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Government to re-examine entry points of market centres for more accessibility – Akufo-Addo

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Government has said it plans to re-examine entry points to market centres in order to make them accessible to all and especially fire officers.

According to President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, this has become necessary to avert the destruction of property and livelihoods in case of fire outbreak which has often made it difficult for fire tenders to gain access and douse the fire.

“I am really saddened by the fire incident that destroyed your market. When tragedy occurs, we take steps to rectify it and prevent its reoccurrence. I understand the Ghana National Fire Service had difficulties in accessing the market so we will take a look at all the entry points to markets in the country so this does not repeat itself.”

The president said this while addressing a gathering of affected traders at the Akim Oda Central Market as part of his just-ended tour of the Eastern Region.

He assured that government will take all the appropriate steps to avert future fire occurrences in market centres and support the affected traders through the Ghana Enterprise Agency and MASLOC.

“The government will support all traders who were affected by the fire incident. You will receive support from the Ghana Enterprise Agency and MASLOC to help you recover quickly,” Akufo-Addo said.

Meanwhile, on Monday September 13, 2021 parts of the Akim Oda Central Market were gutted by a fire incident. This led to the loss of property worth thousands of cedis belonging to traders.

Though fire officers were called to the scene, there were unable to gain entry into the market due to the access points and nature of the market.

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

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2022 budget has to match needs of populace – Alban Bagbin

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Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin, has called on members to brace themselves for the new meeting of Parliament and take active interest in the 2022 budget presentation, which he said, has to “match the needs of our people”.

Addressing members during the first sitting of the third meeting of Parliament, he christened the meeting the “Budget Meeting”, explaining that the House will perform its critical oversight and accountability function.

“We will be called upon to approve the Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government for the year ending 31st December 2022. Recent public financial management trends indicate that modern parliaments are rethinking their role in the budget process, trying to increase understanding and reassert themselves as more active players within it. I urge you all to take a keen interest in this upcoming exercise. As the representatives of the people, we have a collective duty to ensure that the budget for the 2022 fiscal year best matches the needs of our people.”

He also urged members to use the leverage they enjoy judiciously and in the best of ways, in the interest of Ghanaians “on behalf of whom we have been assigned this responsibility.”

The Ranking Member of the Finance Committee, Dr. Ato Forson, encouraged Metropolitan, Municipal, and District Assemblies (MMDAs) to submit their budget estimates on time to give Parliament ample time to scrutinise them.

His sentiments were shared by the Majority Leader, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, who said by the first week of November, budget estimates should be submitted to the House “if we want proper tracking and supervision, as well as oversight function. We should agree on a common principle.”

This third meeting of Parliament is expected to last for nine weeks, with a significant part devoted to the consideration of the 2022 budget, expected to be presented on November 17.

A total of 56 bills are expected to be presented before the House. These include Affirmative Action Bill 2021, Interstate Succession Bill 2021, Rent Bill 2021, Aged Persons Bill 2021, and Small Scale Mining Bill 2021.

Three bills are currently at the committee level. They are Office of the Special Prosecutor (Amendment) Bill 2021, Criminal Offences (Amendment) Bill 2021, and Promotion of Proper Human Sexual Rights and Ghanaian Family Values Bill 2021.

Source: business24.com.gh

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No increase in transport fares until November 1 – GPTRU,

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There will be no increase in transport fares in the country until 1st November 2021, transport operators in Ghana have said.

“We have to wait patiently for 1st November to see the next line of action,” Ibrahim Tanko, the Industrial Relations Officer at the Ghana Private Road Transport Union (GPRTU) told TV3 on Tuesday, October 26.

Their decision follows the approval to zero the Price Stabilization and Recovery Levies on petrol, diesel and LPG for two months granted by President Akufo-Addo.

A statement issued by the National Petroleum Authority (NPA) said the approval followed the advice of the NPA to the Minister of Energy to seek government’s intervention to mitigate the impact of rising prices of petroleum products on the world market on consumers.

Prices of crude oil and refined petroleum products, according to the NPA, have seen sharp increases on the world market due to a rise in demand of oil globally without a corresponding increase in supply, particularly from the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its allies.

