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Majority looks for Bagbin’s whereabouts on final day of e-levy debate

The Majority in Parliament has accused the Speaker of Parliament, Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin, of supporting a tacit agenda of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) to “frustrate” and “obstruct” business of the Akufo-Addo-led government.

According to Deputy Majority Leader Alexander Afenyo-Markin, his caucus’s leadership did not know the whereabouts of Speaker Bagbin as of the evening of Monday, December 20 when they expected him to preside over proceedings on the Electronic Transfer Levy Bill.

The Bill was brought before plenary under a certificate of urgency despite a strong resistance of the Minority members on the Finance Committee.

The Majority suspects the Speaker, who returned to Ghana on Tuesday, December 14 from a medical review in the United Arabs Emirates (UAE), to have deliberately absented himself from Monday’s proceedings to reduce the number of the Majority during voting on the Bill.

This is because one of the Deputy Speakers will preside in the Speaker’s absence.

For Mr Afenyo-Markin, who is also MP for Effutu, the Majority has been given a raw deal since they are still not in the know as to the whereabouts of the Speaker

We are here to fight the e-levy – Minority Leader declares at final debate

Minority Leader Haruna Iddrisu has made clear the intention of his caucus to reject the controversial Electronic Transfer Levy Bill brought before plenary by the Finance Committee of Parliament.

Plenary is expected to debate the Bill, which has been brought to the floor under a certificate of urgency for it to be passed or otherwise.

The consideration of the Bill is the last on the item of the First Meeting of the Eighth Parliament as it rises immediately after a decision on the e-levy.

Speaking on the procedural consensus to be reached before voting, Haruna Iddrisu insisted that the Minority is ready to “fight” the bill.

“We are ready to kill the killer tax,” he added

Parliament adjourns e-levy voting to 9:00am Tuesday

This is how the Eighth Parliament began

Parliament has adjourned to 9:00am on Tuesday, December 21 a voting decision on the Electronic Transfer Levy Bill.

Voting on the Bill was suspended after the Majority and Minority members broke into fisticuffs on the floor.

It was not a sight to behold for viewers as blows landed on the faces of Ghana’s lawmakers – mostly referred to as Honourables – while shirts were torn. Others were shoved and jostled in the chaos.

The Second Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Andrew Amoako Asiamah, who mounted the dais to take over from First Deputy Speaker Joseph Osei-Owusu as the latter announced assumption of his right to vote in what many believed provoked the Minority members, adjourned proceedings to 9:00am Tuesday.

The Majority members had earlier accused Speaker Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin of deliberately shirking his official duties on Monday as they claimed no knowledge of his whereabouts in contravention of parliamentary procedure.

“The NDC’s determination to frustrate and obstruct government business has today been supported by the Speaker of Parliament who is the law sovereign of this House, who is the president of the House and considering the critical numbers, this is the time we expect Mr Speaker to live up to his own bona fide to the people of Ghana,” Deputy Majority Leader Alexander Afenyo-Markin told journalists.

Police shoots and kill five suspected assassins at Gomoa Fetteh

The timely intervention of the police saved the Chief of Gomoa Fetteh, Nana Abor Attah from being assassinated.

The Anti Armed robbery unit of the Ghana Police Service, has shot five persons to death at Gomoa Fetteh in the Central Region.

SmartMediaGh.com has learnt from Citi News sources, that the armed men who were allegedly on a mission to assassinate the Chief of Gomoa Fetteh, Nana Abor Attah, were in a taxi with registration number GG 3427-21.

The timely intervention of the police saved the Chief of Gomoa Fetteh, Nana Abor Attah from being assassinated.

Speaking to Citi News on the development, Nana Abor Attah said: “I was at the Palace when I heard gunshots. I initially thought it was some persons firing crackers, only to realise it was a gun battle between police and some persons who have been sent to kill me and my Abusuapanyin. We initially picked intelligence, but we didn’t take it seriously until it happened. But as Chief of Gomoa Fetteh, I was taken through the proper process, of ascending the throne.”

“But I am surprised that some persons have planned to kill me. I want to thank the police for the swift response in saving my life.”

The anti-robbery unit had recently shot and killed two suspected armed robbers at Kalba, a community in the Sawla-Tuna-Kalba District of the Savannah Region.

The police say the robbers, numbering four, engaged some police officers in a gun battle after robbing residents of Kalba, leading to the killing of the two.

Police say they believe they are the same group of robbers that killed two residents of Sawla after robbing a MoMo vendor and others on December 9, 2021.

Source: Citinewsroom

Sammy Gyamfi sues AG, GHS over mandatory vaccination

The National Communications Officer of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Sammy Gyamfi has sued the Attorney General (AG) and the Ghana Heath Service (GHS) over the mandatory vaccination exercise.

He wants “A declaration that the impugned directives of the Respondents breach or threaten to breach the Applicants’ fundamental human rights as enshrined under Article 21(1)(g) of the 1992 Constitution of Ghana.

“A declaration that the impugned directives of the Respondents violated Section 2(1) of the Imposition of Restrictions Act, 2020 (ACT 1012) and Sections 21, 22 and 30 of the Public Health Act, 2012 (ACT 851) and therefore illegal.

“A declaration that the impugned directives of the Respondents contravene the guidelines of the Food and Drugs Authority, Ghana on the administration of Emergency Use Authorized medical products and same are unreasonable.

“A declaration that the impugned directives of the Respondents contravene the guidelines of the World Health Organization regarding proof of COVID-19 vaccination for international travelers, and that same is unreasonable.

“A declaration that the impugned directives of the Respondents contravene medical ethics and best practices that govern COVID-19 vaccine administration.”Revision-8-KIA-Covid-Guidelines-Dec11-2021-1Download

The government introduced the mandatory vaccination exercise as part of efforts to deal with the coronavirus pandemic.

This move formed part of efforts to ensure that the rate of infection does not rise during the Christmas season.

Among the measures, “Airlines who board passengers without proof of payment for the COVID -19 test and would/ could not pay for the test in Ghana will be fined US$3500 per passenger.”

Also, “non-Ghanaian passengers may be refused entry and be returned to the point of embarkation at cost to the Airline.”

The month of December has been declared by the GHS had as the vaccination month.

Addressing a press conference in Accra on Sunday November 28, the Director-General of the Ghana Health Service (GHS), Dr Patrick Kumah-Aboagye said vaccination was the surest way to deal with the virus.

He further assured that the authorities are going to scale up surveillance measures at the Kotoka International Airport during the Christmas season to ensure that Covid infections do not increase.

He further said that the mistakes that were made in December last year which occasioned the escalation of infections in January this year, will not be repeated.

There is going to be a “strict enforcement of the protocols at the KIA. We are going to increase surveillance. We are expecting increased number of people to arrive in the country.

“we are going to ensure that our logistics are prepared, we will continue our surveillance to be able to look at that, we are going to look at isolation centres,” he said.

He added “Our contact tracing will be strengthened.

“We are going to engage with religious organizations to ensure that activities in done in Christmas are in accordance with Covid protocols.”

Presidential Advisor on Health, Dr Anthony Nsia Asare, allayed fears of persons who are worried about the potential reaction from taking the covid vaccine.

He stated that it is normal to experience headache, body pains and other reactions. These are indications that the vaccine is functioning properly in the body, he said.

“If you are vaccinated and you feel slight headache it means the vaccine is working very well,” he said on the Key Points on TV3 Saturday December 4 with Dzifa Bampoh.

Dr Nsia Asare further urged all persons who are yet to receive their vaccines to do so in order to save their lives and the lives of others.

In his view, Ghana cannot afford to go through fourth wave of the coronavirus pandemic hence the government, through the Ghana Health Service (GHS), has taken the vaccination exercise a step higher in order to get as many as possible inoculated.

Vaccination centres, he stated, are being created closed to the people in the communities including market areas to make it easier for them to go through the exercise.

“We cannot afford a fourth wave,” he said, adding that “we can all do this together if you are vaccinated,” he said.

The GHS) this week issued new guidelines to deal with the coronavirus pandemic in Ghana ahead of the Christmas season.

The guidelines include measures to vaccinate as many as possible before the Christmas on December 25.

In a press releases issued on Thursday December 9, the GHS said “All persons, 18 years and above arriving in Ghana will be required to provide evidence of full vaccination for Covid-19 vaccines.

“All unvaccinated Ghanaians and residents of Ghana who are currently outside the country and intend to return within 14 days from the midnight of 12 December 2021 are exempted. However, they would be vaccinated on arrival at the airport.”

It added “all Ghanaians traveling out of the country are to be fully vaccinated effectively 12th midnight 2021

E-levy: We’ve a gov’t that does not listen as Finance C’ttee approves proposal – Ato Forson

A member of the Finance Committee of Parliament, Casiel Ato Forson has accused the government of pushing a the E-levy through despite the the negative consequences it is going to have on Ghanaians.

He said the government is not prepared to listen to the concerns raised by stakeholders against the policy.

The first show down at the consideration of the controversial E-Levy proposal ended in a deadlock with a split decision from 24 lawmakers on the Finance Committee on Monday December 20.

Twelve opposition MPs voted against decision by government to have the bill treated under a certificate of urgency with 12 others from the majority voting in support.

Chairman of the Finance Committee Kwaku Kwarteng had to use his casting vote to break the deadlock in favour of government’s position.

Speaking to the media after the Committee’s sitting, Mr Ato Forson who is also Member of Parliament for Ajumako-Enyan-Esiam disclosed his side will take the ‘fight’ to the plenary after failing to arrest the bill at the committee level.

“You can see clearly a government that is not ready to listen, a government that is determined to push the agenda regardless of its impact to the people of Ghanadata:image/gif;base64,R0lGODlhAQABAAAAACH5BAEKAAEALAAAAAABAAEAAAICTAEAOw==

“This morning the Finance Committee held a meeting and we have just come out from the meeting At the meeting we needed to first determine whether we can consider the electronic transfer levy bill before us on a certificate of urgencyu or not.

“At that point, we in the Minority argued that it cannot be considered under certificate of urgency for a simple reason that we have received petition from the Ghana Chamber of Telecommunications.

“In fact the Ghana Chamber of Telecommunications s on the 1st of December 2021 wrote a letter to the Rt Honourable Speaker , the Parliament of Ghana Accra. and to the attention of the Honbourable Joseph Osei Wusu for us to first invite them and listen to them.

“And they they believe that they have an alternative way of generating revenue as against what the government seeks to do and they have actually tabulated the negative impact of this levy to government We argue that it is important that government or Parliament , at the minimum, meet with them and listen to them. The NPP Majority in Parliament had said that they do not believe that.”

Parliament on Friday December 17 passed the appropriation bill but did not consider the E-levy.

The consideration of the e-levy was shifted to today Monday.

The introduction of the levy met resistance from the opposition lawmakers in Parliament.

The Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu, said that his side in Parliament would not support the policy proposal because it serves as a disincentive for the growth of digital economy.

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

Majority seeking to approve E-levy under a certificate of urgency

A member of the Finance Committee of Parliament, Casiel Ato Forson has revealed that the government is seeking to pass the E-levy under a certificate of urgency.

The first show down at the consideration of the controversial E-Levy proposal ended in a deadlock with a split decision from 24 lawmakers on the Finance Committee on Monday December 20.

Twelve opposition MPs voted against decision by government to have the bill treated under a certificate of urgency with 12 others from the majority voting in support.

Chairman of the Finance Committee Kwaku Kwarteng had to use his casting vote to break the deadlock in favour of government’s position.

Speaking to the media after the Committee’s sitting, Mr Ato Forson who is also Member of Parliament for Ajumako-Enyan-Esiam disclosed his side will take the fight to the plenary after failing to arrest the bill at the committee level.

“You can see clearly a government that is not ready to listen, a government that is determined to push the agenda regardless of its impact to the people of Ghana

“This morning the Finance Committee held a meeting and we have just come out from the meeting At the meeting we needed to first determine whether we can consider the electronic transfer levy bill before us on a certificate of urgency or not.data:image/gif;base64,R0lGODlhAQABAAAAACH5BAEKAAEALAAAAAABAAEAAAICTAEAOw==

“At that point, we in the Minority argued that it cannot be considered under certificate of urgency for a simple reason that we have received petition from the Ghana Chamber of Telecommunications.

“In fact the Ghana Chamber of Telecommunications s on the 1st of December 2021 wrote a letter to the Rt Honourable Speaker , the Parliament of Ghana Accra. and to the attention of the Honbourable Joseph Osei Wusu for us to first invite them and listen to them.

“And they they believe that they have an alternative way of generating revenue as against what the government seeks to do and they have actually tabulated the negative impact of this levy to government We argue that it is important that government or Parliament , at the minimum, meet with them and listen to them. The NPP Majority in Parliament had said that they do not believe that.”

Parliament on Friday December 17 passed the appropriation bill but did not consider the E-levy.

The consideration of the e-levy was shifted to today Monday.

The introduction of the levy met resistance from the opposition lawmakers in Parliament.

The Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu, said that his side in Parliament would not support the policy proposal because it serves as a disincentive for the growth of digital economy.

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

NPP reform proposals skewed to favour one flag bearer hopeful – Asiedu Nketia

The General Secretary of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), Mr Johnson Asiedu Nketia, has said he knew the constitutional reforms tabled by the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) at its National Delegates Conference in Kumasi, Ashanti Region, would be rejected.

Mr Asiedu Nketia made this comment during an interview with Iddrisu Awudu, host of Accra100.5FM’s morning show Ghana Yensom on Monday, 20 December 2021.

“As a General Secretary of the largest opposition party, I knew the party’s reforms were not going to be accepted because it was targeted at satisfying the presidential bid of one of the personalities in the struggle to lead the NPP for 2024 general elections”, Mr Asiedu Nketia said.

Mr Nketia stressed that the 91 constitutional reform proposals were all meant to push the presidential agenda of one of the aspirants.

“So, it came as no surprise to me when the amendments were referred to the National Council of the party”, he said.

He was of the view that constitutional reform proposals with ulterior motives will not succeed

Lordina Mahama puts Christmas smile on orphans’ faces

Former First Lady Lordina Dramani Mahama has led officials of her organisation, the Lordina Foundation, to present Christmas goodies to the children and staff of the Osu Children’s Home in the Greater Accra region.

This is an annual charity activity for Mrs Mahama, who has been supporting a total of six orphanages across the country, not only at Christmas but at other times during the year.

In addition to the Osu Children’s Home, the Lordina Foundation also sent items to the Christ Faith Foster Home at Fafraha, Tamale Children’s Home, Anfaani Children’s Home in Tamale, Bethesda Children’s Home and Frank May Children’s Home, both in Techiman.

Another beneficiary is the Gambaga Witch Camp

You’re a good campaigner but a poor leader – Mahama to Akufo-Addo

Former President John Dramani Mahama has said Ghanaians have come to the realization that President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo is poor at governance.

He was responding to Mr Akufo-Addo’s rhetorical question to the NDC to point to a single thought through policy initiatives they introduced when in government.

President Akufo-Addo while addressing supporters of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) at the national Delegates Conference in Kumasi on Sunday December 19 asked about the one policy that the NDC and former President John Mahama have thought about in five years that they have been in opposition.

“We have spent more money in improving the circumstances of our people than any government in the 4th republic. So when u leave here be proud that you have produced a government that has been most diligent in improving the lives of the people than any other government in the history of this country.

“All the things that we have done in government are things we thought about while in opposition, what is the one policy that the NDC and their leader John Mahama have thought about in five years that they have been in opposition. There is not one policy, the answer is zero,” the President said.

Mr Mahama replied him saying, if only Mr Akufo-Addo took a moment, in the comfort of his chartered jet, to read the People’s manifesto, he would have at least learnt about the policies introduced by the NDC.

“I think the President must take his responsibilities seriously and focus on working to change the circumstances of our people, rather than the rabble-rousing skits he serves the nation.

“To answer his rhetorical question on policy, if only he took a moment, in the comfort of his chartered jet, to read the People’s manifesto, he would have at least learnt about the ‘Big Push’ (an accelerated infrastructure plan for Ghana), ‘Free Primary Health Care Plan’, the ‘1 million jobs plan’, ‘Ghana FIRST’ (Framework for Industrial Revitalisation, Support and Transformation) and several other well-thought-through and costed policies.

“I am willing to provide him with an autographed copy of the manifesto. With his speech of yesterday, he has carved his niche as a good campaigner, but unfortunately a poor leader as Ghanaians have found out at great cost,” Mr Mahama said in a Facebook post

We’re better than NDC even under coronavirus – Bawumia

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Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia has said the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) has an enviable economic track record despite the ravaging effect of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Addressing teeming members of the NPP at the party’s National Delegates Conference in Kumasi on Sunday, December 19, the Vice President reiterated that COVID-19 has affected the cost of living virtually everywhere in the world and Ghana is not an exception.

“It is important to remind ourselves that notwithstanding the global adverse impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on economic growth, debt levels and deficits at the macro-economic level. Notwithstanding all of these challenges inflation, today stands at 12. 2% which is lower than what it is in 2016 which was 15.4%.

“Average bank lending today at 21% is much better than what they were in 2016 at 32%. According to the Bank of Ghana, the average exchange rate depreciation over the last 4-years of our first term is the lowest for any first-time government since 1992. The year 2020 witnessed the lowest rate of depreciation of the currency in 28-years and cumulative exchange rate depreciation this year November 2021 stands at 6.2% in 2017 it was 9.7%,” he disclosed.null

Vice President Bawumi further stated the NPP government has created over 750,000 jobs unlike their opponents the NDC who froze public sector recruitment.

“For the first time in over two decades’ trade balance, that is the difference between our import and export, recorded a surplus for four consecutive years. This year the data shows it will be five consecutive times notwithstanding COVID. Growth at the international reserve is 10.8 billion dollars,” he added.

Source: starrfm.com.gh

Bawumia next to lead!’ – NPP delegates chant, as Ashanti MPs mob him

Vice-President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia was ushered into the grounds for the New Patriotic Party’s National Delegates Conference in the Ashanti Region by almost all the governing party’s MPs who have constituencies in the region, when he arrived at the venue on Sunday, 19 December 2021.

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The Vice-President, upon reaching the entrance to the conference grounds, had to succumb to pressure from all the MPs in the region, as they offered to lead him inside the conference.

Delegates were heard chanting “next to lead” as the Vice-President entered the congress grounds.

Meanwhile, President Akufo-Addo has told the NPP delegates that whoever they choose as his successor will become the next president of Ghana after he leaves office.

Speaking at Juaben in the Ashanti Region after inaugurating the party’s constituency office complex, Mr Akufo-Addo said: “The party is having its national delegates conference”.

“Some people want to tempt us but they cannot match us. We have what it takes to make us achieve what we want”, he noted.

He added: “The person you choose to succeed me will become President after I leave office”.

According to him, “all Ghanaians are observing the conference” and, therefore, “I am pleading with you all to be disciplined. I also want you all to show unity among ourselves”.

“Let’s comport ourselves to ensure everything goes on smoothly”, the president urged, noting: “No party has been able to do what we have been able to do by organising constituency, and national delegates conferences”.

“We are also proving to Ghanaians that we are pioneers of democracy. I am, therefore, appealing to you all to be disciplined especially as it is happening in our stronghold.”

President Akufo-Addo also expressed reservations about the two-time rejection of his Chief Executive nominee for Juaben, Mr Alex Sarfo Kantanka.

The nominee is currently being investigated by the Office of the Special Prosecutor for allegedly demanding a refund of the bribe he paid to the assembly members to buy their vote.

President Akufo-Addo said: “Anyone who opposes my nominee next time will incur my wrath”.

“I am here to congratulate the residents of Juaben for having this beautiful edifice. If it can be replicated in all 275 constituencies across the country, it will help the NPP a lot.”

Speaking about national issues, the president said: “I admit that Ghanaians are going through difficult times; some people are trying to say that it is my fault but you know that is not the case”.

“I am hopeful that if you all support the vision of this government, we will be able to turn things around

FULL TEXT: Bawumia’s Address At NPP’s National Delegates’ Conference

Kukrudu!
Kukrudu!!
Kukrudu!!!
The National Chairman of the New Patriotic Party, Hon. Freddie Blay,
Your Excellency President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo
Your Excellency, Former President John Agyekum Kufuor,
Members of the National Council of the NPP,
Honourable Ministers of State
Majority Leader
Honourable Members of Parliament,
Distinguished Elders of our Party,
Chiefs and Traditional Leaders,
Members of the Diplomatic Corps,
National, Regional, Constituency, and Polling Station Executives,
Rank and file of the great Kukrudu Family,
Representatives of other political parties,
Members of the Media,
Assalamu Alaikum!

This is our first annual delegates conference since the 2020 election. Congratulations to each and everyone of us for our victory. My thanks to everyone including our footsoldiers, polling station executives, electoral area coordinators, constituency executives, regional executives, and national executives and party supporters who in diverse ways worked so hard for this victory; those who were in the markets, those who went door to door, those who contributed resources, those who manned the polling stations, those who collated our results, those who secured our pink sheets, and so on. Ayekoo to all of you!

Interestingly, the NDC decided to challenge our victory at the Supreme Court. However, rather than mounting a serious effort, they rather went there to tell us that they were given tea without biscuits!

You remember that when we went to the Supreme Court after the 2012 election we presented over 10,000 pink sheets. We told the Court that we were relying on the data contained in the Pink Sheets because “You and I were not there”. When Asiedu Nketia went to the Supreme Court he said rather surprisingly that they were not there to challenge the results! Really? And when they asked him for the pink sheets he said and I paraphrase “My Lords the pink sheets are not there”.

The Supreme Court told them that ‘no pink sheet no case.’ Their case was fundamentally incompetent.

So bottom line is that they had no evidence to challenge our victory notwithstanding all the noise they made to deceive their members.

Kukrudu!

It is very important to remind ourselves that our party and the Danquah-Busia-Dombo tradition was built on the patriotism, strategic thinking, actions, dedication, sacrifices and accomplishments of such great political icons of our country and party such as Dr. J.B. Danquah, Chief S.D. Dombo, Baffuor Osei Akoto, Edward Akufo-Addo, Mr.William Ofori Atta, Alhaji Yakubu Tali, Tolon Naa, Obetsebi Lamptey, Prof. K.A. Busia, Jato Kaleo, Naa Abayifa Karbo, Alhaji Aliu Mahama, C.K. Tedam, S.G. Antor, Albert Adu-Boahen, R.R. Amponsah, J.B. Da Rocha, J.H. Mensah, J.A. Kufuor and Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo. Without them we would not be here.

We are also indebted to so many men and women who have sacrificed and continue to sacrifice for our party and country on a daily basis most of whom may not have gotten outward recognition.

Mr. Chairman, it is our collective responsibility, as members of the great Kukrudu family and as Ghanaians, to ensure that the sacrifices of these great men and women have not been in vain. They have built and handed over to us a party and a tradition that we must always treasure. We have a charge to continue this great legacy.

We have worked hard as a government under the leadership of H.E. Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and are committed to continuing to serve the good people of Ghana. Protecting our efforts, vision and legacy means we necessarily have to break the eight as we have termed it.

In this regard, let us all be aware that breaking the eight will not be easy. It has not been done before in our history but I believe that if we are united, we will break the eight. United we stand, divided we fall. Our success will depend on how well we conduct ourselves going forward; a strong united party with a focus on highlighting our successes while countering the desperate, misleading and misguided NDC propaganda. Rather than taking down each other, we must focus on taking down the NDC who will be a disaster for this country.

Kukrudu!

The NPP has a solid record of achievement in the Fourth Republic. Our party has become the most important driver of the Ghanaian vision and development agenda. We have been responsible for the most important policies which touch every Ghanaian in every corner of our nation, the NHIS, the school feeding program, the free antenatal services, the Free SHS, the free TVET program etc.

As we meet here today at Conference, we are reminded that it is the party that birthed the government. Thus, strengthening party-government relations is key to our collective success.

I believe that Insha Allah we will be able to break the eight because our record is a superior record. Whether we are talking about agriculture, industry, roads, housing, education, health, transformational policies like digitalization, social interventions and so on the comparison between us and the NDC will be like night and day. Can you remember any transformational policy implemented by the NDC in their last 8 years in Government? Can you remember any social intervention implemented by the NDC in their last eight years in government to reduce the suffering of Ghanaians?

KUKRUDU!

It is important to acknowledge that we in the NPP have not solved all the problems facing Ghanaians but we have solved many problems and we have a plan we are working to. Afterall, we are only in the first year of a four year mandate which was given to us at the end of last year.

The COVID-19 pandemic has increased the cost of living virtually everywhere in the world including countries like the US, UK, Germany, Japan, Nigeria, Cote d’Ívoire, etc. and Ghana has similarly been affected.

Nevertheless, it is important to remind ourselves that notwithstanding the global economic adverse impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on economic growth, debts and deficits, at the macroeconomic level,

Inflation in Ghana today at 12.2% is lower than it was in 2016 (15.4%)

Average Bank lending rates in Ghana today (21%) are much lower than they were 2016 (32%)

According to the Bank of Ghana, the average exchange rate depreciation over the last four years (7.3%) is the lowest for any first term government since 1992. The year 2020 recorded one of the lowest rate of depreciation in the last 28 years. The cumulative exchange rate depreciation of 2.6% in November 2021 the year is lower than 9.7% depreciation recorded in 2016.

For the first time in over two decades, the trade balance (the difference between what we export and what we import) recorded a surplus for four consecutive years from 2017-2020.
Gross International Reserves are at $10.8 billion (4.9 months of import cover compared to $6.9 billion (3.5 months of import cover) in 2016

Our record of creating jobs (over 750,000 jobs) is vastly superior to the record of the NDC government which froze public service recruitment.

So if our performance on the key macroeconomic indicators (inflation, interest rates, depreciation, external reserves, trade balance and jobs) during the worst global pandemic in 100 years is better than your performance without such a pandemic how can you say your economic management is better?

KUKRUDU!

The changes we are making as a party in government are historic and we are building on the distinguished legacy of President J.A. Kufuor. Ours is a government that is thinking outside the box to transform Ghana.

Under the leadership of Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo:

For the first time in our history, Ghana has successfully issued a digital National ID card

For the first time in our history, Ghana has implemented a Digital Property Address system

For the first time in our history, Ghana has Mobile Money Interoperability

For the first time in our history, any Ghanaian who has a National ID card can open a bank account using their mobile phone

For the first time in our history, over 80% of adults in Ghana have Tax Identification Numbers versus 4% in 2017

For the first time in our history, Ghana has drones for medical delivery and is the world’s largest medical drone delivery service.

For the first time in our history Ghana is implementing One district one district hospital (AGENDA 111). By the end of our second term we would have built more hospitals than any government in our history.

