3 times NPP government contradicted itself on national issues

In its 6 years in power, the current New Patriotic Party (NPP) administration led by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has been an eventful one.

Dr, Mahamudu Bawumia and Ken Ofori-Atta

In recent times, however, officials of this administration have contradicted themselves on some national issues.

We, therefore, took a look at some of the issues where the positions of different government officials sound different.

1 . On IMF: On July 1, the Ghanaian government announced a decision to resort to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for a financial bailout.

A statement issued by the country’s information ministry said the order follows a telephone conversation between President Akufo-Addo and the IMF Managing Director, Miss Kristalina Georgieva.

"At a meeting on June 30th, 2022, the cabinet indicated its support for the decision," the statement said on Friday, July 1.

"The engagement with the IMF will seek to provide a balance of payment support as part of a broader effort to quicken Ghana's build back in the face of challenges induced by the Covid-19 pandemic and, recently, the Russia-Ukraine crises".

However, the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta led a number of appointees to insist that Ghana will never go back to the IMF.

In a press conference on May 12 in Accra, Mr. Ofori-Atta said: “We have committed to not going back to the fund because… the fund knows we are in the right direction…It's about validating the program we have in place and finding other ways of handling our debt”.

He said Ghana had numerous resources, and that the government would continue to explore them and other opportunities to raise revenue for its transformation.

"We are not going to the IMF because we have all resources at our disposal to transform the country," he said.

2 . On E-levy: One of the most controversial tax levies ever instituted by the Akufo-Addo government is the electronic levy.

On 17th November 2021, the Minister for Finance announced during the presentation of the 2022 Budget Statement and Economic Policy of Government to the Parliament of Ghana, the introduction of an “Electronic Transaction Levy” or “E-Levy” of 1.75 percent on electronic transactions above GHs 100 (US$16) per day.

All charges will be borne by the sender except in the case of inward remittances where the charge will be borne by the recipient. According to the Finance Minister, the country’s total digital transactions for 2020 were estimated to be over GH¢500 billion (about US$81 billion) compared to GH¢78 billion (US$12.5 billion) in 2016.

But, in a famous interview on Accra based Peace FM in 2020, the Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia said mobile money transactions should not be taxed.

He told show host Kwame Sefa Kayi: “I don’t think Mobile Money should be taxed because most of the people who use the service are poor people so if you put more taxes on it they will suffer”.

3 . On Aisha Huang: The re-arrest of Chinese galamsey queen Aisha Huang has reignited the national conversation of the harm illegal mining is doing to our water bodies.

It has also brought back the promise made by the Akufo-Addo government to put his administration on the line to curb the menace.

There has been, however, some flip flops on the part of government officials on Aisha Huang re-entered Ghana after being deported in 2018.

During her appearance at an Accra Circuit Court, the state prosecutors said Aisha Huang sneaked out of the country unknowingly.

But the Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Godfred Yeboah Dame had a different version of that infamous repatriation.

"On 19th December 2018, the Attorney-General entered nolle prosequi and terminated the trial. The same day, the Comptroller-General of Ghana Immigration Service revoked her permit to remain in Ghana indefinitely, ordered her immediate repatriation to China, and directed her to stay out of Ghana until the Comptroller-General approved her future re-entry into Ghana.

"Consequently, Aisha was put on Ethiopian Airlines Flight No. Et 920, which took off at about 12:50 pm on December 19, 2018, to Addis-Ababa, Ethiopia, en route to Guangzhou-China. She sat on seat No. 32 F (Economy Class) and her travel documents were handed over to the captain of the flight to be handed over to her upon her arrival at her final destination, Guangzhou China."

The Attorney General insisted that Miss Huang was barred indefinitely from entering the country by the Comptroller-General

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