MINORITY’S REACTION TO THE BANK OF GHANA’S PRESS RELEASE ON STATEMENTS DESCRIBING THE INTRODUCTION OF NEW HIGHER GHANA CEDI DENOMINATION BANKNOTES AS AN ‘AMBUSH’
On January 3, 2020 the Bank of Ghana issued a Press Release on alleged statements describing the introduction of new higher Ghana cedi denomination banknotes as “ambush”.
This was an apparent reaction to a comment by former President John Mahama that the introduction of the new notes was done on the blind side of Ghanaians. The comment was made in his speech at the 38th commemoration of the 31st December Revolution in Winneba.
The Minority wishes to state the following :
- The Former President’s comments only re-echoed the views of many Ghanaians who have expressed concerns about the manner in which the new higher denomination notes have been introduced. Indeed some of the banks are even rejecting deposits using the new denominations because their systems are yet to be reconfigured to validate the notes. Only last week, cashiers at Game, a shopping centre also rejected payments from a customer using the ₵200-note.
- The Former President has legitimate responsibility to comment on issues of national interest and only emphasized the need for adequate sensitization and to always follow laid-down procedure in introducing new currency notes in order to preserve confidence in such notes.
- Apart from the issues raised by the Former President, the Minority in Parliament in a recent Press statement outlined several lapses and substantive issues relating to the exercise. It was made clear for example that if the purpose for introducing the notes was to exploit seignior-age revenues or profit (seignior-age is the difference between the face value of money, and the cost to produce it) to support government finance, then this purpose will be defeated because it will result in high inflation. Already, the Bank of Ghana incurs a high cost of monetary operations to maintain price stability and hence no reason for the Bank to shoot itself in the foot.
- The Minority also pointed out that Ghana’s exchange rate regime is not a dollar-peg and hence wrong for the Bank of Ghana to state that the higher value denominations will partially restore the dollar value of the currency notes to levels in 2007. The Minority Statement further explained that countries across the world were rather eliminating high value notes to prevent these from fueling illegal activities, and that simply increasing the currency bound would not increase Ghana’s economic fortunes.
- Unfortunately, last Friday’s reaction from the Bank of Ghana still mentioned reasons such as dead-weight burden in carrying large sums of money. Dead-weight issues arise following sustained periods of high inflation, and with recent inflation reported to be coming down, one would rather expect the dead-weight burden to disappear without the need to introduce high value denominations.
- It is true that central banks across the world do undertake periodic reviews of the structure of existing currencies for various reasons. That was why the exercise was begun in early 2016 with new designs (featuring some of our national heroes) that have unfortunately been discarded by the current administration. The plan for the new currency structure was to move the coin/note boundary by a step such that the ₵1 note will be phased out and the ₵2 note would be the new boundary. The rest of the structure was maintained because the ₵50 note does not circulate much in the non-urban areas in particular.
- Moreover, with the advances in payments systems across the country as well as digital finance, coupled with the move toward promoting a cash-lite society, there was no need to introduce a higher denomination beyond the ₵50 note.
- Thus the denomination structure comprising the ₵2-note, ₵5-note, ₵10-note, ₵20-note, and ₵50-note still aligns well with the needs of Ghanaians who use it for their daily transactions. There is no need to add ₵100 and ₵200.
- In 2016, a number of state-of-the-art security features were introduced for the new designs and hence it is not true that the review of the structure of the currency only started in 2017. Also, it cannot be true that there is significant increase in the demand for higher denomination banknotes even in the non-urban areas of the country.
- The Minority is however happy to hear that the positive legacies of Former President John Dramani Mahama continue to speak for themselves everywhere. The Bank of Ghana’s new Cash Centre in Accra was built under his guidance and specifically commissioned on December 2, 2015 by the Former Vice President, His Excellency KB Amissah-Arthur. According to the Bank of Ghana, the Cash Centre has continued to receive several commendations and has become a model for peer economies that have visited the country to learn from Ghana’s currency management system.
- The Minority is particularly happy to hear that countries such as Kenya, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Uganda, Nigeria, South Africa, Seychelles, India, Mozambique and many more countries in Africa and Middle East have visited last year to learn from the Cash Centre built during Prez John Mahama tenure in office.
- Regarding the context of the Eco currency which the Government of Ghana has in a recent statement committed to join, the Bank of Ghana and Government cannot be speaking different languages. Even if Ghana opts to adopt the Eco after three (3) years or even more, the fact still remains that the new higher denominations could have been shelved until the Eco is introduced.