For the first time in our history Ghana is implementing One district one factory – Our government has facilitated the establishment of more factories than any other government since independence.

For the first time in our history, Ghana has Paperless clearing of goods at the ports

We have digitized the process of passport acquisition

For the first time in our history, Ghana has digitized the process of drivers license acquisition

For the first time in our history, Ghana has implemented the Ghana.Gov platform. A one stop shop for public service delivery

For the first time in our history, Ghanaians can renew their NHIS membership from their mobile phones

For the first time in our history, Ghanaians can apply for scholarships on their mobile phones

For the first time in our history, Ghanaian students can apply for student loans without the need for a guarantor

For the first time in our history, Government is implementing a pension scheme for cocoa farmers

For the first time in our history, Ghanaians and law enforcement can find out the insurance status of any vehicle on their mobile phone using the Motor insurance database

For the first time in our history, Ghanaians were provided free electricity for life line consumers for a year during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic

For the first time in our history, Ghanaians were provided 50% reduction in electricity tariffs for non-life line consumers for a year during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic

For the first time in our history, Ghanaians were provided free water for a year during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic

For the first time in our history import duties on all goods were reduced by between 30%-50%

For the first time in our history, Government has provided Free Wifi to over 700 senior high schools, 42 colleges of education and 13 public universities

For the first time in our history, Ghanaian pensioners can obtain their SSNIT pension 10 days after making an application.

For the first time in our history, Ghana is implementing a Nationwide E-Pharmacy which I will launch next week. We will be one of a few countries in the world to have a nationwide E-Pharmacy.

For the first time in our history, Government, has implemented a One Constituency One Ambulance programme

For the first time in our history, Government has established a Zongo Development Fund

We have built more roads in our first term than the first term of any government in the Fourth Republic and we are continuing.

For the first time in our history, we are implementing Free TVET and have established the Ghana TVET service

For the first time in our history, our Government has implemented Free SHS and confounded the naysayers.

And by the Grace of God, for the first time in the history of the Fourth Republic, we will break the 8!

The future is bright for the youth and for Ghana, so lets stay with the elephant.

Thank you for your attention.
God Bless the NPP and
God bless our homeland Ghana

I want to hand over power to NPP govt in 2025 – Akufo-Addo

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has expressed the desire to hand over power to an NPP government in 2025 but indicated that internal party actions leading to the next election will actualise that dream or not.

“Every step taken now leading to 2024 is going to be decisive either to give us victory or not,” he told party delegates in Kumasi on Sunday.

The New Patriotic Party is in Kumasi for it’s annual delegates conference to take stock, amend portions of it’s constitution and touch base with it’s grassroots.

The president said competition within the party could not be avoided but “it help the party and not hinder it so we can break the eight.”
But he reckoned that it would require discipline and a united front; promising a level playing field for all presidential aspirants to produce an acceptable leader to be backed by all.

Economy

On the economy, the president said he was aware of the situation in the country and the difficulties people were going through as a result of the economic slowdown caused by the COVID 19 pandemic.

However, he said it was not time to through our hands in despair as a people indication his government was determined to bring Ghanaians out of the situation.

The president said the solution lied with the “Obatampa” economic programme which if followed through will lead to progress and prosperity for all.null

Touting his economic achievement in the last five years, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo said his government has spent more money on education, health, agriculture, infrastructure especially roads than any other government under the fourth republic.

He said most of the programmes and projects being executed were thought through while in opposition challanging the main opposition party, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) to point to one social intervention they rolled out while in government.
Majority in parliament

President Akufo-Addo seized the opportunity to clarify what appear to be a wrong impression about the majority and minority status in parliament.

Himself, once an MP said the standing orders of Parliament focused on majority groupings and not party saying as things now NPP are the majority groupings following the addition of the Fomena MP.

He commended NPP parliamentarians for supporting government business and passing the appropriation budget last Friday with the hope of navigating the final fave of the bill.

Veep Bawumia

The Vice president, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia jabbed the NDC by making mockery of it’s 2020 presidential election petition describing it as “fundamental incompetence.”

He said after deceiving it’s followers of winning the election, the NDC came to court to change the narratives that indeed no one won the election.

To him, the NPP has become the most important driver of the Ghanaian vision and developmental agenda and responsible for most important policies that touched on the lives of everybody.

The Vice president said comparing the NPP and the NDC was like comparing day and night.

Focusing more on the NDC the Vice-president said the opposition party has no transformational policy unlike the NPP which has rolled out at least 25 social interventions to reduce the suffering of Ghanaians.

He reckoned that the government had not solved all the problems facing Ghanaians but per the macro economic indicators, the NPP has performed better.

For instance, he said inflation as of today stood at 12.2 per cent while under the NDC in 2016 it was 15.4.

According to him, average bank lending rate under the NPP is 21 per cent while under NDC it was 32 per cent.

To him, average exchange rate depreciation over the last four years is the lowest since 1992 while trade balance has recorded surpluses consistently for four conservative years.

On jobs, the vice president said the government has created at least 750,000 to the unemployed youth.

Kufuor

In a message sent to the conference, former President John Agyekum Kufuor, called for reconciliation among the rank and file of the party membership.

“With unity and committed fellowship, the party and government’s attractiveness will be urgently restored and deepened,” he said.

Former president Kufuor said the party must urge party headquarters to urgently equip itself with a professional strategic team to ensure that it’s opponents do not outsmart the party in the current battle of wits which is pervading in the national political arena.

He said this has to be sustained to guarantee victory for the party in the 2024 general elections.

The former president said under no circumstances must leadership of both party and government become detached from the grassroots since it will destroy the tradition’s of Democratic genome.

Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu

The Majority Leader and Minister of Parliament Affairs, Mr Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, appealed for a serious introspection of things that were holding the party down.

According to him, if the NPP is able to unleash it’s full potential it will be difficult for any other political party to operate in contemporary time.

But he insisted that this could only be realised if the party members were able to burry their hatred against each other after primaries.

Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu said the increasingly monetization that accompanied the party’s internal elections called for refection on the appropriate methods in choosing party leaders at all ranks of it’s structure.

He said the current system only helps to widen and deepen the gaps rather than helping to build a united party.

The Majority Leader reckoned that the current system only breeds factionalism which is tearing the party apart.

The Suame legislator applauded the people of Ashanti for playing a central role in the party’s last election and it was time to connect with the grassroots.

He described the region as the nerve centre of the party saying that Kumasi was always crucial in determining who wins any general elections.

Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu said, however, that as a party it was time to confront the reality and not assume that everything was right.

Wontumi

The Ashanti regional Chairman of the party, Bernard Antwi Boasiako (Wontumi), in a characteristic mood touted Ghana as a better place to be even better than the USA and the UK under the COVID-19 regime.

He reiterated the need for unity because according to him, “development will not fall from heaven.”

He reassured party faithful that the party was working hard to win the 2024 election and beyond because “it’s a movement and cannot be stopped.”

Chairman Wontumi as he is affectionately called said not even the NDC could stop it.

Ama Benyiwa Doe was a trailblazer for women in politics – Mahama

Former President John Mahama has said for the “icon that she was, Ama Benyiwa Doe was a thought leader and change maker; a gender activist and champion of women’s rights”.

The former Central Regional Minister passed away on Sunday, 19 September 2021 at Tema.

She was 73 years old.

She battled ailments in her dying embers.

She first became an MP for Gomoa West Constituency in the Central Region after the 1992 election.

She was buried over the weekend.

Mr Mahama was in attendance at the funeral.

He later wrote in a tribute: “Indeed, it would be almost impossible to document the history of women leadership in our country without including the role played by Aunty Ama”.

“She broke the glass ceiling and blazed the trail of political leadership, thereby, paving the way for increased women participation in politics”.

“She demonstrated that it could be done and done well

NDC has not been able to collate 2016, 2020 election results – John Boadu

General Secretary of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) John Boadu has said that his party is better at organizing elections and collating results than the main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC).

Speaking during the national delegates conference of the NPP in Kumasi on Sunday December 19, he said the NDC has not been able to collate the results for both the 2016 and 202 general elections.

“NDC has still not been able to collates it s 2016 and 2020 election results,” he said.

For his part, the Majority Leader Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu lamented the actions of some leaders of the NPP that cost the party more parliamentary seats during the 2020 elections.

He said bitterness, division and the failure to unite the supporters after internal elections were some of the issues that affected the party.

He also raised issues against the way primaries are conducted to elect parliamentary candidates for the party.

The Suame Lawmaker noted that currently, defending the government in Parliament has become the work for a few lawmakers because the experienced ones who would have done that were dropped in the primaries.

“The history of 2008 should guide us,” he said.

He added “I want to sound this caution because we have enough time to correct them.”

“The lies, the hatred will not advance the interest of the Dankwa-Busia-Dombo great tradition,” he further stated.

The National Chairman of the NPP Freddie Blay noted that his party is in a contest with a formidable opposition party that is ready to take advantage of their weakness.

He has therefore asked the NPP to remain united, eschew arrogance and keep its base stronger in order to withstand the opposition party, the National Democratic Congress (NDC).

Speaking at the national delegates conference in Kumasi on Sunday December 19, he said “if we are united, if we eschew arrogance, if we work with our people, if we keep base, come 2024 we shall still retain power.”

Ashanti regional chairman of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Bernard Antwi Boasiako (Chairman Wontumi) assured the party that they will win the 2024 elections.

He said during the national delegates conference that the main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) cannot stop the governing party from wining the next elections.

“It is a movement and no one can stop us,” he said.

The Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) Joseph Boahen Aidoo also said the NPP has learned its lessons out of government and in government.

Speaking to TV3’sa Roland Walker in Kumasi in the ongoing national delegates conference of the NPP, he said “We have gone out of government before and we have come to power so we have learned lessons

NPP conference: Ghana now better than US, UK because of Akufo-Addo – Wontumi



The Ashanti regional Chairman of the New Patriotic Patriotic Party Bernard Antwi Bosiako known popularly as Chairman Wontumi says Ghana is currently better than the United States of America and the United Kingdom because of the governance of President Akufo-Addo.

According to him, the progress Ghana has seen since the NPP won power in 2016 has been unprecedented.

“Ghana is now better than United States, Ghana is better than UK because of the development Akufo-Addo is bringing to Ghanaians, everyone can see it,” he said at the party’s ongoing National Delegates Conference in Kumasi.

Ahead of the conference, President Akufo-Addo has challenged members of the party to prove to Ghanaians that they understand democracy.

“The party is having its national delegates conference. Some people want to tempt us but they cannot match us. We have what it takes to make us achieve what we want. The person you choose to succeed me will become President after I leave office. All Ghanaians are observing the conference. I am pleading with you all to be disciplined. I also want you all to show unity among ourselves,” the President said this at Juaben in the Ashanti Region when he commissioned the party’s constituency office complex.

He added: “Let’s comport ourselves to ensure everything goes on smoothly. No party has been able to do what we have been able to do by organizing constituency, and national delegates conferences. We are also proving to Ghanaians that we are pioneers of democracy. I am therefore appealing to you all to be disciplined especially as it is happening in our stronghold.”



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

Show us evidence of your thought through policy – Akufo-Addo dares Mahama

President Akufo-Addo has dared former President John Mahama and the National Democratic Congress to show Ghanaians evidence of any thought through policy while in opposition.

The President while addressing NPP supporters at the ongoing national Delegates Conference in Kumasi, the President said he is aware that Ghanaians are currently going through hardships but he is working to fix things.

“We have spent more money in improving the circumstances of our people than any government in the 4th republic. So when u leave here be proud that you have produced a government that has been most diligent in improving the lives of the people than any other government in the history of this country.

“All the things that we have done in government are things we thought about while in opposition, what is the one policy that the NDC and their leader John Mahama have thought about in five years that they have been in opposition. There is not one policy, the answer is zero,” the President said.

Bawumia

Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia has told supporters of the New Patriotic Party in Kumasi at the ongoing National Delegates Conference that ‘breaking the 8’ will be difficult but a possibility if they work together.

The Vice President said the NPP has an enviable track record of performance as compared to the opposition National Democratic Congress.

“Breaking the 8 will not be easy, it has not been done before in our history but if we stand together it is possible and it will be done,” he said a thunderous applause from party supporters.

Also, the Ashanti regional Chairman of the New Patriotic Patriotic Party Bernard Antwi Bosiako known popularly as Chairman Wontumi says Ghana is currently better than the United States of America and the United Kingdom because of the governance of President Akufo-Addo.

According to him, the progress Ghana has seen since the NPP won power in 2016 has been unprecedented.

“Ghana is now better than United States, Ghana is better than UK because of the development Akufo-Addo is bringing to Ghanaians, everyone can see it,” he said at the party’s ongoing National Delegates Conference in Kumasi

We want to break the 8 for Ghana – Akufo-Addo

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has said that he is determined to hand over power to the next presidential candidate of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) in the 2024 general elections.

He said the NPP is determined to break the 8-year cycle in order to sustain the economic growth seen under his administration.

Speaking at the NPP’s delegates conference in Kumasi on Sunday December 19, he said “I am determined to hand over the baton to the next NPP presidential candidate.

“We want to break the 8 not just for ourselves but for Ghana because we know the zigzag, NPP comes to clean for them to be polluted , this is not the way progress will be brought to our country.

“We need secure period in office to make that irreversible change in the fortunes of our nation and we are capable of doing it. We will get a candidate that will unify our party and all of us will campaign to make that candidate the next president of the Republic.”

He further urged members of the NPP to embrace internal competition because competitions are part of the political exercise but cautioned the party against unhealthy competition that will hinder the determination of the party to break the 8-year cycle in the next general elections.

Mr Akufo-Addo said “Competition, we cannot avoid competition. Competition there will be but let that competition help the party and not hinder the party so that we can break the 8 in 2024.”

Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia for his part said that the Akufo-Addo administration is thinking outside the box to transform the country.

He said a number of initiatives have been introduced by the government to transform the economy through digitalization

“Ours is a government that is thinking outside the box to transform the country,” he said.

He added “For the first time in our hoistory Ghana has drone for medical delivery, Ghana is implementing one district one hospital under agenda 111

“By end of our second we would built more hospitals that any government. Our government is building one district one factory.

“For the first time in our history students can apply students loan without a guarantor.”

Dr Bawumia further urged members and supporters of the NPP to remain united and rally behind the government.

Majority Leader Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu for his part lamented the actions of some leaders of the NPP that cost the party more parliamentary seats during the 2020 elections.

He said bitterness, division and the failure to unite the supporters after internal elections were some of the issues that affected the party.

He also raised issues against the way primaries are conducted to elect parliamentary candidates for the party.

The Suame Lawmaker noted that currently, defending the government in Parliament has become the work for a few lawmakers because the experienced ones who would have done that were dropped in the primaries.

“The history of 2008 should guide us,” he said.

He added “I want to sound this caution because we have enough time to correct them.”

“The lies, the hatred will not advance the interest of the Dankwa-Busia-Dombo great tradition,” he further stated

Akyem Osiem: Crowd mobs Mahama at ex-Council of State member’s church

A crowd of men, women and children instantaneously thronged the Saviour Church at Akyem Osiem, Eastern Region, on Friday, 17 December 2021, which is headed by a former Council of State member Opanyin Abraham Adusei, to mob former President John Mahama, who had visited to celebrate a court victory with the leader of the church.

https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?height=476&href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2FAccra100.5fm%2Fvideos%2F978234672780184%2F&show_text=false&width=357&t=0

Opanyin Adusei won a long-drawn case by a 3-2 majority decision at the Supreme Court.

The crowd sang victory-themed songs and danced on the compound, as the 2020 flag bearer of the main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), waved at them and danced along in the company of the party’s National Chairman, Mr Samuel Ofosu Ampofo and other national executives.

Mr Mahama later wrote on Facebook: “I was very pleased to visit Opanyin Abraham, Head of Saviour Church, to congratulate him on a recent victory in a long and protracted legal tussle at the Supreme Court”.

“Opanyin Abraham served as a Member of the Council of State when I was President”, he added.

The Supreme Court Bench was presided over by Justice Yaw Appau.

The other members include Justice Gabriel Pwamang, Justice Avril Lovelace-Johnson, Justice Clemence Jackson Honyenuga, and Justice Issifu Omoro Tanko Amadu.

The apex court ordered the Registrar-General to cancel and expunge from the records of certificate of incorporation No. G19550 dated 7 February 2007, in the name of Saviour Church of Ghana, on the claims of fraud.

The court also perpetually restrained the plaintiffs, their directors, privies, and associates from holding themselves as having anything to do with the church.

The court, however, said the defendant, on the terms set by the [plaintiff], may readmit any member of the Elias Asirifi faction back into the church.

The case has been in court for 24 years.

It started after the death of one Isaac Asirifi Asante.

The plaintiffs, Asante Asirifi and two others, run to the court and praying that Opanyin Adusei be restrained from holding himself as the General Superintendent of the church and from using the name of the church for anything.

They alleged that the church was incorporated in 2007, as a limited liability company, and insisted they alone had the legal right to operate with the church’s name.

According to them, Opanyin Adusei had exceeded his legal mandate and had been using the name of the church wrongly.

However, in 2014, a ruling in a High Court presided over by Justice Gertrude Torkornoo, dismissed the application.

The court held that the church was established in 1924 with its general headquarters at Osiem, where Opanyin Adusei had, over the past years, been operating.

The court, therefore, dismissed the application and awarded a cost of GHS10, 000.00 against the appellant, Mr Asirifi, and two others.

Source: classfmonline.com

Your contribution to my govt invaluable – Akufo-Addo to Council of State

President Akufo-Addo says the contribution of the Chairman of the Council of State (CoS), Nana Otuo Siriboe II, Omanhene of the Juaben traditional area to his administration for the last five (5) years has been invaluable.

He made these statements during a courtesy call by Nana Otuo Siriboe II for attending his 50th anniversary since his enthronement as Omanhene of the Juaben traditional area together with the President of South African, Matamela Cyril Ramaphosa.

President Akufo-Addo said the 7th and 8th Councils of State led by Nana Otuo Siriboe, have provided him will sound council which has largely informed the timely decisions he has made as the President of the republic.

“It is my prayer that God will continue to give you strength so you will continue to help me with your good counsel. Perhaps, if I did not have you as the chairman of the Council of State, I may not have had all the good advice I am getting now” President Akufo-Addo said.

“I thank you and all your colleagues for the strategic advice you have given me over the years and your timely intervention on national issues that have been brought to your attention” Akufo-Addo added.

Nana Otuo Siriboe II

Nana Otuo Siriboe II, in his thank you message indicated that President Akufo-Addo and his South African Counterpart, Matamela Cyril Ramaphosa’s participation in his celebration, elevated the occasion to a national and an international level.

“On behalf of myself, my council of elders, the Juaben traditional council and the planning committee of the celebration wish to register our sincere thanks to you for honouring the people of Juaben with your presence” Nana Otuo Siriboe II said.

Gift of the President

He disclosure that President Akufo-Addo, donated one hundred thousand Ghana cedis (GHc 100,000.00) to the planning committee of the celebration to defray some of their cost incurred as part of preparations towards the celebration.

To this kind gesture, Nana Otuo Siriboe II, registered the appreciation of the entire Juaben traditional area to President Akufo-Addo and his administration

You can’t stop NPP from winning 2024 elections – Wontumi to NDC

Bernard Antwi-Boasiako is the Ashanti Region Chairman of the NPP

Ashanti regional chairman of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Bernard Antwi Boasiako (Chairman Wontumi) has assured the party that they will win the 2024 elections.

He said during the national delegates conference of the NPP in Kumasi on Sunday December 19 that the main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) cannot stop the governing party from winning the next elections.

“It is a movement and no one can stop us,” he said.

The Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) Joseph Boahen Aidoo also said the NPP has learned its lessons out of government and in government.

Speaking to TV3’sa Roland Walker in Kumasi in the ongoing national delegates conference of the NPP, he said “We have gone out of government before and we have come to power so we have learned lessons.”

former Member of Parliament for Tema East, Nii Kwartei Titus Glover, has asked the NPP to remain united after the national delegate conference on Sunday December 18.

He cautioned members of the party against making utterances that give the main opposition party political weapons to use against them ahead of the 2024 general elections.

The former Deputy Transport Minister told TV3 in an interview that “I want to see us at the end of this conference more united, we need to see ourselves as one NPP family.

“The target is how continue to be in power , the polices and programmes of his excellency Nana Addo and Dr Bawumia are so phenomenal.

“The party people will cotinine to see that it is only when you are in power that we can do a lot for our people. I will appeal to our part rank ad file, they need to to be a bit cautious.

“Sometimes some of our commentaries, some of our pronouncements are not good enough because the more you start making negative kinds of commentaries you energize the opposition.”

The NPP are expected to take key decision during the conference.

Another stalwart of NPP based in the United States, Dr Arthur Kobina Kennedy penciled a number of issues he believes the party has to address if they are to break the 8-year cycle.

Ahead of the event, Dr Arthur Kennedy in a statement said “The first issue we must address is that of who is entitled to vote for our National leaders and Presidential candidate.

“There are many proposals to enlarge the electorate. Some want ex-MPs, others want more Nasara co-ordinators etc.”

By Laud Nartey|3news.com|Ghana

NPP gov’t is best to manage Ghana’s economy – Freddie Blay

National Chairman of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) Freddie Blay, has said the governing NPP is the best to manage the economy of this country.

To that end, he called on the party to remain united ahead of the next general elections in order to continue staying in power to deliver good governance to Ghanaians.

Speaking during that NPP’s national delegates conference in Kumasi on Sunday December 19, he said “we have to remain united so that at the end of the four years the people will vote for us or whoever represents in the 2024 elections.”

He further noted that his party is in a contest with a formidable opposition party that is ready to take advantage of their weakness.

He has therefore asked the NPP to remain united, eschew arrogance and keep its base stronger in order to withstand the opposition party, the National Democratic Congress (NDC).

Speaking at the national delegates conference in Kumasi on Sunday December 19, he said “if we are united, if we eschew arrogance, if we work with our people, if we keep base, come 2024 we shall still retain power.”

Ashanti regional chairman of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Bernard Antwi Boasiako (Chairman Wontumi) assured the party that they would win the 2024 elections.

He said during the national delegates conference of the NPP in Kumasi on Sunday December 19 that the main opposition NDC cannot stop the governing party from wining the next elections.

“It is a movement and no one can stop us,” he said.

The Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) Joseph Boahen Aidoo also said the NPP has learned its lessons out of government and in government.

Speaking to TV3’sa Roland Walker in Kumasi in the ongoing national delegates conference of the NPP, he said “We have gone out of government before and we have come to power so we have learned lessons.”

By Laud Nartey|3news.com|Ghana

Be disciplined, let’s comport ourselves – Akufo-Addo to NPP

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has asked members of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) to be disciplined because Ghanaians are watching.

He said this at Juaben in the Ashanti Region when he commissioned the NPP’s constituency office complex, where he called on inhabitants to support whoever he nominates as the Municipal Chief Executive for the area.

“The party is having its national delegates conference. Some people want to tempt us but they cannot match us. We have what it takes to make us achieve what we want.

“The person you choose to succeed me will become President after I leave office. All Ghanaians are observing the conference. I am pleading with you all to be disciplined. I also want you all to show unity among ourselves.

“Let’s comport ourselves to ensure everything goes on smoothly. No party has been able to do what we have been able to do by organizing constituency, and national delegates conferences.

“We are also proving to Ghanaians that we are pioneers of democracy. I am therefore appealing to you all to be disciplined especially as it is happening in our stronghold,” he said.

He added “I admit that Ghanaians are going through difficult times, some people are trying to say that it is my fault but you know that is not the case. I am hopeful that if you all support the vision of this government, we will be able to turn things around,” the President said this at Juaben in the Ashanti Region when he commissioned the party’s constituency office complex on Saturday

Sustain NPP in power, NDC will collapse all good policies if they win power – John Boadu

The General Secretary of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) John Boadu has pleaded with Ghanaians to keep the party in office in the next general elections in order to continue implementing good policies to benefit Ghanaians.

He said the NPP has over the years implemented pro-poor policies and programmes to support Ghanaians hence, should be kept in power to ensure sustained economic growth.

Speaking duirng the NPP’s delegates conference in Kumasi on Sunday December 19, he said “I will like to humbly appeal to Ghanaians vote massively for the NPP to continue the good work.”

“If we allow the NDC to come back to government they will collapse the policies. They do not believe in Free SHS, I believe they will collapse it, they do not believe in NABCO and I believe they will collapse it,” he said among other things.

 He further said the NPP is better at organizing elections and collating results than the main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC).

According to him, the NDC has not been able to collate the results for both the 2016 and 2020 general elections.

“NDC has still not been able to collates it s 2016 and 2020 election results,” he said.

For his part, the Majority Leader Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu lamented the actions of some leaders of the NPP that cost the party more parliamentary seats during the 2020 elections.

He said bitterness, division and the failure to unite the supporters after internal elections were some of the issues that affected the party.

He also raised issues against the way primaries are conducted to elect parliamentary candidates for the party

NDC’s election petition was fundamentally incompetent – Bawumia

Mahama’s petition on the 2020 elections was unanimously dismissed by the Supreme Court

Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia has mocked the National Democratic Congress (NDC) following the petition they filed at the Supreme Court to challenge the 2020 election results.

Speaking at the New Patriotic Party’s national delegates conference in Kumasi on Sunday December 19, he said the petition was fundamentally incompetent.

“Interestingly, the NDC decided to challenge our victory at the Supreme Court . However rather than mounting a serious efforts they rather went to the Supreme Court to tell us that the electoral commission gave them tea without biscuits .

“You remember that when we went to the Supreme Court after the 2012 elections to challenge he result we presented over 10,000 oink sheets to support our case. we told the court the that we were relying on the data contained on the pink sheets because you and I were not there.

“When Asiedu Nketia went to the Suprema Court he was asked where is you evidence, where are your pink sheets, Asiedu Nketia said and I paraphrase him , Mr Lords the pink sheets are not there . Then why are you here? he said my Lords we are not here to challenge the results.

“Their election petition was fundamentally incompetent. The bottom line is that they had not evidence to challenge our victory not withstanding all the noise they made to deceive their supporters.”

Dr Bawumai further urged members and supporters of the NPP to remain united and rally behind the government.

“Ours is a government that is thinking outside the box to transform the country,” he said.

He added “For the first time in our hoistory Ghana has drone for medical delivery, Ghana is implementing one district one hospital under agenda 111

“By end of our second we would built more hospitals that any government. Our government is building one district one factory.

