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Electoral bill: Don’t yield to governors’ pressure — NLC writes Buhari

 

The Nigeria Labour Congress has lent its weight to the clamour on the electoral bill, saying the President,  Muhammadu Buhari, should assent the Amendment Bill passed by the National Assembly.

 

The NLC President, Ayuba Wabba, in a letter to the President, described the bill as one of the most progressive bills and a product of thoughtfulness from the National Assembly in recent times.

 

He urged Buhari not to yield to the pressure from state governors and other groups, describing their opposition to the mode of primary contained in the bill as “a classic case of greed for political power, inordinate ambition, a ruthless quest for command and control in a democracy and mindless expansionist tendencies.”

 

The letter dated November 23, 2021, titled, ‘Please assent the Electoral Bill,’ reads, “We are not unaware of the tremendous pressure being brought to bear on you by state governors across party lines and other selfish interest groups and individuals to do otherwise.

 

“This pressure, we are afraid to say, represents a classic case of greed for political power, inordinate ambition, a ruthless quest for command and control in a democracy, mindless expansionist tendencies and further proof of the iron cast will of a few persons among us to erode time-tested democratic values and to subvert our democratic institutions.

 

“At the moment, it is trite knowledge that governors, against all decent norms, control the state legislatures, judiciary, SIEC (State Independent Electoral Commission) and local governments; in spite of your heroic effort to free them. Given their stranglehold on SIEC and their intolerance for the opposition, bestowing upon them the power to determine who goes to the National Assembly will amount to taking undue chances with our democracy.”

The congress called on Buhari to once again “demonstrate courage, leadership as well as protect our democracy. History beckons upon you as the nation and the international community wait for you with bated breath.”

 

The union added, “We recall instances in the past when you stood up to be counted. Nothing should change that now, not even the possible threat of blackmail.

 

“At the risk of stating the obvious, we do earnestly believe that the process of direct primaries will free up and deepen the democratic space, unmask and strip dictators of their powers, inspire confidence in honest and patriotic Nigerians to run for elections and not only the favoured godsons and goddaughters.”

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IPOB’s ESN murdered, beheaded policemen – Nigerian govt alleges, names victims

 

The Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) has accused the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) of executing two policemen in cold blood.

 

A statement on Monday by Information Minister, Lai Mohammed declared that IPOB militant wing, Eastern Security Network (ESN) carried out the murder.

 

In a video seen circulating, a number of young men, communicating in Igbo language, surrounded two decapitated heads.

 

They joked, mocked the deceased and repeatedly mentioned that one looked like “Fulani” from the look of his nose.

 

Mohammed vowed that the culprits behind the “killings, who videotaped their heinous act and circulated such will be apprehended and brought to justice”.

 

He described the abduction of three policemen and the killing of two of them, “in the most horrific, barbaric and cannibalistic manner, as an unacceptable attack against the state”.

 

The minister listed the victims as ASP Francis Idoko (AP No. 154945); Inspector Emmanuel Akubo (AP No. 222336) and Inspector Rufai Adamu (AP. No. 285009).

 

“They were abducted by members of the Eastern Security Network (ESN), acting on the instructions of their leader, Chinonso Okafor, aka TEMPLE, on 27 November 2021.

 

”Inspectors Akubo and Adamu were killed, their decapitated bodies videotaped and circulated widely. The leader of the ESN team that killed the two officers is one ‘GENTLE’.

 

“Okafor, the most influential commander of ESN in charge of Imo and the Anambra States, as well as ‘Gentle’ and all those who perpetrated the abhorrent act, will be made to face swift and sure justice,” he said.

 

Mohammed stressed that the targeting and killing of security agents, under any guise, is a direct attack on Nigeria and will not be tolerated

 

Entertainment News

How we used to rent food for Nollywood film shoots —Kanayo O Kanayo

 

Kanayo O Kanayo says filmmakers once had to rent meals for movie shoots in Nollywood.

In an Instagram post, the film star recalled the difficulties that marked his early days in the movie industry.

 

“When I saw this, I remembered when we started this career with the NTA,” the Nollywood star said, holding up a piece of meat.

 

“This is props. If you ever ate it at the time, you’ve eaten your artist fee. It was rented from the canteen.”