- The Minority wishes to reiterate the point made by the Minority leader that,the introduction of the higher value notes would be thoroughly investigated by the next NDC government.
Cassiel Ato Forson MP,AJUMAKO/ ENYAN/ ESSIAM AND RANKING MEMBER, FINANCE COMMITTEE OF PARLIAMENT.
Video: Bawumia shouldn’t contest for NPP flag bearer-ship to save his life – Prophet Kofi Amponsah – ghanapublisher.com
Prophet Kofi Amponsah, the leader and the founding President of House of Ezra Prayer Center Worldwide Ministry in Asonomaso Nkwanta in the Ashanti Region has given a shocking revelation on the vice president of Ghana, His Excellency Dr. Mahamadu Bawumia.
In a video cited by ghanapublisher.com, the prophets is seen saying without mincing words that, the vice president should avoid showing interest in the 2024 NPP Flag bearer-ship contest if he wants to have a long life.
In recent activities regarding who succeeds the president in NPP in 2024 elections, a lot of wranglings has started happening in the NPP with faction creation in the party on the side of some stalwart like Dr. Bawumiah, Alan Kyeremateng and Dr Afriyie Atoko with breaking the 8 agenda as proposed by the NPP party.
Watch the video below
Breaking the eight (8), NPP must be guided by history – Sir Obama – ghanapublisher.com
After the overthrow of Dr. Kofi Abrefa Busia’s government on 13th January, 1972, the Danquah-Dombo-Busia tradition began to have its own internal problems: Two heavyweights – Victor Owusu and William Ofori-Atta (hereafter referred to as Paa Willie), high profile members of the Busia-led Progress Party (PP) of the 2nd Republic had difficulties in regrouping to launch a party to “fight” the 1979 presidential and parliamentary elections.
Differences emerged amongst them prior to the formation of a distinct political party to contest the election. Majority of the group led by Victor Owusu, a renowned lawyer and a former Attorney-General under Busia’s government formed the Popular Front Party (PFP) and became its flagbearer. (He garnered 70 votes as against his main contender, Alhaji Yakubu Tali’s 36 who became his running-mate in their internal election. Other aspirants in that contest were; Dr. Kwame Safo-Adu, J.H. Mensah (senior minister under Kufuor’s government), Kwesi Lamptey, Saki Schek, A Chinbua and B.D. Addae.)
Ironically, personalities such as Dr. Obed Asamoah, Sam Okudzeto (Council of State Member), E.R. Madjetey, etc who belonged to Komla Gbedemah’s National Alliance of Liberals (NAL) who were in opposition to the Progress Party in the 2nd Republican Parliament formed the United National Convention (UNC) and settled on Paa Willie who had almost retired from active politics as its flagbearer.
The UNC, apart from having some NAL elements as its core members, also had “new faces” like General Amankwaa Afrifa (a former military Head of State), Peter Ala-Adjetey (a former Speaker of Parliament under Kufuor), the venerable Harry Sawyerr (former Minister of Education under Rawlings), vintage Adu Boahen (first presidential candidate of the NPP) among others who were “not known or active members” of the Progress Party of the 2nd Republic. The animosity between the PFP and UNC kept widening by the day.
Alhaji Imoru Egala, founder of the People’s National Party (PNP), a chip of Kwame Nkrumah’s CPP block took advantage of the Danquah-Dombo-Busia tradition’s woes and sponsored the candidacy of Dr. Hilla Limann to contest the election. He (Egala) was then serving a 12-year ban imposed by the Supreme Court which prohibited all CPP appointees in the first Republic from holding public offices.
The stage became ripe for the conduct of the September 18, 1979 election: there were 140 Parliamentary seats and ten (10) presidential candidates on the ballot paper. At the end of voting, none of the presidential candidates met the constitutional requirement of fifty percent plus one vote (50%+1) pushing the election into a runoff. Below is the list of candidates and their percentage score of the total valid votes cast during the first round:
1. Hilla Limann- People’s National Party [PNP]=35%
2. Victor Owusu- Popular Front Party [PFP]=29%
3. William Ofori Atta- United National Convention [UNC]=17%
4. Frank Bernasko- Action Congress Party [ACP]=9%
5. Ibrahim Mahama- Social Democratic Front [SDF]=3.72%
6. John Bilson – [Third Force Party]=2.75%
7. R. P. Baffour -[Independent]= 0.49%
8. Kwame Nyanteh- [Independent]=0.47%
9. Mark Diamond Addy- [Independent]=0.33%
10. Imoru Ayarna- [Independent]=0.27%
As stated above, the election was forced into a runoff on 8th July, 1979 between the first two leading candidates – Dr. Hilla Limann of the People’s National Party (PNP) and Victor Owusu of the Popular Front Party (PFP).
