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Show me one country that didn’t suffer from Covid, Russia-Ukraine war – Mahama

An Economic Policy Analyst at the Office of the President, Dr Kabiru Mahama has said the AkufoAddo administration is not taking refuge in the covid situation and also the ongoing geopolitical tension between Russia and Ukraine to make excuses for the challenges in the economy.

Speaking on the Key Points on TV3 Saturday March 26, he said it is a fact that Ghana is facing the same challenges just like any country around the world due to the coronavirus pandemic and the Russia-Ukraine warfare.

He was contributing to discussions on the measures outlined by the Finance Minister Ken Ofori Atta to tackle the economic problems facing the country at the moment.

Dr Mahama was reacting to a former Deputy Finance Minister Kweku George Ricketts-Hagan who noted while speaking on the same show that Mr Ofori-Atta’s measures are not enough.

Mr Rickets-Hagan had said “If you look at our debt and quite a number of the indicators, you will realize that the way our economy is structured is part of the problem.

“There is the other half of it which is to do with how we manage the economy. Over the last five years with the NPP government in office, when your fundamentals are not strong, you will be exposed,” the former Cape Coast South Member of Parliament said on the Key Points with Dzifa Bampoh on Saturday March 26.

Mr Ofori-Atta announced on Thursday March 24 that with immediate effect, the government has imposed a complete moratorium on the purchase of imported vehicles for the rest of the year.

He said this will affect all new orders, especially 4-wheel drives.

“With immediate effect, Government has imposed a complete moratorium on the purchase of imported vehicles for the rest of the year. This will affect all new orders, especially 4-wheel drives. We will ensure that the overall effect is to reduce total vehicle purchases by the public sector by at least 50 percent for the period,” he said.

“Again, with immediate effect Government has imposed a moratorium on all foreign travels, except pre-approved critical/statutory travels; Government will conclude on-going measures to eliminate “ghost” workers from the Government payroll by end December 2022;

“Discretionary spending is to be further cut by an additional 10%. The Ministry of Finance is currently meeting with MDAs to review their spending plans for the rest of the three (3) quarters to achieve the discretionary expenditure cuts; ii. these times call for very efficient use of energy resources.

“In line with this, there will be a 50% cut in fuel coupon allocations for all political appointees and Heads of government institutions, including SOEs, effective 1st April 2022,” he added.

Sharing his perspectives on the issues, Dr Kabiru Mahama said “The problem with this particular country is that we take issues on the surface and we run to town with them. When we do that we are lost in the forest of issues that we are not able to take out which one is the solution to our problem. That is the problem whenever we have a discourse about the economy.

“This government did not run this particular economic to the abyss. In the last five years, between 20017 and 2019, we grew the economy on average of 7 per cent. Interest rate came down from 35 per cent to as low as 22 per cent. The Bank of Ghana reduced the policy rate consistently. We successfully implemented free SHS. So all these have to be put in context that. We know that Covid came, people say it is a rescue but I have always told people that give me your prototype of a country that was doing well in Covid then I will be humble enough to accept Ghana is taking refuge in a case that is nonexistent.

“We agree that Covid is an issue. Let us come to the Russia-Ukraine, give me a country that has not felt the brunt of the Russian-Ukrainian war. The transmission of economic mechanism is such a way that, it is just like the human body, if you have a problem with the head the whole system is going to be affected.

“We have our 2.5 per cent of our export and import from Russia and Ukraine and we think that it will not heighten the pressure. The pressure also heightened in February to March. All these discussions we are having they became heightened within this particular period so when we are talking about the economy, we should also be humble enough to say , we are discussing these issues because the problem has been heightened

ECOWAS says it remains concerned about the detention of Burkina Faso President after coup

The Authority of Head of states of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) says it remains very concerned about the duration of the transition period set for thirty-six (36) months by the Transition Charter.

“In this regard, and in accordance with the Communiqué issued by the Extraordinary Summit of 3rd February 2022, the Authority: reiterates its strong condemnation of the coup d’Etat of 24 January 2022; demands the immediate and unconditional release of President Roch Marc Christian Kaboré; decides to uphold the suspension of Burkina Faso from all ECOWAS institutions until constitutional order is restored; demands the finalisation of an acceptable transition timetable no later than 25th April 2022. After this deadline, economic and financial sanctions will be immediately applied; calls on the International Community to strengthen its humanitarian support to Burkina Faso.

“Furthermore, the Authority decides to appoint a Mediator for Burkina Faso to facilitate dialogue among all stakeholders and ensure a smooth transition.

On the social and political situation in Guinea the Authority expresses serious concern over the lack of visibility on the transition.

It noted that the six-month deadline set by ECOWAS for the conduct of elections has not been respected.

“Furthermore, the transition timetable is still not available, priorities have not been set and little progress has been made in the transition process,” it said.

Similarly, it added, the socio-political situation is deteriorating due to insufficient dialogue between the government and political stakeholders and civil society actors.

“Consequently, the Authority: Demands the finalisation of an acceptable transition timetable no later than 25th April 2022. After this deadline, economic and financial sanctions will be immediately applied; calls on the government to promote the inclusiveness and dialogue with the political stakeholders and civil society actors in handling the transition in order to reduce tension in the country and ensure a peaceful transition; urges the Transition Authorities to comply with the laws and regulations in the process of recovering the presumed state assets.

“In view of the socio-political crisis and the urgent need to facilitate dialogue between all stakeholders, the Authority reaffirms the decision to appoint a Facilitator” ECOWAS said.

On the social and political situation in Mali the Authority notes that the security and humanitarian situation in Mali continues to deteriorate with attacks by terrorist groups resulting in military and

civilian casualties.

It noted that during the last mission of the ECOWAS Mediator to Mali from 18th to 20th March 2022, the Transition Authorities proposed a 24-month timetable, that is, two (2) years in addition to the 18 months that have already elapsed.

The Authority notes that, in view of the global political and security situation, there is an urgent need to reach an agreement in order to avoid further deterioration of the situation in the country.

The Authority says it regrets the non-availability of the President of the Transition to physically honour the invitation extended to him to participate in the Summit in order to find a solution to the current situation in Mali.

The Authority congratulates and commends the efforts made by the ECOWAS Mediator with a view to obtaining a consensual timetable to ensure a quick return to constitutional order, in accordance with the ECOWAS and African Union protocols and decisions.

“In light of the foregoing, the Authority urges the Transition Authorities to adhere to the additional period of 12 to 16 months which has been agreed by the joint technical team ECOWAS/AU/UN for the extension of the transition with effect from 15th March 2022, taking into account the activities required for the conduct of the presidential elections. The Authority decides to send the Mediator to Mali to continue and finalise the discussions on the chronogramme with the Transition Authorities.

“Furthermore, the Authority decides to: a. uphold the sanctions imposed on 9th January 2022; continue the dialogue with a view to reaching an agreement to ensure a gradual lifting of the sanctions; call on partners to increase their humanitarian support to Mali, a communique issued after te meeting said.

The Authority expresses deep concern about the deteriorating security situation in Mali. The Authority urges the Transition Authorities to step up efforts to enhance security in the country and reiterates its call on Member States and the Commission to accompany the efforts of the Transition Authorities in this regard.

At the opening ceremony on Friday March 25, Chairman of the ECWOAS, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo described the three countries as recalcitrant member of the ECOWAS.

“Members of the authority of ECOWAS, I want to welcome your Excellencies back to Accra again to take stock of where we are with our three recalcitrant member states – Mali, Guinea and Burkina Faso take appropriate decision on the way forward.

 “I want to thank you once again for the short notice you responded to the invitation to this meeting, once a gain a clear indication of your determination to assume your responsibilities for the security of ECOWAS.”

ECOWAS had earlier imposed some sanctions believing that this was going to restore the countries to constitutional rule,

“[The heads of state] also, of course, reaffirmed ECOWAS’ firm commitment to work and help Guinea in this process of restoring the constitutional order.

“They insisted also on the close support of traditional partner the United Nations, the African Union, European Union and also other bilateral countries and they also decided that there will be a visit by the Chair of the Authority to the Republic of Guinea as soon as possible to convey those messages regarding the decision of the Summit personally,” ECOWAS said during an earlier meeting held in Accra

Akufo-Addo’s comment on Supreme Court ruling unfortunate, myopic – Bagbin

Speaker Alban Bagbin has described President Akufo-Addo’s comments on the Supreme Court ruling on Deputy Speakers as unfortunate and myopic.

In his view, the Supreme Court ruling is not only an absurdity but a reckless incursion into the remit of Parliament.

“I have resisted the temptation of making a comment on the judgment of the Supreme Court on the issue of the voting rights of Deputy Speakers when presiding. But the unfortunate and myopic comment of the President has compelled me to let it out.

“The SC decision, is to say the least, not only an absurdity but a reckless incursion into the remit of Parliament.

“The trend of unanimity is equally troubling. It doesn’t help explore and expand our legal jurisprudence. The President’s comment is myopic and unfortunate. It only goes to worsen the schism between the Executive and Parliament.

“The impartiality of the Speaker, Deputy Speaker or Presiding Officer has been tresusured and fought for by this country throughout our democratic development. Mr. President, the issue being discussed is not about Parliament being above the law. Everyone knows that Parliament is not above the law. The Executive and the Judiciary are equally not above the law. The issue being discussed is the political question doctrine. It took centuries to detail out the strands of this doctrine and the principles are settled as to when and how this closed book could be opened. Please, I encourage the Plaintiff to go for a review.”

Mr Akufo-Addo said that he was not sure that persons who said that the Supreme Court cannot scrutinize Parliament have taken the time to read what the 1992 constitution says.

Some persons including former President John Dramani Mahama have said the Supreme Court of Ghana has set a dangerous precedent of judicial interference in Parliamentary procedure following the ruling that a Deputy Speaker can vote in Parliament.

In a tweet, Mr Mahama said “A unanimous 7-0? Shocking but not surprising. An unfortunate interpretation for convenience that sets a dangerous precedent of judicial interference in Parliamentary procedure for the future.

But President Akufo-Addo said the apex court’s decision on the voting rights of Deputy Speakers cannot amount to judicial inference in the work of Parliament.

According to president Akufo-Addo, the suggestion that Parliament is beyond the scrutiny of the Supreme Court is to suggest that Parliament is a law onto itself.

“I’m not sure people who are saying this have actually taken the time to read the Constitution of our country. It says so in Black and white. The legislative powers of the State, which is vested in Parliament, is subject to the provisions of the Constitution. All organs of the Ghanaian State, including me as the Head of the Executive, we are all subject to the teachings of the Constitution,” the President said.

He continued, “There is no body in the Ghanaian State that is above the fundamental law of the land. It will lead to the very matter that we have striven so long to avoid – the concentration of unregulated power in our state – we don’t want that. And we brought about this Constitution to allow that to not reoccur.”

President Akufo-Addo made this known in an interview with Charles Takyi Boadu of the Daily Guide Newspaper, on Thursday, 10th March 2022, on the sidelines of Dubai Expo 2020.

Astonished by the “public energy” dissipated in the debate, he was happy with the unanimity of the decision taken by the Supreme Court, especially as it is the most emphatic way in which the Court can pronounce.

Touching on suggestions that the Parliament is beyond the scrutiny of the Supreme Court regarding issues of interpretation, the President indicated that “the whole principle of judicial review was developed by the judges, both in America and England, to be able to check the activities of Parliament.”
Indeed, in Ghana, he stated that the first major constitutional case, which looked at the work of Parliament was in the case Tuffuor vs Attorney General, where the Act of Parliament, the decision of the Parliament to subject the then Chief Justice, the late Frederick Kwesi Apaloo, to a vetting process in Parliament had been expressly forbidden by the Constitution.

“And that is the reason why the late Dr. Amoako Tuffuor took the matter to the Supreme Court, and the Supreme Court made it quite clear that all the activities of all the insitutions of our Republic that impugn, that violate the Constitution are subject to the powers of the Court and to the Declarations of the Court,” he said.

President Akufo-Addo continued, “Me, I wat to repeat it, as President, Head of the Executive, I am subject to the Constitution and to law. I cannot set myself above it. Everybody has his remit, but those remits are subject to the operations of Constitution, and I am happy that the Constitution has been so declared in such an emphatic manner by the Supreme Court, I support the Supreme Court to continue to do its work

‘I’m Astonished About How Much Public Energy Has Been Wasted On This!’ – Prez Akufo-Addo Shocked

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has expressed utter shock at the various interpretations and controversies arising as a result of the Supreme Court ruling regarding the right of the Deputy Speakers of Parliament to vote during parliamentary proceedings.

The Supreme Court, on Wednesday, March 9, 2022, gave a verdict on the dispute about whether or not the Deputy Speaker of Parliament, when sitting in for the Speaker, can also exercise his right to vote as a Member of Parliament.

This contentious matter before the House resulted in the members on both sides trading blows when the Deputy Speaker, Joseph Osei Owusu, acting as Speaker, in November last year decided to hand over to the Second Deputy Speaker in order to join a quorum and cast his vote on the 2022 budget by the Akufo-Addo government.

Court Ruling

A seven member panel of the Supreme Court, adjudicating the case, by a unanimous decision settled this dispute ruling that a “Deputy Speaker is entitled to be counted as a member of Parliament for quorum” and can as well “vote and take part in the decision of parliament”.

The action by Mr Osei-Owusu, in counting himself as an MP, enabled the Majority in Parliament to form the right quorum under Article 104(1) to pass the budget.

By this ruling, the Supreme Court has affirmed and legitimized the approval of the 2022 Budget passed in the absence of the NDC Minority Caucus on November 30, 2021.

President Akufo-Addo Speaks Up

The President, in an interview on Citi TV, opened up on his position on the Supreme Court ruling following attempts by some members of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) to shoot it down.

Former President John Mahama, in a post shared across his official social media handles and cited by Graphic Online, described the ruling as “shocking but not surprising”, adding the Apex Court has set “a dangerous precedent of judicial interference in Parliamentary procedure for the future”.

Member of Parliament for Ningo-Prampram, Sam Nartey George passing a comment on it also said in a tweet; “The sham called Justice delivery in our Republic. Despicable!”

But to President Akufo-Addo, the Supreme Court ruling is as clear as crystal.

He strongly held that the Deputy Speakers are not the Speaker of Parliament, so they can exercise their parliamentary voting right as Members of Parliament.

Simplifying the issue to the general public, the President said; ”Our Speaker is expressly not a member of the Assembly, that’s why he doesn’t have the right to vote. In fact, he is really not even to participate in the deliberations of the House. He is the referee making sure that the debate is conducted properly and the rules of procedure or the orders of the House are complied with. That’s his role.”

He continued; ”That is not the case with the Deputy of Speaker and that matter is transparent on the face of our constitution. Indeed, even the Presiding members of our district Assemblies, they have the right to vote. Look at the district Assembly law because they are members of the Assembly and once you are a member of the Assembly, you are representing certain constituencies.”

His Excellency Nana Addo emphasized that ”if you are denied the right to vote, [it will mean] it is tantamount to denying the right of the people you represent to have a say in the decision of the Assembly. That will not be right. So, I couldn’t understand all this furore and controversy artificially generated”.

”We are being told that the decision of the court amounts to judicial interference in the work of Parliament. I’m not quite sure that the people who are saying have actually taken the time to read the constitution of our country. It says so in black and white. 

”The legislative power of Parliament [that is vested] that is of the State which is vested in Parliament is subject to the provisions of the constitution. All organs of the Ghanaian State including me as the Head of Executive, we are all subject to the teachings of the constitution. There is nobody in the Ghanaian State that is above the fundamental law of the land”, he added.

The President asserted that any defiance to the court ruling will ”lead to the very matter that we have striven so long to avoid; the concentration [of power] of unregulated power in our State. We don’t want that. We’ve had that experience before and we brought about this constitution in order not to allow that to reoccur”.

”…I’m astonished about how much public energy has been wasted, I say so with the greatest of respect, been wasted in an area on an issue where there is so much clarity and I’m happy that the court…the Supreme Court, when it is declaring the meaning of the constitution and it does so unanimously. That is the most emphatic way in which the court can pronounce!”, he expressed his shock.


https://www.youtube.com/embed/y0tM7gzJgqg

Source: Ameyaw Adu Gyamfi/Peacefmonline.com/Ghana

I Don’t Have Any Faith In This Supreme Court – Asiedu Nketia

General Secretary of the largest opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), Johnson Asiedu Nketia says Ghana’s Judicial Service has verified its alliance with the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) with its ruling on the right of deputy Speakers to vote in parliament. 
 
According to him, the judiciary has been biased towards the NDC on several occasions – hence, his decision to tag them as an affiliate of the Nana Addo-led government.
 
“I don’t have any faith in this judiciary and the Supreme Court,” he said in an interview with NEAT FM’s morning show ‘Ghana Montie’.
 
Mr Asiedu Nketia was responding to the Supreme Court’s ruling that will allow the deputy Speaker of Parliament, Joe Osei-Owusu to vote whiles presiding over proceedings in Parliament.
 
The court presided over by Justice Jones Dotse, held that the Deputy Speaker does not lose his right to take part in decision-making upon a true and proper interpretation of Article 103 and 104 of the 1992 Constitution.
 
The court, therefore, held that the passing of the budget on November 30, 2021, in which Joseph Osei-Owusu, the First Deputy Speaker counted himself as part of the quorum, was valid.

Also, the court has struck down order 109(3) of the standing orders of Parliament which prevented a deputy Speaker presiding from voting, as unconstitutional.
 
However, unhappy Asiedu Nketia said the ruling by the Supreme Court is just to aid the NPP in their quest to pass the E-levy bill.
 
He maintained the Supreme Court was immoral with its ruling.

Source: King Edward Ambrose Washman Addo/peacefmonline.com/ghana

Presiding Dep Speakers might as well join floor debate, too – Mahama on ‘absurd’ SC ruling

Former President John Mahama has said: “If Deputy Speakers, because they are Members of Parliament, can vote while presiding as Speaker, they could as well be able to participate in any debate on the floor over which they are presiding”.

“This is the absurdity into which the Supreme Court ruling leads us”, Mr Mahama tweeted on social media on Thursday, 10 March 2022.

https://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fweb.facebook.com%2FJDMahama%2Fposts%2F507837530697984&show_text=true&width=500

Earlier in a Facebook post, he had described the Supreme Court ruling as “shocking but not surprising”.

According to Mr Mahama, the ruling of the Supreme Court is “an unfortunate interpretation for convenience that sets a dangerous precedent of judicial interference in Parliamentary procedure for the future.”

His view dovetails into the position of the Minority in parliament who have also described the ruling as a judicial interference in a time-tested parliamentary practice and established conventions.

Speaking to the media, Minority leader Haruna Iddrisu noted: “Everywhere in the world, in civilised democracies, including the United Kingdom, the presiding officer’s vote is discounted, so, it’s not for nothing that Article 102 provides that ‘A person presiding shall have no original nor casting vote’.”

In his view, the Supreme Court ruling is just a “judicial support for e-levy and nothing more, judicial support for a struggling economy in distress and a judicial support for the restoration of a matter that they have said is constitutional; it’s repugnant to the provisions of Articles 102 and 104”.https://googleads.g.doubleclick.net/pagead/ads?client=ca-pub-4549410436183225&output=html&h=250&slotname=4705176708&adk=1921530005&adf=520316108&pi=t.ma~as.4705176708&w=300&lmt=1647023596&psa=1&format=300×250&url=https%3A%2F%2Fmobile.classfmonline.com%2Fnews%2Fpolitics%2FPresiding-Dep-Speakers-might-as-well-join-floor-debate-too-Mahama-on-absurd-SC-ruling-31322&flash=0&wgl=1&dt=1647023595630&bpp=4&bdt=1414&idt=952&shv=r20220308&mjsv=m202203090101&ptt=9&saldr=aa&abxe=1&cookie=ID%3Ddee568162764e1db-22d032a597d1000a%3AT%3D1647023514%3ART%3D1647023514%3AS%3DALNI_MbLbZhElO-dwl02icLZFSNFA85_jw&prev_fmts=0x0%2C300x250%2C300x250&nras=1&correlator=5201982485593&frm=20&pv=1&ga_vid=1408183296.1647023511&ga_sid=1647023596&ga_hid=1742176917&ga_fc=1&u_tz=0&u_his=1&u_h=892&u_w=412&u_ah=892&u_aw=412&u_cd=24&u_sd=2.625&dmc=4&adx=56&ady=2503&biw=412&bih=793&scr_x=0&scr_y=0&eid=44759876%2C44759927%2C42531397%2C44750774%2C44758395%2C21066430%2C31065531%2C31065607%2C31060475&oid=2&pvsid=1951478202054664&pem=753&tmod=1583514359&uas=3&nvt=1&ref=https%3A%2F%2Flm.facebook.com%2F&eae=0&fc=1920&brdim=0%2C0%2C0%2C0%2C412%2C0%2C412%2C793%2C575%2C1106&vis=1&rsz=%7C%7CEebr%7C&abl=CS&pfx=0&fu=1024&bc=31&ifi=4&uci=a!4&btvi=2&fsb=1&xpc=DfwWhN2WQf&p=https%3A//mobile.classfmonline.com&dtd=973

Despite acknowledging that the Supreme Court has the mandate to interpret the law, Mr Iddrisu maintained “this is a travesty of parliamentary justice and a stab in the growth and development of multiparty constitutional democracy built on the spirit of checks and balances…”

Background

A lawyer, who is also a law lecturer, Justice Abdulai, petitioned the apex court to declare as unconstitutional, First Deputy Speaker Joseph Osei-Owusu’s action of counting himself as one of the MPs on the floor even while presiding over the proceedings of the house in relation to the formation of a quorum for the passage of the 2022 budget which had earlier been rejected and thrown out by the minority side.

Justice Abdulai was of the view that once a deputy speaker, who is an MP presides in the stead of the Speaker, he loses his right to vote.

In a unanimous decision, the apex court, presided over by a seven-member panel led by Justice Jones Dotse held that upon a true and proper interpretation of Article 103 and 104 of the 1992 Constitution, a Deputy Speaker, who is a Member of Parliament, does not lose his right to take part in decision-making in parliament.

The Supreme Court’s ruling effectively means either of the two deputy Speakers can vote while presiding over the house.

Akufo-Addo responds

On the same subject, President Nana Akufo-Addo also reacted saying he was so surprised that so much energy had been “wasted” on the debate about whether or not Deputy Speakers of Parliament could vote on the floor of the House when presiding over a matter, since, in his view, that debate was unnecessary, as the 1992 Constitution clearly provides for it.https://googleads.g.doubleclick.net/pagead/ads?client=ca-pub-4549410436183225&output=html&h=250&slotname=4705176708&adk=1921530005&adf=2732832048&pi=t.ma~as.4705176708&w=300&lmt=1647023596&psa=1&format=300×250&url=https%3A%2F%2Fmobile.classfmonline.com%2Fnews%2Fpolitics%2FPresiding-Dep-Speakers-might-as-well-join-floor-debate-too-Mahama-on-absurd-SC-ruling-31322&flash=0&wgl=1&dt=1647023595638&bpp=3&bdt=1422&idt=1021&shv=r20220308&mjsv=m202203090101&ptt=9&saldr=aa&abxe=1&cookie=ID%3Ddee568162764e1db-22d032a597d1000a%3AT%3D1647023514%3ART%3D1647023514%3AS%3DALNI_MbLbZhElO-dwl02icLZFSNFA85_jw&prev_fmts=0x0%2C300x250%2C300x250%2C300x250%2C300x250&nras=1&correlator=5201982485593&frm=20&pv=1&ga_vid=1408183296.1647023511&ga_sid=1647023596&ga_hid=1742176917&ga_fc=1&u_tz=0&u_his=1&u_h=892&u_w=412&u_ah=892&u_aw=412&u_cd=24&u_sd=2.625&dmc=4&adx=56&ady=4494&biw=412&bih=793&scr_x=0&scr_y=0&eid=44759876%2C44759927%2C42531397%2C44750774%2C44758395%2C21066430%2C31065531%2C31065607%2C31060475&oid=2&pvsid=1951478202054664&pem=753&tmod=1583514359&uas=3&nvt=1&ref=https%3A%2F%2Flm.facebook.com%2F&eae=0&fc=1920&brdim=0%2C0%2C0%2C0%2C412%2C0%2C412%2C793%2C575%2C1106&vis=1&rsz=%7C%7CEebr%7C&abl=CS&pfx=0&fu=1024&bc=31&ifi=6&uci=a!6&btvi=4&fsb=1&xpc=lgY5nHgugC&p=https%3A//mobile.classfmonline.com&dtd=1042

The President told Daily Guide’s Charles Takyi-Boadu on the sidelines of the Expo 2022 in Dubai on Thursday, 10 March 2022: “Firstly, the noise that was generated over this at the time, I was extremely surprised because as far as I can see it – and I think the Supreme Court has confirmed it – the matters involved in this thing are open and sharp; they are black and white”.

“There can be no dispute about the issues that the gentleman took to the Supreme Court”, he asserted, arguing: “It is there for anybody who wants to see in Articles 102, 104 of the Constitution” which “make it absolutely clear, in black and white that the Deputy Speakers – I’m not speaking of the Speaker; I mean the Deputy Speaker – when they are presiding, have the right to participate in the vote of the parliament”.

In the President’s opinion, “the whole structure of the Constitution and, indeed – and I believe that being part of the reason of the court, all the legislatures of the world where the presiding person is a member of the legislature, like our Deputy Speakers are, like the Speaker of the House of Representatives in the United States or the President of the Senate in the United States or the Speaker of the British Parliament; all of those have the right to speak because they are members of the Assembly”.

https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?height=314&href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fnakufoaddo%2Fvideos%2F349691920503942%2F&show_text=false&width=560&t=0 Unlike the Deputy Speakers, however, the President noted: “Our Speaker is expressly not a member of the Assembly that’s why he doesn’t have the right to vote”.

