The approval by Parliament for the government to raise $3 billion loan as part of its 2021 International Capital Market Funding Programme and the inauguration of a new office complex in Parliament to provide office space for 23 Members of Parliament by President Akufo-Addo are some of the leading stories in Ghanaian press on Thursday.The Times reports that the Parliament has approved a request by government to raise US$3 billion as part of its 2021 International Capital Market Funding Programme.
The amount is expected to be used to support growth-oriented expenditures, re-profile domestic debt, and to conduct liability management of refinancing all or part of the 2023 sovereign bond with an option to raise it by a further US$2 billion.
Should market conditions prove favourable, the amount would also be used for liability management for the 2026 and 2030 sovereign bonds and a further domestic debt re-profiling.
Moving the motion for the approval of the programme on the floor of Parliament, in Accra, yesterday, the Chairman of the Finance Committee, Dr. Mark Assibey-Yeboah, said the proposed bond programme would enable government address challenging capital market conditions, which have been impacted negatively by the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.
He said the proceeds would be used to finance growth-oriented expenditure in the 2021 budget to the tune of US$1.5 billion, and the rest to re-profile domestic debt.
The newspaper says that the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of the Ghana Police Service has taken custody of the 436 pistols intercepted by security operatives at the Tema Port, last month.
The Director-General of the CID, Commissioner of Police (COP) Isaac Ken Yeboah, disclosed this on the sidelines of a press conference, on the readiness of the security agencies to maintain law and order during the December 7 General Election, in Accra, yesterday.
He said investigations in the case were ongoing, and that examination on the weapons have revealed they were gas pistols (non-lethal weapons) used for self-defence and other purpose.
Yeboah said six people were arrested in connection with the case, but investigations had been narrowed on one person (name withheld), who was currently assisting police in investigations.
It would be recalled that six persons were arrested by the Marine Police Unit in Tema, in connection with an alleged attempt to import arms and ammunitions into the country from Turkey, illegally.
The arrest led to the discovery of 436 pistols and 26 packs of ammunitions consisting of 50 in each pack, concealed in personal effects, made up of clothing, shoes, bags other items in a 20-footer container with a declaration number 40920230853.
The Graphic reports that President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo yesterday inaugurated a six-storey Job 600 Annex, fully funded by the government, to support auxiliary businesses of Parliament.
The project, which started in April 2018, is under the Physical Infrastructure Enhancement Projects of Parliament. It comprises the newly constructed Job 600 Annex building, the chamber support services block, the drivers waiting centre, and the visitors waiting centre.
President Akufo-Addo said the project formed part of measures to comprehensively address the gaps in infrastructure faced by Parliament over the years.
The new facility provides Members of Parliament (MPs) and staff of the Parliamentary Service with adequate, well-equipped workspaces to perform their functions in a conducive environment.
President Akufo-Addo explained that even after the refurbishment in 2015 of the Statehouse Tower block, popularly referred to as Job 600, not all MPs could be accommodated in the building.
It was to address the situation and also meet other infrastructural needs of the house that the government provided the finances to support Parliament to undertake the project, he added.
The newspaper says the Parliament has passed two bills — the Air Navigation Services Agency Bill, 2020 and the Plant Variety Protection Bill, 2020.
The Air Navigation Services Agency Bill will establish the Air Navigation Services Agency to provide air navigation services within Ghana’s airspace and any other airspace within the control of Ghana and take over the service which is currently being performed by the Ghana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA).
The establishment of the agency will ensure Ghana’s compliance with international regulations, the avoidance of compromises in operations, improve decision-making and prevent the publication of flight information depicting the region as unsafe.
It will also enable Ghana to have an upper hand over its peers, as it will not only enhance service delivery in air navigation within the Accra Flight Information Region but also build capacity for consultancy in the sub-region and other jurisdictions.
The agency will provide a perfect opportunity to render navigation operation support across the world, leading to increased revenue and advancing Ghana’s reputation.