For the first time in our history students can apply students loan without a guarantor

Breaking the 8’ won’t be easy – Bawumia

Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia has told supporters of the New Patriotic Party in Kumasi at the ongoing National Delegates Conference that ‘breaking the 8’ will be difficult but a possibility if they work together.

The Vice President said the NPP has an enviable track record of performance as compared to the opposition National Democratic Congress.

“Breaking the 8 will not be easy, it has not been done before in our history but if we stand together it is possible and it will be done,” he said a thunderous applause from party supporters.

Also, the Ashanti regional Chairman of the New Patriotic Patriotic Party Bernard Antwi Bosiako known popularly as Chairman Wontumi says Ghana is currently better than the United States of America and the United Kingdom because of the governance of President Akufo-Addo.

According to him, the progress Ghana has seen since the NPP won power in 2016 has been unprecedented.

“Ghana is now better than United States, Ghana is better than UK because of the development Akufo-Addo is bringing to Ghanaians, everyone can see it,” he said at the party’s ongoing National Delegates Conference in Kumasi

Ghanaians going through hard times, but not my fault – Akufo-Addo

President Nana Akufo-Addo

President Akufo-Addo has admitted things are difficult in the country but notes it is not his fault.

“I admit that Ghanaians are going through difficult times, some people are trying to say that it is my fault but you know that is not the case. I am hopeful that if you all support the vision of this government, we will be able to turn things around,” the President said this at Juaben in the Ashanti Region when he commissioned the party’s constituency office complex on Saturday.

The comments come on the back of the public outcry over the decision by government to introduce a levy on electronic cash transactions.

Despite the sustained protest by a section of the public, government insists the levy must pass in order to resuscitate the economy.

Meanwhile, Parliament has passed the appropriation bill amidst disagreements.

The vexed matter of the E-Levy which the finance committee failed to consider over disagreements compelled the House to adjourn sitting to next week Monday.

This is contrary to plans for the House to rise for the Christmas break after sitting. The Majority side led by its leader Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu wanted both the appropriation bill and the E-Levy bill to be considered by the finance minister before sitting ended.

The Minority side led by its leader Haruna Iddrisu however rejected such a move arguing his side could only partake in the passage of the appropriation bill.

The Tamale South MP demanded the E-Levy be deferred. The matter was then left to the finance committee to decide. Disagreements at the committee eventually led to the shelving of the E-Levy bill with the house passing only the appropriation bill to enable the president to spend from the consolidated fund after expiration of the 2021 appropriation Act which expires December 31.

NPP has learnt its lessons – COCOBOD CEO

The Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) Joseph Boahen Aidoo has said the governing New Patriotic Party has learnt its lessons out of government and in government.

Speaking to TV3’sa Roland Walker in Kumasi in the ongoing national delegates conference of the NPP, he said “We have gone out of government before and we have come to power so we have learned lessons.”

Meanwhile a former Member of Parliament for Tema East, Nii Kwartei Titus Glover, has asked the NPP to remain united after the national delegate conference on Sunday December 18.

He cautioned members of the party against making utterances that give the main opposition party political weapons to use against them ahead of the 2024 general elections.

The former Deputy Transport Minister told TV3 in an interview that “I want to see us at the end of this conference more united, we need to see ourselves as one NPP family.

“The target is how continue to be in power , the polices and programmes of his excellency Nana Addo and Dr Bawumia are so phenomenal.

“The party people will cotinine to see that it is only when you are in power that we can do a lot for our people. I will appeal to our part rank ad file, they need to to be a bit cautious.

“Sometimes some of our commentaries, some of our pronouncements are not good enough because the more you start making negative kinds of commentaries you energize the opposition.”

The NPP are expected to take key decision during the conference.

Another stalwart of NPP based in the United States, Dr Arthur Kobina Kennedy penciled a number of issues he believes the party has to address if they are to break the 8-year cycle.

Ahead of the event, Dr Arthur Kennedy in a statement said “The first issue we must address is that of who is entitled to vote for our National leaders and Presidential candidate.

“There are many proposals to enlarge the electorate. Some want ex-MPs, others want more Nasara co-ordinators etc

Kumasi roar as Alan arrives at NPP delegates conference

Minister of Trade and Industry, Alan Kyerematen on Sunday, December 19, 2021, arrived at the Baba Yara Sports Stadium for the New Patriotic Party’s 2021 Annual Delegates Conference to a rousing welcome from party delegates and grassroots in the Ashanti Region.

The Minister who made a grand style entry to the conference, had NPP faithfuls, well-wishers supporters and sympathisers chant to the glory set ahead of him. “It’s Alan’s Time”, Yɛ nim no fri tete” “Time aso oo Time aso”, “Eduru ne so”.

The chants garnered enough momentum that everyone sang the praise of the minister to the admiration of all.

Alan’s camp believes that this comes up as a “little bit surprising since there are abundant indicia that the NPP’s code of conduct and directives on posters and billboards of perceived presidential aspirants was targeted at Alan Kyerematen. The aim was to lessen his momentum.

Even though, Alan Cash and others have no poster or billboards in Kumasi, Dr Bawumia still have his billboards erected around places like Suame. However, like the day of Pentecost, this lifted the spirits of all causing them to fall under the Alan mode.”

This charged the atmosphere that one would think it is was an Alan thank you tour.

For the NPP’s tradition to go on, they believed that Mr. Alan Kyerematen must be given the mantle to lead the NPP come 2024.

Dating back to the party’s 2007 delegates conference, Mr. Kyerematen sacrificed for his President Akufo-Addo, the honour of being the party’s flagbearer by not going for a re-run after the presidential primaries at Legon.

This sacrifice, some members of the party said, needs to be rewarded and the time is now.

“He demonstrated statesmanship in 2007 and have what it takes to restore NPP and Ghana to its lost glory,” a supporter said.

Though Mr. Kyerematen has not openly declared his intentions of contesting for the party’s flagbearership, many have tipped him as the rightful person to succeed President Akufo-Addo

Gov’t’s digitization drive offers sports entities opportunity to rebrand and maximise revenue – Bawumia

The Vice President, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, has urged stakeholders in the Ghanaian sports industry to embrace government’s digitization drive to maximise the potential of sports to the youth and the Ghanaian economy.

Speaking as the Distinguished Guest of Honour at the 46th SWAG Awards in Accra, Dr. Bawumia stressed that sports has become a global industry providing opportunities to the youth and contributing immensely to economies around the world.

However, the Ghanaian sports industry, the Vice President noted, is lagging behind and has not realised its potential due to the failure to take advantage of the evolution of sports in different eras.

“In a recent interview with CNBC, I said that Ghana cannot miss out on the 4th Industrial Revolution after missing out on agriculture, industrial and ICT revolutions. Tonight, I want to state, and urge all sports stakeholders in Ghana that Ghana sports cannot afford to miss out on the oportunities of digitalization after missing out on television revenue and sustainable sponsorship,” Dr. Bawumia said.

“The digitization agenda of the government offers sports entities in Ghana a unique opportunity to transform their brands and maximise their revenue stream through e-membership, e-ticketing and e-commerce,” he added.

“By adopting the concept of digitization, which is the norm for all sports brands around the world, Ghanaian sports entities, especially football clubs, should be able to rake in more revenues from their fans, even if they are a few thousands of fans.”

The Vice President said there can’t be a better time for the Ghanaian sports industry to embrace the use of digital technology as means of generating income after the growth of the sports was badly affected by the impact of coronavirus.

Advancing a strong case for digitization by Ghanaian sports entities, Dr. Bawumia referenced how clubs in Europe were able to keep themselves afloat during the peak of the pandemic through digitization, when competitions were suspended and games were played in empty stadia.

“Thanks to the power of television and other digital technologies, a number of leagues and competitions that were temporarily suspended returned, and millions of people around the world were reached and served their favourite sports, even as the world strived to find a solution to the pandemic.”

“And thanks to the power of sponsorship, merchandising, and digital technology, a number of European football clubs kept themselves afloat and to a considerable extent, survived the debilitating impact of the pandemic. Even though these clubs and sports federations lost revenues due to the economic impact of the pandemic, their core operation was not affected, and most of them did not require stimulus packages to survive.”

“The situation was, however, completely different in Africa, and here in Ghana in particular. Our sports federations and clubs were limited in maximising oportunities in television, sponsorship packages and e-commerce, even as they played in empty stadia.”

“The difference was that, while European sports federations and clubs had the luxury of leveraging on lucrative television deals, sponsorship packages and e-commerce, our federations and clubs were limited in leveraging these opportunities, which have become indispensable to sports development in this era.”

The Vice President continued that the negative impact of Covid-19 on sports in Ghana should be an opportunity for all stakeholders to reflect and have a second look at what they have been doing in Ghana sports that has not gone on well.

“Why have we not leveraged on media rights, sustainable sponsorship and lately digitization to re-position sports as a thriving industry in Ghana?” he asked.

“The moment for action is now, and I want to urge SWAG to spearhead the campaign to get our sports entities to embrace digitization. Digitization should be the new oil and gold for our sports entities.

“We have often stated throughout the last decade that sports has become big business. It has been so globally, especially in developed countries. Over there, the business nature of sports is not limited to only football. It is a huge industry encompassing all sports and all stakeholders, including sports writers.”

Dr. Bawumia assured members of the sports fraternity of the commitment of the Akufo-Addo government to support the development of sports in the country, to provide more opportunities for the youth.

To buttress government’s commitment, the Vice President listed a number of investments the Akufo-Addo government has made in sports infrastructure development and promotion of sports in the past five years.

These included the renovation of the country’s major sports stadia, ongoing construction of 10 multi purpose youth sports centres in ten different regions, Covid-19 stimulus packages to the sports industry, investment in sports national teams, as well as the decision to host the 2023 African Games in Accra, which he said will ensure the provision of infrastructure for other sports disciplines.

Dr. Bawumia, who had earlier supported SWAG towards the organisation of the awards, also presented 10,000 Cedis each to winners of two special awards he adopted, which were the Female Footballer of the Year and the Sports Journalist of the Year.

Olympic Bronze Medalist, boxer Samuel Takyi was adjudged the SWAG Sports Personality of the Year

NPP Conference: Ghanaians are suffering – NDC’s ‘fraternal’ message to Akufo-Addo

The Ashanti Regional secretary of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Kwame Zu, has told President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and the New Patriotic Party (NPP) that Ghanaians are suffering under their administration.

Delivering the NDC’s solidarity message during the NPP’s national delegates conference in Kumasi on Sunday December 19, Mr Zu said “Teachers are suffering, doctors are suffering, market women are suffering.”

He further asked the president to reconsider the e-levy proposal in the 2022 budget because in his view, it will worsen the plight of Ghanaians.

“This is not the time for the set of draconian set of taxes. reconsider your decision to impose the 1.75 per cent el-levy,” he said.

Meanwhile, the National Chairman of the NPP Freddie Blay has said the governing party is the best to manage the economy of this country.

To that end, he called on the party to remain united ahead of the next general elections in order to continue staying in power to deliver good governance to Ghanaians.

Speaking during that NPP’s national delegates conference in Kumasi on Sunday December 19, he said “we are have to remain united so that at the end of the four years the people will vote for us or whoever represents in the 2024 elections.”

He further noted that his party is in a contest with a formidable opposition party that is ready to take advantage of their weakness.

He has therefore asked the NPP to remain united, eschew arrogance and keep its base stronger in order to withstand the opposition party, the National Democratic Congress (NDC).

Speaking at the national delegates conference in Kumasi on Sunday December 19, he said “if we are united, if we eschew arrogance, if we work with our people, if we keep base, come 2024 we shall still retain power

Lies, hatred won’t help us – Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu to NPP

The Member of Parliament for Suame, Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu has warned members of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) against the lies and dislike for one another.

The Majority Leader said this attitude will not help the party going forward as they seek to remain in office beyond eight years.

He said these while speaking at the NPP’s national delegates conference in Kumasi on Sunday December 19.

He further said the experience of the 2008 elections in which the NPP lost power, denying them the opportunity to break the 8 after the Kufuor administration, should guide the NPP ahead of the 2024 general elections.

Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu further lamented the actions of some leaders of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) that cost the party more parliamentary seats during the 2020 elections.

He said bitterness, division and the failure to united the supporters after internal elections were some of the issues that affected the party.

“The history of 2008 should guide us,” he said.

He however noted that the party has enough time ahead of the next elections to right the wrongs.

He added “I want to sound this caution because we have enough time to correct them.”

“The lies, the hatred will not advance the interest of the Dankwa-Busia-Dombo great tradition,” he further stated.

Cardinal Appiah Turkson reportedly resigns

Vatican-based Cardinal Peter Appiah Turkson has written to Pope Francis not to continue to serve as Prefect of the Dicastery for the Promotion of Integral Human Development, multiple sources say.

The Ghanaian was appointed the first head of the Dicastery by Pope Francis in 2016.

Before then, he was the President of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace.

According to US-based Catholicnews.com, the Pope is yet to comment on the reported resignation of the only African heading a major Vatican office.

Pope Francis’s merging of the pontifical councils of Justice and Peace, Cor Unum, Migrants and Travelers, and Health Care Ministry is said to have created management challenges.

In June, Pope Francis asked Cardinal Blase J. Cupich of Chicago to conduct a visitation of the dicastery “in the context of a normal examination of the activity of the dicasteries, aimed at obtaining an updated understanding on the conditions in which they operate”.

A couple of months later, the head of the Roman Catholic Church named Salesian Sister Alessandra Smerilli as interim secretary of the human development dicastery, after the resignation of Monsignr Bruno-Marie Duffé, who served as secretary for four years.

Argentine Father Augusto Zampini, who was adjunct secretary of the office and coordinator of the Vatican’s Covid-19 Commission, also left.

Sister Smerilli later joined the management team of the Vatican’s Covid-19 Commission along with Cardinal Turkson and Scalabrinian Father Fabio Baggio, undersecretary of the dicastery’s Migrants and Refugees Section.

It is unclear what reason is behind the Ghanaian’s decision, if confirmed likely Thursday, December 23 at the traditional meeting for Christmas greetings with the Curia..

But sources say it may be because of the managerial challenges.

Cardinal Appiah Turkson, born on October 11, 1948 in Wassaw Nsuta, was made a cardinal by the late Pope John Paul II in 2003.

He was then Archbishop of Cape Coast.

He has two more years to proceed on mandatory retirement.

Despite the resignation, he is still regarded as the only African papabile, that is, a candidate for election to the papacy

It’s baseless to accuse NDC MPs of obstructing gov’t business – Minority Leader

The Minority Leader in Parliament, Haruna Iddrisu has said the opposition lawmakers are not frustrating the business of government in Parliament following the equal numbers in the House.

Mr Iddrisu stated that the minority have since the beginning of this parliament demonstrated fidelity to the collective aspirations of the people of this country and most importantly to the constitution of the republic.

In commitment to these democratic tenets, he said, the MPs on some occasions have been the subject of attacks by otherwise concerned members of its own political party.

“It is therefore without basis for anyone to suggest that this minority group seeks to obstruct government business at the least opportunity,” he said in a statement.

His comment comes at a time the Speaker of Parliament Alaban Bagbin has made a commitment not to preside over a House to frustrate the business of government.

In Parliament on Thursday December 16, Mr Bagbin said “Hon. Members, to conclude on these matters, let me reiterate my solemn pledge to the people of Ghana which I canvassed in my first formal communication to this House.

“I would not superintend over a Parliament to frustrate Government business, But, I will equally not preside over a weak House or be tagged as an errand boy of the Executive arm of government.

“This House is fully focused in discharging its mandate and will do so without any fear or favour, affection or ill-will in ensuring the ultimate best interests of the Ghanaian people are served.

“Let us continue to strengthen our channels of communication, foster dialogue, encourage broader stakeholder consultation and allow the processes we have adopted for our burgeoning democracy to thrive.”

The Asantehene, Otumfou Osei Tutu II, had also asked Parliament not to frustrate government in its role of implementing policies.

The Asantehene made the statement at Manhyia on Sunday December 12 after the debate on the 2022 budget statement was characterised by back and forth between the Majority and Minority legislators.

“It is to our good that our representatives in Parliament subject national budget to the most vigorous scrutiny and to call for changes. Government must always also have the humility to acknowledge and embrace useful inputs from all sources.

“But our representatives need to also bear in mind that  it is not the role to  either determine  policy for the executive  or to frustrate them from  performing their legitimate duty,” he said.

Mr Iddrisu’s statement said “The minority group in parliament have since the beginning of this parliament demonstrated fidelity to the collective aspirations of the people of this country and most importantly to the constitution of the republic. In commitment to these democratic tenets, the group on some occasions have been the subject of attacks by otherwise concerned members of its own political party. It is therefore without basis for anyone to suggest that this minority group seeks to obstruct government business at the least opportunity.

“On the contrary, we have at every instance demonstrated commitment to good governance, the 1992 constitution and the standing orders of parliament. An objective overview of the group’s stance on the current budget amplifies our fidelity to the national interest.

“Right after the Minister for Finance presented the government’s budget on behalf of the President, the minority group through its leadership indicated its opposition to aspects of the budget and called for a review, failure of which would compel the minority to reject the budget. Consistent with this call for a review which were not heeded to, the minority got the required votes to reject the budget policy on the 26th of November 2021.
The Majority responded to this lawful rejection with an irregular and illegal procedure purporting to rescind the earlier rejection and the nation looked on as they debased, in their usual fashion, democratic tenets.

“The minority’s efforts to reverse such rape of the constitution and gross disrespect of parliament’s standing orders were frustrated by an extremely partisan majority group and 1st Deputy Speaker.
Nonetheless the Minority group’s action compelled an engagement with the finance minister who have since made all concessions but one(The Killer E-Levy) on behalf of the President. He has written officially to parliament to modify the initial budget statement to reflect these concessions.

“Taking into consideration these concessions and modifications to the 2022 Budget Statement and Economic Policy, the Minority have since examined the sector ministries estimates, but remain vehemently opposed to that which the government remains adamant to withdraw, the killer E-Levy of 1.75%, which undoubtedly will subject Ghanaians to immense financial pressure and further thwart our nation’s ease of doing business and digitization drive.

“The Appropriation Bill for 2021 to cater for ordinary government business for 2022 has just been passed. The killer E-Levy bill has yet to be considered by Parliament. For the avoidance of doubt the Minority continues its opposition to the e-levy.

We in the Minority remain committed to exploring lawful and democratic means of getting the government to abandon this insensitive, obnoxious and regressive tax. Absolutely nothing can be more Ghanaian and progressive at this stage, than a demand that Government consider the economic challenges of the ordinary Ghanaian in rolling out taxes. We shall continue to hold government accountable and do so in the best interest of this country at all times. Thank you

NPP Nat. delegates confab: Let’s put party interest first before ours – Ntim to members

National Chairman hopeful of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) Stephen Ntim has urged party members who will attend the upcoming National Delegates’ conference on Saturday, 18th December 2021 in Kumasi to place the party’s interest first before their personal interests.

He has also reminded party members that they belong to the same family and party, hence all differences should be buried.

The former National First Vice Chairman in a statement to wish the NPP a successful conference said he fully endorses the directives from the party against the display of t-shirts, banners and posters within the Greater Kumasi Metropolis before and during the annual national delegates’ conference.

“It is important we use the conference to rather reflect and strategize to break the 8. I will like to seize this opportunity to call on all my cherished supporters to abide by all rules and guidelines issued by the party leadership for this year’s conference,” the experienced politician added.

Below is the full statement

MR Stephen Ayesu Ntim Wishes The New Patriotic Party a Successful National Delegates’ Conference.

Ahead of the National Delegates’ conference on Saturday, 18th December 2021 in the Ashanti Regional capital, Kumasi, I wish all dignitaries, party executives, party faithful, and teeming grassroot members of Our great party who will commute from far and near to the National Delegates conference a safe journey.

It is my fervent prayer that the Good Lord will grant all and sundry traveling mercies and protect you all from your origins to Kumasi and back home safely.

It is overtly enshrined in Article 9 of the NPP constitution that the party shall hold a National Annual Delegates Conference each year, to deliberate on all important matters concerning our great party. I would like to use this opportunity to show my delight in a tranquil manner the conferences across the 275 constituencies and the (16) Sixteen regions were held.

It is the synergy of our efforts that would make the Conference a success. I would urge everyone in attendance to place the party’s interest first before our personal interests. I would also want to remind all of us that we belong to the same family and party and should bury our differences.

I fully endorse the directives from the party against the display of t-shirts, banners and posters within the Greater Kumasi Metropolis before and during the annual national delegates’ conference. It is important we use the conference to rather reflect and strategize to break the 8.

I will like to seize this opportunity to call on all my cherished supporters to abide by all rules and guidelines issued by the party leadership for this year’s conference.

Finally, we are going to meet in Kumasi over the weekend. We have been looking forward to this day, and let’s keep this relationship alive. Meet you there.

I wish all delegates a successful conference.

Thank You

TIME ASOOOO TIME ASO!!!!

Stephen Ayesu Ntim
Former 1st Vice National Chairman

2022 budget: Finance C’ttee suspends consideration of E-Levy

Ken Ofori-Atta

Ken Ofori-Atta

The Finance Committee of Parliament has suspended consideration of the Electronic Transactions Levy Bill, 2021.

This means parliament is unlikely to pass or reject the bill if the House rises later today.

The minority has threatened to shoot down the controversial 1.75% E-Levy which is to affect mobile money Transactions among others arguing it is regressive.

Government will have to table the bill again after the Christmas break should the committee fail to table bill it in the plenary.

The proposed levy, which is expected to come into effect on 1 February 2022, is a charge of 1.75% of the value of electronic transactions. It covers mobile money payments, bank transfers, merchant payments, and inward remittances. The originator of the transactions will bear the charge except for inward remittances, which will be borne by the recipient. There is an exemption for transactions up to GH¢100 ($16) per day.

According to the finance minister, the total digital transactions for 2020 were estimated to be over GH¢500 billion (about $81 billion) compared to GH¢78 billion ($12.5 billion) in 2016. Huge growth in just five years

It’s not normal practice to disclose cost of Akufo-Addo’s travels – Kan Dapaah

Kan Dapaah is the Minister of National Security

The hopes of North Tongu Member of Parliament Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa to get answers on presidential Akufo Addo’s travels by the use of a rented jet allegedly has hit a snag as the the National Security Minister has declined answers to his questions.


Mr Ablakwa for months has filed questions to the Defense Minister, Finance Minister and the National Security Minister for answers on the cost of the presidents travels.


Answering to the question on the floor of parliament, on Friday December 17,Mr kan dapaah said he was unable to disclose the details as it constitutes top secret.

“Mr Speaker, recent official travels to France, Belgium, and South Africa by His Excellency the President are paid for out of the operational funds from the Ministry of National Security.

“Mr Speaker payments out of the ministry’s operational funds are glued with rules of confidentiality and state secrecy and it is not the normal practice…to make the suggested disclosures.”

It is recalled that Minister of State at the Ministry of Interior who is also the Member of Parliament of Abetifi constituency, Mr Bryan Acheampong, also said recenlty that he advised Mr Kan Dapaah not to release information on President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s trips outside Ghana.

He said during the debate on the 2022 budget statement on Tuesday November 23 that information about the President’s travels cannot be made public because of national security reasons.

He said “anytime our president travels he returns with goodies. He visited Germany and he came home with vaccines. Anytime he travels, he comes with goodies,” he said.

Mr Acheampong added “I advised the Minister of National Security to keep the information on presidential travels secret.

“It is not every information that can be divulged to the public. Hitherto, it was information that can be shared but it is no longer information that can be played in the Political arena,” he said

Collective vigilance, security consciousness is key in maintaining peace in Ghana – Bawumia

Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia has said security consciousness and collective vigilance is key in maintaining peace in Ghana.

According to him, Ghana’s northern frontiers are threatened due to the activities of terrorists in the sub region hence, the need to scale up vigilance and security.

“Parts of our sub region are engulfed by terrorism and embroiled in various forms of deprivation, unrest and violence. Ghana’s northern frontiers are seriously threatened, calling for a comprehensive approach to state security.

“I therefore entreat all of you to get involved in safeguarding the security of our dear nation. Our collectives vigilance and security consciousness is key in maintaining the peace in the country,” he said while addressing the short Service Commission Special Duties Course 59 of the Ghana Military Academy in Accra on Friday December 17.

In the area of illegal small scale mining (galamsey), Dr Bawumia further called on the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) not to halt its fight against the practice as well as lumbering in the country.

He believes that the effort of the GAF in the anti-galamsey agenda this will help protect and safeguard the interest of the country.

“I urge the Military to remains undaunted in the fight against illegal mining and lumbering I applaud the Ghana Armed forces for the successes chalked clearing out our water bodies of illegal miners,” he said

Though I lose my vote when I preside, I’m counted as MP – Joewise fires back

Joe Osei-Owusu is the First Deputy Speaker

The First Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Joseph Osei-Owusu, has explained that he does not lose his status as a Member of Parliament whenever he presides over proceedings in the House.

He said that is the privilege the two deputy speakers have over a substantive Speaker of Parliament.

He observed that referring to him as ‘Mr Speaker’ during deliberations anytime he is chairing does not make him the Speaker of Parliament to lose all privileges as MP for Bekwai Constituency.

“We call the person ‘Mr Speaker’ [and] that is the term adopted by the House to refer to the person presiding,” he explained in an exclusive interview with Media General‘s Evelyn Tengmaa on Thursday, December 16.

“But ‘The Speaker’ is the Speaker created by the constitution in Article 95. The Speaker is different from the deputy speakers. The Speaker is not a Member of Parliament, so you can never count him when you are counting members of Parliament.

“The deputy speakers are, in fact, members of Parliament.”

He said proceedings in the past couple of weeks the Right Honourable Speaker, Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin, has been away, he has been captured as an MP as well as Speaker.

“So, you see the vote and proceedings, at the end of it signed there – Joseph Osei-Owusu [as] First Deputy Speaker but then you go to members present and members absent and Joseph Osei-Owusu is also there because Joseph Osei-Owusu is a member of Parliament.

“The Speaker, Rt. Hon. Alban Bagbin, is not a Member of Parliament. If he presides, it will be there, Rt Hon Speaker ASK Bagbin but when you go to members present or absent with permission, his name will not be there. That’s the difference between the two of us.”

This comes in the wake of confusion over the legality behind recent proceedings in Parliament.

Speaker Bagbin on Friday, November 26 presided over the loss of Minister of Finance’s motion on the 2022 budget statement and government’s economic policy.

This took place in a House of 137 Minority MPs.

The Majority later described the exercise as illegal, insisting the Speaker, who left the country just a day after the vote, committed a wrong.