In fact, he indicated, “he’s a referee; making sure that the debate is conducted properly and the rules of procedure and the orders of the house are complied with; that’s his role – in all strictness speaking, not to be part of the proceedings of the house”.

“That is not the case with the Deputy Speakers and that matter is transparent on the face of our Constitution”, he stressed.

Indeed, the President added, “even the presiding members of our district assemblies have the right to vote – look at the District Assemblies Law –because they are members of the Assembly and once you are a member of the Assembly, you are representing certain constituencies. If you are denied the right to vote, it’s tantamount to denying the right of the people you represent to have a say in the decision of the Assembly. That will not be right”. “So, I don’t understand what this furore and controversy that was artificially-generated [was all about]”, the President said.

In response to the criticism by Mr Mahama and the Minority that the ruling amounts to judicial interference in the work of parliament, Mr Akufo-Addo said: “I’m not quite sure that the people who are saying this have actually taken the time to read the Constitution of our country; it says so in black and white”.

He said the work of the Supreme Court, as far as interpreting the Constitution is concerned, is part of the checks and balances instituted to ensure power is not saturated in one arm of government.

“The legislative power of the state that is vested in parliament is subject to the provisions of the Constitution. All organs of the Ghanaians state, including me, as head of the executive, are subject to the teachings of the Constitution”, the President argued. “There’s nobody in the Ghanaian state that is above the fundamental law of the land. It will lead to the very matter that we have striven, for so long, to avoid – the concentration of unregulated power in our state. We don’t want that. We’ve had that experience before and we brought about this Constitution in order not to allow that to reoccur, so, I’m astonished about how much public energy has been wasted – and I say so with the greatest of respect – in an area on an issue where there’s so much clarity and I’m happy that the court – and, as far as you’re aware, the Supreme Court, when it is declaring the meaning of the Constitution and it does so unanimously, that is the most emphatic way which the court can pronounce”.

The President urged all Ghanaians to put the matter “behind us” and move on now that the apex court has spoken.

“I believe with the decision from the judges, the unanimous decision declaring what the constitutional position is; at least, we have an opportunity now to put this matter to rest and continue with the work of our parliament and the work of the ordering of our state”.

“To suggest that somehow rather that parliament is beyond the scrutiny of the Supreme Court with an issue of interpretation is to suggest that parliament is a law on itself. The whole principle of judicial review was developed by the judges, both in America and in England to be able to check the activities of parliament”, he noted

I’ve been cooperating; treason felony charge baseless – Barker-Vormawor to AG

#FixTheCountry Movement convener Oliver Barker-Vormawor, who has been in detention for a month over his coup threat on social media, has, in his affidavit to counter that of the Attorney General in which the Minister of Justice is praying the court to deny him bail, said the treason felony charge levelled against him is baseless.

Mr Godfred Dame, in his affidavit, accused Mr Barker-Vormawor of not cooperating with the security agencies despite two court orders to that effect.

He, thus, prayed the Tema High Court to refuse the bail application of the youth activist.

According to Mr Dame, in addition to refusing investigators access to his mobile phone as ordered by the court, the accused person has also refused to disclose his place of abode in Ghana for a search to be conducted, despite the court having granted a warrant for that purpose.

For those reasons, the AG argues that it would be untenable to grant Mr Barker-Vormawor bail.

“That, having regard to the nature of the offence and the punishment which conviction will entail, the applicant, a person with no fixed place of abode in Ghana is not likely to appear to stand trial if granted bail”, Mr Dame said.

Mr Barker-Vormawor, however, said: “I will make myself readily available to go through the present criminal proceedings and as I have done and continue to fully cooperate with any investigations which this criminal process may entail”.

He continued that for “one whole month into my arrest and detention (and as at the time of deposing to this Affidavit), the Respondent is yet to charge me with the offence of Treason Felony or take a statement from me in respect of that charge”.https://googleads.g.doubleclick.net/pagead/ads?client=ca-pub-4549410436183225&output=html&h=250&slotname=4705176708&adk=1921530005&adf=520316108&pi=t.ma~as.4705176708&w=300&lmt=1647023521&psa=1&format=300×250&url=https%3A%2F%2Fmobile.classfmonline.com%2Fnews%2Fpolitics%2FI-ve-been-cooperating-treason-felony-charge-baseless-Barker-Vormawor-to-AG-31336&flash=0&wgl=1&dt=1647023520624&bpp=3&bdt=644&idt=738&shv=r20220308&mjsv=m202203090101&ptt=9&saldr=aa&abxe=1&cookie=ID%3Ddee568162764e1db-22d032a597d1000a%3AT%3D1647023514%3ART%3D1647023514%3AS%3DALNI_MbLbZhElO-dwl02icLZFSNFA85_jw&prev_fmts=0x0%2C300x250%2C300x250&nras=1&correlator=1951856968521&frm=20&pv=1&ga_vid=1408183296.1647023511&ga_sid=1647023521&ga_hid=2128752881&ga_fc=1&u_tz=0&u_his=2&u_h=892&u_w=412&u_ah=892&u_aw=412&u_cd=24&u_sd=2.625&dmc=4&adx=56&ady=2419&biw=412&bih=793&scr_x=0&scr_y=3523&eid=44759876%2C44759927%2C42531398%2C44750774%2C44758395%2C21066430%2C31065607%2C44758229%2C31060475&oid=2&pvsid=2559387765437157&pem=753&tmod=1583514359&uas=0&nvt=3&ref=https%3A%2F%2Flm.facebook.com%2F&eae=0&fc=1920&brdim=0%2C0%2C0%2C0%2C412%2C0%2C412%2C793%2C412%2C793&vis=1&rsz=%7C%7CEe%7C&abl=CS&pfx=0&fu=0&bc=31&ifi=4&uci=a!4&fsb=1&xpc=VvLJsG9MC3&p=https%3A//mobile.classfmonline.com&dtd=777

The Cambridge PhD student noted: “I am advised by counsel, and I verily believe the same to be true that the Respondent have no genuine or reasonable or probable cause for my arrest or continuous detention”.

“I am, again, advised by counsel, and I verily believe the same to be true thatthe offence of Treason Felony is not supported by the facts of this case (includingall the depositions in the Respondent’s affidavit in opposition)”.

“Finally, I am advised by counsel, and I verily believe the same to be true thatthis is a proper case where this honourable Court ought to exercise its jurisdictionto grant me bail pending trial and to make any other order(s) which the Courtdeems fit.”

The court could not hear the bail application on Thursday since the lawyers of the accused person said they had just received the AG’s document.

The case has been adjourned to Monday, 14 March 2022

Supreme Court ruling not only an absurdity but a reckless incursion into the remit of Parliament – Bagbin

Speaker Alban Bagbin has criticized the Supreme Court for the ruling they gave in relation to Deputy Speakers voting in Parliament while presiding in the House.

He said the ruling is not only an absurdity but a reckless incursion into the remit of Parliament.

“I have resisted the temptation of making a comment on the judgment of the Supreme Court on the issue of the voting rights of Deputy Speakers when presiding. But the unfortunate and myopic comment of the President has compelled me to let it out.

“The SC decision, is to say the least, not only an absurdity but a reckless incursion into the remit of Parliament.

“The trend of unanimity is equally troubling. It doesn’t help explore and expand our legal jurisprudence. The President’s comment is myopic and unfortunate. It only goes to worsen the schism between the Executive and Parliament.

“The impartiality of the Speaker, Deputy Speaker or Presiding Officer has been tresusured and fought for by this country throughout our democratic development. Mr. President, the issue being discussed is not about Parliament being above the law. Everyone knows that Parliament is not above the law.

The Executive and the Judiciary are equally not above the law. The issue being discussed is the political question doctrine. It took centuries to detail out the strands of this doctrine and the principles are settled as to when and how this closed book could be opened. Please, I encourage the Plaintiff to go for a review.”

The apex court on Wednesday March 9 dismissed an application to pronounce as unconstitutional, Joseph Osei Wusu’s action of counting himself for the purposes of quorum.

Justice Jones Dotse ruled that the Deputy Speaker of Parliament participation in voting was constitutional.

Private legal practitioner and law lecturer, Justice Abdulai subsequent to the November 30, 2021 clash between Speaker Bagbin and his First Deputy after the latter overturned an earlier vote of the House rejecting Government’s 2022 Budget invited the Supreme Court to pronounce as unconstitutional, Deputy Speaker, Joseph Osei Owusu’s action of counting himself for the purposes of quorum.

He argued in the context of articles 102 and 104 of the 1992 Constitution that the Deputy Speaker was not permitted to count himself for the purposes of quorum, since he had neither an original nor a casting vote as Speaker presiding.

But the 7-member panel of justices ruled that the Member of Parliament for Bekwai exercised his right constitutionally.

The SC struck out the standing order 109(3) which says a Deputy Speaker or any other member presiding shall not retain his original vote while presiding.

It furthered that the Deputy Speaker can be counted during the quorum for decision making according to article 104(1)

Justice Jones Dotse noted that the full ruling will be made available on Friday, March 11

Gov’t enhancing internal revenue mobilization – Bawumia

The Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia has said the government is focused on enhancing internal revenue mobilization and deepening of the digital footprint in order to develop the country.

Dr Bawumia was speaking at the National Labour conference in Kwahu on Wednesday March 2.

“We remain focused to improving public sector efficiency, rationalizing public expenditure, enhancing internal revenue mobilization deepening the country digital footprint and supporting the growth of the private sector,” he said.

Dr Bawumia further urged the National Labour Commission to digitalized it’s operations to enable labour unions to present their issues online for prompt responses

Atuguba’s coup comment a terrible attack on Ghana’s democracy – Oppong Nkrumah

Information Minister Kojo Oppong Nkrumah has noted that the coup comment made by the Dean of the Faculty of Law at the University of Ghana, Professor Raymond Atuguba is an attack on Ghana’s democracy.

He told journalists in Accra on Wednesday March 2 that the pronouncements “are disappointing because, despite Covid-19, Ghana’s current economic status is far better than the days of yesteryear when there was no global pandemic.

“Even if they were worse, the constitution provides legitimate means for advocating for and executing a change. For respected persons to be purporting that such conditions legitimise coups is a terrible attack on our democracy itself and should not be condoned.”

On this same matter, Member of Parliament for Adansi Asokwa, Kobinna Tahir (KTR) Hammond has said he will be surprised Professor Raymond Atuguba has not yet been invited by the security agencies following his coup comment.

KT Hammond condemned the comment by Professor Atuguba saying its smacks of foolishness.

Prof Atuguba has indicated that Ghana is currently a fertile place for coup due to the bad economic conditions.

He has asked the government to acknowledge the economic mess and try to deal with it.

“We do not want coup in this country but if we do not act quickly we may have one in our hands. There is one thing to do now, prevent coup in Ghana since the climate and the environment, national and immediate international, are conducive for one. We must compel the government to acknowledge the current economic mess, they mostly, and previous governments, to a larger extent.

“Ghana’s economic problems started before Covid-19. On balance, Covid-19 was a good thing for Africa and Ghana.” he said at a forum held by Solidare Ghana.

But responding to him at a press conference in Parliament on Wednesday March 2, KT Hammond said “Why is it that in the course of NPP administration every opportunity that the NDC get, not all of them to be fair, but the irresponsible ones are calling for intervention of the military?

“What is it about the Military?

“Let me tell Professor Atuguba that he doesn’t have the liberty to take leave of his brain, he does not have the liberty to take even half of his brain.

“He owes it to his students and he owes it to the constitution that everybody including him has no reason to say the kind of things he has said. He is a Professor and of no other thing but of law, he understands the constitution.

“This is the constitution that has made it very clear, anybody who attempts to subvert it commits the offence that he knows, he goes to make a statement like this.”

He added “The Military knows what they are up to, they are a professional institution, their responsibility is to guide the territorial integrity of this country, period, they know it, they are not interested in dabbling in politics. The group before them had dabbled in politics and we are all witnesses to these happenings. They are not interested, the officers are professionals, the rank and file, they are professionals they know their duties. It is not the likes of Atuguba to invite them to hold the country to ransom.

“Clearly, he is NDC sympathizer and indeed, I do know that at a point in time he worked with the office of the president , he is an NDC sympathizer but no problem with that but the constitution allows for the people of Ghana to speak at periodic times.

“The last one was 2020, we had the election, four more years we have spent almost one and a half years thereafter, we will go for election.

“If the people do not like the NPP administration because they feel that we messed up it is for the people of the country to pass their judgement, it is not for the person who thinks he knows the law and who thinks he has studied the law to go about and brandishing foolishness like that

“I will be surprised if they have not already invited him. Clear foolishness

Akufo-Addo declares June 10 Green Ghana Day

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has declared June 10, 2022, as this year’s Green Ghana Day, on the theme “Mobilising for a Greener Future.”

The President made the declaration at the Accra International Conference Centre today, Tuesday, March 1, 2022, when he launched the 2022 edition of the Green Ghana Day.

The Green Ghana Day was instituted last year by the Government, under the auspices of the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources, as part of an aggressive afforestation and reforestation agenda, to restore the lost forest cover of the country.

The maiden edition of the Green Ghana Day was held on June 11, 2021, where the President led the entire nation to plant over seven million trees, exceeding the target of five million trees.

Speaking at the launch, the President said forest is one of the most important natural resources of our country, as it provides sources of livelihood for many and generates income for the nation.

He noted that the forest sector generated almost GHS1,000,000,000.00 from export last year.

The President said forests are also important to the fight against climate change and the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.

“With just eight years to achieve the Goals we set for ourselves in the Sustainable Development Goals, climate change continues to derail our efforts, by impacting the fundamentals required to the achieve the Goals,” the President observed.

He bemoaned the wanton depletion of the world’s forests, especially in Africa, where we continue to experience an increase in net forest loss.

The President said a greener future is necessary for the survival of our planet, and in accord with the duty of every citizen under article 41(k) of the Constitution, to protect and safeguard the environment.

President Akufo-Addo said the 2022 edition of Green Ghana Day targets the planting of some 20,000,000 trees across the country.

He called on all Ghanaians and residents of Ghana, to go out on June 10 to plant, encourage others to do same and commit to ensure that the trees planted reach maturity.

The President expressed his hope that people will contribute in diverse ways to ensure that the exercise does not burden the public purse.

For his part, the Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, Samuel A. Jinapor, MP, said, the country has lost over 8,000,000 hectares of forest since 1900, but managed to plant only 157,300 hectares between 1963 and 2016.

He said as a result of the government’s aggressive afforestation programme, 477, 485.5 hectares of forest was cultivated between 2017 and the third quarter of 2021.

“Significant though this may be, it is not enough, compared to the over 8,000,000 hectares lost over the years,” the Minister said. He, therefore, called on people of all walks of life, to come together to build a Green Ghana.

Mr. Jinapor, called for the support of all and sundry, to contribute to the programme, as the 20,000,000 trees target, is very ambitious and will require a lot of resources.

He added that the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources, intends to pilot the concept of carbon trading with Corporate Ghana, during this year’s edition of Green Ghana

5.6% GDP growth in COVID times better than 3.4% under Mahama – Akufo-Addo

“It is encouraging for my government and party, the New Patriotic Party, to recall that the rate of growth of the economy, 5.6%, against the background of the exceptionally difficult circumstances of the COVID-era, is still considerably better than the 3.4% we inherited (in 2016) in calmer times from our predecessor administration.”

These were the words of the President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, when he delivered the keynote address at the National Labour Conference, held in Kwahu Nkwatia, in the Eastern Region, on Monday 28thFebruary 2022.

According to President Akufo-Addo, Ghanaians “should not forget that, prior to the outbreak of the pandemic, we witnessed average annual GDP growth rates of seven per cent (7%) in 2017, 2018, 2019 and part of 2020, when our economy was then, generally, acknowledged as one of the fastest-growing in the world.”

Speaking at the event, he indicated that the proactive decisions taken by the government to fight the pandemic, as well as revitalising and transforming the economy, with the one hundred-billion-cedi Ghana COVID-19 Alleviation and Revitalization of Enterprises Support (Ghana CARES) ‘Obaatampa’ Programme, to create jobs and prosperity for Ghanaians over a three-year period, have begun yielding results.

The first phase of the Ghana CARES programme, the phase of stabilisation, came to end in 2020.

The second phase, which started in 2021, aims at revitalising and transforming the economy between 2021 and 2023 and is focused on supporting commercial farming and attracting educated youth into agriculture, building Ghana’s light manufacturing sector, developing the engineering/machine tools and ICT/digital economy, developing Ghana’s housing and construction industry, reviewing and optimiSing the implementation of government flagships and key programmes, creating jobs for young people, and expanding opportunities for the vulnerable in society, including physically challenged persons.

“As a result of this programme and the policies being implemented by Government, the economy grew at a provisional 5.2% in the first three quarters of 2021. This growth is expected to be sustained in the medium term,” he said.

President Akufo-Addo continued, “The overall real GDP for the medium term is projected to grow at an average rate of 5.6%, and we remain committed to returning to the fiscal deficit target threshold, as enshrined in the Fiscal Responsibility Act, Act 982, from this year.”

Government, he reassured, will continue to demonstrate the ability, resolve and determination to change the trajectory of our economy in order to help us recover faster from the effects of COVID-19

Some Ghanaian students left Ukraine prior to current crisis – Ayorkor Botchwey

Shirley Ayorkor Botchway, Minister Of Foreign Affairs And Regional Integration

Russia invades Ukraine

Some Ghanaian students, nationals evacuated to neighboring countries

Government committed to evacuation all nationals in Ukraine – Ayorkor Botchwey


Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey has confirmed that some Ghanaian nationals, particularly students, have returned to Ghana safely.

According to her, these nationals left Ukraine a week prior to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on Thursday – one that has now been described as a humanitarian crisis.

Speaking to journalists on Sunday, February 27, Ghana’s Foreign Affairs Minister said, “We can confirm that an unknown number of Ghanaian students are reported to have left Ukraine a week or so ago following our Bern Mission’s advice as the situation was getting dire.

“Many of them are back here at home in Ghana and they left earlier before the situation got very bad,” she disclosed.null

The minister further said that there remains a number of Ghanaian nationals in Ukraine and that government remains committed to safely evacuating them.

Ayorkor Botchwey also appealed to all Ghanaian nationals to make it a priority to register with Ghana’s Missions in the countries they visit or associate with.

This, she explains, is vital for easy identification and accountability during times of trouble.

“Any citizen of Ghana who leaves the shores of Ghana must register with their Missions so that when there is a situation like this, they can immediately be reached and be accounted for but unfortunately, some Ghanaians do not do this.”

She added, “Fortunately, many Ghanaian students in Ukraine are with the associations and NUGS, so we have been able to work with these groups to get them but otherwise, it is difficult. We keep saying this over and over and nobody pays heeds to it.

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

Chief of Staff gave me ¢120k to give to Adwoa Safo for her to come to Parliament – Kennedy Agyapong

Member of Parliament for Assin Central, Kennedy Agyapong has revealed that Chief of Staff, Akosua Frema Osei-Opare gave him ¢120,000 to be deposited into the bank account of Dome-Kwabenya Member of Parliament Sarah Adwoa Safo for her to attend to Parliament duties to work for the government.

“The Chief of Staff called me and I went, I swear my mother’s grave, Chief of Staff gave me ¢120,000 and deposited into Adwoa Safo’s Fidelity Bank account.

“I took the money there into the Fidelity Account, ask her personal assistant if what I am saying is not the truth,” a furious Kennedy Agyapong said.

He added “Now we are in opposition, the way Adwoa Safo is treating the party, it is clearly showing that we are in opposition and this shouldn’t be tolerated at all,” he told Asaaso Radio on Tuesday February 22.

Mr Agyapong had raised issues against the conduct of Sarah Adwoa Safo.

He said that the Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection has failed in life for requesting that she should be made a Deputy Majority Leader in Parliament.

He wondered why a cabinet minister will now want to occupy a position that is below the rank of a Minister.

Speaking on the rampant absence of Adwoa Safo from Parliament, Mr Agyapong, who has two children with her, said: “She says she wants to be Deputy Majority, that woman has failed in life. A whole cabinet minister now demanding that she should be made a Deputy Majority Leader before she comes, she should go to hell.

“You don’t come to Parliament and you are on TikTok dancing? Dome Kwabenya is not for Apostle Kwadwo Safo, get it straight. I am very furious because people are insulting me because I went there to campaign for her. Mike Oquaye the Speaker, the man that I respect very well, I campaigned against his son because Adwoa used my kids, calling me and begging me to help her. And now everybody is insulting me for doing that but I have not regretted it, she is very responsible when it comes to the kids,” he said on GTV Monday, February 21.

Asked how many days she has been absent from Parliament, he answered: “More than 15 days and the law says 15 days.”

Asked again whether Ghanaians should expect her seat to be declared vacant, he said: “Why not? She should go and contest on TikTok.”

Some members of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) believe she is sabotaging the government.

For instance, the Member of Parliament for New Juabeng South, Micheal Okyere Baafi, said she is making the work of the government in Parliament difficult.

“All the problems government is facing are attributable to Adwoa Safo. Clearly, her intention and posture show that she wants to sabotage NPP,” he said on Kumasi-based Hello FM.

By Laud Nartey|3news.com|Ghana

Ghana@65: Ours is a story of hope – Akufo-Addo

Ahead of the 65th Independence Day celebration, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has said Ghana has a story of hope.

“We have a story. Ours is a story of hope! A story that has evolved with time, from the struggles of our forefathers to the victory they won for us . All along the way we have built this nation together , from the South to the North, from the East to the West,” he tweeted on Saturday February 19.

“Working Together, Bouncing Back Better,” he added.

The Central Regional capital Cape Coast will be hosting the 65th Independence Day Event

WE HAVE A STORY. OURS IS A STORY OF HOPE!
WORKING TOGETHER, BOUNCING BACK BETTER.#GHANAAT65#CAPECOAST2022#BUILDINGGHANATOGETHER PIC.TWITTER.COM/7ZYYMFUVI4— Nana Akufo-Addo (@NAkufoAddo) February 19, 2022

By Laud Nartey|3news.com|Ghana

Government committed to creating 1 million jobs through YouStart – Ofori-Atta

Ken Ofori Atta Minister Of Finance

The Finance Minister Mr Ken Ofori-Atta has said the government is committed to creating one million jobs for the youth of this country through the YouStart initiative.

He said the Youstart programme as stated in the 2022 Annual Budget Statement was expected to create the one million jobs using seed capital of GHC 1 billion..

He added that beneficiaries would be equipped with training to equip them with skills development, entrepreneurial support, and business advisory service provision.

He regretted that situation where some Junior and Senior High School graduates were left behind because they could not further their education due to financial constraints and other factors and gave the assurance that, the YouStart programme was carefully designed to cater for such individuals and others with passion for entrepreneurship.

He said these while receiving a cheque of ¢10 Million presented by the National Lottery Authority (NLA) to support the YouStart programme.null

The cheque was presented by His Eminence, Torgbui Francis Nyonyo, a member of the Council of State representing the Volta Region and the Board Chairman of the National Lottery Authority.

The Council of State member noted that, the time had come for all well-meaning Ghanaians and institutions to support the Government to develop the economy.

Mr Ofori-Atta commended the leadership of the NLA for showing support to government at such a time and called on other institutions to emulate the kind gesture of the National Lottery Authority.

He used the opportunity to appeal to Ghanaians to support the E-Levy as it would afford the Government enough fiscal space to develop the economy.

Source: 3news.com

Many people have accepted the E-levy in principle – Buaben Asamoa

The Director of Communications of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Yaw Buaben Asamoa, has said the E-levy proposal has been accepted by many people in principle.

What is is left is for the communicators of the party to deepen the explanation and conversation on the benefits of the proposal to Ghanains he said.

Speaking at a press conference in Kumasi on Friday February 18, he said the E-levy, if approved, will serve as a catalyst for private sector investment both local and foreign, into productive areas.

The former Member of Parliament for Adentan said ” You should continue to serve the NPP irrespective of the results of the [internal] elections. That brings me to the other thing we are talking about, e-levy.

“You will be surprised how many of NPP officers at local level and communicators are not talking enough about government policies especially the E-levy.

“I was in a couple of funerals yesterday in the region and I took time off to speak to lot of people. Opinion I am getting all the way from the chiefs I interacted with, opinion leaders from across the country and the local people is that the NPP in the community is not stepping out to project the NPP .

“The NPP in the communities must step out and boldly project the party and its achievements , it is so important. Many people have accepted the E-levy in principle but they still need to be spoken with and engagement must continue.

“That is where I pick these conversations up that we members of the NPP ought to be talking more about the E-levy at local level. So some of the information may not be very clear but the reason, we believe at national level, at government level is clear. It is an opportunity to transform local, indigenous capital into local production , creating high skills and then you will have high paying private sector jobs . Because the E-levy will act as a catalyst to drive private sector investments both local and foreign into the productive areas

E-levy: Buaben Asamoa shocked at attitude of NPP communicators

The Communications Director of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Yaw Buaben Asamoa has expressed shock at the low rate at which communicators of the party are projecting the achievements of the government in their communities.

Mr Buaben Asamoa said the party’s communicators are not boldly speaking about the good works done by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and also the proposed policies including the E-levy, in their communities.

He said at a press conference in Kumasi on Friday February 18 that he is picking up signals that the party’s commentators and other executives aren’t doing enough to explain the policies to the chiefs and people within the communities.

The former Member of Parliament for Adentan said ” You should continue to serve the NPP irrespective of the results of the [internal] elections. That brings me to the other thing we are talking about, e-levy.

“You will be surprised how many of NPP officers at local level and communicators are not talking enough about government policies especially the E-levy.

“I was in a couple of funerals yesterday in the region and I took time off to speak to lot of people. Opinion I am getting all the way from the chiefs I interacted with, opinion leaders from across the country and the local people is that the NPP in the community is not stepping out to project the NPP .

