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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:

COVID funds: KATH whistleblower Accountant dismissed

An Accounts Officer of the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH) in Kumasi, Mr Awuni Akyireba, has been dismissed for“major misconduct”.

“The Disciplinary Committee of the Hospital Board has established that your allegation that COVID-19 donations to KATH had been used to buy luxury vehicles had no foundation and, therefore, a total falsehood,” the hospital noted in a letter addressed to Mr Akyireba and signed by its board Chairman Nana Effah Ampenteng.

It further noted: “Again, it is true that the official vehicle for the medical director was involved in an accident but a police report on the incident indicates the driver as Prof Baafuor Opoku, the Medical Director, not his wife, as you alleged.”

The letter continued: “By choosing to go to the media with matters of KATH without authority, renders you guilty of major misconduct under the disciplinary code of KATH Section 13:02 xii (misconduct)”.

“Besides, a content analysis of your response to the query given you clearly indicates that you willfully used abusive language on your superior, contrary to the Disciplinary Code, section 13.01 I (poor performance) and ii (misconduct).”

According to the KATH, the accounts officer’s failure to appear before its Disciplinary Committee despite “glaring evidence” that he saw the invitation, means he has committed a “major offence under the code.”

“By a decision of the Hospital Board, you are, accordingly, dismissed with immediate effect,” the letter added.

The Accounts Officer had accused the Chief Executive Officer of the hospital, Dr Oheneba Owusu Danso, of misappropriating funds meant for COVID-19.

He had also intimated that the funds were used to procure luxury vehicles.

He therefore petitioned the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) to investigate the CEO

Akufo-Addo to cut sod for Accra STEM Academy Wednesday

Model of the Accra STEM Academy

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo is scheduled to cut sod for the first of many schools aimed at rigorously pursuing Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) in Ghana.

The ceremony will take place in Accra on Wednesday, January 12.

It will be the Accra STEM Academy.

According to reports, this is to reposition education anchored on STEM.

It is expected to be one of the lasting legacies of the Akufo-Addo administration in the area of education.

It appears to be the implementation of some of the policies in the 2022 budget.

In the budget presented by Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta to Parliament in November, 2021, government is planning to build 35 STEM Senior High Schools and five STEM universities across the country

Victory! Sammy Gyamfi rejoices over Akufo-Addo’s order to suspend reversal of benchmark policy

The National Communications Officer of the main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), Sammy Gyamfi, has congratulated the Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA) and the other trade unions that kicked against the reversal of the benchmark policy.

His commendation to the unions comes after President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has been reported on Saturday January 8 to have ordered the suspension of the reversal of the benchmark policy.

The president’s order, according to reports, is to allow for further consultations following the rejection by the GUTA and other traders.

Commenting on this, Sammy Gyamfi who had earlier held a press conference to oppose the reversal said “This is VICTORY for the Ghanaian people. Kudos to GUTA, the Importers and Exporters Association of Ghana and all those who stood against the callous decision by government to reverse benchmark value discounts on imports.”

Sammy Gyamfi had earlier said at his press conference that the decision by the government through the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) to reverse the benchmark value was a terrible decision that came at a time when the cedi was depreciating and world commodity prices are increasing at an alarming rate, with freight charges and port handling charges being extremely high.

He said more importantly, “the callous decision by government to reverse benchmark value discounts comes at a time Ghanaian businesses, startups, parents and households are reeling under a yoke of excessive taxation, persistent increases in fuel prices and
high cost of living never before witnessed in the anals of our country.”

The reversal was to affect 143 items under three categories prescribed by the Ghana Revenue Authority.

The benchmark value, which is the amount taxable on imports, was reduced by 50 percent for some goods. The government had hoped that this was going scale up he volume of transactions of make Ghana’s ports competitive.

The government decided to reverse this decision after it met opposition from Association of Ghana Industries and the Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA).

But Sammy further said “what the decision to reverse benchmark value discounts effectively means is that, prices of the affected items such as; vehicles and spare parts, machinery, equipment and plants, aluminum finished products (roofing sheets), portland cement, cement paper bags, and clinker, poultry, animal products (meat), fish, rice, sugar, pasta, spaghetti, noodles and macaroni, pharmaceuticals (including drugs such as paracetamol, condoms etc.), toilet paper, facial tissue and towel, chocolate, toffees and chewing gum, palm oil (crude and refined oils), mosquito coils, ceramic tiles, tile cement, machetes, plastics, textile and textile articles, fruit juices, tomato paste and ketchup, furniture and parts, boxes of paper and paperboard cases of corrugated paper, iron steel bars, toilet soap and laundry bar soap, detergents washing powder, lubricating oil, soft drinks and carbonated drinks, biscuits/wafers, among others; will all go up by 30%- 50% in the coming days.

“These increases which will eventually be passed on to Ghanaians will further escalate prices of general goods and services in the country and exacerbate the severe hardships Ghanaians are already reeling under. This will ultimately increase the cost of doing business in the country, negatively affect turnover of businesses and the volume of trade in the country, and lead to the
collapse of many businesses and jobs.

“In fact, the bitter reality is that, given the many draconian taxes that have been introduced by the callous Akufo-Addo/Bawumia/NPP government since April 2019 and the continuous depreciation of the Ghana Cedi which is already eroding profit margins and the capital of businesses, importers and Ghanaians in general will be worse off as a result of this decision. In
short, import duties will be far higher than they were before April 2019 when the benchmark value discounts were introduced, in view of the continuous free fall of the Cedi and the raft of new crippling tax measures that government has introduced since April 2019

E-levy is being misunderstood – Ambrose Dery

Dery Ambrose   PAC

E-levy is a new tax contained in the 2022 budget

Parliament failed to pass E-levy Bill into law last year

E-levy remains priority as Parliament reconvenes after holidays

Minister of Interior and Member of Parliament for Nandom in the Upper West Region is calling on Ghanaians to play their part in development efforts being undertaken by the government.

In an interview with Joy News, Dery specifically charged the citizenry to support the Electronic Transactions Levy (E-levy) Bill that is currently before Parliament.

According to him, the levy had been misunderstood even though government has clearly outlined how it will go into funding development efforts. “The President will continue to develop, we want development, we should learn to pay and contribute to it (development).

“The E-levy is being misunderstood and I believe that if we can allow MTN, when I am sending money to Nandom, I send 5050 and I I pay another 50 and I get nothing. I want you to pay to the state to get better roads and employment for our youth.

“I am calling on all concerned to reconsider and support us constructively to get the necessary resources to build Ghana and move towards a Ghana beyond aid,” he added.

On the upcoming resumption of Parliamentary sittings, Dery stated that he looked forward to MPs doing the right things, tolerating each other and reflecting the peaceful nature of the people they represent and to continue to build Ghana’s democracy.

Deputy Majority Chief Whip, Habib Iddrisu, in an interview earlier this week on GTV stated that the E-levy bill will be passed.

“The E-levy, when we come back to parliament….we only adjourned and it was in the form as it was when we adjourned, when we come back, the Majority side and the leader of government business who’s the Majority Leader will look at how government business will go and we will table it…

“The E-levy as I have said is part of the budget that has been approved, it is part of the appropriation that has been approved and part of revenue target. It will happen,” the MP for Tolon added.

The E-levy was one of the new taxes introduced in the 2022 budget presented to Parliament by Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta. Its passage into law become the center of controversy with Minority and Majority caucuses taking entrenched stance against and for it.

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

COP Tiwaa Addo-Danquah heads EOCO

COP Maame Yaa Tiwaa Addo-Danquah has been appointed the new head of the Economic and Organized Crime Office (EOCO).

Her appointment was contained in a letter signed by the Chief of Staff, Frema Opare, Akosua Frema Osei-Opare

The appointment starts Monday January 10.

She was the Director-General Police Professional and Standards Bureau (PPSB) until her new appointement.

Below is the profile of COP Maame Yaa Tiwaa Addo-Danquah

Maame Yaa Tiwaa Addo-Danquah (Mrs) is a law enforcement professional with more than 30 years of experience out of which 15 years have been focused on financial fraud detection and investigation duties at the Police Criminal Investigation Department.  Maame is a Chartered Accountant and a Chartered Forensic Accountant.  

She holds a Master of Business Administration (Finance Option) Degree from the University of Cape Coast, Ghana. Maame was the Director of Commercial Crime Unit of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) for more than 3 as well as the Director of CID Trainings for 3 years.

For more than 15 years, Maame has played a leading role in fraud detection and investigations both within the CID, the Public and Private sectors. 

 Maame has attended over a dozen conferences and training events in financial crime investigations.

She has also facilitated in more than 25 training programs in fraud investigations both within Ghana for the Financial Institutions and abroad.  Maame was the coordinator of the project at the CID which aims at building capacity of CID Investigators in financial fraud and cybercrime investigations.

She has also been consulted in numerous engagements including the development of Post Chartered Diploma in Forensic Audit for the Institute of Chartered Accountants, Ghana (IGAG). She has been a resource person for the Institute of Chartered Accountants, Ghana’s Continuous

She was a guest Speaker at the 9th ACCA International Public Sector Conference, Prague, Czech Rep 28th February to 1st March 2019. 

She was also a Keynote speaker at ACCA-Deloitte Chief Finance Officers (CFO) awards in Uganda in 2020.

She is guest resource person at the GIMPA Business School, E-Crime Academy, and the Institute of Chartered Accountants Ghana, Management Development and Productivity Institute (MDPI) and University of Cape Coast, Department of Forensics.

She was the first Commandant of the Ghana Police Command and Staff College, Winneba, the highest training institution of the Ghana Police Service. 

She has held various appointments in the Ghana Police Service including Ghana Police Hospital Administrator, Divisional Commander, Accra Central Division, Ministries, Accra, Deputy Director-General, Police Intelligence and Professional Standards Bureau. 

Deputy Director-General and the Director-General of the Criminal Investigation Department, the first Woman to be appointed to that position since the inception of the CID in 1948.

She is currently the President of the Ghana Police Ladies Association and President of the Association of Women Accountants, Ghana.

By Laud Nartey|3news.com|Ghana

Former NPP Gt. Accra Chairman Ashitey reported dead

Former Greater Accra Region Chairman of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) Ishmael Ashitey is reported dead.

The three-term Member of Parliament for Tema East Constituency is said to have died on Friday, January 7 after a short illness.

He was 67.

Ishmael Ashitey served as the Greater Accra Region Minister in the first term of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo but was replaced with Henry Quartey after the NPP retained power.

He was aspiring to be the National Chairman of the ruling party.

He was first elected MP in 1996 and left Parliament in 2009

“I’m open for all criticism” – Says Akufo-Addo

President Nana Akufo-Addo says he is unperturbed about the numerous attacks that have come his way and that of his government in recent times.

He said he understands the huge task of bettering the lives of Ghanaians as President of the land.

The President and his administration have faced criticism over its management of the economy, the COVID-19 pandemic, among others.
Speaking at a special church service for the first family at the Jubilee House, President Akufo-Addo said he will work to make things better for Ghanaians with the help of God.

This is in line with comments by Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia, who assured that the government is committed to ensuring a turnaround of the economy in 2022; following shocks from the COVID-19 pandemic, things will normalize.

On the criticism, President Akufo-Addo said, “it enables us to be able to tolerate many of the slings and arrows that are thrown at us in this house.”

President Akufo-Addo added that his administration remained open to criticism, regardless of the intent.
“We see this as part of the work we have to do for the people of Ghana, and we prepared to be open to all kinds of statements; some malicious, some in good faith. But then we take it all on board.”

“We are trying to build an open society and a nation that guarantees freedoms of all sorts, so those who are in the front of it have to have the temperament and psyche that enables them to tolerate whatever is said and in many cases be able to divise some hidden truths in what is said,” the president said

Board Chair of GACL dismisses ‘propaganda’ around cost of Christmas trees at KIA

The Board Chairman of the Ghana Airports Company Limited (GACL), Mr Paul Adom Otchere, has explained the actual cost involved in mounting the Christmas trees at the Kotoka International Airport (KIA) in Accra.

According to him, the GACL has for many years mounted Christmas inspirations around the terminal area to create a festive atmosphere for passengers and their families coming into the country.

It had been claimed on social media that the GACL spent GHs84000 mounting the trees last year.

But Paul said in a statement on Friday January 7 that the total expenditure of 2021 was the lowest since 2016.

Below is his full statement…

Dear folks, my attention has been drawn to a social media post (herein attached ) grossly misrepresenting facts about Christmas inspirations that were mounted at the Kotoko International Airport.

Here are the facts:

FACT: The Ghana Airports Company Limited has for many years mounted Christmas inspirations around the terminal area to create a festive atmosphere for passengers and their families coming into the country.

FACT: The total expenditure of 2021 is the lowest since 2016.

FACT: Two separate suppliers were invited to submit bids. The bids were discussed and discounts obtained. ( We are grateful to Jandel Limited and Favors and Arts )

FACT: The beautiful Christmas tree standing at Terminal 3 and 3 others altogether cost GHC 34,000, which was graciously provided by Jandel Limited at a heavy discount. (We thank Jandel Limited)

FACT: The other inspirations were provided by Favors and Arts for a total cost of GHC 84,000 out of which GHC 50,000 was obtained via sponsorship.

FACT: All salaries and or bonuses due staff for December have been paid.

It is ridiculous for anyone to say that the invoices from these two reputable companies were issued in the name of the Board Chairman, that just means the author of such spurious allegations has insufficient acquaintance with corporate workings.

We will like to urge the general public to disregard these unfounded allegations. The GACL has a fully operational corporate affairs department that is able to attend to all public enquiries.

We will like to assure the general public that we are fiercely committed to support the Hon Minister of Transport to achieve President Akufo-Addo’s vision for the airport, the vision contained in clear directions is to “make all Ghana airports an important symbol for our national development agenda”.

That is our focus for which we require prayers and support . Amen

€2.37m case: ‘Hate-filled Dame abusing prosecutorial powers to rob me of my liberty’ – Ato Forson

Former Deputy Finance Minister Cassiel Ato Forson has said Attorney General Godfred Dame is being driven by hatred, prejudice and demagoguery in pursuing the €2.37 million financial loss case against him.

Dr Forson’s accusation follows a statement issued by the office of the Attorney General in which it accused the opposition lawmaker of seeking to expose Mr Dame to “hatred” and “prejudice” with his (Dr Forson’s) claim that the recent charge levelled against him was part of a grand scheme by officialdom to silence him as far as his opposition to the controversial e-levy is concerned.

The Ajumako Enyan Esiam MP, who is also the Ranking Member on the Finance Committee of Parliament, together with two others; Sylvester Anemana, a former Chief Director of the Ministry of Health; and Richard Jakpa, a businessman, is facing criminal charges for causing the state to lose €2.37 million in a deal to purchase some 200 ambulances for the country between 2014 and 2016.

The trio was dragged to the Accra High Court Thursday, 23 December 2021 by the Attorney General, on five counts of wilfully causing financial loss to the state, abetment to wilfully cause financial loss to the state, contravention of the public procurement act and intentionally misapplying public property.

A day after the charges were levelled against him, Dr Forson told the media at a press conference that: “I have had to call you this morning for the singular purpose of responding to the news doing the rounds on social and mainstream media that certain charges have been preferred against me by the Attorney General of the Republic, the Honourable Godfred Yeboah Dame”.

“Though I am yet to be formally charged in court, I have seen copies of the charge sheet in the media and wish to say without any fear of the contradiction that these charges are nothing but a frivolous and politically motivated attempt by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and his hatchet man, the Attorney General, to silence me for performing my duties as the Ranking Member on the Finance Committee of the Parliament of Ghana”.

“But I want to assure the good people of this country, especially my constituents, who elected me to represent them in parliament that I will not and cannot be silenced by the blatant abuse of prosecutorial powers by the Attorney General”, he said.

Responding to Dr Forson, the office of the Attorney General in its statement signed by Deputy Attorney General Diana Asonaba Dapaah, said Dr Ato Forson’s claims were “laden with factual misrepresentations and calculated at scandalising the criminal proceedings pending in the High Court against the Member of Parliament and exposing the Attorney General to prejudice and hatred”.

The statement clarified that “investigations into the financial crimes perpetrated against the Republic of Ghana in the matter of the failed purchase of ambulances for the state began in 2017”.

“Same [investigations] had been ongoing since 2017, with a number of statements taken from various persons at different points in time, including the Rt. Hon. Alban Bagbin, former Minister of Health (now Speaker of the Parliament of Ghana); Mr Kwaku Agyeman-Mensah, Madam Sherry Ayittey and Dr Alex Segbefia, all former Ministers for Health as well as the first accused”.

In a counter-statement, however, the lawmaker said the AG cannot dictate his (Dr Forson’s) feelings about the criminal charges brought against him.

“I have noted a statement issued by a Deputy Attorney General claiming that by speaking out against the malice and deliberate political persecution inherent in the decision to prosecute me, I am exposing the Attorney General to ‘hate’ and ‘prejudice’”.

“I wish to state that the Attorney General’s office cannot determine my reaction to the sinister plot to needlessly tarnish my reputation and rob me of my liberty simply because I remain implacably opposed to the poor economic policies of this government and in particular the E-Levy”, he noted.

In his view, “It is the Attorney General who is driven by hate, prejudice and demagoguery”, explaining: “He is the one abusing his prosecutorial powers to silence critical political opponents”.

For instance, he noted, “on Paragraph 7 of the AG’s statement issued yesterday, it was claimed that: ‘As stated in the facts of the case filed in court on 22nd December 2011, the cabinet endorsed an executive approval of a joint memorandum submitted to the cabinet by the then Minister for Health and the first accused Cassiel Ato Forson, then Deputy Minister for Finance, for the purchase of 200 ambulances out of a medium-term credit facility of €15,800,000 between Stanbic Bank Ghana Limited and the Government of Ghana through the Ministry of Finance’”.

“For the avoidance of doubt, the Cabinet memo for the purchase of the ambulances was submitted in December 2011. I became a deputy minister on the 2nd of May 2013. How could I have signed a cabinet MEMO in December 2011

Parliament to resume Jan. 25 instead of Jan. 18

Despite the adjournment of sitting of the Eighth Parliament to Tuesday, January 18, 2022 by First Deputy Joseph Osei-Owusu, official communication from Parliament gives a new date as Tuesday, January 25, 2022.

It will be the start of the Second Session of the Eighth Parliament.

“The Parliamentary Service wishes to inform all Honourable Members and Staff of Parliamentary Service that the Second Session of the Eighth Parliament of the Fourth Republic will commence on Tuesday, 25th January, 2022 at Ten O’clock in the forenoon at Parliament House, Accra,” a statement issued by the Public Affairs Directorate on Thursday, January 6 said.

“All Honourable Members and Members of Staff are entreated to take note and attend upon the House respectively.”

It was a dramatic end to the First Session of the current Parliament in December as a brawl broke out between the Majority and Minority caucuses.

It was during heated exchanges on the controversial Electronic Transfer Levy Bill, popularly known as e-level, introduced by the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, in the 2022 budget.

Members of the two caucuses disagreed on the consideration of the Bill under a certificate of urgency and the resultant vote to decide the matter further deepened their differences as the First Deputy Speaker decided to vote in his capacity as Member of Parliament for Bekwai.

He later adjourned sitting to Tuesday, January 18, 2022 but with the new communication, sitting will resume a week later

Police busts ‘mad’ driver shortly after social media exposé

The police has arrested a suspect driver, Mr Awal Mohammed, 31, and arraigned him for driving on the wrong side of the road, contrary to Regulation 106 (1) of the Road Traffic Regulations (RTR) 2012 L.I. 2180.

He drove a car with registration number GW 402 V.

Mr Mohammed has been charged with careless and inconsiderate driving contrary to section 3 of Act 683/04 as amended by 761/08; causing danger to other road users, contrary to section 22 of Act 683/04 as amended by 761/08; and causing road obstruction contrary to Regulation 170 of the Road Traffic Regulation 2012, L.I 2180 are the additional charges.

The said driver was captured on video by a concerned citizen as he dangerously veered off his lane at a section of the road at Kwahu Foduah, and drove facing oncoming vehicles, the police said in a statement.

The police commended the Good Samaritan for volunteering information that led to the arrest of the driver.

The law enforcement agency used the opportunity to caution motorists to drive with care and attention at all times to avoid road crashes

was asleep during E-levy brawl, I discovered it on social media – Bagbin



Alban Bagbin absent as Parliament votes on E-levy

The voting process degenerates into violent clashes

Bagbin rejects the accusation that he deliberately refused to preside

Speaker of Parliament Alban Bagbin has revealed that he was asleep at the time that Members of Parliament engaged in a brawl on the floor of the house during a vote on the E-levy bill.

On December 20, 2021, MPs on both sides of the house ‘clashed’ around the sitting area of the presiding Speaker at the time – First Deputy Speaker – Joseph Osei Owusu.

The opposition National Democratic Congress MPs justified approaching the Speaker’s seat to resist a change of speakership to enable Osei Owusu to vote on the Bill. The NPP MPs on the other hand said they were protecting the Speaker from attack.

Bagbin, who presided over the house that day till he left late into the evening explained in an interview on Moomeen Tonight show on state-run GBC, that he left after a long day and after failing to get the Majority side to table the Bill for consideration.

“I left Parliament after and I sent my closing remarks for the day, that’s the session, through my usher to the First Deputy Speaker. So I have given notice I will not be around to read my closing remarks and I left to my house.

“Because I was so tired, later I put off my phone and fell in the bed and slept. It was after 12 pm (that) my wife woke me up to take my dinner and then after that I decided to go through social media and there I found out that the Honourable members I left in the house dishonoured themselves by exchanging blows,” he stated.

He chastised his First Deputy for announcing that he was going to vote adding that his address in the wake of the rescission of the rejected 2022 budget in early December 2021 had laid down a clear path on avoiding such confrontations.

“When I investigated further, I felt that this was very unnecessary and to be frank with you, my First Deputy Speaker was wrong in even announcing that he was going to vote and nobody could stop him from doing that.

“That is why when he (Osei Owusu) bent down for the Second Deputy to take over, the minority members rushed to prevent that from happening, that is what led to the fisticuffs. It means that we have not moved away from this unbridled partisanship in the national interest.

“I have given a ruling on how deputy speakers should preside over a house… that guidance I gave to the house and the country… if they had listened and appreciated it, that wouldn’t have happened,” he stressed.

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

Akufo-Addo confirms 7 percent increase in salaries of public workers

Akufo Addo121213131212122

Labour unions reject 4 percent increment in salaries

Labour unions threaten to strike over the four percent increment

7 percent increment takes effect 2022


Ghana’s President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has confirmed the 7 percent salary increase to all public sector workers.