“We want to put it on record that the Speaker was totally wrong in what business he purportedly undertook in the House in our absence,” the Leader of the Majority MPs, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, said.

But when he returned from his medical review, Speaker Bagbin insinuated that his first deputy had erred in counting himself on Tuesday, November 30 to quorate the House in adopting the Finance Minister’s motion.

“As to whether a vice president can preside over a cabinet which had earlier on taken a decision on a subject matter presided over by the President and without consulting the president to rescind the decision earlier taken, is for your kind debate as instructed but who am I to say my deputy, the First Deputy Speaker, the Honourable member for Bekwai Constituency, Honourable Joseph Osei-Owusu, Joewise, he might have indulged in an act of misconduct tantamount to insubordination?” he sought.

But Joewise, as the First Deputy Speaker is affectionately called, insists: “When I preside, I lose my vote. I can’t vote but it doesn’t mean I am not a Member present.

“There is no way our proceedings will be correct if I am not marked present

I’ll Smoke You Out Dead Or Alive- IGP Tells Cop Killers …Places GHC50,000 Bounty On Killers

Inspector General of Police, Dr. George Akufo-Dampare has offered a GHC50,000 bounty on the alleged armed robbers who shot and killed two police officers in Zuarungu in the Upper East Region.

Constables Emmanuel Akowuah and Adam Suley lost their lives when they unknowingly ran into three suspected armed robbers while on motorbike patrol within the Zuarungu Township.

Police investigation revealed that the robbers attacked a supermarket at gun point and succeeded in robbing the victim of an amount of GHC2,000.

The two police officers while on routine patrol unexpectedly appeared on the robbery scene and fired at by the robbers who were attempting to flee the scene.

The bullets pierced into the fuel tank of the police motorbike which exploded into flame and partially burnt Constable Adam Suley.

Police has conveyed the bodies and deposited at the Bolgatanga Regional Hospital for preservation and autopsy.

Investigation by police revealed five empty shell of AK47 ammunitions and one empty shells of BB cartridge ammunition. Police have conveyed the exhibits together with burnt motorbike to assist with investigation.

On Thursday December 16, 2021, Dr George Akuffo Dampare who visited the nuclear families and colleagues of the two officers who met their untimely demise announced bounty on the heads of the robbers in the Upper East Region.

According to him, anybody who offers information that would lead to the arrest of some criminals who murdered the two police officers on Wednesday December 15, 2021 stands to gain GHS50,000 as a reward.

He further directed the Eastern and Volta Regional Police Commanders to lead a delegation to Kibi and Alanvanyo respectively to commiserate with the extended families of the two slain police officers and convey the condolences of the Police Administration.

The IGP assured the families of the police officers of the determination of the police to arrest the three suspected armed robbers to face full rigors of the law for their callous act.

In order to achieve that a special anti-armed robbery taskforce has been deployed to assist the Upper East Regional Police Command in combating robbery and any other violence crime in the region to safeguard lives and properties

Get vaccinated – Oppong Nkrumah rallies Ghanaians

Kojo Oppong Nkrumah 643

Compulsory vaccination to be enforced in January 2022

President Akufo-Addo debunks COVID-19 conspiracy theories

President Akufo-Addo urges Ghanaians to “act responsibly” ahead of yuletide


The Minister of Information, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, has rallied Ghanaians to make themselves available at various vaccination centres to be receive inoculation against COVID-19.

The Ghana Health Service (GHS) and President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo have in recent times expressed concerns over vaccine hesitancy and the level of conspiracy theories being puddled about the vaccines.

A cross section of Krobos in the Eastern region refused to take the COVID-19 jab fearing that it will cause them to vote for the New Patriotic Party (NPP) in the 2024 general elections.null

But President Akufo-Addo, in an address to the nation on Wednesday December 15, 2021, debunked the claims stating that it was ‘outrageous’.

“Getting vaccinated will not cause you to vote for the NPP in the 2024 elections if you do not want to. This is an outrageous claim. Vaccination cannot change your political preference,” he emphasized.

Manager of the Expanded Programme of Immunisation at the Ghana Health Service (GHS), Dr. Kwame Amponsah Achiano, has also disclosed that large quantities of vaccines have expired in the Volta region due to hesitancy.

Taking to social media, the information minister pleaded with the populace to take the jab.

“Get vaccinated please!!!!” the Offoase-Ayirebi MP wrote on his Twitter timeline.null

Get vaccinated please!!!!— Kojo Oppong Nkrumah (@konkrumah) December 17, 2021

Already, the Director of Health Promotion at the Ghana Health Service (GHS), Dr Dacosta Aboagye, has disclosed that an Executive Instrument (E.I) is being drafted to make vaccination compulsory before an individual can access public places such as workplaces, churches and bars.

“We are pleading with the Ghanaian population to support us with this [vaccination] because we are all not safe until everyone is vaccinated. It is very important and come January, should you not do this, you will not be able to get to certain public places. I must be honest, we are working on the EI that will mandate us to do that,” Dr. Dacosta said on Joy News’ “The Pulse” on Wednesday December 15, 2021.

Earlier, Dr. Dacosta Aboagye indicated that compulsory vaccination will kick start in January 2022.

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

Ghana will transform beyond 2024 with NPP in power – Education Minister

Osei Adutwum 1

Minister for Education, Yaw Osei Adutwum has hailed the President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo for his efforts in strengthening the education sector, with particular emphasis on his free SHS policy, TVET among others.

Yaw Adutwum, in a one on one interview with Kwami Sefa Kayi on Peace FM’s “Kokrokoo” on Thursday, outlined some developmental projects by the President to enhancing the sector.

He touched on the government’s efforts to help students acquire technical skills and other practical skills that will better integrate them into the society ensuring they become great future leaders.

He stated that education is the backbone of every economy, therefore the President and the Education Ministry are committed to equipping students with the requisite tools to access quality education.null

“If your education system is transformed, your country will be transformed in a blink of an eye. Education is the centerpiece. If you don’t get education right, everything else you do” will be wrong”, he said.

He urged Ghanaians to vote for the New Patriotic Party to stay in power, so the President’s vision won’t be messed up by a different government.

“Ghana is going to change beyond 2024 with NPP in government. NPP will be in power. Ghanaians don’t want a bad thing. They like good things”, he assured.

Source: peacefmonline.com

Remove ‘premature-ejaculating’ NPP flagbearer aspirants from govt – Baako tells Akufo-Addo

Seasoned Journalist, Abdul Malik Kweku Baako says President Nana Akufo-Addo should expel from his government any of his appointees who aspire to become flagbearer of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP).

The NPP will on Saturday, December 18, 2021, hold a conference at the Baba Yara Stadium in Kumasi, Ashanti Region, to deliberate on party matters.

Ahead of the conference, the leadership has warned their members and supporters not to mount billboards nor campaign for any person.

“Prior to and during the conference from December 18 to 20, 2021, no billboards and or signboards, banners or any kind of outdoor signage with the images and or names of individual members, with or without the consent of the individual, shall be acceptable. This applies to the area within the Greater Kumasi Metropolis. All such displays, if put up already, should be removed,” a statement by the party read.

It continued; “Any person, with or without his or her consent, whose image is flaunted on any advocacy material and who does not take active steps to desist from any public display of aspiration for a position within the precincts of Greater Kumasi runs a higher risk of disqualification in the event nominations are declared open.”

This notwithstanding, there are reports of billboards showcasing some leading members of the party for Presidential positions being mounted in Kumasi ahead of the conference.

Recounting a similar thing that happened during the reign of Ex-President J.A Kufour, Kweku Baako charged President Akufo-Addo to crack the whip on his officials who cannot discipline themselves but reveal their intentions now to contest the flagbearership race.

Making his submissions on Peace FM’s ”Kokrokoo”, he said; “It was in 2007 that this thing started, meaning the third year in the second term. This is the first year in the secon term. It doesn’t make sense. I believe the President should begin to use reshuffle as part of his bargaining chip . . . He should start using it; crack the whip indirectly there and then!”

He urged the President not to favour any person stating emphatically that, “no matter how big you are, if in the first year, you can’t hold onto your Presidential ambitions in check, then you must as well just not be in the system . . . if they will prematurely ejaculate before even the third year, if I were the President, I would adopt this method . . . if you won’t reshuffle them, get them to resign”.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/X4lxAwM59e4

Source: peacefmonline.com

Make chiefs signatories to mining concessions – Otumfuo

Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu II is calling for an amendment of the 1992 Constitution to make chiefs signatories to mining concessions.

Again, the Asante monarch has suggested that traditional leaders be given equities in mining companies that operate within their areas to enable them to also benefit from the natural resources on their land.

According to him, if the chiefs owned equities in the mineral resources, they would be the first to protect the resources and prevent illegal mining, popularly known as ‘galamsey’.

The Asantehene made these remarks at the end-of-year meeting with the Ashanti Regional House of Chiefs at Manhyia in Kumasi on Thursday, 16 December 2021.

He also tasked chiefs in his jurisdiction not to engage in multiple sales of land and warned that any chief found culpable will be de-stooled.

Otumfuo Osei Tutu II also applauded the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Mr Samuel A. Jinapor, for his leadership in tackling matters relating to lands and the natural resources of the country.

According to the traditional leader, since the assumption of office, Mr Jinapor has discharged his duties and responsibilities with lots of diligence, humility, truth and integrity.

This, he said, will take the minister very far in his political career.

The minister was present at the meeting to address the 39-member Regional House of Chiefs on the government’s policies in the lands and natural resources sector.

In an address, he described the New Land Act 2020, as a composite law that encompasses all issues regarding land administration in Ghana.

He said Section 2 of the Act criminalises ‘landguardism’ and grants a sentence of 10 years to anyone who engages in that “forceful conduct”.

The Act, he said, also stipulates the establishment of customary land secretariats across all traditional areas, adding that foreigners cannot purchase and own land for more than 50 years in the country.

The minister also announced the setting up of a committee to look into matters and concerns raised by the chiefs relating to the entry into forest reserves by miners.

He bemoaned that 80 per cent of the country’s forests, since 1900, has been depleted and reiterated that the government has currently banned all forms of reconnaissance, prospecting and mining in forest reserves and declared them as “no-go areas”.

Mr Jinapor pleaded with the chiefs to draw his attention to anyone or company prospecting in forest reserves within their jurisdiction, saying, “prospecting for over 3 to 10 years is mining and must be stopped immediately”.

He also expressed gratitude to the Asantehene for the invitation and assured the house that his ministry will continue to collaborate with Otumfuo and his council to mitigate the challenges in the sector while improving performance at all levels.

The Executive Secretary of the Lands Commission, Mr James Dadson, said the Commission is poised to open more district offices to help decentralise their services.

“We will work with you, Nananom, to register all boundaries to prevent overlaps and bring peace,” he concluded

IGP storms Zuarungu after armed robbers kill two police officers

Constables Emmanuel Akowuah and Adam Suley are said to have lost their lives as they responded to distress calls of a robbery attack on a shop at the Zuarungu Market.

The Inspector General of Police, Dr George Akuffo Dampare, has visited families and colleagues of two officers who met their untimely demise in a shoot-out with armed robbers in Zuarungu in the Bolgatanga East District of the Upper East Region Wednesday night.

Constables Emmanuel Akowuah and Adam Suley are said to have lost their lives as they responded to distress calls of a robbery attack on a shop at the Zuarungu Market.

The robbers upon seeing the police officers on their patrol motorbike shot at them, hitting the fuel tank which exploded and burst into flames.

According to a police situational report, Constable Adam Suley was partially burnt by the flames.

Rifles of the deceased officers are said to have been taken away by the robbers.

IGP Akuffo Dampare, in the company of members of the Regional Security Council (REGSEC), visited the crime scene on the morning of Thursday, December 16, 2021 to assess the situation.

He also visited families of the officers and the chief of the area to commiserate with them.

It was an emotional moment as colleague officers could not be consoled as they shed uncontrollable tears when the IGP visited them at post.

He assured the entire residents of Zuarungu and its environs of police protection.

Meanwhile, officials have put an unnamed ransom on the head of the robbers, who are perceived to be of Fulani extraction.

The sitrep announced an intelligence-led operation to arrest the robbers has been launched.

Source: 3News

Over 280,000 jobs projected under 1D1F – Trade Minister

Alan Kyerematen1212121213131

1D1F an Akufo-Addo administration initiative

148 projects under construction completed, Alan Kyerematen

106 factories currently operational


Minister of Trade and Industry, Alan Kyerematen has disclosed government is projecting to create over 280,000 jobs under the One-District-One Factory initiative.

According to him, the industrialisation initiative has so far created over 153,000 direct and indirect jobs with some 106 factories currently in operation.

Answering questions on the floor of Parliament on December 15, 2021, sector minister for trade and industry said the initiative is expected to propel job creation efforts and enhance industrilisation.null

“The 106 factories that are currently operational have created a total of 153,782 direct and indirect jobs. Mr. Speaker, it is expected that when the additional 148 projects currently under construction are completed, the cumulative number of direct and indirect jobs created will increase to 288,599,” Alan Kyerematen said.

The One-District-One-Factory initiative forms part of the New Patriotic Party administration’s agenda towards industrialization; value addition and job creation.

The initiative is hinged on promoting local participation in economic development with the motive of encouraging community-based public/private partnerships with an aim of yielding results through a massive private sector-led nationwide industrialization drive.

The industry-focused agenda also seeks to equip and empower communities to utilise their local resources in manufacturing products that are in high demand both locally and internationally.

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

NABCo workers’ll be paid – John Boadu promises

The General Secretary of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) has assured all aggrieved beneficiaries of the Nation Builders’ Corps (NABCo) programme, including those who are members of the party, who have genuinely worked but have not been paid that they will be settled in due time.

According to Mr Boadu, the party is following up with Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta to ensure that all the beneficiaries are paid.

But for the intervention of the party, Mr Boadu said a lot of the beneficiaries would have ended up on the streets jobless when their contracts ended in October this year.

Mr Boadu said such interventions form part of the party’s internal feedback role to bridge the gap between the grassroots and the government.

Mr Boadu made the comment when he spoke to Iddrisu Awudu on Accra100.5FM’s morning show on Thursday, 16 December 2021 about a threat by some members of the party to demonstrate over the weekend during the party’s National Delegates Conference in Kumasi for having been neglected.

For instance, he said there once was a situation where School Feeding Programme Coordinators in the Tamale metropolis of the Northern Region claimed they had not been paid and the party forwarded that complaint to Cabinet where the matter was addressed at the presidential level.

He noted that the party always follows up on some of these concerns whenever they are raised by supporters of the party across the country.

“It is not as if party leaders are sitting aloof without doing anything about some of this feedback when they come up”, he noted

Source: Classfmonline.com/cecil Mensah

Fuel price to fall by 3 to 5% as year ends – IES

The Institute of Energy Security (IES) has said the price of fuel is expected to fall further as the year comes to an end.

For the local fuel market, the IES said in a statement on Thursday, 16 December 2021 signed by Mr Fritz Moses, Research Analyst, that “prices decreased marginally within the window under review”.

GOIL, the largest market shareholder amongst the Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs), reduced its margins on the Price Build-Up (PBU), “eventually resulting in reduced prices at their pumps, as part of measures to cushion customers from the rising fuel prices and following demands by the Ghana Private Road Transport Unions (GPRTU) for reduced fuel prices”.

The IES observed that other OMCs also followed suit.

The current national average price of fuel per litre at the pump is pegged at GH¢6.58 for both gasoline and Gasoil, representing a decrease of 2% from the previous window’s national average price of GH¢6.71 per litre, the Institute noted.

It said for the pricing window under review, Benab Oil, Cash Oil, Goodness Oil, Top Oil, Zen Petroleum, Star Oil and Frimps Oil sold the “least-priced fuel on the local market” while Shell (Vivo), Total, Engen, GOIL, Allied, Petrosol, and Puma had the “highest-priced fuel on the market”, according to IES’ market scan.

On the world market, the IES said for the window under assessment, the price of the international benchmark, Brent crude, averaged about $81.01 per barrel, “representing an increase of 0.98% from the previous window’s average price of $80.25 per barrel mark”.

Concerns about the pandemic, the Institute mentioned, “weighed on oil prices during the recently closed trading window, following reports that the Omicron variant was set to have a negative impact on oil consumption”.

“These findings are in spite of reports that the variety in question causes far fewer symptoms among those infected than previous varieties”.

However, it said there is “still some concern on the market about the possibility of more COVID-19 measures that might” result in the cutting of “oil consumption going forward”.

“On a global scale, oil prices began to rise shortly after the opening of this window but gains were limited by investor concerns about oil demand following the reimposition of new restrictions in Europe and Asia, in response to an increase in coronavirus cases, which were primarily caused by the Omicron variant of the virus”.

It noted that Brent prices have received a “confidence boost, as a result of the decision by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to increase output by another 400,000 barrels per day in January”.

The market, IES observed, has reacted “positively to the decision, indicating that it is a favourable development”.

The prices of finished products as monitored on Standard and Poor’s worldwide Platts platform, indicate that the price of the international commodities; gasoline (Petrol) and Gasoil (Diesel), have fallen over the period.

The gasoline price declined by 11.68% to $685.68 per metric tonne at the closing of the window, down from $776.36 per metric tonne earlier in the previous window.

Gasoil price also fell by 8.64% to close trading at $628.28 per metric tonne, down from $687.70 per metric tonne in the previous window.

Additionally, the IES said data collated by its economic desk from the foreign exchange (forex) market shows the cedi “depreciated marginally against the U.S. dollar”.

“The exchange rate stands at GH¢6.21 against the US dollar, representing a 1% depreciation from the previous rate of GH¢6.15”.

It said with the 0.98% increase in the price of the international benchmark, Brent crude, together with the 11.68% decrease in gasoline price and 8.64% decrease in Gasoil price; the institute projects a “3 to 5% downward adjustment in the price of fuel per litre at the various pumps despite the marginal depreciation of the cedi of 1%

I would not superintend over a Parliament to frustrate gov’t business – Bagbin

Speaker of Parliament Alaban Bagbin has reiterated his commitment not to preside over a House to frustrate the business of government.

In Parliament on Thursday December 16, he said “Hon. Members, to conclude on these matters, let me reiterate my solemn pledge to the people of Ghana which I canvassed in my first formal communication to this House.

“I would not superintend over a Parliament to frustrate Government business, But, I will equally not preside over a weak House or be tagged as an errand boy of the Executive arm of government.

“This House is fully focused in discharging its mandate and will do so without any fear or favour, affection or ill-will in ensuring the ultimate best interests of the Ghanaian people are served.

“Let us continue to strengthen our channels of communication, foster dialogue, encourage broader stakeholder consultation and allow the processes we have adopted for our burgeoning democracy to thrive.”

Below is his full address in Parliament…

Formal Statement by the Rt. Hon. Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin, Speaker of Parliament, on the rejection or rescission of the 2022 Budget Statement and Economic Policy of Government

Introduction

Hon Members, before I proceed to address the topic of my official communication, permit me to praise and glorify the Almighty God/Allah, my fortress and my Lord, for the travelling mercies and the regeneration and renewal of my body and life.  Thanks be to you, oh Lord, the creator and master of the universe. I am eternally grateful to you for your grace and love.

I also thank Hon Members for holding the fort in my absence, despite the fact that the conduct of some Members raises fundamental issues bordering on a complete disregard of parliamentary practice, procedure and process of the House. I have taken my time to read the Order Paper, Votes and Proceedings and the Official Reports of the days in issue. And I am convinced we should accept the view of the conscience of the nation that we owe Ghanaians an apology and I will proceed to do just that.

As the Head of Parliament, the voice of the Legislature, who speaks for and on behalf of Parliament, hence the title Speaker, I, with all humility apologize on behalf of the House and all the members, for the aberrations of conduct and behavior of members on those days. I take responsibility for what happens in the House and I admit the House is neither dignified nor exalted by those rancorous and unruly behavior of members. I promise to do everything within my power and authority to lead the House to chart a path of transformation, decency and change, a change for the better. 

The conduct of members on those days also touches on the legality of the decisions arrived at in the House and how we arrived at those decisions. It will help for members to look at these issues dispassionately, in humility, devoid of egos and partisanship. As a House of honor, dignity and measureless might and majesty, members of Parliament should, for a while, allow the 1992 Constitution, the enabling laws, precedents and the Standing Orders of the House to lead the way.

Members need to think about how to strengthen the work of this House and by extension, strengthen Ghana’s democratic governance. Members need to consider the precedents we set by every decision and action we take in this house. Over and above that, members must bear in mind that as Members of Parliament, they also represent the people – the citizenry – not just political parties.

Hon Members, just try to recollect, or view a playback of the proceedings or read the Official reports of those sittings, and you will appreciate what I am referring to. What happened was grave disorder with its resultant comedy of errors and I will not take lightly a repeat of such disorder and indiscipline in the House.

Hon Members, I will not bore you or our audience with a recount of the scenery of those proceedings, it is however, incumbent on me to make a pronouncement on these matters and provide some direction on the path to be taken as a House to ensure we are taking steps to fulfil our sacred duty to the people of Ghana. To do this, it is necessary to summarize a few proceedings in order to lay a foundation for me to propose the way forward.

Quorum for the Conduct of Business and Quorum for Voting in Parliament

  1. Hon. Members the first matter that requires some pronouncement is the matter of a quorum which formed the basis for the decision taken by the House to rescind the rejection of the 2022 Budget Statement and Economic Policy of Government.
  2. Admittedly, the Constitution prescribes the quorum for the conduct of business of the House; a lack of quorum meant the business cannot be done. A quorum for one-third of members is required for the commencement of business; a quorum of not less than one-half of members is required to determine, for example, a resolution for approval of international loans and a quorum of not less than two-thirds of members is needed to amend some provisions of the constitution. Depending upon whether it is just to legitimize it to conduct business of Parliament, or take an ordinary decision or make a resolution. See Articles 69 (11), 75 (2) (b), 82 (1), 95 (2) (d), 102, 104, 106 (10), 113 (2), 174 (3), 181 (1), 268 (2), and 291(3). The provision that deals with the basic components of a quorum to transact business are;
    1. One-third of all members of Parliament,
    2. except the one presiding.
  3. Hon. Members, the question of whether or not a quorum exists either for the conduct of Parliamentary business or for taking of vote in Parliament is therefore a question of fact. The practice in all Parliaments since the inception of the 4th Parliament has been to raise the issue of quorum on the floor of Parliament at the time the business or the vote is being taken.
  4. Hon. Members, admittedly it is a responsibility of the Chair to make a determination if there is a quorum at the beginning and at any time during the sitting of the House. However, there is a presumption of quorum to undertake business unless a question is raised. The Chair may in the absence of an objection to the contrary, presume that the House is duly constituted for its work. It is only when such an objection has been raised that the Speaker may then take steps in compliance with Order 48 of S. O. of the House. This is due to a practical challenge of the Speaker knowing at every time the number of members present in the House.
  5. Suffice it to say, however, that where the fact of the absence of a quorum is notoriously obvious to the chair, then perhaps it may be incumbent on the Chair to raise the issue suo moto.
  6. Be that as it may, Hon. Members, the precedents and the practices and conventions of this House, require that the issue of quorum be only raised on the Floor. When the matter is not raised on the floor, the only prima facie indication of the number of Members present is in the record of the Votes and Proceedings of the House.
  7. The following instances are quite instructive on this account;
  8. On the 20th of June 2002, the sitting of the House was suspended after an objection was raised by Hon. Kwakye Addo, MP for Afram Plains South for the absence of a quorum to commence public business. The Rt. Hon. Peter Ala-Adjetey began the process of adjourning the House until his attention was drawn to the fact that Members had begun to fill the chamber. It is important to reiterate the comments of the then Majority Leader, Hon. Paapa Owusu-Ankomah who cautioned that the issue of quorum be looked at since members could be in attendance at Committee sittings, and be conducting Parliamentary business, but not present on the Floor of the House and thus, not counted for the purpose of forming a quorum. Hon. Paapa Owusu-Ankomah’s premise is viewed on a point of law. The issue of quorum is on members present in Parliament and not on the floor or in the Chamber of Parliament. Refer to Articles 102, 104, etc. 
  9. Similarly, on the 22nd of February 2014, this House stood adjourned when the issue lack of quorum was raised by Hon. Afenyo-Markin. 
  10. Again, on the 9th of November 2018, it was Hon. K.T Hammond who raised the issue of lack of quorum in the House during the consideration of the RTI Bill.
  11. On 20th November 2019, Rt. Hon. Speaker Prof. Ocquaye suspended sitting after the Hon. Mahama Ayariga indicated that the House did not have the numbers to continue the debate on the 2020 Budget. Again, in this instance the issue of quorum was raised by a member during the proceedings.
  • Hon. Members, what the precedents tell us, and they abound, is that the issue of lack of quorum is usually raised by a Member of the Hose or the Speaker himself having regard to the numbers in the House may ask for an adjournment or suspension of sitting due to the absence of a quorum.
  • Hon. Members, staging a walk-out is a legitimate form of protest and is part of our Parliamentary norms and practices. Indeed, there have been several walk-outs since 1997 and each side of the aisle has used it as a legitimate tool to register their displeasure with one issue or the other.
  • The staging of a walk-out, however, does not render Parliament incapable of performing its functions.
  • Hon Members, may I refer to three (3) instances where walkouts and boycotts have been deployed and the business of the House has continued despite the walkouts.
  • On August 22, 2003, the Minority staged a boycott of the House in protest against the NHIA Bill. Business of the House continued despite boycott. The total number of majority members used to justify a quorum was the number 101, recorded on the Votes and proceedings of the day and not the number on the floor.
  • On the 23rd of February 2005, the Minority staged a walkout of the House because of the consideration of the Customs & Excise Petroleum Taxes Bill. Despite the walkout, proceedings continued and the quorum relied upon was the number of members recorded on the Votes and Proceedings as present, including names of the minority who had all walked out.
  • On the 19th November 2014, the Minority staged another walkout of chamber because of the Bill on the introduction of 17.5% Special Petroleum Tax levy. Again, despite the walkout, Votes and proceedings recorded 274 members present which was more than half of all members to take decisions of the day
  1. It suffices to note that, the failure to register an objection for a lack of quorum meant any decision to be taken in respect of the purported absence of a quorum should have had regard for the numbers as enunciated in the Votes and Proceedings of the House on the said date.
  2. The actions of the House on Tuesday 30th November 2021 bring into sharp focus the powers of a Deputy Speaker vis a vis that of the Speaker.
  3. On that day, the First Deputy Speaker of Parliament presiding found that the vote taken on the 26th of November rejecting the budget was null and void as the requisite number was not present in accordance with Article 104 of the Constitution.
  4. The decision taken on the 30th of November 2021 which decision suggested I acted ultra vires the Constitution when I put the question on the 2022 Budget Statement and Economic Policy of Government appears strange to me. The House was duly constituted for its work for the purposes of business and voting in accordance with Articles 102 and 104 respectively and the public record of the Votes and Proceedings of the House on the 26th of November lends credence to this position.
  5.  It is persuasive to note what Erskine May, an authority in Parliamentary Practice says on this matter; “The Speaker’s rulings constitute precedents by which subsequent Speakers, Members, and Officers are guided. . .  Such precedents are noted and in the course of time may be formulated as principles or rules of practice. They are an important source of determining how the House conducts its business.”
  6.  Hon Members, as to whether a Vice President can preside over a cabinet which had early on taken a decision on a subject matter presided over by the President, and without consulting the President, get the Cabinet to overturn the decision earlier taken, is for your kind debate. But who am I to say my Deputy, Ist Deputy Speaker, the Hon Member for Bekwai Constituency, Hon Joseph Osei-Owusu, the Wise, might have indulged in an act of misconduct tantamount to insubordination.   
  7. Hon. Members, we ought to be mindful of the precedents that exist in this House to guide our conduct. This will ultimately prevent an interpretation of our rules that provides us with problems.

