Ghanaian press spotlights launch of Pan-African Payment and Settlement System, others

APA – Accra (Ghana)

The launch of the Pan-African Payment and Settlement System (PAPSS) yesterday in Accra, which is aimed at facilitating trade and payments in the sub-region is one of the leading stories in the Ghanaian press on Friday.

The Ghanaian Times reports that the Pan-African Payment and Settlement System (PAPSS) which is aimed at facilitating trade and payments in the sub-region has been launched in Accra yesterday.

It is expected to save the African continent $5 billion anually in payment charges.

An initiative of the Afreximbank, Africa Union and AfCFTA, PAPSS, is meant to connect payment and accelerate Africa’s trade.

Meant to transform how payments are made across borders in Africa, PAPSS is a cross border, financial market infrastructure instantly connecting payment transaction across Africa.

Among others, PAPSS is to simplify the historical complexities and costs of making payments across Africa’s borders, providing operational efficiencies that open up vast economic opportunities.

It also facilitates instant payments made by both originators and beneficiaries in their local currencies, anywhere in Africa.

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo said in a speech read on his behalf by the Vice President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, during the commercial launch of PAPSS, that he was happy about the efforts being made for the implementation of PAPSS, stressing it would help implement intra-African trade.

He said PAPSS was the closest Africa had come to adopting a common currency.

The President also indicated that the launch of PAPSS was one of the most important achievements since the journey to integrate African economies.

President Akufo-Addo said the underlying motive of Africa’s integration programme was to generate “socio-economic benefits of the citizens.”

The President and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Afreximbank, Professor Benedict Oramah, said his outfit was proud to be part of the development and commercial launch of PAPSS.

He said PAPSS would help to boost trade in Africa and reduce the cost of doing business on the continent.

He said AfCFTA was creating a market of 1.2 billion people with a combined Gross Domestic Product of $3 trillion.

The newspaper says that the government has missed out on its single digit inflation target for the year 2021 as country’s year-on-year inflation rate for December 2021 marginally increased to 12.6 per cent from 12. 2 per cent in November.

The December inflation is above the Bank of Ghana’s inflation target of 8+/-2 per cent for 2021.

 The Government Statistician, Professor Samuel K. Annim, who announced this at a news conference in Accra on Wednesday, said the rise in inflation in December was influenced by the rise in the prices of food and housing, water, electricity and gas.

He said for the sixth month in a row, prices of goods and services have consistently increased, going up by 4. 8 percentage points between June 2021(7.8 per cent) and December 2021(12. 6 per cent)

Prof. Anim explained that food inflation for December dropped to 12. 8 per cent from 13.1 per cent recorded in November with an average of the past 12 months as 10.3 per cent.

However, he said, food inflation’s contribution to the total inflation decreased from 47.7 per cent in November to 45.2 per cent in December adding that the overall monthly food inflation rate was 1.2 per cent which was higher than the 12 month national month-on-month rolling average of 1.0 per cent.

He said 14 out of the 15 food sub-classes recorded positive month-on-month inflation with coffee and coffee substitutes recording a  deflation of -0.3 per cent.

For non-food, Prof. Anim said inflation went up by 12.5 per cent from 11.6 per cent recorded in November.

The government statistician said inflation for locally produced items was 13.3 per cent while that of imported items was 10.4 per cent.

The Graphic reports that following a successful evaluation of Ghana's regime against money laundering and the financing of terrorism, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) has removed the country from its list of non-compliant jurisdictions.

The European Commission on January 7, 2022, removed Ghana from the EU Blacklist by acknowledging that it no longer has strategic deficiencies in its Anti-Money Laundering/Counter-Terrorist Financing (AML/CFT) regimes.

"The FATF welcomed significant progress made by Botswana, Ghana and Mauritius in improving its AML/CFT regime and noted that Botswana, Ghana and Mauritius have established the legal and regulatory framework to meet the commitments in their action plans regarding the strategic deficiencies that the FATF had identified," the Council of the European Union said in a notice.

"The Commission's analysis concludes that The Bahamas, Botswana, Ghana, Iraq and Mauritius no longer have strategic deficiencies in their AML/CFT regime considering the available information. The Bahamas, Botswana, Ghana, Iraq and Mauritius have strengthened the effectiveness of their AML/CFT regime. These measures are sufficiently comprehensive and meet the necessary requirements to consider that strategic deficiencies identified under article 9 of the Directive (EU) 2015/849 have been removed".

Reacting to the development, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo said the country had pursued some rigorous reforms in its bid to get removed from the list.

“We are delighted that, on 7th January 2022, we received a notification from the European Commission, through the intermediary of the Commissioner for Financial Services, Financial Stability and Capital Markets Union, Mairead McGuinness, that Ghana, after the pursuit of some rigorous reforms, has now, formally, been removed from the Grey List of high-risk third countries in money laundering activities,” President Akufo-Addo said.

President stated this when he addressed a joint press conference, at Jubilee House on Thursday, January 13, 2022, with the visiting President of the Republic of Hungary, János Áder, who is on a State Visit to Ghana.

The European Commission in May 2020 listed Ghana and 11 other countries as having lapses in the country’s AML and CFT regimes, thus posing significant threats to the European Union’s financial system

The newspaper says that the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) has stepped up efforts to ensure that all tax defaulting companies honour their obligations to the state in order for the authority to meet its revenue target for the year.

Consequently, the authority has ordered seven directors of three companies to report to its Domestic Tax Division for discussions on their tax liability.

The three companies have had a total of GH¢22.6 million outstanding as tax liability for some time now, according to a notice published in the January 13 edition of the Daily Graphic.

The publication listed the defaulting companies as Gold Shop Limited with a tax liability of GH¢548,454.46, ISQ Resources Ghana Limited with a tax liability of GH¢9.98 million and Italtec Ghana Limited with a liability of GH¢12.02 million. It also included the tax identification numbers (TINs) of the companies and the names of seven directors, who it said must report to the Commissioner of Domestic Tax Division of the GRA.

The notice neither stated when the directors were to report to the authority nor the period that the taxes had been outstanding.

It, however, said the publication was in fulfilment of Sections 58 and 95 of the Revenue Administration Act 2016 (Act 915), which mandated the GRA Commissioner-General to publish the names of tax offenders in the Gazette, on the GRA website and in any other national media.

“The directors are to note that failure to honour this invitation and failure to settle outstanding liabilities will result in other enforcement actions taken against them to recover debts,” the notice said.


React to this article