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Ghana Approves 10% Pay Rise For Public Workers

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Ghana’s wages commission said on Friday it had approved a 10 per cent pay rise for public sector workers and that the potentially inflationary measure would be back-dated to January this year.

Falling inflation and a stable currency have since late 2009 given the Bank of Ghana scope to make a total 350 basis points of cuts to bring the prime rate down to 15 per cent, with further easing seen dependent on prices staying under control.

George Smith-Graham, chief executive of the Commission, told Reuters the pay rise would apply across the board to Ghana’s 470,000 or so public sector workers and complemented a planned reform of the wages structure later this year.

“They will receive the actual salary reflecting the 10 per cent (rise) in July but the arrears will be paid in the months of August and September,” he said by telephone.

“This is a way of cushioning those public sector workers who may not receive any enhancement under the ‘single spine’ scheme,” he said, referring to the planned new structure.

The so-called Single Spine Salary Structure (SSSS) is due from July to put all public sector workers on the same pay scale. It is seen as potentially inflationary because many will see their salary bracket revised upwards.

Smith-Graham declined to say how much the pay rise would cost public finances.

Ghana’s government, which is gearing up for the first revenues from its Jubilee oil field later this year, has been praised for bringing inflation to just under 12 per cent.

The Bank of Ghana has brought the prime rate down to 15 per cent in recent months and has said it could envisage cutting interest rates further as long as inflation kept easing.

“This latest news … will raise inflation risks somewhat,” said Standard Chartered regional head of research Razia Khan, noting it could also prompt the government to claw back revenue by cutting utility price subsidies, itself an inflationary move.

Ghana was also due to announce new utility tariffs later on Friday, with increases widely expected, but the announcement was postponed until next week.

Kobla Nyaletey, head of liquidity management at Barclays Ghana Treasury, said he believed the measure was compatible with spending already envisaged by the 2010 budget.

“There are some challenges ahead though, from probable upward (utility) tariff price adjustments and the implementation of the single spine salary structure,” he said.

The pace of inflation fell to 11.66 per cent in April and is seen dipping into single digits in the next few months before an expected rebound in prices later in 2010.

Analysts forecast a further rate cut in June and possibly one more after that.

Bank of Ghana Governor Kwesi Amissah-Arthur told Reuters in a May 14 interview the bank would cut rates further if compatible with the outlook for inflation and growth, which is set to more than double from around six per cent this year.

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Construction, Real Estate Sectors Contribute N20trn To GDP – NBS

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The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) has said economic activities in the construction and real estate sectors contributed N20trllion to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the first three quarters of 2022.
The NBS report also showed that construction services earned N12.9trllion, while real estate contributed N7trllion to the GDP.
It further revealed that the construction sub sector contributed 9.5 per cent to nominal GDP in the third quarter of 2022, which is higher than the 9.26 per cent it contributed a year earlier and higher than the 7.95 per cent contributed in the second quarter of 2022, and also grew by 18.92 per cent in nominal terms (year-on-year) in the 2022 third quarter.
However, the sector dropped 28.75 per cent points, as compared to the rate of 47.67 per cent it recorded in the same quarter of 2021.
According to the national statistics body, real estate services in nominal terms grew by 9.13 per cent, higher by 0.50 per cent points than the growth rate reported for the same period in 2021, and lower by 3.68 per cent points compared to the preceding Quarter.
On a Quarter-on-Quarter, the sector growth rate was 16.38 per cent. The contribution to nominal GDP in Q3, 2022 stood at 4.96 per cent, relative to 5.27 per cent recorded in the third quarter of 2021 and higher than the 4.95 per cent accounted for in the second quarter of 2022.
The NBS calculates the sector’s contribution by adding up gross outputs such as a sum of fees, the value of work done, commissions receivable for the services rendered and other incomes.
It also considers intermediate consumptions such as details of the cost structure, including transportation fees, operational expenditure, minor repairs and maintenance etc.
“From the foregoing, it is clear that the contributed amount had revealed what the private sector could achieve in the nation’s GDP.
“When we talk about real estate, it is driven by private investors. This implies that for any economy to thrive, the private sector must be given a platform and a level playing ground for them to perform.
“It will be of note also that the real estate industry does not require an incubation period. Anytime you start building a house, at least 25 persons will get a job. So, if the government wants to support the economy of the country, more opportunities should be given to the private sector to thrive”, the report stated.