Deputy Speaker being counted for the purposes of Quorum

  1. Hon. Members at this point, it is important for me to address the decision of the Hon. First Deputy Speaker in declaring that the quorate number of 138 required to take a vote had been met when the House sat on the 30th of November 2022.
  2. Without a doubt, our Standing Orders and the 1992 Constitution outlines clearly the bar on the one presiding in Parliament in respect of participating in debates or voting on any matter. Article 102 of the Constitution is to the effect that the person presiding, be it the Speaker, a Deputy Speaker or a Member presiding does not form part of the quorate number. 
  3. Whether or not the principle applies in pari materia with Article 104 is immaterial because a different issue at law arises which respectfully, the Hon. First Deputy Speaker may not have averted his mind to.
  4.  A distinction must be drawn between the temporary absence of the Speaker from the chamber in which case any of the Deputy Speakers may preside, and when the Speaker is unavoidably absent as provided for under Order 13(2). In fact, Order 13 creates two different types of instances under which the Deputy Speaker may preside in accordance with Article 101 of the Constitution.
  5. Under Order 13(1), any of the Deputy Speakers may be asked to take the Chair whenever Mr. Speaker so requests due to his temporary absence from the Chamber. The Deputy Speaker presides until such a time that Mr. Speaker is able to resume the Chair to preside over the proceedings. It must be noted that, under this ambit, the Deputy Speaker may be counted as forming part of the Quorate number required for either business or voting because at the beginning of the sitting, he was not exercising the powers of the Speaker.
  6. Order 13(2) presents a different situation. Under this order, the Speaker’s unavoidable absence from the precincts of Parliament means the First Deputy Speaker assumes the authority of the Speaker and performs all the duties of the Speaker in relation to the Chamber. In this role, the First Deputy Speaker takes on the cloak of an Acting Speaker and for the purposes of our rules and the Constitution assumes all the powers of the Speaker in relation to the business of the House.
  7. In this sense therefore, the First Deputy Speaker for the period of my unavoidable absence from Parliament was the Acting Speaker of Parliament and thus all rules and limitations applied to him in a manner that applies to the substantive Speaker of Parliament.
  8. By and large, the reasoning of the First Deputy Speaker outlining the fact that he is not the Speaker, he holds his membership and does not lose his privileges as a member when he takes the Chair can be said to be correct. However, in so far as he takes on the role as the Acting Speaker of Parliament, his decision to be counted as part of the numbers forming a quorum raises procedural challenges.
  • Hon. Members, although our Standing Orders are silent on this, many Standing orders and rules from several sister Parliaments provide persuasive rules which suggest that when Deputy Speaker’s or acting Speakers are in the Chair, whatever happens in the House is that officer’s responsibility and the Speaker cannot be called upon to overrule it. Similarly, the reverse is also the case that when a Speaker is in the Chair, whatever happens in the House is the Speaker’s responsibility and the Deputy Speaker or acting Speaker cannot be called upon to overrule it
  • However, Hon. Members we are where we are because we need to make progress on this matter in a manner that is consistent with our laws, and ensures we are allowing the governance of our country to thrive.

Letter presented by Minister Responsible for Finance on Concessions and Modifications to the 2022 Budget Statement

  • Hon. Members, I am aware of a letter originating from the Minister for Finance which letter purports to make some concessions and modifications to the 2022 Budget Statement and Economic Policy of Government.
  • The legal basis of the laying of such a letter and what actions Parliament may take as a result leaves a lot to be desired. I have however held discussions with the Leadership of the House to find a path that is faithful to law, respects our rules and processes and ensures the governance of the country does not grind to a halt.
  • In that vein the Leadership and I agree that the following steps be taken;
  • The Minister responsible for Finance comes before the House with an amended statement of the Budget with the said modifications and concessions.
  • These modifications and concessions will then be adopted by the House and the revised document with the estimates will stand committed to the various Committees of Parliament.
  • I am aware the Committees have begun consideration of the estimates. It would thus be their responsibility to reconcile the revised estimates with what they have hitherto considered and submit a report for the consideration of the House.

Conclusion

  • Hon. Members, to conclude on these matters, let me reiterate my solemn pledge to the people of Ghana which I canvassed in my first formal communication to this House. I would not superintend over a Parliament to frustrate Government business, But, I will equally not preside over a weak House or be tagged as an errand boy of the Executive arm of government. This House is fully focused in discharging its mandate and will do so without any fear or favour, affection or ill-will in ensuring the ultimate best interests of the Ghanaian people are served.
  • Let us continue to strengthen our channels of communication, foster dialogue, encourage broader stakeholder consultation and allow the processes we have adopted for our burgeoning democracy to thrive.
  • I thank you all for your attention. 

By Laud Nartey|3news.com|Ghana

Mahama is under immense pressure not to engage me – Koku Anyidoho claims

Former NDC General Secretary and now CEO of Atta Mills Institute, Koku Anyidoho has thrown the gauntlet to former President John Dramani Mahama for a sit-down talk regarding accusations levelled against him by some loyalists of the latter.

According to him, the conversation will bring closure to the never-ending saga of a supposed running battle with Mr Mahama.

Speaking on Okay Fm’s Ade Akye Abia programme, he explained that several attempts to meet John Mahama has proven futile as the then Chief of Staff, Julius Debrah who was his friend had to write him off.

“I personally drove to Julius Debrah’s house at Dome demanding to see the former president but Julius told me that he was under immense pressure not to engage me.

“I just need to engage him for him to know that claims that i hate him are false and also let him know that all that boys have been telling him about me are lies.

“Kwame (referring to the host), for me to be at peace with John Mahama and for him to be president again, we must have that open conversation.

“I never went to John Mahama’s office when he was president, I was considered an enemy to him. But did he do anything to dispel that information?” he said

Watch Video Below:

https://www.youtube.com/embed/83cjFecjVVQ

Source: peacefmonline.com

YouStart to provide youth with training, funding – Akufo-Addo

President Nana Akufo Addo On Touch Of France TV Show 2

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has said that the YouStart initiative introduced by government will provide the youth with training, funding and enterprise promotion.

The government had announced the creation of one million jobs for the youth of this country.

This was announced by the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta in the budget statement for the 2022 fiscal year on Wednesday, November 17.

He said, “The understanding of the youth employment challenge, as well as extensive consultations with stakeholders including youth associations and educational institutions across the country, have led to the development of the YouStart initiative which proposes to use GH¢1 billion each year to catalyze an ecosystem to create 1 million jobs and in partnership with the Finance Institutions and Development Partners, raise another GH¢2 billion.”

“In addition, our local Banks have agreed to a package that will result in increasing their SME portfolio up to GH¢5 billion over the next 3 years.

This, Mr. Speaker, results in an unprecedented historic GH¢10 billion Cedis commitment to the private sector and YouStart over the next 3 years.”

He said the YouStart programme is a vehicle for supporting young entrepreneurs to gain access to capital, training, technical skills and mentoring to enable them to launch and operate their own businesses.

The Ghana Enterprises Agency (GEA), the National Entrepreneurship and Innovation Programme (NEIP), and partner financial institutions, will serve as the implementing arms of YouStart.

Entrepreneurs will be able to apply for support through a dedicated YouStart online portal.

“NEIP will also engage our Faith-Based Organisations as partners for the delivery of essential artisanal skills, business competitions, and feasibility studies and introduction to financing institutions with a commitment of up to 10% of GOG contribution to the YouStart Programme,” he added.

Source: 3news.com

Covid-19: Act responsibly this Christmas – Akufo-Addo warns

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has called on Ghanaians to be wary of their lifestyle before, during and after the Christmas holidays.

He admits there will be an influx of visitors during the festivities accompanied with charged activities, a situation which caused a spike in Ghana’s coronavirus case count last year.

“We should be guided by what transpired last Christmas, where there was a sharp spike in the number of Covid infection cases and deaths in the immediate months of January and February 2021,” President Akufo-Addo observed on Wednesday, December 15 when he addressed the nation in a televised broadcast on the deadly disease.

“We should avoid the repetition of such a scenario after this year’s Christmas celebration.”

He has, therefore, charged Ghanaians to take the choice of living responsibly this Yuletide season.

“Let us choose to live and act responsibly throughout the Christmas festivities, and remember that our actions or inactions will either help to end the pandemic at a much faster rate or continue to spread the virus in the country.”

President Akufo-Addo assured that enough vaccines have been imported into the country, urging all those who have not been vaccinated to do get the jabs.

“Let me state, as clearly as I can. The vaccines are safe. They will not harm you. The will protect you and your family.”

So far, over 6 million out of 17.7 million vaccines have been administered.

The country expects 26 million vaccines at the end of the year with 20 million expected to be administered by January, 2022

It’s mischievous, outrageous! Vaccines won’t make you vote for NPP – Akufo-Addo

President Nana Akufo-Addo has described as outrageous, claims that getting the COVID-19 jab will change the minds of people to vote for the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) against their will.

“The vaccines are safe”, the president told Ghanaians in his 27 national address about measures being put in place by his government to fight the pandemic on Wednesday, 15 December 2021, assuring: “They will not harm you.”

Rather, he said: “They will protect you and your family”.

“Contrary to the mischief being peddled by some, getting vaccinated will not cause you to vote for the NPP in the 2024 elections if you do not want to”, the president noted.null

“This is an outrageous claim”, he asserted.

“Vaccination cannot change your political preferences. That is not its purpose.”

https://www.youtube.com/embed/0PAOiibiu3M

Source: classfmonline.com

COVID-19: ‘It is not the right time to reopen our land borders’ – Akufo-Addo explains

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President Nana Akufo- Addo has kicked against the reopening of land borders despite the decrease in infections of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Addressing the nation Wednesday night on measures taken to combat the deadly disease, the President said the time was not right for the country to reopen its land borders as his government is determined to prevent a potential 4th wave of the disease.

The government has been under pressure from residents in border towns to reopen land borders for economic activities, which were curtailed at the height of the pandemic. Some residents of Aflao (Ketu South) led by their Member of Parliament, Dzifa Gomashie, recently embarked on a series of demonstrations to compel the government to reopen the Aflao border to allow economic activity to take place. Similar protests were organized in Elubo in the Western Region.

However, the President insists that the time is just not right to reopen land boarders.

“As you know, the decision to close our borders, which are a source of livelihoods for many, was necessary because we wanted to limit the importation of the virus into the country.

“We are monitoring the level of threat of the disease and ongoing vaccinations in our neighbouring countries, and, as soon as we are satisfied that it is safe to do so, the borders will be open,” Nana Akufo-Addo said.

“Until then, I believe this is not the right time to reopen our land borders, especially as we are determined to prevent a 4th wave, and, as such, they will remain closed until further notice,” the president insisted.

Meanwhile, the president said his government had beefed up its response capability and capacity to deal with the virus should the nation encounter an upsurge in infections.

“Over time, we have expanded our healthcare infrastructure, including oxygen supply and reach, particularly with respect to testing and treatment centres, and the training of health professionals across the country, in the care of severe and critically ill persons,” he said.

The President, however, said the country’s best bet in the fight remains adhering to the enhanced hygiene, social distancing, and mask-wearing protocols, and getting vaccinated.

“Let us choose to live and act responsibly throughout the Christmas festivities, and remember that our actions or inactions will either help to end the pandemic at a much faster rate, or continue to spread the virus in the country. I, on my part, will do everything possible to protect lives and livelihoods, and help return our nation to normalcy. It is possible, and the Government of Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo is determined to realize this goal as quickly as possible,” he added.

Source: atinkaonline.com

Can an unvaccinated Ghanaian be prevented from entering his own country? – Baako queries GHS

The Ghana Health Service (GHS) has directed that all unvaccinated Ghanaians and people with residential status returning to the country to mandatorily be vaccinated on arrival.

Additionally, all persons 18 years or above arriving in the country are required to provide evidence of full vaccination for COVID-19.

The directive forms part of a review of the national COVID-19 preventive protocol instituted at the Kotoka International Airport (KIA) to limit the importation of COVID-19 and also prevent a possible rise in cases during the Christmas and New Year festivities.

The government dreads a fourth wave may occur if these new measures are not enforced.

Delivering his submissions on the directive during Wednesday’s ”Kokrokoo” on Peace FM, the Editor-in-Chief of the New Crusading Guide, Kweku Baako seeks to find out how the Health Service is going to enforce this new order.

He asked if a Ghanaian national returning to Ghana could be prevented from entering the country on grounds that he or she must be compulsorily vaccinated before being granted a permit into his/her own country.null

Speaking to host Kwami Sefa Kayi, he asked; “If a Ghanaian citizen is returning, can you stop him because he has not been vaccinated? Can you; a Ghanaian citizen entering his own jurisdiction?”

Admitting he supports the compulsory vaccination, he however thinks person(s) who may want to try the laws on the directive should be encouraged to do so to bring closure on the mandatory vaccination and its enforcement.

“I believe in the mandatory, compulsory vaccination. I believe in it but it doesn’t mean those who feel it’s unconstitutional don’t have the right to go and challenge it. And I think we should encourage those who are interested in doing that litigation to proceed. I believe so,” he said.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/TLALN0JHPhg

Source: peacefmonline.com

Ignore those ‘braggarts’ against compulsory vaccination – Allotey Jacobs supports GHS

Social Commentator, Bernard Allotey Jacobs, has thrown his weight behind the new directive by the Ghana Health Service(GHS) for all persons entering Ghana to be fully vaccinated before they are allowed entry.

According to the GHS, all unvaccinated Ghanaians and people with residential status returning to Ghana after 14 days from Monday midnight will be vaccinated on arrival; as well all persons 18 years or above arriving in the country are required to provide evidence of full vaccination for COVID-19.

However, the directive, which came into force from December 14, 2021, has invited some divided opinions.

The National Communications Officer of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Sammy Gyamfi, has condemned the directive saying in a Facebook post that, “vaccination must be by choice and not by force. The imposition of compulsory COVID vaccination requirement on all Ghanaians traveling into and out of Ghana by the Ghana Health Service is reprehensible and an affront to the 1992 Constitution. And some of us are determined to fight this madness through every available legal means no matter the cost or stigma”.

Ningo Prampram MP, Sam George also reacting to the directive, argued on his Twitter page that the “compulsory vaccination upon entry to the Republic? Infringement of rights or public health policy? This is sound public health policy and a very good step by govt. I support it and hope it is implemented vigorously. Public health considerations supersede personal liberties”.

To Allotey Jacobs, the mandatory vaccination is in the right order.null

He argued that ensuring that all Ghanaians are fully vaccinated against the Coronavirus, particularly in the wake of the Omicron variant, is the way to go to protect the citizenry against the disease.

He condemned the criticisms about the directive saying, “immediately, you issue a mandatory [directive] on COVID that it should be compulsory for every person to vaccinate against COVID, you won’t be surprised to see those we call the braggart [they] will come out and say certain things against that order”.

Allotey Jacobs called on the government to activate the Information Service Department to begin educating the masses on the importance of compulsory vaccination in order to defeat the arguments by those he termed as “pessimists”.

“Where is the Information Service Department? Because, with this mandatory decision by government, by this time the ISD should behave rolled to the towns and villages explaining reasons why one should take the injection and we too should be asking the Ministry of Health where the injections are, telling them to bring it for us to vaccinate . . . they should do the by force [vaccination] . . . I support the decision that we should all vaccinate by force,” he said during Peace FM’s ‘Kokrokoo’ programme.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/e3HMfis8ydo

Source: peacefmonline.com

‘I never entered the office of President Mahama’ – Koku Anyidoho opens up

Koku Anyidoho has opened up with his relationship John Mahama

He said, the former President never invited him to his office

Anyidoho indicated people around him considered him as an enemy


Samuel Koku Anyidoho, CEO of the Atta Mills Institute, has revealed that he never entered the office of John Dramani Mahama, when he became the President after the passing of Prof John Evans Atta Mills in 2012.

According to him, people around the former President considered him as an enemy to John Mahama.

He said on Okay FM that, former President John Dramani Mahama never did anything to quash the misinformation of him being his enemy.

“President Mills passed on July 24, 2012, we buried him on August 10, 2012, so, we spent the last months of 2012 at the Castle; I never entered President Mahama’s office and before he moved to the Flagstaff House, I never entered his office,” Anyidoho explained.null

He noted that, if he [Anyidoho] asked the then Vice President Mahama whether or not he had an appointment with the late President Mills when he wanted to visit him as it is being speculated, then “he [Mahama] must have been a very weak Vice President”.

“I had no authority, no power to prevent Vice President John Dramani Mahama from seeing his boss the President,” he said.

“I am calling former President John Dramani Mahama to an open conversation if I ever disrespected him, I want him to tell the whole world. Your Excellency John Dramani Mahama, me [Samuel Koku S. Anyidoho], I’m calling you to an open conversation that, if I ever disrespected you as Vice President, come, meet me and let’s talk about it.

“Your boys have lied about me, created stories even to the point of the death of my daughter last year – one of your boys said I killed my daughter – I will meet you John Dramani Mahama in an open debate, speak to me and I will speak to you and I’ll tell you things that you did against Atta Mills, things you did against me…” Koku Anyidoho said. “If he does not dare come and speak to me, then he is not fit to be the President of Ghana again. If John Mahama does come and dispel the rumour about me, then he [can’t be the President again].”

Koku Anyidoho stressed that he tried to make a move through the former Chief of Staff, Julius Debrah, to have a discussion with John Dramani Mahama but he was rebuffed with the statement that, “Charlie we no go fit be buddies again.”

https://www.youtube.com/embed/83cjFecjVVQ

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

Mahama wanted Asiedu Nketia out as General Secretary – Anyidoho alleges

Koku Anyidoho is alleging John Mahama wanted Asiedu Nketia out as General Secretary

He said, they contacted him to contest Asiedu Nketia

And the Mahama camp also got people to contest Kwabena Adjei and Yaw Gyan


Koku Anyidoho, a former Deputy General Secretary of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), has alleged that former President John Dramani Mahama wanted some key members of the party who were occupying executive positions out during his time as the leader of the party.

He mentioned names like Kwabena Adjei, Asiedu Nketia and Yaw Gyan.

According to him, John Dramani Mahama and his group got people to contest both Kwabena Adjei and Yaw Gyan, so, they decided to persuade him [Koku Anyidoho] to contest Johnson Asiedu Nketia.null

He said, when he asked the rationale behind such motive, he was told that John Dramani Mahama wanted all Atta Mills people out from the party’s top leadership positions.

“John Mahama wanted to remove Kwabena Adjei, Asiedu Nketia and Yaw Gyan in 2014. President Mills had died on July 24, 2012, on the night, Vice President John Dramani Mahama was sworn in as the President and I [Samuel Koku Anyidoho] was in Parliament during the swearing-in, I stayed at the Castle for the period, that is, from July till December 2012. I worked and let me state that in the period, the new President never invited me to his office.

“I am a servant and when the master and the king does not invite you into his palace, you dare not go because you can lose your life…President Atta Mills will invite me to his office…I had no authority, no power to prevent Vice President John Dramani Mahama from seeing his boss the President…It is in that humble spirit that I could leave the presidency and go and work as Deputy to Johnson Asiedu Nketia, people didn’t understand it,” Koku Anyidoho explained to Okay FM on Wednesday, December 15.

“So, you John Dramani Mahama, after we won 2012 your agenda was to get rid of Kwabena Adjei, Asiedu Nketia and Yaw Gyan; so, you found people to contest them. You got somebody to contest Kwabena Adjei, you got somebody to Yaw Gyan, it was me, Koku Anyidoho, that your people came to and said I should contest Johnson Asiedu Nketia. This was in 2014.”

Anyidoho continued: “I asked the rationale behind it and I was told that John Dramani Mahama wants to kick out all those perceived to be in Atta Mills’ camp…You, Asiedu Nketia, you drove to me – let him come and swear on anything that he believes in – and thank me for not contesting him.null

“Let me tell you, he drove to me at the Castle…Kwadwo Asiedu Nketia, if you want to die today, pat yourself on your chest and say you did not come to me at the Castle, to thank me for not contesting you. He even told me that, he is going for the third time but not the fourth.

“So, come as my Deputy and after, you can take over as the General Secretary. On that day, he said, George Lawson and Kofi Adams did not respect him as Deputies and he cannot leave things with them to handle but for me [Koku Anyidoho] he can leave things for me to handle…”

Koku Anyidoho further noted that he did not desire to contest Johnson Asiedu Nketia and he will not contest Asiedu Nketia even today as General Secretary.

“I did it because Asiedu Nketia said he will not go and said I should go. He came back later and betrayed himself, his trust and everything but I, Samuel Koku S. Anyidoho, I shall not contest again for the position of General Secretary of the NDC,” he stressed.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/83cjFecjVVQ

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

Stop ‘I want a job mentality’ – Osafo-Maafo to youth

Yaw Osafo Maafo Senior Adviser1212

2022 Budget the best Ghana has had, Osafo-Maafo

Embrace ‘I am creating a job for myself and others’ mentality, Osafo-Maafo

TVET would driver Ghana’s development

Senior presidential advisor, Yaw Osafo-Maafo, urged the Ghanaian youth to embrace the entrepreneurial agenda currently being championed by the government.

He said young people should do away with the sense of job entitlement and rather take on the mentality of creating their own jobs. He reiterated that the youth should have the mentality of “I am creating a job for myself and others”.

Following the above assertion, the presidential adviser stated that the 2022 budget which emphasised the role of entrepreneurship in the development of Ghana was the best budget the country has had so far.

The budget was the best, he said: “because, there are two things in it which are fundamental and these are some entrepreneurship training that we are putting as part of responsibility of government to ensure that the youth is resourced financially to be entrepreneurial, that people cannot use access to funds as a handicap.

“That people can develop skills and become entrepreneurs; the introduction of the E-levy is extremely critical. These two things in this budget, people must hail it, it is fundamentally a good document,” he added.

Yaw Osafo-Maafo who made these remarks during the launch of the new Ghana Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Service said TVET was essential for the creation of more entrepreneurs in Ghana.

He said the Ghana TVET Services would help make TVET the driver of Ghana’s development.

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

Court orders SA ex-leader Zuma to return to jail

Jacob Zuma was freed in September for an undisclosed medical reason

A South African court has ruled that the country’s former President Jacob Zuma should be returned to prison, saying his medical parole was “unlawful”.

The time he has spent out of prison should not be counted in his 15-month sentence, the Pretoria court ruled.

Mr Zuma was released on 5 September for an undisclosed medical condition.

He had been jailed for failing to attend an inquiry into corruption during his presidency.

The 79-year-old handed himself in to police in July after a public stand-off, but his jailing, unprecedented for an ex-president, sparked violent protests and looting.

Source: BBC

Update No. 27: Measures Taken Against Spread of Coronavirus

Address By The President Of The Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, On Updates To Ghana’s Enhanced Response To The Coronavirus Pandemic, On Wednesday, 15th December 2021. 

Fellow Ghanaians, good evening. 

It has been some time since I last came into your homes on a matter that has grabbed not only our attention, but that of every country in the world. 

However, as Christmas approaches, with its attendant, charged activities and with an expected influx of visitors, it is important that I come back into your homes to provide an update on what Government is doing to combat the pandemic, and what is expected of you, the Ghanaian people, in this season. 

When I delivered the last update, I indicated that, in spite of the efforts to rid the nation of COVID-19, the fight was far from over, as we had begun to experience a third wave of COVID-19 infections, driven largely by the delta variant. The data tells us that the months of August and September, in particular, were the most devastating. Some three hundred and ten (310) lives were lost to the virus in those two months alone, representing a quarter of the cumulative deaths from the virus since we recorded our first case in March 2020. 

In the months of October and November, a consistent decline in infection rates occurred, and, mercifully and by the Grace of God, this has continued right into early December. 

As at Sunday, 12 th December, some two million and forty-two thousand, thousand, seven hundred and seventy-eight (2,042,778) tests have been conducted, out of which one hundred and thirty-one thousand, nine hundred and eleven (131,911) positive cases have been recorded. One hundred and twenty-nine thousand, six hundred and eighty-three (129,683) persons have recovered, meaning that, presently, the number of active cases, that is the number of people with the virus, stands at nine hundred and seventy-three (973) persons. In as much as this represents some degree of good news, we have, sadly, had one thousand, two hundred and fifty-five (1,255) persons dying from COVID-19. 

The current data suggests quite a favourable COVID situation prevailing in Ghana, and I say this only to encourage each one of us to continue to be vigilant, and adhere to the enhanced hygiene protocols which have served us so well so far. Three regions, i.e., Ashanti, Greater Accra and Volta, have the bulk of infections. Seven (7) regions have single-digit infections, and six (6) regions, that is Ahafo, North East, Oti, Savannah, Upper West and Western North, at the moment, have zero (0) active cases. We must do everything possible, at the very least, to maintain this situation, especially as the festive season approaches. 

Whilst these numbers should normally provide us with some comfort, as far as this virus is concerned, I am a firm believer in the oft-cited adage that “it is better to be safe than sorry”. 

We are expecting, in this month of Christmas, a large number of visitors, overseas Ghanaians and foreigners, into the country. With the Immigration Service doing a yeoman’s job by intercepting many foreign nationals trying to enter the country through unapproved routes, Government’s concern has been to limit the importation of the virus through the Kotoka International Airport. As things stand, international passengers arriving at Kotoka constitute the highest source of infections in the country, leading us to take drastic measures recently to prevent the importation of the virus from increasing the numbers of infections in the country. 

