Inside February 14, 2018 .qxp_Layout 1 2/13/18 8:42 PM Page 7 13TH FEBRUARY 2018 TUESDAY CURRENCY PARIS CODE BUYING SELLING US Dollar USDGHS 4.3600 4.5000 RATES Pound Sterling GBPGHS 6.0500 6.2000 Euro GBPGHS 5.3800 5.5500 10 DAILY HERITAGE WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 14, 2018 WWW.DAILYHERITAGE.COM.GH TEGLU threatens demo over influx of pirated textiles BY MOHAMMED AWAL THE TEXTILE, Garment and Leather Employees Union (TEGLU) is demanding that the cost of utilities be slashed by 50 percent. It is also demanding the removal of VAT on locally produced textile prints to save local textile manufacturing companies from collapse. According to TEGLU, local textile manufacturing companies have sent home about 90 percent of their workers due to the influx of pirated wax prints, high taxes and statutory levies as well as high cost of raw materials and utilities. General Secretary of TEGLU, Abraham Koomson, told Starr Business that textile workers will soon hit the streets if government does not reconstitute a taskforce to enable it visit point of sales and make arrests. “As we speak the taskforce is only restricting itself to the entry points. And that is not working. The pirated wax prints are all over and the industry is collapsing. Some of the companies have not paid their workers for November, December and January. The situation is terrible. So we are preparing to hit the streets in the next few weeks if nothing changes,” he said. Mr Koomson also predicted that the tax stamps being introduced by the Ghana Revenue Authority to check the dumping of products in the markets will fail unless the implementation is devoid of experimentation. With a workforce of about 27,000 in the 1970s the local textile industry is now employing about 3,000 people due to several debilitating factors. “As we speak the taskforce is only restricting itself to the entry points. And that is not working. The pirated wax prints are all over and the industry is collapsing. Some of the companies have not paid their workers for November, December and January. The situation is terrible. So we are preparing to hit the streets in the next few weeks if nothing changes,” he said. Utility service providers demand 200% increase in tariffs UTILITY SERV- ICE providers in the country are demanding an upward adjustment in their tariff, despite assurances given by the President to reduce electricity tariff. The utility companies, who are currently meeting the Public Utility Regulatory Commission (PURC) in a Joint Consultative forum in Accra, want tariffs increased by about 200 percent. Speaking to Citi Business News, the Chairman of the Technical Committee of the PURC, Ishmael Egyekumhene, said the situation needs careful assessment as government has already promised a reduction in electricity tariff. “All of them are asking for significant increases in the tariffs. That even makes our work more difficult because already the Executive [President] has actually gone ahead to announce some tariff reduction. I’m sure you just listened to the NEDCo presentation; the figure they are asking for translates to about 200% increases in what was approved for them in 2015. “So all of them are pointing upwards, they are asking for more money, but it’s our responsibility to start interrogating all the cost centres because at the end of the day, they have what they call, revenue requirements which goes into how much money they need to be able to run the systems.” Mr Egyekumhene said cost is a major factor in considering the total revenue requirements. “We are looking critically at the cost right from generation to transmission and distribution. If we are only to base the analysis on exchange rate and inflation, there is every justification for the tariffs to go up,” he added. Gov’t reduces electricity tariff by 14% for non-residential users President Nana Addo “So all of them are pointing upwards, they are asking for more money, but it’s our responsibility to start interrogating all the cost centres because at the end of the day, they have what they call, revenue requirements which goes into how much money they need to be able to run the systems.” Dankwa Akufo-Addo had on January 15, 2018, announced an average of 14% reduction in electricity tariffs for nonresidential users in the country with effect from January 2018. “From January this year, the non-residential tariff rate, which is the rate which includes all of you here, is being reduced by an average of 14%. For barbers, it is being reduced by 18%; for hairdressers and beauticians, 15.7%, and for tailors, 9.8%,” he added. Government had earlier recommended to the Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC) to reduce electricity tariffs in the country. It promised to reduce electricity tariffs by between 13 and 21 percent for residential consumers and industry respectively. The PURC’s meeting with stakeholders in the sector was to among other things negotiate and determine a reduction in tariffs for businesses. Govt can’t recommend reduction in power tariffs -Wereko-Brobby Former Chief Executive Officer of the Volta River Authority (VRA), Dr Charles Wereko- Brobby, was one of the people who accused government of trying to usurp the mandate of the Public Utilities Regulatory Commission, by announcing a reduction in electricity tariffs. According to him, government could make proposals to the regulatory body about a possible reduction in the tariffs, citing possible changes in the cost of production. He added however that, the final say on any adjustment of the tariffs should come from the PURC devoid of any pressure from the government.