“The NPP in the communities must step out and boldly project the party and its achievements , it is so important. Many people have accepted the E-levy in principle but they still need to be spoken with and engagement must continue.

“That is where I pick these conversations up that we members of the NPP ought to be talking more about the E-levy at local level. So some of the information may not be very clear but the reason, we believe at national level, at government level is clear.

“It is an opportunity to transform local, indigenous capital into local production, creating high skills and then you will have high paying private sector jobs . Because the E-levy will act as a catalyst to drive private sector investments both local and foreign into the productive areas

Politicians can’t hide behind the Police to regulate journalists – Bagbin

Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin has descended on the Ghana Police Service over recent arrests of some journalists over allegations of false reportage.

According to the speaker, the development takes the country back to the dark days of media persecution.

Speaking at the inauguration of the media centre in parliament, the former Nadowli-Kaleo MP stated that any attempt by politicians to use the police to serve as regulator for ethical journalism will fail.

He said there are civil remedies for errors committed by the media and must be triggered rather than resorting to arrests.

“Often times, in your quest as journalists to try and disseminate the information in a timely manner to beat the deadline you make some mistakes. Information sometimes turn out not to be entirely accurate , you end up making some misrepresentations, at times impugning the integrity and reputation of others.

“The legal space and the legal regime for the media anticipated this and has prescribed a way out. That is why we have the National media commission (NMC) and Parliament will focus on the NMC. We need to urgentLY revise the law for the NMC for the commission to be effective.

“As a lawyer, in the early days of my practice and also my political life, I was compelled to take a number of media houses to court using the rule of law, not the rule of man.

“I dare say that any attempt by any politician hiding behind the Police institution to act as the standard bearer of ethical and professional journalism or a regulator of journalism practice in this country is not only a pretender, but also megalomaniac

You can’t assume role of ensuring responsible media practice in Ghana – Bagbin to Police

IGP

Speaker of Parliament Alban Bagbin has made a case for a review of the law that established the National Media Commission (NMC) to make it more powerful than it is today.

This, he said will enable the commission function well in keeping journalists checked in accordance with the laws of the land.

The speaker raised concerns against attempt by politicians to regulate the media through the Police. He said the Police cannot assume the role of ensuring responsible and ethical journalism.

“Often times, in your quest as journalists to try and disseminate the information in a timely manner to beat the deadline you make some mistakes. Information sometimes turn out not to be entirely accurate , you end up making some misrepresentations, at times impugning the integrity and reputation of others.

“The legal space and the legal regime for the media anticipated this and has prescribed a way out. That is why we have the National media commission (NMC) and Parliament will focus on the NMC. We need to urgently revise the law for the NMC for the commission to be effective.

“As a lawyer, in the early days of my practice and also my political life, I was compelled to take a number of media houses to court using the rule of law, not the rule of man.

“I dare say that any attempt by any politician hiding behind the Police institution to act as the standard bearer of ethical and professional journalism or a regulator of journalism practice in this country is not only a pretender, but also megalomaniac.”

“The Police cannot assume the responsibility for responsible media practice in Ghana by scanning newspapers and news portals and arresting journalists for errors and misrepresentations,” the Speaker said while speaking at the inauguration of the media centre in parliament.

A Professor of Journalism, Kwame Karikari, has also said the Ghana Police Service is not the right institution to determine what false news is.

He indicated that the Police is likely to be arbitrary in the act of determining what false news is hence, that should not be their function.

Reacting to the recent arrests of some journalists in the country, the Former Executive Director of the Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) said “The law has been around for ages. Let me just say that there has been a lot of recklessness in our media and in public communication by too many people, both the media and politicians.

“There is a lot of recklessness. When we are defending people’s freedoms of speech and media that is not to say that we are unaware of the unprofessionalism, the recklessness and the abuses of those freedoms.

“We are aware of them and we don’t condone them but this law has been around for a very long time, why is it now that the Police are waking up this law and arresting journalists left and right? The kind of things or expressions that the Police are basing the law on to arrest these people, examples abound.

“When the Police is policing speeches, the tendency is for them to be arbitrary because in the cases we are talking about, you will notice that these expressions, based on which the people had been arrested, are all targeted at the Executive or government. But is the Police telling us that those media that belong to politicians favouring the government don’t make any reckless statements against people in opposition and so on? In other words, in using such a law , the Police is the not right instrument to define what is false news.

“The Police intervening in matters of speech will almost always tend to be arbitrary and selective. In our part of the world, they are likely to do so only when it is in the interest and favour of the ruling government.”

He also refuted claims that Ghana is returning to the dark days of the culture of silence with these arrests.

“I will not say we are going back necessarily, to the very dark days of the culture of silence but when the Police intervene in policing speech their very participation in such an act drives so many people into silence because the image of the police is fear. I do not know what has happened that our police, especially now that Dr Dampare’s administration, are beginning to gain quite some public approval and acclaim,  they are suddenly on this mission of silencing media,” he told Accra-based Citi on Monday, February 14.

Meanwhile, the Police has said it is not putting fear into journalists and preventing them from doing their work following the arrests.

The Director of Public Affairs of the Ghana Police Service, ACP Kwesi Ofori for his part said the Police is only seeking to ensure responsible journalism in the country.

“The Police is not doing anything to put fear into the media or to prevent the media in its operations. All that we are saying is that the journalists must be responsible, should make sure that things put out are in line with good practices,” he also said on the same platform.

The Police received flak for arresting journalists including Accra FM’s Bobie Ansah and Media General’s Captain Smart for utterances they made in the line with their duties.

For instance, three Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), Ghana Center for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana), IMANI Africa and Africa Center for International Law & Accountability (ACILA) expressed concerns about what they believed was the subtle re-introduction of the abolished Criminal Libel Law in Ghana.

“We are deeply troubled by the growing use of the prosecutorial and judicial power of the State to punish criminally speech that allegedly falsely injures or damages the reputation of other persons or of an institution of State.

“Instructively, during the heyday of the criminal libel law in the 1990s, the criminal law was used in precisely the way it is now being used: to prosecute and punish journalists and public speakers for allegedly false or defamatory statements against certain family members or associates of the President,” a statement issued by the three CSOs said

Atta Mills was a good man, he built the economy – Mahama

Former President John Dramani Mahama has said his former boss , John Evans Atta Mills was good man.

Mr Mahama said this during the launch of the John Evans Atta Mills Memorial Heritage at the Cedi Conference Centre at the University of Ghana on February 1 2022, under the theme: “The man John Evans Atta Mills – 10 years on.

He said “The Heritage seeks to inspire humanity for a better society, a virtue that President Atta Mils lived and died for. Prof Atta Mils simply was a good man. It therefore gladdens the hearts of many millions of people who loved him that this decision was taken to launch the Atta Mills heritage here on campus of our Alma Mata, University of Ghana.

This is because it was right here this university grounds, the hail of knowledge and the nation’s hope and glory where we are taught to proceed on integrity and truth” which prof Mills stood for.

Mr Mahama further noted the Professor “Mills grew the economy to an unpresented level.”

Board Chairman of the  Heritage, Alex Segbefia has said that the initiative had been planned for a very long time.

Speaking at the same event, the former Minister of Health said “as you know this has been in the planning for a while and today culminates in the launch of the Heritage in memory of our late Professor Mills .

“I don’t want to take away from the ambiance, the music and the shear ecstasy that is in this hall so, I am not going to say very much shortly in the speeches that are going to be made ad to be followed . I will aske everybody to follow on TV3.

The launch formed part of the 10 years anniversary for the late Professor Mills.

Former President Mahama is expected to launch the non-profit, independent, non-partisan organisation anchored in Professor Mills’ passion and commitment to inclusivity, transparency, accountability and his relentless quest for peace and a better society.

A statement issued earlier by the Governing Board of the JEAM Memorial Heritage and signed Mr Alex Segbefia, said ““There will be thematic presentations by Professor Akua Kuenyehia, former President of the International Criminal Court, the Hague, Professor Francis Dodoo, a former Pro-Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ghana and four-time Olympian and Dr Esther Ofei-Aboagye, a former Director of the Institute of Local Government Studies,” the statement added

Be peaceful but defend the cause of freedom – Mahama to Ghanaians

Former President John Dramani Mahama has urged all Ghanaians to emulate the peaceful nature of the late Professor John Evans Atta Mills.

Mr Mahama said Prof Mills was truthful and had integrity. He was also a moral political colossus.

These attributes he said are worth emulating.

Mr Mahama said this during the launch of the John Evans Atta Mills Memorial Heritage at the Cedi Conference Centre at the University of Ghana on February 1 2022, under the theme: “The man John Evans Atta Mills – 10 years on.

“I call on each one of us Ghanaians to uphold truth and integrity and the peaceful nature of Prof Mills. Let us stay united even in the face of adversity, let us uphold tolerance yet we must endeavour to proceed in unity and in truth, we must also strive to defend the cause of freedom and we must fervently the public course to protect our democracy

“Prof Mills was such a moral political colossus and there can e no limit on the vehicles and instruments that eulogises his memory and history in the hearts and minds of Ghanaians.”

Mr Mahama further said stated the rationale behind the Heritage saying it seeks to inspire humanity for a better society,

“The Heritage seeks to inspire humanity for a better society, a virtue that President Atta Mils lived and died for. Prof Atta Mils simply was a good man. It therefore gladdens the hearts of many millions of people who loved him that this decision was taken to launch the Atta Mills heritage here on campus of our Alma Mata, University of Ghana.

“This is because it was right here this university grounds, the hail of knowledge and the nation’s hope and glory where we are taught to proceed on integrity and truth” which prof Mills stood for.

Mr Mahama further noted the Professor “Mills grew the economy to an unpresented level

E-Levy: Government determined to find ways of sustaining economy – Akufo-Addo

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Parliament engages stakeholders on E-Levy

Minority, citizens oppose E-Levy

E-Levy to shore up revenue, create jobs – Finance Minister


President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has expressed his administration’s resolve to find ways of addressing revenue gaps in government’s 2022 budget.

According to him, government as a result of the coronavirus pandemic has had to undertake a number of unplanned expenditures to sustain the Ghanaian economy.

Addressing traditional leaders from Dzodze in the Volta region on Tuesday, February 1, President Akufo-Addo said the introduction of tax measures has become necessary to keep the economy afloat despite stiff opposition.null

“Revenues during 2020/2021 went down considerably because of the slowing down of the economic activities that came from the COVID. At the same time, government, in order to keep the country going, did some expenditures – the free water, the free electricity were the unavoidable expenses that government had to make,” President Akufo Addo is quoted by Joy Business.

“These are the efforts that we are now making which are being resisted by the opposition and that is the reason it has become necessary for us to use these measures like this famous tax which has caused so much unnecessary disputation; but nevertheless, we would continue.”

“I am determined to persevere to make sure that we find the means to address some of the issues,” the President expressed.

Meanwhile, government has revealed its plan to amend the rate of the E-Levy from 1.75 percent to 1.5 percent.

Despite this, the Minority Caucus of Parliament have rejected the amendment citing the tax measure in its entirety will be detrimental to jobs, businesses and digital/financial inclusion efforts.null

Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta announced the introduction of E-Levy during the 2022 budget statement in November last year.

The tax measure has since its announcement, received widespread backlash from lawmakers and a cross-section of the well-meaning public who are opposed to the E-Levy.

View their Timepaths below:

https://timepath.co/embed/nana-addo-dankwa-akufo-addo/Y2rpNzAogJCwChpikftN

https://timepath.co/embed/ken-ofori-atta/qfpFeK3MF2BIJWIJzeE4

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

Fuel prices up again; litre of petrol sold at GH₵ 7.13 pesewas

Government has increased fuel prices again with Super selling at GH₵ 7.13p at Shell and other pump stations.

Whilst V Power is now selling at GH₵7.49p per litre, a litre of Diesel is being sold at GH₵7.09p.

The increment comes as a result of government’s restoration of the Price Stabilisation and Recovery Levies (PSRLs) on Petrol, Diesel and LPG effective February 1, 2022.

In a release signed by the Chief Executive of the National Petroleum Authority, Mustapha Hamid, and sighted by Ghanasonline.com, informing all OMCs and LPGMCs to take note of the changes and effect the appropriate changes.
Below is the full release.

Source: Ghanasonline.com

E-levy bill will be passed without much problems – Afenyo-Markin

Alexander Afenyo Markin 5

The Deputy Majority Leader and MP for Efutu constituency, Alexander Afenyo-Markin is hopeful that the E-levy bill currently before Parliament will be passed without much problems.

Speaking to journalists at the Parliament House, Afenyo-Markin said following deepening of engagement and consultation by the Majority caucus and the Minister of Finance with the Minority in Parliament and other stakeholders on the E-levy bill, he is optimistic that consensus will be reached in Parliament for the passage of the bill.

Hon. Afenyo-Markin also described the E-levy bill as a very important policy that will help government fix roads and create more jobs for the youth.

The Electronic Transfer Levy (E-Levy) Bill was expected to be taken through the various stages Friday evening (January 28) when Parliament reconvened, even though it had earlier been scheduled for next week Tuesday.

However, after sitting from 5pm to 7:10pm, with First Deputy Speaker, Mr Joe Osei Owusu presiding, the House decided that members were exhausted and therefore adjourned to Tuesday, February 1, 2022, without the E-levy showing up for a debate on Friday night as earlier envisaged.

The Minority had argued that the House was supposed to sit at 10 am on Friday, and later members were told sitting was going to start at 2 pm.

Mr Kwame Agboja argued that members were not told that there was going to be an extended sitting.

The Majority Leader, Mr Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu had proposed a 40-minute break for rest when it was 6:45 pm, for members to return and continue with the E-levy. This was after the House had sat from 5pm and statements had been made on the passing of Captain (rtd) Kojo Tsikata, Brig-Gen Constance Emefa Edjeani-Afenu and the recent fire outbreak at Budumburam which killed a family of five that was trapped inside their building.

Source: peacefmonline.com

A nation preparing for a bigger presidential jet cannot be in difficulty – Asiedu Nketia

Asiedu Nketia X Dumsor

Government still struggling to pass E-levy bill

NDC scribe accuses government of unaccounted for profligacy

Asiedu Nketia says government must account for previous expenditures


Johnson Asiedu Nketia, General Secretary of the National Democratic Congress has restated the opposition of the party towards the Electronic Transactions Bill (E-levy).

According to the NDC scribe, the government has wasted enough funds in the last few years and has doggedly refused to account for them even in a democracy, hence they cannot be trusted with more money.

Asiedu Nketia specifically cited the issue of hiring luxurious private jets for presidential travels despite Ghana having a functional presidential jet.

He further lamented how the government over the last year refused several Parliamentary invitations to account for the travels citing security implications.null

“All the monies they started collecting, they said they are running a democratic system. In which democracy would you call a Minister to come and account for some government expenditure and he will face you and say that we are not going to account to anybody?” Asiedu Nketia questioned.

According to him, the government was telling Ghanaians by their refusal to account for the travels, that: “when it comes to the comfort and security of the President, monies don’t matter… and we are not going to tell you anything and we are even preparing to buy a bigger jet.

“If you are preparing to buy a bigger jet, then you should know that you cannot convince anybody that the nation is in any difficulty,” he stated in a Joy News interview on January 31, 2022.

The issue of Akufo-Addo’s travels via chartered private jets dominated news headlines in 2021 as North Tongu MP, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa repeatedly mounted ‘surveillance’ on Akufo-Addo’s mode of travel.

He accused the government of profligacy because there was a functional presidential jet yet the presidency opted for expensive flights. His attempts to summon relevant ministers to speak on the cost implications yielded no results as the topic was classified as ‘security information.

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

Use the pulpit to curb corruption – Bawumia to churches

Vice-President Mahamudu Bawumia has urged the church to continue to use the pulpit and religious platforms to partner with the state to curb corruption and facilitate the development of Ghana.

Dr Bawumia said this when he joined the Accra Diocese of the Anglican Church for the ordination and consecration service of Very Reverend Dr Kotei Neequaye as the new Suffragan Bishop for the Church on Sunday, January 30.

He commended the Anglican Church for its enormous contributions toward the growth of Ghana for over a century and wished Very Reverend Dr Kotei Neequaye well and the best in his endeavours

We’re fighting corruption with Ghana card – Bawumia

Vice-President Mahamudu Bawumia has said the Ghana card is one of the main channels the Akufo-Addo government is using to fight corruption.

The card, he noted, is part of the raft of digital solutions being implemented by the government to help stem the tide of corruption.

Speaking as the special guest at the ordination and consecration service of Very Reverend Dr Kotei Neequaye, as the new Suffragan Bishop for the Church on Sunday, 30 January 2022, Dr Bawumia also urged the church to continue to use the pulpit and religious platforms to augment the state’s fight against corruption while fostering national development at the same time.

Addressing the congregation, Dr Bawumia touted the Anglican Church for using its platforms to preach against corruption.

“The Anglican Church has always preached against corruption and I urge them to continue to help fight the canker”, he noted.

Quoting the Bible, Dr Bawumia urged society to tackle corruption head-on.

“I will like to quote two scriptures on this issue; and how it is very important to continue to do all what we can to minimise it.

“Galatians 6:8 says: ‘Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A manreaps whathe sows. The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life’.”

Dr Bawumia noted that “there is so much economics embedded in this scripture, which is telling us not to invest in the flesh through corruption”.

“We know that the flesh will eventually rot when you die, so, if you are an investor, will you invest in something that will eventually rot?”

Furthermore, Proverbs 29:4 reads: ‘A King gives stability to his nation, but one who demands bribes destroys it’, he referenced.

Dr Bawumia enumerated scores of policies and programmes the government has put in place to fight corruption including the digitisation of the economy through address system, ports, the Ghana card, passport office, DVLA, GRA, SSNIT, NHIS, Lands Commission, Ghana.Gov platform, and others as evidence of government’s commitment to fighting corruption.

These digitisation efforts have reduced and in some cases eliminated bribery and corruption in the provision of public services.

Dr Bawumia also alluded to the fact that the appropriate state agencies like the Office of the Special Prosecutor, CHRAJ, EOCO among others are being given the needed financial support to fight corrupt officials and agents.

He noted that in all of this, society must also play its part in the fight against society, and called for collaboration from all to make the fight easier

UTAG strike: I’m a chief advocate for teachers, professors, I’ll ensure we come to some resolution – Adutwum

Education Minister, Dr Yaw Osei Adutwum has assured to work to resolve the issues that resulted in the industrial action by the University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG) to enable them return to the classroom to teach.

“Unfortunately, university lecturers are on strike, but we continue to engage them as to how best we can get them back,” he said at a press conference in Accra on Sunday January 30.

He added “As a Minister of Education, I have said I am a chief advocate for teachers and professors and when we find ourselves in this place. I do everything possible formally and informally, to make sure we come to some resolution.”

UTAG members have been on strike since Monday January 10.

This was as a result of the failure of the government to resolve their issues.

A statement they issued on Saturday January 8 said “We must also point out the fact that, generally our members have decried the pittance agreed to be paid as annual research allowance and would want to have government to reconsider the payment of a more
realistic research allowance as this is critical to our research output, promotion and ultimately national development.


“For the reasons stated above, the NEC of UTAG at its meeting held on 7th January 2022 reiterated its resolve to follow through with the decision to withdraw teaching and related activities until further notice with effect from Monday, 10th January 2022 and call on all UTAG members across the fifteen (15) branches to observe this directive.


“As a matter of urgency, we also call on the Employer to restore members to the 2013 IMP of 114% of Basic Salary in the interim whilst Government goes ahead to formulate guidelines to implement the appropriate recommendations to address the CoS of the University Teacher. Following the uneasiness among UTAG members, any delay by the Employer would further exacerbate
the already fragile academic calendar to the detriment of all stakeholders.”

The statement further said that “It may be recalled that the Interim Market Premium (IMP) which was instituted following the implementation of the Single Spine Pay Policy got frozen, per a Government White Paper, in 2013, for the purpose of the conduct of a LMS to determine a MP payable to workers deserving of it. To date, this determination has not been made, which has resulted in the erosion of the University Teacher’s salary.


“There was the hope that by completing and implementing the Labour Market Survey (LMS) Report of 2019, a review of the IMP would have put the University Teacher on a relatively good salary stead. Regrettably, the recommendations of the 2019 LMS Report without any accompanying technical report on the implementable MP is meaningless to UTAG as it does not address the pertinent issues of improved Condition of Service (CoS).

“Interestingly however, there was a LMS in 2014 whose Report did not see the light of day and one wonders if the 2019 LMS Report would ever be implemented since it is already two years old. In addition, recommendation (iii) from the 2019 LMS Report states that “Public Services Commission should liaise with educational institutions to prioritise the offering of courses in areas of demand to increase the employment prospects of their graduates and increase the pool of applicants for high vacancies.”

“How can such a National Agenda be attained if the CoS of the University Teacher keeps worsening year on year leading to an ever-increasing attrition rate on our campuses? UTAG members see the timing of the release of the report as one of the usual delay tactics that the Employer has employed over the years, which is unacceptable

Consultation on E-levy to enter weekend, process has been positive so far – Afenyo-Markin

Alexander Afenyo Markin Efutu MP1

Deputy Majority Leader in Parliament, Alexander Kwamina Afenyo-Markin, has revealed that engagements with the Minority on the E-levy have been inconclusive.null

Although he said the signs are positive, the engagements would continue into the weekend.

The Lawmaker for Effutu told journalists in Parliament on Friday, January 28 that they do not want the fisticuffs that occurred in the House last year to be repeated hence the engagements.

“So far it has been positive. Suffice to say that it has not been conclusive. We believe that throughout the weekend we would further gest into this. We don’t want what happened in December to repeat itself and we believe that this E-levy is important legislation that will help the government get the needed revenue,” he said.

His colleagues in the Minority have however asked them to wait for Speaker Alban Bagbin to return from his trip outside of the jurisdiction before they re-lay the E-Levy in Parliament.

Deputy Minority leader, James Klutse Avedzi said the Minority does not want any of the deputies to preside over the House when the levy is relayed in order to avert the brawls that occurred in the house last year.

“The speaker travels this weekend and will not be available next week, I think our advice to the Majority side is that we should wait until the speaker comes back.null

“We want the speaker to preside then we will vote on the matter and once that is done, the end result will be a decision of the House whether the motion would be lost or completely or would be carried, that is something that would be done.

“But we want the speaker to be there we don’t want any of the deputies to sit so that what happened in 2021 should repeat itself.”

The much-anticipated consideration of the Electronic Transfer Levy Bill, popularly known as e-levy, has been postponed to the next sitting of Parliament.

Despite attempts by the Majority Caucus to get the Bill read for the second and third times, the House took a decision to adjourn sitting to Tuesday, February 1.

The Speaker, Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin, who had been in the precincts of Parliament since morning, had to leave around 5:00 pm because there were no signs members were ready to consider passage of the Bill.

Though the Majority Leader, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, had announced the passage of the Bill on Friday even if it went deep into the night, it appears his opposite number was not in favour of it.null

Our Parliamentary Correspondent, Komla Klutse, reported of hot exchanges between Mr. Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, who is also the Member of Parliament for Suame Constituency, and the Minority Chief Whip, Alhaji Mohammed-Mubarak Muntaka, who is also MP for Asawase Constituency.

Earlier, the Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta, who had announced the controversial policy in his budget statement and financial policy on behalf of the government on Wednesday, November 17, 2021, had met the Minority to talk members of that caucus into getting the Bill passed.

His proposal to reduce the tax from 1.75 percent to 1.5 percent was rejected, still.

The debate on the Bill is expected to attract equal strength as the Speaker is said to be on his way out of the country again for his periodic medical review in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Source: 3news.com

Decline in MoMo usage will not lead to job losses – John Kumah

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24% attrition rate to be recorded in the first 6 months of E-Levy

Minority rejects revised rate on 1.5%

E-Levy to be re-laid before parliament on February 1, 2022


Deputy Finance Minister, John Kumah, has stated that government has put in place the necessary measures to ensure people continually use mobile money services after the implementation of the Electronic Levy.

According to him, government’s research shows that there will be a 24 percent decline in the usage of mobile money services in the first six months of the introduction of the E-Levy, but will not affect the jobs of the MOMO operators.

“The research also told us what should be done to bring back these people after a while, and we have all these things in place”.null

“It is a matter of engagement and letting people understand that, don’t avoid it. It is your pride of place as a Ghanaian to know that your contribution is helping to build your country.”

“The government is “more than confident” that the level of attrition rate “will not lead to job losses,” he added.

Mobile money operators earlier this week petitioned the minority caucus in parliament asking them to kick against the E-Levy when next it is put before the house.

According to them, mobile money operations have created over a million jobs for Ghanaians, thus any means to reduce their profit will affect them negatively.

Meanwhile, John Kumah indicated government’s intention to go ahead with the revised 1.5% despite the Minority in Parliament’s rejection and opposition from a section of the public.null

“Why would an extra 1.5 percent make people feel like they are no longer going to [use mobile money] when they know the extra 1.5 percent is even to their own benefit because, at the end of the day, these taxes are for you and me.”

Government on Friday met with the Minority over the reduction from 1.75 percent to 1.5 percent but it was rejected.

The reduction was said to have been informed by concessions from the telcos to reduce their 1 percent charge on transactions by up to 0.25 percent.

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

NPP Sets July 14-16 For Election Of National Executives

The New Patriotic Party (NPP), has set July 14 to July 16 to elect new National Officers for the party.

The party has also set April 22 to 24 for the constituency election and 20th to 22nd of May for regional elections.

Addressing a press conference in Accra, the General Secretary of the party, John Boadu, said the National Council of the party met on Thursday to set the dates for the elections.

“The venue for the national annual delegates conference as decided by the national council is in Accra,” he said.

He also noted that nomination fees will cost GHS 20,000 for the National Chairman position, GHS 15,000 for the Vice Chairperson position, and GHS10,000 for the General Secretary position.

“All other positions will cost GHS 8,000 apart from the special wings,” Mr. Boadu added.

