Some days, it seems as though nothing bad is going to happen; that there’s no way to lose. And then there are the days when searching for good news is way more challenging that it need to be.
Perhaps it’s one of those days.
It seems as though the new Ghanaian President is facing some serious challenges. He’s not alone, mind you, but President Nana Akufo-Addo needs to reel in some serious financial issues. And, he needs to do it soon.
The Bank of Ghana, as our first example, is concerned about the rise in fraud. As you would imagine, there’s plenty of card fraud happening; across the world, there’s a worry over cyber security and card fraud. Banks have cracked down by implementing stronger security systems. And, that would be great if the 282 percent surge in illegal financial activity in the banking sector was solely attributed to card fraud.
The rate of cloned cheques has increased by 62 percent since November of last year. And, we’re not talking about small amounts either. According to the Financial Intelligence Centre (FIC), criminals attempted to cash 26 cloned cheques… to the value of GH¢923,883.86 million. While some of those fakes were caught and some of the perpetrators arrested, there’s clearly a lot to do.
Some losses, though, aren’t the result of criminal masterminds. Take the galamsey situation as an example. It’s not as if informal mining is anyone’s first choice of occupation. Indeed, it’s not necessarily even regarded as an occupation. It’s a necessity for feeding families, no matter how hazardous it might be.
But, a mass of Ghanaians will feel the effects of this practice – especially when there’s no more water left in the country. According to Ghana’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Abessim water treatment plant had to be closed this week due to extremely low water levels in the Tano River. Galamsey practices just haven’t left enough water to treat. Last year, the Kyebi water treatment plant closed because the water was beyond the point of treating.
Water scarce across Africa, so it is difficult to imagine Ghana finding an affordable import supply – especially when there are outstanding bills for other necessities… like electricity. Apparently, Ghana owes Cote d’Ivoire some $60million for power it has purchased in the past. It’s been reported that this bill was due in December of last year.
But, can the government pay for it?
It’s, perhaps, difficult to believe when the government has been fined €14,301 by Messe Frankfurt, the organisers of Ambiente trade fair. What’s the fine for? Not showing up to the event despite paying €40,000 hold stands for participation. Want to know why Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA) didn’t show? It’s because they couldn’t afford it. And, they neglected to let Mess Frankfurt know; if they had, they would have spared themselves the fine.
So how will we pay for water if we need it? Especially if we’re paying out for fraudulent cheques, dealing with electricity woes, and figuring out a way to deal with galamsey to begin with? The President may need to do a little tightening, but perhaps he needs to do a lot more than that. At some point, we need to stop losses altogether (especially on the soccer field).