Inside February 14, 2018 .qxp_Layout 1 2/13/18 8:42 PM Page 8 WWW.DAILYHERITAGE.COM.GH DAILY HERITAGE WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 14, 2018 11 Politics Where justice is denied, where poverty is enforced, where ignorance prevails, and where any one class is made to feel that society is an organized conspiracy to oppress, rob and degrade them, neither persons nor property will be safe — Frederick Douglass How to prevent the President's sanitation wish list from becoming slogans - IMANI THE PRESIDENT made two compelling statements on sanitation in his State of the Nation Address last week. These were; 1. “Urgent attention will be given to clearing of rubbish all around the country. Apart from the systematic efforts being made to resolve the legacy of inherited debts in the sector, government will spend an amount of GH¢ 200 million to address the issue of sanitation.” 2. “Government is working with various private sector authorities to tackle this major challenge with strategies that are intended to effect a change in our attitudes towards waste and filth as well as improve dramatically our methods of waste management. This will be complemented by the strict enforcement of sanitation rules and regulations.” Clearly, at the core of the sanitation problem is a drive to understand the most basic problem, which is refuse disposal. Domestic and commercial entities in Ghana’s main urban enclaves do not have enough repositories to dispose refuse, leaving a huge problem in the hands of the associated municipal and district authorities. Tackling the ability to dispose of rubbish easily is very key to ensuring at the last mile, assured proactive sanitation activity, making it easier to enforce bye-laws created to ensure clean cities and towns. It is interesting to note that an amendment of the Customs and Excise Act in 2013 passed by Parliament determined that an excise duty of 10% of the exfactory price on imported plastic and plastic products should be levied. The same law indicates that “not less than 50% of the revenue accruing under this tariff should be paid into a fund designated as the “Plastic Waste Recycling Fund”. By our records, an estimated amount of GH¢ 265m has been realised since the introduction of the excise duty and had the potential of providing us 950,000 waste bins, which would have reached every household had previous Politicians not entertained funny ideas with the money. The issue that the Ghanaian public and all stakeholders should interrogate, as part of solving the sanitation problem is, why this ‘Plastic Waste Recycling Fund (PWRF)’ has not been accounted for in the 4 years since the passing of this law, and why it has not been utilized for activities such as last mile domestic and commercial refuse disposal, while the most glaring problems have been the inability to control and regulate effectively that aspect of activity to any level of It is interesting to note that an amendment of the Customs and Excise Act in 2013 passed by Parliament determined that an excise duty of 10% of the ex-factory price on imported plastic and plastic products should be levied. The same law indicates that “not less than 50% of the revenue accruing under this tariff should be paid into a fund designated as the “Plastic Waste Recycling Fund”. satisfaction? Stakeholders should be able to identify this last mile problem of municipal waste disposal to determine whether the fund can be used to help resolve this last mile problem, which the President clearly identified as one of the prime sanitation challenges. The right equipment and solutions that will justify the utilization of these funds should be the focal point of stakeholder discussion as well as a call to the government to release funds from the PWRF to effectively provide the necessary infrastructure for refuse collection will go a long way to create the environment that shifts people to the right attitudinal approach to refuse collection and disposal with the help of enforceable statutes and bye-laws. Several successive initiatives by previous governments, like Sanitation Saturdays, have not had the right level of success due to these basic limitations and the fact that they do not proactively attack the problems. It is good news that the President has voted GH¢ 200 million for sanitation related activity, possibly partially funded from the Plastic Waste Recycling Fund. However, this amount is not enough as private players will also need to chip and be allowed to responsibly manage waste at the last mile else we are at risk of not achieving the right objectives with the President's wish list. In support of the President's sanitation resolve, IMANI is contributing to shaping the discussion on last mile sanitation in mid-March. We will be showcasing the problem and outlining solutions with open floor for stakeholders to participate in. This will be preceded by an inaugural fellowship lecture by our new fellow, Mr Ato Coleman, on the topic ‘Has Ghana’s Sanitation Policy and Strategy Failed? Whither forward?’ The discussion will be moderated by IMANI's Senior Vice- President, Kofi Bentil. Mr. Ato Coleman has held senior leadership roles including Country Director, Plan International Sierra Leone; Senior Director of Operations for World Vision International for West and Central Africa where as deputy to the Regional Vice President. In 2016, he was awarded the International Non Governmental Organisation leader of the year by the Sierra Leone Council of Chief Executive Os for the leadership and excellence he displayed during the Ebola crisis in that country. Source: IMANI Ghana It is good news that the President has voted GH¢ 200 million for sanitation related activity, possibly partially funded from the Plastic Waste Recycling Fund. However, this amount is not enough as private players will also need to chip and be allowed to responsibly manage waste at the last mile else we are at risk of not achieving the right objectives with the President's wish list.