The elections will be supervised by the party’s National Elections Committee.

The committee will comprise three reps appointed by the National Executive Committee, the Chairman of the National Council of Elders, the Director of Research and Elections, two elderly women appointed by the National Executive Committee, and the Director of IT.

Five car snatchers jailed 75 years

The Tamale Circuit Court presided by His Honor Alexandra Oworae, has sentenced five accused persons to 15 years each in prison for snatching a Toyota Camry car at Banvum, a suburb of Tamale in the Northern region.

The convicted persons are Ibrahim Issah 27, Mohammed Mustapha, 23, Vivor Christopher 27, Benyamin Ajyei, 23, and Seyram Addo 29.

This was after they pleaded guilty to conspiracy to rob, robbery, possession of firearms and ammunition without lawful authority, and possession of police and military accoutrements charges leveled against them.

The fifteen years sentence will run concurrently.

However, another suspect, Alhassan Mohammed, a teacher who is alleged to be an informant of the gang has pleaded not guilty to the charges and has been remanded into prison custody to reappear in court on February 9, 2022.

Another suspect was arrested in connection with the case Mahama Nashiru alias Mohammed, 28 appeared before the Tamale Circuit court and granted bail of Gh 50,000 with two sureties.

He is expected to reappear in court on February 3, 2022.

On Sunday, January 23, 2022, the five were arrested by the Buipe highway patrol team on duty at Sawaba Police checkpoint in two vehicles with registration numbers AS8445-19 and GX6923-20.

A search conducted on them found 13 assorted mobile phones, one Falcon Foreign Pistol loaded with 9mm ammunition, a wallet containing a bunch of keys together with two handcuffs keys, two Voter’s ID Cards, Melcom card, Access Bankcard, and cash the sum of GHC21.20p. Some Military uniforms, Police Ballistic helmets, and police uniforms were also found in the Toyota Camry Spider with registration number GX6923-20.

Meanwhile, the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) has distanced itself from the alleged military officer who was arrested with four others at Buipe in the Savannah region for allegedly snatching a car in Tamale in the Northern region.

A statement signed by Andy La-Anyone, Commander Acting Director Public Relations of the Ghana Armed Forces said “We wish to state categorically that the suspect is not a soldier of the Ghana Armed Forces. The Armed Forces are worried about the rising spate of impersonation by civilians, either wearing military uniforms or posting of fake pictures of themselves as military officers to defraud unsuspecting Ghanaians

Gov’t to focus time, resources on enhancing public finances, education, security – Oppong Nkrumah

The Akufo-Addo administration will this week spend time and resources on investments in education, security and stability, Information Minister, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, has said.

He also said the government would focus on public finances.

These investments, he said are important if the government is to make an impact in the lives of the people of Ghana.

“This week the Akufo-Addo admin will focus a lot of time and resources on investments in education, security & stability and enhancing public finances. These are important if we are to make an impact in the lives of the people of Ghana,” the Ofoase Ayirebi lawmaker tweeted on Sunday January 30.

THIS WEEK THE AKUFO-ADDO ADMIN WILL FOCUS A LOT OF TIME AND RESOURCES ON INVESTMENTS IN EDUCATION, SECURITY & STABILITY AND ENHANCING PUBLIC FINANCES. THESE ARE IMPORTANT IF WE ARE TO MAKE AN IMPACT IN THE LIVES OF THE PEOPLE OF GHANA.— Kojo Oppong Nkrumah (@konkrumah) January 30, 2022

Let’s nip coups in the bud – Akufo-Addo charges Ecowas leaders

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has charged West African leaders to take a keen interest in the strain of coup d’etat in the sub-region and take action against them.

He said no country is insulated from such actions and the earlier they are nipped in the bud, the better.

“The deteriorating political situation in our region should be a matter of grave concern to all of us,” he warned at the start of a virtual meeting of member states of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) on Friday, January 28.

“No country is insulated from the occurrence in the community and we have to take action to nip it in the bud.”

The meeting had one agenda: ‘The Crisis in Burkina Faso and Its Ramifications’.

It followed the coup d’etat in that country on Monday, January 24 after soldiers ousted President Roch Marc Christian Kabore from office.

It comes months after same happenings occurred in Mali twice, on August 18, 2020 and May 24, 2021, and Guinea, on September 5, 2021.

“Added to this is the complex security environment occasioned by terrorist attacks and pandemics presenting for us a toxic situation.”

Ghana’s leader, who is also the Chair of the Authority of Heads of State and Government of the bloc, observed that the excesses being recorded in some countries is clear evidence that not every country accepts democracy as the preferred mode of government.

“We still have some work to do to convince such people that we are all safer under democracy.

“The resurgence of coup d’etats in our region is in direct violation of our democratic tenets and represents a threat to peace, security an stability in West Africa.”

Deliberations will seek to find a lasting solution to mutinies not only in Burkina Faso but also in the entire sub-region.

Already, Mali and Guinea are under sanctions from the bloc.

“The rest of the world is looking up to us to be firm in this matter and await the outcome of our meeting

NPP Sets July 14-16 For Election Of National Executives

The New Patriotic Party (NPP), has set July 14 to July 16 to elect new National Officers for the party.

The party has also set April 22 to 24 for the constituency election and 20th to 22nd of May for regional elections.

Addressing a press conference in Accra, the General Secretary of the party, John Boadu, said the National Council of the party met on Thursday to set the dates for the elections.

“The venue for the national annual delegates conference as decided by the national council is in Accra,” he said.

He also noted that nomination fees will cost GHS 20,000 for the National Chairman position, GHS 15,000 for the Vice Chairperson position, and GHS10,000 for the General Secretary position.

“All other positions will cost GHS 8,000 apart from the special wings,” Mr. Boadu added.

The elections will be supervised by the party’s National Elections Committee.

The committee will comprise three reps appointed by the National Executive Committee, the Chairman of the National Council of Elders, the Director of Research and Elections, two elderly women appointed by the National Executive Committee, and the Director of IT.

Akufo-Addo has ‘brazenly’ abandoned my projects – Mahama tells C’wealth MPs

Former President John Dramani Mahama has said no government has “brazenly” displayed the practice of abandoning public projects initiated by previous governments in the country as the Akufo-Addo-led administration has done.

“We didn’t see it as brazenly in other governments. It is something that is with this particular [Akufo-Addo/Bawumia] government”, the former President said when he held discussions with the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association UK and CPA UK in Accra on Friday, 28 January 2022.

According to the former president, the practice of abandoning public projects is an “affront to Ghana’s Constitution.”

Mr Mahama commended the UK Parliament and the CPA UK for their commitment to governmental accountability.

He, however, noted that Ghana has not reached “the height of democracy” that the UK epitomises, where members of parliament could look into the face of the head of government, call him out over a wrong action and get him to feel remorseful.

Members of the CPA UK are in Accra for a Trade and Security Workshop for the UK and African parliamentarians to explore how parliaments can address trade and security issues in the context of unexpected external events like COVID-19.

The delegation is led by the Cardiff South and Penarth Member of Parliament, Stephen Doughty, a representative of the Labour Party.

Other issues the delegation discussed with the former president include the effects of COVID-19 on the economy, affirmative action and the role of women in the growth of the economy, sub-regional security, the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) and the worrying issue of abandoning projects started by previous governments

E-levy: Minority rejects reduction to 1.5%

The Minority in Parliament has on today, Friday, 28 January 2022 rejected a reduction to 1.5 percent from the initial 1.75percent E-levy proposed by government.

The E-levy was reduced to 1.5 percent by Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta following the Minority’s refusal of the initial 1.75 percent.

However, the Minority is still opposed to the levy.

Minority leader, Haruna Iddrisu who led the side to reject the new levy rate noted that the proposed 1.5 percent is insignificant.

Parliament had resorted to deliberate on the levy although it was not part of its agenda for the week, due to Speaker, Alban Bagbin’s scheduled travel to the United Arab Emirates for medical review on Monday, 31 January 2022

Akufo-Addo donates GHS100,000 to Appiatse Support Fund

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, on Thursday, January 27, 2022, made a personal donation of GHS100,000 to the Appiatse Support Fund which has been established by Government following the Appiatse explosion incident.

Launching the Fund at the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources, the sector minister, and Member of Parliament for Damongo Constituency, Samuel A. Jinapor, MP, said the purpose of the Fund is to, among others, support the victims of the incident and reconstruct the Appiatse community.

The Minister has also inaugurated a five-member committee, chaired by a former Minister and Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Chamber of Mines, Rev. Dr. Joyce Aryee, to manage the fund, with the charge to raise sufficient funds, and supervise its disbursement in accordance with the highest standards of integrity and transparency for the benefit of the Appiatse community.

The Minister later led a Government delegation to inspect the community to begin the process of reconstruction.

With this donation, the President becomes the first person to donate to the Fund.

At a short ceremony at Jubilee House where the donation was made, the President said the incident was an unfortunate one which resulted in loss of life and property, injuries, and the destruction of the entire community.

He said he was deeply saddened by the incident, and, thus, sent the Vice President, and other senior Government officials, to commiserate with the people.

The President expressed his deepest condolences to the bereaved families and wished the injured speedy recovery.

He reaffirmed Government’s commitment to pay in full the medical bills of all the injured.

The President also said Government was committed to supporting the victims and rebuilding the community, and hence the establishment of the Fund.

He said the donation was his personal donation, and that Government will support the Fund with the necessary resources to rebuild the community.

The President also said he has tasked the security agencies to conduct full and impartial investigations into the matter, and anyone found culpable will be made to face the law.

He called on all well-meaning Ghanaians and foreigners, as well as corporate Ghana, to donate generously to the Fund to speed up the reconstruction of the community.

Receiving the donation, the Chairperson of the Appiatse Support Fund Committee, Dr. Joyce Aryee thanked the President for the generous gesture.

She said she hoped that the donation by the President will encourage more people to donate to the Fund to support the victims and the reconstruction of the community.

The Appiatse Support Fund was established following an explosion which occurred when a truck carrying explosives for mining was involved in an accident at the town.

Thirteen people died from the incident while over hundred people suffered various degrees of injuries.

The community was razed by the explosion.

Government established the Fund to support the community.

The other members of the Committee that manages the Fund are Tetrete Okuamoah Sakyi II, Omanhene of Wassa Amenfi Traditional Area, Mr. Philip Owiredu, Managing Director of Cal Bank, Dr. Antoinette Tsiboe-Darko, a Senior Lecturer at the University of Ghana and Mr. Sulemanu Koney, the Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Chamber of Mines

Bawumia discusses covid, vaccines and Africa’s security with U.S Sec of State

Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia on Wednesday, 26th January 2022I met with the U.S Secretary of State, Antony Blinken and Assistant Secretary of State, Molly Phee at the U.S State Department in Washington DC.

Discussions were centered on the security situation in West Africa, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dr Bawumia and Mr Blinken and Molly Phee agreed on the need to place much premium on COVID-19 vaccine supply, vaccine manufacturing capabilities, how to adapt and prepare for a next wave or pandemic.

Earlier, Dr Bawumia had met the United Nations Secretary General, Antonio Guterres on the sidelines of the 8953rd Security Council Meeting in New York.

Their deliberations covered vaccine manufacturing capabilities for Africa, violent conflicts, Ghana’s role in ensuring regional stability, as well as, how Ghana’s digitalization agenda fits into the UN’s global digital compact.

Dr Bawumia is out of the country for the UN Security Council meeting in New York

New Head of EU Delegation calls on John Mahama

The Head of the European Union (EU) Delegation to Ghana, Ambassador Irchad Razaaly, has called on former President John Dramani Mahama at his office in Cantonments, Accra.

The visit was to introduce himself as the new head of the EU Mission and discuss in order to get an insight into some of the issues of national and international importance from the perspective of the former President and the country’s largest opposition party.

Welcoming him and his team, President Mahama thanked the EU for their continuous support to Ghana and wished the ambassador the best during his tour of duty.

The discussions centred on insecurity and the raging political instability in the West African subregion due to coup d’états, banditry and terrorism.

Other issues raised and discussed were the state of the Ghanaian economy, the controversial E-levy, education, unemployment, government’s intolerance of dissenting views, the bastardization of state institutions and constitutional review

Have patience, gov’t will pay your arrears – Afenyo-Markin to NABCO trainees

Alexander Afenyo-Markin

Deputy Majority Leader and Member of Parliament for the Effutu constituency, Alexander Afenyo-Markin has asked trainees of government’s flagship Nations Builders Corps (NABCO) whose allowances have been in arears for about five months to exercise some patience while the government takes steps to pay them.

According to the MP, if the government has been able to pay the trainees all their allowances since the inception of the programme in May 2018 save five months, it will make it up to them.

Some trainees have complained how they struggle to make ends meet for the past few months due to delays in their allowances. Some have said on TV3 that they do not have money to go to work while others disclosed they now have to depend on the benevolence of family to survive.

This, the Deputy Majority Leader, says is empathic, but assures the government will pay them.

“My empathy to them and I want to assure them, if you have been paid all these months and you have five months outstanding please have patience, the government will tackle it”, he told Johnnie Hughes on TV3 New Day.

The Effutu legislator has also been speaking on the controversial E-Levy, a tax policy proposed by the Akufo-Addo-led government to tax electronic transitions including Mobile Money (MoMo).

According to him, the E-Levy is necessary for key developmental projects, notably amongst them is to address the increasing youth unemployment situation in the country. He acknowledges that Ghanaian have concerns with the E-Levy but observes the policy, just like Free Senior High School, is in their interest.

“Ghanaians expect some reduction. For now, we are taking full political responsibility but we need to explain to the people like that of the free SHS. This is a necessary one to provide comfortability for all Ghanaians”, he explained.  

Source: 3news.com|Ghana

I’ll support NDC to fight E-levy – Kwame A Plus 

I'll support NDC to fight E-levy - Kwame A Plus

Kwame A Plus

Controversial political activist Kwame A plus has disclosed that he would support the NDC in their fight against the legalization of the E-levy.

During a discussion about national issues on Tv3’s New day show, A Plus declared an anti-E-levy campaign against the current government.

“I want to support the NDC in their fight against E- levy. I want them to have a press conference, call all Ghanaians and tell them that if the E- levy is passed when we (NDC) come to power, we will cancel it. They should bring everybody together and make this statement.”

According to Kwame A-Plus, he is against the e-Levy just as much as every levy set up to milk the poor masses. He reasoned that such monies are being charged, yet are not used for their intended purpose.

“I am against E- levy. I’ve been against every levy. Because I think that they just come, find a very easy way to make money, and then that money is even not used for the intended purpose. It is being wasted,” he said

He also complained bitterly about the numerous tax deductions introduced in the system by the government. And yet the country is still the same.

“If roads would be built, Cookie, you and I have been in this country, whatever project. How many taxes haven’t been introduced to do what, and we are still the same? Ghana! You see that’s the problem we are facing now,” Kwame A Plus.

By Gladys Cudjoe|3news.com|Ghana

E-levy: So long as we depend on loans, foreigners will dictate pace of our dev’ts – Ursula

If Ghana does not wean itself from seeking aid from other courtiers, foreigners will continue to dictate the pace of the country’s development, Minister of Communications and Digitalisation, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, has said.

Making a case for the introduction of the E-levy in the 2022 budget statement, she said in order to be truly independent, Ghana would need to increase domestic revenue mobilisation to undertake the needed development.

Speaking at the Government Townhall meeting on the E-levy proposal in Koforidua on Thursday January 27, the Ablekuma West Member of Parliament said ” so long us we depend on loans they will dictate the pace of our developments.”

“We need to find the way to increase domestic revenue mobilisation,” she added.

“We are talking about a Ghana beyond aid, we need to be able to finance our own development and stop the dependence on either loans or grants or aid from other countries if we are to be truly independent.”

The Townhall Meeting forms part of the stakeholder engagement the government is undertaking on the E-levy proposal.

The Majority Leader in Parliament Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu had Parliament on Tuesday January 25 that further stakeholder consultations were ongoing on the proposal hence the inability of the Business Committee to programme it during the first week of the first setting of the second session.

The Business Committee, he said, hoped to programme the proposal for consideration in the second week after the engagement.

The Suame Lawmaker explained the absence of the E-levy proposal on the Order Paper saying “Mr Speaker, as Honourable members will recall the House was expected to conclude consideration and passing of the electronic transfer levy bill 2021 by the end of the third meeting for the first session.

“Due to unforeseen circumstances however, the House was unable to consider and pass the bill at the end of of the meeting. It was therefore the contemplation of the Business Committee that the Bill will be scheduled for consideration by the House during the First week of the first meeting of the second session.

“However upon consultation with the sponsoring Minister the committee is not unable to programme same for this week after resumption.

“The Honorable Minister of Finance has been undertaking further engagement with stakeholders and sections of the general public with respect of some concerns that have been raised on the bill

“The committee, in all probability, will programme the bill for consideration in the second week of this meeting and honorable members are therefore encouraged to participate fully in the consideration and the process of the passage of the bill

Free SHS, NABCO, became possible from funds NDC said Akufo-Addo couldn’t get – Ofori-Atta

Finance Minister

A number of development initiatives have been implemented by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo with funds the main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) doubted the President could get to finance those projects, Finance Minister, Ken Ofori Atta, has said.

Making a case for the introduction of the E-levy at the Townhall Meeting held in Koforidua on Thursday January 27, he said President Akufo-Addo has earned international respect due to the number of all-inclusive projects he has been able to initiate to develop the countries

“We went through 2017 to 2019 with incredible stellar results as to what we, as a country have been able to achieved, moving from 3.4 per cent of growth to some where over 7 per cent, reducing our budget deficit, and then to 6.5%, moved to about 5 per cent making sure that our currency does not depreciate as it used to be and quite stable.

“Also, having the necessary foreign exchange cover to make sure that we are able to support our currency and import. Again we did the impossible, spent over 14 billion cedis on education, 14 billion on health care , 14.9bn on enhancing our internal security and it comes as what we were able to do with the monies NDC assured we will never be able to get.

“So, the benefits have been for all of us, all inclusive growth in which about 1.26 million children have benefited from free SHS , 3.45million covered by school feeding programme , NADCO 100,000 young persons, the largest in our history and over 334 households are given lifeline under the LEAP programme. so, for us, the sovereignty of our people is clear everybody as a citizen having a part in this enterprise of this idea of a Ghana that is confident, prosperous.

“Our president has also earned incredible international repute and our own Ghanaian walk outside , even here, NDC or NPP , their heads are high because they know that Akufo-Addo has done it.

“We have to continue these initiatives but the challenge is, where do we get the resources to be able to do this. Traditionally, when you are caught in such a thing you increase petrol and we know the effect is have on all of us

Chieftaincy Minister denies sacking NABCO trainees

The Minister of Chieftaincy and Religious Affairs, Ebenezer Kojo Kum, has debunked claims that NABCO trainees at his Ministry have been asked to leave post.

A letter purported to be from the Ministry showed that the trainees were asked to leave post because the NABCO programme had ended.  Though the letter was dated January 21, 2021, it was minuted and referred for action in January 2022.

But the Minister said the letter should be disregarded. He explained that his Ministry does not have the power to remove NABCO trainees from their posts.

“Our Ministry is not the employer of the NABCO trainees. The NABCO trainees are employees who were employed by the NABCO secretariat and posted to one ministry. So if there is any entity or authority to either engage or depose them, it is the NABCO secretariat”, parts of the letter reads.

Concerning the exit plan for the trainees, the Minister said on TV3 Midday Live that opportunities exist at the Chieftaincy Ministry for them.

He explained the creation of the six new regions in 2019 opens an avenue for these trainees to be employed. This according to him is because the new regions will call for the creation of six Regional Houses of Chiefs which will require staffing.

The Minister said the NABCO trainees would be the most suitable employees to be considered if the Civil Service wants to recruit people for the Regional House of Chiefs because they have gathered experience working with the Chieftaincy Ministry for the past three years.

Meanwhile, the Member of Parliament for Effutu, Alexander Afenyo-Markin has asked the trainees whose allowances have been in arrears for at least four months to exercise patience while government takes steps to pay them

Bawumia represents Akufo-Addo at UN Security Council debate

Vice-President, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, on Tuesday participated in a UN Security Council debate in New York, and called for action to prevent domestic inequalities that led to urban migration and the creation of fertile grounds for conflict.

Dr. Bawumia was speaking on behalf of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo during a debate on “War in cities: Protection of civilians ion urban settings.”  Presided over by Norwegian Prime Minister Jonas Gare Støre

Ghana became a member of the UN Security Council in January this year for a two-year term.

Dr. Bawumia said: “The issue of poverty which is an important element in urbanization would need to be addressed.  National initiatives would need to be supported to equalize access to economic opportunities in all parts of a country.”

He said this would help manage the factors that drove migration, led to unplanned urbanization and nurtured the environment for conflict.

Dr. Bawumia is scheduled to meet UN Secretary-General Antonio Guteress later on Tuesday before travelling to Washington, DC., the US capital, on Wednesday to hold discussions with the US Assistant Secretary of State for Africa, Molly Phee, on Wednesday.

They are expected to discuss the security situation in the Sahel, and political instability in West Africa whose regional body, ECOWAS, President Akufo-Addo currently chairs.

Dr. Bawumia expressed concern about the threat posed to civilian populations by extremist groups such as Boko Haram and Al Qaeda in the Magreb, organizations whose activities have become a growing threat in the West Africa.

He said such groups “scapegoat civilians in their crusades and consider them as cannon fodder.” The roles played by civilians in such wars demonstrated the complex nature of modern warfare, he said.

Dr. Bawumia said the world had witnessed what he called “the horrific effects of urban conflicts” in places like Syria, Iraq and Yemen; but also much earlier in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Cote d’Ivoire where the civil wars were fought in cities, He said urban conflicts created opportunities for violent extremist groups to radicalize young people.

Ghana is serving on the Security Council alongside two other African countries, namely, Kenya and Gabon.  Kenya’s term elapses at the end of 2022 having been elected a year earlier. In November, Ghana will take over the Presidency of the Security Council on which it is serving for a fourth tenure since independence in 1957..

Among other concerns, Ghana wants to galvanize the Council’s attention to address violent extremism in the Sahel and growing piracy in the Gulf of Guinea.

Chieftaincy Ministry sacks NABCO trainees despite gov’t assurances

The Ministry of Chieftaincy and Religious Affairs has asked all NABCO trainees attached to the ministry to go home.

The Minister in a directive to heads of agencies under him asked that the trainees are relieved since the programme ended in October last year.

The move comes despite assurances by government that they will be retained.

“Following a high-level stakeholder meeting with the lead NABCO Module Implementation Partners (MIPs) led by His Excellency, the Vice President of the Republic of Ghana and The Honourable Chief of Staff, all NABCO trainees are required to remain at post,” a statement signed by NABCO boss Dr. Ibrahim Anyars on Monday 15 November, 2021 said.

It added that a new cohort of NABCO trainees will be recruited in 2022.

NABCO was introduced by the Akufo-Addo led administration in 2017 as part of measures to address graduate unemployment in the country. The initiative was run under seven modules namely Educate Ghana, Heal Ghana, Feed Ghana, Revenue Ghana, Digitize Ghana, Enterprise Ghana, and Civic Ghana

Why speak for NDC when I’ve no locus? – Koku Anyidoho

Mr. Koku Anyidoho has assigned reasons for distancing himself from the activities of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), a party he once served as the former Deputy General Secretary.

According to Mr. Anyidoho, there is a frosty relationship between him and the current General Secretary of the NDC, Johnson Asiedu Nketia.

He said he took a back seat from all activities of the party because Mr. Johnson Asiedu Nketia once told him in the face that he (Koku) had no locus in the party.

Mr. Anyidoho assigned this reason for distancing himself from all activities of the NDC in an interview with Kwame Obeng Mensah, host of Ghana Yensom morning show on Accra 100.5 FM on Tuesday, January 25, 2022.

He said: “Mr. Johnson Asiedu Nketia in the middle of a media interview at the Police Criminal Investigations Department head office in Accra at the time of the arrest of the National Chairman of the NDC, Samuel Ofosu Ampofo over the supposed treasonable tape walked to the media personnel and told them to shun my company because I have no locus in the party after losing my position as deputy General Secretary.”

Mr. Anyidoho said that act by Mr. Asiedu Nketia was disrespectful to him.

“He told the reporters to disregard me because I have no locus indicating that I am nobody in the party,” he stressed.

He added that he was shocked when the man, who was once his boss at the party’s headquarters did that.

Mr. Anyidoho explained that this is “the reason I’ve distanced myself from the party’s activities and now focusing on building the Atta Mills Institute, showcasing the legacies of the late President John Evans Atta-Mills”.

“Who am I to speak for a party of which I have no locus”? he quizzed.

He explained that Mr. Asiedu Nketia seems not to have forgiven him for taking the bold decision to contest him in the last national executive election.

Explaining why he contested his former boss, Mr. Anyidoho said: ‘Mr. Asiedu-Nketia had an earlier arrangement with me saying he was not interested in contesting for the position and that he had given me his blessings.

For some reason, he made a U-turn that he was still interested in the position so I took the decision to go all out not to disappoint my supporters in the party

Classfmonline.com

Take part in the process to approve E-levy – Majority Leader to all MPs

The Majority Leader in Parliament Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu has urged all Members of Parliament to make it a priority to partake in the process leading to the passage of the E-levy.

He told the House on Tuesday January 25 that further stakeholder consultation are ongoing on the proposal hence the inability of the Business Committee to programme it during the first week of the first setting of the second session.

The Business Committee, he said hopes to programme the proposal for consideration in the second week after the engagement.

The Suame Lawmaker explained the absence of the E-levy proposal on the Order Paper saying “Mr Speaker, as Honourable members will recall the House was expected to conclude consideration and passing of the electronic transfer levy bill 2021 by the end of the third meeting for the first session.

“Due to unforeseen circumstances however, the House was unable to consider and pass the bill at the end of of the meeting. It was therefore the contemplation of the Business Committee that the Bill will be scheduled for consideration by the House during the First week of the first meeting of the second session.

