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Gov’t Can’t Afford To Reduce Taxes On Fuel; We’ll Lose GH¢4bn Revenue : Akufo-Addo

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The President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has dismissed calls on the government to reduce taxes on petroleum products.

He said taking such an action will significantly affect the government’s revenues.

Addressing the 2022 May Day parade at the Independence Square in Accra, he said the government risks losing about GH¢4 billion if it makes any such move. He added that it is even more untenable because the government is rather looking for more avenues to raise money.

“Removing taxes on petroleum products will reduce government revenues by some GH¢4 billion. At this time, when we are determined to expand government revenues in order to increase our capacity to finance our own development, can we afford to reduce tax revenues by GH¢4 billion?” he quizzed.

Fuel prices in Ghana have risen sharply in Ghana in the last six months, although they have stayed the same for almost a month.

Amidst the numerous complaints from consumers that the situation is causing a strain on their finances as the cost of goods and services had risen on account of the changing fuel prices, some analysts have called on the government to consider removing some taxes on petroleum products to bring some relief to Ghanaians.

But President Akufo-Addo in a straightforward response to such calls, said the current challenges facing the economy require that the government rather increases its revenue base.

He said the monies raised from taxes such as those on petroleum prices are what is used to pay wages and allowances of workers; hence withdrawing them could affect the payment of salaries.

“Government is currently confronted by very tight financing conditions, in the wake of inadequate domestic revenue mobilisation. Indeed, some of the revenues from these same taxes on petroleum products are what we use to pay some of the salaries of some of the seven hundred thousand (700,000) public sector workers on Government’s payroll.”

Nana Akufo-Addo said despite the government’s decision, it is adopting other measures to mitigate the situation, including stabilising the exchange rate, a key determinant of fuel prices.

“Government is also working hard to ensure reliable supply and availability of petroleum products, thereby preventing shortages, a phenomenon which is being experienced in some other neighbouring countries,” he added, stressing that Ghana being a net importer of petroleum products is exposed to the volatilities on the international market.

“Intense efforts are being made to rehabilitate the Tema Oil Refinery, to enable it contribute to stabilising petroleum prices, which should see the light of day very soon. We are also encouraging private companies to establish refineries in the country, one of which is eighty percent (80%) complete, and is expected to be commissioned before the end of this year,” he added.

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McDonald’s To Leave Russia Permanently After 32 Years

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McDonald’s has announced that it will leave Russia permanently after 30 years.

McDonald’s announced in March that it would temporarily close its roughly 850 restaurants in the country as part of the economic fallout from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The Chicago-based company owns 84% of its stores in Russia and has stated that its restaurants in Russia and Ukraine contributed 9% of its annual revenue, or around $2 billion (£1.6 billion).

The company expects to incur a non-cash charge of between $1.2 billion (£980 million) and $1.4 billion as part of the exit.

“The humanitarian crisis caused by the war in Ukraine, as well as the precipitating unpredictable operating environment,” McDonald’s said in a statement.

According to the company, it has begun selling its restaurants there due to the “humanitarian crisis” and “unpredictable operating environment” caused by the Ukraine war.

McDonald’s intends to sell its business to a local buyer, which employs 62,000 people and operates 850 restaurants (including those run by franchisees).

The restaurants will be “de-arched,” which means they will no longer use the McDonald’s name, logo, or branding. In a statement, McDonald’s stated that its “priorities include seeking to ensure that McDonald’s employees in Russia continue to be paid until the close of any transaction and that employees have future employment with any potential buyer.” In Russia, it will keep its trademarks.

According to the company, doing business in Russia is “no longer tenable” or consistent with its values.

“This is a complicated issue with no precedent and profound consequences,” McDonald’s CEO Chris Kempczinski wrote in a message to franchisees, employees, and suppliers obtained by The New York Times.

“Some might argue that providing access to food and continuing to employ tens of thousands of ordinary citizens is unquestionably the right thing to do,” he continued. However, it is impossible to ignore the humanitarian crisis caused by Ukraine’s war. And it’s difficult to imagine the Golden Arches symbolizing the same hope and promise that drove us to enter the Russian market 32 years ago.”

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Ashantigold Demoted To Division Two For Match Manipulation

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Ashantigold Sporting Club of Ghana has been demoted to Division Two, Ghana’s third tier league, after being found guilty of match manipulation.

The incident occurred at the end of the 2020/2021 Ghana Premier League season, when Ashantigold defeated Inter Allies 7-0. Hashmin Musah, an Allies player, scored two own goals and later admitted his action was to ruin a bet placed on the game.

Dr. Kwaku Frimpong, the club’s President, and his son, Emmanuel Frimpong, the club’s Chief Executive Officer, have also been barred from football activities for ten years and eight years, respectively.

Eight club players were also banned for two years each after being found guilty of match manipulation, and a further five players were given four-year bans for failing to appear before the GFA’s Disciplinary Committee.

Furthermore, the club was fined Ghs 100,000, the President was fined Ghs 100,000, and the CEO was fined Ghs 50,000.

The decision will be implemented beginning with the 2022/2023 season.

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Inter Allies Demoted To Division Two For Match Manipulation

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Inter Allies Football Club has been demoted to Ghana’s second division after being found guilty of match manipulation.

The Ghana FA’s Disciplinary Committee announced the decision on Monday, following the conclusion of an investigation into last season’s final day clash between AshGold and Inter Allies at the Len Clay Stadium.

The game was won by AshGold 7-0, with Inter Allies defender Hashmin Musah scoring two own goals in the process.

Musah, however, admitted after the game in a radio interview that his own goals were scored on purpose to scupper a 5-1 bet that some people had placed on the match.

The GFA announced that the club had been charged on two counts and that it would be demoted to Division Two at the end of the current season. They were relegated from the Ghana Premier League last season and fell into this division.

In addition to the demotion, Inter Allies must pay a GHS 100,000 fine under the GFA’s Disciplinary Code.

Their head coach, Felix Aboagye, and team manager, Reuben Adjetey, would be barred from all football-related activity for 24 months.

As part of the GFA’s sanctions, four players were given 24-month bans. Richmond Lamptey of Kotoko was banned from football for 30 months because he was playing for Inter Allies at the time of the incident.

Hashmin Musah was also punished, but he received a shorter 6-month ban for bringing the incident to light, and he was also warned to notify the GFA’s Integrity Hotline in the future if he becomes aware of such unscrupulous arrangements.

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