The Ghana Health Service tells us that an overwhelming majority, that is seventy-five percent (75%), of the positive cases recorded at Kotoka have come from passengers who are not vaccinated. Beginning yesterday, Tuesday, 14 th December, Government has decided that all visitors coming to Ghana have to be fully vaccinated. Furthermore, all persons seeking to travel outside the country must also be fully vaccinated. 

Fully vaccinated passengers coming to Ghana must, in addition, be in possession of a negative PCR test of not more than seventy-two (72) hours, and also take a mandatory COVID test upon arrival at the airport. Children aged five (5) to twelve (12) will not pay for the test. Any passenger, testing positive at the airport, will be kept in isolation, at a designated isolation facility, and a non-Ghanaian will receive treatment at his or her own cost. 

Communications have been duly sent to all airlines flying into Ghana of the imposition of a three thousand, five hundred dollar (US$3,500) fine for each unvaccinated passenger that is allowed to board a flight into the country. 

Unvaccinated Ghanaians and residents in Ghana, who departed the country before 14 th December, and who return by 28 th December, will be offered vaccination on arrival at the airport. Further details will be provided by the Ghana Health Service. 

These are stringent measures, I know, but the benefits far outweigh the negatives. As your President, it is my duty to protect lives and livelihoods. The ravages of COVID-19 have been devastating on our economy, and I am determined to return us to our normal way of life as quickly as possible, by helping to defeat the pandemic. 

Fellow Ghanaians, as I indicated at the outset, the month of December elicits, naturally, an increase in the number of social gatherings in the country. I know many of you have planned either to host or attend a number of gatherings such as religious events and activities, funerals, weddings, concerts, musical shows, festivals, anniversaries, sporting events, family gatherings and parties. Nonetheless, we should be guided by what transpired last Christmas, where there was a sharp spike in the number of COVID infection cases and deaths in the immediate months of January and February 2021. We should avoid the repetition of such a scenario after this year’s Christmas celebration. We do so by: 

  1. ensuring that social events are held in open spaces;
  2. ensuring that attendees wear masks;
  3. ensuring that social distancing is observed;
  4. observing enhanced hygiene protocols, such as hand washing and the use ofsanitisers; and
  5. encouraging attendees, as much as possible, to come vaccinated.

In as much as our active cases are now relatively low, the wearing of masks, unfortunately, remains low, and compliance with the safety protocols is still problematic. Whilst Government does its part to secure the necessary numbers of vaccines to help vaccinate all Ghanaians, we cannot afford to disregard the social distancing, hand washing, mask wearing and enhanced hygiene protocols that have brought us this far. They must continue to be a part and parcel of our daily lives and routines. 

Getting the jab is the best route out of the pandemic, because, according to WHO, it reduces the risk of death, hospitalisation and the spread of the virus. 

It is for this reason that we have committed ourselves to vaccinating some twenty million Ghanaians, that is the entire adult population, by the end of the year. 

After the start of an impressive vaccination drive in March this year, we were confronted with vaccine supply constraints and disruptions at the global level. 

Fortunately, in recent months, the supply situation has improved considerably, and we estimate that, by the end of December, we would have secured a total of some twenty-six million (26 million) doses. 

Indeed, as at yesterday, Tuesday, 14 th December, the Ghana Health Service has taken delivery of seventeen million, seven hundred and thirty-six thousand, seven hundred and ten (17,736,710) vaccine doses. We are expecting an additional eight million, five hundred and twenty-nine thousand, and ninety (8,529,090) doses by the end of the year. We have enough vaccines in the system. So, my fellow Ghanaians, I encourage each and every one of you to take advantage of this, and get vaccinated. 

So far, we have been able to administer only six million, four hundred and twenty thousand, nine hundred and seventy-three (6,420,973) doses out of the 17.7 million we have at our disposal. Let me state, as clearly as I can. The vaccines are safe. They will not harm you. They will protect you and your family. Contrary to the mischief being peddled by some, getting vaccinated will not cause you to vote for the NPP in the 2024 elections, if you do not want to. This is an outrageous claim. Vaccination cannot change your political preferences. That is not its purpose. 

There are significant quantities of vaccines deployed to every corner of the country. We have, thus, declared the month of December as vaccination month, and we are rolling out an aggressive campaign of vaccination, so that as many Ghanaians as possible have the opportunity to be vaccinated. It is a race against time, but we are determined to accomplish it. 

We continue to make steady progress in our quest to manufacture vaccines domestically. Two days ago, on Monday, I was in Luxembourg, where I held discussions with the President of the European Investment Bank, Herr Werner Hoyer, on Ghana’s COVID-19 Response Plan. An €82.5 million facility has been approved for Ghana by the Bank for use in the effort to strengthen healthcare delivery, and the provision of specialist medical equipment and medicines across the country. Government has set aside €20 million of this to establish the National Vaccine Institute, which will supervise the domestic production of COVID-19 and other vaccines, led by the private sector and the business community. 

To my fellow Ghanaians living along the borders of our nation, I know of the difficulties occasioned by the closure of our borders. As you know, the decision to close our borders, which are a source of livelihoods for many, was necessary because we wanted to limit the importation of the virus into the country. We are monitoring the level of threat of the disease and ongoing vaccinations in our neighbouring countries, and, as soon as we are satisfied that it is safe to do so, the borders will be open. Until then, I believe this is not the right time to reopen our land borders, especially as we are determined to prevent a 4 th wave, and, as such, they will remain closed until further notice. 

Government has beefed up its response capability and capacity to deal with the virus should we encounter an upsurge in infections. Over time, we have expanded our healthcare infrastructure, including oxygen supply and reach, particularly with respect to testing and treatment centres, and the training of health professionals across the country, in the care of severe and critically ill persons. However, our best bet in the fight remains adhering to the enhanced hygiene, social distancing and mask wearing protocols, and getting vaccinated. 

Let us choose to live and act responsibly throughout the Christmas festivities, and remember that our actions or inactions will either help to end the pandemic at a much faster rate, or continue to spread the virus in the country. I, on my part, will do everything possible to protect lives and livelihoods, and help return our nation to normalcy. It is possible, and the Government of Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo is determined to realise this goal as quickly as possible. 

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

I thank you for your attention, and have a good night. 

Martha Ankomah Goes Behind The Camera

Martha Ankomah

Several years after gracing the silver screens as a successful and award-winning actress, Martha Ankomah is set for a new challenge in her line of work.

The beautiful actress has now gone behind the camera to produce her debut movie titled ‘A Happy Surprise’.

The new movie is anticipated to channel a whole new path for the ‘Somewhere In Africa’ actress.

Over the past few years, with a quest to create seminal cinematic works and keep the movie industry on its ‘feet’, some actresses have taken matters into their own hands, stepping behind the camera and embracing roles as writers, producers, and even directors.

By leveraging on their name recognition and influence, these women have been exercising greater control over the projects they bring to life, overseeing them from inception to distribution and breaking records with their works.

A tall list of some of these women include actresses; Yvonne Nelson, Yvonne Okoro, Lydia Forson, Joselyn Dumas, Zynnell Zuh, Kafui Danku, Juliet Ibrahim, Nadia Buari,  Selassie Ibrahim, Mercy Asiedu, and Emelia Brobbey, who have all gone on from acting to produce their own movies.

Martha is the latest actress to join the bandwagon. She lined up some of Ghana’s finest showbiz personalities in her upcoming production.

All roads are expected to lead to the Silverbird Cinemas at Accra Mall & West Hills where the movie will premiere on January 1, 2022.

The movie’s impressive cast include Adjetey Anang, Prince David Osei, Diana Gbatey, Kalybos, Amanda Jissih and Paulina Oduro.

The movie indeed has a lot of surprises; including musicians Joe Mettle and Diana Hopeson making their debut in a movie.

Martha started acting in 1994, and entering a competition, Next Movie Star, where she placed third in the 2007 edition of the reality show. She has since not looked back

Without e-levy, we can neither fix, build new roads nor pay GHS4.6bn owed contractors – Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu

Without the proposed 1.75 per cent e-levy in the 2022 budget, the government cannot maintain the existing roads nor build new ones, Majority Leader Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu has said.

Addressing journalists in Accra on Wednesday, 15 December 2021, the Minister of Parliamentary Affairs said he found it “surprising” that the Minority Caucus and the opposition NDC are fighting the e-levy.

He said the cost of borrowing has “escalated” and the country’s debt-to-GDP ratio has also risen as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, “so, we must look inward to mobilise resources for the country to develop, to build our roads, to build clinics, health facilities, to build educational facilities, to deliver potable water and one of the ways to do this is by the introduction of e-levy and people say: ‘No, we would not allow you to borrow outside, we will not allow you to also raise revenue from inside this country’”.

“So where are we going? We want development or we don’t want development? Do we want our roads to be built or not to be built?” he asked.

The Suame MP observed that the “cost of road construction and road maintenance has escalated over the past 20 years”.

“Why? Because over the past 20 years, the road network of this country has doubled”, he answered.

“When President Kufuor took over the administration of this country, the total road network was 39,000 km. When President Kufuor was leaving the scene, the road network had almost doubled – from the 39,000 km, it had increased to 69,000 km within eight years. … The NDC assumed the reins of power, they added on to that; from 69,000 km, it went to 73,000 km, an additional increase of 4,000 km”.

Also, he said President “Akufo-Addo’s first four years increased from 73,000 to 78,000 km”.

“So, over just two decades – from the year 2000 to 2021 – the road network has increased by more than 100 per cent”, Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu noted, adding: “We need to maintain them, we need to service them, we need to build new roads”.

“So, from independence up to 2000, we had only 39,000 km [of road]; just 20 years after, it’s more than doubled to, as we speak today, 79,000 km. We need to maintain them”.

“Where do we have the money to maintain them if we don’t mobilise resources from within? Today, as we speak, local road contractors, the government is indebted to them to the tune of about GHS4.5, GHS4.5 billion. We’re not having money to pay them”, he bemoaned.

He added: “The e-levy, we are told – in fact, the Road Fund contributes something but it’s not much; the road tolls, yielding altogether about GHS72 million a year. What is it going to do? But, in the meantime, that section of the road where you have the road tolls, often because they stop there, the roads end up being warped and furrowed. So, you have ridges and furrows at that place”.

“So, every year, you have to maintain that portion of the road. It’s the GHS78 million that you collect that you are going to use some to even maintain those sections of the road. How much is left?” he lamented.

“The e-levy, we are told, is going to yield about GHS8 billion as opposed to GHS78 million. That will yield enough for us to be able to do the roads. Of course, I do know that it’s not everything that is going to be used for the construction of roads but if you have GHS8 billion, GHS9 billion from the e-levy, it’s going to be substantial for you to be able to engage in development programmes and projects. So, the dialogue sessions indicated to us that we needed to do this”, he added

There can only be two political parties in Ghana in terms of ideology – Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu

Majority Leader in Parliament

Majority Leader in Parliament, Osei Kyei-Mensa-Bonsu has said that there can only be two political parties in Ghana in terms of ideologies.

A party can either belong to the left or to the right, he said.

The Minister for Parliamentary Affairs explained that there are several political parties in Ghana that should not be recognized as such because they do not exist in two thirds of districts in the country as is required by law.

To that end, the Suame lawmaker called for strict enforcement of the regulation of the parties.

He suggested that the power to regulate political parties should be taken away from the Electoral Commission (EC) because in his view, the elections management body is struggling to perform that function.

Addressing the press in Accra on Wednesday December 15, he said “There must be a state-funding of political parties with clearly defined modalities for its implementation, strengthen the internal political parties mechanisms, the need for consistent public education on the ill-effect of monetisation of politics on national development.

“The mandate of the Electoral Commission must be reviewed and a different institution established to be solely responsible for the regulation of political parties.

“The EC is charged with the conduct of elections but the regulation of political parties is something that has become difficult for Electoral Commission. Perhaps the time has come to assign another institution with that responsibility.

“The law provides that if you don’t exist in two thirds of the districts in this country you don’t have to be registered as a political party.”

The Minister for Parliamentary Affairs added “The EC without recourse to this provision in the constitution would usually give them a provisional certificate.

“When they don’t exists in two thirds of the districts we should be religious about that and once we are able to do this the multiplicity of political parties that we have in the system, more than 32 or so registered political parties yet we know that in terms of ideology there can only be two political parties

“You either belong to the left or you belong to the right. The directive principles of state policy which has defined the broad goal of development for us as a nation compels all political parties to belong to the centre.

“So in spite of ourselves, I belong to the NPP and we are a liberal party, the rightist liberal party, the NDC is pride of themselves also belong just a little bit of the left to the Centre.”

By Laud Nartey|3news.com|Ghana

T’di Fake Pregnancy: Judge to fast-track trial from next year

Josephine Panyin Mensah is facing trial at a Takoradi Circuit Court for faking a pregnancy and kidnapping

The Takoradi Circuit Court, presided over by His Lordship Michael Ampadu, has cautioned counsel for the accused and the prosecutor to avoid delays in the trial of Josephine Panyin Mensah, who faked an alleged pregnancy and kidnap.

In court on Tuesday, December 14, Prosecutor Superintendent Emmanuel Basintale walked the court through the documents filed as exhibits to include a Police wireless message about the accused missing and her picture and an Order from the District Magistrate Court for disclosure of information from MTN.

But lead counsel for the accused Fiifi Buckman advised the Prosecutor to do proper segregation of the documents, which was adhered to.

Supt. Basintale, therefore, outlined the number of witnesses to include Michael Simmons, the husband of the accused, her mother Agnes Essel as well as Michael Prah and Ebenezer Nyame-Aye who are natives of Axim.

Other key witnesses will be Dr. George Preprah of Takoradi European Hospital, Dr. Jerry James Abrobrah, the Medical Officer at Axim Government Hospital, Dr. Samuel Agyemang, a Gynaecologist at Effia Nkwanta Regional Hospital, and Detective Inspector Archims Amfol.

The judge adjourned the case to Thursday, January 6, 2022 and added that in the subsequent weeks, the court will sit on the case every Thursday of the week to expedite proceedings.

However, during times that any of the party cannot make it, proceedings will be held on Tuesday.

Lawyer Fiifi Buckman pleaded with the court to postpone the next adjournment date from Thursday, January 6, 2022 but his plea was turned down

All Teachers Alliance demonstrate against One teacher, One laptop policy

Members of the All Teachers Alliance Ghana have demonstrated against the One Teacher One Laptop policy introduced by the government.

They presented a petition to the Ghana Education Service (GES) after the demonstration on Wednesday December 15.

Deputy Director of the GES Dr Kwabena Bempah Tandoh received the petition on behalf of the director general of GES, TV3’s Dela Mishel who covered the protest reported.

The group had earlier said it has come to their attention that despite court action they instituted, teachers’ money had been deducted without recourse to court proceedings for the One Teacher One Laptop initiative.

According to them, this has come as a shock to them since the original hearing of the interlocutory injunction filed on the 10th of November, 2021 on the stay of distribution and deduction had been rescheduled for hearing on the 14th December, 2021.

“Many teachers are not happy about this development and have raised genuine concerns about the manner in which GES has authorized the deduction of the laptops’ fee from their November professional development allowance.

“What’s more worrying is that, the majority of teachers especially basic school teachers are yet to receive the laptops. The question now beckons how teachers could be deducted before providing them with laptops?” a statement they issued said.

The One Teacher One Laptop initiate was launched by Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia.

During the launch, he handed over 350,000 laptops in fulfilment of government’s pledge to equip Ghana’s teachers with the requisite ICT skills to prepare the next generation for the Fourth Industrial revolution.

At a brief but colourful ceremony at the campus of the St Mary’s Senior High School, Accra on Friday 3rd September, 2021 Dr Bawumia, assisted by the Minister for Education, Hon Dr Yaw Osei Adutwum; the Director General of the Ghana Education Service, Prof Kwasi Opoku-Amankwa; and the leadership of Teacher Unions, handed over the first of these laptops, known as the TM1 (Teachers Mate 1) to the 71 teachers of the school.

“Effective teaching and learning is critical to developing the human capacity for work, innovation and creativity; necessary ingredients for capacity building. Teachers are the indispensable pillars to this necessary capacity building. This initiative, in collaboration with the Teacher Unions, is to support the vision of the Ghana Education Service of creating an enabling environment to facilitate effective teaching and learning” Dr Bawumia stated.

Under the initiative, Government is to provide every teacher in Ghana, from Kindergarten to the Senior High School level, with a laptop preloaded with educational materials and with access to an E-Library equipped with books recommended by the GES on the various subjects.

The materials can be accessed whether online or offline, and with free Wi-Fi available in 722 Senior High Schools across the country, access to the almost innumerable resources available on the internet is expected to aid research, teaching and learning.

The State takes up 70% of the cost of the laptop, while the teacher makes up the difference. The laptop, however, becomes the personal property of the teacher and serves the benefit of providing a tool for developing the teacher’s professional and personal capacity.

This shift to ICT-based teaching and learning has many benefits for both teachers and students, according to experts in education. With the curriculum materials already installed onto the laptops, the suggested lesson notes prepared by the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NaCCA) can be downloaded onto the laptops and used to end the burdensome task of writing lesson notes into notebooks.

This would perfectly be in tandem with the fifth skill and competence under the new standards-based curriculum, the promotion of digital literacy.

The laptops would also help in the field of assessment. The filling of School-Based Assessment, report cards, cumulative records, and the building of learners’ individual portfolios would become easier if each teacher owns a laptop.

Source: 3news.com|Ghana

Gov’t to reduce number of SHS from 13,000 to 2,500

Education Minister, Dr Yaw Osei Adutwum,

The Ministry of Education is set to reduce the number of Senior High Schools in Ghana from 13,000 to 2500 after re-engineering the country’s a educational system to promote Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).

The new system will be called the Junior Senior High School.

Education Minister Dr Yaw Osei Adutwum explained that “We have awarded contract for about 15 schools that are going to be what we call lower secondary.

“That facilities we are providing is just like any high school facility and every one of these schools has library , biology, chemistry and physics lab. Beautiful school buildings and they are coming to a community near you very soon.

“In 2023 when we open those schools you are going to see how we are going to provide six years quality secondary education and not three years plus some three years old middle school-led education that we call high school,” he told journalists in Accra on Tuesday December 14.

Dr Adutwum who is also lawmaker for Bosomtwe had earlier said the government was determined to improve on STEM education in the country.

He said the administration was going to partner various stakeholders including private sector operators to provide the much-needed infrastructure like laboratories, workshops, and lecture rooms for STEM based institutions.

“With the Government pursuing strategies aimed at increasing the Gross Tertiary Enrollment Ratio (GTER) from the current 18.84% to 40% by 2030, it is in our interest to continuously expand the infrastructural base of the various tertiary institutions,” Dr. Adutwum said.

He added, “We are all aware of the many ongoing projects on our tertiary campuses, some of which have been abandoned for years, while others are in urgent need of additional Government funding for completion

One killed, another injured in armed robbery attack at Awutu Senya

A 29-year-old man Emmanuel Gavor has been shot dead while another person has sustained a gunshot wound on the leg after armed robbers attacked them at Awutu Loye in the Awutu Senya West District of the Central Region.

The sad incident happened Tuesday, December 14, around 9:00 PM.

Kojo Abbam who survived the shooting incident in an interview with EIB Network Central Regional Correspondent Yaw Boagyan said, they were going to the sand winning site in the area when the incident occurred.

Kojo Abbam said the robbers shot his friend after he failed to hand over his money to them.

The Awutu Bereku District Police Commander Chief Superintendent Joshua Semanyo has confirmed the incident and said the dead body has been deposited at Winneba Trauma and Specialist Hospital Morgue while the injured are receiving treatment.

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

Otumfuo Gold Coins Details Out

The gold coins being unveiled

Details of the commemorative gold coins to celebrate the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, for his contributions towards peace-building and the overall development of the country, has been released.

The unveiling was done at the Manhyia Palace in Kumasi on Sunday night at the climax of the last Akwasidae of the year for Asanteman.

The Bank of Ghana (BoG) gave the permission to Gold Coast Refinery Limited to design commemorative gold coins to celebrate the Asantehene, for his contribution to the peace, stability and development of the country in the past 22 years and after he was accorded the title ‘Pillar of Peace’.

The Precious Minerals Marketing Company (PMMC) in collaboration with a business solutions provider, the EON 3 Group, spearheaded the launch of the gold coins which are of 99.99 per cent assay at 24 carat fine gold, with a diameter of 37mm and weight of 31.104 grammes each.

The face of the gold coins bears the image of the Asantehene, with the Adinkra symbols ‘Bi Nka Bi’ and ‘Mpatapo’, which symbolise peace, harmony and reconciliation and the reverse bears an image of the Golden Stool (Sika Dwa).

A statement issued by EON 3 Group said “these Gold Coins will be a long-life project that will stand as a legacy for His Royal Majesty Otumfuo Osei Tutu II.”

It said “proceeds raised will be used to establish a Cultural Resource Centre, which will employ the latest technologies and IT platforms to promote activities related to traditional and customary conflict resolution in Ghana as well as other peace initiatives.”

Governor’s Endorsement

The Governor of the Bank of Ghana, Dr. Ernest Addison, explained that the outdoored gold coin in honour of Otumfuo Osei Tutu II is not a legal tender.

“The bank approved the issuance of a commemorative coin and offered to assist to procure the coin through appropriate channels. The gold coin will be of no monetary value. By that we mean it will not be a medium of exchange and not exactly a legal tender,” Dr. Addison said.

He emphasised that the commemorative gold coin “is not expected to display any face value to avoid risk of being confused with legal tender in circulation.”

The Governor expressed his pleasure in the bank’s decision to associate with the launch of the coin, in acknowledgement of the strides made by the Asantehene.

“In recognition of the invaluable role and your remarkable achievements in the preservation of peace in the safeguarding of life, the development of Ghana and ensuring peaceful coexistence of the citizenry of Ghana, the Bank of Ghana proudly associates itself with the launch of this commemorative gold coin to climax your Majesty’s 20th year as the Asantehene,” Dr. Addison remarked

We’re suffering, our children’re suffering’: Jobless Ashanti NPP members threaten demo

Several aggrieved members of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) in the Ashanti Region belonging to a coalition called NPP Identifiable Groups, an amalgam of several groups, have threatened to demonstrate against the party at the weekend during its National Delegates Conference at the Baba Yara Sports Stadium in Kumasi on Saturday, 18 December 2021.

The angry groups say their members have suffered throughout the Akufo-Addo administration despite having campaigned and worked toward the two victories of the president.

The coalition, which includes groups such as Elephant Movement, Elephant Soldiers, NPP Vibrant Group, Bantama NPP Florida Fun Group, among others, said the Akufo-Addo government has refused to employ them and their relatives in the various government institutions despite a promise to do so.

Addressing a press conference on Wednesday, 15 December 2021, the convener of the groups, Mr Emmanuel Ampiah Mensah, said they have channelled their grievances to the necessary authorities but to no avail.

Mr Ampiah, on behalf of the groups, has given the leadership of the party a three-day ultimatum to call them to a meeting and find jobs for them else they will carry out their threat on Saturday.

“We have done a lot for this party and we are expecting something meaningful but we are not seeing anything. We have our colleagues who are not working, up to date, as I’m talking, a lot of people have gotten a lot of jobs but now, as I’m talking, none of us has received any contract”, he told regional correspondent Elisha Adarkwa.

He added: “I want to region to come and meet us so that we will express our problem to them”, stressing: “We are lacking jobs. Our kids are suffering. We are suffering”.

“We want them to come to our aid”, he insisted.

“So, we are giving them three days; today is Wednesday, we are waiting till Friday, if we don’t hear anything from the regional executives, we’ll advise ourselves”, he threatened

Akuapem Poloo’s prison sentence set aside; fined instead

His mother advised him not to look after our son - Akuapem Poloo exposes baby daddy

Akuapem Poloo

The Court of Appeal has on Wednesday December 15 set aside the prison sentence of actress and socialite Rosemond Brown, popularly known as Akuapem Poloo.

She has been fined 1000 , 500, and 500 penalty units on the three counts.

These are expected to run concurrently.

The Court had earlier thrown out an appeal filed by her lawyers.

She was handed a 90-day jail term by an Accra Circuit Court for publishing obscene material and violating the dignity and integrity of her seven-year-old son in a nude photo she posted on social media in June, 2020.

Though she served a period into her term, her lawyers appealed the judgement considering it too harsh.

She was subsequently granted an GH¢80,000 bail, pending the determination of the appeal.

On Wednesday, December 1, the Court found her appeal without merit and was subsequently ordered to go and continue her 90-day imprisonment

SHS education to move to 6yrs – Adutwum

The duration for Senior High School Education in Ghana will be shifted from 3 to 6 years, Education Minister Dr Yaw Osei Adutwum, has said.

This decision forms part of efforts to transform secondary education in Ghana with Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) at the centre.

Dr Adutwum further said the number of high schools in Ghana is going to be reduced from 13,000to about 2,500 after the county education system

“That facilities we are providing is just like any high school facility and every one of these schools has library , biology, chemistry and physics lab. Beautiful school buildings and they are coming to a community near you very soon.

“In 2023 when we open those schools you are going to see how we are going to provide six years quality secondary education and not three years plus some three years old middle school-led education that we call high school,” he told journalists in Accra on Tuesday December 14.

Dr Adutwum had earlier said the government was determined to improve on STEM education in the country.

He said the administration was going to partner various stakeholders including private sector operators to provide the much-needed infrastructure like laboratories, workshops, and lecture rooms for STEM based institutions.

“With the Government pursuing strategies aimed at increasing the Gross Tertiary Enrollment Ratio (GTER) from the current 18.84% to 40% by 2030, it is in our interest to continuously expand the infrastructural base of the various tertiary institutions,” Dr. Adutwum said.

He added, “We are all aware of the many ongoing projects on our tertiary campuses, some of which have been abandoned for years, while others are in urgent need of additional Government funding for completion

Omicron spreading at unprecedented rate – WHO

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The new coronavirus variant Omicron is spreading across the globe at an unprecedented rate, the World Health Organization (WHO) has warned

Cases of the heavily mutated variant have been confirmed in 77 countries.

But at a press conference, WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said it was probably in many others that had yet to detect it.

Dr Tedros said he was concerned that not enough was being done to tackle the variant.

“Surely, we have learned by now that we underestimate this virus at our peril. Even if Omicron does cause less severe disease, the sheer number of cases could once again overwhelm unprepared health systems,” he said.

The Omicron variant was first identified in South Africa in November, and the country has since seen a surge in infections. President Cyril Ramaphosa has tested positive for Covid-19, and is currently isolating with mild symptoms.