This implies workers including the police, doctors, nurses, teachers, civil servants and all other workers who fall under the public services commission of Ghana will see a 7 percent rise in their pay from January 2022.

The president on his Twitter handle said: “public sector workers would enjoy 7 percent increase in base”.null

The government had earlier said it was going to increase the salaries of public sector workers by 4 percent.

However, the 4 percent increase was heavily opposed by labour unions including the Ghana National Association of teachers (GNAT) with threats of strike actions by these unions which forced the government to increase the increment to percent

The Minister for Employment and Labour Relations Ignatius Baffuor Awuah was the first to disclose that the government will this year increase the 4% salary increment for public sector workers to 7 per cent.

“We had to negotiate with the leadership of organised labour and in the process, we had to agree that we also had to be modest in our request on the national kitty.

“That is how we ended at the 4%. Mr. President, the beautiful thing is that we are moving on and we had agreed that coming into this current year the 4 per cent will no longer exist and that we are going to give lecturers a 7 per cent increment,” he said.null

He said this at the 6th Quadrennial National Delegates Conference of the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT) in Kumasi on Tuesday, January 4.

The government earlier increased salary by 4 per cent, a decision that was heavily opposed by labour unions including GNAT.

The unions called for a higher percentage increment including GNAT.

The President of GNAT, Ms. Philipa Larsen, said “We are calling on the President; otherwise, there would be no peace, and the country would become ungovernable,” she warned.

According to her, “the current system of remuneration in the public sector is not fair; it favours some categories of office holders in the public service.

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

Govt is broke so it is ‘punishing’ us with more hardship – NDC

Sammy Gyamfi 1.png

The government of Ghana is reversing the benchmark value discounts at the ports because it is broke and seeking to raise money through the U-turn so as to gain credibility within the international market to borrow more, the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) has said.null

The reversal was recently announced by the Ghana Revenue Authority and billed to have taken effect from Tuesday, 4 January 2022.

The reversal of the discounts affects 43 items.

Demonstrating how the decision would affect importers and the ordinary Ghanaian, the biggest opposition party told journalists at a press conference on Wednesday, 5 January 2022 that the “discounts, which were announced, was not a favour the government was doing to importers”.

National Communications Officer Sammy Gyamfi explained: “It was because they had introduced a policy which had led to an increase in import duties and, so if you are reversing the discounts, what it means is that you are sending importers back to where they were when the benchmark values were first introduced and import duties went up”.

“But that is not all: what is even worse is that at the time of John Mahama where there were no benchmark values or let me even bring it forward to 2019, May, where there were no benchmark values, the dollar was just about GHS5 [but] today the dollar is GHS6.40 and, so, if you are reversing the policy, you are sending the importer back to that place where he was paying high import duty as a result of the introduction of the benchmark values and now he’ll be worse off because if he needed GHS5.20 to get a dollar back then in 2019, now he needs GHS6.50”.

“And aside from that, back then, importers were not paying anything like COVID levy on NHIL or COVID levy on VAT and all the new draconian crippling taxes this government has introduced”, he noted.null

Mr Gyamfi added: “So, as a result of all the taxes the government has introduced since April 2019 when this policy was announced, and the depreciation of the cedi; reversing the benchmark value discount will make importers and for that matter, Ghanaians in general, worse off”.

This “catastrophic” decision, the NDC noted, “has been occasioned by the self-inflicted economic malaise we presently find ourselves in with our economy in tatters and the government simply unable to find money to do anything”.

In his view, “after five years of economic mismanagement and reckless election-driven spending, which have taken the country back to its HIPC days, the Akufo-Addo-Bawumia NPP government has decided to punish the already-burdened Ghanaian people with more hardships for their own recklessness and economic mismanagement”.

“This is why all manner of crippling taxes and killer measures such as the reversal of benchmark value discounts are being imposed on suffering Ghanaians to shore up the government’s revenue just to create an artificial picture of a sound economy in order to convince the investor community of more and more borrowing”, he stressed.

He urged Ghanaians not to accept any explanation the government might give to justify the decision except what the NDC suspects to be the case.

“So, don’t be deceived that this policy has been introduced because the government wants to support the AGI and local manufacturers. It is not true”, he said.null

“The reason for the introduction of this draconian policy is revenue and nothing more. The government is broke. They’ve wasted all the money that have accrued to them – unprecedented resources wasted – and now they want to collect more from us even though they know times are tough”, Mr Gyamfi indicated.

The decision, according to the NDC, portrays Vice-President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia as a dishonest politician.

“We, in the NDC, are left in no doubt whatsoever that this latest decision by the government to reverse discounts of benchmark values on imported goods further accentuates Dr Bawumia’s place as the most deceitful political actor in Ghana’s history”.

“It will be recalled that some time in 2019, this deceitful politician, Dr Bawumia, was all over the place pontificating that Ghana’s ports were one of the most expensive in the sub-region and that the government had decided to introduce discounted benchmark values in order to cushion the Ghanaian in order to facilitate more trade volumes in order to make our ports more competitive and reduce smuggling and increase government’s revenue from the ports”, he recalled.

Source: www.classfmonline.com

4% salary increment for public sector workers to go up by 7% – Labour Minister reveals

The Minister for Employment and Labour Relations, Ignatius Baffuor Awuah, has revealed that the government will this year, increase the 4% salary increment for public sector workers to 7 per cent.

“We had to negotiate with the leadership of organised labour and in the process we had to agree that we also had to be modest in our request on the national kitty.

“That is how we ended at the 4%. Mr President, the beautiful thing is that we are moving on and we had agreed that coming into this current year the 4 per cent will no longer exist and that we are going to give lecturers a 7 per cent increment,” he said while speaking at the the 6th Quadrennial National Delegates Conference of the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT) in Kumasi on Tuesday January 4, an event that was attended by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.

The government had earlier last year, increased salary by 4 per cent, a decision that was heavily opposed by labour unions including GNAT.

The unions were calling for a higher percentage increment.

The President of GNAT, Ms Philipa Larsen, was reported to have said after the increment that “We are calling on the President; otherwise, there would be no peace, and the country would become ungovernable,” she warned.

According to her, “the current system of remuneration in the public sector is not fair; it favours some categories of office holders in the public service

I’m building 10,000 houses for teachers; it’s bad they can’t own houses like they did 60yrs ago – Akufo-Addo

President Nana Akufo-Addo has said his government cares about teachers to the extent that his administration is building 10,000 housing units for them on affordable terms.

Speaking at the 6th Quadrennial National Delegates Conference and the 90th-anniversary of the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT) held in Kumasi, Ashanti Region on Tuesday, 4 January 2022 on the theme: ‘Surviving as a reliable and vibrant teacher union in the 21st century’, President Akufo-Addo said the “government recognises that all modern successful nations that have experienced extraordinary results in the transformation of human capital and economic development have shown that teacher quality is, perhaps, the single most important determinant of their success”.

Thus, he said: “For us in Ghana also to make a success of our nation, we must pay attention to teachers”.

“It is only a group of well-trained and motivated teachers that can help deliver the educated and skilled workforce we require to transform our economy and nation”, the President acknowledged.

He recalled how “many years ago, our society respected and honoured our teachers”, saying: “To be introduced anywhere was a teacher came with enormous prestige”.

“Sixty years ago, being a teacher, even a pupil-teacher, was a respectable and fulfilling job and a teacher could build a decent house through his or her salary alone”, he mentioned.

“Unfortunately”, the President observed, “we cannot imagine such a scenario for today’s newly qualified teachers or even teachers who are near retirement”.

“This is not good enough and that is why my government remains committed to improving the circumstances of our teachers”, he noted.

“We believe that teaching should not be seen as a stopgap measure or a job of last resort but as a viable choice to enter a well-respected profession with positive long-term career prospects and good benefits”, the President said.

According to him, “we’ve restored, since coming into office five years ago, and we continue to pay teacher trainee allowances, which were abolished by the previous administration”.

He said in addition to the “yearly average increase in salaries over the last five years, my government has, for the first time in our nation’s history, been paying a professional allowance to teachers” and also: “We’ve abolished the three-month pay policy for teachers”.

Concerning teachers benefits, he said: “We have cleared the arrears. Let me repeat: we have cleared the arrears and promotions due teachers have also been effected”.

The government, the President intimated, “is also committed to the development of affordable housing for teachers all across the nation”.

“The current initiative will involve the provision of housing for both mortgage and rental”, he explained, observing: “I’m fully aware the one challenge facing teacher ownership of homes, beyond finance, is their inability to purchase homes where they intend to retire”.

The president, however, noted that “through a subsidised loan programme, teachers will be provided an opportunity to own homes, houses in desired locations in various parts of the country”.

The Ministry of Education, he added, “is working with the National Service Scheme on this”.

In addition, the president pointed out, the Ministry of Works and Housing “is in discussions with teacher unions, including your own [GNAT], to provide more housing opportunities for teachers”.

He said: “Within the next two years, it is proposed that 10,000 housing units, on affordable terms, will be developed for teachers across the country”.

“This, we all know, is the tip of the iceberg but it is a good beginning”, the president said.

The president also said he was happy that the teachers were satisfied with the one teacher-one laptop programme and promised to address any lingering concerns. “I’m glad to hear how much you welcome the supply of laptops and promise you that the other related matters of concern of which the national president referred to in her speech, will be addressed.”

“Good relations between GNAT and my government are a matter of importance to me and I’ll do my very best to promote such relations”, he said

You don’t believe in prophecies yet you read palms, check horoscope – Sam George

Ningo Prampram lawmaker Samuel Nartey George has questioned persons who are against prophecies yet they check horoscope and read palms.

Sharing his thoughts on the caution that was given by the Police against the publication of negative prophecies, Sam George said in a tweet that “As a way of bringing sanity, we can start by ensuring all churches are properly registered with the Registrar-General.

“As part of their regularization process would be evidence of membership of one of the recognized Christian organizations like GPCC, NACCC, CCG etc. Let us place the mandate of the regulation with the umbrella bodies and empower them to effect the sanctions in conjunction with the Ministry of Chieftaincy and Religious Affairs.

“As for those saying prophecies is bad yet you are checking your horoscopes and reading your palms or visiting that marabouts or fetish priest, you are as guilty as the Prophets you criticize.

The Police had cautioned Religious leaders in Ghana to be measured in their utterances, particularly the way they communicate prophecies, ahead of New Year Eve’s services.

“We want to caution that under Ghanaian law, it is a crime for a person to publish or reproduce a statement, rumour or report which is likely to cause fear and alarm to the public or to disturb the public peace, where that person has no evidence to prove that the statement, rumour or report is true,” the police warned in a statement issued on Monday, December 27 2021.

“It is also a crime for a person, by means of electronic communications service, to knowingly send a communication that is false or misleading and likely to prejudice the efficiency of life saving service or to endanger the safety of any person,” the statement signed by Superintendent Alexander Obeng, the Director of Public Affairs of the Ghana Police Service, added.

“A person found guilty under these laws could be liable to a term of imprisonment of up to five years.”

Friday’s services across the nation was the first since Inspector-General of Police Dr George Akuffo Dampare took office.

He had met religious leaders over prophecies deemed to cause fear and panic in the nation.

That meeting was precipitated by a fake gun attack on popular musician Shatt Wale, who had later indicated he took that action as a result of a prophecy by the Founder and Leader of New Life Kingdom Chapel, Bishop Stephen Kwesi Appiah, on an Accra-based radio station before the Monday, October 18 incident.

The man of God, popularly known as Jesus Ahuofe, was arrested and later granted a GH¢100,000 bail.

The police admitted that they are not against prophecies especially in a country where the centrality of God is in the live of many.

“There should be no apprehensions, therefore, about undertaking the various activities.

“We ask only that everyone keeps within the law and is mindful of the welfare of each other.”

This development raised concerns among some clergy men including The founder and leader of Glorious Word Power Ministry International, Prophet Isaac Owusu Bempah.

Mr Owusu Bempah believes that the IGP issued the order against the publication of the death prophecies following briefing he received from Pastors who do not believe in prophetic ministry.

He further appealed to the Inspector General of Police, COP Dr George Akuffo Dampare to invite men of God who believe in prophecies to give him what he calls satisfactory briefing on prophetic ministry.

Rev Isaac Owusu Bempah said during his 31st night preaching on Friday December 31 that “I will like to appeal to the IGP that if he needs briefings on the prophetic ministry he should invite some of us, not pastors who do not believe in prophecies

Improve on condition of teachers – Asantehene to gov’t

The Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu II has urged the government to work to improve on the condition of teachers in the country.

He said the status of teachers should truly reflect the level of importance attached to their positions in the society.

The Asantehene said these when he was addressing members of the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT) at their 6th Quadrennial National Delegates conference.

“While we will always urge moderation in the face of the national economic realities, we will nonetheless, urge policy makers to ensure that the status of our teachers truly reflect the level of importance we attach to their place in society,” he said.

He further cautioned teachers against the use of strike fas negotaion tool.

He tasked them to adopt an improved way of negotiation rather than strike.

The Asantehene explained that, school children are the ones who face the consequences of such actions and not politicians.

But the Asantehene said “Obviously, those who really suffer are the innocent children. I urge you all to focus your minds on the need for an improved way for negotiations and consultations which will minimize, if not eliminate, any recourse to industrial action and the harmful consequences on our children

Gov’t will work to bring economy back on track – Bawumia

The Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia has said the Akufo-Addo administration will work to bring the economy back following the devastation done by the dreaded coronavirus pandemic.

“In the coming year, we will continue to strive to get the economy back on track from the shackles of COVID-19,” Dr Bawumia said when he met some Muslims in Accra Monday January 3.

He added “We are also committed to our inclusive governance of the past five years, which has seen us invest in education and other sectors of the country”.

It is recalled that President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo had earlier assured that his government had the ability to resuscitate Ghana’s economy after the outbreak of the virus.


In Ghana, the outbreak impacted on businesses, forcing some operators to announce business shutdown or lay-offs.


Delivering the fourth address to the nation on the coronavirus “As we have demonstrated over the course of the last three years, where we inherited an economy that was growing at 3.4% and transformed it into one which has grown by an average of 7% over the last three (3) years, I assure you that we know what to do to bring back our economy back to life,” he stated

Opoku Onyinah never sought prophetic direction from Owusu Bempah – GPCC

The Ghana Pentecostal and Charismatic Council (GPCC) has denied claims by Prophet Isaac Owusu Bempah that the Council’s former President, Apostle Opoku Onyinah, consulted him to seek prophetic direction.

Setting the records straight, the GPCC, in a statement, explained that it called for a meeting in 2016 to discuss with Prophet Owusu Bempah, his utterances on some Bishops in the media as well as his prophecies about the death of some notable members of Ghana’s society.

The statement said the Council delegated its then-President, Apostle Opoku Onyinah; and Rt Rev Dr Nana Anyani Boadum, to meet with Prophet Owusu Bempah, in the stead of the entire National Executive Council so that Prophet Owusu Bempah would not feel like he was on “trial”.

The GPCC said at the meeting, Apostle Onyinah sought to understand the prophetic ministry of Prophet Owusu Bempah and how he began his ministry, which he (Owusu Bempah) explained.

After listening to the Prophet, the statement said Apostle Onyinah advised him on how men of God should communicate what God gives or reveals to them in public by being sensitive to the sensibilities of those they prophesy to.

The statement said at no point in time, during the meeting, did Apostle Onyinah seek any prophetic direction from Prophet Owusu Bempah.

Fuel price to rise by 3.7% – COPEC

The price of petrol at the pump is expected to rise by 3.7%, the Chamber of Petroleum Consumers (COPEC) has predicted.

In a statement, COPEC said Brent crude plunged by 10.7% to $73.45/barrel on 26 November 2021 and the OPEC Reference Basket (OPB) plunged by 6.9% to $76.09/barrel on the same date.

It said the OPB further tumbled to $70.07/barrel on 2 December 2021.

The plummeting crude oil prices were due to the new Omicron variant of the COVID-19 pandemic, which restricted mobility in some countries, coupled with the expectation of gradual increase in oil production by the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC)+.

However, Brent crude futures settled at $1.56 or 2.1% at $76.85 a barrel, the highest close since 26 November 2021, and a gain of 4.5% on the week as of 23 December 2021.

Additionally, the U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures ended at $1.03 or 1.4% at $73.79 a barrel, to rise 4.1% on the week as of 23 December 2021.

COPEC said the surge in crude oil prices is due to supply disruptions in Libya, which cut flow by about 300,000 b/d in addition to the “lower anxiety toward the Omicron variant because of the perception that the variant is containable than previously feared”.

In Ghana, the National Petroleum Authority (NPA) indicated that the benchmark price for petrol/MT for setting ex-pump price of petrol in the 1st Window of January 2022 is $707.95/MT.

Again, the Benchmark price for diesel/MT for setting ex-pump price in the same widow is $641.38/MT.

The NPA set the Ghana cedi at GHS6.4040 against the dollar.

Using the conversion factor of 1324.4 for petrol from a metric tonne to litres; 1183.43 for diesel from a metric tonne to litres and a maximum total marketer’s margin and dealer’s margin of GHS0.75 based on the flexibility of OMC margins, as well as a forward rate of GHS6.4040 to a dollar, the ex-pump prices for petrol is expected to surge by 3.7% and diesel is expected to surge by 2.5%.

Averagely, ex-pump prices are expected to surge by 3.1% in the 1st Window of January 2022 from 1st to 16th January.

The ex-pump prices of petrol and diesel are expected to surge by 3.7% and 2.5%, respectively.

In nominal terms, ex-pump prices of petrol and diesel are expected to increase by 24 pesewas and 17 pesewas, respectively.

The average surge for both products in nominal terms is 20 pesewas representing 3.1%.

Some OMCs could increase their prices less than the 20 pesewas increase due to competition.

COPEC said if the government suspends the zeroing of the PSRL on diesel, petrol and LPG, then ex-pump prices could surge by, at least, 34 pesewas

Ignore Ato Forson’s propaganda; prices of goods won’t go high – John Kumah

Deputy Finance Minister John Kumah has dismissed claims by the Ranking Member on Finance in Parliament, Casiel Ato Forson, that things will be difficult this year.

In a Facebook post Sunday, the former Deputy Finance Minister said prices of goods will be increased by at least 30%.

“Unfortunately, the Akufo-Addo/Bawumia Government has reversed the discount on all items using Benchmark values effective today.

“Please Expect Prices of Goods such as Rice, Sugar, pharmaceuticals, cement, roofing sheets to go up by at least 30% effective today,” the MP wrote among other things.

However reacting to the claims also on Facebook,  Mr Kuma said the Ranking Member made his analysis without any factual basis.

“It is unfathomable to think that a former Deputy Minister of Finance could be this pessimistic, speculative and propagandist on important issues concerning the economy of Ghana.”

Below are details of the post by the deputy minister

Often, you expect those who are well-informed about development in this economy to speak the truth backed by facts. It is unfathomable to think that a former Deputy Minister of Finance could be this pessimistic, speculative and propagandist on important issues concerning the economy of Ghana. It is therefore important, I state categorically, that all the speculations by Hon. Ato Forson are his own creation and are not supported by data.

Indeed, the economy is expected to grow at 4.9% even with ravaging COVID-19. The government is turning around the economy back to the era of high growth before COVID-19 pandemic came to our shores.

1. It is not true that prices of goods are to increase by circa 30% as Hon. Ato is speculating. There is no evidence to back this speculation.

2. On the cedi’s performance, I’m surprised at Ato’s submission.  As at end December 2021, the cedis had depreciated by 3.63% compared 3.93% same time 2020. This represents one of the lowest depreciation seen in the currency in the last decade. The Pound has only deprecated by 1.64% compared to 7 08% in 2020. The cedi as at end December 2021 had APPRECIATED against the Euro by 4.48%. Certainly, it is out of place to speculate about a currency with this sterling performance. Government is confident that the cedi will hold against the major trading currencies in 2022 given all the innovative currency management policies introduced including the forward auction.

3. On fuel, it is important to state that Hon. Ato’s opinion on potential increase in fuel is not supported by any data. Indeed, the Office of President on 31st December 2021 directed the Ministry of Finance to extend the withdrawal of Price Stabilisation and Recovery Levies on Petrol, diesel and LPG for additional one month. Though fuel prices response to a number of factors, Government is determined to cushion consumers as and when necessary.

4. On taxes, let me intimate that government is not introducing any new taxes as being speculated. The e-levy as was announced by the Finance Minister, is the only levy before Parliament for consideration.

5. On interest rate, Hon. Ato’s expectation of a hike is untenable. Following the banking sector reforms, our banks have been well positioned to lend to credit worthy clients at cheaper cost. Though NPLs have increased due to COVID-19, Government is very certain that interest rates will not go out of the roof. Government through programmes such as YouStart and GhanaCARES will support individuals, businesses and institutions with cheap credit to help them realise their dreams.

6. On domestically focused financing, Hon Ato’s view that such a approach is bad for the economy is laughable. Our domestic market has proven capable of meeting the funding needs of government. Through the numerous policy interventions in the market, the market has now become solid and ready to provide the funding needed to support the budget.

In doing so, government in line with the Debt Management Strategy is mindful of the cost-risk trade off and will at all times ensure that fine balance is maintained and to protect the interest of the Republic

Brace up for more hardships this year – Ato Forson to Ghanaians

Cassiel Ato Forson is the Minority Spokesperson on Finance

Cassiel Ato Forson is the Minority Spokesperson on Finance

The Ranking Member on Finance in Parliament, Casiel Ato Forson, has predicted that Ghanaians will experience  ‘Economic Misery and inflation’ this year.

He is therefore entreating Ghanaians to brace-up for more economic hardship.

In a Facebook post, the former Deputy Finance Minister said prices of goods will be increased by at least 30%.

“Unfortunately, the Akufo-Addo/Bawumia Government has reversed the discount on all items using Benchmark values effective today.

“Please Expect Prices of Goods such as Rice, Sugar, pharmaceuticals, cement, roofing sheets to go up by at least 30% effective today,” he disclosed in an earlier post on the grounds of a statement released by the Ghana Revenue Authority on the removal of reduction of value on imports and selected items.

The Member of Parliament for Ajumako Enyan Essiam Constituency disclosed that the Ghanaian cedi now trading at almost 6.5cedis to 1 US Dollar is likely to hit 7 cedis before end of the year.

Explaining further, he said fuel prices are to go up by 18 pesewas this week.

“Multiplicity of taxes and Levies to take effect by End of January 2022. Interest Rates likely to go up again.

“Government will be borrowing heavily from the domestic market since the Euro bond market is closed to Ghana for, at least, the first half of 2022,” the MP reiterated

The E-levy will be rejected again – Prophet Nigel hints

Government presents bill on Electronic Levy

E-Levy to be 1.75% of charges on electronic transactions

Ken Ofori-Atta presents 2022 budget to parliament

Outspoken prophet, Nigel Gaisie, has stated that for the second time, the controversial 1.75% Electronic Levy (E-Levy) that is before parliament, will be rejected.

The 1.75 percent 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, has received a lot of backlashes from within parliament and among many in the country.

Speaking during the first Sunday of 2022 church service at his church, the Prophetic Hill Chapel International, Prophet Nigel Gaisie stated, while stressing that country should not go borrowing any longer, that the bill will be rejected.

“This year is a year of strategies; you have to be strategic. Ghana must be strategic, IGP must be strategic. He has to know that he has to leave the church. He has to know that he has to leave the church. He has to leave the prophets to prophesy. He has to know that he has to be strategic.

“Ghana has no business to go and borrow again like the E-Levy will be rejected again – the E-Levy will be rejected again. Ghana, if our economic managers are strategic, we have no business to go to the foreign world to borrow,” he said.

According to the Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta, “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.”

https://cdn.jwplayer.com/players/V75y7rvQ-eqk5XVg5

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

We must all sacrifice to support E-Levy for national development’ – Dan Botwe

Dan Botwe 1312131314141

Govt needs e-levy to meet the demands of the citizenry – MP

E-levy would not hurt the economy but would rather help create jobs – Minister

Chief urged to prioritise education


Local Government Minister, Dan Botwe has urged Ghanaians to support the E-levy

According to him, Ghanaians had to sacrifice and support the e-levy because it would help create jobs as well as enhance the development process of the country.

Speaking at a durbar in the Okere District in the Eastern region, the minister said the current economic challenges of the country required substantial amount of resources which every citizen must contribute to.

“The socio-economic problems of the country require sustainable revenue generation strategies to tackle and so government has no intention to make life difficult for the people of Ghana. The E-Levy is a thought-through budget proposal to meet the huge demands of development,” he said.null

Dan Botwe who is also the Member of Parliament (MP)

for Okere said claims by sections of the public that the e-levy would have a bad impact on Ghanaians were false.

He said the government rather needs the revenue from the levy to better the lot of Ghanaians.

“The demand for good roads, schools, and hospitals amidst the huge burden of ensuring that there are job opportunities for the young ones far outweigh similar demands in my days as a youth and we, as a people, must all come to that realisation,” Dan Botwe said.

Also, the MP urged the traditional leaders to prioritise education and help the children in the Okere District take advantage of the Free SHS policy being implemented by government.

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

2 robbery suspects and a juvenile busted at Buipe

The Buipe police command in the Savanna Region, in collaboration with members of the community, has arrested two robbery suspects, Adama Sule and Mahamadu Jabi, together with a juvenile, for highway robbery.

The two robbery suspects and the juvenile are alleged to have been involved in several robberies along the Kintampo-Buipe Highway, the police said in a statement.

According to the law enforcement agency, its investigations established that the gang, on several occasions, attacked their victims between Portor and Kadelso along the Kintampo-Buipe Highway and robbed them of their personal effects and unspecified amounts of money.

The police said it mounted surveillance on the activities of the gang and with the support of the community, arrested three of them on 30 December 2021.

Some victims of the robbery attack have also identified the two suspects and the juvenile.

The police said efforts are underway to get other members of the robbery gang arrested.

Meanwhile, the two suspects and the juvenile are in police custody assisting with investigations

S/R: Mahama’s late brother buried

Mr Emmanuel Adam Mahama, the late brother of former President John Dramani, has been laid to rest.

The 61-year-old was buried in Bole in the Savanna Region on Sunday, 2 January 2022.

The burial coincided with the third day of ‘Adua.’

The former President and his siblings, including immediate and extended family members, accompanied the body for burial from Accra.

In attendance were chiefs, elders, other family members and the people of Bole, as well as surrounding communities.

Also amount the mourners were the Chairperson of the Council of Elders of National Democratic Congress (NDC), Alhaji Mahama Iddrisu; the NDC’s National Vice Chairman, Alhaji Sofo Azorka; leading members of the NDC including Alhaji Huudu Yahaya, Minority Leader Haruna Iddrisu, Regional chairmen, Members of Parliament, friends and acquaintances of the deceased, among others.

The family is expected to announce the date for the funeral in the next few days

NPP tricked us twice in parliament – Asiedu Nketia

The National Democratic Congress (NDC) has said the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) tricked the Minority in Parliament in selecting the two deputy speakers of the House after the election of Mr Alban Bagbin as Speaker on January 7 2021.

Speaking at the 40th-anniversary commemoration of the 31st December Revolution in Accra, the General Secretary of the NDC, Mr Johnson Asiedu Nketia, said: “The leadership of NPP came to Parliament and actually came to beg us to allow them to select a first deputy speaker and in the end, [a] word was sent from the Presidency that they are also begging, so, we agreed”.

“Still, they persisted and virtually begged us that they do not want to disgrace Ghana.”

“NDC does not want this country destroyed, so, we agreed”.

“Immediately, we agreed, the first statement that came from Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu after the swearing-in was that we begged them and that there was no election in Parliament to select a first deputy speaker.”

“Those of you accusing NDC of not being interested in negotiations should listen carefully: As if that was not enough, immediately after the second deputy speaker was selected, he also addressed the press and declared his support for the NPP.

“What does that mean?: That the NPP used trickery to select the two deputy speakers,” Asiedu Nketia explained

I’ll deal with Nigel Gaisie – Kennedy Agyapong

Assin Central lawmaker, Kennedy Agyapong has said he would deal with the Founder and Leader of the Prophetic Chapel Hill Prophet Nigel Gaisie for indicating that he Mr Agyapong had stroke and was rushed for medical attention in the United States.

The businessman and politician said on a radio station in his constituency that he was not suffering from stroke rather, a brain tumor for which he visited his doctors in the US to get it removed.

“Nigel Giasie was saying I was down with stroke. He said this because of how I exposed him on television. This tells you he is a liar because I didn’t have stroke, it was brain tumor I went to the US to get removed. The tumor was like the size of a computer mouse and my doctors said it had been there for nine years.

“Nigel Gaise is a liar, he cannot silence me, he doesn’t have money more than me, I have sense more than him, I will deal with him,” he said.

Mr Agyapong recently embarked on a campaign to unmasked pastors he claims are fake. Nigel Giasie was one of those pastors he spoke about vehemently on television.

Mr Agyapong accused him of sleeping with women in the name of the ministerial works.

By Laud Nartey|3news.com|Ghana

Bawumia’s understanding of religious tolerance admirable – Methodist Pastor

The Head Pastor of Ebenezer Methodist Congregation in Breman in the Ashanti Region, Very Reverend Benjamin Akwesi Ansong, has commended Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia for his understanding of religious diversity and tolerance.

The Vice President responded to the church’s invitation to join them for its 31st Night Service and he was accompanied by his wife, Samira, and other senior government officials.

Welcoming Dr. Bawumia to the Church, Very Reverend Ansong told the congregation of his admiration for the Vice President’s appreciation of religious tolerance.

“We have in our midst tonight Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia and it is refreshing. This shows his understanding of religious tolerance,” the Methodist Pastor said, amidst cheers.

“This is a Christian gathering but he has thought it wise to demonstrate his love and joy, which is in line with what the Bible preaches that, rejoice with those who are rejoicing.

“So if today we Christians have gathered here to express our joy and the Vice President (a Muslim) has joined us, we have to be extremely grateful to God for what he has done for our country Ghana. It is something we must hold so firmly.

“If God has touched his heart and he has joined us here, we are happy and we have to pray for him too as we pray, and also pray for His Excellency President Nana Akufo-Addo and the leadership of this country.

“The Bible says give honour to whom honour is due, so let us all rise up and pray for our guest.”

Very Reverend Akwesi prayed for the Vice President, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo as well as the country for continuous good leadership and prosperity respectively.

Delivering a short remark, Dr. Bawumia urged the congregation to continue to uphold the peace the country enjoys by being tolerant of people with diverse religious beliefs.

“We are one people and this is what will sustain the peace we enjoy as a country,” Dr. Bawumia told the congregation.

Source: 3news.com|Ghana

Police puts GHS5K bounty on man who fired AK47 to welcome 2022

The Police have announced a GHS5,000 bounty on information leading to the arrest of a young man who fired gunshots to celebrate entry into the New Year.

The Police in a statement on January 1, 2022, said they have “intercepted a video in which a young man is seen firing several shots of a firearm suspected to be AK 47 at ANC Mall, East Legon, last night, December 31, 2021, purportedly to welcome the new year.

“The Police have taken a serious stance against the actions of the young man since it is a crime to discharge a firearm in public without lawful and necessary occasion under Section 209 of the Criminal Offences Act 1960 (Act 29).”

“The Police Administration after reviewing the video footage has placed an amount of Five Thousand Ghana Cedis (GH₵ 5,000.00) as a bounty for anyone who can provide information leading to his arrest to face prosecution,” the statement read.

In the video, the gentleman is seen discharging multiple rounds of shots before he was approached by a colleague who hugged him in a place that seemed like a parking lot.

This will not be the first time the Police is chasing someone for displaying firearms in public with video evidence posted on social media

I had a brain surgery not stroke treatment, says Ken Agyapong

Kennedy Agyapong on Asaase Radio’s “Sunday Night”

The New Patriotic Party (NPP) vociferous MP Kennedy Agyapong denies reports that he had a stroke recently

The MP for Assin Central in the Central Region, Ken Agyapong, has spoken publicly about his health and explained he recently underwent a brain surgery in the US, which cost US$283,000 to remove a tumor.

In a radio interview with a local radio station at Assin Fosu in the Central Region on Thursday (30 December 2021), Agyapong denied reports that he had a stroke.

He said he slipped in the bathroom and knocked his head, the right side of his head.

Some days later, he said he experienced a continuous headache for about five days and so he decided to go for a check-up.

The New Patriotic Party (NPP) vociferous MP said a CT-scan at Lancet at East Legon in Accra detected a tumor on the left side of his head, which the doctor said was not from the fall and that it had been there for sometime.

When the doctor recommended that it should be removed, Agyapong said he travelled to the USA for further checks, which confirmed the tumor in the left side.

He said the doctor in the USA was able to tell him how long it had been there and commended the doctors at Lancet for being able to detect it.

He said the doctor in the USA also confirmed the size of the tumor, which had been detected by the doctor at Lancet to be almost the size of a computer mouse.

He was advised to remove it before it becomes cancerous and so he went ahead to remove it.

Agyapong said that was the medical procedure he recently underwent in the USA and disputed reports that he had a stroke.

He said the doctors said the tumor was spreading gradually and that it was advisable that it was removed since he was still “young”.

He said he was not sick and that he had been going for a medical review every year.

Philanthropic activities

His interview at the radio station also touched on his philanthropic activities where he talked about the things he was donating to residents in his constituency in Assin Central for the Yuletide.

Agyapong donated cash and items to widows, the elderly and paid the school fees of some students in his constituency.

The items included sewing machines and hair dryers for trainee seamstresses and ‘hairdressers’. It also included food items such as rice and cooking oil for the elderly

8th Parliament is different; adjust to it – Bagbin to MPs

The Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin,  has said one of the challenges with the 8th Parliament is the refusal of some critics to recognize that the nation has a hung Parliament.

According to him, he has so far lived to the promises he made to be impartial in his judgements in the House.

“There is a change. A change of composition, a change of focus and direction and that needs a different type of leadership. We cannot continue to use those old rules; we have to develop new rules. The rules that will push forward the decision of the good people of Ghana,” he reiterated on Ghana Television Thursday.

Mr. Bagbin stressed that his critics have no bases for their numerous allegations against him adding that he is also not immune to mistakes.

“This Parliament I have made it clear that I will do all I can to be as impartial as possible. I am human, I don’t know it all, I can make mistakes.

“But to be categorized as being biased or obstructing government business or being partial is just a figment of the imagination of people who are stuck to the old order where they are used to power,” he stated.

Speaker Bagbin also used the opportunity to urge his colleagues to come to terms that they are in a new era that demands a shift from the old ways of handling affairs in the House.

“The power of the Majority, this is what we want and we must get it. That is the position. If not, my rulings have shown that I have disagreed with both Majority and Minority at different times. So it is only a surprise because some of my colleagues don’t understand that the 8th Parliament of the 4th Republic is completely different from the other Parliaments,” he added.

Source: Ghana/Starrfm.com.gh/103.5FM/Isaac Dzidzoamenu

Mahama loses brother

One of former President John Dramani Mahama’s brothers, Mr Emmanuel Adam Mahama, has died.

A statement from the Office of the former President signed by his Aide, Joyce Bawah Mogtari, said: “This is to announce the death of Emmanuel Adam Mahama, a brother of H.E JohnDramani Mahama, on Friday, 31st December 2021 after a period of illness.”

“The family will announce plans for his burial and funeral in due course,” the statement added

Two suspects arrested over death of American IG model in Accra

Two suspects have been detained by the police over the death of an American Instagram model at a hotel in Accra on December 14, 2021.

The suspects whose identities have been withheld are currently in police custody assisting with investigations.

The American citizen, identified as Julie Diane Williams was found dead at the Rayporsh Hotel at Abelemkpe, a suburb of Accra, on December 14, 2021.

A police statement dated December 31, 2021, by ACP Kwesi Ofori said her family in the US has officially been informed of the investigations being conducted into the circumstances leading to her death.

2022 Prophecy: I saw death of Umuofia First Lady – Nigel Gaisie

Nigel Gaisie

The founder and leader of Prophetic Hill Chapel, Prophet Nigel Gaisie has disclosed that the death of a First Lady in 2022 has been revealed to him.

Adopting an evasive style for prophecies for this year during his 2021 end of year watch night service, Prophet Nigel Gaisie aligned his prophecies to various countries geographical locations including a certain Umuofia and Uganda.

Strikingly, however, there were similarities between details about the nation of Umuofia and Ghana as disclosed in his prophecies.

In one of such of prophecies he said “again I saw in my vision, a nation called Umuofia where their capital is called Kampala. I saw that one of their First Ladies died. The Lord said we should pray for all of them.”null

From names of individuals, regions, towns, institutions, political parties and elections, Prophet Nigel Gaisie delivered dozens of prophecies about the nation of Umuofia with details that directly point to Ghana. He also prophesied about other foreign countries.

“I saw a heavy cloud like the cloud of darkness covering the Head of State of Umuofia. Let’s take this prophecy very seriously, I saw a cloud of darkness covering the Head of State of Umuofia. I saw that his deputy is using ways to trigger his quick passing. I saw in the realm of the spirit that the shoe of the big man is being worn by the deputy. I saw in the nation of Umuofia that something that has happened there is about to reoccur again,” he stated in one of his prophecies.

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

5 years on and Akufo-Addo still blames me for everything; what a ‘poor leader’ – JM

Former President John Dramani Mahama has said only a “poor leader” like President Nana Akufo-Addo will keep blaming his predecessor for his (Akufo-Addo’s) failings five years into his presidency.

Speaking at the National Democratic Congress’ 40th-anniversary commemoration of the 31st December Revolution in Accra on Friday, the 2020 flag bearer of the NDC said: “Leadership is about responsibility”, insisting: “It is only a poor leader who shirks responsibilities and shifts blames”.

Demonstrating the difference between his leadership and that of Mr Akufo-Addo, Mr Mahama said: “We had power crisis – dumsor in this country – because of lack of investment in generation for many years, and, so, we were consuming more power than we generated”.

“That was the situation I met and yet, I did not say it is not my fault. I went to Parliament, took responsibility for it and promised to fix it, which we did.”

“Today, somebody [President Akufo-Addo] claims he inherited a weak economy, which he hasn’t been able to be responsible for 5 years on”.

“It’s always about Mahama and NDC”.

“If he [Nana Akufo-Addo] cannot do the job, he should give way for the NDC to do it for you.”

Source: classfmonline.com

If you cannot do the job, let the NDC do it for you’ – Mahama to Akufo-Addo

According to him, if President Akufo-Addo “cannot do the job, he should give way for the NDC to do it for you.”

Former President John Dramani Mahama has reprimanded his successor, Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo for failing to take responsibility for the country’s ailing economy.

Speaking at the 40th anniversary commemorating the 31st December Revolution, the 2020 Presidential candidate of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) noted the President’s blame game whenever initiatives backfire portrays poor leadership skills.

“Leadership is about responsibility. It is only a poor leader who shirks responsibilities and shifts blame. We had power crisis– dumsor in this country– because of lack of investment in generation for many years, and so we were consuming more power than we generated.

“That was the situation I met, and yet I did not say it is not my fault. I went to Parliament, took responsibility for it and promised to fix it, which we did,” he said on Friday.

Mr Mahama then took a jibe at the Akufo-Addo government.

According to him, if President Akufo-Addo “cannot do the job, he should give way for the NDC to do it for you.”

“Today somebody [President Akufo-Addo] claims he inherited a weak economy, which he hasn’t been able to be responsible for, 5 years on. It’s always about Mahama and NDC,” he intimated.

However, President Akufo-Addo has maintained that his administration has outperformed his predecessors.

At the New Patriotic Party (NPP’s) National Delegates Conference on Sunday, December 9, the President insisted his government has chalked more successes than any other government in the Fourth Republic.

He, therefore, charged all members of the NPP to be proud and preach about the achievements of his government.

Source: Myjoyonline

There are brighter days ahead for Ghana – Akufo-Addo

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has said that he is a firm believer in the ability of Ghana and Ghanaians.

He noted in New Year message that there are brighter days ahead for Ghana

“I am a firm, passionate believer in our national potential. We have it in us to rise and revive and revive our fortunes. There are brighter days ahead for mother Ghana,” e said.

His Vice, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia also said he is optimistic about the future of Ghana despite the negative impact of the coronavirus on the economy and also the people.

In his new Year Message to Ghanaians, Dr Bawumia said “I thank God for seeing us through 2021.

“I also pray for those who we unfortunately lost, during the year.”

“As we have entered the new year, I pray that Ghana continues to be peaceful. We are different ethnicities, different religions but we are all children of God. What makes Ghana unique is our unity in diversity and we should continue to focus on that.

“Not withstanding the global economic impact of Covid 19, I am very optimistic about Ghana’s future and 2022 should see us continue on the path of economic transformation that we are embarking on,” he added

I pray that Ghana continues to be peaceful – Bawumia

Vice President Dr Mahamamudu Bawumia has prayed that Ghana should continue enjoying the peace in the country at the moment.

He indicated that although the people are from different ethnicities and also have different religious beliefs, they are all children of God.

In his new Year Message to Ghanaians, he said “I thank God for seeing us through 2021.

“I also pray for those who we unfortunately lost, during the year.”

“As we have entered the new year, I pray that Ghana continues to be peaceful. We are different ethnicities, different religions but we are all children of God. What makes Ghana unique is our unity in diversity and we should continue to focus on that.

“Not withstanding the global economic impact of Covid 19, I am very optimistic about Ghana’s future and 2022 should see us continue on the path of economic transformation that we are embarking on,” he added

Be more conscious of your health this New Year – Mahama

Former President John Dramani Mahama has called on Ghanaians to be more conscious of their health going into the New Year.

The former President’s call follows an upsurge in COVID-19 cases across the country in the past few days.

The number of active cases has shot up due to the Omicron variant.

In his New Year message, the former President said: “Over the last 2 weeks, many people are nursing colds and flu-like symptoms, but with most people not going for a COVID test, it is being attributed to the seasonal harmattan weather.”

Mr Mahama noted: “The yuletide season was characterised by super-spreader events such as mega concerts, street carnivals and beach parties”.

“The New Year season is here! Let’s be more conscious of our health as we pray for health workers because of the more transmissible omicron variant.”

He urged Ghanaians to continue to observe the COVID-19 protocols to avoid further transmission of the disease.

“Observe social distancing, wash your hands as frequently as possible, avoid handshakes, use hand sanitisers and wear a mask.”

The former President added: “And please GET VACCINATED if you haven’t done so yet. If you have, go for your second dose

DECLARATION OF MONDAY, 3RD JANUARY, 2022 AS A PUBLIC HOLIDAY

Declaration of Monday, 3rd January, 2022 as a Public Holiday

The general public is hereby notified that Saturday, 1st January, 2022 marks New Year’s Day which is a Statutory Public Holiday.

However, in view of the fact that 1st January, 2022 falls on a Saturday, His Excellency, the President of the Republic of Ghana, has by Executive Instrument (E.I), in accordance with Section 2 of the Public Holidays and Commemorative Days Act, (Act 601) declared Monday, 3rd January, 2022 as an additional Public Holiday and should be observed as such throughout the country.

Signed

AMBROSE DERY (MP)

MINISTER FOR THE INTERIOR

31st Night Prophecies: Withdraw your directive or face God’s wrath – Salifu Amoako to Police

Leader and Founder of Alive Chapel International Archbishop-elect Elisha Salifu Amoako has condemned the directive issued by the Inspector General of Police (IGP) Dr. George Akuffo Dampare as regards 31st Night prophecies.

Archbishop-elect Salifu Amoako has labeled the directive as a stealthy thought-out plan by those in authority to suppress prophetic works in Ghana.

The Archbishop is of the view that the directive is pointless and has to be withdrawn immediately to avert God’s ire on Ghana.

He took a swipe at the IGP for disrespecting and refusing to engage the religious leaders especially those who are into the prophetic ministry before issuing the directive.

His comment comes after a caution by the Ghana Police Service, asking religious leaders to be measured in their prophecies on 31st Night.

“We want to caution that under Ghanaian law, it is a crime for a person to publish or reproduce a statement, rumour or report which is likely to cause fear and alarm to the public or to disturb the public peace, where that person has no evidence to prove that the statement, rumour or report is true.”

But Archbishop Salifu Amoako, who was speaking in an interview on Onua TV on Wednesday, December 29, stressed that the directive only seeks to limit the prophetic ministry in Ghana.

He explained that the prophetic work cannot be controlled and no individual or an institution can limit the manifestation of the Holy Spirit on any day.

Meanwhile, Archbishop Salifu Amoako has praised Dr. Akufo Dampare for enforcing the law since his appointment and the fact that he is eager to ensure sanity in the society but was quick to caution him to be circumspect when it comes to the prophetic work.

The man of God, however, admonished the manner at which some pastors administer prophecies and called on them to be measured in delivering or administering the prophecies of God.

By Maxwell Otoo|Onua FM|3news.com|Ghana

Desmond Tutu’s body lies in state in his old cathedral

Tutu’s coffin was carried into his old parish cathedral by six priests

Mourners are filing past the coffin of Archbishop Desmond Tutu, as his body lies in state at St George’s Cathedral in Cape Town, South Africa.

Tutu, a Nobel Peace Prize winner who helped end apartheid in South Africa, died on Sunday aged 90.

His official state funeral will be held on 1 January after the lying-in-state period, allowing mourners to file past his body and say their final goodbyes.

Large crowds are expected to visit the cathedral over the next two days.

The lying in state period had to be extended to two days, “for fear there might be a stampede”, a local priest told AFP news agency.

Priests burnt incense as Tutu’s simple wooden coffin was carried into the cathedral.

Tutu’s eldest daughter Thandeka Tutu-Gxashe, accompanied by other family elders, walked slowly behind as the coffin entered his former parish.

His frail wife Leah had been wheeled into the church earlier.

A small service was held for the family before they viewed his body.

“It’s a painful moment for Mama Leah. She is in bereavement. We need to pray for her. We need to love her and continue supporting her even though her beloved husband is gone,” Archbishop Thabo Makgoba said.

Members of the public have been paying their respects to the much-revered churchman, a driving force in the struggle to abolish the apartheid system enforced by the white-minority government against the black majority in South Africa from 1948 until 1991.

Human resources manager Amanda Mbikwana told Reuters news agency that she arrived as early as 05:00 local time (03:00 GMT) with her mother and nephews to bid farewell to Tutu, referred to by many South Africans as “Tata”, or father.

“We have known Tata’s work, he has stood up for us and we are here today in a free country to give him the honour, to celebrate his life and to support Mama Leah and the family,” she said.

Memorial services will be held across South Africa while an intimate night of remembrance with his close friends will take place later.

After Saturday’s funeral, Tutu’s remains will be cremated and his ashes then placed in the cathedral, where he preached for many years.

The cathedral’s bells have been ringing for 10 minutes every day at noon since his death.

It will be a simple funeral in line with his wishes.

“He wanted no ostentatiousness or lavish spending,” his foundation said, adding that he even “asked that the coffin be the cheapest available”.

Source: BBC

Trust NPP govt to revive economy, we’ve done it before – Kofi Agyepong to Ghanaians

Deputy Director of Communications at the Presidency, Kofi Agyepong has urged Ghanaians to have trust in the Akufo-Addo led administration to turn the economy around despite the adverse effect of COVID-19.

In a Facebook post to wish Ghanaians merry Christmas, Mr Agyepong noted that though it’s been a tough year, the New Patriotic Party(NPP) government has proven it has what it takes to reverse the situation.

“COVID has had a devastating effect on all economies and Ghana is not an exception. We don’t live in isolation. Trust us, we have done it before and we will do it again.”

Mr Agyepong further used the opportunity to clarify that the NPP has not boycotted TV3 Morning show as has been widely circulated on social media.

“The NPP has not made any decision to boycott TV3 or it’s morning show. We are the New Patriotic Party; the most vibrant and fearless political party in W/A and any decision we take, is communicated boldly and by wise men. I know people want to use us to stay relevant but they must do it with a certain level of ‘smartness’.”

Source: Kasapafmonline.com

Gt. Accra Minister lifts ban on beaches

Greater Accra Regional Minister Henry Quartey

The Greater Accra Region Minister, Henry Quartey, has lifted the ban on beaches barely a week after a decision to shut them down on revellers.

The decision, taken at a Friday, December 24 meeting of the Regional Security Council (REGSEC), noted that the closure would go beyond New Year Day.

It was to control the rapid spread of the Omicron variant of Covid-19.

Aside the closure of beaches, wearing of nose masks, sanitising of hands and adherence to Covid-19 protocols, in general, were going to be compulsory at all public places and transports in the Region.

However, on Thursday, December 30, Mr Quartey, who is also the Member of Parliament for Ayawaso Central Constituency, said the beaches can now open.

He indicated, further, that health officials will be stationed at the entrance of the beaches to vaccinate unvaccinated revellers before allowing them entry.

Those who have already vaccinated will have to provide proof before entry, he added.

He said the decision was taken by REGSEC

Interior Minister renews Bawku curfew hours

Interior Minister

The Minister for the Interior, Ambrose Dery, has renewed the curfew hours imposed on Bawku.

This was announced in a statement released on Wednesday December 29.

Mr Dery had earlier, on Wednesday 24 November 2021, imposed the curfew which ran overnight from 4pm to 6am.

But the new directive says the curfew hours now starts at 8pm to 5am.

In a statement, the minister called on the chiefs, elders, opinion leaders, youth and other citizens of Bawku and its environs to exercise restraint as the government works to settle differences to ensure the peace.

“The government calls on the chiefs, elders, opinion leaders, youth and people of the area to exercise restraint in the face of the challenges confronting them, as well as to use non-violent means to channel their energies into ensuring peace.

“Meanwhile, there is a total ban on all persons in the aforementioned communities and … environs from carrying arms, ammunition or any offensive weapon, and any persons found with any arms or ammunition will be arrested and prosecuted,” the statement added

Military investigate “bomb scare” at KIA

Kotoka International Airport

 Kotoka International Airport

The Ghana Airports Company says on Tuesday, “an unattended bag” was sighted at the arrival hall of Terminal 3, prompting officials to call in bomb experts

The Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) have begun investigations into alleged bomb scare at the Kotoka International Airport (KIA) in Accra on Tuesday.

A statement issued by the Ghana Airports Company Limited (GACL) said at around 9pm on 28 December, “an unattended [to] bag was sighted at the arrival hall of Terminal 3” at the international airport.

It added: “The Base Ammunition Depot Unit of the Ghana Armed Forces was immediately brought in to conduct preliminary assessment of the bag and its contents. The bag was subsequently taken away for further investigations, the outcome of which will be made public.”

The GACL has therefore apologised “for the disruption in the arrival facilitation process” when the incident occurred.

The Kotoka International Airport is rated one of the safest airports in the world and is certified as a 3-star airport for facilities, comfort, cleanliness, shopping, food and beverages, staff service and security/immigration.

Below is the full statement:

Emirates places travel ban on selected African countries

Emirates has placed a travel ban on selected African countries.

This follows the increasing cases of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus.

“Affected customers do not need to call us immediately for rebooking. Customers can simply hold on to their Emirates ticket and when flights resume, get in touch with their travel agent or booking office to make new travel plans,” Emirates said in a statement.

It added “Emirates regrets any inconvenience caused.

“In order to receive the latest updates on their flights, customers are also advised to ensure that their contact details are updated by visiting Manage Your Booking.”

The decision has attracted flak from some prominent Africans including a lawmaker in Ghana, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa.

Okudzeto has described the decision by Emirates to suspend flights to selected African countries as most senseless.

He also said this is a discriminatory and offensive action that has been taken.

Emirates has placed travel restrictions on selected African countries on entry and transit to Dubai following the Omicron variant of the coronavirus.

“Affected customers do not need to call us immediately for rebooking. Customers can simply hold on to their Emirates ticket and when flights resume, get in touch with their travel agent or booking office to make new travel plans,” Emirates said in a statement.

“Emirates regrets any inconvenience caused.

“In order to receive the latest updates on their flights, customers are also advised to ensure that their contact details are updated by visiting Manage Your Booking.”

However in a tweet, Mr Anlakwa said “Ghana , Angola Guinea , Kenya Tanzania, Uganda, Cote D’Ivoire and Ethiopia do not have an active case and hospitalization anywhere near UK, France , Italy, USA, and India whose citizens are all allowed , rightly so if I may add, to travel to and transit to through Dubai.”

The other nauseating irony is that daily active case s in the UAE have now crossed 1,800, far higher than Ghana’s 1,264 and yet UAE citizens can travel to Ghana whereas Ghanaians cannot travel to UAE

Parliament to consider Tax Exemption Bill next meeting

Finance Minister Ken ofori Atta

Parliament is expected to give attention to Exemptions Bill, 2021 when sitting resumes next year.

The bill which was laid by Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta on November 16, 2021 is currently before the finance committee.

The Bill seeks to streamline and rationalize the current exemptions regime on taxes, levies, fees and charges to improve domestic revenue mobilization by consolidating the already existing statutory provisions on tax and other exemptions and to provide for the administration of exemptions. The bill has been in and out of parliament for a while now.It expired with the 7th parliament after it was laid and referred to the finance committee. There are however moves to ensure the current bill is passed before leaving the house of legislature this time around.

Ghana loses over GH¢5 billion every year through tax exemptions, according to the Institute of Economic Affairs. The Ghana Revenue Authority has had a cause to complain about revenues lost to granting of indiscriminate exemptions.

Speaking at a stakeholder’s round-table discussion on the 2021 tax exemptions bill, head of exemptions for GRA Mrs. Adelaide Botchway declared steps must be taken to check abuse of the exemptions regime

“…past beneficiaries, they are enormous. But when you look at the percentage, critically, it appears the exemptions are even outweighing the revenue we are collecting.”
“And then the abuses are also on a higher side. But GRA is trying as much as possible to monitor the exemption and curb the abuses.” She said.
Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta has assured the bill will be passed in the next meeting of parliament which starts in January 2022.

Some civil society including the Tax Justice Coalition, Ghana (TJC); the Ghana Anti-Corruption Coalition (GACC); and the Parliamentary Network Africa (PNAfrica) with support from OXFAM are on a crusade to get the bill passed. The group has also tabled amendments to the bill in order to curb abuses.

Parliament is currently on a break but Chairman for the Finance Committee Kwaku Kwarteng tells Starr News the Exemptions Bill will be one of the key pieces of legislation his committee will devote time to when the house resumes

E-levy will be meaningless if gov’t doesn’t fight corruption – Rev Frimpong-Manso

The government of Ghana must prioritise fighting corruption in order to block the wastage in the system, President of the Pentecostal and Charismatic Prof. Paul Frimpong-Manso, has said.

He said Ghana loses huge monies through corruption, hence the menace must be nipped in the bud in order to generate revenue for national development.

Rev Frimpong Manso noted that each year, the Auditor General releases reports of wanton dissipation of resources and public funds.

The culprits, he said, should be held liable and be punished.

“E-levy or not, it is the corruption because what E-levy is going to bring will be less than what goes down the drain in from the public accounts, report, the Auditor General’s report and we see these people walking chest out. so whether we bring this or not that is

“Unless we tackle corruption and punish wrong deeds, E-levy or no e-levy we will stand at the same place.”

The Finance Minister had announced in the budget statement a new 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.

But the proposal has met resistance from the Minority in Parliament.

Minority Haruna Iddrisu said the E-levy is a disincentive to the growth of digital economy. To that end, he said, the Minority will 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

I’m not a coward, I’ll prophesy, you’ll be attacking the church if you come after me – Nigel Gaisie

Founder and Leader of the Prophetic Chapel Hill, Prophet Nigel Gaisie has said he will give his prophecies no matter what the revelations, on 31st night as he has been instructed by his God.

He said he is not a coward to be intimidated by the warning that has been given by the Police against the publication of death prophecies.

“I read in somewhere that you have to bring material evidence whether the prophecy . Who has ever dreamt and have material evidence of your dream. The greater component pf prophecy is dream. What they are saying doesn’t wash but for me we will have a way.

“We will cross , I will prophecy in all confidence , there will not be any shadow on that, I will speak the mind of God. Personally, I am not one of the cowards, I have been called by God, I have an assignment and whoever is coming after the church is making a big mistake,” he told TV3 in an interview.

The Police has cautioned Religious leaders in Ghana to be measured in their utterances, particularly the way they communicate prophecies, ahead of New Year Eve’s services.

“We want to caution that under Ghanaian law, it is a crime for a person to publish or reproduce a statement, rumour or report which is likely to cause fear and alarm to the public or to disturb the public peace, where that person has no evidence to prove that the statement, rumour or report is true,” the police warned in a statement issued on Monday, December 27.

“It is also a crime for a person, by means of electronic communications service, to knowingly send a communication that is false or misleading and likely to prejudice the efficiency of life saving service or to endanger the safety of any person,” the statement signed by Superintendent Alexander Obeng, the Director of Public Affairs of the Ghana Police Service, added.

“A person found guilty under these laws could be liable to a term of imprisonment of up to five years.”

Friday’s services across the nation will be the first since Inspector-General of Police Dr George Akuffo Dampare took office.

He had met religious leaders over prophecies deemed to cause fear and panic in the nation.

That meeting was precipitated by a fake gun attack on popular musician Shatt Wale, who had later indicated he took that action as a result of a prophecy by the Founder and Leader of New Life Kingdom Chapel, Bishop Stephen Kwesi Appiah, on an Accra-based radio station before the Monday, October 18 incident.

The man of God, popularly known as Jesus Ahuofe, was arrested and later granted a GH¢100,000 bail.

The police admitted that they are not against prophecies especially in a country where the centrality of God is in the live of many.

“There should be no apprehensions, therefore, about undertaking the various activities.

“We ask only that everyone keeps within the law and is mindlful of the welfare of each other

Win Afcon cup or vomit money invested in you, Guinea leader to squad

Guinea president Colonel Mamadi Doumbouya has told the country’s Africa Cup of Nations squad to either win the tournament or bring back the money spent in preparing for it.

Guinea are in Group B of the continental extravaganza, alongside Zimbabwe, Senegal and Malawi.

Speaking at the send-off ceremony, Doumbouya, the former army general who rose to power through a military coup that toppled former President Alpha Condé in October, challenged the team to win the continental showpiece in Cameroon.

“Bring back the trophy or bring back the money we invested in you. Period,” the President said.

Guinea kick start their campaign against Malawi on January 10

WR: Bolt driver wouldn’t hand over car key so we burnt him alive – 3 SHS students confess

Three senior high school students are in the custody of the Western Regional Police Command for allegedly setting a Bolt driver ablaze at Bakano in Sekondi on Wednesday, 22 December 2021.

Patrick Baidoo, 18; Joseph Lord Nii Adjei Odiku, 17; and Adolf Eshun, 17, lit Naval officer AB1 Boateng Okyere Boateng on fire so they could rob him, the police said.

The three teenagers, according to the police, confessed to the crime.

They said they were forced to set him alight because he struggled with them over the ignition key of the car as they attempted carjacking him.

The Public Relations Officer of the regional police command, Olivia Ewurabena Adiku, told journalists: “At about 5 pm on December 24, our team from the Regional Intelligence and Operation Unit, based on some intelligence, conducted an operation and arrested three suspects namely Patrick Baidoo, aged 18; Joseph Lord Nii Adjei Odiku, 17; and Adolf Eshun, aged 17 years.”

“All these three sustained burnt wounds from the December 22, 2021 incident ″, she noted.

DSP Adiku added: “Unfortunately, the Bolt driver has passed on”.

He died at the 37 Military Hospital where he was transferred from the Effia Nkwanta Regional Hospital, for treatment.

The suspects, she said, “confessed that they needed money and wanted to rob him of the car” but “when they got to Baka-Ano, and they asked him to hand over the keys, he refused; hence they poured the petrol on him and burnt him”.

“The three are currently in our custody and would be put before court on the charges of robbery and murder”, DSP Adiku said

Youth losing faith in Ghana’s democracy – Mahama

John Dramani Mahama Official JDM

Youth would soon refuse to vote because voting does not affect their livelihood

Unemployment cannot be solved by one government – Former president

Every government has faced the issue of unemployment, Mahama


Ghana’s ex-president, John Dramani Mahama, has stated that the youth in Ghana are losing their faith in the country’s democracy.

He explained that the main reason is that they do not get jobs after promises have been made during election campaigns.

“The danger we face is that our young people continue to lose faith in our democracy because then the point they make is democracy those not work for us why should I come out and vote”, he added.

The former president, therefore, urged the ruling government to work together with all stakeholders including the opposition NDC to find a solution to the menace of unemployment in the country.null

According to the ex-president, the issue of employment is a serious problem that has confronted not only the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) government but also past governments including his NDC (National Democratic Congress) administration.

John Mahama who was speaking during a thank you tour in the Upper West region explained the reason why unemployment continues to be an issue is that the number of jobs created yearly far outweighs the number of graduates from the country’s tertiary institutions.

“I have been president before and I know that our economy is not turning out jobs as we are turning out young people from our educational institutions”, he said

The former president noted that the solution to the unemployment problem can not be solved by on government.

“The solution does not lie in one person’s head; that is why I have always said that we are willing as a party to join the ruling party and let’s have a high level summit on job creation to see how we can come out with a communique on what successive government must do to make sure our young people can get jobs to do so that we can grow the economy faster and make sure that our people live in decency and dignity”, he said

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

Let us work together to resolve the menace of unemployment – Mahama

John Dramani Mahama 1

Unemployment cannot be solved by one government – Former president

Every government has faced the issue of unemployment, Mahama

Youth losing faith in our democracy – John Mahama

Ghana’s ex-president, John Dramani Mahama, has urged the ruling government to work together with all stakeholders including the opposition NDC to find a solution to the menace of unemployment in the country.

According to the ex-president, the issue of employment is a serious problem that has confronted not only the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) government but also past governments including his NDC (National Democratic Congress) administration.

John Mahama who was speaking during a thank you tour in the Upper West region explained the reason why unemployment continues to be an issue is that the number of jobs created yearly far outweighs the number of graduates from the countries tertiary institutions.
null

“I have been president before and I know that our economy is not turning out jobs as we are turning out young people from our educational institutions”, he said

The former president noted that the solution to the unemployment problem can not be solved by on government.

“The solution does not lie in one person’s head; that is why I have always said that we are willing as a party to join the ruling party and let’s have a high level summit on job creation to seen how we can come out with a communique on what successive government must do to make sure our young people can get jobs to do so that we can grow the economy faster and make sure that our people live in decency and dignity.

“The danger we face in not doing that is that our young people continue to lose faith in our democracy because the point they make is democracy does not work for us why should I come out and vote”, he said.

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

I’ve never caught Covid; been travelling the past six months Covid-free – Beenie Man jabs

Jamaican dancehall legend Beenie Man has broken his silence on his reported arrest by health officials in Ghana.

Born Anthony Moses Davis, the world-acclaimed reggae artiste was in Ghana for the Bhim Concert hosted on Tuesday, December 21 by Ghanaian artiste Stonebwoy.

He shared the stage at the Grand Arena of the Accra International Conference Center (AICC) with other Ghanaian acts like Samini, Kwaw Kese and MzVee.

But reports emerged on Monday, December 27 that he was supposed to have quarantined, having tested positive for Covid-19 when he arrived on Sunday, December 19 at the Kotoka International Airport (KIA).

He was, thus, picked up by the National Security, according to various reports.

This may have caused his loved ones to be so concerned, as per his tweet a few hours later.

He claimed he has never tested positive for the viral disease and has been travelling the past six months free of the virus.

MI CONFUSE YF 🥴🥴🥴. #UPDATE TO MY FANS WHO ARE GENUINELY REACHING OUT. I HAVE NO COVID, NEVER CAUGHT COVID BEFORE, TESTED NEGATIVE FOR COVID. BEEN TRAVELLING FOR THE PAST 6 MONTHS COVID FREE. FULLY VACCINATED. I GUESS SOMEONE WANTS ME TO HAVE COVID. UNO WEIRD YF. 🥴🥴🥴— Beenie Man (@KingBeenieMan) December 27, 2021

He insinuated that someone wants him to get the virus by force.

The Girls Dem Sugar says Ghana continues to be his favourite destination in the whole world.

GHANA WAS AMAZING. LOVE & LIGHT TO @STONEBWOY AND THE #BHIMTEAM. THE GHANAIAN GOVERNMENT, IMMIGRATION, HEALTH TEAM, SMALL GAD, FREEDOM, THE WHOLE TEAM. #GHANA AH THE BEST PLACE INNA THE WORLD 🌎. #BHIMCONCERT21 LOOKING FWD TO 2022.— Beenie Man (@KingBeenieMan) December 27, 2021

By Emmanuel Kwame Amoh|3news.com|Ghana

Pure water’ to be sold at GHp40 from today

Sachet water will from today, Monday, 27 December 2021 be sold at GHp40 a piece.

The National Executive Committee of the National Association of Sachet and Packaged Water Producers (NASAWAP) announced the adjustment in the price last week.

The 500 ml iced bottled water will be retailed at GHC1.50, and the 750ml or medium size iced bottled water be retailed at GHS2.00, the association said in a statement.

The 1.5L or large bottled water is to be retailed at GHC 3.50.

Iced sachet water will be retailed at 40 pesewas.

A bag of sachet water, 500ml by 30 pieces will now sell at GHC4.50 from retail trucks.

Mini shops will now retail a bag of sachet water at GHC6, the statement signed by the National President of the Association, Mr Magnus Nunoo, said.

PRESS RELEASE ON PACKAGED WATER PRICE REVIEW

The National Executive Committee (NEC) of the National Association of Sachet and Packaged Water Producers (NASPAWAP) in consultation with stakeholders wishes to recommend the following upward price reviews of bottled and sachet water.

These reviews serve as a guide to all regional associations and to ensure uniformity across the country.

The NEC also cautions that there might be slight variation in prices across the regions due to haulage to remote and distant areas across the country.

It is recommended that the 500ml ice bottled water be retailed at GHC 1.50, and the 750ml or medium size iced bottled water be retailed at 2.00 GHC.

The 1.5L or large bottled water is to be retailed at GHC 3.50. Iced sachet water will be retailed at 40peswas.

A bag of sachet water, 500ml by 30pcs, will now sell at GHC 4.50 from the retail trucks.

Mini shops will now retail a bag of sachet at GHC 6 per bag minimum.

These reviews take effect from Monday, December 27, 2021.

The price reviews have been necessitated by the rising cost of inputs such as fuel, vehicle spare parts and packaging materials which are mainly imported.

In our previous review, the Ghana cedi to the dollar was in the region of GHC 4.50.

Currently, it is inching up to GHC 6.50.

Fuel prices have also significantly gone up since our last review. Regrettably, fuel price reviews attract a lot of public outcry any time the government imposes the slightest tax on it.

However, the public turns a blind eye to taxes on bottled water, which account for the high prices consumers have to bear.

In the past, producers bore part or all of these huge taxes just to survive, especially in the wake of imported bottled water most of which evade these taxes, but it is becoming increasingly unsustainable for the local water industry.

It has become necessary that some of these indirect taxes, production, and distribution costs, be passed on to the consumer. It is important for Consumers to know that any bottled water they purchase has a fixed levy of 23.5% besides VAT/NHIL.

The fixed levies are made up of 17.5% excise tax plus an additional 6% levy before VAT/NHIL.

It is unfortunate to know that beer with local raw material content just above 50% attracts 10% excise as compared with 17.5% on bottled water which has over 95% to 100% local content.

The NEC of NASPAWAP wishes to call on the government to engage with all stakeholders to correct this anomaly by 15th January 2022, to help sustain the local water industry and reduce the cost of potable water to Ghanaians. Ghana has the highest taxes on locally produced and packaged in the whole world.

Imported bottled water, on the other hand, is evading and avoiding taxes, thus distorting the market, and causing revenue losses to the state.

The NEC wishes to crave the indulgence of the consuming public to bear with us in our bid to sustain the local water industry.

Thank you. Signed, The National President of the National Association of Sachet and Packaged Water Producers

South Africa’s Archbishop Desmond Tutu dies at 90

His death was confirmed in a statement by President Cyril Ramaphosa.

Archbishop Desmond Tutu, the Nobel Peace Prize laureate who helped end apartheid in South Africa, has died aged 90.

His death was confirmed in a statement by President Cyril Ramaphosa.

“Tutu’s death marked “another chapter of bereavement in our nation’s farewell to a generation of outstanding South Africans who have bequeathed us a liberated South Africa,” he said.

Tutu was one of the country’s best-known figures at home and abroad.

A contemporary of anti-apartheid icon Nelson Mandela, he was was one of the driving forces behind the movement to end the policy of racial segregation and discrimination enforced by the white minority government against the black majority in South Africa from 1948 until 1991.

He was awarded the Nobel prize in 1984 for his role in the struggle to abolish the apartheid system.

Tutu’s death comes just weeks after that of South Africa’s last apartheid-era president, FW de Clerk, who died at the age of 85.

President Ramaphosa said Tutu was “an iconic spiritual leader, anti-apartheid activist and global human rights campaigner”.

He described him as “a patriot without equal; a leader of principle and pragmatism who gave meaning to the biblical insight that faith without works is dead.

“A man of extraordinary intellect, integrity and invincibility against the forces of apartheid, he was also tender and vulnerable in his compassion for those who had suffered oppression, injustice and violence under apartheid, and oppressed and downtrodden people around the world.”

 Source: BBC

Only vaccinated persons would be allowed to enter government facilities – Health Minister

The Minister For Health, Kwaku Agyeman Manu55

Students of governments schools must show proof of vaccination to enter classrooms

Government considering policies to mandate COVID-19 vaccinations

Omicorn variant not that serve – Agyemang Manu


Minister for Health, Kwaku Agyemang Manu, has disclosed that although Ghanaians would not be forced to take the COVID-19 vaccination, very soon only fully vaccinated persons would be allowed to enter government facilities.

He said this requirement would take effect as soon as a policy government was considering to mandate COVID-19 vaccination was brought to force.

The minister who made these remarks during a press soiree in Accra said that students in government schools would also be affected by this directive when the implementation of the policy begins.null

No student would be forced to get vaccinated but without proof of having taken the COVID-19 jabs, they would not be allowed to enter their classrooms or lecture halls.

Kwaku Ayemang Manu also disclosed that although some cases of the Omicorn variant had been recorded in Ghana, its effects on infected persons was not severe as feared.

He, however, urged the public not to be conceited but should continue to observe the COVID-19 protocols to limit the spread of the virus in the country.

He said that the government was fully focused on ensuring that every person in Ghana who meets the requirement to be vaccinated was to help curb the spread of the virus.

He added that as soon as lots of Ghanaians are vaccinated the government would put in measures to acquire COVID-19 booster shots.

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

No Nose Mask, No Public Transport Directive Takes Off In Accra

Effective Saturday, December 25, all persons who do not wear nose masks will not be allowed to access any public transport service in the Greater Accra Region. Such persons will also not be allowed to access public facilities.

Additionally, all beaches in the region are to remain closed to the public during the Christmas and new year festivities.

The Greater Accra Regional Minister, Mr Henry Quartey, who gave that directive, said the move was among the measures put in place by the Regional Security Council to prevent the spread of COVID-19 during and after the Christmas festivities.

He said the decisions were taken at the expanded regional security meeting held today (December 24) to discuss the pragmatic steps to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Ghana currently has 3,365 active COVID-19 cases, with the total case count as of today (December 24) being 134,555. So far, 129,921 people have recovered from the disease while 1,269 died.


Religious organisations

Mr Quartey said the Regional Security Council had resolved to enforce the COVID-19 protocols to prevent the spread of the virus.

Among other things, he urged leaders of religious organisations to ensure strict adherence to COVID-19 protocols at their premises. “We entreat all churches in particular, where people will gather for Christmas services, to provide for strict COVID-19 protocols such as wearing of nose mask, washing of hands under running water, use of hand sanitiser and maintaining social distance,” he said.

Mr Quartey said the recent spike in COVID-19 cases in the Greater Accra Region was a wake-up call for all persons to take their safety seriously.

He observed that while Christmas and the new year were worth celebrating, celebrants must not risk their lives doing so.

Avoid public gatherings

The regional minister urged members of the public to try as much as possible to avoid public gatherings which served as fertile grounds for spreading the virus.

“Where necessary, some social events can be cancelled in the interest of personal and public safety,” he said.

 

 

Source: graphiconline.com

President Akufo-Addo Delivers 2021 Christmas Message

Fellow Ghanaians,

The season of Christmas is upon us again, signaling the end of yet another year. On behalf of the First Lady, my wife Rebecca, my daughters, my grandchildren and my entire family, and on behalf of Government, I send best wishes to all Christians in Ghana, and, indeed, around the world, for a Merry Christmas, and best wishes for a Happy New Year to all Ghanaians and citizens of the world.

As we celebrate the birth of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, and as we give and receive His Goodwill in this Holy Season, I urge all of us to bear in mind the true meaning of His life on Earth.

He was born to reconcile man to God, and, in so doing, demanded that we love the Lord our God with all our heart and with all our soul and with all our mind… and love our neighbours as our ourselves. The cardinal principles of Christianity – charity, faith, humility, love and reconciliation –should guide us in this festive season and beyond.

Fellow Ghanaians, I know these are difficult times for us. Undoubtedly, 2021 has proven to be a tough year not only for us, but also for everyone on the planet. COVID-19 has affected every sector of the global economy and our national life; nothing, in its path, has been spared its ravages.

Our economy, which was growing at an average of 7% in 2017, in 2018 and in 2019, grew by 0.4% in 2020, because growth in industry, services, tourism and manufacturing sectors, which drive the economy and provide jobs for many Ghanaians, contracted dramatically in 2020, as a result of the sudden disruption in the global supply chain and the steep decline in the global economy, which sent the global economy into recession.

This is the stark reality of the situation, not an excuse. Indeed, but for the bold and timely measures put in place by Government to cushion Ghanaians against the worst effects of the pandemic, our situation would have been more precarious.

For the purposes of propaganda and narrow partisan and parochial interests, some would have you believe that the difficulties we are facing are purely Ghanaian phenomena, made by the NPP government under my leadership. Pay no heed to such persons.

They know the truth, but cannot speak it. The significant fact for me is my determination to pull us out of this situation. Government has designed a solid programme for the recovery and revitilisation of the economy, which is the one hundred-billion-cedi Ghana CARES ‘Obaatampa’ Programme. We have completed the implementation of the Stabilisation Phase in 2021, which saw the economy grow at 6.6% in the 3 rd quarter of 2021, with a projected overall growth of 4.4% for 2021. 2022 and 2023 will be the years of Recovery and Revitilisation and faster economic growth.

Already, there are clear signs that the economy is bouncing back strongly, just as there are welcome indications that the global economy is also recovering. The work undertaken by my government, over the last five (5) years, in education, healthcare delivery, agricultural and industrial transformation, infrastructural enhancement, especially in the road sector, the empowerment of the security services, and the development of the digital economy, amongst others, is evident. I appeal to you to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with my government in these trying times.

You have stood with me most of my adult life; you gave me a resounding victory in 2016, and you returned me to office again, with the help of God, with another decisive victory in 2020, because I fulfilled, largely, the commitments I made to you in 2016. United in our democracy, we will emerge from this difficult patch stronger and even more resilient. Let us not see the economic difficulties of today as the blueprint for tomorrow. I am a firm, passionate believer in our national potential. We have it in us to rise up and revive our fortunes. There are brighter days ahead for Mother Ghana.

As Christmas fills our hearts with gratitude, let us not forget that COVID-19 is still very much in our midst. The number of active cases is currently on the rise. So, let us act and live responsibly, let us continue to adhere to the protocols of social distancing, enhanced hygiene and mask wearing. We have, for nearly two (2) years, been wearing masks, avoiding shaking hands and using sanitizers, which have been uncomfortable experiences for us all, even though they have helped keep us safe.

The science tells us that getting vaccinated is the most effective way to defeat the virus and go back to our normal way of life, re-open fully our economy, and return our nation onto the path of progress and prosperity.

Government has succeeded in securing considerable quantities of vaccines for the country, numbering nearly twenty-three million (23 million) doses so far. So, I entreat all those who have not been vaccinated to do so.

Our responsibility to one another requires that we be vaccinated. Let us all celebrate the season safely and responsibly, and maintain the peace of the nation. It is my fervent hope that this Christmas will be celebrated without any road accidents. Drivers must minimize their speed, take due precaution for other road users, drive without the influence of alcohol, and wear their seat belts, as must all passengers. And please, in the name of Christian charity, remember to help those who are less fortunate in this festive season.

Me ma mo nyinaa afeyhia pa !! Min ha nyɛ fɛɛ afi oo afi, afi eya ni eba nina wͻ.

May God bless us all, and our homeland Ghana, and make her great and strong.

Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year.

Adhere to Covid protocols even if you’re vaccinated – Mahama’s Christmas message

Former President John Dramani Mahama has urged all Ghanaians to observe all the protocols outlined to tackle the virus.

Mr Mahama told the public to respect the protocols even if they are vaccinated.

In his Christmas message on Friday December 24, he said “In this holiday season, as we traverse the country, with some travelling beyond the borders of Ghana, let us all endeavour to observe the Covid-19 protocols of social distancing, wearing of masks and sanitizing our hands regularly, especially after every public surface we may touch.


“Even if you are vaccinated it is important to adhere to the safety protocols. Let’s also remember to be physically active by taking regular walks or jogs in our neighbourhoods during the Christmas season to keep in shape.


Remember to eat healthy and be particular about what you consume, bearing in mind your continued good health depends on it.
For those who will be traveling for church programmes, to family and loved ones, for vacation or recreation, please drive safely. For others who will be going to the beaches, especially with children, please keep extra caution.


“It does not matter your age, political leanings, ethnic or religious denomination, your country needs you alive and well to participate in its building. This country is all we have, and you are all this country has and all it needs to succeed

Stand shoulder-to-shoulder with my gov’t in these trying times – Akufo-Addo

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has listed a number of intivtives taken by his admiistration to develop the country.

In his Christmas message to Ghanains on Friday December 24, he said the work undertaken by his government, over the last five (5) years, in education, healthcare delivery, agricultural and industrial transformation, infrastructural enhancement, especially in the road sector, the empowerment of the security services, and the development of the digital economy, amongst others, is evident.

He therefore appeal to Ghanains to stand shoulder-to-shoulder “with my government in these trying times. You have stood with me most of my adult life; you gave me a resounding victory in 2016, and you returned me to office again, with the help of God, with another decisive victory in 2020, because I fulfilled, largely, the commitments I made to you in 2016.”

He said “Fellow Ghanaians, I know these are difficult times for us. Undoubtedly, 2021 has proven to be a tough year not only for us, but also for everyone on the planet. COVID-19 has affected every sector of the global economy and our national life; nothing, in its path, has been spared its ravages. Our economy, which was growing at an average of 7% in 2017, in 2018 and in 2019, grew by 0.4% in 2020, because growth in industry, services, tourism and manufacturing sectors, which drive the economy and provide jobs for many Ghanaians, contracted dramatically in 2020, as a result of the sudden disruption in the global supply chain and the steep decline in the global economy, which sent the global economy into recession.

“This is the stark reality of the situation, not an excuse. Indeed, but for the bold and timely measures put in place by Government to cushion Ghanaians against the worst effects of the pandemic, our situation would have been more precarious. For the purposes of propaganda and narrow partisan and parochial interests, some would have you believe that the difficulties we are facing are purely Ghanaian phenomena, made by the NPP government under my leadership. Pay no heed to such persons. They know the truth, but cannot speak it.

“United in our democracy, we will emerge from this difficult patch stronger and even more resilient. Let us not see the economic difficulties of today as the blueprint for tomorrow. I am a firm, passionate believer in our national potential. We have it in us to rise up and revive our fortunes. There are brighter days ahead for Mother Ghana.

“As Christmas fills our hearts with gratitude, let us not forget that COVID-19 is still very much in our midst. The number of active cases is currently on the rise. So, let us act and live responsibly, let us continue to adhere to the protocols of social distancing, enhanced hygiene and mask wearing. We have, for nearly two (2) years, been wearing masks, avoiding shaking hands and using sanitizers, which have been uncomfortable experiences for us all, even though they have helped keep us safe.

“The science tells us that getting vaccinated is the most effective way to defeat the virus and go back to our normal way of life, re-open fully our economy, and return our nation onto the path of progress and prosperity. Government has succeeded in securing considerable quantities of vaccines for the country, numbering nearly twenty-three million (23 million) doses so far. So, I entreat all those who have not been vaccinated to do so. Our responsibility to one another requires that we be vaccinated.

Let us all celebrate the season safely and responsibly, and maintain the peace of the nation. It is my fervent hope that this Christmas will be celebrated without any road accidents. Drivers must minimize their speed, take due precaution for other road users, drive without the influence of alcohol, and wear their seat belts, as must all passengers. And please, in the name of Christian charity, remember to help those who are less fortunate in this festive season

Christmas: Don’t drive under the influence of alcohol – Akufo-Addo to drivers

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has entreated all drivers and road users to ensure accident-free festive occasion.

He asked drivers not to drive under the infuence of alcohol, and must also wear their seat belts at all times whever they are driving.

He said these in his Christmas message to Ghanains on Friday December 24.

Mr Akufo-Addo further urged Ghanaians who are yet to be vaccinated to do so.

According to him, the science indicates that vaccination the surest way of defeating the virus and returning life to normalcy.

In his Christmas message to Ghanaians on Friday December 24, he said Ghana has received 23 million doses of vaccines so far to inoculate the people.

“The science tells us getting vaccinated is the most effective way to defeat the virus and go back to our normal way of life , reopen fully our economy and return our nation on the path of progress and prosperity. Government has succeeded in securing considerable quantities of vaccines to the country , number nearly 23million doses so far.

“So I entreat all those who have not been vaccinated to do so . Our responsibility to one another requires that we will be vaccinated. Let us all celebrate the seasons safely and responsibly and this Christmas will be celebrated without any road accident.

“Drivers must minimize their speed , take due precaution for other road users , drive without the influence of alcohol and wear their seat belt , as must all passengers. Please, in the name of Christian charity remember to help those who are less fortunate in this festive season

Vaccination is the best way to defeat the virus – Akufo-Addo’s Christmas message

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has entreated all persons in the country who are yet to get vaccinated to do so.

According to Mr Akufo-Addo, the science indicates that vaccination the surest way of defeating the virus and returning life to normalcy.

In his Christmas message to Ghanaians on Friday December 24, he said Ghana has received 23 million doses of vaccines so to inoculate the people.

“The science tells us getting vaccinated is the most effective way to defeat the virus and go back to our normal way of life , reopen fully our economy and return our nation on the path of progress and prosperity. Government has succeeded in securing considerable quantities of vaccines to the country , number nearly 23million doses so far.

“So I entreat all those who have not been vaccinated to do so . Our responsibility to one another requires that we will be vaccinated. Let us all celebrate the season safely and responsibly and this Christmas will be celebrated without any road accident.

“Drivers must minimize their speed , take due precaution for other road users , drive without the influence of alcohol and wear their seat belt , as must all passengers. Please, in the name of Christian charity remember to help those who are less fortunate in this festive season.”

Meanwhile, the Greater Accra regional Minister Henry Quartey has ordered for the closure of all beaches in the Greater Accra region during the Christmas and New Year festivities.

The decision was taken at a meeting held on Friday December 24 by the Greater Accra Regional Security Council (REGESC) on how to control the spread of the virus during the festivities.

A statement issued by the Regional Minister after the meeting said “With immediate effect all beaches in the Greater Accra region should be closed before and during the Christmas and New Year festivities.

“Effective Saturday December 25 2021, all passengers without facemasks must not be allowed to board any means of public transport.

“All persons moving in public places must ensure that they wear face masks and observe all covid-19 protocols

Henry Quartey orders closure of all beaches in Greater Accra

Greater Accra Regional Minister Henry Quartey

As part of measures to control the spread of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus, the Greater Accra regional Minister Henry Quartey has ordered for the closure of all beaches in the Greater Accra region during the Christmas and New Year festivities.

The decision was taken at a meeting held on Friday December 24 by the Greater Accra Regional Security Council (REGESC) on how to control the spread of the virus during the festivities.

A statement issued by the Regional Minister after the meeting said “With immediate effect all beaches in the Greater Accra region should be closed before and during the Christmas and New Year festivities.

“Effective Saturday December 25 2021, all passengers without facemasks must not be allowed to board any means of public transport.

“All persons moving in public places must ensure that they wear face masks and observe all covid-19 protocols

Ignore frivolous, politically motivated charges – Ato Forson

Cassiel Ato Forson is the Minority Spokesperson on Finance

Cassiel Ato Forson is the Minority Spokesperson on Finance

A former Deputy Finance Minister, Casiel Ato Forson, has rubbished charges of financial loss levelled against him by the state in the purchase of some ambulances under the Mahama administration.

Addressing the press, Ato Forson, described the charges as frivolous and politically motivated.

The state has charged the MP for wilfully causing financial loss to the state in excess of two million dollars by authorizing the issuance of letters of credit for the purchase of the ambulances which have been described by the government as not fit for purpose.

But speaking to the media, Ato Forson disclosed there was a legal opinion from the Attorney General’s department giving a green light for the purchase before letters of credit were issued.

He concluded that the charges have been levelled against him to silence him due to his crusade against the E-Levy.

PRESS CONFERENCE BY THE HONOURABLE CASSIEL ATO FORSON, RANKING MEMBER ON FINANCE OF THE PARLIAMENT OF GHANA ON THE ABUSE OF PROSECUTORIAL POWERS BY THE ATTORNEY GENERAL

Ladies and Gentlemen of the Press, I have had to call you this morning for the singular purpose of responding to the news doing the rounds on social and mainstream media that certain charges have been preferred against me by the Attorney General of the Republic, the Honourable Godfred Yeboah Dame. Though I am yet to be formally charged in court, I have seen copies of the charge sheet in the media and wish to say without any fear of the contradiction that these charges are nothing but a frivolous and politically motivated attempt by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akuffo-Addo and his hatchet man, the Attorney General, to silence me for performing my duties as the Ranking Member on the Finance Committee of the Parliament of Ghana.

But I want to assure the good people of this country, especially my constituents
who elected me to represent them in Parliament, that I will not and cannot be silenced by the blatant abuse of prosecutorial powers by the Attorney General.

Ladies and Gentlemen:

The investigation into the purchase of the ambulances, which is the basis for these frivolous charges, started in somewhere 2017. In November 2017, a request was made to the then Speaker of Parliament, the Rt. Hon. Aaron Mike Ocquaye, for me to assist
the Economic and Organized Crimes Office (EOCO) with their investigation into this matter. I provided a statement to the EOCO detailing my honest recollection of the transaction.

Interestingly, nothing was heard of the investigation until November 2021, a period of four years, when I started raising concerns about the 2022 Budget and Economic Policy of the Government. During this period, the Secretariat of the Rt. Honourable Speaker informed me that the EOCO had requested that I be released to assist with further investigation into the purchase of the ambulances. I was further informed that the Office of the Attorney General had requested that a charge statement be taken from me in preparation for formal charges to be filed against me.

The coincidence speaks volumes about the motivation for these frivolous and baseless charges. A cursory reading of the frivolous and politically motivated charges shows that my only role in the entire transaction was to have signed a letter on behalf of the Minister of Finance, in my capacity as Deputy Finance Minister, for the establishment of letters of credit by the Bank of Ghana and for payment by the Controller Accountant General of the charges for the letters of credit.

If I may ask, ladies and gentlemen of the press, since when did ministerial instruction for the establishment of letters of credit become a crime in this dear country of ours? It is important to note that, whilst I am being prosecuted for my role in instructing that letters of credit be established for the purchase of ambulances for use in our health delivery system, the Attorney General does not see it fit to prosecute those who left the ambulances purchased with taxpayer money to rot while pregnant women are being carried on bicycles, aboboyaa, push trucks and okada bikes to hospitals all over the country to deliver the next generation of Ghanaians.

Between the person who requested that letters of credit be established for the purchase ofambulances and the person who took the decision to leave the purchased ambulances to deteriorate, who has caused financial loss to the state? Which of these two has misapplied state property?

Ladies and Gentlemen:

I must point out that the instructions of the Ministry of Finance for the establishment of letters of credit was preceded by a well-written opinion of the Attorney General in an opinion letter dated May 9, 2014 advising the Ministry of Health on this transaction.

It was based upon the advice of the Attorney General that the Legal Division of the Ministry of Finance advised the Minister of Finance, not the Deputy Minister, to take steps to establish the letters of credit. At the appropriate time, and in the course of the trial, we will make available the full complement of documentation through the process of discovery.

In the meantime, the question you should be asking the Attorney General and his
Director of Public Prosecutions is why they are running away from their own legal opinion? Don’t they know that it is highly unethical and unprofessional for a lawyer to issue an opinion on the position of the law on a matter and then turn around to act against her own advice? I dare say that that is professional misconduct.

It should be noted that, I did not authorise payment for the said 2,370,000 Euros, My only job in the entire transaction was to request the issuance of LC (Letter of Credit) on the authority of the Minister of Finance, A letter of credit is letter from a bank guaranteeing that a buyer’s payment to a seller will be received on time and for the correct amount. In the event that the buyer is unable to make a payment on the purchase, the bank will be required to cover the full or remaining amount of the purchase.

Ladies and Gentlemen:

May I take this opportunity to thank you for coming to this press conference and to once again assure the good people of this country that neither myself as the Ranking Member on Finance nor the NDC Minority Group will relent on our fight to ensure that the feet of this profligate Government is held to the fire.

We will stand firm and protect the people of Ghana from misrule and poor economic policy choices. Not even a million prosecutions will stop us in our quest to ensure accountability and transparency in the management of our public finances.

Thank you and God bless our homeland Ghana

I’ll bring change; I promise – Bagbin

Speaker Alban Bagbin has said: “I’ve been given a privileged opportunity to bring change, to help the good people of Ghana. I pledge to do nothing but that”.

The former Nadowli Kaleo MP is the first Speaker to come from an opposition party in the political history of the Fourth Republic.

“I’ll not do anything, as a Speaker, to obstruct the business of government”, he reiterated at a forum with ex-MPs on Thursday, 23 December 2021, but also warned he will “never allow myself to be used as an errand boy of any president”.

“It won’t happen”, he noted.

At the same event, Mr Bagbin said the Majority Caucus in parliament cannot blame him for its failure to get the controversial e-levy bill passed.

At a press conference on Thursday, 23 December 2021, Majority Leader Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu said not only was the Speaker’s absence from parliament on Monday night to consider the e-levy bill payback time for the ‘sins’ of Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta’s father, Mr Akwasi Andrews Jones Amoako Atta Ofori Atta, who led parliament, several decades ago, to reject one of the budgets of President Dr Hilla Limann, but also a manifestation of an earlier threat by the former Nadowli Kaleo MP to make sure the 2022 budget was rejected if Mr Ofori-Atta did not allocate two per cent of the country’s revenue to the legislature.

There’s been a stalemate over the budget, particularly concerning the proposed 1.75 per cent e-levy.

It led to a free-for-all brawl on the floor of parliament on Monday as the House voted on the bill.

The Suame MP told journalists later that the Speaker said he “didn’t want to remind Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta of what his [Ken’s] own father did to President Hilla Limann. That was the Speaker”.

“So, all that is playing out, is it to satisfy what the Speaker indicated at the very beginning of the presentation of the budget? That; this budget, he will make sure the budget is rejected? Is that the case?” he asked.

Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu said the “people of this country ought to know the mindset of this Speaker with respect to this budget? So, all this playing out, really, and that is why he sits and elects to leave the chamber, to create problems”.

The Majority Leader said: “I told you that some clergymen, the queen of Christendom in the country, have met me. I’m not going to speak for any long time but the people of this country should know what is leading all of us into this crisis”.

On the Speaker’s demand for two per cent of the national revenue for parliament, Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu said: “GHS1.72 billion for what?”

“He [Bagbin] says that he has information that the total revenue of this country was going to be GHS89 billion and that the finance minister should give him 2 per cent of it and that works to GHS1.72 billion”.

“If he [Finance Minister] doesn’t give parliament GHS1.72 billion, then his budget is going to be thrown out; he [Bagbin] was going to make sure that the budget was rejected”.

“Is that where we are going as a country?” he wondered.

“I’m hoping that this period that we have – between now and the 18th of January, we’ll be able to get to the bottom of this and rally together as one people in one country with a common destiny and not submit to the whims and caprices of just one individual”, Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu said.

Breaking his silence on the matter, Mr Bagbin told the forum that he cannot be blamed for the failures of the Majority Caucus.

“Now, they say I refused to preside and that is why some numbers were not in the house. I am not a Chief Whip of any of the caucuses in the house and I am also not entitled to bring members to the house. That is not my duty.”

“I am to preside and apply the rules and I have applied them fairly, according to my understanding, through literature and experience and I am not even sure that the members listened to what I read that day about the rules

‘I shall not be distracted by the machinations of the State’ – Ato Forson speaks to AG’s suit

Ato Forson 2018

Ato Forson has responded to AG’s suit against him

He said, he won’t be distracted by machinations of the state

Ato Forson and others charged for causing financial loss to the state


The Ranking Member on Parliament’s Finance Committee, Dr. Cassiel Ato Forson has reacted to a suit by the Attorney- General, accusing him of causing financial loss to the state.

According to him, he will not be distracted by what he believes is the machinations of the State just because I stand with the good people of Ghana to oppose repressive policies of this government.

“My attention has been drawn to the widely circulated stories suggesting that the Akufo Addo government has brought criminal charges against me.

“As I prepare to fully address the matter tomorrow at a press briefing I urge all right-thinking members of our society to remain calm and note that I shall not be distracted by the machinations of the State just because I stand with the good people of Ghana to oppose repressive policies of this government!” Ato Forson wrote on his official Facebook timeline on Thursday, December 23.null

On Thursday, December 23, the Attorney-General’s office filed criminal charges including causing financial loss to the state against Dr. Cassiel Ato Forson, a former Deputy Minister of Finance, under Prof. Atta Mills-John Dramani Mahama administration.

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.null

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”.

Dr 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.

https://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fweb.facebook.com%2Fatoforson2020%2Fposts%2F4174665459302652&show_text=true&width=500

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

You’ll lose 2024 elections if E-levy goes through – Bagbin warns NPP

Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin, has warned the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) that they are likely to lose the 2024 general elections if the E-levy is approved.

“As you go around the country to convince Ghanaians to vote for your party and you, others with big pockets are facilitating parties and when you win power, they get the positions, not you.

“So, they don’t have that culture, they don’t have that understanding and there is that missing link. They come to impose the ideas on you to vote the way to rather take party interest first, not Ghana first.

“We always vote ourselves out of power, which my colleagues in the NPP are doing now. So don’t be surprised in the next elections if you don’t win.

“It is very clear if this your E-levy goes through you have lost the elections,” he said while addressing a forum of former Parliamentarians held at his behest on Thursday, December 23.

His comments come at a time the Majority Leader Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu had blamed him for the recent happening in Parliament.

Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu revealed that the Speaker had warned the Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta, that without allocating about 2% of the country’s total revenue to Parliament, “his budget is going to be thrown out”.

Addressing journalists in Accra on Thursday, December 23, the longest-serving Member of Parliament said he met the top hierarchy of the clergy over Monday’s melee in Parliament and it is high time he made the truth known.

“Distinguished colleagues, I told you that some clergy men, the cream of Christendom in the country have met me [and] I am not going to speak for a long time but the people of this country should know what is leading all of us into this crisis.

“GH¢1.72 billion for what? He says that he has information that the total revenue of this country was going to be GH¢89 billion and that the Finance Minister should give him 2 percent of it and that works to GH¢1.72 billion.

“If he doesn’t give Parliament GH¢1.72 billion, then his budget is going to be thrown out. He was going to make sure the budget is rejected.”

In the absence of the Speaker last Monday, a free-for-all fight broke out between Minority and Majority members with the bill on the Electronic Transfer Levy not discussed.

The House has since adjourned to Tuesday, January 18, 2022.

“I am hoping that this period that we have between now and the 18th of January, we will be able to get to the bottom of this and rally behind as one people with a common destiny and not submit to the whims and caprices of just one individual

I’m doing all I can to support gov’t agenda – Bagbin

Speaker of Parliament Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin has parried off criticisms that he is doing the bidding of his party, the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC).

According to him, he is doing all he can to get government’s programmes and policies implemented albeit in the interest of all.

“I keep on saying that I conform to transform. . .and so what I am doing is to do all I can to support government to implement its agenda but not at the expense of the values and principles of democracy,” Mr Bagbin stated while addressing a forum of former Parliamentarians held at his behest on Thursday, December 23.

The forum brought together living former Legislators from the Third Republic through the First Parliament of the Fourth Republic to the Seventh Parliament to discuss issues relating to their welfare and how the former lawmakers can contribute towards depeening Ghana’s parliamentary democracy.

Criticisms have emerged from certain quarters, particularly the Majority, that the Speaker is to blame for what is happening in the Eighth Parliament of the Fourth Republic.

He was absent on Monday, December 20 when members of the two caucuses were embroiled in fisticuffs much to the chagrin of well-meaning Ghanaians.

The Majority Leader, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, has laid the blame at the doorstep of his former colleague Alban Bagbin, who is the only Ghanaian to have served more time in Parliament than him.

But Mr Bagbin said the change after the 2020 elections with nearly equal numbers for both the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the NDC in Parliament is an opening for transformation for Ghana’s democracy.

“So, the turbulence we are experiencing now is the attempt to make a change.

“It is not me changing the rules. The game has changed and the rules have changed. If not, you cannot work with the old rules to implement the new change

Ato Forson, two others charged for wilfully causing financial loss to the state

Ranking Member of the Finance Committee of Parliament Dr Cassiel Ato Forson, 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, then a Deputy Finance Minister, 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

Thank you for helping Ghana become No.1 gold producer in Africa – Bawumia to small-scale miners

Vice President Dr Mahama Mahamudu Bawumia has commended small scale miners in Ghana for the effort in helping Ghana become the number one producer of gold in Africa.

Dr Bawumaia noted that currently, it is estimated that the Small Scale mining contributes about 35% to Ghana’s total Gold production.

“35% is huge,” he said.

He made this known at the maiden edition of the Responsible Small Scale Mining Awards held at Alisa Hotel on Wednesday 22nd December, 2021.

The Vice president described the Mining award ceremony as a historic occasion which he is very proud to be a part of.

He opined that he sees the award to be something peculiar because  “all too often, our problem solving turns to focus more on chasing and punishing wrong doers and not recognising and rewarding those who do right and this is what makes this award different”.

“The award recognises players in small Scale Mining sector who despite the temptation to join the wrong doing bandwagon, have decided to stay within the relevant regulatory framework for the country and to operate responsibly,” he explained.

He further stated a number of ways that Ghana has benefited from Small Scale Mining over the years, touting that he believes Small Scale Mining has contributed immensely to Ghana becoming the leading Gold producer in Africa.

” As we all know, Ghana’s Gold production has increased significantly over the past few decades making it the leading Gold producer in Africa. The contribution of Small Scale Mining to this trend is commendable. Currently, it is estimated that the Small Scale Mining contributes about 35% to Ghana’s total Gold production and 35% is huge.”

He added “We have also persuaded the Bank of Ghana and they have also accepted to start a gold purchase programme , for the first time in the history, a deliberate gold purchase programme targeting purchasing gold from small scale mining sector.

“This is going to be a boost for the small scale mining sector when the Bank of Ghana comes in to buy some of your outputs to build the country’s gold reserves.”

Resource Global Network had earlier reported that gold output in Ghana jumped by 12% in 2018 to 4.8 million ounces (Moz), eclipsing South Africa’s output of 4.2Moz for the first time and becoming Africa’s largest gold producer in the process.

South Africa’s gold sector has been in gradual decline for several years, with operators forced to dig deeper into maturing mines at escalating costs, while Ghana is benefitting from low cost mines, friendlier policies and new development projects.

The shifting location of Africa’s primary gold hub is best encapsulated by the likes of AngloGold Ashanti and Gold Fields – traditionally known as South African industry stalwarts – who have decided to move their focus to other countries, including Ghana.

In addition, Sibanye Gold – the largest remaining gold miner in South Africa – is cutting thousands of jobs and diversifying into platinum group metals (PGMs) in a bid to reduce costs

Gov’t declares Dec. 27, 28 public holidays

The government has declared Monday, 27 December and Tuesday, 28 December 2021 as statutory public holidays.

This is because 25 December and 26 December 2021, which mark Christmas Day and Boxing Day, respectively and are statutory public holidays, fall on a weekend this year.

In view of the fact that 25 December and 26 December fall on Saturday and Sunday respectively, President Akufo-Addo has, by Executive Instrument (E.I.), in accordance with Section 2 of the Public Holidays and Commemorative Days Act, (Act 601), declared Monday, 27 December and Tuesday, 28 December 2021, as additional public holidays.

A statement issued by the Minister for the Interior Minister, Mr Ambrose Dery, on Wednesday, 22 December 2021, said the days should be observed as such throughout the country

Cut expenditure and we won’t need e-levy – Ablakwa to gov’t

The Member of Parliament for North Tongu, Mr Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, has advised the government to cut down on expenditure in certain areas as contained in the 2022 budget.

Once the government does that, there will be no need to reintroduce the electronic levy when parliament resumes in January 2022, Mr Ablakwa said.

According to the opposition MP, the Akufo-Addo administration is expecting to raise some GHS6.9billion from the e-levy but Mr Ablakwa said there are outrageous expenditure items that far exceed this revenue target and which can be shelved so that there will be absolutely no need for the government to “recycle the obnoxious e-levy and re-present it in 2022.”

Mr Ablwaka has identified some of these expenditures that, in his view, must be reduced.

First, he wants the government to cut down on the allocation of GHS3,130,633,000 to the Office of Government Machinery (OGM).

This provision, he said, is almost half of what the e-levy is expected to rake in.

In a statement, the lawmaker said: “The OGM has been an unbridled tax guzzler under this regime. Adding over GHS450million to last year’s allocation in a period of pandemic recovery and austerity is extremely inconsiderate. If the allocation to the Health Ministry during a pandemic could be slashed by some GHS2billion compared with 2021 figures, there can be no justification for the self-serving lion share allocation to the OGM. All the suffering Ghanaian people ask, is for President Akufo-Addo to remember he once promised to protect the public purse and so needs to be faithful to Ghana’s Presidential Jet as his predecessors did, and desist from profligate and sybaritic charters of ultra-luxury US14,000.00 an hour executive jets. And if the President will lead by example as he calls on us all to burden share, the OGM certainly does not need this colossal GHS3.1billion allocation which consumes about half of all E-Levy expected revenues.”

Mr Ablakwa further said approvals granted on page 291, Appendix 10C of the budget document for the current Accra International Conference Centre to be razed down for the construction of a new edifice at 116 million Euros “in an opaque non-competitive arrangement must be halted.”

He also noted that prestige and sentimental projects such as approvals to construct a “Standard Stadium” each in Abuakwa South and Sunyani and the construction of regional conference centres and theatres for creative arts contained on page 293 of the Budget should be cancelled because again they do not reflect the times.

Under the current economic circumstances, Mr Ablakwa quizzed if the nation still needs five new university campuses for STEM.

“Can we not scale down to two or one and adopt an incrementalist approach when the economic horizon improves? Don’t forget double-track still plagues the education sector due to an acute lack of facilities,” he said.

Mr Ablakwa further expressed surprise that an austerity budget will contain approvals for fanciful projects such as Boankra Green Technology City and Tourism Village.https://googleads.g.doubleclick.net/pagead/ads?client=ca-pub-4549410436183225&output=html&h=250&slotname=4705176708&adk=1921530005&adf=387235050&pi=t.ma~as.4705176708&w=300&lmt=1640265143&psa=1&format=300×250&url=https%3A%2F%2Fmobile.classfmonline.com%2Fnews%2Fpolitics%2FCut-expenditure-and-we-won-t-need-e-levy-Ablakwa-to-gov-t-29524&flash=0&wgl=1&dt=1640265142493&bpp=4&bdt=2660&idt=646&shv=r20211207&mjsv=m202112060101&ptt=9&saldr=aa&abxe=1&cookie=ID%3Debfcdc171436b141-22b4105ed9ce009a%3AT%3D1640261505%3ART%3D1640261505%3AS%3DALNI_Mau1ws-2TsqoVyhO3IclE3WBHoCnA&prev_fmts=0x0%2C300x250%2C300x250%2C300x250&nras=1&correlator=6732967588679&frm=20&pv=1&ga_vid=1593532869.1640261503&ga_sid=1640265143&ga_hid=1186141050&ga_fc=1&u_tz=0&u_his=1&u_h=892&u_w=412&u_ah=892&u_aw=412&u_cd=24&dmc=4&adx=56&ady=3831&biw=412&bih=749&scr_x=0&scr_y=253&eid=31063825%2C31060475&oid=2&pvsid=1574781945904320&pem=12&tmod=215&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=5&uci=a!5&btvi=3&fsb=1&xpc=Vub7iyNxZs&p=https%3A//mobile.classfmonline.com&dtd=670

He also noted that the intention to establish new diplomatic missions in Trinidad and Tobago and Mexico could wait for better times in the future.

He suggested that in any case, Ghana can learn from Mexico, Columbia, Chile and Peru who all share one diplomatic mission in Accra as members of the Pacific Alliance. “It is time to rethink the old dinosaur framework for establishing physical diplomatic missions in favour of a more modern smart diplomatic presence,” he added.

The North Tongu legislator continued that considering that there is no allocation in the 2022 budget for constructing the Keta Port, which cannot be argued against in a period of austerity, the logical consequence is to demand the termination of the appointment of CEO of a non-existing port. In his view, that office remains “an embarrassing drain of scarce taxpayer cedis.”

The statement also said: “The staff strength at the Office of Government Machinery is projected to increase again to 2,111 from 1,597 in 2021. (See page 273 of 2022 Budget). This is curious considering that Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta had only recently told the Ghanaian youth not to put their hopes in public sector jobs as the public sector is bloated. It seems to me that caution doesn’t apply to party apparatchiks who will be engaged in 2022 to occupy the 514 spaces specially created at the OGM for them. Such policy duplicity does not help the credibility of the government and it doesn’t help the government’s expenditure control either.

“I am particularly frightened by the quantum leap in the Contingency Vote from an allocation of GHS186,829,891 in 2021 to a staggering GHS993,007,000 in 2022. (Almost a billion Cedis). That is a jaw-dropping addition of 806,177,109 in just a year. This represents an inconceivable 431.5% increase.

The irony is that despite all the propaganda about E-Levy serving as the main funding source for YouStart – which is the government’s flagship for job creation, Appendix 4C at page 252 reveals that the government allocated only GHS385,088,000 as it expects donor partners to come up with a greater share of GHS614,912,000 to achieve its GHS1billion target. So, this is a government that couldn’t dedicate GHS1billion for its grand job creation agenda as it depends on the benevolence of foreigners to help our youth find jobs, and yet it could allocate a similar amount of a billion for its use as contingency.”

Mr Ablakwa said Parliament can also make a contribution to the expenditure downsizing by reducing the scope and quantity of MPs constituency offices it intends to construct in all 275 constituencies over the next three years.

He suggested that “a sluggish 5- to 6-year arrangement with a reduced scope of works in instalments beginning from the farthest/hardest-to-reach constituencies, preferably in the northern and Oti regions should be more appropriate. That will be a worthy contribution of the legislature towards frugality in a period of austerity and harsh economic conditions.” He stated that if the nation gets its priorities right by taking a hard and sincere look at public expenditure and eliminates blatant corruption, Ghana would not need an “obnoxious, divisive and regressive e-levy

Okudzeto Ablakwa ‘exposes’ govt’s plan to recruit 514 NPP members

New Okudzeto Ablakwa .jpeg

Govt announces YouStart initiative to encourage entrepreneurshiphttps

Govt touts e-levy, says revenue will be used to solve unemployment

Minority opposes e-levy


North Tongu Member of Parliament(MP), Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, has claimed that the government intends to engage the services of New Patriotic Party members in 2022 despite the finance minister’s comment that the government payroll is full.

Speaking at a graduation ceremony at the University of Professional Studies, Accra (UPSA), finance minister Ken Ofori-Atta urged graduates to venture into entrepreneurship as the government could not afford to put them on its wage bill anymore.

“That payroll is full because we are spending some 60% of our revenue on remunerating some 650,000 people. That is not sustainable,” he disclosed.

The minister further indicated to the graduating students that, “you have the skills set to be able to do what you have to do. Our responsibility as a government is to create the environment and the macro stability, currency stability and ensure that you have access to the relevant skills and financing”.

But in an opinion titled “Beyond The Obnoxious E-Levy, A Hard And Frank Look At Public Expenditure”, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa mentioned that the government was planning to clandestinely recruit its party apparatchiks under the Office of Government Machinery (OGM).null

“The staff strength at the Office of Government Machinery is projected to increase again to 2,111 from 1,597 in 2021. (See page 273 of 2022 Budget). This is curious considering that Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta had only recently told the Ghanaian youth not to put their hopes in public sector jobs as the public sector is bloated. It seems to me that caution doesn’t apply to party apparatchiks who will be engaged in 2022 to occupy the 514 spaces specially created at the OGM for them. Such policy duplicity does not help the credibility of government and it doesn’t help government’s expenditure control either”, he chastised.

In 2017, Yaw Osafo-Maafo, who is now a Senior Presidential Advisor, also said the Ghanaian economy as it is cannot support new employment opportunities in the public sector as it is choked.

Giving hints of a possible downsizing in the public sector under the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Programme, he said the government might consider laying off some workers in the public sector, according to online news portal graphic.com.gh.

Below is Okudzeto Ablakwa’s full statement:

BEYOND THE OBNOXIOUS E-LEVY, A HARD AND FRANK LOOK AT PUBLIC EXPENDITURE

As the dust settles on what appears to be a moribund E-Levy after the hugely unpopular tax policy crash-landed in Parliament on Monday, we must begin to pay considerable attention to government’s expenditure agenda as contained in the 2022 Budget.

The Akufo-Addo administration was expecting to raise some GHS6.9billion from the E-Levy. Even though many analysts say it was an ambitious projection that couldn’t have been met, it is not difficult to identify outrageous expenditure items that far exceed this revenue target and which can be shelved so that there will be absolutely no need for government to recycle the obnoxious E-Levy and re-present it in 2022.
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Respectfully, my well considered suggestions on expenditure items that need to be cut are as follows:

1) The elephantine allocation of GHS3,130,633,000 to the Office of Government Machinery. This provision is almost half of the entire E-Levy projected collections. The OGM has been an unbridled tax guzzler under this regime. Adding over GHS450million to last year’s allocation in a period of pandemic recovery and austerity is extremely inconsiderate.

If allocation to the Health Ministry during a pandemic could be slashed by some GHS2billion compared with 2021 figures, there can be no justification for the self-serving lion share allocation to the OGM. All the suffering Ghanaian people ask, is for President Akufo-Addo to remember he once promised to protect the public purse and so needs to be faithful to Ghana’s Presidential Jet as his predecessors did, and desist from profligate and sybaritic charters of ultra-luxury US14,000.00 an hour executive jets. And if the President will lead by example as he calls on us all to burden share, the OGM certainly does not need this colossal GHS3.1billion allocation which consumes about half of all E-Levy expected revenues.

2) Approvals granted at page 291, Appendix 10C of the Budget document for the current Accra International Conference Centre to be razed down for the construction of a new edifice at a fantastic 116million Euros in an opaque non-competitive arrangement must be halted. Government claims we are in a period of austerity and yet its expenditure patterns are not consistent with their public pronouncements.

3) Prestige and sentimental projects such as approvals to construct a “Standard Stadium” each in Abuakwa South and Sunyani and then the construction of regional conference centres and theatres for creative arts contained at page 293 of the Budget, again do not reflect the times.

4) We need to have an objective discussion if considering current economic circumstances, we still need FIVE new university campuses for STEM? Can we not scale down to two or one and adopt an incrementalist approach when the economic horizon improves? Don’t forget double-track still plagues the education sector due to an acute lack of facilities.

5) It’s most surprising that an austerity Budget will contain approvals for fanciful projects such as: “Boankra Green Technology City and Tourism Village.” It appears the grotesque wish list has no end in sight.
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6) As I made clear during the parliamentary debate on the estimates for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, the intention to establish new diplomatic missions in Trinidad and Tobago and Mexico could wait for better times in the future. In any case, we can learn from Mexico, Columbia, Chile and Peru who all share one diplomatic mission in Accra as members of the Pacific Alliance. It is time to rethink the old dinosaur framework for establishing physical diplomatic missions in favour of a more modern smart diplomatic presence.

7) Considering that there’s no allocation in the 2022 Budget for constructing the Keta Port, which cannot be argued against in a period of austerity, the logical consequence is to demand the termination of the ridiculous appointment of CEO of a non-existing port. That office remains an embarrassing drain of scarce taxpayer Cedis.

8)The staff strength at the Office of Government Machinery is projected to increase again to 2,111 from 1,597 in 2021. (See page 273 of 2022 Budget). This is curious considering that Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta had only recently told the Ghanaian youth not to put their hopes in public sector jobs as the public sector is bloated. It seems to me that caution doesn’t apply to party apparatchiks who will be engaged in 2022 to occupy the 514 spaces specially created at the OGM for them. Such policy duplicity does not help the credibility of government and it doesn’t help government’s expenditure control either.

9) I am particularly frightened by the quantum leap in the Contingency Vote from an allocation of GHS186,829,891 in 2021 to a staggering GHS993,007,000 in 2022. (Almost a billion Cedis). That is a jaw-dropping addition of 806,177,109 in just a year. This represents an inconceivable 431.5% increase.

The irony is that despite all the propaganda about E-Levy serving as the main funding source for YouStart – which is government’s flagship for job creation, Appendix 4C at page 252 reveals that government allocated only GHS385,088,000 as it expects Donor Partners to come up with a greater share of GHS614,912,000 to achieve its GHS1billion target. So this is a government that couldn’t dedicate GHS1billion for its grand job creation agenda as it depends on the benevolence of foreigners to help our youth find jobs, and yet it could allocate a similar amount of a billion for its use as contingency.

10) Finally, it is my considered view that Parliament can also make a contribution to the expenditure downsizing I advocate by reducing the scope and quantity of MPs constituency offices it intends to construct in all 275 constituencies over the next three years. Perhaps a sluggish 5-6 year arrangement with a reduced scope of works in installments beginning from the most far/hard to reach constituencies, preferably in the northern and Oti regions should be more appropriate. That will be a worthy contribution of the legislature towards frugality in a period of austerity and harsh economic conditions.

Clearly, if we get our priorities right by taking a hard and sincere look at public expenditure and eliminating blatant corruption, Ghana which according to World Bank data already has a high tax to GDP ratio of 12.2% compared with an average of 11.7% among our lower middle-income peers, we obviously wouldn’t need an obnoxious, divisive and regressive E-Levy.
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Special greetings of the season.

May we use the many blessings God has endowed us with to transform our dear nation and bring happiness and empowerment to all.

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Source: www.ghanaweb.com

Parliamentary Service Board ‘Meeting’ In Dubai Untrue – Bagbin

The Office of the Speaker of Parliament, Rt. Hon. Alban S.K. Bagbin, has denied a news publication alleging that members of the Parliamentary Service Board (PSB) had held a board meeting in Dubai at the instance of the Speaker.

“There has not been any meeting of the PSB in Dubai held at the instance and convenience of the Speaker of Parliament,” a statement issued by the Office of the Speaker said.

It explained that the PSB rather participated in an international workshop and team building exercise by the Crown Agents in Dubai.

“It is worth noting that arrangement for the workshop predated the Speaker of Parliament’s medical trip to Dubai. It was initially planned for April 2021 and was finally held in September 2021. It had to be postponed a couple of times due to time constraints and availability of members of the PSB. Consequently, the workshop and the Speaker’s medical trip had nothing in common.

“We entreat all well-meaning Ghanaians to disregard this misleading publication, which only seeks to traduce the Rt.Hon. Speaker’s character by negatively projecting him and the Parliamentary Service Board.”

The Speaker recently undertook a two-week trip to Dubai to seek medical care – from November 27 to December 14.

Source: graphiconline.com

No Gov’t Will Reduce Fuel Prices; Don’t Trust Politicians – Allotey Jacobs Cautions Ghanaians

Bernard Allotey Jacobs

Social Commentator, Bernard Allotey Jacobs, says Ghanaians should stop having hope in any government that will promise to come and reduce fuel prices.

Allotey Jacobs noted that all previous and successive governments act the same when it comes to the issue of fuel prices.

He was commenting on the recent brouhaha in Parliament resulting in a scuffle between the Members of Parliament.

On Monday, the MPs traded blows in an attempt to prevent one another from advancing their moves in the House.

Allotey Jacobs, discussing the incident during Peace FM’s Kokrokoo”, specifically touched on the fuel prices that have got many Ghanaians, particularly vehicle drivers, to complain bitterly about the Akufo-Addo government.

Some commercial vehicle drivers, locally called ‘trotro drivers’, recently embarked on a nationwide strike in protest against the increment in fuel prices.

The strike was ended on a notice that their Union leaders had had a meeting with the Presidency to intervene in their situation.

Allotey Jacobs has cautioned Ghanaians not to trust the politician, stressing “. . don’t believe the politician. Anything the politician will do to convince the masses to tow their line, so they march forward for them to come into power, they will do it”.

Speaking to host Kwami Sefa Kayi, Allotey Jacobs warned; ”This is what Ghanaians should bear in mind that, from one regime to another, nobody will come and tell you that I will reduce the price. So, let us look at it holistically that what is our flagship or what is our policy that we use to help our tax regime for every successive government to get adequate revenue to do good works. If you are a patriot, this is what you should think about, not to cut your colleague with a blade.”

https://www.youtube.com/embed/qO2_z4FAPmE

Source: Ameyaw Adu Gyamfi/Peacefmonline.com/Ghana

Bank of Ghana to start purchasing gold from small scale miners – Bawumia

Vice President Alhaji Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia says in conjunction with the Bank of Ghana (BoG), government is going to start a deliberate gold purchase programme which will target purchasing gold from the Small Scale Mining sector.

He stated that after series of deliberations, the Bank of Ghana has been persuaded to start this programme which is going to be the first of it’s kind in history, adding that the programme when started, will be a boost for the Small Scale Mining sector as purchases made will build the country’s gold reserves.

He made this known at the maiden edition of the Responsible Small Scale Mining Awards held at Alisa Hotel on Wednesday 22nd December, 2021.

The Vice president described the Mining award ceremony as a historic occasion which he is very proud to be a part of.

He opined that he sees the award to be something peculiar because  “all too often, our problem solving turns to focus more on chasing and punishing wrong doers and not recognising and rewarding those who do right and this is what makes this award different”.

“The award recognises players in small Scale Mining sector who despite the temptation to join the wrong doing bandwagon, have decided to stay within the relevant regulatory framework for the country and to operate responsibly,” he explained.

He further stated a number of ways that Ghana has benefited from Small Scale Mining over the years, touting that he believes Small Scale Mining has contributed immensely to Ghana becoming the leading Gold producer in Africa.

” As we all know, Ghana’s Gold production has increased significantly over the past few decades making it the leading Gold producer in Africa. The contribution of Small Scale Mining to this trend is commendable. Currently, it is estimated that the Small Scale Mining contributes about 35% to Ghana’s total Gold production and 35% is huge.”

He added “We have also persuaded the Bank of Ghana and they have also accepted to start a gold purchase programme , for the first time in the history, a deliberate gold purchase programme targeting purchasing gold from small scale mining sector.

“This is going to be a boost for the small scale mining sector when the Bank of Ghana comes in to buy some of your outputs to build the country’s gold reserves.”

Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia however cautioned that regardless of the many advantages of Small Scale Mining, if the act is not done responsibly, it can and will damage the environment.

He, therefore called on the Miners to Mine responsibly to help save the environment and the country’s natural resources.

The Vice President commended highly the efforts of the Minister, Hon. Samuel A. Jinapor and his two Deputy Ministers for their leadership of the natural resources sector.

He added that the Minister has since his assumption of office brought a renewed approach to the process of ending galamsey through diverse initiatives. He sighted an example  of how the Minister made a passionate plea for the 3% withholding tax being paid by Gold producers to be slashed down to 1.5%.

He went on to applaud the organisers of the programme for working tirelessly to achieve such a great feet for the mining sector and for Ghana.

He also employed the opportunity to congratulate the winners of the various categories of Awards, saying that the award should be a motivator to other Miners to do better at their jobs and also keep the environment safe while at it.

The Minister for Lands and Natural Resources Hon. Samuel A. Jinapor in his welcome address, expressed his profound gratitude to the Vice President of the Republic and to the Chief of Staff for taking time off their very busy schedule to honour his invitation and for all the support.

He also sent out his appreciation to leadership and members of the Ghana National Association of Small-Scale Miners (GNASSM) for partnering with the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources, to institute this all-important award scheme and for their tremendous support of Government’s quest to sanitise the small-scale mining industry.

The Minister also disclosed that in the coming year, the Ministry, will continue to pursue measures that are necessary to restore sanity into the small-scale mining industry.

In furtherance of this, he said they have already engaged ADB Bank to establish a Minerals Development Unit at the Bank, which is to provide financial support to small scale miners. Adding that the initiative, is expected to roll out early next year.

The Minister intimated that as Community Mining Scheme remains one of the surest ways of tackling illegal mining, they will continue to promote the Community Mining Scheme to serve as a model for all small-scale mining operations.

Hon. Jinapor gave the assurance that the Ministry will ramp up their regulatory efforts and continue to partner with the leadership of the Ghana National Association of Small Scale Miners to weed out recalcitrant, illegal miners out of the industry, whilst encouraging and supporting genuine legal miners who have regard for our national environment.

“We will never relent on this effort, and, God willing, and with your support, we shall realise the vision of President Akufo-Addo by constructing, here in Ghana, a viable, sustainable, orderly and environmentally-sound small scale mining industry. Together we can, and let us get this done” He concluded.

Mr. Godwin Armah, General Secretary of the Ghana National Association of Small Scale Miners (GNASSM) added his words congratulations to the awardees saying ” Your victory is a symbol of the true reflection of our work and telling the whole world that Ghana is on course to revitalise the Small Scale Mining sector”

He thanked the organisers of the programme and  advised  miners that acquiring mining licences for their operations alone will not keep them in the industry but rather compliance to the legal framework is what will sustain their businesses in the future.

Also in attendance at this colourful event was the Hon. Chief of Staff, Madam Akosua Osei-Opare,  captains and players in the  mining sector, parliamentarians and  among others

Don’t Believe Minority In Parliament; They’re Just Thirsty For Power – Allotey Jacobs

Former NDC Central Regional Chairman, Bernard Allotey Jacobs has cautioned Ghanaians against the guiles of the Minority in Parliament as he claims the Minority don’t have the interest of the citizenry at heart.

According to him, the Minority portray themselves as fighting for the ordinary Ghanaian regarding their position on the e-levy but what they are doing, in actual fact, is fighting for the comeback of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) into government.

Allotey Jacobs was commenting on the brawl on Monday night involving some Members of Parliament.

Proceedings in the House turned violent as the MPs, from the Minority and Majority sides, wrestled with one another when the First Deputy Speaker, Joseph Osei-Owusu, affectionately called Joe Wise, decided to hand over to the Second Deputy Speaker in order to pave way for him to participate in the voting on the e-levy.

The Minority has been against the e-levy since the Finance Minister announced it on the floor during his presentation of the 2022 budget.

Reacting to the matter, Allotey Jacobs asked Ghanaians not to be ”fooled” by the Minority saying ”the Minority position in Parliament, on the e-levy, they won’t accept it and that they are protecting the interest of Ghanaians is deception. Don’t believe them. It is never true.”

He continued; ”I tell you don’t believe the politician. Anything the politician will do to convince the masses to toll their line, so they march forward for them to come into power, they will do it.”

To him, the Minority are feigning to defend Ghanaians on the e-levy so they will win them to vote the NDC into power, come 2024.

”The Minority is thirsty for power…In politics, you take advantage of your enemies disadvantage. So, the Minority in Parliament is taking that advantage to drive home with their propaganda for them to win the sympathy of Ghanaians, irrespective of whatever happens. Because, critically, when you look at what’s happening, they are holding the NPP government to ransom”, he stated.

Allotey Jacobs made these submissions on Peace FM’s ”Kokrokoo” on Wednesday.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/qO2_z4FAPmE

Source: Ameyaw Adu Gyamfi/Peacefmonline.com/Ghana

E-Levy impasse: ‘Akufo-Addo did not seek my intervention’ – John Mahama

Minority opposes E-levy

1.75% charge to be imposed on all electronic transactions

Finance Committee approves E-Levy Bill


Former president John Dramani Mahama, has refuted claims that the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has sought his intervention in the ongoing brouhaha on the controversial e-levy.

According to him, he only received leading member of the New Patriotic Party, Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko, at his residence Tuesday, December 21, 2021, at the behest of the president.

Giving details of the meeting between the two, the former president revealed that the discussion centred on how consensus can be built between the two political rival MPs on parliamentary issues judging from the almost equal number of MPs each faction has.

This, he says, was to avoid a repetition of chaos in Parliament’s Chamber as witnessed on Monday December 20, 2021.null

He said at no point was the subject of the e-levy brought up for him to intervene.

“President Akufo-Addo did not seek my intervention on the E-Levy impasse. I received Mr. Gabby Otchere Darko, at his request, at my residence on Tuesday 21st December, 2021. Among issues we discussed was the desire of Ghanaians to see the two major political parties working together for the interest of the nation. We discussed, also, how dialogue can be deployed to ensure Parliamentary issues are agreed consensually before coming on the floor to avoid what happened recently in the House.

“We further discussed opening channels of communication between the leaders of the two parties including a possible meeting with the President at a future date. At no time was there any discussion specifically about the President requiring my intervention in the impasse on the E-levy,” he wrote on his Facebook timeline.

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The issue of the e-levy has sharply divided majority and minority MPs.

While the majority wants the levy passed to generate revenue to address unemployment challenges and construct roads, the minority maintains that it will impose hardship on Ghanaians.null

Finance minister, Ken Ofori-Atta at the presentation of the 2022 budget statement announced plans by government to slap a 1.75% on all electronic transactions including mobile money – a move largely criticized by financial sector players.

The government has since not found a way to broker consensus on it with the voting to determine whether or not to consider the e-levy bill should be admitted under a certificate of urgency turning into a “free for all” fight between majority and minority MPs on the floor of parliament on Monday, December 20, 2021.

Meanwhile, Parliament has adjourned sitting indefinitely following a brawl that occurred for broader consultation on the E-levy.

https://cdn.jwplayer.com/players/z8HMTY1W-eqk5XVg5.html

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

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

Police gun down one of 3 robbery suspects who killed 2 cops in Zuarungu

The suspect is Laayaame Simon, alias Yendu, aged 34 years.

A special Anti-Robbery Squad, assisted by the Upper East Regional Police Command through an intelligence-led operation at Kpatia in the Talensi District, has gunned down one of the three suspected armed robbers who allegedly killed two police officers at Zuarungu

The suspect is Laayaame Simon, alias Yendu, aged 34 years. 

A special targeted intelligence-led operation is being carried out to get the remaining suspects.

The police made this known in a press statement issued on Wednesday, December 22, 2021.

“A special Anti-Robbery squad, assisted by the Upper East Regional Police Command through an intelligence-led operation at Kpatia in the Talensi District have gunned down suspect Laayaame Simon alias Yendu aged 34 years, one of the three suspected armed robbers who callously murdered two police officers at Zuarungu in the Upper East Region,” the Police said in the statement.

The statement further added that efforts are underway to arrest the rest of the suspects.

“A special targeted intelligence-led operation is being carried to get the rest of the suspects arrested”.

About the killing

The two officers –Constable Emmanuel Akowuah and Constable Mohhamed Sule– who were on night patrols were both killed by suspected armed robbers on Wednesday night.

The robbers shot at the tank of the police motorbike and partially burnt constable Mohammed Sule while constable Emmanuel Akowuah was shot in the head.

Source: Citinewsroom

Obour appointed Ag. GhanaPost MD

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has appointed musician Bice Osei Kuffuor, popularly known as Obour, as the acting Managing Director of the Ghana Post Company Limited.

Obour, in his new role, is expected to superintend the expansion of the company’s postal network and improve service.

In July 1999, Ghana Postal Services Corporation was converted to a limited liability company.

The conversion, therefore, placed the company together with similar private enterprises in the same legal and regulatory operating environment. It, therefore, enabled the company to operate successfully in a competitive commercial environment and widened the objectives of the company as it existed under Act 505.https://googleads.g.doubleclick.net/pagead/ads?client=ca-pub-4549410436183225&output=html&h=250&slotname=4705176708&adk=1921530005&adf=2366005940&pi=t.ma~as.4705176708&w=300&lmt=1640172942&psa=0&format=300×250&url=https%3A%2F%2Fmobile.classfmonline.com%2Fbusiness%2FObour-appointed-Ag-GhanaPost-MD-29496&flash=0&wgl=1&dt=1640172942361&bpp=4&bdt=1073&idt=562&shv=r20211207&mjsv=m202112060101&ptt=9&saldr=aa&abxe=1&prev_fmts=0x0%2C300x250&nras=1&correlator=639665443705&frm=20&pv=1&ga_vid=231484963.1640172943&ga_sid=1640172943&ga_hid=1240134820&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=1341&biw=412&bih=793&scr_x=0&scr_y=5&eid=44750773%2C31060475&oid=2&pvsid=3950642904588861&pem=405&tmod=651&ref=https%3A%2F%2Flm.facebook.com%2F&eae=0&fc=1920&brdim=0%2C0%2C0%2C0%2C412%2C0%2C412%2C749%2C412%2C793&vis=1&rsz=%7C%7CEebr%7C&abl=CS&pfx=0&fu=0&bc=31&ifi=3&uci=a!3&btvi=1&fsb=1&xpc=cKWgBc0LVy&p=https%3A//mobile.classfmonline.com&dtd=585

As the nation’s designated operator, with a network of 360 post offices across the country, GhanaPost provides courier, financial services (remittances, post assurance and agency services) and traditional mail services.

Over the past four years, GhanaPost has been on a turnaround path leading to significant growth through innovation and the introduction of new services and expansion of its fleet.

Digitisation of the post offices has been at the centre of the turnaround strategy allowing the company flexibility to easily add on new services, while the introduction of digital addresses by the government has come to enhance the delivery of mails and parcels.

Their online platform, Ghpostpay was launched in 2019 to allow customers to access their services remotely

Obour appointed Ag. GhanaPost MD

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has appointed musician Bice Osei Kuffuor, popularly known as Obour, as the acting Managing Director of the Ghana Post Company Limited.

Obour, in his new role, is expected to superintend the expansion of the company’s postal network and improve service.

In July 1999, Ghana Postal Services Corporation was converted to a limited liability company.

The conversion, therefore, placed the company together with similar private enterprises in the same legal and regulatory operating environment. It, therefore, enabled the company to operate successfully in a competitive commercial environment and widened the objectives of the company as it existed under Act 505.https://googleads.g.doubleclick.net/pagead/ads?client=ca-pub-4549410436183225&output=html&h=250&slotname=4705176708&adk=1921530005&adf=2366005940&pi=t.ma~as.4705176708&w=300&lmt=1640172942&psa=0&format=300×250&url=https%3A%2F%2Fmobile.classfmonline.com%2Fbusiness%2FObour-appointed-Ag-GhanaPost-MD-29496&flash=0&wgl=1&dt=1640172942361&bpp=4&bdt=1073&idt=562&shv=r20211207&mjsv=m202112060101&ptt=9&saldr=aa&abxe=1&prev_fmts=0x0%2C300x250&nras=1&correlator=639665443705&frm=20&pv=1&ga_vid=231484963.1640172943&ga_sid=1640172943&ga_hid=1240134820&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=1341&biw=412&bih=793&scr_x=0&scr_y=5&eid=44750773%2C31060475&oid=2&pvsid=3950642904588861&pem=405&tmod=651&ref=https%3A%2F%2Flm.facebook.com%2F&eae=0&fc=1920&brdim=0%2C0%2C0%2C0%2C412%2C0%2C412%2C749%2C412%2C793&vis=1&rsz=%7C%7CEebr%7C&abl=CS&pfx=0&fu=0&bc=31&ifi=3&uci=a!3&btvi=1&fsb=1&xpc=cKWgBc0LVy&p=https%3A//mobile.classfmonline.com&dtd=585

As the nation’s designated operator, with a network of 360 post offices across the country, GhanaPost provides courier, financial services (remittances, post assurance and agency services) and traditional mail services.

Over the past four years, GhanaPost has been on a turnaround path leading to significant growth through innovation and the introduction of new services and expansion of its fleet.

Digitisation of the post offices has been at the centre of the turnaround strategy allowing the company flexibility to easily add on new services, while the introduction of digital addresses by the government has come to enhance the delivery of mails and parcels.

Their online platform, Ghpostpay was launched in 2019 to allow customers to access their services remotely

Whether you want it or not, we’ll pass e-levy’ – Majority Caucus

The Majority in Parliament has said it will pass the 1.75 per cent e-levy whether the Minority Caucus likes it not.

“The budget has been approved and the Appropriation Act has also been approved and the Finance Minister can go ahead with his plans, but it is the revenue component of the budget that has to do with the e-levy which hasn’t been approved”, Deputy Majority Chief Whip Habib Iddrisu said.

He added: “So, when we return, the Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin, will come and preside and we will have our 138 members and they will also have their 137 and we will pass it”.

“The e-levy is something that we will pass whether they want it or not. They should just tell the Speaker to come and preside, and if he cannot, he should tell us then we will find another Speaker”, he noted in an interview with Accra-based Citi FM.

His comments come after Monday night’s brawl on the floor of the house in connection with the passage of the e-levy bill following attempts by First Deputy Speaker Joe Osei-Owusu to cast his ballot on the bill despite presiding over the business of the house on the day.

Following that, Deputy Majority Leader Alexander Afenyo-Markin, told journalists on Monday that: “We will not proceed to take decisions without Mr Speaker. We need him in the House because, by the technicalities of our own procedures, one of our people would have to sit in, and, therefore, he will not have the opportunity to have his right of voting as a member. Mr Speaker must show leadership in parliament”.

However, Deputy Minority Leader, James Klutse Avedzi, told journalists on Tuesday, 21 December 2021, that: “He [Afenyo Markin] said Bagbin’s absence was a deliberate act to frustrate government business. That is a complete lie. It is not true. We all know Bagbin just returned from Dubai where he went for medical treatment, and he must obey the instructions of his doctors”.

“If Bagbin was not showing leadership, he would have reversed the wrongs by the first Deputy Speaker, but for the fact that he wanted the country to move on, he said he will not do anything to overturn the decisions, so, for Afenyo-Markin to say that Bagbin is not showing leadership. is very surprising.”

“He is the only person who has served Parliament for 28 good years. Everybody should disregard the comments from Afenyo-Markin in relation to the leadership style of Bagbin.”

Meanwhile, Majority Leader Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu has said Mr Osei-Owusu was excusing himself during Monday night’s sitting to take his medication and go to the washroom but not necessarily to take part in the voting process.

According to Mr Kyei-Menash-Bonsu, the Bekwai MP was not well and, so, needed a respite during the balloting on the floor about whether or not the controversial 1.75 per cent e-levy should be considered under a certificate of urgency.

“Is it the case that a speaker can’t even excuse himself to visit the loo? Is it the case?” Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu asked in an interview with the parliamentary press.

“The man was indisposed”, he noted, adding: “He was shivering”.

“And he went to the clinic; the record is there. So, we had to persuade him to come and sit. He was in the chamber and he was shaking like a leaf.”

“We had to go and prevail on him to come and preside”, the Suame MP stressed.

“Of course”, he pointed out, “if he’s presiding, given his own long tenure in Parliament, his own understanding of the rules and procedures in Parliament, we thought that he’d be able to navigate crises periods, with respect, much more than the second deputy speaker but it was getting too much for him”.

“So, he said he wanted to excuse himself to take his medication and then, perhaps, to come back if he felt okay, or, perhaps, maybe to sit somewhere,” Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu said.

Asked if Mr Osei-Owusu was not excusing himself so he could take part in the voting on the floor, Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu retorted: “What if he did? What if he did to take his medication and he came, voting was not over and he thought that because somebody else what presiding he could participate in that? What of that? Is there any illegality in that? There’s no illegality

Akufo-Addo tells district auditors to deliver to expectation

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has charged district auditors to live up to expectation in the discharge of their duties by ensuring that all avenues that amount to leakage of the public purse are blocked.

He was unhappy with the performance of district auditors as several cases of financial malfeasance also pop up during the hearings Public Accounts Committee.

“Every time we hear details of report of the Auditor-General and hearings of the Public Accounts Committee of Parliament, we know the district auditors are not working as they should. It has become routine for the Auditor-General to uncover cases of financial malfeasance in the public service that will otherwise go unnoticed. We cannot avoid the conclusion that the district auditors must be either complacent or incompetent”.

The President was addressing auditors at the maiden edition of the district auditors’ conference in Kumasi.

The fight against corruption, according to President Akufo-Addo, can be effective if district auditors work as expected of them.

“District auditors working as they should will bring confidence in the public sector. District auditors working as they should will keep in check not only lowly clerk but also the district chief executive and ultimately the President. The district auditor is one of the primary weapons in the fight for the protection of the public purse and the fight against corruption

The Auditor-General, Johnson Akuamoah Asiedu expressed their readiness to help in the fight against corruption.

“The transformation of the Audit Service in recent times has put us in a position poised to take the fight against corruption to another level. We pledge our readiness to deliver as expected of us and even more”.

The conference was on the theme “Ensuring the Efficiency and Effectiveness of the State Auditor in a digitized economy

Akufo-Addo must know that most Ghanaians are against E-levy – Kwakye Ofosu

A former Deputy Minister of Information, Felix Kwakye Ofosu, has told President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, that most Ghanaians are against the E-levy, not members of the main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC).

In a tweet, Mr Kwakye Ofosu said “The day the Akufo-Addo/Bawumia government wakes up to the reality that this E-Levy battle is not just against NDC MPs, but the people of Ghana including some of their own supporters, sanity would prevail.”

THE DAY THE AKUFO-ADDO/BAWUMIA GOVERNMENT WAKES UP TO THE REALITY THAT THIS E-LEVY BATTLE IS NOT JUST AGAINST NDC MPS,BUT THE PEOPLE OF GHANA INCLUDING SOME OF THEIR OWN SUPPORTERS,SANITY WOULD PREVAIL.— Felix Kwakye Ofosu (@FelixKwakyeOfo1) December 21, 2021

Meanwhile, the Majority Leader in Parliament, Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu has said the adjournment of the sitting on the e-levy will afford the Majority and government more time to do further consultations on the proposal.

First Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Joseph Osei Owusu announced on Tuesday December 21 that Parliament has adjourned sitting sine die.

Addressing the press after the adjournment, Majority Leader Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu said “I think that this will also allow us sometime to have further consultations among ourselves, it is the reason why the First Deputy Speaker had to adjourn the House sine die. As you know, the budget has been passed , there was an attempt to portray that that there is no budget, there is a budget , the appropriations bill passed.”

JOE WISE’S ATTEMPT TO VOTE WAS AN UNSPEAKABLE ABBERATION. IT WAS COMICAL,BRAZENLY UNLAWFUL AND MADE NO SENSE.THE DIVISION WAS CALLED TO VALIDATE THE VOICE VOTE WHICH HE DIDN’T PARTICIPATE IN. HOW COULD HE BE PART OF THE VALIDATION OF A VOTE HE PLAYED NO PART IN?— Felix Kwakye Ofosu (@FelixKwakyeOfo1) December 21, 2021

He added “I think that this will also allow us sometime to have further consultations among ourselves ,it is the reason why the First Deputy Speaker had to adjourn the House sine die . As you know, the budget has been passed , there was an attempt to portray that that there is no budget, there is a budget , the appropriations bill passed.”

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

Violence has never been a legitimate tool – Oppong Nkrumah to Minority

Information Minister Kojo Oppong Nkrumah has criticized the Minority over the disturbances that occurred in Parliament on Monday regrading the e-levy proposal.

He described the chaotic scenes in Parliament on Monday December 20 as unacceptable and uncalled for.

Speaking on the mid day news on TV3 Tuesday December 21, the Ofoase Ayirebi lawmaker said “The first thing we need to is that, we need to deal with the growing conduct of some Members of Parliament that whenever they do not agree with with something, whether it is the Speaker’s rule or a position of the executive or a position of Member of parliament, they resort to violence and physical attacks in the chamber.

“That is the reason for which we have had to adjourn today because today, Mr Speaker is still not in the House, we are not able to proceed with business without rancor because what it would mean is that the First Deputy Speaker or the Second Deputy Speaker would have to take the Chair. Under the circumstances if a matter comes up to a vote and he chooses to exercise his casting votes which he is entitled to, our colleagues on the other side will resort to violence .

“Everybody now sees it clearly, so what next is that the Republic of Ghana needs to address this situation where some Members of Parliament resort to violence as a way of expressing their displeasure. It is totally unacceptable, totally uncalled for. The Marshals department under the leadership the Speaker has to have a handle of this because it doesn’t matter that today, it is e-levy, tomorrow it could be anything and when some particular member of Parliament is not happy with it then there will be a resort to violence and fisticuffs, that is what next to be dealt with.”

Regarding the levy, he revealed that some changes have been made to the proposal following consultations.

“If you read paragraph 361 of the budget statements the executive initially proposed inward remittances, bank transfers, merchant payments, Mobile money to be charged at 1.75 per cent in addition to the 2 per cent that already the telcos are charging. After all the consultations and memos and engagements, remittances had been taken out, bank transfer of business had been taken out , merchant payment had been taken out, .025 of the money moneys operators charges had been taken out , so now it is no longer going to be a cumulative, about 3.75, it has now come to 3.5.

“That is evident that there has been engagement, there has been a listening. If all of that has taken place at the committee and you still think you are opposed to it and the vote has taken place and you have lost that vote you don’t come onto the floor and resort to physical violence to prevent the business of the Houses from going on and I think we must be clear on that. Let us not mixed that with consult more, violence has never been a legitimate tool,” he said.

The Majority Leader in Parliament, Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu also chastised the Minority for the fight that occurred in the House.

Addressing a press conference on Tuesday December 21, he said lawmakers must debate with their brain-power, not brawl.

“Why the injection of violence with the Minority moving from their place to come and physically prevent the deputy speaker from assuming the chair. Why? In Parliament we debate issues with brain power not brawl , with brain power not brawl .

“So if you disagree with me , I was telling the Minority Leader yesterday , whenever the Minority Leader is speaking, we always want to listen to him. Whenever any member from the Majority we want to listen. Where form that ?,” he quizzed.

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

E-levy in limbo as parliament adjourns sitting to Jan. 18

Parliament has adjourned sitting sine die to 18 January 2022.

This means the controversial e-levy has not been passed and would be revisited in 2022 when the House reconvenes.

Following a brawl in Parliament on Monday, 20 December 2021 over the e-levy, the Majority Leader, Mr Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, today, Tuesday, 21 December 2021, prayed the sit-in Speaker, First Deputy Speaker Joe Osei-Owusu, to adjourn the house until January 18, 2022, for cooler heads to prevail.

According to him, tensions were still high to conduct business.

He said: “We adjourned sitting yesterday [Monday] and indicated to ourselves that the house will be reconvening at 9:00 am today, [Tuesday, December 21, 2021] but we have been waiting for all this while making the necessary calls but thus far, nothing responsive, and I think where we are if we take an adjournment, it will allow coolers to come back to this house, and then we come back to continue with business in a much more serene environment. In that regard, Mr Speaker, I invite you to adjourn the house in the hope that we can come back on January 18.”

He was seconded by Minority leader Haruna Iddrisu who said the adjournment will allow for further deliberations.

“It is important that we carry the country along, and we need to demonstrate to the country that our democracy is growing and will not suffer some unacceptable scenes and spectacles we’ve witnessed on the floor.

“So, I can only concur with what the leader has said, so you adjourn the House sine die for some consultation on the outstanding issue,” Mr Iddrisu said.

Parliament on Monday night, 20 December 2021 became a boxing arena as the House voted for the 1.75 e-levy bill.

The rumpus started when First Deputy Speaker Joe Osei-Owusu, who was presiding over the business of the house in the absence of Speaker Alban Bagbin, attempted to also cast his ballot on whether or not the e-levy bill should be considered under a certificate of urgency.

MPs from either side of the house were seen exchanging blows over the matter, which threw the whole house into chaos.

Earlier in the day, the Finance Committee of Parliament approved the controversial e-levy bill.

The Minority side, made up of 12 members, voted against it while the 12 members on the Majority side voted for it.

The Chairman of the Committee voted in favour of the bill to break the tie.

This meant it had to be put before the plenary for a certificate of urgency vote.

The NDC and its Minority are against the 1.75 per cent levy which will affect electronic transactions.

Several calls on the government to drop the proposed tax has fallen on deaf ears.

The government has explained that the upsurge in the use of e-payment platforms, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, has been an impetus for the introduction of the levy.

As a result, Ghana recorded a total of GHS500 billion from e-transactions in 2020 compared with GHS78 billion in 2016.

The government says the e-Levy proceeds will be used to support entrepreneurship, youth employment, cyber security, and digital and road infrastructure, among others

The dignity of MPs is best tested in a hung Parliament – Gabby

A leading member of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) Gabby Otchere Darko has reacted to the pandemonium that occurred in Parliament on Monday December 20 regarding the E-levy.

In a tweet, he said “Surely, Parliament’s post-2020 dual role as a boxing ring as well cannot be allowed to continue for the next 3 years, for at least the sake of the furniture. The dignity of Members is best tested in a hung Parliament. 137+1 vs 137, with a Speaker who was leader of the Opposition!”

Members of Ghana’s Parliament could not hold their emotions as some exchanged brawls in the House Monday evening 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 will 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.

Ningo Prampram lawmaker Samuel Nartey George expressed at what transpired in Parliament on Monday December 20 regarding the e-levy proposal.

He says he is ashamed of what “we call Parliamentary democracy” following the happenings.

“I am ashamed of what we call Parliamentary democracy. How do we twist the rules this way? Where are we taking the Country to? Is this level of desperation democracy? What is this,” he said in a tweet

I’m ashamed of what we call Parliamentary democracy – Sam George

Ningo Prampram lawmaker Samuel Nartey George has expressed at what transpired in Parliament on Monday December 20 regarding the e-levy proposal.

He says he is ashamed of what “we call Parliamentary democracy” following the happenings.

“I am ashamed of what we call Parliamentary democracy. How do we twist the rules this way? Where are we taking the Country to? Is this level of desperation democracy? What is this,” he said in a tweet.

I AM ASHAMED OF WHAT WE CALL PARLIAMENTARY DEMOCRACY. HOW DO WE TWIST THE RULES THIS WAY? WHERE ARE WE TAKING THE COUNTRY TO? IS THIS LEVEL OF DESPERATION DEMOCRACY? WHAT IS THIS?🦁😡— Sam ‘Dzata’ George (@samgeorgegh) December 20, 2021

Members of Ghana’s Parliament could not hold their emotions as some exchanged brawls in the House Monday evening 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 will 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

Why NPP failed to address proposals at delegates conference – Buaben Asamoa explains

Communications Director of the New Patriotic Party, Buaben Asamoa has explained the reason the much anticipated proposals tabled by individuals and groups for amendment failed to see the light of day at the just ended national delegates conference.

According to Mr Buaben Asamoa, the proposals, initially numbering 128 were whittled down by the National Executive committee to 38, which included 91 motions.
He noted that the highest decision body could not review the proposals because they were too many for the 8000 delegates present.

The Communications Director posited that the action made article 19 of the NPP’s constitution not fit for purpose anymore.

Under Article 19, constitutional amendments must be approved by a two-thirds vote at the National Delegates Conference.

“National Executive Committee thought that it will be very difficult to propose 91 individual motions before an 8000 member conference in order to debate each one to a conclusion and either adopt or reject in order to effect a constitutional change.”

“We have brought article 19 into sharp focus; we are now going to refine the process for amending the constitution. Because we found out at the moment that, it is unworthy. The numbers are incapable of dealing with the amendment as effectively as they ought to be dealt with,” Mr Buaben Asamoa furthered in an interview with 3FM.

The party’s hierarchy of decision comprises of National Delegates Conference, National Council, National Executive Committee and the Steering Committee.

He however noted that the National Council would have to review the Article 19 components in order to resubmit to the National Delegates Conference.

The New Patriotic Party did not conclude on proposed amendments, which had been tabled as the main agenda for the annual Conference over the weekend.

Key among the proposals was a proposal to elect a presidential candidate two years before a major election.

Currently, the Party elects its Presidential candidate two years before General Elections if the Party is in opposition and a year when it is in power.

There are concerns by some within the party that the current arrangement makes it difficult for a newly elected candidate to mend bridges among aspirants and other party members

Government to pursue e-learning, teaching at all levels of education – Ntim Fordjour

Rev. John Ntim Fordjour   New.jpeg

The Association of Educational and Instructional Technologists, Ghana (AEITG) was on Wednesday inaugurated in Accra to help build education and learning pathway bridges through technology.

The AEITG will, among others, create awareness, advance the use of technology, provide professional development, improve multi-and trans-disciplinary designs and development through instruction.

Besides, the association will collaborate with global professional educational and instructional technologists while advancing the academic, professional and personal development of AEITG members.

The Deputy Minister of Education, Rev John Ntim Fordjour, said Ghanaian institutions were experiencing uncertainties regarding moving towards a sustainable digital learning and teaching process at all levels, especially at the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.

He indicated that the government was therefore embarking on an agenda on all sectors at the strategic and policy levels to ensure that education embraces digitalization.

According to Rev Fordjour, the current demand for tertiary education as a result of Senior High School enrollment and the adoption of electronic learning (E-learning) could increase access to tertiary education.null

He believed that e-learning could provide comparable access and quality education to all when practised effectively, and it could also help close the digital divide since many institutions in the country were hooked on the internet.

“We are in a world that is fast-changing, and it’s coming along with some challenges whose solutions demand that we cannot do away with digital resources,” Rev Fordjour stressed.

The Deputy Minister said e-learning is not an option and that stakeholders in education had no option to adjust and shift methods in a way that teaching and learning were delivered.

He said it was important to ensure that Information Technology Communication (ICT) was not only a subject taught in schools but rather translated into a skill that was acquired by the learner adding that “you need digital literacy to learn in this world and there is no excuse as to the location of study.”

Rev Fordjour said the government was pursuing a number of reforms and sought to collaborate with the association to discuss the reforms that would be necessary for its quest to transform outcomes of education.null

He said the reforms were aimed at realigning the foundation of the educational systems to sufficiently satisfy the dictates of the fourth industrial revolution.

The president of AEITG, Dr Josephine Larbi-Apau, said the association was embarking on a mission to promote and implement educational and instructional technologists in all sectors in both education and corporate organizations.

According to her, the association would focus on design development and management, open and distance education, virtual learning, teacher education, scholarships, student mentorship, corporate learning and training for both teachers and learners to enhance their capabilities.

Dr Larbi-Apau said learning today was not only influenced by global trends but also by innovations adding, that the association has the ability to influence learning outcomes by advocating the right balance of infrastructure to support the varied learning environment, the right balance of access to educational resources in all, right to physical and hands-on solutions.

Source: ghanaiantimes.com.gh

JHS students to study aviation, engineering and aeronautics in 6yr sec. school – Adutwum

Dr. Yaw Osei Adutwum

Minister of Education Dr Yaw Osei Adutwum has disclosed that students exiting primary school into the proposed six-year Secondary School system will have as part of their courses; aeronautic science, aviation, computer programing and engineering

This, the minister indicates, will prepare the country’s young talents for advanced technologies while supporting the country’s drive to have 60% of all tertiary students offering Science; Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) programs.

“A response to the 4th industrial revolution means that our children should not only go to the secondary schools to study home economics and visual arts only. You can go to high school and learn about aviation, aeronautical sciences and computer sciences where you can write software for computers.”

“You can go to high school and learn to engineer and that is where we can create a pool of talents who can then move on into our universities where we hope to have 60% of our university students enrolled in STEM programs.”

Addressing the 45th Congregation of the Christian Service University College in Kumasi, Dr Adutwum pointed out that there was a need for Ghana to properly adopt the six-year high school system run in the United States of America where the country adopted its Junior and Senior High School system from.

“We borrowed from America but over there, junior high schools have the same facilities as senior high schools. They have practiced six years and now seven years of high school education.”

The minister further pointed out that his outfit is working at enrolling 200 SHS visual arts graduates into engineering programs in selected Universities to erode the status quo which bars such creative students from pursuing higher learning in the Sciences and Engineering.null

To further push this drive, Dr Adutwum stated that a scholarship scheme for rural children with an interest in engineering was already in the works to encourage more children in underprivileged communities to take interest in STEM.

108 postgraduate students and 350 undergraduate students graduated from the Faculty of Humanities, the School Of Business and the Faculty of Health and Applied Sciences of the Christian Service University College.

The president of the University Prof. Samuel Afrane outlined a number of measures including a quality improvement program instituted to rebrand the university to stand shoulder to shoulder with internationally recognized institutions of higher learning.

He explained, “Management of the university has instituted a policy improvement program with interventions and innovations, to transform the institution to achieve a credible and appropriate brand image to position the university as an internationally recognized private Christian university in Africa with a commitment to excel in innovative learning, teaching and cutting edge research.

He was confident with the beefing up of the university’s staff strength with 16 PHD holders and 12 others currently pursuing doctoral studies in varied disciplines, the university will soon increase its number of post-graduate programs from 4 to 7.

Source: kasapafmonline.com

Support e-levy if you want us to stop borrowing – Majority urges NDC MPs

Afenyo Markin Parliament 2021211

NDC MPs maintain opposition to e-levy

MoMo vendors to strike on December 23

Finance Committee to present e-levy bill before parliament

The Majority group in Parliament has urged its counterparts on the minority side who are on the ticket of the National Democratic Congress to lend it support to the controversial e-levy if it does not want government to continue borrowing to fund the country’s development.

The minority have in recent times criticized the Akufo-Addo-led administration for excessively borrowing despite receiving more revenue, particularly from oil than any other president in the history of the country.

Leader of the Minority, Haruna Iddrisu, supporting a motion to borrow money to fight the galamsey menace, admonished government to lessen the rate at which it was borrowing.

In response to the minority leader’s submission, Deputy Majority Leader, Alexander Afenyo-Markin, called on minority members to rally behind government in approving the e-levy as part of efforts to internally generate revenue.

“Mr. Speaker I have heard the concerns of the minority leader regarding borrowing …that as a nation we shouldn’t be borrowing and borrowing. Mr. Speaker he may be right…perhaps he’s right in saying so and I agree with him that we shouldn’t be borrowing. And that is why his side should support effort at raising revenue from within especially the e-levy…the e-levy which they publicly agreed to the principle and the policy and chicken out by saying they don’t support it because Mr. Speaker if we stop borrowing, the alternative is to raise revenue from within and I think he’s made a national call…a very patriotic call coming from the minority leader and I support it. So going into 2022 we should look at ways at generating revenue from within,” he stated.

The Effutu MP charged the minority leader to act in good faith for his side to “support government to introduce this e-levy which is going to give us at least 6.9 billion to help the road sector.”

Haruna Iddrisu however indicated that the deputy majority leader was attributing words to him which were not a proper reflection of verbatim transcription of the Hansard.

Meanwhile, all twelve (12) NDC MPs on the Finance committee voted “No” against the approval of the report on the e-levy bill whiles all 12 NPP MPs voted “yes” according to online news portal Woezor.tv.

The Chairman of the Committee, Kwaku Kwarteng, however exercised his casting vote to tilt the vote to 13 – 12.

This means the Finance Committee has agreed to present e-levy bill before Parliament.

If approved in its current state, the e-levy will impose a 1.75% charge on all electronic transactions including mobile money.

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

Parliament becomes boxing arena as MPs exchange blows over e-levy vote

Parliament became a boxing arena on Monday night as the House voted for the 1.75 e-levy bill.

The rumpus started when First Deputy Speaker Joe Osei-Owusu, who was presiding over the business of the house in the absence of Speaker Alban Bagbin, attempted to also cast his ballot on whether or not the e-levy bill should be considered under a certificate of urgency.

MPs from either side of the house were seen exchanging blows over the matter, which threw the whole house into chaos.

Earlier in the day, the Finance Committee of Parliament approved the controversial e-levy bill.

The Minority side, made up of 12 members, voted against it while the 12 members on the Majority side voted for it.

The Chairman of the Committee voted in favour of the bill to break the tie.

This meant it had to be put before the plenary for a certificate of urgency vote.

The NDC and its Minority are against the 1.75 per cent levy which will affect electronic transactions.

Several calls on the government to drop the proposed tax has fallen on deaf ears.

The government has explained that the upsurge in the use of e-payment platforms, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, has been an impetus for the introduction of the levy.

As a result, Ghana recorded a total of GHS500 billion from e-transactions in 2020 compared with GHS78 billion in 2016.

The government says the e-Levy proceeds will be used to support entrepreneurship, youth employment, cyber security, and digital and road infrastructure, among others