 

In 1992, Kanayo had his acting debut in ‘Living in Bondage’, a two-part film today regarded as one of the earliest successes in Nigeria’s film production history.

 

The Imo-born actor would go on to star in over 100 movies.

Kanayo, in September 2020, ventured into the legal profession to fulfil his long-time dream of becoming a lawyer.

 

The actor had earlier made the news after he hit back at critics who taunted him for playing ritual roles in films.

 

“What’s the link between Kanayo O Kanayo and the role he played as Nicholas? There are certain questions people ask you all the time such that it looks as if these people don’t think,” he had said.

 

“Let gossipers be. They should go educate themselves. Even among Jesus’ disciples, Luke was a doctor. They all had what they were doing before they were called.

 

“You take up a role and interpret the script so well, only for viewers to ask if you truly do money rituals. What’s one’s business with that? What people should understand is I have a profession.” 

News

Evans: Court to allow ‘scared’ witnesses testify over Zoom

 

An Ikeja special offences court has granted permission to two witnesses who do not want to appear in court to testify against Chukwudimeme Onwuamadike, suspected kidnap kingpin better known as Evans, to testify virtually.

 

Oluwatoyin Taiwo, presiding judge, gave the ruling on Monday after S.O. Fashola, state prosecutor, moved an application asking that the evidence of the two prosecution witnesses be heard in court via audio-visual means.

 

“This court is satisfied that the prosecution has given cogent reasons why section 210 of the Evidence Act 2011 and section 200(2) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Law as amended should avail the prosecution,” the judge ruled.

 

“It is stated on the affidavit that the witnesses are concerned for their lives and that of their families and they now live outside the jurisdiction of the court.

 

 “In the light of this and in the interest of justice and expedite action, I hereby grant the application as prayed.

 

“The case is adjourned to December 17 for hearing. The prosecution should ensure that necessary arrangements are made.”

 

Evans is standing trial alongside Victor Aduba, a dismissed soldier. They are answering to a four-count charge of kidnapping and unlawful possession of firearms.

 

The prosecution accused Evans and the discharged soldier of kidnapping  Sylvanus Ahamonu, holding him hostage for at least nine weeks, and demanding a ransom of $420,000 from his family.

Latest News in Nigeria News

Commuters stranded as commercial buses withdraw service from Edo roads

Thousands of commuters were stranded on Monday as commercial bus drivers withdrew their services from some parts of Benin roads over alleged extortion by personnel of the Edo State Traffic Management Agency and Public Works Volunteers.

Commuters going from Wire Road to Ugowo and New Benin to Ugbowo had to trek long distances before they could get vehicles. The vehicles terminated their trip at Uselu forcing them (the commuters) to trek the remaining distance to their destinations as the protesting bus drivers blocked parts of the Benin/Ugbowo Road.

The drivers took over some sections of the road causing gridlock in some areas while other sections were completely deserted.

One of the drivers, Emmanuel Kanya complained that there were not enough signs on the road to show where they can park or not and that the extortion by the official of the PUWOV was telling on their ability to pay back the buses they have acquired on hire purchase for between N2.7m to N3m.

But the Managing Director of EDTSMA, Dennis Oloriegbe denied the allegation, saying, “We have gone the extra mile to educate them on where they should park and where not to. We put signposts at designated places and they go to remove them at night. We have arrested a driver with our signposts in his boot so they have to obey the laws.”

He, however, said the Agency is in discussion with the drivers.

Also, residents of Oghede and other communities near the bypass along Benin/Warri Road blocked the road for the fourth day complaining about its bad state that has made it impossible to commute from one area of the community to another.

A resident in the area, Omo Osifo said the reason for the protest was that lives were being lost in that area due to the poor state of the road, noting that a man was recently killed by a truck that was driving against traffic to avoid the bad spot.

He said, “Why should the government not fix that road? We heard that the state government is saying it is a federal road, but how does that concern us? We don’t know federal road, we know we are in Edo State where there is a government. We have the local government officials, we have the oil and gas commission, we have NDDC, we have commissioners but nobody is listening to us.

“If it is a federal road, Governor Obaseki should inform the federal government about it. How will you feel if your children are unable to go to school and write their exams due bad roads?”

Head of Road Maintenance of the Federal Roads Maintenance Agency in Edo State, Ben Olisa did not reply a message that was sent to his phone.