A number of countries have introduced travel bans affecting South Africa and its neighbours following the emergence of Omicron, but this has failed to stop it from spreading around the world.

In the press conference on Tuesday, Dr Tedros reiterated concerns about vaccine inequity, as some countries accelerate rollouts of a booster shot in response to Omicron.

Recent studies of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine showed it produced far fewer neutralising antibodies against Omicron than against the original strain, but that this deficit could be reversed by a third, booster, jab.

Dr Tedros said boosters “could play an important role” in curbing the spread of Covid-19, but that it was “a question of prioritisation”.

“The order matters. Giving boosters to groups at low risk of severe disease or death simply endangers the lives of those at high risk who are still waiting for their primary doses because of supply constraints,” he said.

Supplies to the global vaccine-sharing programme Covax have increased in recent months.

However, world health officials fear a shortfall of tens of millions of doses – like the one which occurred in the middle of this year when India suspended its vaccine exports – could happen again.

In poorer countries, some vulnerable people are yet to receive a single dose.

Source: BBC

We need Jean Mensa, not you – Special Budget Cttee to Bossman Asare, other EC officials

On Monday December 13 two deputy chairs at the Electoral Commission (EC) Dr Bossman Asare and Samuel Tettey, were prevented from attending a meeting with Parliament’s Special Budget Committee.

This was after they could not explain the absence of the Chair of the elections management body, Jean Mensa who was expected to show up.

A member of the Committee, Ahmed Ibrahim, told journalists that Mrs Mensa had gained notoriety for not appearing before parliament hence the committee’s inability to allow the two deputies to represent her.

The meeting was to consider the 2022 budget estimates of the Electoral Commission.

Mr Ahmed Ibrahim said “Because this is the only Committee that oversights all the constitutional bodies. All the other constitutional bodies have been here by their chairpersons and chief executive officers. So it will not be fair to them.

“And this is not the first time you know when we went to rock city to do the mid-year budget performance review, she could not come; her deputies arrived. We listened to them.

“So we were with the view that when we come for the budget hearing, she will come. So it was unfortunate that she was not here. But there are serious constitutional issues that would be raised in the budget hearing,” he said

Be consistent; speak truth to power – Afriyie-Ankrah to Clergy

Afriyie Ankrah At Press Conference E1607389532770 750x375

Former Minister for Youth and Sports, Elvis Afriyie-Ankrah has entreated the leadership of churches in the country to be concerned with the current governance being witnessed in the country.null

The Director of Elections for the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), who was speaking to the congregants of the Jehovah Shammah Temple of the Assemblies of God Church during a gathering to celebrate their 25th anniversary in Accra over the weekend, noted that the church has a critical role to play to put the leaders of the country to order whenever they went wayward.

“The church must speak truth, righteousness consistently; it has to be consistent,” Afriyie-Ankrah stated. “It doesn’t matter which party is in power because wrong is not determined by a political dispensation.”

“If something was wrong yesterday and it is happening today, it is still wrong,” he added.

His admonition comes at a time Ghanaians have kicked against the E-levy that has been suggested in the 2022 budget and economic policy of the Akufo-Addo administration.

Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta said the revenue accrued from the levy next year will be used to support small businesses and embark on massive road construction.

But the opposition has said the 1.75% e-levy will double the hardship Ghanaians are battling, and went ahead to use it’s numbers in Parliament to reject the budget which was later overturned by the majority caucus.null

Recently commercial drivers embarked on a sit down strike across the country over the incessant fuel prices, which led to thousands of commuters in Accra and Kumasi walking miles to work.

It is on the back of these development that Afriyie-Ankrah wants the church, whose thousands of members are affected daily by these policies, to speak against the bad faith the government is showcasing.

“….And therefore the church has enormous power to influence policy direction. We must speak truth to power and call people to order when they’re going astray irrespective of their political persuasion,” he entreated.

To him, that is the only way by which the church will ensure that officials work in the interest of the people when in power.

“…And politicians, we are interested in numbers and votes so if you know that the whole Assemblies of God; the whole Church of Pentecost; the whole Charismatic movement, what you are doing is against them, and they’ll speak against it, you’ll be guided by what you do,” he emphasized.

“So it is not just for mere political purposes to benefit one party or the other, but it is meant to set the country on the path of righteousness.”null

“And that is why we have to be consistent, so when the NDC does something which is wrong, please speak it. And I want to commend Rev. Frimpong Manso. He has been very consistent. And that is how it should be. We have to be consistent; if NPP does it and it is wrong, we have to speak it otherwise we stand the danger of plunging this country into difficult situations.”

Award

Afriyie-Ankrah was at the church to receive a citation on behalf of former president John Mahama who had been recognised and honoured for his selfless leadership to the people of Ghana by the Assemblies of God Church.

Mr Mahama was presented with a citation by the Jehovah Shamah Temple of the church at its 25th Anniversary Celebration.

Receiving the citation on behalf of the 2020 NDC presidential candidate of the NDC were, Afriyie-Ankrah, Dr. Sherry Ayittey and NDC Deputy National Women’s Organiser, Maame Efua Sakyiwaa Houdjeto.

Source: myxyzonline.com

Consultations ongoing on the purchase of a new Presidential jet – Nitiwul

Defence Minister, Dominic Nitiwul, has told parliament on Tuesday December 14 consultrations on the pruchase of a presidentail jet is ongoinbg.

He said he will table it before parliament when the consultations are over.

The Bimbila lawmaker was responding to questions raised by North Tongu Member of Parliament Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa on the steps the ministry has initiated to purchase a new presidential jet and the justification.

Executive jet does not mean it is for the sole use of the president. In America no other person can use the Airforce One apart from the President and the Vice.

“We have an executive jet and I am saying to you that Executive Jet issued to do government business and that is the classification.”

He had earlier revealed that the Ghana Airforce of Ghana is requesting for a multi-functional aircraft to add to its inventory as a requisite command and control asset.

“The Ghana Airforce of Ghana is once again requesting for a multi-functional aircraft to add to its inventory as a requisite command and control asset, to be able to connect Ghana’s National Security to diplomacy,” he said on the floor of Parliament while answering questions about the cost of renting a presidential jet for President Akufo-Addo’s recent trip to Europe, on Wednesday June 16.

North Tongu Member of Parliament Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa had raised issued with claims by that the cost of renting a presidential jet for President Akufo-Addo’s trips doesn’t matter.

This was after Mr  Nitiwul had justified the president’s decision to rent a luxurious aircraft for use two weeks ago on a Europe and Africa tour at the cost of over 2.6 million cedis.

He said the capacity of the falcon presidential aircraft can no longer carry the president’s entourage without re-fueling.

 “The decision to travel particularly  to long and multiple  destinations such as the president travelling to France, Belgium,  South African and  back to Ghana  especially during this covid  time will always require  a larger capacity aircraft such as a DBKJ or an aircraft  ATJ 319  even when the Falcon is  air ready,” he said.

Source: 3news.com|Ghana

COCOBOD trial : Opuni petitions CJ over Justice Honyenuga’s conduct

The former Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Cocoa Board Dr Stephen Kwabena Opuni has petitioned the Chief Justice Kwasi Anin Yeboah over the conduct of Justice Clemence Honyenuga.

Aside filing another motion asking Justice Clemence Honyenuga to recuse himself for allegedly exhibiting “bias tendencies and open hostility towards” him, he wants a fresh judge to hear his case.

To this end, proceedings on Monday, December 13, was suspended to await the directives from the CJ.

Dr Opuni, per the petition to the Chief Justice, Kwesi Anin-Yeboah wants a new Judge to hear the motion pending at the High Court.

The application has had been fixed for Thursday, December 16, 2021.

Justice Honyenuga, a Justice of the Supreme Court, who is sitting with additional responsibility as a High Court judge has also been accused of giving preferential treatment to the Attorney General.

The motion to recuse himself stated that, “The conduct of His Lordship Justice Clemence Honyenuga since I opened my defence is one of open hostility towards me, his acts and conduct is such that justice cannot be said to be seen to be done,” the affidavit in support of the motion file on Friday, December 10, 2021 stated.

In court on Tuesday, December 13, Justice Honyenuga, a Justice of the Supreme Court adjourned the trial pending the outcome of the CJ.

This was after the Judge was notified of a motion filed by Dr Opuni through his Counsel, Mr Samuel Codjoe for the judge to recuse himself and hand over the case to another Judge.

When the caae was called, the Judge told the parties in the trial that, there was a motion for him to recuse himself from the trial and a petition sent to the Chief Justice.

But, Mrs Yvonne Attakora-Obuobisa, Director of Public Prosecution (DPP), said they were not served.

The DPP contended that, Counsel could have fixed the hearing of the motion for (Monday, December 13, 2021), knowing very well there was a Court sitting, especially so, because there was such a precedent in the same case at the Supreme Court.

She said the motion should not be made to operate as a stay till it was determined, adding that the dates agreed on and set by the Court must be respected, hence the trial must continue.

AG served with motion

Counsel Codjoe told the Court, that the motion was filed on Friday, December 10, 2021, and on Monday, December 13, 2021, they served a copy of the petition and that of the motion on the Attorney General’s Department, where they acknowledge receipt.

He said considering what the DPP said, she was urging the Counsel to engage in an Act, which was strictly prohibited by the Court deciding on cases, which by virtue of Article 129 (3) of the Constitution was binding on the Court.

He said the DPP’s allegation on him fixing dates in cases was unacceptable and unconstitutional rather it was the Registrar, who fixed dates.

The Judge after listening to both parties adjourned the trial decided to suspend the substantive matter fixed for Monday, December 13, 2021, and adjourned same to December 16, 2021, awaiting the Chief Justice decision or directive.

Dr Opuni, the first accused person has opened his defence with former Director of Finance at COCOBOD as the first of his eight witnesses.

Charges

Dr. Opuni, Seidu Agongo and Agricult Ghana Limited are standing trial for 27 charges for allegedly causing financial loss to the state, defrauding by false pretences, conspiracy to commit crime, abetment of crime, money lingering , corruption by public officer and contravention of the PPA Act.

Together, they are accused of causing a financial loss of over GH¢217 million to the state through the sale and purchase of the controversial Lithovit Liquid Fertiliser, which according to the prosecution, was never tested.

They have all pleaded not guilty to the charges and have been granted bail.

Source: Ghana/Starrfm.com.gh/Murtala Inusah

Bagbin Overturns 2022 Budget On Dubai Sick Bed?

Alban S.K. Bagbin

The Majority Leader, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, has disclosed that the Speaker of Parliament, Alban S.K. Bagbin has reportedly minuted on the motion filed by the Minority in Parliament seeking to overturn the 2022 budget while he was on sick leave outside the country.××

Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu expressed concern that although the First Deputy Speaker, Joseph Osei-Owusu, assumed full responsibility for the conduct of business in the Chamber, while the Rt. Hon. Speaker was away but the motion filed by the Minority to overturn the 2022 Budget Statement and Economic Policy of Government approved in the last sitting has been minuted on by Mr. Bagbin at the period he was supposed to be in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

He mentioned if it turns out that Mr. Bagbin indeed admitted the motion, then it does not auger well for parliamentary practice in Ghana and if it appears fake also leaves room for probe.

The Minister of Parliamentary Affairs said: “The First Deputy Speaker is assuming full responsibility for the transaction of business in the Chamber, but my understanding is that the Rt. Hon. Speaker has minuted on the motion [from the Minority] that he has admitted it. If that is the case, then we are in for something dangerous.”

The Minority filed a motion challenging the conduct and ruling of the First Deputy Speaker on the approval of the 2022 budget on December 1.

However the motion was bounced by the First Deputy Speaker which provoked the Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu to also release statement on Monday, December 13, 2021, serving notice of not relenting in its effort to challenge the First Deputy Speaker’s ruling on their motion to set aside the approval of the 2022 Budget Statement and Economic Policy.

According to him, he will pursue the motion when the Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin, returns from his medical trip on December 14, 2021.

He was of the opinion that the December 1, 2021 ruling by the First Deputy Speaker “contravenes the Rules, Conventions, and Practices of the House and was actuated by bias.”

“The NDC Minority Caucus which I lead, and my good self, vehemently disagree with your position on the motion and your conduct in this matter. We take the strong view that your conduct affronts Orders 79, 81, 82, and 90 of our standing orders and can no longer be tolerated.”

“In that regard, we are resolved to pursue this matter further with the Right Honourable Speaker upon his return.”

By Vincent Kubi

Large deposits of iron ore discovered in Oti region

The Ghana Geological Survey Authority has discovered large quantities of Iron ore deposits in Akokrowa, a farming community in the Oti Region of Ghana.

The iron ore, according to the geological investigation, is 55.22 weight percent (fe) and of a higher grade.

The Minister for Lands and Natural Resources Hon. Samuel A Jinapor at a meeting with the Chiefs and people of Akokrowa on Tuesday 14th December, 2021 said government will ensure that the commodity found in the area benefits the people.

He said government is determined to provide value addition to its raw commodity and  would ensure that the Ghana Intergrated Iron and Steel Development work closely with the GGSA and the community to ensure that full value chain is retained in the region and the country.

He maintained that the exploration and the business of the Iron will create jobs and wealth for the people of Oti and the country in general.

Hon. Jinapor, who is on a two day tour of the Volta and Oti regions as part of his nationwide working visit,  described the discovery of the iron ore in  commercial quantities as ” Good News” and urged the Chiefs and people to work in harmony to drive development to the area.

In a welcome remarks, the Omanhene of the Apesokubi Traditional Area Okogyeaman Koram II, expressed the readiness of his people to make the project a success.

He pledged to support the GGSA, GIISDEC and government, saying ” I will release Lands to expand and push the progress of the work as and when required”.

The Chief also appealed to the government through the Hon. Minister to provide them with electrification, schools, hospitals and other amenities to help  relief the people while commending the  President of the Republic for the creation of the Oti Region which has long being on the drawing Board.

Source: 3news.com|Ghana

2023 African Games: Akufo-Addo to launch official logo, mascot and website on Thursday

Ghana President Nana Akufo-Addo will on Thursday, December 16, 2021 launch the official logo, mascot, and website of the 13th African Games – dubbed Accra 2023.

The event will take place at the Grand Arena of the Accra International Conference Centre.

Ghana were confirmed as host of the multi-sport event in October 2018. Since then, the Local Organising Committee headed by Executive Chairman Dr Kwaku Ofosu-Asare has been working feverishly around the clock to send a good signal about the country’s readiness to host the rest of the continent.

Meanwhile, some of the questions bothering on the minds of many Ghanaians as well as most citizens of the second largest continent in the world – Africa, are centred on information on the logo, mascot, and the website of the Pan African Games.

Well, that question is set to be answered on Thursday at 11 AM in Accra at the International Conference Center when the President of the land H.E Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo graces the unveiling ceremony and does the honours of launching the logo, the mascot, and the website of the games.

Hon. Mustapha Ussif, the Minister of Youth and Sports, as well as Parliament’s Select Committee on Sports, will all grace the event on Thursday.

The 13th African Games is expected to bring together 54 countries, 25 sporting disciplines, and 16,000 sportsmen

Gov’t to set up first-ever Second Cycle Applied Technology Institutions – Bawumia

Vice president Dr Mahamudu Bawumia says Government is setting up the first ever second cycle applied technology institutions to train technical and vocational students.

These institutions are to be included for selection by Junior High Students under the Computer School Selection Programme in the next academic year.

Speaking at the official launch of the Ghana Technical and Vocational Education Training, (TVET) service in Accra on Tuesday December 14 Dr Bawumia said the government was determined to growth the human capital of the country since that determines the growth of every country.

He said “if you look at the empirical evidence, about what makes countries grow and develop, we know that it is not gold, it is not diamonds or oils or cocoa for that matter.

“It is not natural resources but the evidence is very clear that it is human resource that drive growth. The combination of human capital and technology that produces these increasing returns to investments in any economy that drives growth we have known this and you can see the attention the president and our government is paying to human capital and technology as a way of transformation”

Subsequenlty, the Vice President wrote on Facebook that “I launched in Accra this morning, the Ghana Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Service to give further impetus and direction to Government’s priority focus on technical and vocational education and training.

“This brings together all the technical and vocational programmes run by the 19 different Ministries under the ambit of the Ghana TVET Service, with the Director General of the Service reporting to the Minister and Ministry of Education, like her counterpart, Director General of the Ghana Education Service and other agencies under the Ministry.

“The operationalization of the Service is also to ensure the smooth take-off of Government’s flagship programme ‘Free TVET For All’, under which all the TVET Institutions which are now captured under the Ghana TVET Service will be included in the next academic year’s (February 2022) Computerized School Selection and Placement System (CSSPS) for selection by the Junior High School graduates.

“We remain committed to providing greater opportunities for technical and vocation training and skill acquisition as we work towards achieving a Ghana Beyond Aid.”

Government in 2017 mooted the idea to align all technical and vocational training institutions. In 2019, the committee concluded its work and submitted to cabinet which was tabled before parliament.

In 2020, Parliament concluded its work which the president signed into law the ACT 1049 setting up the Ghana TVET services

Make Covid-19 vaccines available to all parts of the world – Akufo-Addo to EU

“I am a firm believer in the statement that ‘no one is safe until everyone is safe’. Let us help make vaccines available to all parts of the world, encourage our citizens to take the jab, and we would win the fight against COVID faster and together.

These were the words of the President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, on Tuesday, 14th December 2021, when he delivered an address to the European Union Parliament in Strasbourg, France.

Delivering his speech, President Akufo-Addo stated that COVID-19 has posed the greatest test to humanity in the initial decades of the 21st century, in light of the ravages of the pandemic, which have affected all countries, rich or small.

According to President Akufo-Addo, the predictions of Africa going to be hit dramatically because of her relatively weak public health systems, with streets being littered with dead bodies, when the virus reached the continent, have not come to pass.

“We were not given credit for quickly following the science as recommended, when many leaders in Europe were still fighting ideological battles, and seeking to lay blame on the source of the virus, rather than uniting to fight it,” he said.

The President continued, “At every stage, we in Africa, have been dismayed to discover that every attempt was being made to make COVID-19 also an African disease. Thus, the narrative emerged that it was not really that Africans were not dying from the pandemic, we had to be covering up the true level of infections”.

With Africa caught up in the “vicious vaccine politics that engulfed the world”, he expressed gratitude “for the donations of vaccines through platforms such as COVAX, which was good enough to send its first consignment, anywhere in the world, to Ghana.”

The unsavoury politics of vaccine nationalism the world is witnessing, President Akufo-Addo reiterated, could, however, potentially derail global efforts made at containing the pandemic.

“Till date, less than ten percent (10%) of Africa has been vaccinated, in comparison to the EU, for example, which, as at August, had vaccinated seventy percent (70%) of its population. With countries on the continent still not being able to have sufficient access to vaccines in the requisite numbers, we, like the World Health Organisation, are worried that the phenomenon of hoarding vaccines will worsen even further, as countries begin to administer booster shots in response to the threat posed by the omicron variant of the virus,” the President said.

He used the opportunity of the platform to reiterate the strong opposition of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), of which he is Chairperson, to the decision taken by countries, including those in the EU, to single out African countries for the imposition of travel bans.

Omicron, according to the President, has been discovered in over forty countries, with reports indicating that this variant was present in the Netherlands way before it was discovered in South Africa.

“The world should be grateful to the South African scientists, whose knowledge and expertise in genomic sequencing enabled them identify the new variant. Plaudits, not the condemnation of their peoples, should have been their portion. Why is there not a travel ban imposed on the Netherlands, but against South Africa, one might ask?” the President Akufo-Addo asked.

Whilst acknowledging the importance of Africa building up her health delivery systems to enable the continent withstand future crises, he told the EU Parliament that his government has launched Agenda 111, which seeks to build district hospitals in each district of Ghana where there is none, so that ordinary people can have ready access to medical care.

In addition to this, he stated that Ghana has decided to set up a National Vaccine Institute, which will supervise the domestic production of vaccines across several sectors, including anti-COVID-19 ones, led by the private sector and business community.

“We need to be self-reliant, and shed the image of beggars living on charity, aid and handouts, and make better and more intelligent use of our abundant natural resources, in order to pull ourselves out of poverty to prosperity. These are not new aspirations; they have simply been reinforced by the lessons of the pandemic,” he added

Africans need to be self-reliant, shed image of beggars living on charity – Akufo-Addo at EU

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has said, while delivering an address to the European Union (EU) Parliament in Strasbourg, France on Tuesday December 14, that Ghana has decided to set up a National Vaccine Institute.

He explained that the Institute which would supervise the domestic production of vaccines across several sectors, including anti-COVID-19 ones, would be led by the private sector and business community.

Explaining the rationale behind the setting up of the institute, he said “We need to be self-reliant, and shed the image of beggars living on charity, aid and handouts, and make better and more intelligent use of our abundant natural resources, in order to pull ourselves out of poverty to prosperity. These are not new aspirations; they have simply been reinforced by the lessons of the pandemic.”

the predictions of Africa going to be hit dramatically because of her relatively weak public health systems, with streets being littered with dead bodies, when the virus reached the continent, have not come to pass.

“We were not given credit for quickly following the science as recommended, when many leaders in Europe were still fighting ideological battles, and seeking to lay blame on the source of the virus, rather than uniting to fight it,” he said.

The President continued, “At every stage, we in Africa, have been dismayed to discover that every attempt was being made to make COVID-19 also an African disease. Thus, the narrative emerged that it was not really that Africans were not dying from the pandemic, we had to be covering up the true level of infections”.

With Africa caught up in the “vicious vaccine politics that engulfed the world”, he expressed gratitude “for the donations of vaccines through platforms such as COVAX, which was good enough to send its first consignment, anywhere in the world, to Ghana.”

The unsavoury politics of vaccine nationalism the world is witnessing, President Akufo-Addo reiterated, could, however, potentially derail global efforts made at containing the pandemic.

“Till date, less than ten percent (10%) of Africa has been vaccinated, in comparison to the EU, for example, which, as at August, had vaccinated seventy percent (70%) of its population. With countries on the continent still not being able to have sufficient access to vaccines in the requisite numbers, we, like the World Health Organisation, are worried that the phenomenon of hoarding vaccines will worsen even further, as countries begin to administer booster shots in response to the threat posed by the omicron variant of the virus,” the President said.

He used the opportunity of the platform to reiterate the strong opposition of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), of which he is Chairperson, to the decision taken by countries, including those in the EU, to single out African countries for the imposition of travel bans.

Omicron, according to the President, has been discovered in over forty countries, with reports indicating that this variant was present in the Netherlands way before it was discovered in South Africa.

“The world should be grateful to the South African scientists, whose knowledge and expertise in genomic sequencing enabled them identify the new variant. Plaudits, not the condemnation of their peoples, should have been their portion. Why is there not a travel ban imposed on the Netherlands, but against South Africa, one might ask?” the President Akufo-Addo asked.

Whilst acknowledging the importance of Africa building up her health delivery systems to enable the continent withstand future crises, he told the EU Parliament that his government has launched Agenda 111, which seeks to build district hospitals in each district of Ghana where there is none, so that ordinary people can have ready access to medical care.

Source: 3news.com|Ghana

Agyenkwa 2022 Budget one of the best-ever – Osafo-Maafo

The Senior Presidential Advisor, Mr Yaw Osafo-Maafo has described the 2022 Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the government which is currently before Parliament as one of the best the country has ever produced.

This he said is because the budget makes provision for youth employment through entrepreneurship as well as skills development as well as the introduction of the Electronic levy (E-levy) to fund entrepreneurship ventures.

Mr Osafo-Maafo made this known today at the launch of the Ghana TVET Service today in Accra.

“Indeed, this current budget is one of the best this country has ever produced,” Mr Osafo-Maafo said.

“Because, there are two things in it which are fundamental and these are some entrepreneurship training that we are putting as part of a responsibility of government to ensure that the youth is resourced financially to be entrepreneurial, that people cannot use access to funds as a handicap. That people can develop skills and become entrepreneurs.

“The introduction of the E-levy is extremely critical. These two things in this budget, people must hail it, it is fundamentally a good document”.

Mr Osafo-Maafo charged the country’s youth to move beyond the “I want a job mentality” to embracing a mentality of “I am creating a job for myself and others”.

Opposition to budget

Some stalwarts of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), led by the General Secretary, Mr Johnson Asiedu-Nketiah, have argued that the budget in its current state would increase the tax burden of the people, raise the cost of living and collapse businesses.null

They mentioned that the planned introduction of the E-levy, the reversal of a discount policy on benchmark values of imports and the 15 per cent increase in the cost of all government services as some of the policies that would make the people worse off.

They described as misleading, the position of the government that proceeds of the new taxes would be used to tackle employment and entrepreneurship.

Additionally, the party has said it would marshal all its 137 Members of Parliament (MPs) to reject the budget which it has christened “AwudieBudget

Declare disputed 8 year accumulated bills as bad debt – Krobo groups to ECG

Two major youth groups in the Krobo area in the Eastern Region have made fresh demands to the Electricity Company of Ghana, 24 hours after the power distributor restored power to the Yilo and Lower Manya Krobo Municipalities after seven days of power cut over an impasse.

A joint statement issued Tuesday, December 14, 2021, by the groups -Kloma Hengme (KH) and Kloma Gbi (KG) stated that, while they partly welcome ECG’s proposal to ring-fence accumulated bills of customers in the area from 2014 to 2017, it also counterproposes to ECG that the disputed accumulated bills be ‘absorbed’ as bad debt or be ring-fenced up to July 2021 “to clean the slate for a fresh start”.

This, the groups believe would help to make headway on the impasse.

The groups explained that ” facts remain that between 2018 and today, (during which ECG either failed to serve bills or had difficulty doing so) many tenants changed homes and the difficulty landlords will face in getting these tenants who have moved out to pay such old bills could derail efforts geared toward finding a solution to the challenge at hand. In our estimations, these proposals are practical ones that will get people back to paying their bills and solving the problem once and for all. This is more like saying, we can and have to make some sacrifices now, to safeguard the future”.

The two groups were also described as wrong timing for the introduction of prepaid meters in the two Municipalities.

“Many have expressed concerns about the wrong timing of the introduction of prepaid meters – and the apprehension that the meters will be used to recoup the outstanding disputed ‘debt’.

“We made the point that whilst we welcome the policy to roll out the prepaid metering system in the Krobo enclave, we hold the view, based on the concerns raised by many of our members and a cross-section of the citizenry, that introducing it at this material time when issues (and perceptions) of wrong bills are still rife will affect the acceptability of this new technology.