Because the pricing of petroleum products in Ghana is deregulated, changes in prices of petroleum products on the world market have a direct impact on prices at the pumps, the NPA further stated.

“The outlook of prices on the global market shows an upward trend and therefore there was the need to seek government’s intervention to lower the levies to cushion consumers from feeling the full impact of these rising prices.

“The purpose of the Price Stabilisation and Recovery Levy (PSRL) is to stabilise prices for consumers and pay for the subsidies on Premix Fuel and Residual Fuel Oil (RFO). At this time it is important that the PSRL which is currently sixteen pesewas per liter (GHp16/Lt) on petrol, fourteen pesewas per litre (GHp14/Lt) on diesel, and fourteen pesewas per kilogram (GHp14/Kg) on LPG are zeroed to cushion consumers.

“The NPA will work with the Ministries of Energy and Finance to quicken the legislative processes to give immediate effect to this directive by the President.

“We are grateful to H.E. the President for granting the request to zero these levies to minimise the effect of rising prices of petroleum products on the world market on consumers in Ghana.”

Source: 3news.com

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Private sector has capacity to absorb youth job seekers – Oppong Nkrumah

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Minister for Information, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, has reiterated that the private sector has the capacity to absorb the country’s teeming youth seeking for job opportunities.

According to him, even though a vibrant public sector can provide some number of employments, the main purpose of the government is to create an enabling environment for entrepreneurs to flourish in the private sector.

He argued that even the most efficient public service cannot be a substitute for the role that the private sector and entrepreneurship play in helping answer the questions of economic fortunes as a nation.

“Orienting our people, that it lies within our own hands to innovate, develop technologies and solutions that make our society better off, as against waiting for an expansion of the public sector to accommodate all our interests, is a challenge which however we have not met very well as a nation.

If entrepreneurship, private business, innovation and technology is what will be a most significant pillar in economic recovery, then our best energies, our best attention, must be directed there,” Mr. Nkrumah made this remark at the opening ceremony of Day-2 of the Ghana Economic Forum (GEF) in Accra organized by the B&FT.

He explained that entrepreneurship is the most significant instrument that can get the majority of the people, particularly the young, economically engaged and rewarded, thereby, calling for a renewal of the mindset and encouraging the youth to venture into it and take advantage of the good policies initiated by the government.

The information minister further said that entrepreneurship, when taken seriously, will enable the country build its own products and services, thereby, increasing exports to improve the balance of payment position of the economy.

Making some recommendations, Mr. Nkrumah said the conversations around entrepreneurship, its prospects, resolving its bottlenecks and highlighting its rewards must be mainstreamed as one of the most important conversations in this country.

He advised that public conversations on traditional media, digital media and all other platforms must reflect what citizens believe is the most important value driver for economic transformation.

“We cannot spend all our times discussing allegations and suspicions of one another. We cannot spend all our time comparing pastors, debating partisan political positions, and for the younger ones, we cannot spend all our time amplifying social media beefs and expect that entrepreneurship will gain its pride of place”.

He added that to stem entrepreneurship in the minds of the youth, the education system should include entrepreneurship in the curricular of every level of schooling.

“My point is that whatever we choose to include in academic curricular, one field of academic work which I believe should now be taught across all levels of education as a core subject just like literacy, numeracy and science, is entrepreneurship. So that no matter what else a Ghanaian child has studied, he / she is also equipped with the basic orientation to use that technical knowledge even in building on their own, a business out of it,” he said.

Mr. Oppong Nkrumah, however, stressed the need for government to step up its efforts in promoting entrepreneurship, despite programmes that are already in existence to achieve the purpose.

“I believe we all can agree that looking at the enormity of the challenge ahead, we need to quadruple our efforts as a country at the minimum. We need to provide avenues for more technical support, patient capital and paradigm orientation if truly we want to see more young people take up entrepreneurship. Government policy, must be bolder and larger and more focused in support of growing entrepreneurship in Ghana and indeed across the continent,” he said.

Source: thebftonline.com

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