News

20 persons burnt to ashes in fatal accident in Jigawa

About twenty persons have been burnt beyond recognition in a motor accident along Achilafiya to Karkarna road in Yankwashi local Government, Jigawa State.

An eyewitness told newsmen that the accident occurred when two Golf vehicles had a head-on collision and caught fire instantly.

He said the accident resulted in the death of occupants of the vehicles including the drivers and passengers.

He said the fire prevented the people from rescuing anyone of the occupants of the vehicles.

Spokesman of the Police Command ASP Lawan Shiisu Adam confirmed the incident.

He said ”the accident occurred on Sunday at about 05:00pm along Achilafiya to Karkarna Road, involving a Golf with reg no. XA 361 BCH and Golf Wagon with reg no. FST 276 CX.

The police spokesman explained that the two vehicles caught fire as a result of the head-on collision resulted in the death of fifteen person.

He said all the occupants of one of the vehicles driven by Bashir Ahmad were burned beyond recognition while the driver of the other vehicle and thirteen of his passengers sustained serious injuries.

Shiisu said all the victims were rushed to PHC Hospital Karkarna for treatment and later died while receiving medical attention.

News

Rawlings receives lifetime recognition at Ghana Energy Awards

The Klottey Korle MP and daughter of former President Jerry John Rawlings has stated that her father’s vision did not die with his passing nor did it die with the end of his tenure in office.

Dr Zanetor Agyeman-Rawlings said her father’s legacy was not his alone but also for all Ghanaians.

“It is about building upon what we come to find because his legacy is not just his, it is for all of us, as is it for all Presidents subsequent – President Kufuor, the late President Mills, President Mahama and now President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo,” she said.

Rawlings receives lifetime recognition at Ghana Energy Awards

Dr. Agyeman-Rawlings made the call when she, alongside her brother, Kimathi Agyeman-Rawlings, received the Lifetime Achievement Award posthumously awarded to President Rawlings, for his invaluable contribution to the energy sector, at the recently held 5th Ghana Energy Awards at the Labadi Beach Hotel in Accra.

Rawlings receives lifetime recognition at Ghana Energy Awards

The Member of Parliament, who is also a medical doctor, took the audience through memory lane when she said the biggest drive towards the expansion of the grid and electrification happened under Chairman Rawlings’ watch, which started under the tenure of the PNDC.

She bemoaned the fact that “due to revisionism, a whole generation of young Ghanaians are blissfully unaware of the immense contributions that the late Jerry John Rawlings made towards establishing a solid foundation of power generation for Ghana. A foundation upon which all subsequent governments have benefitted and built upon.”

Rawlings receives lifetime recognition at Ghana Energy Awards

Former President John Agyekum Kufuor, who also received a Lifetime Achievement Award, was commended by Dr. Agyeman-Rawlings for acknowledging the existence of structures that preceded his tenure in office.

To resounding applause, she said, “It is the foundation upon which all governments have built upon. We all have a duty to speak the truth about our history so that the younger generation can learn that we build upon what we come to meet.”

Rawlings receives lifetime recognition at Ghana Energy Awards

President Rawlings, Dr. Agyeman-Rawlings disclosed, believed that it was empty rhetoric to attempt to change a country through a revolution if it had no means of generating sufficient power to sustain itself and develop its industries.

Dr. Zanetor Agyeman-Rawlings recounted how in the mid-1980s, Chairman Rawlings having concluded that the contract between Ghana and VALCO, for the use of the country’s hydro-electric energy was not beneficial to Ghana, constituted a team led by Professor Akilakpa Sawyer to seek a review of the agreement.

Rawlings receives lifetime recognition at Ghana Energy Awards

“The key issues were that the correct value for the energy that was being consumed at the time be paid to the government of Ghana. As well as the fact that the presence of the Akosombo Dam could not only be for the purpose of a company and a few areas in the country but needed to be used to extend power to the rest of the country to ensure that all the citizens were benefitting from same. The rest is history,” the Klottey Korle MP said.

Rawlings receives lifetime recognition at Ghana Energy Awards

Dr. Agyeman-Rawlings said, “the future of Ghana is energy and it is so encouraging to see we are going down the renewable path. Indeed, this preceded the COP26 so we are way ahead. Thank you very much for this opportunity, for this honour done him.”

