the Editor-in-Chief of the New Crusading Guide newspaper, Abdul Malik Kweku Baako, that the Bank of Ghana has the autonomy to embark projects without recourse to funds from central government.

Cassiel Ato Forson’s piece that defends the construction of the hospital as a legacy of John Mahama is published below.

“The Bank Hospital remains an unimpeachable John Mahama legacy”.

As former Deputy Minister responsible for Finance and one who served on the board of the Bank of Ghana from 2013 to 2017, I confirm without equivocation that the Bank Hospital is a President John Mahama legacy.

The Bank Hospital was built using public funds at the time H.E. John Mahama was President of the Republic.

President Mahama provided the leadership and vision that was needed at the time to conceptualize and establish the hospital.

Mr. Baako needs to understand that the central bank has functional autonomy and that autonomy does not apply when it comes to the use of public funds.

It must be made clear that the Central Bank makes profit through its operations. The profit of the Bank of Ghana are public funds, hence the use of these funds are subject to the directives of the Government of the day under the laws of Ghana thereof.

Having served on the Board of the Bank of Ghana, I can impeccably confirm that it was the vision and policy directive of President Mahama during that era which informed the construction of the Bank Hospital.

For the record and for the avoidance of any scintilla of doubt, the Government of Ghana is the shareholder of the Bank of Ghana just as the Ghana Cocoa Board.

It is trite knowledge that the government of the day apart from appointing the Governor and Deputy Governors, making appointments to the board; the Government offers policy direction on how income (profit) accrued from a public institution which has functional autonomy is utilized.

There is no gainsaying in the fact that the novel coronavirus pandemic has brought to the fore the great vision and sound judgement of President Mahama in positively altering the health landscape of our country.

From the Bank Hospital to the Ridge Hospital to the University of Ghana Hospital to the Dodowa Hospital to the Upper West Regional Hospital to the Maritime Hospital and many others, President Mahama stands vindicated for the superiority of his vision in transforming the health sector of Ghana.

The least President Mahama deserves especially from someone who claims to be his friend is an honest admission of the facts.

How ironic that when it suits Mr. Kwaku Baako, he blaims President Mahama for the depreciation of the currency during his tenure without recourse to the 1992 Constitution of Ghana and the Bank of Ghana Act, 2002 (Act 612) which prescribes the responsibility of price stability including inflation, interest rate and the management of the currency to the Bank of Ghana and yet by some warped logic and selective amnesia, he only remembers the Bank of Ghana’s functional autonomy now simply because he must deny President Mahama credit.

Mr. Baako can continue to do his blinded PR for the Government he prefers, however, he is not entitled to his own set of facts.

As a former member of the Bank of Ghana Board, I am honoured to assert that The Bank Hospital is a proud legacy of the NDC and John Mahama.

No amount of unprincipled propaganda gymnastics can change this obvious fact.

Perhaps Mr Baako should use all that energy to tell us what investments his darling President Akufo-Addo has made in the health sector since assuming the Presidency particularly at this crucial time when we are at war against COVID-19.

Facts shall always be sacred.

Signed,

Cassiel Ato Forson (MP)

Ranking Member, Finance Committee of Parliament.

Member, Board of Bank of Ghana.(2013- Jan 2017)

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General News

Speaker Alban Bagbin travels again to Dubai for medical checks

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Alban Bagbin

Speaker Alban Bagbin travels again to Dubai for medical checks

The Speaker of Parliament, Rt. Hon. Alban Bagbin is scheduled to travel to the United Arab Emirates (Dubai) again for his due medical review.

In a letter to President Akufo-Addo, the Speaker explained that his trip for another medical review was due on January 7, 2022.

“I am writing to inform you of my absence from Ghana from Friday, 7 January 2022 till Sunday 23, 2022 in order to honour an appointment for a medical review in the United Arab Emirates.”

“It is also important to bring to your attention that the House will resume its sittings for the First Meeting of the Second Session of the 8th Parliament on Tuesday 25 January 2022,” the letter from the Speaker’s Office noted.

Speaker Bagbin also informed the President that “prior to the resumption of the House, Parliament intends to undertake a Covid-19 (booster) vaccination exercise for Members of Parliament and Officers of the Parliamentary Service.”

Copy of the Speaker’s letter to Prez. Akufo-Addo;

alban bagbin's letter to Akufo-addo

Alban Bagbin was in UAE in November 2021, for similar medical check-ups.

Meanwhile, Parliament will be resuming the controversial debate on the 1.75% Electronic Transaction Levy (E-Levy) which has divided the House and caused massive uproar amongst Ghanaians.