“However upon consultation with the sponsoring Minister the committee is not unable to programme same for this week after resumption.

“The Honorable Minister of Finance has been undertaking further engagement with stakeholders and sections of the general public with respect of some concerns that have been raised on the bill

“The committee, in all probability, will programme the bill for consideration in the second week of this meeting and honorable members are therefore encouraged to participate fully in the consideration and the process of the passage of the bill.”

The Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin, has told Members of Parliament that the only way out in getting things done in the House is through dialogue and consultation.

He also called for more cooperation and collaboration among lawmakers given the entire nature of the 8th Parliament where the two major parties control 137-137 seats each with an Independent Lawmaker.

“The only way is to get the two sides to consult and to dialogue with each other, to cooperate, to compromise, to collaborate to achieve consensus, this is an imperative imposed on us political leaders by the people of Ghana, we have no choice,” he said.

Mr Bagbin said these while speaking at this year’s Commonwealth Parliamentary Association workshop.

His comments come con the heels of the division in Parliament regarding the E-levy proposal in the 2022 budget statement.

The Minority in Parliament rejected the proposal. Their Leader Haruna Iddrisu said the E-levy policy was a disincentive to the growth of digital economy.

To that end, he said, the Minority would not support it.

Speaking at a post budget workshop in Ho on Saturday November 20, he said “Mr Speaker, understandably, we see that the Minister of Finance seeks to introduce some measures including the now popularly declared e-levy or digital levy  as some have quite named it.

“Mr Speaker, our concern is whether the e-levy itself is not and will not be a disincentive to the growth of digital economy in our country . We are convinced that the e-levy may as well even be a disincentive to investment  and a disincentive to private sector development in our country. We in the minority may not and will not support government  with the introduction of that particular e-levy . We are unable to build national consensus  on that particular matter

Be civil, no fights – Oppong Nkrumah to MPs as sitting resumes

As Parliament resumes sitting today Tuesday January 25, Information Minister and Member of Parliament for Ofoase Ayirebi, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah has asked his colleague lawmakers especially those in the Minority to be civil in their conduct in the House.

He indicated that disagreements among legislators are normal because that indicates a robust democracy.

However, he cautioned the lawmakers not to resort to brawls as happened in the first session of the 8th Parliament of the fourth Republic, in making thee disagreements manifest.

“The past few months in Parliament’s history will go down as some of the most embarrassing

“I am one of those who believe that there is ab9slutly nothing wrong with disagreeing on a matter. Indeed, if we all agree on everything this would probably not be a robust democracy . But while it is ok to disagree with each other it is not ok to physically obstruct parliamentary business with violence and unruly behaviour simply because we disagree,” he said in a statement on Tuesday January 25.

Last week while answering a question as to whether the fights in Parliament over the E-levy policy proposal in the 2022 budget will taint Ghana’s image on the international market, during a press conference addressed by the Finance Minister Ken Ofori Atta in Accra on Wednesday January 19, he made the same point urging the opposition lawmakers not to physically obstruct process in the House even if they strongly disagree on an issue.

He said MPs are allowed to disagree with the government on any issue but they must commit themselves to a civil, mature process of resolving the disagreements.

He said “I think colleagues, you have to help us speak some truth to ourselves. Chaos is not a way of resolving disagreements. There is nothing wrong with parliamentarians disagreeing on a particular measure on the table. The rule says that when we disagree we debate to try and and convince one another, we can have conversations and engagements like the Minister has done through out and then, when we finish, we subject it to a vote.“

“In this country, on the 7th of December every four years, prior to that, we may disagree on who should be president, we don’t fight about it. We allow people to campaign and debate and in the end we all queue up and vote, they count and take the decision that where the Majority went is where Ghana wants to go.

“That way, chaos does not ensue, international market and everybody else looks at us as a civilized, mature Republic.

“It is the same thing we have to do in Parliament. There is nothing wrong with a disagreements, there have been various disagreements in times past, one side may say I don’t agree, I am going to walk out , I do t agree I am going to abstain, I don’t agree I am going to vote against it.

“But to begin to physically obstruct the process is something all of us collectively must speak against. It is not, will you go and beg them, will you go and negotiate, no. We must speak the the truth that physically obstructing the process , imagine somebody going to physically going to obstruct voting on the election day in this country, we will agree that that is not the right thing to do. It is the same spirit we must bring to bear on this one.

“There is nothing wrong disagreeing but we must commit ourselves to go through a civil, mature process for resolving that disagreements.”

On Monday December 20 Members of Ghana’s Parliament could not hold their emotions as some exchanged brawls in the House just before the final vote on the controversial Electronic Transfer Levy Bill, also known as e-levy.

The sit-in Speaker, Joseph Osei-Owusu, had announced that a division would be followed to approve the Bill, presented under a certificate of urgency, and he was going to vote as well in his capacity as a Member of Parliament.

That appeared to have provoked the National Democratic Congress (NDC) members, who questioned his decision to vote after presiding over the night’s proceedings.

They moved to the front of the dais, issuing threats at the Bekwai MP.

This got the Majority MPs to also start agitations and immediately Mr Osei-Owusu handed the presiding role to the Second Deputy Speaker, Andrew Amoako Asiamah, the fight broke out

Akufo-Addo and Bawumia have collapsed the economy, debt situation worsening – Mahama

Former President John Dramani Mahama has said that President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia who is the head of the economic management team have destroyed the local economy.

Mr Mahama noted that the debt situation under the current administration is worsening, a situation that indicates a bad economy.

He said this in a statement after he joined the NDC lawmakers for the closing session of their 2022 Caucus Retreat on Monday January 24.

He said “It was a good session as they prepare to resume sittings, and after a year in which they demonstrated their commitment to pushing the desires and interests of their constituents and Ghanaians generally in the House.

“Our MPs and the leadership have done very well in holding government accountable and on behalf of the general membership of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), I expressed our appreciation to them.

“It is important for MPs, as stressed by other speakers and the leadership, to always remember that they are representing the people and are also in the House to represent the NDC.

“The NDC remains opposed to the imposition of the numerous fresh taxes on Ghanaians at a time when Government is living large and unwilling or unable to trim expenditure, cut waste and check corruption.

“These burdensome taxes will erode business capital, especially at a time when Government has crowded out the private sector’s access to credit by its voracious appetite for borrowing.

“The Ghanaian economy has been collapsed by President Nana Akufo-Addo and Dr. Mahamadu Bawumia.

“The debt crisis, for which there are very few tangible projects to show for, and worsening economic hardship of Ghanaians amply demonstrate the negative impact of a collapsed economy

Speaker explains his new look, says it is an agenda to market made in Ghana parliament

Speaker of Parliament Alban Bagbin has explained the thinking that went into the decision to dress in traditional Kente cloths to president over the House on Tuesday January 25.

Mr Bagbin departed from the usual suit and tie wearing to put on traditional cloths and dressed like a Royal Majesty.

He said the practice of lawmakers and the Speaker wearing traditional attire is long over due.

“This is the Parliament of Ghana , it is a unique made in Ghana product and we must showcase and market it to the world as a brand.

“We must create a unique set of values and norms that will give a unique character to our parliament to set it apart from the colonial legacies of the British system.

” My outfit today, as the speaker, the presiding officer is to set the motion for that agenda. The practice of MPs decently dressed in traditional attire, led by the Speaker is long overdue

Police officer shot dead in Bawku

The Police has confirmed the death of a policewoman, Constable Regina Angenu of the Paga Police Station, who was shot by some unknown assailants at Bawku in the Upper East Region.

The Police in a statement on Monday, January 24, said “Constable Regina Angenu on Saturday, January 22 around 5:05pm paid a visit to Constable Erasmus Enkson at the Bawku Division of the Motor Traffic and Transport Unit (MTTU) of the Ghana Police Service.

“On their way to Const. Enkson’s barracks, they were attacked by unknown assailants and the police woman was shot in the groin.”

She was rushed to the Presbyterian Mission Hospital but died while undergoing treatment.

Meanwhile, the body is said to have been sent to the Bolgatanga Regional Hospital for preservation and autopsy.

Security has been beefed up in the region.

The Upper East Regional Coordination Council has placed a ban on riding of motorbikes in Bawku and its environs.

The ban does not include tricycles but it affects both men and women.

The ban is as a result of the security situation and its volatile nature in Bawku and its environs

Another suspect in the Mamobi-Nima violent clash arrested

The Police in collaboration with the National Investigation Bureau (NIB), yesterday Sunday, January 23, 2022, arrested suspect Farouk Dauda alias Omondi, aged 31 years, who was part of the rioters of the Mamobi-Nima clash.

Suspect Farouk Dauda was arrested at his hideout in a suburb of Accra based on intelligence, after having been into hiding after the incident which occurred on January 18, 2022.

During interrogation, he admitted his involvement in the said clash where he was captured in a video footage wielding a machete as he identified himself in the said video footage.

A search conducted on him led to the retrieval of a wrapped substance suspected to be Indian hemp.

He is currently in Police custody assisting with investigations.

Meanwhile, efforts are being made to arrest all other persons involved in the violent incident

NDC MPs’ve already passed e-levy so kicking against it means they didn’t know what they were doing’

Majority leader Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu has wondered why some Minority MPs are still against the e-levy when, according to him, they took part in its approval along with the 2022 budget.

At a capacity-building workshop organised for the Majority Caucus in Parliament and some Ministers of State on Saturday, 22 January 2022, Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu said “it is a difficulty for me when people are kicking against the e-levy when you know that in the adoption of the motion to approve the budget, we approved of that. So, it means that the first step has already been surmounted.”

“Then the e-levy has been factored into the various estimates that we have approved for all the sectors”, he explained.

“That is the second thing we did”, he said, adding: “The third step is: when we encapsulated everything into the Appropriation Bill and passed the Bill unanimously”.

“What does it mean? You have approved of the e-levy.”

“So, when we have done all these three and turn around and say that you [NDC MPs] are opposed to the Bill, then, perhaps, you didn’t know what you were doing,” he said.

Source: classfmonline.com

Appiatse Explosion: NADMO extends rescue operation to one week

The National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO) says search for survivors of the Appiatse explosion will continue for the next couple of days.

This follows concerns by some residents that there are other residents who have not been seen since the disaster struck on Thursday, January 20.

So far, 14 lives have been confirmed lost while about 96 persons were injured.

Four are said to be in critical condition.

About 900 displaced residents are accommodating in schools and churches in near-by communities.

But some of the residents suspect more persons may be missing and could have died as a result of the deadly explosion.

“We will keep searching,” said the Deputy NADMO Coordinator for Prestea Huni Valley, Luis Dwomoh Afful.

“We will keep working. The excavators and the rescue team are there. We are still searching [since] we are picking intelligence of people who are supposed to live in the community and we have not seen them now.”

Government has promised to rebuild homes for the displaced residents while completely settling the hospital bills of all those on admission in various hospitals.

“For the houses that have been destroyed, we are already beginning to think about how to rehabilitate and rebuild for the community,” Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia had said on Friday, Janaury 21 when he led a strong government degleation to assess the level of damage in the town.

“The president has given us the directive, I have spoken to the State Housing Coolrporation inclusion with the Mining companies here we will quickly try to put in lace the facilities that will help those who have been displaced.”

Already, the State Housing Corporation has begun enumeration of houses for reconstruction

Gov’t intends to deepen education to attain industrialisation agenda – Akufo-Addo

As part of efforts to attain the industrialsaition agenda in the country, the government intends to continue to deepen the education of the population, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has said.

This means, he said, there will be increasing emphasis on science and technology education and technical and vocational training.

The government also intends to put Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education in its central, relevant place, he added.

Mr Akufo-Addo said these on Saturday, 22nd January 2022, when he attended the 75th Anniversary of Aburi Girls Senior High School, in Aburi, in the Eastern Region.

“Established from humble beginnings in 1946, ABUGISS has come a long way to achieving the vision aptly captured in its motto, ‘Bepͻw so han’, i.e., Light on the Hill.

“I indicated in my address that Government intends to continue to deepen the education of our population, so as to attain our industrialisation objective.

“This means there will be increasing emphasis on science and technology education and technical and vocational training. We intend to put Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education in its central, relevant place.

“In so doing, we will not neglect the critical contribution of the humanities in the growth of our society and civilisation.

“Indeed, it is being increasingly accepted that the best balance is not just STEM education, but, actually, STEAM, i.e., STEM plus the Arts,” he said

Bawumia attends UN Security Council meeting

The Vice President of the Republic Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, left Accra, Ghana for New York, United States of America on Saturday January 22, 2022.

Ahead of meetings with senior officials of the United Nations, Dr Bawumia will deliver, on behalf of HE President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, a Statement during the Open Debate of the UN Security Council, to which Ghana was recently elected as a Non-Permanent member.

Dr Bawumia is also expected to hold discussions in Washington DC with the US Assistant Secretary of State for Africa, HE Ms Molly Phee on strengthening the cooperation between the two countries on issues of mutual interest.

The Vice President returns to Accra on Friday, January 28, 2022.

Source: 3news.com|Ghana

NDC suspends outreach program, directs regional officers to visit victims of explosion

Mahama Ofosu Ampofo Sit

The National Democratic Congress (NDC) has suspended its ongoing outreach programme in the Western Region and has also directed the regional leadership of the party to visit and commiserate with the victims of the deadly explosion.null

Following the disaster on Thursday, January 20, the police said its preliminary investigation established that a mining explosive vehicle moving from Tarkwa to Chirano mines collided with a motorcycle resulting in the explosion.

“Reference to our earlier emergency public notice, the Police have taken charge of the situation providing security to enable the emergency workers including the Ghana National Fire Service, NADMO and the Ambulance Service to manage the situation.

“The public has been advised to move out of the area to nearby towns for their safety while recovery efforts are underway. An appeal is also being made to nearby towns to open up their classrooms, churches etc to accommodate surviving victims.”

“Meanwhile, preliminary investigation has established that a mining explosive vehicle moving from Tarkwa to Chirano mines collided with a motorcycle resulting in the explosion. Most of the victims have been rescued and are on admission at various hospitals and clinics within the Bogoso Municipality.”

Thirteen people have so far died in relation to this accident.null

The NDC said in a statement signed by its National Chairman, Samuel Ofosu-Ampofo that it joins other well-meaning Ghanaians first in expressing “our deepest condolences to the families of all persons who lost their lives through this tragic event. The party further takes this opportunity to request the healing mercies of the Almighty God for a speedy recovery of all injured persons. No one could have foreseen a calamity of such magnitude befalling the good of Apiate at a time such as this.”

“That said, the party hereby makes a passionate appeal to all Ghanaians, and government in particular to leave no stone unturned in mobilizing the necessary emergency health and disaster relief needed to bring succor to the injured and all displaced persons. With a reported estimate of 95% of all households in Apiate reduced to rubble due to the impact of this disaster, it stands to reason that Government must double-up its efforts in finding temporary shelter for all displaced persons while urgent steps are taken to reconstruct the town and bring normalcy back to the lives of the good people of Apiate,” he added.

https://cdn.jwplayer.com/players/pnq1Q7Bk-eqk5XVg5.html

Below is the full statement of the party

PRESS RELEASEnull

21st January 2022

For Immediate Release:

NDC EXTENDS SYMPATHIES TO VICTIMS OF YESTERDAY’S EXPLOSION INCIDENT AT APIATE.

The National Democratic Congress has learned with deep sorrow, the unfortunate news of an incident of explosion in the Western Region town of Apiate.

The sad event which occurred yesterday, 20th January, 2022, is reported to have resulted in unimaginable loss, including the death of seventeen (17) persons, while dozens sustained varying degrees of injuries with many of them in critical condition.null

The NDC joins other well-meaning Ghanaians first in expressing our deepest condolences to the families of all persons who lost their lives through this tragic event. The party further takes this opportunity to request the healing mercies of the Almighty God for a speedy recovery of all injured persons. No one could have foreseen a calamity of such magnitude befalling the good of Apiate at a time such as this.

That said, the party hereby makes a passionate appeal to all Ghanaians, and government in particular to leave no stone unturned in mobilizing the necessary emergency health and disaster relief needed to bring succor to the injured and all displaced persons. With a reported estimate of 95% of all households in Apiate reduced to rubble due to the impact of this disaster, it stands to reason that Government must double-up its efforts in finding temporary shelter for all displaced persons while urgent steps are taken to reconstruct the town and bring normalcy back to the lives of the good people of Apiate.

The leadership of the NDC has suspended its ongoing outreach program in the Western Region and has directed the regional leadership of the party to visit and commiserate with the victims of this disaster as soon as possible. May the good Lord continue to heal the injured and comfort the bereaved.

Signed

Samuel Ofosu-Ampofo

Qatar 2022: Ghana, Nigeria to renew rivalry in World Cup play offs

The Black Stars will renew their rivalry with Super Eagles of Nigeria for a place in the 2022 World Cup when the two teams clash later in March to secure a spot at the global showpiece.

The two West African nations were paired for the third and final round of the African qualifiers for the World Cup held today, Saturday, 22 January 2022.

The draw held in Douala, Cameroon was conducted by CAF Competitions Director Samson Adamu, assisted by CAF legends El Hadji Diouf and Emmanuel Adebayor.

The Black Stars have been in a poor shape exiting the ongoing Afcon competition at the group stages without a win.

Meanwhile, the Super Eagles of Nigeria have been in great shape being the only country to have won all three group stage matches securing the maximum nine points for qualification to the round 16th stage.

In other parings, Mohammed Salah’s Egypt will play Sadio Mane’s Senegal.

Cameroon will face Algeria, Dr Congo plays Morocco whilst Mali plays Tunisia

KG-JHS school calendar back to 3-term system

Dr. Yaw Osei Adutwum

The Minister of Education, Dr. Yaw Osei Adutwum, has directed that the academic calendar of public schools be reverted from the semester system to the trimester system.

The Ghana Education Service (GES) on Thursday, January 13 announced new dates for reopening of public schools from kindergarten to senior high schools.

The dates implied that all basic schools would run a semester system, a decision which came as a surprise to major teacher unions.

Therefore, on the eve of reopening of schools across the country, the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT), the National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT), the Coalition of Concerned teachers, Ghana (CCT-GH) and the Teachers and Educational Workers Union (TEWU) – forming the Unions in Education – kicked against the move citing no knowledge about the decision.

“Such a major policy change should have attracted a wide consultation and therefore find both the pronouncement and the document offensive and takes exception to them,” they had said.null

On Friday, January 21, a statement issued by the Ministry of Education and signed by Press Secretary Felix Baidoo said: “After further consultation on the issue, the Honourable Minister for Education has directed that the calendar for kindergarten to Junior High School for the current academic year should revert to the Trimester system.”

As a result, the first term will run for 12 weeks from Tuesday, January 18 to Thursday, April 14.

There will be about three weeks of vacation ahead of the second term, which begins from Tuesday, May 10 till Thursday, August 18.

The final term will run from Tuesday, September 13 to Thursday, December 22.

Source: 3news.com

BREAKING NEWS: Black Stars coach, Milovan Rajevac has been sacked

His sacking follows an abysmal performance put up by the Ghana Black Stars at the ongoing Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon.

Black Stars head coach, Milovan Rajevac has been relieved of his post.

His sacking follows an abysmal performance put up by the Ghana Black Stars at the ongoing Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon.

The Stars only secured a point in their three group game matches after managing a draw with Gabon in their second group game encounter, exiting the competition with the worst performance ever in the nation’s history.

More soon

A/R: Fuel tanker catches fire while discharging fuel to tricycles at Kaase

A fuel tanker discharging fuel to some tricycles at Kaase a surburd of Kumasi in the Ashnati region, on Friday, January 21, 2022, at about 3:15 pm, caught fire destroying about 40 wooden structures.

Preliminary investigation by the Police has established that the driver of Daf tanker number AS 2531-19 was discharging fuel to some tricycle riders and in the process caught fire.

The cause of the fire is not yet known.

Personnel from the Ghana National Fire Service managed to bring the fire under control.

The Police were at the scene to ensure free flow of traffic, provide security to the officers and the motoring public and secure the scene from any interference.

No fatalities have so far been recorded.

However, about 40 wooden structures were burnt.

The truck driver and the tricycle riders escaped the scene and have gone into hiding.https://googleads.g.doubleclick.net/pagead/ads?client=ca-pub-4549410436183225&output=html&h=250&slotname=4705176708&adk=1921530005&adf=520316108&pi=t.ma~as.4705176708&w=300&lmt=1642839404&psa=0&format=300×250&url=https%3A%2F%2Fmobile.classfmonline.com%2Fnews%2Fgeneral%2FA-R-Fuel-tanker-catches-fire-while-discharging-fuel-to-tricycles-at-Kaase-30146&flash=0&wgl=1&dt=1642839402510&bpp=3&bdt=3125&idt=1666&shv=r20220119&mjsv=m202201200201&ptt=9&saldr=aa&abxe=1&prev_fmts=0x0%2C300x250%2C300x250&nras=1&correlator=7959968993759&frm=20&pv=1&ga_vid=1205619303.1642839404&ga_sid=1642839404&ga_hid=1464070360&ga_fc=1&u_tz=0&u_his=1&u_h=892&u_w=412&u_ah=892&u_aw=412&u_cd=24&u_sd=2.625&dmc=4&adx=56&ady=1859&biw=412&bih=749&scr_x=0&scr_y=0&eid=44753740%2C31064211%2C31060475&oid=2&pvsid=3578376674180488&pem=957&tmod=365703310&nvt=1&ref=https%3A%2F%2Flm.facebook.com%2F&eae=0&fc=1920&brdim=0%2C0%2C0%2C0%2C412%2C0%2C412%2C749%2C412%2C749&vis=1&rsz=%7C%7CEebr%7C&abl=CS&pfx=0&fu=0&bc=31&ifi=4&uci=a!4&btvi=2&fsb=1&xpc=86fEuO8enh&p=https%3A//mobile.classfmonline.com&dtd=1700

Meanwhile, the Police says it is doing everything possible to effect their arrest and has urged everyone to desist from engaging in activities that have the potential to put the lives of the general public at risk

Appiatse explosion: 17 dead; 59 injured – Gov’t

Seventeen people have been confirmed dead in thehuge explosion that occurred at Appiatse, a town between Bogoso and Bawdie in the Western Region.

Fifty-nine others were also injured out of the 76 rescued so far.

A statement issued by Information Minister Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, following the tragedy, said: “As of 17:00 hours, a total of seventeen (17) people have, sadly, been confirmed dead, and fifty-nine (59) injured persons had been rescued, bringing to seventy-six (76), the number of persons known, so far, to have been affected by the tragedy”.

“Out of the fifty-nine (59) injured persons, forty-two (42) are receiving treatment and some in critical condition.”

It added: “All hospitals within the vicinity are being used to treat injured persons, and an evacuation plan has been activated to move those in critical condition to medical facilities in Accra so they can get the needed assistance.”

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources has launched investigations into the circumstances that led to the explosion of the explosives that were being transported to a mine in the area.

“The investigation will, among others, help the government to determine whether the regulations covering transportation of explosives were complied with and also what led to the unfortunate tragedy,” a statement issued by theMinistry of Lands and Natural Resources on Thursday, 20 January 2022 said.

The ministry launched the investigations through the Inspectorate Division of the Minerals Commission.

The ministry added that the government is determined to assist a “return to a situation of normalcy for the residents” as quickly as practicable.

The explosion occurred when a truck conveying the explosives collided with a motorcycle and a third vehicle close to an electronic transformer.

Apart from the deaths, the explosion destroyed several properties

E-Levy Technically Approved – Majority Leader

Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu

Majority Leader and Minister for Parliamentary Affairs, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, is insisting that the Electronic Transactions Levy, popularly known as E-Levy, has been technically approved by Parliament due to the passage of the Appropriation Bill and the 2022 Budget approval.

“On three levels, we have passed the E-Levy. That is because it formed part of the budget. We approved of the budget and by extension of reason, the E-Levy,” he said.

The experienced MP for Suame in the Ashanti Region explained the ‘passage’ as saying that receivables expected from the E-Levy were factored into making the estimates for the appropriation for 2022 which has since been approved.

“Then we came to do allocations to all the sectors fed by receivables from the E-Levy and we approved of them by the entire House, and finally the Appropriations Act, which is why I am saying that I find it extremely difficult for anybody to say, having done or taken these three steps, I am now tracing my steps back to say that I can’t support it,” he stated.

The Majority Leader told DAILY GUIDE exclusively that, “We will certainly have to find a way about it because it is already in the budget that we have approved.”

E-Levy Fears

The 2022 Budget, which captured the E-Levy expected to be at the rate of 1.75%, when approved, has been the main concern of the NDC who are claiming that the fiscal policy when allowed to be passed, has the capacity to bring in more revenues to enable the NPP government to fulfil its manifesto promises and at the same time dwindle the fortunes of the NDC by 2024 when the country goes for general elections.

As a result, there have been at least two brutal fights among the MPs on the floor of Parliament over the passage of the 2022 Budget because of the E-Levy component.

Finding Solution

“We really need to give it some consideration. I think that the House must pass it,” the Majority Leader insisted, and continued that “You (referring to the Minority) agreed and approved at that level by voting for them, then the Appropriations Bill which encapsulates all the allocations of revenues and expenditures received unanimous acceptance and approval by the House. That has been done.”

“Because the E-Levy is not already in place, it was fed into the budget which we have approved, what is left now is to use legal means to introduce the E-Levy Bill, the takings of which have found expressions in the budget approved,” he said, adding that “How does anybody then say that I don’t want to approve of the law? That is the difficulty that I have. You noticed that initially my colleagues (referring to the Minority) said they had zero-tolerance for the levy – they will not accept it.”

The Majority Leader said “but gradually, they are moving on a bit and they are saying that we can do 1%. We really need to continue with the dialogue and I believe we will be able to build consensus on this.”