By: Corlins Walter

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Expert Urges Domestic Airlines To Apply As Flag Carriers 

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Sequel to disagreement between the Federal Government and domestic airline operators over the Nigerian Carrier, which is a subject of litigation, a stakeholder in the aviation industry and Chief Executive Officer, Centurion Security Limited, Capt John Ojikutu, (rtd.) has urged domestic airlines to seek government approval to designate one or two of them as flag carriers instead of going to court over the Nigeria Air deal.
He said he had reservations about the lawsuit filed by the Airline Operators of Nigeria against the Federal Government and its foreign technical partners, and majority shareholders, saying there are so many things wrong with the FGN-ET deal.
“What I believe that the private airlines can do instead of wasting their time is to seek government approval to designate one or two of them as flag carriers on at least five Bilateral Aviation Safety Agreement routes.
“As far as I am concerned, the airline will die the same way defunct Virgin Nigeria died, and that is my displeasure over that ET partnership.
“So, it is not something that will be forced on the next administration. It is not a government policy that we must have a partnership with ET. So, I am sure the next government will not succumb to that.
“What they have now is a government airline, not a national carrier. Government just called one or two persons. In SAHCOL, two people there have 78 per cent shares, and one person in MRS, who is a foreigner, has 60 per cent. So, invariably, it is the government and one or two people as far as I am concerned”, he stated.

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FAAN Boss Orders Allocation Of PH Airline Building To Airlines

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Managing Director and Chief Executive of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Capt. Rabiu Yadudu, has urged the Port Harcourt International Airport Manager/Regional General Manager, South-South/South East, Mr Felix Akinbinu, to ensure that airlines are immediately allocated the new airline building without delay.
He noted that the new airline building project is one of the important projects that have been executed at the Port Harcourt International Airport, Omagwa, and would want the immediate use of the building.
The Managing Director, who gave the directive during the commissioning of the airline building, described the Port Harcourt airport as one of the busiest in Nigeria.
Represented by the Director, Airport Operations, Capt. Mukhtar Muye, Akinbinu noted that there are about 27 airports in the country, and described the airline building as a good edifice.
“This project is very important to us, and I would urge the Regional Manager to ensure that airlines are immediately allocated the building without delay.
“We are very happy to commission this airline building to decongest the terminal building they currently occupy. We know that this is a good edifice that will attract other airlines, includi international airlines, to Port Harcourt Airport”, he said.
Earlier in his address, Akinbinu said the commissioning of the building will go a long way in the provision of office space for airlines and other stakeholders in the airport.
“This building will also help to decongest the domestic terminal building of people who troop in and out to purchase tickets, do sundry enquiries, thereby ensuring effective access control into the terminal building.
“The building consists of eight suites, which are suitable for multipurpose, including banking halls and offices, a large packing space and a gate house for security.
“One of the buildings has been designated as a Magistrate Court, which will serve the airport in the quick dispensation of service”, he stated.
Highlight of the occasion was presentation of goodwill messages from stakeholders at the airport, such as the host community,  the League of Aviation Correspondents.
Alsos, the new Airport Area Command of the Police, and former Police spokesperson in Rivers State, ACP Ireju Barasua, assured of adequate security at the airport, expressing delight that more projects will come to the airport.
In his vote of thanks, the Head of Corporate Affairs at the airport, Mr Kunle Akinbode, thanked all for making the programme a successful one.
The representative of the Managing Director also cut the tape to declare the building open for business.

By: Corlins Walter

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