Ghana: Press highlights announcement by government of free electricity and water for consumers

APA – Accra (Ghana)

The announcement that the government will provide free electricity for the rest of the year and three months of free water to consumers are the trending stories in the Ghanaian press on Friday.

The Graphic reports that the Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta has announced that all life-line customers will enjoy free electricity for the rest of the year.

Addressing the Parliament on Thursday, Mr Ofori-Atta stated that water would be provided for free in the next three months.

He added that the government would establish a GH¢2 billion Guarantee Facility to support all sectors of business and job retention.

According to the minister, these announcements are captured under the government's Ghana Coronavirus Alleviation & Revitalisation of Enterprises Support (CARES) Obaatanpa Programme,

“The CARES Programme would also result in a reduction of the Communications Service Tax (CST) from 9% to 5% for the next six months,” he said. 

The newspaper also says that Ghana’s cumulative cases of the Coronavirus infections have increased by 694 as of Friday, July 24, 2020.

This brings the total number of cases recorded in the country since the disease was first recorded on March 12, 2020, to 30,366. The current active cases are 3,526.

An update by the Ghana Health Service (GHS) on Friday, July 24, said the 694 new cases were reported from the lab on July 20, 2020, after the samples that were taken from the period 11 June to 19 July 2020.

It said 26,687 persons have been discharged/recovered, while the deaths remain at 153.

The Times reports that the Minority in Parliament has observed that the government is hiding behind the Coronavirus pandemic to plunder state resources.

According to the caucus, the mid-year budget review and fiscal policy of the government for the year 2020 as presented by the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, in parliament yesterday, was another manifesto promise that offers no hope in alleviating the suffering of Ghanaians.

“The mid-year budget review is empty, very empty. There was nothing in it for ordinary Ghanaians for us to be happy about. Rather we are receiving some shocks to the extent that we are hearing for the first time that government intends to spend GH¢11.1 billion on Coronavirus expenditure alone,” the Minority spokesperson on Finance, Casiel Ato Forson told journalists in Parliament.

To him, the announcement by Mr Ofori Atta that a GH¢100 billion Coronavirus Alleviation and Revitalisation of Enterprises Support (CARES) programme from 2021 to 2023 would soon be launched to resuscitate the economy was only a mere manifesto promise.

The newspaper also reports that information from Ghana’s United States Embassy has indicated that Ethiopian Airlines will be running a special commercial flight on Thursday, July 30, 2020, from the Kotoka International Airport direct to Newark Liberty International Airport in the United States.

According to a release from the Embassy, “only US citizens or Lawful Permanent Residents (LPR) with valid residency cards or green cards will be allowed to purchase tickets or aboard the flight”.

Furthermore, “individuals holding US visas of any type will not be allowed to purchase tickets”.

The statement emphasized that the flight is not a US government-chartered or funded flight, hence will have no “responsibility for the ticketing process”.

Interested individuals have been asked to contact Ethiopian Airlines directly at their Cocoa House Ground Floor branch in Accra to obtain additional information.


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