Regretting Blows

The Leader of Government Business said what did not go right is the degeneration of the consideration of the budget into fisticuffs, saying that it was “most unnecessary because in Parliament we debate issues; we try to build consensus on most things and matters that come before us.”

He said “but if there are areas where people may disagree, we disagree from the point of view of deep knowledge. You put your case across and I will put mine across and if you are convinced and persuaded by what I am saying, perhaps you will give in.”

“If the person says that no, this is a matter of policy for my party; even though I appreciate the point you are making, unfortunately I am not able to go with you. What then should happen is for us to take a vote,” he explained, adding “and in the taking of the vote, should it result in blows?” “It should certainly not result in exchange of blows which is why I think what happened is most unfortunate, but we will work to improve our performance, broaden and deepen consultations, and bring as many people as possible on board,” he assured.

Other Views

He said some people had called on the government to look at areas of expenditure and cut those considered as frivolous.

“Other people think that please government, look at areas of expenditure you can cut. You can cut those frivolous expenditures that you are embarking on. If there are any such, yes, we can cut them out, but we need to also do introspection to reflect on the fact that where we are now, borrowing heavily, externally is not a good option,” the Majority Leader stated.

He told DAILY GUIDE that some Ghanaians have been urging the government to do “serious introspection within where we can get money from. Government looks within and says to us that I have noticed that this is an area that I can have some money from, to build the economy and you say you don’t want it. It is a difficulty.”

Transaction Rates

The Parliamentary Affairs Minister acknowledged that payment of taxes has never been easy on the part of any individual, but indicated that in the same vein the government needed the revenues to accelerate the development of the country.

“Let us look at it. Is it possible to reduce it (rate of E-Levy) a bit? And if it is not, the government must come clean on that,” he noted.

E-Levy Compromise

When asked whether there will be a reduction of the E-Levy rate, Mr. Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu said he could not speak to that.

“Already, the rate that has been imposed is 1% in and 1% out which is 2% and the government is introducing 1.75% on top of that. You are aware the telcos have reduced their own takings by 0.25%. So that being the case, is it possible to look at other areas to further bring down the charges on the transactions,” he said.

For him, these are matters that may come from the Finance Ministry, saying “we are still discussing at the cabinet and the [Finance] Minister is pursuing his own effort.”

“I told you that people were concerned about the overall impact of the levy on the economy and pockets and that far, when we thought that it was going to be 3.75%, fortunately, the Minister’s dialogue with the telcos succeeded in getting the telcos to reduce theirs by 0.25%.”

“What it means is that the overall impact is no longer going to be 3.75%, but 3.5%. Is it still possible for the Minister to continue his dialogue with other stakeholders (vendors and platform operators) to bring the rate down?”

“The vendors are also taking 0.5% which they are sharing at both ends. Is it possible to engage them to bring theirs down a bit?” he asked rhetorically.

E-Levy Potentials

According to him, these are matters that should really be of concern to all Ghanaians since the electronic transaction remains a potential arena to the nation to raise income domestically, saying “if you go to Dubai which has a population of three million, transactions give them so much every year.”

“Somebody told me it is $15 billion and an insider that I spoke with said the $15 billion is an exaggeration and that usually it is around $5 billion.”

“$5 billion from electronic transactions is huge. Our population is more than10 times that of Dubai, and if we are able to get $5 billion (assuming $5 billion is the rightful amount) then it means that we have the potential to earn more,” he said, adding “or even if the state is getting half of what Dubai is getting, I believe we will be able to do so much with it. $2.5 billion will translate to GH¢15 billion and that will be colossal. We need these monies to pay our contractors and all that.”

He noted that when people say they are not seeing much with government initiatives, they are referring to physical infrastructure which is capital intensive.

He, however, said that the government had achieved a lot and pointed to the revival of the National Health Insurance Scheme, Free SHS, One District, One Factory (1D1F), and other flagship programmes of the government as helping to accelerate development

We must stay focused and get E-levy through – Finance Minister

Finance Minister

Finance Minister Ken Ofori Atta has said while answering a question at a press conference in Accra on Wednesday January 19 on what the government’s Plan B is for the economy and revenue generation, that the plan is for the government to remain focused and get the E-levy proposal through to ensure the domestic revenue mobilisation is strong.

He told the pressmen that there cannot be absolute agreement on government’s policies.

“There is no way we can have absolute agreement.

“We are going up by 40 per cent with regards to revenue mobilization and then expenditure is also going up by 25 per cent. We have always been very good about being able to to cut down on expenditure appropriately when we don’t meet our target.

“With this new dawn of GRA exceeding targets, we expect that to continue. With the new national ID system we are now 15.5 million people are going to be on their books.

“That is what gives me the excitement into the future because when I read the Fitch Report, you are doubting that we can make our revenues , I am confident that we can. They are worried that we cant come to the international market , we are saying its fine, we have our SDRs that will suffice for the first half and then we will figure out another method of getting the

“So plan B is to stay focused and ensure that we get our E-levy through , ensure that our domestic revenue mobilization is string and that be, we do not need to go the market.”

The E-levy proposal in the 2022 budget statement has sharply divided parliament. The opposition MPs have rejected the proposal.

The Minority Leader Haruna Iddrisu said the policy proposal is a disincentive to the growth of digital economy.

To that end, he said, the Minority would not support it.

Speaking at a post budget workshop in Ho on Saturday November 20, he said “Mr Speaker, understandably, we see that the Minister of Finance seeks to introduce some measures including the now popularly declared e-levy or digital levy  as some have quite named it.

“Mr Speaker, our concern is whether the e-levy itself is not and will not be a disincentive to the growth of digital economy in our country . We are convinced that the e-levy may as well even be a disincentive to investment  and a disincentive to private sector development in our country. We in the minority may not and will not support government  with the introduction of that particular e-levy . We are unable to build national consensus  on that particular matter.”

Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta announced this levy to be charged by government in 2022 on all electronic transactions to widen the tax net and rope in the informal sector.

“It is becoming clear there exists enormous potential to increase tax revenues by bringing into the tax bracket, transactions that could be best defined as being undertaken in the ‘informal economy’,” Mr Ofori-Atta observed on Wednesday, November 17 as he presented the 2022 budget statement in Parliament.

“After considerable deliberations, government has decided to place a levy on all electronic transactions to widen the tax net and rope in the informal sector. This shall be known as the ‘Electronic Transaction Levy or E-Levy’.”

He explained that the new E-levy will be a 1.75 per cent charge on all electronic transactions covering mobile money payments, bank transfers, merchant payments and inward remittances to be borne by the sender except inward remittances, which will be borne by the recipient.

This will, however, not affect transactions that add up to GH¢100 pr less per day.

“A portion of the proceeds from the E-Levy will be used to support entrepreneurship, youth employment, cyber security, digital and road infrastructure among others.”

This new levy is scheduled to start Saturday, January 1, 2022.

In 2020, total value of transactions was estimated to be over GH¢500 million with mobile money subscribers and users growing by 16 percent in 2019.

According to a Bank of Ghana report, Ghana saw an increase of over 120 percent in the value of digital transactions between February 2020 and February 2021 compared to 44 percent for the period February 2019 to February 2020 due to the convenience they offer.

This was definitely heightened by the advent of Covid-19 especially during the lockdown

We haven’t said E-levy will solve all problems – Gov’t

Information Minister Kojo Oppong Nkrumah has dismissed claims that the government believes the E-levy is going to solve all of Ghanaians problems.

He said no government official has said that any where.

The Ofoase Ayirebi lawmaker was reacting to a questioner at a press conference held by the Finance Minister Ken Ofori Atta in Accra on Wednesday January 19 who premised his question on the claim that the E-levy is going to solve all of Ghana’s problems.

The Ofoase Ayirebi Lawmaker said “We have not said that E-levy will solve all our problems so I think the foundation of that question should be quickly dealt with.

“E-levy is one of the revenue measures as part of several revenue measures aimed at raising the resources that we need for the appropriation of about 145 billion. So it is important to put that in context even before we get into answers.”

The E-levy proposal in the 2022 budget statement has sharply divided parliament. The opposition MPs have rejected the proposal.

The Minority Leader Haruna Iddrisu said the policy proposal is a disincentive to the growth of digital economy.

To that end, he said, the Minority would not support it.

Speaking at a post budget workshop in Ho on Saturday November 20, he said “Mr Speaker, understandably, we see that the Minister of Finance seeks to introduce some measures including the now popularly declared e-levy or digital levy  as some have quite named it.

“Mr Speaker, our concern is whether the e-levy itself is not and will not be a disincentive to the growth of digital economy in our country . We are convinced that the e-levy may as well even be a disincentive to investment  and a disincentive to private sector development in our country. We in the minority may not and will not support government  with the introduction of that particular e-levy . We are unable to build national consensus  on that particular matter.”

Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta announced this levy to be charged by government in 2022 on all electronic transactions to widen the tax net and rope in the informal sector.

“It is becoming clear there exists enormous potential to increase tax revenues by bringing into the tax bracket, transactions that could be best defined as being undertaken in the ‘informal economy’,” Mr Ofori-Atta observed on Wednesday, November 17 as he presented the 2022 budget statement in Parliament.

“After considerable deliberations, government has decided to place a levy on all electronic transactions to widen the tax net and rope in the informal sector. This shall be known as the ‘Electronic Transaction Levy or E-Levy’.”

He explained that the new E-levy will be a 1.75 per cent charge on all electronic transactions covering mobile money payments, bank transfers, merchant payments and inward remittances to be borne by the sender except inward remittances, which will be borne by the recipient.

This will, however, not affect transactions that add up to GH¢100 pr less per day.

“A portion of the proceeds from the E-Levy will be used to support entrepreneurship, youth employment, cyber security, digital and road infrastructure among others.”

This new levy is scheduled to start Saturday, January 1, 2022.

In 2020, total value of transactions was estimated to be over GH¢500 million with mobile money subscribers and users growing by 16 percent in 2019.

According to a Bank of Ghana report, Ghana saw an increase of over 120 percent in the value of digital transactions between February 2020 and February 2021 compared to 44 percent for the period February 2019 to February 2020 due to the convenience they offer.

This was definitely heightened by the advent of Covid-19 especially during the lockdown

Disagreements in Parliament are normal but must be civil – Oppong Nkrumah

Information Minister, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, has urged Members of Parliament especially the opposition lawmakers not to physically obstruct process in the House even if they strongly disagree on an issue.

He said they MPs allowed to disagree with the government on any issue but they must commit themselves to a civil, mature process of resolving the disagreements.

He said this while answering a question as to whether the fights in Parliament over the E-levy policy proposal in the 2022 budget will taint Ghana’s image on the international market, during a press conference addressed by the Finance Minister Ken Ofori Atta in Accra on Wednesday January 19.

The Ofoase Ayirebi lawmaker said “I think colleagues, you have to help us speak some truth to ourselves. Chaos is not a way of resolving disagreements. There is nothing wrong with parliamentarians disagreeing on a particular measure on the table. The rule says that when we disagree we debate to try and and convince one another, we can have conversations and engagements like the Minister has done through out and then, when we finish, we subject it to a vote.

“In this country, on the 7th of December every four years, prior to that, we may disagree on who should be president, we don’t fight about it. We allow people to campaign and debate and in the end we all queue up and vote, they count and take the decision that where the Majority went is where Ghana wants to go.

“That way, chaos does not ensue, international market and everybody else looks at us as a civilized, mature Republic.

“It is the same thing we have to do in Parliament. There is nothing wrong with a disagreements, there have been various disagreements in times past, one side may say I don’t agree, I am going to walk out , I do t agree I am going to abstain, I don’t agree I am going to vote against it.

“But to begin to physically obstruct the process is something all of us collectively must speak against. It is not, will you go and beg them, will you go and negotiate, no. We must speak the the truth that physically obstructing the process , imagine somebody going to physically going to obstruct voting on the election day in this country, we will agree that that is not the right thing to do. It is the same spirit we must bring to bear on this one.

“There is nothing wrong disagreeing but we must commit ourselves to go through a civil, mature process for resolving that disagreements.”

On Monday December 20 Members of Ghana’s Parliament could not hold their emotions as some exchanged brawls in the House just before the final vote on the controversial Electronic Transfer Levy Bill, also known as e-levy.

The sit-in Speaker, Joseph Osei-Owusu, had announced that a division would be followed to approve the Bill, presented under a certificate of urgency, and he was going to vote as well in his capacity as a Member of Parliament.

That appeared to have provoked the National Democratic Congress (NDC) members, who questioned his decision to vote after presiding over the night’s proceedings.

They moved to the front of the dais, issuing threats at the Bekwai MP.

This got the Majority MPs to also start agitations and immediately Mr Osei-Owusu handed the presiding role to the Second Deputy Speaker, Andrew Amoako Asiamah, the fight broke out

BoG Sacks 2 Staff Over Fake Certificates

The Bank of Ghana (BoG) says it has dismissed two staff contrary to claims that the bank has terminated the contract of 90 percent of newly recruited staff for presenting fake certificates.

According to the Bank, the statement circulating on social media is twisted to misinform the public.

In a statement issued on January 18, 2022 the BoG said “It is not true that 90 percent of recently recruited staff were found to have presented fake certificates. The incident being referred to involves two (2) members of staff whose appointments were terminated for providing fake certificates as part of their employment documentation. As part of due diligence processes during and post recruitment, those found to have presented forged documentation (including academic and professional certificates) are either dropped from the recruitment process or their services terminated if already on-boarded and on probation.”

The Bank of Ghana is putting on record that the dismissals are a regular Human Resources management function for staff whose conduct is unsatisfactory or have committed an offence, as stipulated in the Bank’s handbook on Human Resource Policies

Banks to accept only Ghana Card as form of identification starting July 1 – BoG

The Bank of Ghana (BoG) has directed that the Ghana Card shall be the only identification card that will be to undertake transactions at all Bank of Ghana licensed and regulated financial institutions.

These include Banks;Specialised Deposit-Taking Institutions; Non-Deposit-Taking Financial Institutions; Payment Service Providers and Dedicated Electronic Money Issuers; Forex Bureaus and Credit Reference Bureaus.


In line with this Notice, Section 30 of the Anti-Money Laundering Act, 2020 (Act 1044) and Regulation 12 of the Anti-Money Laundering Regulations, 2011 (L.I.1987), all financial institutions shall take steps to update customer records with
the Ghana Card.


Customers of Bank of Ghana regulated financial institutions are therefore advised to update their records with their respective financial institutions with the Ghana Card in line with this Notice.

For KYC purposes, the National Identification Authority verification transaction platform will be integrated into the Bank of Ghana’s financial monitoring platform. This is to ensure that all financial transactions performed within the ecosystem are linked to one identity and information, and unique codes for the transactions shared with the Bank of Ghana (BoG) to facilitate the identification
of initiators/beneficiaries for track and trace purposes. This will include but not limited to transactions by Banks; Non-bank Financial Institutions; and Mobile Money Operators (MMOs).

“The Public is to note that no other form of identification will be accepted for financial transactions in Bank of Ghana after the effective date stated above,” a statement issued by the central bank said on Wednesday January 19

Go to the IMF for help; don’t be shy – Franklin Cudjoe advises government

In a Facebook post on Monday, the political commentator lamented Ghana’s debt profile and called on government to take a second look at its expenditure.

President of IMANI Africa, Franklin Cudjoe, has advised government to seek help from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in the face of the country’s current economic challenges.

In a Facebook post on Monday, the political commentator lamented Ghana’s debt profile and called on government to take a second look at its expenditure.

In his statement, Mr. Cudjoe also urged government to consider seeking help from the IMF to contain the situation.

“We all fall on hard times and need some support from family and friends. .. but Government has driven the country into a debt iceberg and we are sinking with fewer life boats and passerby ships that should care are simply smiling and waving at us.. We need to stop the debt clock by rationalising our expenditure plans and more.. Meanwhile, government should talk to the IMF to help. We shouldn’t be shy at all’, Franklin Cudjoe wrote.

The comment by the policy expert, comes on the back of similar commentaries by some individuals about the current state of the economy.

In an earlier interview on the Super Morning Show, an economist with the University of Ghana Business School (UGBS), Prof. Godfred Alufar Bokpin, warned of a possible collapse of Ghana’s economy.

According to him, as the country’s debt stock hits high distress levels, the current debt situation could get worse by the end of September, if proper interventions are not implemented.

“When you see the proportion of the debt payment, relative to the size of the revenue envelope and you look at your rising debt and you look at the rate of economic growth and the drivers of that growth, you can reasonably predict that it’s just a matter of time that the economy will just collapse. We’re probably going to run into a little bit more difficulties towards the end of September,” he said.

Last week, independent ratings agency, Fitch, downgraded Ghana’s creditworthiness from a B to a B minus, with a projected 83?bt-to-GDP for the year ending December, 2021.

This will significantly affect the country’s access to loans on the international market even as the government’s local revenue mobilization campaign is threatened, as the controversial e-levy is yet to be approved by Parliament.

Ghana’s current public debt stock stands at a staggering 341.8 billion Ghana Cedis with a corresponding debt to GDP ratio of more than 77% as of September 2021 ending. This means if the country should share this amount across the country’s 30.8 million population, everyone will owe approximately ₵11,000 Ghana Cedis.

In terms of interest payments on borrowings, Ghana has spent an average of 147 billion Ghana Cedis, which is 47 billion Ghana Cedis more than the projected revenue plus grants for 2022.

In the first quarter of 2022, the government has indicated it will borrow a total of GHS24.5 billion from the domestic market of which GHS20.7 billion will be used to service existing debt in the local market leaving the government with just GHS3.8 billion to finance other expenses.

Also, Bloomberg, in an article captioned – “Ghana Debt Moves Deeper into Distress as Investors lose Patience,” painted a gloomy picture of the economy.

Even though the Ministry of Finance refuted certain aspects of the article, there have been concerns from the public about the state of the country’s economy and the need for government to deal decisively with the lurking fiscal threats.

Source: Myjoyonline

Otumfuo claps back after Dormaahene’s outburst

The Ashantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu II has disclosed that he has no intention of coercing any traditional ruler to kowtow to him.

Speaking at the first Council Meeting in the Ashanti Region, the Ashantehene stated his intention is to give a facelift to those willing to develop the traditional areas under him.

“The reason why the government created the new regions especially, Ahafo and Bono East is to expand development, it doesn’t mean if you are under the Asante Kingdom you have become autonomous, you still serve the Golden Stool (sikadwa)”, he said.

The Asantehene also stated he has no interest of skewing history but facts are sacrosanct.

“I want to remind those who have probably forgotten history and speaking out of ignorance, we haven’t forced anyone to serve us, it is even an honour to serve the Golden Stool Agyeman Badu was a teacher, he sworn before me before ascending the throne as the chief of Dormaa he said adding that “It was my orchestration when Dormaa Kusi was defeated.”

He assured that all the chiefs who are in the Bono and Bono East region shall be protected.

“I am also a man, but I love peace.”

In 2010 similar tension ensued between the Asantehene and the chief of Techiman compelling the then president, the late John Evans Atta Mills who sent a high powered government delegation to engage Otumfour and quell a possible escalation.

This was after the Tuobodom chief, Nana Asare Baffour who owes allegiance to the Asantehene has been dragged to Nana Akumfi Ameyaw’s palace

CLOGSAG proceeds on nationwide strike from Thursday

The Civil and Local Government Staff Association of Ghana (CLOGSAG) is asking all its members across the nation to stay home from Thursday, January 20.

According to a circular to the members, this is to press home better conditions of service.

Signed by Executive Secretary Isaac Bampoe Addo, the circular dated Monday, January 17, 2022 said the decision was arrived at by the National Executive Council.

It said notice on the intent of the action was served on all relevant stakeholders as far back as Wednesday, December 22, 2021.

“By this letter, all CLOGSAG members in the Ministries, Departments, and Agencies as well as the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies are informed to stay home from Thursday 20th, January 2022 until further notice.

“In similar vein, by this letter all Chief Directors, Heads of Department, Regional Coordinating Directors, Metropolitan, Municipal and District Coordinating Directors are duly informed.”

Meanwhile, the Local Government Workers’ Union has also declared intention to join the strike from Thursday.

By Emmanuel Kwame Amoh|3news.com|Ghana

Fuel price hit GH₵7; GPRTU, other transport operators to decide next line of action

Fuel prices have hit the projected GH¢7 per litre mark on Sunday, January 16, 2022.

The Ghana Private Road Transport Union (GPRTU) says it is engaging various transport operators on their next line of action due to the government’s failure in stabilising fuel prices in the country.

Fuel prices have hit the projected GH¢7 per litre mark on Sunday, January 16, 2022.

In an interview with Citi News, the Industrial Relations Officer of GPRTU, Abass Imoro, said stakeholders are yet to take a decision on the matter.

He urged drivers to be patient, as the outcome of the stakeholder meetings will be announced soon.

The Institute for Energy Security (IES), had earlier predicted a GH¢7 per litre of fuel in the second pricing window of this month, January.

Fuel prices per litre at most pumps around the country prior to the recent increase dropped to around GH¢ 6.50 on average in the past few weeks, and subsequently rose to reach an average of Gh¢6.70 at most pumps.

Checks by Citi Business News as of 9:00pm on Sunday, January 16, 2022, showed that while a litre of petrol and diesel was going for Gh¢ 6.50 at Goil, Shell was selling both at GH¢ 6.80.

Total, however, was selling a litre of petrol at GH¢6.99 and a litre of diesel at GH¢7.05.

Already, various transport operators, including the Concerned Drivers Association of Ghana, have continually lamented recent increases in fuel prices, indicating that it is having dire consequences on their business.

They earlier threatened to increase transport fares by 40% as a result, but later backed down on the threat.

Source: Citinewsroom

You can withdraw our security, block our salary, we don’t care, this won’t last forever – Munkata

Member of Parliament for Asawase, Muntaka Mubarak has dared the Executive to withdraw the security of all the 137 opposition lawmakers and also withhold their salaries in attempt to frustrate them.

He said the National Democratic Congress (NDC) legislators will not be intimated by the court action against some members of his side in the House.

“The game is to intimidate, frustrate us and they think that they can weaken us but no, they cant. In fact they are rather strengthening and keeping us together.

“You are charging Dominic Ayine because of Zuarungu market , you are bringing Quayson, you are charging Akwatia MP, you can just see the frustration and it is so shameful that they forget that this is a democracy and this is being led by so called learned,” he told journalists after the first hearing of Ato Forson’s case on Monday January 17.

He added “Now, we know everyone of us in danger, they can choose to withdraw all the security that follow all the 137 of us, they can choose to even take all our salary because they think they are in the executive but believe me , it is rather going to strength us. Remember, nothing lasts forever.

“Ato Forson will always be in Parliament, he is not going to neglect that responsibility and be in court, he will always be in Parliament before he comes to court. It is for the court to decide what time they will sit so that he will be able to participate.”

The case which was called on Monday January 17 was adjourned to Tuesday, January 18, 2022.

The Ranking Member of the Finance Committee of Parliament  together with two others, has been dragged to the High Court on five counts of willfully causing financial loss to the state.

According to the facts of the case, Dr Ato Forson, when he was a Deputy Finance Minister under the Mahama administration, executed a contract by the government of Ghana to purchase some 200 ambulances for the National Ambulance Service.

Despite the granting of a medium term loan facility of €15.8 million for the 200 ambulances, only 10 were shipped to Ghana in 2014.

“A post-delivery inspection of the first batch of 10 ambulances revealed that same were without any medical equipment in them.

“Other fundamental defects included defects on the body of the vehicles and the patient compartment of the ambulances,” the writ noted.

The two other accused are Sylvester Anemana, who was a Chief Director at the Ministry of Health, and Richard Jakpa, the Ghana representative of Dubai-based Big Sea General Trading Limited.

While Sylvester Anemana has been charged for abetment of crime namely wilfully causing financial loss to the state contrary to Sections 20(1) and 179A(3)(a) of the Criminal Offences Act, 1960 and breaching the Public Procurement Act, Richard Jakpa is on a charge of wilfully causing financial loss to the state “by intentionally causing vehicles purporting to be ambulances to be supplied tot he Republic of Ghana by Big Sea General Trading Ltd of Dubai without due cause”.

Mr Ato Forson, who is the first accused, has additionally been charged for intentionally misapplying public property contrary to section 1(2) of the Public Property Protection Act, 1977.

He is said to have misapplied €2.37 million by causing irrevocable Letters of Credit to be established against the budget of the Ministry of Health in favour of the Dubai-based firm.

The charges were brought against the three by the state

I Can Cough GH¢130m Says Ato Essien

Ato Essien

The embattled founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of defunct Capital Bank, William Ato Essien, has offered to refund another GH¢130 million out of the GH¢620 million bailout money he allegedly stole from the bank which led to its insolvency and subsequent government takeover.

Mr. Essien who is standing trial alongside two others for the alleged theft, at the early stages of the trial which is going into its third year, elected to refund GH¢27.5 million he had carried in a jute bag known in local parlance as ‘Ghana Must Go’, per the prosecution’s account.

Section 35 of the Courts Act (Act 459, 1993) allows an accused person who “admits the offence and is willing to offer compensation or make restitution and reparation for the loss, harm or damage caused,” and Ato Essien appeared to have taken advantage of the Act to make the refund.

Although the prosecution is yet to accept the proposal on the payment of the GH¢27.5 million which includes terms of payment and reparation, Ato Essien has indicated his intention to make a further payment of GH¢130 million in a bid to assuage the charges levelled against him.

Baffuor Gyau Bonsu Ashia who held brief for Thaddeus Sory, counsel for Ato Essien, disclosed the plan to the trial High Court presided over by Justice Eric Kyei Baffuor, a Court of Appeal judge sitting as an additional High Court judge, last Thursday.

Counsel said they are negotiating with the Attorney General on how to make the refund.