The E-Levy approval is expected to rake in a little above ¢6 billion in tax revenue for the country.

This month [January 2022] we will go back to the floor of Parliament with the E-Levy and ensure that it gets passed by the end of the month,” Minister of State at the Finance Ministry, Charles Adu-Boahen said during the investiture of the newly elected president of the Association of Ghana Industries, Humphrey Anim-Dake.

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Data from SIM card re-registration is bogus; we advised them to stop – NIA Boss

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Data from SIM card re-registration is bogus

Data from SIM card re-registration is bogus; we advised them to stop – NIA Boss

Photos of letters signed by the Executive Secretary of the National Identification Authority (NIA) in response to the National Communications Authority (NCA) regarding the commencement of the SIM Card re-registration reveal NIA’s initial rejection of the move since September 2021.

The Executive Secretary of NIA, Prof. Kenneth Attafuah has described the so-called biometric data being collected by the various telecommunication companies in the ongoing SIM card re-registration as useless.

In the letter, Professor Kenneth Attafuah, and his outfit cannot confirm that the data being collected by the telcos “will meet the standard to enable successful verification against the National Identification System (NIS) database.”

The letter was in response to a request for information to ascertain the synergy between the NIA data collection and the exercise being conducted by the telcos as being championed by the Communications Ministry through NCA.

“NIA is unable to confirm that the biometric data to be collected by the NCA for the purpose described above will meet the standard to enable successful verification against the National Identification System (NIS) database,” portion of the letter stated.

“The use of an App that is not developed or certified by NIA to rend the Ghana Card using a two-step data collection and verification process is outside NIA’s control. NIA is, therefore, unable to guarantee the results of such a process.”

Data from SIM card re-registration is bogusData from SIM card re-registration is bogusData from SIM card re-registration is bogus

Scanned copies of the letters dated September 2021 were first shared by one Selorm Branttie, Vice President at Imani Center for Policy & Education who doubles as Global Strategy Director at mPedigree Network, on his Facebook timeline.

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Nigeria commits to pay off US$28.7 million capital arrears in Shelter Afrique

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Nigeria Finance Minister Dr Zainab Shamsuna Ahmed and Shelter Afrique MD Andrew Chimphondah

Abuja – January 11, 2022: The Federal Republic of Nigeria has pledged to pay the full capital arrear of US$28.7m in Shelter Afrique, Nigeria’s Finance Minister Dr. Zainab Shamsuna Ahmed disclosed at a meeting with Shelter Afrique Group Managing Director and CEO Mr. Andrew Chimphondah in Abuja.

The Minister further disclosed that the payment will be made in four installments starting January 2022.

In September 2020, the pan African housing development financier received US$$9.4 million from Nigeria. The contribution moved Nigeria to become the second-largest shareholding in the organization with 13.27% of the shareholding, behind Kenya with 17.78%, and ahead of the AfDB at 12.83%.

Lauding the government of Nigeria for its show of confidence in the institution and a stamp of approval for the organisation’s financial turnaround, Mr. Andrew Chimphondah said, “This is a major milestone which is set to propel Nigeria to become the largest shareholder in Shelter-Afrique when the country meets its capital commitment. This is a strong testament of the strong shareholder commitment and support of the Shelter Afrique Board and Management.”

Housing Bond

Shelter Afrique is planning to raise 250 Billion Naira Bond (US$500million) in 2022 to support its affordable housing projects in Nigeria. The Company is set to commence the road shows with prospective investors in January 2022 and is expected to conclude fundraising by end of February.

Shelter Afrique has embarked on a defined strategy of developing and deepening local capital markets so that access to local currency which is competitively priced can be made available to Nigerian Developers from the Real Estate Developers Association of Nigeria (REDAN), Large Developers and Tier 1 and Tier 2 Banks and Primary Mortgage Lenders. The significance of this is that Shelter-Afrique will have been successful in dealing with the foreign exchange exposure risks that have crippled many African countries caused by the weakening of local African currencies against hard currencies such as the United States Dollar and the British Pound Sterling,” Mr. Chimphondah said.

Thanking the Finance Minister Dr. Zainab Shamsuna Ahmed for supporting the Bond Issue by the approvals received on critical waivers from the Ministry of Finance, Mr. Chimphondah noted that Nigeria was a critical and strategic market for Shelter Afrique, adding that the fund realized from the bond issue will go a long way in address the affordable housing shortage in the country, now estimated at 17 Million Units against the continent’s 56 million units.

“As a response to addressing this housing shortage, Shelter Afrique will implement a transformative strategy that will crowd in additional capital funding into the low cost large scale affordable housing market in a commercially viable manner,” Mr. Chimphondah concluded.

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