In a dramatic and bizarre fashion, the UNC elements, under the leadership of Paa Willie threw their support behind Dr. Hilla Limann(an Nkrumahist) to win the second round election with a whooping 62% of the valid votes. All efforts by the PFP leadership to get their breakaway brothers to support them fell on death ears.
The Danquah-Dombo-Busia tradition, due to internal wrangling, at this stage had sold its “precious jewellery” to the PNP at a “wholesale price”. A simple arithmetic of the results in the first round between the PFP (29%) and UNC(17%) should help one to appreciate the drift. Victor, as the flagbearer of the Danquah-Busia front, would have garnered at least 46% and this would have made it easier for him to win in the second round. This explains why Victor Owusu is mostly described as “Ghana’s President Who Never Was.”
The results of the parliamentary election were quite interesting: Limann’s PNP secured 71 seats as against Victor’s PFP – 42, Paa Willie’s UNC-13, Col. Bernarsko’s ACP-10, Ibrahim Mahama’s SDF-3, Third Force Party-0, with 1 Independent. Near Hung Parliament, it was, akin to the 8th Parliament of the 4th Republic – no overwhelming majority seats in the august House. It’s also obvious from the forgoing figures that PFP was far popular than the UNC.
MORAL LESSON: even before president Akufo-Addo is done forming a government for his second and last term, there are already calls for his successor ahead of the 2024 election. Notable among the list of flagbearer aspirants are the sitting Vice President, H.E. Dr. Mahamoud Bawumia and Trade Minister, Alan Kwadwo Kyeremanteng.
Unfortunately, the campaign methodology adopted by ‘apologists’ of these two disguised politicians in the media, particularly on social media has regrettably been pernicious. Civility and decorousness appear to have been thrown to the wind. This should be a cause for worry to all true lovers of the party who want us to break the eight years cycle.
It’s against this backdrop that I appeal to the rank and file of the NPP to be guided by the past. Let’s remember the 1979 historical facts, juxtapose it to the 2007 Legon Conference with 17 flagbearer aspirants which led us into opposition in 2008 as we campaign for our preferred candidate/successor for H.E. Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.
Let’s not lose sight of the fact that, our (NPP) ability to “Break The 8” depends on two things: the government’s performance in its second term and how we (rank and file) conduct ourselves during, before and after our internal elections. Circumspection, tolerance, respect and self-restraint are critical necessities at this stage. We can’t afford to compromise these virtues. Nothing more, nothing less! Have a good day.
Forget 2024 without Bawumia as flagbearer – NPP Northern Regional Chairman- ghanapublisher.com
The 5 Northern region Npp supporters Chairman, Chairman Addrisu Atta has urged the ruling New Patriotic party (Npp) to let the current Vice President of Ghana H.E Dr. Mahamadu Bawumia to lead the Party in 2024.
Is not that am a Northerner that is why am canvassing for the vice president to become the Flagbearer of the party in 2024 but the message is clear “he said”
With an interview with Konfanko tv, he said, the reason is simple when you look at NPP, our tradition is Danquah, Busia and Dombo. Now it is the turn of the Dombo’s to lead. This will clear the perception that NPP is Akan Party. We have big trust in Dr. Bawumia to be a good President. He has done a great job for Government and even the NPP 2020 Campaign. How he increased the Northern votes is a sign that if he leads the NPP, there is no doubt that the NPP can win again in 2024 to stay in Power if Dr.Bawumia leads NPP”.
He emphasize that,the party stands a better chance of winning the 2024 Presidential election should Dr. Mahamadu Bawumia who is from Dombo tradition leads the party.
However, Chairman Rambo added that, It is time for the NPP and the entire country regardless of your tribe to unite and support Dr. Bawumia to continue the good work of Nana Akufo Addo who brought him to serve as his vice president, if Dr. Bawumia becomes the President, His win will bring unity because many people think a Muslim cannot lead NPP so it is time to change this perception.”