“Unlike the initial prayer where we made an appeal to this court to pay the GH¢27.5 million which form the basis of some of the charges, we have also included GH¢130 million that also forms part of the charges,” he said, adding “the discussion has been very fruitful to the extent that the prosecution has written to us dated December 30, 2021, where the prosecution has made its stance very clear.”

Counsel said however that “the only difficulty between us as defence counsel and the prosecution is the quantum which can easily be resolved by an independent auditor.”

Judge’s Enquiry

Justice Kyei Baffuor then requested the said letter from the Attorney and upon perusing it, he said the content of the letter looks like an 80 per cent rejection from the prosecution.

He said the prosecution seems to disagree with the amount involved, the terms of payment and the amount to pay as reparation, but the parties could continue with the negotiations and if they are able to strike a deal finally, they would inform the court.

The judge, however, indicated that the trial will take its normal course and if at the end of the trial the parties are not done with the negotiations, he will hold on to the judgment until they reach an amicable agreement.

He also said that when they reach an agreement and the prosecution decides not to pursue the case any further, he as a “servant of the law” will have nothing he would do about it.

Last Warning

During the trial on Thursday, the court warned that it will revoke Ato Essien’s bail and incarcerate him if his lawyers do not cooperate with the court in the ongoing trial.

The judge issued the warning after lawyer for the embattled businessman failed to file a witness statement on his behalf as ordered by the court last year.

It was not the first time his lawyer failed to file the documents in the trial in which Ato Essien and the defunct bank’s former Managing Director, Reverend Fitzgerald Odonkor as well as Tetteh Nettey, a former Managing Director of MC Management Service owned by Ato Essien, are before the court charged with 23 counts of conspiracy to steal, stealing, and money laundering.

The three are alleged to have misappropriated a total of GH¢620 million liquidity support given to the bank by the Bank of Ghana (BoG) as bailout to enable it service its maturing debt.

The accused persons, according to the prosecution, allegedly opened various bank accounts with Capital Bank through which the GH¢620 million BoG liquidity support were transferred to while others were carried in jute bags (Ghana Must Go) to Ato Essien as payment for ‘business promotion.’

Court Order

The court on November 25, last year, ordered Ato Essien to file his witness statement as well as those of any witnesses he intended to call by December 7, 2021, after the court expressed concern about the ‘snail pace’ at which the accused person was giving his evidence-in-chief.

The accused was initially giving oral testimony but failed to show up in court and the court was told that he was suffering from sleep apnea, a potentially serious sleep disorder in which one’s breathing repeatedly stops and restarts.

Baffuor Gyau Bonsu Ashia, then told the court that they were unable to file the documents because there were certain documents they requested from the Receiver of the defunct bank which they were yet to receive.

The court subsequently gave him additional two weeks to file the witness statements and adjourned the trial for case management.

Non-Compliance

Mr. Bonsu Ashia then indicated on Thursday that they were not able to comply with the court’s orders because they only got the requested documents on January 12 in the evening.

He, therefore, prayed the court to grant him another adjournment to enable them attach what he described as “vital documents” to the witness statement.

The prosecution led by Marina Appiah Opare, a Chief State Attorney, said they were prepared for the case management as scheduled but was not opposed if the court allows the accused person the two weeks requested to file the witness statement.

Court Unimpressed

Justice Kyei Baffuor, who was visibly unimpressed, said the lawyer could have used a subpoena to obtain the documents from the person who was unwilling to release them.

He then turned to Mr. Essien and told him that he as a judge has the power to rescind his bail and put him in custody until the end of the trial if his lawyer fails to comply with the orders of the court.

He said one of the conditions for the grant of bail is not only to ensure that the accused person will show for the trial, but that the accused person would cooperate with the court.

The judge also expressed worry about the manner in which criminal trials are conducted in Ghana, which usually take a very long time to complete compared to other jurisdictions where even trials on indictment are concluded over a short period of time.

Justice Kyei Baffuor said a time will come when what he referred to as “anachronistic Act 30” (the Act that regulates criminal proceedings in Ghana), will be overhauled.

“I will hold in abeyance the invocation of the powers vested in the court to moderate and control its proceedings and extend the time for two more weeks for the first accused to comply with orders of the court,” he said as he reluctantly adjourned the trial to January 27, 2022

¢10k reward for credible information to arrest attackers of Radio Ada

TheGhana Police has announced a GH₵ 10,000.00 Reward for Credible Information that will Lead to the Arrest of suspects who Vandalised Ada Radio Station.

A statement issued on Sunday January 16 said “The Police hereby urge the staff of Radio Ada, people of Big Ada and the general public to remain calm as we continue our investigations into the attack at the Radio Ada station on Thursday, January 13, 2022.”

Radio Ada 93.3 in the Greater Accra Region was reportedly attacked on the morning of Thursday, January 13 by a group of eight men, one of who was said to have been armed with a pistol.

A presenter who was on-air at the time of the attack is reported to have been beaten while the studio equipment of the station were vandalized leading to a temporary shutdown of the station.

A statement by management of the station says “two Radio Ada staff together with visitors to the station were held hostage during the attack”.

The management says, the attackers disclosed publicly their reason.

“The attackers openly declared that they had come to vandalise the station because of its Manor Munyu and other programmes discussing the recent developments in the Songor.  They threatened to inflict further havoc should the station continue with programmes on the Songor”, parts of the statement reads.

Meanwhile, the case has been reported to the Big Ada police while the beaten presenter was taken to the Ada East District Hospital for treatment

Alban Bagbin unhappy about the withdrawal of military attaché

Alban Bagbin Speaker Of Parliament1

Alban Bagbin‘s military personnel withdrawn

GAF says they were assigned without proper procedure

Bagbin describes the move as an attempt to deny him security protection

The Office of the Speaker of ParliamentAlban Bagbin, has written to question the motive behind the withdrawal of some four military personnel assigned to offer the Speaker some protection.

According to the statement sighted on citinewsroom.com, Alban Bagbin’s office described the move as an attempt to strip the Speaker off security protection and it is untenable.

The statement further added, the decision to withdraw the soldiers sets a bad precedent for the country’s democracy and it is much worrying when no explanation was given.

The development, the Speaker’s office indicated, sets Alban Bagbin up for harm.

“In a country that takes pride in its democratic institutions and processes, the decision to reduce the number of security personnel assigned to the Speaker detracts from the political gains that Ghana has made, and is a bad precedent.

“The unknown reason for such a move is puzzling, but the real motive should be obvious to all objective observers of the political scene in Ghana.

“If it is an attempt to gag the Speaker, this move will serve to only widen the gap between the legislature and the other arms of government. It also hints at the possibility of a plot to place the safety and security of the Speaker in harm’s way,” the statement read in parts.

Background

The Chief of Staff at the Headquarters of the Ghana Armed Forces, Major General Nicholas Peter Andoh, withdrew four military personnel attached to the office of the Speaker of Parliament.

The military indicated in a letter sighted by GhanaWeb that, the soldiers were attached to the Speaker ‘without proper procedure.’

“It is humbly requested that the personnel are withdrawn with effect from 14 January 2022 while efforts are made to regularize their attachment,” the letter stated.

The officers, WO I Jafaru Bunwura, WO II Apugiba Awine David, S/Sgt Agbley Prosper and Sgt. Bonney Prince have been serving Bagbin’s office since he became Speaker in January 2021.

Read the Office of the Speaker of Parliament’s statement below:

RT. HON. SPEAKER, ALBAN S.K. BAGBIN, STRIPPED OFF SECURITY COVER

The office of the Rt. Hon. Speaker, Alban S.K. Bagbin, has taken note of the withdrawal of four military officers posted to assist in the protection of the Speaker. The attempt to strip the Speaker off security protection is untenable.

In a country that takes pride in its democratic institutions and processes, the decision to reduce the number of security personnel assigned to the Speaker detracts from the political gains that Ghana has made, and is a bad precedent.

The unknown reason for such a move is puzzling, but the real motive should be obvious to all objective observers of the political scene in Ghana. If it is an attempt to gag the Speaker, this move will serve to only widen the gap between the legislature and the other arms of government. It also hints at the possibility of a plot to place the safety and security of the Speaker in harm’s way.

The citizens of this country yearned for an effective separation of powers as well as check and balance, and voted to have a hung Parliament. They are looking for a lot more consultation, consensus building and dialogue. This move contrasts with that and certainly is a bad precedent.

In decisions such as these, we must ensure that we are guided by the overall interest of this country and the sustenance of our democracy and its institutions.

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

Abronye runs for cover as irate Dormaa youth invade NPP press conference

Abronye DC 234

Dormaahene laments lack of projects in community

Dormaahene sets records straight on foundation of Kumasi

Abronye refutes Dormaahene’s allegations


A press conference by the Bono Regional wing of the New Patriotic Party turned into a full-blown melee after some irate youth of Dormaa stormed the venue and chased out the executives with weapons, Sunyani-based Ark FM reports.

A report by the radio station states the thugs forcefully made their way to the venue with life-threatening weapons.

The Bono Regional chairman of the NPP who was addressing the press conference reportedly had to seek cover as he feared for his life.null

The incident occurred at the Regent Resort Hotel near Abesim while Abronye was aimed at addressing some statement made by the Dormaahene, Osagyefo Agyemang Badu I.

According to the report, the weapon-wielding youth protested against the staging of the press conference as they believe it is a show of disrespect to their chief.

Police however intervened timely to ensure that there was no bloodshed and that properties were also protected.

Abronye is quoted to have dismissed some claims made by the Dormaahene that the Akufo-Addo government has not honoured its promise to the people Dormaa.

Abronye mentioned a number of projects built by the Akufo-Addo government in Dormaa.null

“There are several projects inherited from the previous government and new ones that are going on all over the country so, for the Omanhene to say that is a bad omen that can bring his stool into a disrepute,” he said.

The station reports that the press conference was held later held at the Henpon Hotel under Police and Military protection.

The Police have meanwhile launched investigations into the matter.

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

Bagbin’s security hasn’t been removed, soldiers are not part of security of Speaker, MPs – Gov’t

Minister for National Security,

The Ministry of National Security has said the news about the withdrawal of the soldiers attached to the Office of the Speaker has been given misinterpretations by a section of the Ghanaian public.

The Ministry said in a statement that soldiers do not form part of the security arrangement of the Speaker and Members of Parliament.

They only come in a need-basis in accordance with stated state protocols, the Ministry explained.

The statement added that the security of the speaker is intact, no changes have been made to it.

“The Ministry of National Security would like to place on record that contrary to the aforesaid misrepresentations, all requisite resources including logistics and personnel required for full protection of the Speaker have been provided.

“It is worth noting that for the first time since 2017, the security arrangements for both the Speaker and Members of Parliament have been significantly enhanced.

“It also needs stating that personnel of the Ghana Armed Forces do not form part of the security detail for the Speaker and Parliament as Parliamentary security support is provided by the Ghana Police Service. Any need for specific agency support is typically executed on the need-basis in accordance with stated state protocols.”

The clarification comes after Member of Parliament for Banda and Deputy Minority Whip, Ahmed Ibrahim, has claimed that the removal of the soldiers who were attached to the Office of the Speaker, was on the orders of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.

Speaking on the News 360 on TV3 Saturday January 15, the Member on the Defence Committee said the news of the removal came at a shock to the Minority in Parliament.

“This came to us a great shock,” he said, adding that “this is the time we all need to come together to work on security.

“We are surprised as a minority to hear government withdrawing the military detachment of the speaker. The speaker is number three, even the EC chair is using about ten Military personnel. So if the Speaker duly requested for four and they have been on duty for over one year, the questions is what has changed? It raises security questions.”

He added “It is president Akufo-Addo who has withdrawn the military detachment, he is the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces. The Minority will meet on Monday.”

The Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) has said that the four soldiers who have been withdrawn from the Office of the Speaker of Parliament were attached to that particular office without proper procedure.

This resulted in the decision to withdraw them while efforts are made to regularise their attachment, a statement said.

“The under-named military personnel were attached to the Office of the Rt Honourable Speaker of Parliament without the proper procedure,” the statement signed by the Chief of Staff of the Ghana Armed Forces, NP Andoh to the Speaker said.

“It is humbly requested that the personnel are withdrawn with effect from 14 January 2022 while efforts are made to regularise their attachment,”

By Laud Nartey|3news.com|Ghana

Bagbin’s improperly assigned ‘little army’ taken from him

The Ghana Armed Forces has withdrawn some four military personnel detailed to the office of the Speaker of Parliament, Mr Alban Bagbin.

A letter from the Chief of Staff of the Ghana Armed Forces, NP Andoh, addressed to the Speaker said the four officers did not go through the right processes before being attached to the Speaker’s office.

They include WO1 Jafaru Bunwura, WOII Apugiba Awine David, S/Sgt Agbley Prosper and Sgt. Bonney Prince.

They have been protecting the Speaker since January 2021.

The letter to Mr Bagbin said: “It is humbly requested that the personnel are withdrawn with effect from 14 January 2022 while efforts are made to regularise their attachment”..

Read the letter below:

Source: classfmonline.com

Ghana removed from EU grey list of high risk third countries in money laundering activities– Akufo-Addo

“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.” 

These were the words of the President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo- Addo, on Thursday, 13 th January 2022, when he addressed a joint press conference, at Jubilee House, with the visiting President of the Republic of Hungary, His Excellency János Áder, who is on a State Visit to Ghana. 

It will be recalled that, in 2016, Ghana was subjected to a Second Round of Mutual Evaluation by the Inter-Governmental Action Group against Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing in West Africa (GIABA). 

Though the round of mutual evaluation showed some progress over an earlier one in 2009, there were still significant gaps that needed to be addressed which led Ghana being placed under observation by the International Cooperation Review Group (ICRG). 

Consequently, European Union added Ghana to its list of high-risk third countries with strategic deficiencies in their Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) regime, in October 2020, as a direct result of Ghana being on the FATF list. 

Over the last three years, an Inter-Ministerial Committee led by the Ministry of Finance had been hard at work coordinating key reforms to cure strategic AML/CFT deficiencies. 

Ghana-Hungary Relations 

Welcoming His Excellency János Áder to Ghana, President Akufo-Addo described the visit as a landmark one, “as it is the first time since the fall of communism that a President from Hungary is paying a State Visit to Ghana. We are honoured by your presence, Mr President.” 

According to President Akufo-Addo, “President Áder and I first had the opportunity of meeting on the sidelines of the R20 Austria World Summit, held in Vienna in May 2019, where we both pledged our commitment to exploring further areas of interest for the mutual benefit of our two countries. This visit reinforces our commitment to engage each other further to this end.” 

The bilateral discussions between the two leaders and their delegations centered on the expansion of relations in the sectors of trade, pharmaceuticals, manufacturing, ICT, financial services, water management and environmental protection, with an agreement put in place for the commencement of meetings under the auspices of a Permanent Joint Commission for Cooperation (PJCC), which will serve as the platform for accelerating mutually beneficial co-operation between Ghana and Hungary. 

The President revealed that, soon, a number of key agreements will be signed between Ghana and Hungary, including the continuation of the Educational Exchange Programme, the mutual visa exemption for holders of diplomatic and service passports between the Republic of Ghana and Hungary, the Memorandum of Understanding on Sports Co-operation between the Ministry of Human Capacities of Hungary and the Ministry of Youth and Sports of Ghana, the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Hungary on Co-operation in the field of water management in Kumasi, and the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in the field of environmental protection and nature conservation

4 new flex fighter vessels show govt’s consistency in maritime security investment – MP

Member of Parliament for Nsawam-Adoagyiri, Frank Annoh-Dompreh, has said the 4 new flex fighter vessels acquired for the Ghana Navy is an indication of the government’s commitment in investing in maritime security.

He said President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has consistently invested in improving the defensive capability of Ghana’s forces.

“The Ghana Navy has received 4 new flex fighter vessels to enhance maritime security, protect offshore oil and gas installations and safeguard Ghana’s Exclusive Economic Zone. H.E @NAkufoAddo, has consistently invested in improving the defensive capability of our forces,” the Majority Chief Whip said in a tweet on Friday January 14.

THE GHANA NAVY HAS RECEIVED 4 NEW FLEX FIGHTER VESSELS TO ENHANCE MARITIME SECURITY, PROTECT OFFSHORE OIL AND GAS INSTALLATIONS AND SAFEGUARD GHANA’S EXCLUSIVE ECONOMIC ZONE. H.E @NAKUFOADDO, HAS CONSISTENTLY INVESTED IN IMPROVING THE DEFENSIVE CAPABILITY OF OUR FORCES. PIC.TWITTER.COM/USROO18CKC— Hon. Frank Annoh-Dompreh (@FAnnohDompreh) January 13, 2022

The Government has acquired four new fighter vessels for Ghana Navy as part of moves protect the country’s waters.

The vessels are expected to enhance the capacity of the Ghana Navy to protect the country’s maritime area.

The vessels which will be manned by Naval captains with international ratings are equipped with the needed logistics to protect national installations and also deter and make Ghana’s adjoining coast safer.

The Government over the years has provided the necessary vehicles, machines, and other equipment that will help improve the security of its citizens on the land, in the air, and our water bodies

Bawumia launches Pan-African Payments System

“In my humble opinion, PAPSS is an African Solution to an African problem and it is the most practical and most important achievement in payment systems integration on the African continent since independence from colonial rule. 

“We as Africans should be very proud of this historic feat which demonstrates how the application of digital technology can solve many problems we are facing individually and collectively.” 

These were the words of the Vice President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, when he joined other political, financial and Fintech leaders from across the African continent in Accra for the commercial launch of the Pan-African Payment and Settlement System (PAPSS) on Thursday, January 13, 2022. 

The Pan-African Payment and Settlement System is a cross-border, financial market infrastructure instantly connecting payment transactions across Africa, eliminating the need to route such payments through third party banks usually located outside the continent. 

Among others, it is designed to enable instant and secure payments between African banks, payment service providers and other financial market infrastructure; enable instant and near instant payments made by both originators and beneficiaries in their local currencies anywhere in Africa; and simplify the historical complexities and costs of making payments across Africa’s borders, providing operational efficiencies that open up vast economic opportunities. 

Available trade statistics provided by the African Union in its Annual Trade Report of year 2020 indicates that Intra-African trade remains low with an average of 13% for intra-imports and 20% for intra-exports over the period of the last seven years.  

These trade payments and relationships are also characterized by settlement involving foreign exchange use which sometimes put pressure on African currencies coupled with issues relating to speed of transactions, convenience and high cost of these transactions. 

Officials of the Afreximbank and the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), lead promoters of PAPSS, say the operationalization of the payment system will benefit all stakeholders, from governments, banks and payment providers to the end customers; corporates, small enterprises and individuals, removing the challenge of dealing with 42 different countries and 4 exchange systems. Its roll out is expected to save banks on the continent some $5 billion in transaction fees. 

The PAPSS, which will allow Member States to transfer funds within Africa on the same day and at a lower cost, is set to benefit Africa’s exporters and importers by providing a faster, safe and secure transfer of funds, Vice President Bawumia explained. 

“Businesses and traders would no longer have to spend days waiting for the confirmation or receipt of funds to facilitate a trade as payments will be cleared and settled in real time. It provides a simplified process that reduces the costs and complexities of foreign exchange for cross-border transactions between African markets. 

“The biggest beneficiaries of PAPSS will be small and medium-sized businesses, investors who make high value payments across the borders and consumers who have been using informal means to make cross border payments.” 

The Vice President, who had urged Governors and other stakeholders to speed up the PAPSS roll-out and integration process when he addressed a virtual the annual Conference of the Association of African Central Banks in November 2021, expressed delight that the six year old dream had finally been achieved. 

“Over the years, there has been tremendous emphasis by central banks on the development of domestic payments systems such as such as Real-Time Gross Settlement (RTGs), Automated Clearing House (ACH), Securities Settlement System (SSS), Automated Check Processing System and a National Switch, etc. However, there has been less focus on cross border or intra African payments. Notwithstanding their significance, intra African payments faced various challenges including cost, access, speed and transparency. 

“Broadly, inadequate trade related infrastructure on the African continent and under-developed cross-border payment and settlement systems as well as settlement in foreign currency have culminated in persistence of informal trade in the Sub-Sahara Africa region. We are now in a better position to reduce this trade informality by coming together to provide the required integrated payments infrastructures and systems. 

“As you are all aware, the underlying motive behind our integration scheme is the expectation that, through collaborative efforts, participating countries in the integration programmes would generate maximum socio-economic benefits for their citizens in the sub-region. Regional integration, undoubtedly is an efficient tool for overcoming the constraints imposed by the nature and size of individual national markets. It has been realized that if production of goods and services is carried out in an enlarged regional economic space, there is a greater chance of achieving substantial economic benefit.” 

Mike Ogbalu III, first CEO of PAPSS, underscored the importance of the payment system, emphasizing that it will “eliminate the artificial borders that have militated against intra-African trade and our collective effort to integrate our economies. It is a very welcome development indeed.” 

Source: 3news.com|Ghana

I Haven’t Resigned-Cardinal Turkson

Cardinal Peter Kowdwo Appiah Turkson

Cardinal Peter Kowdwo Appiah Turkson has denied claims in section of both local and international media that he has resigned as a cardinal of the Catholic Church.

According to the former President of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, some people misunderstood his notification to Pope Francis about the end of his five years term in a specific role and position as resignation.

It would be recalled that news broke out in December that Cardinal Turkson have abruptly offered his resignation from a key Vatican department.

Speaking on Accra based radio station, Asaase radio, Cardinal Turkson explained that”… So that’s just what happened. Why this was seen and interpreted as resignation beats my imagination and as a result of that, I tweeted to explain all of this but people took things the way they wanted to take it. There was nothing to get upset or get worried about.”

He stressed that, “If you wanted to put it more bluntly, we’ll probably say that within the church in our circus, the saying is that: nobody goes up the cross and then descends from the cross. Jesus didn’t go to the cross and then decided to come off the cross, so when you engage in the service of the church I think you go all the way …

“What it is, is a very simple thing; I don’t know why it made such rounds around the world and generated all the discussions. Here in the Vatican, every position is given for five years and at the end of the five years, either the term is extended, renewed or one is reassigned to some other position. I left Ghana in 2010, that means I have been here [for] eleven years which means I’ve done two terms of five years…”

“I’ve met this experience before, at the end of the set of five years, my mandate was slightly modified and extended. When I came here, I was to take charge of an office called Justice and Peace, at the end of five years it had a merger. Three other offices were joined with our office and that became the second set of five years and this happened in August 2016. So 2021 is the end of the second set of five years. So at the end of all of these years, you notified the Pope that your five years is up to enable him to take a decision.”

After mentioning that he was not upset about the report concerning his resignation because he new it was not true, Cardinal Turkson disclosed that Pope Francis has reassigned him to take up another responsibility.

He said “I wasn’t upset. So this is what happened last year, the Pope decided to reassign and…have you move on and that’s just what happened; you have to notify the Pope that your five years are up and doing that it’s not resignation, it’s just a notification,” he said.

“Over here in the Italian language, we say that: you put your mandate back to his hands for him to reassign, extend, modify or do what he wants to do with it. So that’s just what happened. Why this was seen and interpreted as resignation beats my imagination and as a result of that, I tweeted to explain all of this but people took things the way they wanted to take it. There was nothing to get upset or get worried about.”

Cardinal Turkson is seen by some as a candidate to become the first African pope in 1,500 years

It’s only Ghana that is championing mandatory vaccination – Sammy Gyamfi

The National Communications Officer of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) who is against the mandatory vaccination being done by the Government of Ghana has noted that it is only Ghana that is championing mandatory vaccination.

He said on the Sunrise show on 3FM hosted by Alfred Ocansey on Wednesday January 12 that one can enter the United States and other parts of the world today, without vaccination.

“You can enter USA today without vaccination. It’s only Ghana that is championing mandatory vaccination,” Sammy Gyamfi who is also a private legal practitioner said.

He further stated that “We have been doing so well without this mandatory vaccination. Look at the countries with the highest vaccination rate, they are still battling with the virus.

“Health advisor says when you’re suffering from complications it means the vaccine is working so some people keep these problems to themselves. If you take the vaccine and something happens to you, you can’t hold anyone responsible.”

Sammy Gyamfi had sued the Attorney General (AG) and the Ghana Heath Service (GHS) over the mandatory vaccination exercise.

He wants “A declaration that the impugned directives of the Respondents breach or threaten to breach the Applicants’ fundamental human rights as enshrined under Article 21(1)(g) of the 1992 Constitution of Ghana.

“A declaration that the impugned directives of the Respondents violated Section 2(1) of the Imposition of Restrictions Act, 2020 (ACT 1012) and Sections 21, 22 and 30 of the Public Health Act, 2012 (ACT 851) and therefore illegal.

“A declaration that the impugned directives of the Respondents contravene the guidelines of the Food and Drugs Authority, Ghana on the administration of Emergency Use Authorized medical products and same are unreasonable.

“A declaration that the impugned directives of the Respondents contravene the guidelines of the World Health Organization regarding proof of COVID-19 vaccination for international travelers, and that same is unreasonable.

“A declaration that the impugned directives of the Respondents contravene medical ethics and best practices that govern COVID-19 vaccine administration.”Revision-8-KIA-Covid-Guidelines-Dec11-2021-1Download

The government introduced the mandatory vaccination exercise as part of efforts to deal with the coronavirus pandemic.

This move formed part of efforts to ensure that the rate of infection does not rise during the Christmas season.

Among the measures, “Airlines who board passengers without proof of payment for the COVID -19 test and would/ could not pay for the test in Ghana will be fined US$3500 per passenger.”

Also, “non-Ghanaian passengers may be refused entry and be returned to the point of embarkation at cost to the Airline.”

The month of December has been declared by the GHS had as the vaccination month.

Addressing a press conference in Accra on Sunday November 28, the Director-General of the Ghana Health Service (GHS), Dr Patrick Kumah-Aboagye said vaccination was the surest way to deal with the virus.

He further assured that the authorities are going to scale up surveillance measures at the Kotoka International Airport during the Christmas season to ensure that Covid infections do not increase.

