NPA’s Arrogance or Economics?

On the eve of the New Year, 2015, the National Petroleum Authority (NPA) announced a reduction in ex-pump prices of petroleum products by 10% across board. This was not without drama. Most of the headlines that followed the announcement pointed to price reduction under duress. A number of civil society organizations and political parties put pressure on NPA to reduce the prices due to reasons such as the oil price crush and relative stability in the value of the local Ghanaian currency. Some of the organizations threatened public demonstrations against NPA and the Government; a situation that was expected considering that petro-politics is a feature of petroleum pricing in most parts of the world.

Read more...

FITCH Rating’s latest report on Ghana lays particular emphasis on the importance of Ghana’s democracy and stability to the country’s economic prospects. Whiles it gives a negative outlook based on how the economy is being run, Fitch makes the point that Ghana’s credit rating has not, however, fallen below ‘B’ because of the country’s “strong governance record and recent democratic history,” and that, this is “reflected in Ghana’s ability to attract foreign direct investment, which at 7% of GDP is well above that of Nigeria, Gabon, Zambia, Kenya and Angola.”

Read more...

Public policy and governance think tank, the Danquah Institute has expressed grave concern about the Electoral Commission's decision to register all persons in the country who, simply, are in possession of identity cards issued by the National Health Insurance Authority.

At a press conference organised by DI last week, a fellow of the institute, Mr. Boakye Agyarko, explained that “one of the objects of the National Health Insurance Authority” as captured on the NHIA’s website which states that “persons not resident in the country but who are on a visit to this country” can obtain NHIS cards is deeply worrying.

Read more...

The attention of the Danquah Institute has been drawn to a story making the rounds on social media and now on www.ghanaweb.com, as well, titled “Danquah Institute predicts 64.7% win for Kwabena Agyepong.”

Read more...

Other Stories

Ghana’s inflation rate rose in February for the second consecutive month as a 30 percent jump in gasoline costs at the beginning of the year pushed up transportation fees. Inflation accelerated to 9.2 percent from 9.1 percent in January, Grace Bediako, head of the Ghana Statistical Service, told reporters today in the capital, Accra. “With most of the upward pressure on inflation arising from the 30 percent fuel-price increase in the new year, February inflation should still be up,” Razia Khan, head of Africa research at Standard Chartered Bank Plc in London, said in an e-mailed note yesterday.
Inside Obama's Idea Factory in Washington
Amid their self-congratulatory celebrations of the past few weeks, it's easy to forget that Democrats were in a state of absolute despair not so long ago. At the dawn of 2003, the House, the Senate and the White House lay in Republican hands, while the Supreme Court threatened to tilt further to the right. Rep. Tom Delay, then the Republican majority leader, was overheard calling out, while smoking a cigar in a government building, "I am the federal government." If liberals had any hopes of being able to make the same claims in the near future, they knew they needed to be more like conservatives. Wealthy Democrats wanted to have ideological rabble rousers like Rush Limbaugh and activist breeding grounds like the College Republicans to create a new generation of shock troops. But most of all, to have a real shot at regaining control of Washington, they wanted to plot an intellectual coup, spearheaded by an aggressive idea factory like the Heritage Foundation. (See pictures from the historic Election Day.)
Reclaiming the Land After Mining
The Foundation for Environmental Security and Sustainability (FESS) works to improve environmental security around the worl d, focusing in particular on the fragile relationship between populati ons and the environment in developing countries where many people are directly dependent on natura l resources for their livelihoods. FESS works with government officials, researchers, civil society organiza tions, and the private sector to increase awareness of how the mi smanagement and abuse of natural resources can lead to social, economic, and political in stabilities that can contribute to social tension and even violent conflict. To a ddress environmental ri sks to stability, FESS conducts research and implements community-d riven projects that promote sustainable management of natural resour ces and the environment.
Congo on Edge While Election Results Delayed
With almost 90 percent of polling places reporting, Congolese President Joseph Kabila appears to have won another five years in office with nearly half the vote. But the country will not know officially until Thursday due to a 48 hour delay in the release of final results.
Obama announces NEW Africa Strategy
Nearly 3 years ago, I remarked in front of the Ghanaian Parliament that Africa is a fundamental part of our interconnected world. Since that time, we have partnered with leaders, youth, and civil society in Africa to deepen the principles of democracy and human rights, to expand economic opportunity, and to support those who seek peace where war and deprivation have plagued communities. Africa and its people are partners with America in creating the future we want for all of our children—a future that is grounded in growth, mutual responsibility, and mutual respect. Click here for full statement
DI Calls for Transparency in Petroleum Pricing Formula
The National Petroleum Authority (NPA) has announced a review of the petroleum price build-up (i.e. the formula used to determine the pricing ofpetroleum products). In this review the NPA informs the public that it has decided to increase the Bulk Oil Storage and Transportation (BOST) margin by 50 percent and the Marketers margin by 15 percent. At the same time the NPA also decided to reduce the ex-refinery price of petroleum products by 2 percent, with the net effect being a no change in prices at the pump. The Danquah Institute is calling on the NPA to come out and explain to Ghanaians what exactly is going on.
Why Gov’t should allow us to keep our Mobile Numbers and Switch Providers
At his vetting before the Parliamentary Appointments Committee for the position of Minister of Communications in February, Haruna Iddrisu, MP, said when given the nod he would expedite action on the implementation of mobile number portability (MNP) to empower consumers to make better choice of mobile phone services.He stated: “It is time for the regulation regime to make it possible for mobile phone users to be able to migrate from one network to the other with the whole of the phone numbers, including the network code and I think that it is about time the National Communications Authority brought MNP on.”
FACT: Mills has had more spending money in 3 years than Kufuor in 8: Na Sika No Wo He Ne?
For any president seeking a second term the task is straight forward: you have only one thing to rely on -- your first term performance. You have to show what you have done with your current mandate to justify why you deserve a second term. That performance will depend to some degree on the record you inherited. Nevertheless, regardless of what was bequeathed to you, voters look out for how you have dealt with the issues that have confronted the nation under your stewardship.
Death threats forced GREDA’s back-traction
The Ghana Real Estates Developers Association (GREDA) may have withdrawn its petition to Parliament on the STX housing deal because its executives were threatened with death. Source close to GREDA tell Joy News some members of the association also became worried that their contracts with government could be abrogated after the association criticized the proposed deal with the Korean company, but GREDA has declined to confirm or deny the reports.
The promise to teachers, and soon to nurses, doctors and other civil servants of seeing a substantial increment in their take-home pay as promised by the Mills-Mahama led NDC administration seems to be little more than a pipedream. The Independence Day promise that ‘this Government will not shortchange teachers’ could be described as just another in the litany of broken promises. Documents and analysis made available to the New Statesman reveal that there is no extra money for the implementation of the Single Spine Salary Structure. In fact, the money made available to extend the SSSS to both education and health workers this year is nearly GH¢2 billion short. Thus to pretend to implement it and offer promises of allowances to keep aggrieved workers calm will only amount to shortchanging them.