The citation accompanying President Rawlings’ award recognized his untiring efforts in pushing the frontiers of energy in Ghana, his government’s initiation of the reform and restructuring of the energy sector, the diversification of the energy sector from solely hydro-electric generation to include thermal and the conceptualization of the participation of independent power producers through the Ghana Power Sector Development Policy.

Rawlings receives lifetime recognition at Ghana Energy Awards

“At a time when only 10 per cent of Ghanaians had access to electricity, you committed yourself to extend access to the rest of the country through the ambitious national electrification scheme, a project that saw the VRA extend grid lines from Kumasi to Brong Ahafo, Northern and Upper regions and by taking over the distribution of electric power through its new subsidiary the Northern Electricity Department, to Northern consumers.

“This singular initiative helped to slow down rural-urban migration and boosted economic development in the newly supplied areas,” the citation stated.

President Rawlings was also commended for his foresight in the establishment of the Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC), the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) and the Bulk Oil Storage and Transportation Company Limited (BOST).

President Rawlings was first contacted to receive the award by the then Chairman of the Awards Panel, Dr Kwame Ampofo in 2020, but he passed away shortly afterwards.

The Awards Panel is now chaired by Kwame Jantuah, whose late father was a renowned politician much respected by President Rawlings for his fearlessness in speaking the truth.

News

Botswana court upholds ruling decriminalising gay sex

Botswana’s Appeal Court has upheld a 2019 landmark ruling decriminalising gay sex in the country.

A five-judge bench unanimously ruled that the criminalisation of same-sex relationships violated the constitutional rights of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people.

In 2019, the high court had rejected unconstitutional laws that imposed up to seven years in prison for same-sex relationships, saying that human dignity is harmed when minority groups are marginalised.

But the state appealed against the decision, arguing that the penal code outlawed gay sex. It also said that majority of citizens did not agree with the 2019 judgement.

Monday’s ruling effectively struck off two sections of the penal code that had outlawed homosexuality.

“Those sections have outlived their usefulness, and serve only to incentivise law enforcement agents to become key-hole peepers and intruders into the private space of citizens,” said Appeal judge president Ian Kirby, who read the ruling.

Laws outlawing same-sex relations exist in majority of the 54 African countries.

News

From Eric’s Diary: Why we must gird our loins to pay 1% e-levy upon the resurrection of the ‘SAVIOUR’ budget

I have been compelled to resume one week earlier from my self-imposed break by the fallouts from the 2022 Budget Estimates and Economic Policy presented to Parliament by the Minister of Finance, Mr. Ken Ofori-Atta.

Touted as the ‘Agyenkwa’ (Saviour) budget, it was submitted to the 8th Parliament on November 17, 2021.

Like many of its predecessors, the 2022 financial estimate has engendered controversy. Currently, the disagreements on the 2022 budget are mainly over two proposals. Note, proposals. These are the electronic transactions levy, aka, ‘e-levy’ and scrapping of payment of road toll.

The controversy is to the extent that the Minority in Parliament has rejected the budget, “absolutely”.

The CEO of a key stakeholder organisation such as the Ghana Chamber of Telecommunications, Dr. Ken Ashigbey has revealed, rather disturbingly, that they were not consulted. Some academics have gone to the extent of describing the e-levy as a lazy approach to raising revenue.

So it came to pass that the Majority caucus in Parliament strategically absented themselves from Parliament on Friday November, 26, when voting on the national economic proposals was scheduled to take place.

“If you want to reject and I am not present to debate you, what would you reject?” the Majority may have planned.

This notwithstanding the business of the day proceeded and members of Parliament, all NDC MPs, present and voting, rejected the ‘Agyenkwa’ budget.

But the Majority caucus will not take it lying down.

“That whole procedure was unconstitutional. As far as we are concerned, it’s null and void and has no binding effect on anybody. The motion on the budget, as far as we are concerned, hasn’t been pronounced on by Parliament, and it’s still standing in the name of the Finance Minister and in the fullness of time, a properly constituted House, not one presided over by the Rt. Honorable Speaker, will make the decision,” Majority Leader, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu said during a press briefing after the Minority threw the financial state out, so to speak.

The Majority Leader explained that per the standing orders of Parliament, a decision can only be taken by the House when MPs present are more than half of the total number.

He expatiated that the NDC MPs present in the chamber were 135 and not 137, insisting that the number present at the time of the ruling could not support the decision of the House in accordance with the laid down processes.

“Article 104 (1) of the Constitution says matters in Parliament shall be determined by the vote of the majority of members present and voting, with at least half of all members of Parliament present. We have cause to believe that at least 2 of the NDC MPs were not in the chamber and yet out of mischief, the Speaker said that they were 137.

The two MPs, who are said to be sick, according to MP for Adaklu, Kwame Governs Agbodza were flown in to vote.

Hon. Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu does not believe so. He is however ready to concede. “In any event, even if you go with 137, it is still less than one half of the 275 members of the Chamber. So when he puts the question, the Speaker should have known that the number would not support the decision of the House. So that purported decision is a nullity and does not have any effect on anybody,” he told the media.

The NPP MP for Asokwa, Kobina Tahir Hammond’s reaction to the news about the rejection of the 2022 budget was devoid of any long talk or diplomacy, “Read my lips, Parliament has not constitutionally rejected our budget, we shall return to the House on Tuesday, November 30.”

Clearly, the stage is set for another attempt to present a revised budget, to be debated and constitutionally approved. If that happens, the crucified ‘Agyenkwa’ budget may resurrect not too long before the real saviour is born on December 25.

As we say in Ga, “ebaa fee gbeyei”- It’s will be a showdown in Parliament. Make a date on Tuesday. Don’t be late.

Electronic Transactions Levy as ‘MoMo tax’

I wonder how the Management of MTN Ghana are feeling right now over the inadvertent description of the e-levy announced in the Budget, as ‘MoMo tax’.

Ghanaians are very conservative in our thinking. Whatever happens first in this country, we use its name to refer to any subsequent replica. So Daily Graphic is synonymous with Newspaper. Hence, you see someone reading The Daily Dispatch and another person goes like, “please let me read your Graphic when you finish.”

Another instance. Someone has ordered the services of Bolt, Yango, Ehyen or Dropynn. You ask, how are you coming? “I am using Uber”- the name for all car hailing services in Ghana is Uber.

Daewoo Matiz, Kia Morning and Hyundai I10 are few of the notable cars used for Uber, Bolt etc. Somehow, if you drive one privately, you get waved down by any desperate commuter. “Hey Uber”- they shout. Hm!

So, Management, especially the Marketing guys at MTN should be proud that they have been able to make the ‘MoMo’ product top of mind for no less individuals as Members of Parliament (MPs). For an educated group to only think of ‘MoMo’ at the mention of electronic transaction levy, is no mean achievement, marketing wise. Kudos guys.

On the other hand, by the reference to ‘MoMo tax’, the erroneous perception is created that the levy applies only to ‘MoMo’. Not on Vodacash (Vodafone Cash) nor ATM (ArtelTigo Money). The danger here is that ‘MoMo’ users who misconceive the goings on, are likely to switch to competitor brands, in order not to pay the levy.

That’s just by way of an alert for your attention, MTN.

e-levy- to pay or not to pay?

In the season of National Science and Maths Quiz (NSMQ), the secondary school one attended or attends becomes very critical. You are either proud to mention it or ashamed to do so.

On the final day of this year’s contest, which was won by Prempeh College, we had exciting debate among ourselves in the office. Well, all that is over now and as it turned out, ‘And God rested on the ‘Seven’ day in order to ‘Glory5’ Prempeh College.

During the discussions, the Real Boss at myjoyonline.com asked which secondary school I attended. I mentioned Accra High School. He remarked, “They are nowhere near the competition”. We both laughed. Not that Bishop Herman College, his Alma Mater did any better though.

Thus, although Accra High School is mentioned nowhere around the NSMQ, I remain a proud AHISCO product- ‘Redimentis Opportunitatem’ (Make hay while the sun shines) is our motto. Black and White is our uniform. You can call us ‘Kwaakwaa Lobite’- crow. But we will not mind you.

I got my first lessons in Economics at AHISCO. Upon being introduced to the subject, I loved it at first sight. However, when the calculations and ‘inelasticities’ became rife, I began having second thoughts. But I persevered and ‘blew’ it at the O-Level.

At the A-Level, it shook me a bit. Again at GIMPA, it was part of the courses that made up the programme. I ‘butchered’ it.

Therefore, I understand very well why government would want to tax a service that has gradually assumed the status of being inelastic- can’t do without it, essentially.

Inelasticity and Elasticity of Demand refer to the degree to which demand responds to a change in another economic factor, such as price, income level, or the availability of a substitute.

Elasticity measures how demand changes when any of the other economic factors change.

On the other hand, if demand does not change in relation to any of the aforementioned economic factors, it is said to be Inelastic.

Stated differently, Elastic Demand means there is a substantial change in quantity demanded when any of the economic factors change (typically the price of the good or service), whereas Inelastic Demand means that there is only a slight (or no change) in quantity demanded of the good or service when price changes.

I remember, very well that after making this distinction, one would proceed to cite goods with Inelastic Demand such as; cigarettes and prescription drugs. Cigarettes, because one becomes addicted to it such that no matter how high the price, ceteris paribus, demand will not change, if at all, slightly.

In the case of prescription drugs for diabetes or hypertension (BP), demand does not change no matter the price because one’s life depends on them.

Goods considered as having Elastic Demand include; luxury items and certain food and beverages. As the name implies, luxury items are not necessities, thus one could do without them. Moreover, there are cheaper substitutes- Landcruiser V8 and Daewoo Matiz are both means of transport.

As regards food and beverages, substitutes abound- ‘Waakye’ or Jollof Rice or Plain Rice, Milo or Chocolim or Ovaltine, Ideal or Nunu or Peak Milk etc. Thus, high prices for any of these lead to change in demand significantly.

The logical question then is, where does mobile money transfers or broadly, electronic transactions, fall?

Twenty years ago, I could have said easily that these services have elastic demand. A levy on electronic services would have resulted in a significant abandonment of the service.

Here is the trick. Successive Ghanaian governments have over the years, strategically invested in the telecommunications sector. Gradually, they, in ‘cahoots’ with the telecommunications companies and the banks, got us hooked (addicted) to the convenience of these services.

‘Transfer money from the comfort of your sofa’, ‘remit your mother in the village at the press of a button’, ‘save yourself the queue at the bank, your bank account is in your palm’ etc are calls to action that lured us into using these services. We did. And now they have become part of our daily lives, like the BP medication.

So will you pay or not pay? Will you be able to frequent the bank to withdraw money for transactions despite the long queues, when you could just press buttons on an app for the same purpose?

How about the possibility of suffering the wrath of ‘Ataa Ayi’s’ gang, who now use motor bikes and wield guns and machete’s, stop people right in the middle of the road in broad day light and rob them of money withdrawn from a bank? I dare say that you will think quadruple times about it.

Wherefore I, with the power vested in me as a student of Economics, hereby propound that electronic transactions have inelastic demand.

Therefore, the incumbent government deems the time as ripe to apply the economic principle of Elasticity of Demand to make money for the development of the country, including building roads.

Against this backdrop, I disagree with anybody who says it is a lazy approach to tax collection. What I can compromise on, is that it is a low hanging fruit for any manager of an economy.

Indeed, it is trite knowledge that no country can develop without taxes. In America, there is a saying on the street that, “Uncle Sam (Government) pays you with the right hand and takes back the cheque with the left hand”.

Americans pay an arm and a leg as taxes. The difference is that one can see to what use these taxes are put- good roads, efficient transport, housing, welfare, healthcare and other systems to mention a few.

Our case is different. In spite of the numerous taxes collected, lack of potable water in some communities in Accra, the capital city, poor transport system, filthy streets, erratic power supply and high unemployment rate, are but a few of the bane of the ordinary Ghanaian.

Flip the coin and you will see members of the political and elite classes enjoying the taxes they force out of the ordinary trader, driver, mechanic and administrative clerk, ‘Nyafu-Nyafu’ as we call it here.

Personally, I do not see anything wrong with the e-levy in so far as proceeds will be used to better our lot. My issue is with the threshold at which it is pegged at the moment. I think a maximum of 1% should be acceptable.

Here is why, “If I want to send GH¢100,000 to my business partner in Kumasi to buy something to send to me for my business, 1.75 per cent of the amount is GH¢1,750. How much is the return ticket from Accra to Kumasi? It is less than GH¢700.