He further said that the mistakes that were made in December last year which occasioned the escalation of infections in January this year, will not be repeated.

There is going to be a “strict enforcement of the protocols at the KIA. We are going to increase surveillance. We are expecting increased number of people to arrive in the country.

“we are going to ensure that our logistics are prepared, we will continue our surveillance to be able to look at that, we are going to look at isolation centres,” he said.

He added “Our contact tracing will be strengthened.

“We are going to engage with religious organizations to ensure that activities in done in Christmas are in accordance with Covid protocols.”

Presidential Advisor on Health, Dr Anthony Nsia Asare, allayed fears of persons who are worried about the potential reaction from taking the covid vaccine.

He stated that it is normal to experience headache, body pains and other reactions. These are indications that the vaccine is functioning properly in the body, he said.

“If you are vaccinated and you feel slight headache it means the vaccine is working very well,” he said on the Key Points on TV3 Saturday December 4 with Dzifa Bampoh.

Dr Nsia Asare further urged all persons who are yet to receive their vaccines to do so in order to save their lives and the lives of others.

In his view, Ghana cannot afford to go through fourth wave of the coronavirus pandemic hence the government, through the Ghana Health Service (GHS), has taken the vaccination exercise a step higher in order to get as many as possible inoculated.

Vaccination centres, he stated, are being created closed to the people in the communities including market areas to make it easier for them to go through the exercise.

“We cannot afford a fourth wave,” he said, adding that “we can all do this together if you are vaccinated,” he said.

The GHS) this week issued new guidelines to deal with the coronavirus pandemic in Ghana ahead of the Christmas season.

The guidelines include measures to vaccinate as many as possible before the Christmas on December 25.

In a press releases issued on Thursday December 9, the GHS said “All persons, 18 years and above arriving in Ghana will be required to provide evidence of full vaccination for Covid-19 vaccines.

“All unvaccinated Ghanaians and residents of Ghana who are currently outside the country and intend to return within 14 days from the midnight of 12 December 2021 are exempted. However, they would be vaccinated on arrival at the airport.”

It added “all Ghanaians traveling out of the country are to be fully vaccinated effectively 12th midnight 2021.”

Meanwhile, some 11 doctors have written to President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to issue a directive for the nationwide vaccine rollout in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic to be paused.

The doctors say the risks associated with these vaccines, per the data studied so far, outweigh the potential benefits, if any.

In their petition dated Monday, January 10, 2022, the doctors, who call themselves as Concerned Ghanaian Doctors, cited how the UK and Israel are still battling with the virus despite a high vaccination rate of their respective populations.

“These countries have very high vaccination rates, currently deploying booster programmes, yet they are struggling to get the virus under control especially with these new variants,” the doctors observed in the jointly-signed petition.

“Assuming as a country we are to vaccinate more than 50% of our population, are we going to continue with perpetual boosters every 3 to 6 months in an attempt to maintain vaccine induced immunity for this disease?

“Where then is the end point when these vaccines do not stop infection or the spread of Covid-19? Is this financially feasible for us as a nation?”

They contended that the case fatality rate is not as high as anticipated especially given the fact that not many citizens are testing.

For them, the vaccines becoming a mandate is only a ploy by some pharmaceutical companies to rake in profits.

“If there is safe, effective, affordable, freely available early treatment for Covid-19, vaccines are no longer a priority.

“It doesn’t take a genius to recognise the financial benefit of pharmaceutical companies in demonising potential early, effective treatments.

“If these medications do work, that’s wonderful in the human race’s fight against Covid-19. However, they are practicably placebos if they don’t work. Why the suppression and demonising of these early treatments then, if the concern is health.

“Considering all these, wouldn’t it be prudent to pause and ask ourselves whether these novel vaccines are necessary in the first place,” they quizzed.

For them, Ghana, and for that matter Africa, must lead the way in the fight against Covid-19.

“All the relevant metrics show that Ghana and Africa at large have done better than most of the world with respect to the pandemic even before the advent of these vaccines.

“It is possible the rest of the world are rather to learn from us.”

The doctors are Dr Timothy Oblijah Armah, Dr Bismark Opoku-Asare, Dr Faisal Adjei, Dr William Ghunney and Dr Bernard Boateng Adjei.

The others are Dr Doreen Oye Agyei, Dr Michael Agyemang-Wiredu, Dr Richard Fayah and Dr Sedem Cyril Klinogoh.

The rest are Dr Phil Dowuona and Dr Emmanuel Awuttey

Gov’t is committed to STEM education – Akufo-Addo

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has said the government is committed to making science, technology, engineering and Mathematics, (STEM), education a key objective to improving  quality education in the country to ensure students become globally competitive.

President Akufo-Addo said this when he was speaking at a sod cutting ceremony for the construction of a science, technology, engineering and Mathematics senior high school in Accra.

“I ma delighted that the school, dedicated principally to the teaching and learning of science ,technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) is being built under the presidency Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo. I thank all stakeholders especially my erudite Minister of Education and Member of Parliament for Bosomtwe , the Honourable Dr Yaw Osei Adutwum with the conception of this brilliant idea,” he said.

The President later wrote on his Facebook page that “On Wednesday, 12th January 2022, I cut the sod for the commencement of construction of the Accra STEM Academy, a school, dedicated, principally, to the teaching and learning of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM).

“Within the next twenty-four (24) months, God willing, the Accra STEM Academy will be completed from kindergarten to high school, with an expected population of some two thousand (2,000) students.

“This Academy will have a number of state-of-the-art facilities, including a four-storey classroom block, science laboratories, a sickbay, administrative area, staff common room, library, washrooms, canteen, and a one thousand, five hundred (1,500) capacity multi-purpose hall.

data:image/gif;base64,R0lGODlhAQABAAAAACH5BAEKAAEALAAAAAABAAEAAAICTAEAOw==

“The Accra STEM Academy, being constructed at a cost of thirty-two million cedis (GH¢32 million), will equip learners from kindergarten to senior high school with 21st century skills in problem solving, creativity, communication, collaboration, data literacy, digital literacy, and computer science.

“In addition, the Accra STEM Academy will be a place where learners in junior high school will be provided with the options of learning basic engineering, manufacturing, and global studies to help them make informed decisions on their preferred programmes of choice at senior high school level.”

President Akufo-Addo said there is the need to reorient the country’s educational system to equip students to succeed in the 21st century.

The 32 million cedi educational facility when completed,  will be fully inclusive, giving access to persons with disability to acquire skills and improve their livelihoods.

These skills include critical thinking, problem-solving, creativity, communication, data literacy and digital literacy and computer science drawn from broad pillars of fundamental literacies and competencies.

Minister for education, Dr. Yaw Osei Adutwum, said Ghana is geared towards achieving a more robust educational system will require the integration of relevant academic content with experiences that nurture the skills and mindsets needed for socio-economic transformation.

 Some 35 of such schools are expected to be constructed across the country including five universities. The school facility is expected to be completed within 24 months

Stop the hypocrisy; support national interest initiatives – Oppong Nkrumah to opposition

He expects politicians, especially those in opposition parties, to ‘stop the hypocrisy’ and be truthful to the masses on how critical such decisions are to development.

Information Minister, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, says government may sometimes be forced to make some ‘unpalatable’ decisions, in the interest of Ghanaians.

He bemoaned the posture on what revenue mobilization measure is acceptable or not has become dependent on which side a politician is on.

He expects politicians, especially those in opposition parties, to ‘stop the hypocrisy’ and be truthful to the masses on how critical such decisions are to development.

The Ofoase-Ayirebi Member of Parliament, in an interview on Face to Face on Citi TV cited decisions bordering on revenue generation as one of such initiatives.

“The revenue question is bigger than whether or not we are making some money from road tolls. The challenge we have in this country is that, legitimately, Ghanaians are demanding things from the government. The government has only two ways of responding to those demands. You either borrow or raise revenue. We are at a point where our debt to GDP ratio is close to about 80%. It is not healthy for us to go further. We intend to raise some more revenue while plugging out the excess expenditure.”

“The revenue generation measures since I started politics have never been exciting for Ghanaians. We always find the political class being hypocritical while the government defends it. The moment power switches hands, postures change.”

“I think the political class should stop the hypocrisy because we all know that without confronting the revenue question, neither of us can fully develop the country to its full potential. We have got to stop the hypocrisy, confront the real issues and tell Ghanaians the truth,” he added.

He suggested that the opposition parties rather channel their energies into holding the government of the day accountable.

“What we must do is to ensure that when the revenues are raised, people are held accountable for it. I have heard people advise that we earmark the usage of revenue from E-Levy, label every road that is done, and publish such information on an annual basis. I think those are rather brilliant suggestions.”

Government intends to charge a 1.75% levy on electronic transactions such as mobile money, bank transfers, and inward remittances in 2022.

The government says portions of revenue collected from the levy will be used to support entrepreneurship, youth employment, cybersecurity, digital, and road infrastructure, among others.

Despite reasons given by the government for its implementation, it remains contentious, as Minority Members of Parliament (MP) have tried various means to have it thrown out.

The Minority maintains that the imposition of the levy will inflict more hardship on Ghanaians.

Source: Citinewsroom

Police doing away with unprofessional, unethical conducts – IGP

IGP

The Inspector General of Police, COP Dr George Akuffo Dampare, has assured the general public that the service would provide quality policing.

He said all the unethical and unprofessional conducts being exhibited by some officers would be eschewed.

“We want to give you the assurance that whatever it takes to make sure that all those unprofessional things , unethical things, , inhumane things that you are displeased with, as a public whom we serve and therefore you our masters and we your servants.

” If you are not pleased with us, the things that you are not pleased with us, we are going to do away with them and we need your help to get there,” he said at a function in Accra on Tuesday January 11.

@GHPOLICESERVICE WILL DO AWAY WITH UNPROFESSIONAL AND UNLAWFUL CONDUCT – IGP, DR AKUFFO DAMPARE #3NEWSGH #NEWS360 PIC.TWITTER.COM/0NBEJ0SY7C— #TV3GH (@tv3_ghana) January 11, 2022

By Laud Nartey|3news.com|Ghana

Akufo-Addo launches ¢6.1 million Police Emergency Medical Intervention Fund

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has commissioned the newly-established Police Virtual Medical centre and a ¢6.1 million Police emergency medical intervention fund for personnel of the Service.

TODAY, H.E @NAKUFOADDO LAUNCHED GH¢6.1 MILLION POLICE EMERGENCY MEDICAL INTERVENTION FUND, AIMED AT PROVIDING IMMEDIATE FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE FOR THE MEDICAL TREATMENT OF POLICE OFFICERS, WHO GET INJURED IN LINE OF DUTY. HE MADE A MODEST CONTRIBUTION OF GH¢100,000 TO THE FUND PIC.TWITTER.COM/JODQTIM8ZC— Ministry of Information (@moigovgh) January 11, 2022

Police personnel, irrespective of their location, can now access healthcare services from the hospital anywhere in the country, at any time.

HE ALSO COMMISSIONED THE NEW OUT-PATIENT-DEPARTMENT (OPD) FACILITY AT THE HOSPITAL, WHICH WILL HELP DECONGEST THE EXISTING FACILITY, WHICH, HITHERTO, WAS RESPONSIBLE FOR SEEING TO PATIENTS WITH EMERGENCY CASES AS WELL AS TO REGULAR OPD PATIENTS.— Ministry of Information (@moigovgh) January 11, 2022

Officers of the Service are guaranteed a protected platform for seamless consultations with the doctor.

POLICE PERSONNEL, IRRESPECTIVE OF THEIR LOCATION, CAN NOW ACCESS HEALTHCARE SERVICES FROM THE HOSPITAL ANYWHERE IN THE COUNTRY, AT ANY TIME. OFFICERS OF THE SERVICE ARE GUARANTEED A PROTECTED PLATFORM FOR SEAMLESS CONSULTATIONS WITH THE DOCTOR PIC.TWITTER.COM/SKWJTELT66— Ministry of Information (@moigovgh) January 11, 2022

He also commissioned the New Out-Patient-Department (OPD) facility at the Hospital, which will help decongest the existing facility, which, hitherto, was responsible for seeing to patients with emergency cases as well as to regular OPD patients.

HE COMMISSIONED A VIRTUAL MEDICAL CENTRE AT THE POLICE HOSPITAL, WHICH IS AN END-TO-END VIDEO HOSPITAL MANAGEMENT SYSTEM, WILL ALLOW PATIENTS, NO MATTER WHERE THEY ARE LOCATED IN THE COUNTRY, TO UNDERTAKE VIRTUAL CONSULTATION WITH HEALTHCARE PROFESSIONALS AT THIS HOSPITAL. PIC.TWITTER.COM/NNR5VDGNVS— Ministry of Information (@moigovgh) January 11, 2022

He commissioned a Virtual Medical Centre at the Police Hospital, which is an end-to-end video hospital management system, will allow patients, no matter where they are located in the country, to undertake virtual consultation with healthcare professionals at this hospital

Adom-Otchere lied; we were not paid bonuses in Christmas – Airport workers

The Divisional Union of the workers of the Ghana Airports Company has denied claims by the board chairman of the company Paul Adom-Otchere that they were paid their bonuses by the end of 2021.

Also, the union has dismissed claims by Mr Adom-Otchere that they were paid before Christmas saying their December salary was paid in January 2022.

“It is never the case that GACL employees were paid bonuses at the end of the year 2021 as was put out there by the Board chairman. In actual fact, the last time bonuses were paid in GACL, was in 2017. Indeed as we speak 2018 bonus which was negotiated for is still in arrears.

“Again, for the records, employees December 2021, salaries were paid in January 2022, contrary to what was communicated by the Board chairman. This practice is so alien to GACL and is only gaining prominence in the last few months under the watch of the Board Chair,” the group said in a statement.

The statement comes on the back of the controversy regarding the purchase of Christmas tee by the Airports Company.

Below are details of the statement

RE: PAYMENT OF BONUS & DEC. SALARIES TO GACL STAFF- BOARD CHAIR

The attention of the Divisional Union has been drawn to a statement circulating on social media attributed to the Board chairman of GACL.

The statement is putting so much pressure on staff leadership hence our decision to respond accordingly.

While staying away from the substantive issue which appears to border on abuse of office, we wish to correct some misrepresentations that were contained in the said release;

Fact 6,
It is never the case that GACL employees were paid bonuses at the end of the year 2021 as was put out there by the Board chairman. In actual fact, the last time bonuses were paid in GACL, was in 2017. Indeed as we speak 2018 bonus which was negotiated for is still in arrears.

Again, for the records, employees December 2021, salaries were paid in January 2022, contrary to what was communicated by the Board chairman. This practice is so alien to GACL and is only gaining prominence in the last few months under the watch of the Board Chair.

Such factually inaccurate statements only ends up given rise to staff agitations especially with the knowledge that the Board has failed to give mandate to management to commence negotiations on staff conditions of service with the Union after proposals were submitted in the middle of November, 2021.

We want to assure all that any attempt to play with the future of the hardworking employees of GACL shall be fiercely resisted.

Long live GACL.

By the Divisional Union

Transport fares to go up by 40% on January 17 – Concerned Drivers Association of Ghana

C-DAG stated the increment is influenced by a number of factors including the price of fuel at the pumps, the increase in the prices of vehicles and the increment of spare parts and lubricants.

The Concerned Drivers Association of Ghana (C-DAG) has announced a 40% increment in transport fares across the country from Monday, January 17, 2022.

In a press release dated January 10, the Association noted the upward adjustment has been necessitated by the unbearable hardships facing drivers currently.

“It must be noted that we commiserate with Ghanaians on the current economic hardship but in order to keep us in business, we are left with no other option but to adjust transport fares a little upward which is a 40% increment,” part of the statement reads.

C-DAG stated the increment is influenced by a number of factors including the price of fuel at the pumps, the increase in the prices of vehicles and the increment of spare parts and lubricants.

“It must be noted that we also experience the economic conditions of the country. It has become extremely difficult for us to manage our homes as prices of basic commodities, including sachet water have also seen an upward increment,” they added.

The Association urged Ghanaians to embrace the new “transport fares when it takes effect from Monday, January 17, 2022.”

The Association also encouraged Ghanaians to avoid fighting drivers and their conductors when the new fares are implemented. 

Source: Myjoyonline

FULL TEXT: President Akufo-Addo’s message to the Black Stars

Akufo-Addo sends a message to Black Stars

Demands that the team returns with Ghana’s fourth AFCON trophy

Black Stars begin campaign today against Morocco


President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo on Sunday, January 9, 2022, sent a message to the Black Stars 24-hours to the kickoff of their campaign at the African Cup of Nations in Cameroon.

The President’s message relayed via his Facebook post was a mix of history, motivation and good wishes to Andre Dede Ayew and the playing body, Milovan Rajevac and the technical team and the team’s management body.

The crust of the message was for the team to execute one task and only one – to go a step further than they did in 1992, 2010 and 2015, when they lost in the finals – by bringing the trophy back home.null

Read full text of Akufo-Addo’s address

On the eve of the commencement in Cameroon of the 2021 African Cup of Nations Championship, I send wishes from all Ghanaians to you, the playing, technical and management teams of the senior national soccer side, the Black Stars.

We are all happy that finally the AFCON 2021 tournament which was postponed from last year is now going to be held, the Coronavirus pandemic notwithstanding.

Like any other edition of AFCON, the Ghanaian people demand nothing short of ultimate glory from the stars. The pressure to succeed is understandably high because of our status as four-time winners and also because it has been 40 long years since we last lifted the trophy. The target for you naturally is to bring the cup home.

We have to go a step further than the second places recorded in 1992, 2010 and 2015 and bring the 40-year drought to an end. The task may be daunting but it is certainly not insurmountable. I believe that in the current crop of players, we have the talent to match any of the best teams on the continent.

The Ghana team has been penciled down as one of the favourites of the tournament because of its sheer quality, let us work to bring the prediction to fruition.

You the current crop wear the jersey of the Black Stars, the same jersey worn by Ghanaian legends such as Addo Damptey, Ben Simons, Aggrey-Fynn, Wilberforce Nfum, Edward Acquah, Mohammed Salisu, the non-pareille Baba Yara, Abdul Razak, Opoku Nti and Francis Kumi.

Wear it with pride, wear it with determination, be of one mind and spirit and be united on or off the pitch. Whether you are in the starting 11 chosen by coach Milovan Rajevac or not, you owe it a duty to back and support wholeheartedly your teammates representing the nation on the field, that is how a fifth Afcon trophy for mother Ghana can be achieved.

To you, my fellow Ghanaians, now more than ever is the time to throw our unwavering support behind the team, yes I’m aware that there are 30 million coaches in Ghana, however, in this age of social media, we cannot allow any form of pessimism especially in our comments to filter through to the team.

We cannot directly or indirectly afford to break their morale. In the highs and lows, in good or bad times we must show the team that we are Ghanaians and we look out for each other no matter what.null

We can make the Black Stars a force to reckon with once again on the continent and on world football beginning with this tournament.

Go for gold, go for the fifth AFCON trophy, we can do it, I know we can. May God bless the Black Stars and us all. And may God bless our homeland Ghana and make her great and strong.

I thank you for your attention, I pray that we and the Black Stars have a great tournament.

Black Stars kick start campaign today

The Black Stars arrived in the Cameroonian capital of Yaounde on Saturday, flying in from their training camp in Doha Qatar.null

They will play Morocco in their first game on today, 10 January. The team will also play Gabon and Comoros with the hope of qualifying to the round of 16th stage of the competition.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/Bay0iSxzLC8

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

Mensah Thompson lied, Akufo-Addo’s relatives did not use presidential jet for UK shopping trip – GAF

The Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) has denied a claim made by Mr. Mensah Thompson, Executive Director of Alliance for Social Equity and Public Accountability (ASEPA) to the effect that the Presidential aircraft of the Ghana Air Force was used by relatives of the President for a shopping trip to the United Kingdom between 20th and 30th of December 2021.

Mensah Thompson had alleged that “So between the 20th and 30th of December, 2021..during the Christmas, the children of a close relative of the President took Ghana’s Presidential Jet the Falcon EX jet on a trip to the UK just for Christmas shopping.They didn’t go alone, they went with their friends and partied in the sky all through the trip, taking snap videos and flaunting their lucky adventure.

“Ghana has spent close to half a billion dollars in the last two years renting private jets for our President, whiles his family members continue to lavish in our rejected aircraft at the expense of the poor tax payer.

“The Ministry of National Security, the Ghana Airforce and the Civil Aviation Authority would have to provide answers to the good people of Ghana why a national security asset like the Presidential jet was left at the mercy of spoilt youngsters who went partying around the world playing in Ghana’s Presidential jet, creating an international diplomatic spectacle embarrassing the country Ghana.”

But GAF said this claim is not true.

A statement issued by Commander, Acting Director Public Relations GAF, Andy La-Anyane on Sunday January 9 said “We wish to state without any equivocation that the said publication is untrue, frivolous and without any basis. We additionally wish to state that the said aircraft has not been to Europe for a very long time and this publication is therefore a figment of the authors imagination. These allegations can easily be verified since there is always a task order for the movement of all Ghana Air Force platforms.

“We believe that this unfortunate publication which has been circulated widely is a calculated effort to undermine the image of the Ghana Armed Forces in the eyes of the general public. More disturbing is the fact that whilst the GAF is focussed on its mandate of protecting the territorial integrity of the country against serious external and internal threats, others are working very hard to distract us from our core mandate.

“We are calling on all Ghanaians, especially politicians once again, not to drag the GAF into any partisan politics. The Ghana Air Force platforms will continue to be used for the interest of all Ghanaians including its traditional role of maintaining fighter ground attack capabilities and providing close air support during operations, as well as providing transport support to the Ghana Armed Forces. We will continue to provide surveillance over the air space of Ghana and over the Exclusive Economic Zone of the country.

“In view of the seriousness we attach to such malicious publications, the issue has been referred to the Inspector General of Police for further investigations

AFCON 2021: No Covid case in Ghana camp ahead of Morocco match

Milovan Rajevac and Mike Stankovic

Black Stars coach Milovan Rajevac said on Sunday that his team has no Covid positive case ahead of their opening match at the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations.

Rajevac disclosed this at press conference for the clash against Morocco on Monday in Yaoundé.

“Covid is a serious issue these days and I see some of the teams have problems and for us we did our PCR test and all players and officials are ok and we hope it stays like that throughout,” Rajevac said.

Some teams have seen their preparations disrupted by Covid with CAF saying countries suffering outbreaks will have to play their matches even if they have only 11 players available.

Any nation unable to fulfil a fixture will forfeit the game 2-0.

Black Stars arrived in Cameroon on Saturday night and look poised to have a wonderful tournament.

The trophy is the target as Rajevac’s side wants to end the 40 years drought

I used to waste time and energy on my enemies’ – Koku Anyidoho

Koku Anyidoho 610x400

I am happy I no longer have time for my enemies – Koku Anyidoho

Koku Anyidoho commends Akufo-Addo for refurbishing Asomdwee Park

AMI is doing well – Koku Anyidoho


Former Deputy General Secretary of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Koku Anyidoho, has indicated that he is at peace with his status quo.

He said unlike previously, he no longer has the time and the energy to waste on his political enemies.

“I used to waste time & energy on my enemies; I don’t have time for them again. I am happy,” he tweeted.

Koku Anyidoho said in a post on his Twitter page on January 7, 2022, that seem to show appreciation to President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo for his commitment to complete the refurbishment of the Asomdwee Park, which is currently the resting place of the late former President John Evans Atta Mills.null

Koku Anyidoho mentioned in his tweet that the Atta Mills Institute (AMI) which he founded and is the Chief Executive Officer of was doing well.

“Atta-Mills Institute is growing from strength to strength in the name of the Lord,” he said

The founder of AMI share a picture of the Asomdwee Park saying: “This is what Asomdwee Park will look like when President Akufo-Addo finishes construction & commissions”

Ghana’s economy will recover much stronger in 2022 – Akufo-Addo

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo   Police.

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has assured that the local economy is recovering from the impact of the coronavirus.

He said it would even recover much stronger this year.

Mr Akufo-Addo expressed optimism of a swift economy recovery due to what he said was the solid economic foundation his administration has built.

“2021 has proven to be tough year not only for us but also everyone on the planet,” he said.null

He added “Our economy is recovering and will recover much stronger in 2022-2023, my government has built solid economic foundation.”

“Our economy is recovering and it will recover much stronger in 2022” – @NAkufoAddo pic.twitter.com/iB6d8GDlQX— Ghana Presidency (@GhanaPresidency) January 9, 2022

Source: 3news.com

UE/R: Notorious armed robber busted

The Special Anti-Robbery Squad and Surveillance team of the Upper East Regional Police Command, through an intelligence-led operation, has on Saturday, 8 January 2022 arrested Abdulai Issaka Achalicaab, a notorious armed robber at Sandema.

Police said its reports show that Abdulai Issaka Achalicaab has been behind a series of robberies at Sandema, Fumbisi and other surrounding enclaves.

He is also on the Police wanted list for jumping bail in a robbery case pending trial before a Court in Bolga since 2020.

Further details established that the suspect is responsible for the robbery in Kadema which occurred on July 24, 2021, in which a victim was severely wounded.

During the special operation, the Police recovered from the suspect three unregistered motorbikes believed to have been robbed from others and used for his robbery expeditions.

The Police commend the Upper East Regional Command for their efforts in pursuing criminals in the region for the safety of the public

UTAG begins strike Monday over poor conditions of service

The University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG) have declared an indefinite strike from Monday, 10 January 2022.

The industrial action by the lecturers was contained in a statement dated January 8, 2022.

The Association cataloged a number of reasons for which they are laying down their tools.

Among them include “the pittance agreed to be paid as annual research allowance”.

They want among other things for the government to “reconsider the payment of a more realistic research allowance” as they said it is critical to their research output, promotion and ultimately national development.

Attached is the full UTAG statement: