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When tax incentives robs the education budget --who suffers?

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Estimate—Ghana loses about $1.2 billion through tax incentives and tax holidays incentives each year and this is stated as a conservative estimate, according to ActionAid-Ghana.
Fact—that amount is more than a thousand times the entire budget allocation for the free Senior High School (SHS) programme this year and almost three times more than the entire budget for education in the 2017 budget. 
According to experts, the country’s trade policy and development agenda have over the years been dictated by the desire to attract Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and to increase export earnings. Tax incentives have ,therefore, been a major strategic tool to achieve these goals.
However, this strategy defers the payment of corporate taxes. It gives companies, mostly multinationals time limits typically between five to 15 years from the start of their operations in Ghana where they are exempted from paying taxes.  Trade offs
In the view of experts on taxation and economy, such incenti…

Child beggars invade Accra (July 6, 2017)

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Some children from slum communities in Accra and some West and Central African countries have invaded the streets of Accra, begging for alms to feed themselves and their families. While their peers are in school, some of these child beggars, with the tacit endorsement of their parents, can be found on some of the city’s major roads, including the ceremonial routes, streets, under bridges, under trees and in traffic, desperately trying to put food on their families’ tables. They come in different faces, ages, complexion, sexes; some twins and triplets from the city’s slum communities, Niger, Mali, Chad and The Sudan.   Some even pretend to be sick, preying on the emotions of unsuspecting members of the public in order to get their daily bread. These children ply their trade at various spots in the city, including the traffic intersections at Sunny FM, the Trades Union Congress building, the Accra City Hotel (former Novotel), the National Theatre, the King Tackie Tawiah Overpass, the 3…

Residents of Yaw Adipa get potable water (July 6, 2017)

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The residents of Yaw Adipa, a farming community near Nsawam in the Eastern Region, can now boast of potable water after they were provided with a borehole by Hyundai Motors and Investment (Ghana) Limited.

The facility, which was fitted with a pump and a reservoir for water storage, was constructed at a cost of GH¢25,000. Residents told the Daily Graphic at the inauguration of the facility yesterday that prior to the construction of the borehole, the community relied on water from a stream and a well which was salty and dirty.
They said the situation got worst in the dry season when these water sources dried up, thereby leaving the community without any source of water. Looking for water At a ceremony to inaugurate the facility, the Assembly Member for the Yaw Adipa/Asi Yaw Electoral Area, Mr Joseph Yaw Konnor, said the acute water challenges exposed the 2000 people in the community to waterborne diseases such as cholera, diarrhoea and dysentery. He explained the residents were to pay …

Chief State Attorney incurs wrath of judge in case of alleged murder of Upper East NPP chairman

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He said once a witness had given evidence, that ended it; whatever was said could not be repeated to another witness.
A Chief State Attorney, Mr Mathew Amponsah, who is prosecuting the case involving the alleged murder of Mr Adams Mahama, a former Upper East Regional Chairman of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), incurred the wrath of the Accra High Court when he sought to recall evidence given by one of the prosecution witnesses while leading another witness in evidence. The approach did not sit well with Mr Justice Lawrence L. Mensah, a Court of Appeal judge sitting as an additional High Court judge. “The law does not allow the witness to contravene anyone’s evidence. If others allow this to happen, it won’t happen in this court,” he said. Mr Justice Mensah said the move was not right and was unfair to the defence.  That unfolded when the third prosecution witness in the case in which Gregory Afoko is standing trial for murder, Mr Azigri Quinn, took the witness stand for the second time…

Strange smells in your car: how to assess them (July 3, 2017)

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“Seth, can you smell something? Is it my nose? I think something is burning,” My senior colleague, Emmanuel Quaye, complained as we hit the Legon-Tetteh Quarshie road after covering the Ahmadiyya Eid-ul-Ftr prayer at Ashongman in Accra last Monday. As we scanned the road for the nearest bus stop, the smell increased. To make matters worse, even though he had signalled to stop at the Okponglo Bus Stop near the University of Ghana, he was ignored.
Then the unexpected happened. The acceleration ceased, followed by impatient drivers honking at us as our car began to crawl on the acceleration in the inner lane. Finally, we managed to stop at the bus stop in front of the Ghana Standards Authority. The bonnet was opened as we went under it for the culprit. The checklist included overheating, oil spill, a malfunctioning fan, among other possibilities, but everything seemed ok, not even the mechanics on google.com could help. The temperature gauge was also intact. After 15 minutes of a fruitle…

Skills wanted: Ghana losing millions, youth without jobs (July 3, 2017)

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On a busy street at Kaneshie in Accra, Daniel Osei walks into a crowded sports betting shop telecasting a live English Premiership game. The shop is full. Eyes are glued to the screen. Occasionally, tempers flare but the spectators easily make up with a handshake or a hug when a goal is scored.

Daniel has been on a winning spree for almost four weeks, with a few losses in between, and today he is banking his hope on the in-form Chelsea to earn him something to keep his hope of a bigger jackpot alive. A University of Ghana Social Work graduate, he had big dreams after the mandatory one-year national service but after two years at home without a job, the betting has often brought in manageable income. He has passed around what he said had been countless application letters and resume that only yielded a few interviews and email acknowledgements. About 10 minutes’ drive from the betting scene and in a beautifully decorated house turned into office, tiny sparks are flying from metal fabri…

Today is Ghana’s 57th Republic Day

Ghana turns 57 years as a Republic today with a lot to cheer about but there are many who want to see state institutions strengthened to perform better on the delivery of social services to the citizenry. The annual ritual of celebrating Republic Day is here with the country again and would be officially marked, with President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo meeting senior citizens to wine and dine.
The auspicious occasion is significant in many respects in the sense that it marks the day which affirmed the country’s true independence, having achieved political independence in 1957, but with the British monarch still the ceremonial head of state.
The Republic Day of July 1, 1960 was, therefore, the moment in history when Ghana was completely de-linked from all colonial ties with the United Kingdom (UK). At independence and later with a republican status, the hopes and aspirations of Ghanaians then were that the country would use its newly acquired self-determination to secure economic ind…