“Would it make sense for me even to send it? I will hop in the next available flight, go give them the money and perhaps visit family, friends and have direct contact with my business partner; come back, and I will still have GH¢1,050,” the Tamale Central MP, Murtala Mohammed illustrated during an interview on JoyNews AM Show.

It is on the basis of this that many have said that they would resort to cash transactions if the proposed e-levy is passed by Parliament. In my considered opinion, this must not be allowed to happen.

Thankfully, observing Mr. Ken Ofori-Atta’s posturing, I believe he is ready to compromise on any rate similar to my proposition and will do the needful before resubmitting the savior budget to Parliament.

As for the Minority in Parliament, I understand their absolute objection to the levy and subsequent rejection of the budget. But I dare say it is a self-serving stance to take. Because they know that this country cannot develop without taxes.

What I believe they should focus their energies on, is to get government to account to us, through them, for what our taxes have been, are being and are going to be used for. That is a duty they owe us and we shall demand of them just as we expect government to provide our needs.

They may also want to join the call for a reduction in the starting threshold. Otherwise, if they are to prevent the NPP from breaking the 8, and they come before us with taxes, we the people of Ghana shall playback their words for them, like we have been doing to Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia lately.

It’s time to go

Ghanaians love free things. Free SHS and we swallowed the bait hook, line and sinker. Free Electricity and Water bills as well as hot meals during the peak of Covid-19 and we were in cloud nine.

So when ‘Covid Recovery levy’ was introduced we were shocked. This one is called Uncle Akufo-Addo not Sam. He gives free things with the right hand and takes it back with the left.

Who do we think pays for such things anyway. Of course not President Akufo-Addo, not his Ministers or MMDCEs. It is you and me- Our taxes, levies, tolls, rates, fees and charges.

Let’s bear in mind that there is nothing free anywhere- “When you get something for nothing, you just haven’t been billed for it yet” Franklyn P. Jones.

So pay we must. But at a lower rate of 1% or less when the saviour budget is resurrected.

After that, we shall, through #FixTheCountry and other channels demand what is rightfully ours.

Zaijian – That’s goodbye in Chinese.

Let God Lead. Follow Him directly, not through any human.

PS: I have a word for the Finance Minister. Please, after the 2022 budget has been re-submitted and approved, take a three-month leave. Ghana will work without you. Let no one deceive you.

At this time, what should be your priority is your health. If this statement you made during the interview with Paul Adom-Otchere is a summary of what your doctors told you, then please listen to them, “…and you need to just manage your rest and sleep and exercises and some good food.”

A word to the wise is enough.

News

God granted our desire with a little delay -KETASCO past students

The National Executives of Keta Senior High Technical School (KETASCO) past students (Dzolalians) have expressed satisfaction with the performance of the school’s representatives in the just-ended National Science and Maths Quiz (NSMQ) competition.

Through the efforts of this year’s contestants from KETASCO, the school became the first-ever from the Volta Region to reach the finals of the prestigious competition.

KETASCO won a bronze medal after scoring 30 points in final contest this year’s competition as against 53 by Prempeh College and 49 by Presbyterian Boys SHS, five and seven times finalists respectively.

The National President of the Dzolalians, Mr Kojo Mattah in an interview with the Ghana News Agency thanked all donors and well wishers for the outpour of love, congratulated the school, and entreated all to have trust because the trophy would be brought home next year.

“Congratulations to all of us for an excellent show. We have demonstrated beyond doubt that KETASCO is a great school. We aimed for the trophy and our ‘God of 1ders’ granted our desire with a little delay. I implore you all to continue to have confidence in our ‘God of 1ders’ as we prepare to lift our deferred trophy next year.”

He encouraged all past students not to despair but be hopeful and “support the vision of the NSMQ team with our resources as they put in the effort to win the next trophy” for the “time to prepare for the next trophy is now.”

Mr Mattah thanked the NSMQ team and the school Board for a good job assuring, “it can only get better and you have our full support.”

He also revealed that arrangements were in place to welcome “our gallant warrior Eagles” back home on Sunday as well as other plans for the week.

“They’re coming back today. They will pass Traffix Restaurant in Accra for a brief lunch and proceed to Keta to a rousing welcome. Other plans will be unveiled during the week.”