“We suggested that considering the peculiar nature of the impasse, people were most likely to read various meanings into the exercise, including some perceiving it as a form of ”punishment”. We proposed that ECG temporarily suspend the rollout of the meters and rather focus on first addressing all outstanding issues to create a soft-landing spot for the implementation of the project” the State said.

Kloma Hengme and Kloma Gbi groups also want the Police to investigate the killing and maiming of their compatriots in 2019 to protest against overbilling by ECG.

Meanwhile, the two groups have dissociated themselves from threats to ECG staff and proposition of free power supply by the United Krobo Foundation which it acknowledges as part of three groups that were fronting for the impasse with ECG to be resolved.

Below is the full statement issued by the groups.

IMPASSE BETWEEN THE ELECTRICITY COMPANY OF GHANA (ECG) AND THE AGGRIEVED CUSTOMERS IN ECG’S KROBO DISTRICT – JOINT POSITION STATEMENT OF KLOMA HENGME AND KLOMA GBI ON THE STAND-OFF AND FALL OUT

Tuesday 14th December, 2021, Odumase-Krobo: Kloma Hengme (KH) and Kloma Gbi (KG) hereby issue this joint statement to set the records straight on some issues emanating from the impasse between the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) and its customers in the Yilo and Lower Manya Krobo municipalities.

The statement also states our stance on the recent demonstration staged by the United Krobo Foundation (UKF) that led to the relocation of ECG’s district office from Somanya to Juapong and the subsequent power outage in the two municipalities for seven days.

It is worth noting that Kloma Gbi, Kloma Hengme, United Krobo Foundation (UKF) and all other advocacy groups or networks playing a role in the resolution of this impasse are autonomous. The Electricity Company of Ghana in its stakeholder engagements only engaged these groups jointly and under the umbrella of Youth Groups for purposes of convenience.

We wish to state the following:

POINT OF DIVERGENCE WITH THE UNITED KROBO FOUNDATION:

Kloma Hengme and Kloma Gbi completely disassociate ourselves from any threats issued on the lives of ECG staff by the UKF before, during and after the demonstration staged on 22nd November 2021.

Apart from the fact that this action was avoidable, we are also of the view that it has the potential of needlessly shifting public and national attention from the real (outstanding) issues underlying the impasse.

We are nonetheless encouraged by the visit of the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Dr. George Akuffo Dampare, to Odumase-Krobo and Somanya and the assurances that the Ghana Police Service will provide the needed security to ECG’s staff as well as enforce law and order in the area.

We disagree with the unilateral declaration made by the UKF that ECG’s customers in the Yilo and Lower Manya Krobo Municipalities would no longer work with the company and the issuance of a 21-day ultimatum to ECG to pack out from the area. Just like the two Konors and their Traditional Councils have already publicly stated, this demand by UKF does not exactly represent the views of residents in the two municipalities.https://googleads.g.doubleclick.net/pagead/ads?client=ca-pub-8731784857660975&output=html&h=343&adk=1970057196&adf=474017963&pi=t.aa~a.86673156~i.45~rp.4&w=412&lmt=1639491717&num_ads=1&rafmt=1&armr=3&sem=mc&pwprc=7938084553&psa=1&ad_type=text_image&format=412×343&url=https%3A%2F%2Fstarrfm.com.gh%2F2021%2F12%2Fdeclare-disputed-8-year-accumulated-bills-as-bad-debt-krobo-groups-to-ecg%2F&flash=0&host=ca-host-pub-2644536267352236&fwr=1&pra=3&rh=310&rw=372&rpe=1&resp_fmts=3&sfro=1&wgl=1&fa=27&dt=1639491716856&bpp=12&bdt=3585&idt=-M&shv=r20211207&mjsv=m202112060101&ptt=9&saldr=aa&abxe=1&cookie=ID%3D29471e93000fb366-22dffa70d2ce0047%3AT%3D1639491693%3ART%3D1639491693%3AS%3DALNI_Ma0aNX29cJe5ZZbo7R3NYNQOCWBMg&prev_fmts=0x0%2C412x343%2C412x343%2C412x343&nras=5&correlator=4639508485578&frm=20&pv=1&ga_vid=1921182409.1639491693&ga_sid=1639491715&ga_hid=1193852762&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=0&ady=6720&biw=412&bih=793&scr_x=0&scr_y=608&eid=31063894%2C44750774%2C44753738%2C21066428%2C31060475&oid=2&pvsid=1371516505362885&pem=956&tmod=893&ref=https%3A%2F%2Flm.facebook.com%2F&eae=0&fc=1408&brdim=0%2C0%2C0%2C0%2C412%2C0%2C412%2C793%2C412%2C793&vis=1&rsz=%7C%7Cs%7C&abl=NS&fu=128&bc=31&ifi=5&uci=a!5&btvi=4&fsb=1&xpc=YgAoIK3CEs&p=https%3A//starrfm.com.gh&dtd=292

Besides, it has the potency of truncating ongoing diplomatic efforts to find a sustainable solution to the impasse. We are fully aware that ECG is the legally mandated body that distributes electricity in the Southern part of Ghana and regardless of existing challenges, we are of a firm belief that further engagements could help address the outstanding issues.

Having given the above disclaimers, we would like to redirect attention to the real issues underpinning the never-ending impasse, and some suggestions we have jointly tabled during recent stakeholder engagement with ECG, which we still stand by:

THE REAL ISSUES:

Before the recent demonstration staged by the United Krobo Foundation (UKF), the various advocacy and heritage groups in the two municipalities namely Kloma Gbi, Kloma Hengme and United Krobo Foundation took some collective decisions on the real issues aimed at bringing a solution to the recurrent impasse. These positions were arrived at after series of stakeholder meetings and engagements between these groups first in April 2018, and recently between June and October 2021.

That, ECG must closely work with the Ghana Police Service, and drive the crusade to institute a full-scale investigation into the incident that led to the shooting and gruesome killing of Thomas Partey, and the maiming of several others who, until the unfortunate incident, were bread winners of their families.

And as part of this exercise, steps must be taken to ensure that justice is duly served the numerous victims of the shooting incident as has been done in other parts of the country. This, if not done, could become a major setback in finding a lasting solution to the impasse.

It is rather unfortunate and unacceptable that since May 2019 that the shooting incident occurred, there has been no word from the police or government and its allied agencies despite the numerous petitions that were served them. We continue to stand by our joint calls for justice to be served in this matter and we humbly call on the new IGP to take this up.

As part of recent stakeholder engagements between ECG and stakeholders in the two municipalities, many have expressed concerns about the wrong timing of the introduction of prepaid meters – and the apprehension that the meters will be used to recoup the outstanding disputed ‘debt’.

We made the point that whilst we welcome the policy to roll out the prepaid metering system in the Krobo enclave, we hold the view, based on the concerns raised by many of our members and a cross-section of the citizenry, that introducing it at this material time when issues (and perceptions) of wrong bills are still rife will affect the acceptability of this new technology.

We suggested that considering the peculiar nature of the impasse, people were most likely to read various meanings into the exercise, including some perceiving it as a form of ”punishment”. We proposed that ECG temporarily suspend the roll out of the meters and rather focus on first addressing all outstanding issues to create a soft-landing spot for the implementation of the project.

While we partly welcomed ECG’s proposal to ring-fence bills from 2014 to 2017, we also proposed the following two options: (i) that the disputed accumulated bills be ‘absorbed’ as bad debt or (ii) that the disputed accumulated bills up to July 2021 be ‘ring-fenced- to clean the slate for a fresh start. We were of the conviction that this arrangement could soften the grounds and get customers back to paying ways.

The facts remain that between 2018 and today, (during which ECG either failed to serve bills or had difficulty doing so) many tenants changed homes and the difficulty landlords will face in getting these tenants who have moved out to pay such old bills could derail efforts geared toward finding a solution to the challenge at hand.

In our estimations, these proposals are practical ones that will get people back to paying their bills and solving the problem once and for all. This is more like saying, we can and have to make some sacrifices now, to safeguard the future!

Having distanced ourselves from threats issued, and the unreasonable demands made by UKF and re-directed attention to the real (outstanding) issues, it is important at this juncture to also mention that there are some issues we take a strong exception to including certain decisions, utterances, and reportage ECG continue to take and churn out into the public domain.

OBJECTIONS:

DELIBERATE ATTEMPTS TO MALIGN KG and KH:

We take a strong exception to ECG’s deliberate attempt to lump all youth groups in the two municipalities together and thereby create the impression that all of us are jointly inciting the public when indeed it was very clear from UKF’s press statement and its letter to the Energy Minister that the demonstration was single-handedly organised by the group.

This singular action by ECG has caused so much injury to our public image as responsible entities and reduced us in the estimation of right-thinking members of society. We therefore take serious exception to this action of ECG and call on its leadership to show circumspection in its public utterances and in the generation of literature the company continues to spill into the public sphere.

PUNISHING FAITHFUL CUSTOMERS FOR THE WRONGS OF A FEW:

During the many ECG stakeholders’ meeting we attended, officials of the company formally made us aware that about 25% of the company’s customers in the Krobo district are paying their bills faithfully and are not owing ECG.

It is therefore unfortunate for the company to lump all customers together and punish these faithful customers even when the Traditional authorities and Security Councils of the two Municipalities, Lower Manya Krobo and Yilo Krobo, have assured them of maximum security and safety.

This action of ECG has the tendency to discourage these faithful customers from continuing to pay their bills conscientiously. ECG should have thought through this before plunging the entire Krobo area into total darkness for one week. We strongly object to the ‘punishing’ of customers, especially faithful ECG customers in the area for the indiscretion of a few.

CONTINUOUS CLOSURE OF SOMANYA AND NEW ODUMASE-KROBO OFFICES:

The continuous closure of the Somanya office and revenue collection points in the two municipalities, as well as the delay in inaugurating the Odumase-Krobo office, will serve as a disincentive for the payment of bills as customers (including the faithful ones) now have to endure the drudgery of travelling all the way to Juapong in the North Tongu District just to pay their bills.

At such a time when the main goal of ECG is to get customers back to paying their bills, measures that will bring customer service closer to the doorstep of the people should rather be pursued. Punitive measures, like those that have currently been deployed by ECG, will rather prove counterproductive in the long run.

MISINFORMATION AND INCONSISTENCIES:

We take a strong exception to the deliberate misinformation / inconsistencies in ECG’s public pronouncements that residents are illegally interfering with the company’s network. In one instance, the company says two transformers were damaged because customers were engaging unqualified electricians to switch lines from one transformer or phase to another. Then in another, it says residents have deliberately burnt down three transformers and some installations in protest.

THE LOUD SILENCE OF PURC:

The silence of the Public Utility Regulation Commission (PURC) on the seven-day power outage in the two municipalities is rather unfortunate. PURC’s posture and loud silence seem to suggest that it has sanctioned the punitive actions taken by the Electricity Company of Ghana and cares less about what happens to consumers in the enclave. One would have thought that as the regulator of the sector, PURC will remain neutral at all times or be perceived as such and continue to play its mediation role to help bring finality to this impasse.

Notwithstanding the issues raised supra, Kloma Hengme and Kloma Gbi would like to take this opportunity to give thumbs up to ECG for heeding our calls and those of all other stakeholders to restore power to customers in the area. The leadership and members of Kloma Gbi and Kloma Hengme would like to assure ECG of our usual and continued cooperation and support as we all work together to bring finality to this impasse

Stay United For Development – Dr Bawumia Advises Zongo Residents

The Vice-President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, has asked residents of Zongo communities to continue to stay united for the development of their areas.

He urged the people in Zongo communities to keep faith with the government for it to continue to provide the necessary infrastructure, especially education, to improve the well-being of the people.

This was contained in an address read on his behalf by the Co-ordinator of the Inner Cities and Zongo Development, Alhaji Ben Abdallah, at the introduction of Alhaji Hashiru Issah Kurmi V as Chief of Koforidua Zongo in the Eastern Region last Saturday.

The new chief succeeds the late Alhaji Ali Kurmi whose 40-day funeral prayer (Adowa) was also performed at the event.

The event was attended by a large crowd including Zongo chiefs across the country, as well as politicians from both sides of the political divide.

Truthful

According to Dr Bawumia, a chief must always be sincere and truthful to his people and also listen to them on all matters.

He said chiefs must also serve the people in dignity and humility.

Those attributes, he said, would foster unity and promote development in the Zongo communities.

NDC

In an address read on his behalf, former President John Dramani Mahama appealed to the Council of Muslim Chiefs and Imams in the Eastern Region to pray for the National Democratic Congress (NDC) to recapture power at the 2024 general election.

That, he said, would enable the NDC to complete its development agenda for the Zongo communities and the country as a whole.

For his part, Alhaji Kurmi promised to dialogue with the youth in the community to know their needs and how best to provide them.

He solicited the support of the people and assured them of an open and inclusive administration, since “this is an era of charge for the betterment of all.”

 

Source: graphiconline.com

Court Throws Out ‘Canada’ MP

James Gyekye Quayson

The Court of Appeal in Cape Coast yesterday dismissed two out of three preliminary applications filed by opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) Member of Parliament (MP) for Assin North, James Gyekye Quayson, who has been ordered by a Cape Coast High Court to vacate his seat in Parliament with immediate effect.

The embattled MP in early August was ordered by the High Court presided over by Justice Kwasi Boakye, to leave Parliament on the grounds that he was holding dual citizenship.

He has been challenging the declaration by the High Court and as part of the process, filed an appeal at the Cape Coast Court of Appeal.

Three Applications

There were three preliminary applications he filed after the High Court found that he was holding both Canadian and Ghanaian citizenships whilst filing to contest the 2020 parliamentary election which he won on December 7, on the ticket of the NDC.

First, he filed an application for a stay of execution pending the appeal.

Second, he is asking the appellate court to refer to the Supreme Court for interpretation of Article 94 (2) (a) of the 1992 Constitution.

Finally, the ‘Canada’ MP is asking the appellate court to grant him leave to file additional grounds of appeal.

Yesterday, when the court met in Cape Coast, the embattled MP who was led by Tsatsu Tsikata, was dismissed on the issue of the reference to the Supreme Court for interpretation of Article 94 (2) (a) of the 1992 Constitution.

The court then took the issue of his request for leave to file additional grounds of appeal and that was also dismissed.

However, on the application for stay of execution, pending appeal, the MP said he was filing an application for supplementary affidavit in support of the application for stay of execution, and the court granted the leave and adjourned the case to January 24, 2022, for hearing of the stay of execution.

Main Petition

The petitioner, Michael Ankomah Nimfah, on January 6, 2021, applied for an interlocutory injunction to restrain the then MP-elect from being sworn in and holding himself as MP for Assin North because he claimed the MP held Canadian citizenship.

The High Court granted the application, but in flagrant disregard for the court’s order, James Gyekye Quayson then was subsequently sworn in to be part of the Eight Parliament of the Fourth of Republic on January 7.

In the substantive petition that challenged the qualification to be an MP, the petitioner intimated that per Article 94 of the 1992 Constitution, the Representation of the People Law, Act 284 and the CI 127, Mr. Quayson was not qualified at the time of filing to contest the 2020 parliamentary elections, and should be disqualified.

The petitioner had claimed that as at the time Mr. Quayson was filing his papers with the Electoral Commission to enable him to go to Parliament, he was holding dual citizenship (both Ghanaian and Canadian), which the 1992 Constitution expressly does not allow for all those aspiring to hold public office in Ghana.

The petitioners therefore, asked the court to declare the Assin North Parliamentary Election null and void, and order fresh election.

Final Judgment

A Cape Coast High Court in early August cancelled the results of parliamentary elections in the Assin North Constituency in the Central Region, which Mr. Quayson won on December 7, 2020.

The court subsequently ordered that the filing of parliamentary nomination forms by Mr. Quayson when he held a Canadian citizenship at the time of filing the said nomination forms between October 5-9, 2020 with the Electoral Commission (EC) violates Article 94 (2) (a) of the 1992 Constitution, Section 9 (2) (a) of PNDCL 284 and C.I. 127.

The court also ordered that the EC’s decision to clear Mr. Quayson to contest the parliamentary elections in the Assin North Constituency when the latter was not qualified as a candidate on account of his holding allegiance to Canada other than Ghana, violates Article 92 (2) (a) of the 1992 Constitution, Section 9 (2) (a) of PNDCL 284, as amended and C.I. 127.

According to the court, the decision by the EC to allow Mr. Quayson to contest the parliamentary elections in the Assin North Constituency when he held a Canadian citizenship at the time of filing his nomination forms, violated the electoral laws of Ghana and is of no legal consequence.

The court said Mr. Quayson’s election “is null and void and of no legal effect whatsoever as same violates the electoral laws of Ghana,” because at the time of the election the respondent was not qualified to contest as a candidate in accordance with the electoral laws of Ghana.

“The Court hereby cancels the Parliamentary Elections in the Assin North Constituency organised in December 2020 and further orders 2nd Respondent to conduct fresh Parliamentary Elections in the Assin North Constituency as such,” the judge held, adding that Mr. Quayson “is hereby restrained perpetually from holding himself out as Member of Parliament-Elect for Assin North Constituency and or presenting himself to be sworn in as a Member of Parliament.”

The court also overruled the MP’s challenge that the petitioner, Michael Ankomah Nimfah, did not have the capacity to mount the challenge, and said the petition was competent because the jurisdiction of the court was properly invoked by the petitioner.

The court held that the independence of the EC in the conduct of elections is always guaranteed and the court can only intervene when an illegality resulting in an unconstitutional action has been committed by the commission.

MP’s Argument

Per the grounds of appeal, Mr. Quayson is arguing that “the High Court did not allow for proof of foreign law in the determination of the issues whether or not the appellant owed allegiance to a country other than Ghana.”

He is also arguing that the High Court acted contrary to Article 129(3) when it departed from a Supreme Court decision which stated that nomination period extends beyond the nomination day(s) announced by the Electoral Commission and rather limited itself to the nomination days of October 5 to October 9 announced by the EC.

He is also arguing that the High Court breached Section 20(1) (d) of the Representation of People Act, 1992, (PNDC Law 284) “when purporting to decide that the election of the appellant as a Member of Parliament on December 7, 2020, was void.”

Mr. Quayson is also arguing that the High Court erred in law when it refused or failed to proceed to the trial of the issues raised by the pleadings.

“The decision of the High Court to determine the suit solely on legal arguments where a matter of foreign law was pleaded is in breach of Order 38 Rule 1 and Order 32 Rule 7 of the High Court Civil Procedure Rules, 2004 (C.I. 47) as amended by sub rule 2 of Rule 3B and Rule 7A of the High Court (Civil Procedure) (Amendment) rules, 2014 (C.I 87) respectively.”

Again, he insisted that the “High Court erred in law and out of jurisdiction by not referring the interpretation of Article 94(2)(a) of the 1992 Constitution to the Supreme Court having regard to the different interpretations of the parties in the suit.”

Again, he averred that the High Court erred in law when it held that an election petition in the High Court is a competent procedure for challenging the decision of the EC to clear him for the December 7, 2020 parliamentary election.

The appeal filed by his lawyer, Justin Pwavra Teriwajah, who was yesterday led by Tsatsu Tsikata, concluded that the nullification of the December 7, 2020 parliamentary election in Assin North and a further order for a fresh election lack any constitutional and legal basis as the “judgment is wholly against the weight of the evidence

Five Crushed To Death At Adeiso

Five persons including an 8-month-old baby have met their untimely death in accident that occurred on the Adeiso to Nsawam road in the Eastern Region.

Reports says a Nissan bus with a registration number GG 3212-19 from New Abirem, heading to Accra ran into a pothole causing the accident.

According to the New Abirem station master, Nuhu, when the bus got to a filling station at Adeiso on the Accra-Kumasi highway, it hit a deep pothole on the road, and as a result of the speed it was moving at, one of its tyres burst.

He said the driver lost control and the vehicle somersaulted several times, adding that because the passengers had no seat belt, some of them were thrown out of the window as the bus somersaulted.

“Five people came out from the window and hit their heads on the road and died. These five were two females and three males including the 8 months old baby,” he said.

He explained that “the tragic part was that when the baby came out from the window onto the road, the bus ran over the baby and was smashed”.

He cried out that the driver had loaded lots of things at the back of the vehicle and on top of it, making the bus very heavy.

The driver together with two other passengers sustained minor injuries.

The driver was immediately arrested by the Nsawam Police who rushed to the scene and was taken to the station to write his statement and later granted bail after being given a medical form to attend hospital.

The reports said one woman who sustained minor injury, lost her husband and baby and another man lost his wife through the accident.

Meanwhile, the bodies of the deceased havevbeen taken to the Nsawam Government Hospital Morgue and the other passengers who sustained serious injuries are receiving treatment at the Nsawam Government Hospital

Government spent over GHC32m on conferences under COVID-19 – Minority

Muntaka Mubarak

Minority to investigate government expenditure

Minority to hold government accountable

We won’t allow government to waste Ghana’s resources

The Minority in parliament has revealed that the government spent over GHC30 million on conferences during the height of the Coronavirus pandemic in the country.

According to the Minority Chief Whip, Mohammed-Mubarak Muntaka, they are ready to demand full details on how these monies were spent to ensure Ghanaians know how the nation’s scarce resources are being used under the Nana Akufo-Addo administration.

Speaking to Starrnews, the lawmaker said, “I can tell you this, a lot of these ministries are sweating, I mean if people can choose to spend GHc32million on conferences during COVID, you have to provide details. And if one particular office can spend 1billion, we need details and they are sweating already,” Starrnewsonline quoted.

He explained that they intend to do this to ensure that they are following procedures of the House in such matters.

“We do not want these things to stand uncontested and exhaustive because if you allow it to stay, it becomes part of rules of the House. We want to be sure that all avenues would be exhausted then we are certain that this is what we want to be part of the proceeding of the House. Remember, I have always said the House is by three things, the Standing Orders, the Constitution and our practice,” he added.

Muntaka Mubarak added that the Minority caucus will ensure Ghanaians have full details of how government is using the nation’s scarce resources under the Akufo-Addo administration while they hold the government accountable.

“Our concentration is to do our bid and our bid is that we are holding the government to account for its stewardship. We are saying that we will not allow you to waste our resources, resources that have been given to you. You must account for it properly. If you want to do anything use the right procedure,” he said.

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

GRA will collect E-Levy, not private company – Ministry of Finance

GRA will collect E-Levy - Ministry of Finance

The Ministry of Finance has refuted allegations that a private company has been awarded a contract to collect the proposed Electronic levy (E-levy) on Mobile Money transactions, inward remittances and ATM withdrawals.

Instead, the Finance Ministry in a statement issued yesterday said the Ghana Revenue Authority is the state agency mandated to collect the levy at a cost that shall not exceed the standard cost of revenue mobilization.

The Ministry’s statement was in reaction to publications that suggested that a private company has been awarded a contract to collect the E-Levy.

“The attention of the Ministry of Finance has been drawn to social media publications claiming that government has dropped the allocation of GHC241,933,000 for the E Transaction Levy Services in the 2022 Budget and it will, therefore, not appear in the Appropriations Bill,” the statement said.

“Additionally, the Ministry is aware of allegations making the rounds that a private company has been awarded a contract to collect the E-Levy. Another allegation is that the services of the said private company have now been abrogated.

“The Ministry of Finance wish to state that these allegations are all untrue.

“The Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) is the state agency mandated to provide for the collection services, the cost of which shall not exceed the standard of revenue mobilization as has always been the practice. This standard indicative cost is what is outlined in the budget. GRA will manage all discussions to ensure full deployment of their current platforms and resources for the collection of the E-Levy”.

Read the statement below;

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

IGNORE MEDIA PUBLICATION ON GHC241M E-LEVY TRANSACTION SERVICES

1. The attention of the Ministry of Finance has been drawn to social media publications claiming that government has dropped the allocation of GHC241,933,000 for the E Transaction Levy Services in the 2022 Budget and it will, therefore, not appear in the Appropriations Bill.

2. Additionally, the Ministry is aware of allegations making the rounds that a private company has been awarded a contract to collect the E-Levy. Another allegation is that the services of the said private company have now been abrogated.

3. The Ministry of Finance wish to state that these allegations are all untrue.

4. The Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) is the state agency mandated to provide for the collection services, the cost of which shall not exceed the standard of revenue mobilization as has always been the practice. This standard indicative cost is what is outlined in the budget. GRA will manage all discussions to ensure full deployment of their current platforms and resources for the collection of the E-Levy.

5. On 6th December 2021, the Hon. Minister for Finance provided full clarification on the earmarking of GHC241m as the E-levy services fee. For avoidance of doubt, and to prevent further misinformation, we reproduce the relevant sections of the Minister’s statement.

6. “We do have an understanding with the Ghana Revenue Authority which uses up to 3% of the money it raises for ensuring that they can make such collections. The GH241 million is therefore a reserve that is intended to be put aside to facilitate GRA’s collection of these resources”, to quote the Minister.

7. “Additionally, typically when we have new tax measures, there is the issue of refunds and we usually make some compensation for that, sometimes 6% or so of the value to ensure that if those refunds come, we are able to pay for them”, the Minister added.

8. “So, in essence, this really will be to back up GRA in a way to ensure that all the problems that people envisage and the difficulties other countries have had will be mitigated in Ghana, so we should be in readiness to support that.”

9. We wish to reiterate that, the E-Transaction Levy remains one of the efficient means by which Government would be able to raise the needed revenue to support the economic development programmes for 2022. We count on your support.

ISSUED BY THE PUBLIC RELATIONS UNIT MINISTRY OF FINANCE

NPP Conference: Only Akufo-Addo T-Shirts Will Be Allowed – John Boadu

Ahead of the New Patriotic Party’s(NPP) National delegates conference on December 18, 2021, the party has issued a statement giving instructions on how they intend to organize the event. 
 
Third paragraph states, “…….no t-shirts, flyers, brochures, and or souvenirs, branded and or embossed with the portraits and names of individuals, shall be allowed within the precincts of the Conference, including but not limited to places of accommodation for delegates. Any person, with or without their consent, whose image is flaunted on any advocacy material and who does not take active steps to desist from any public displays of aspiration for a position within the precincts of Greater Kumasi, runs a higher risk of disqualification in the event nominations are declared opened.”
 
However, the General Secretary of the party, John Boadu has disclosed that the President is an exception.
 
In an interview with Kwame Tanko on Angel FM’s flagship program- Angel in the Morning, Mr Boadu said the party will only admit persons with the President, Nana Akufo-Addo’s paraphernalia and or T-Shirts and party colours into the conference grounds. 
 
“……prior to our national conference in Cape Coast in 2016, we issued a similar statement and so I don’t see anything new here. If you’re a supporter and you’ve Adu Boahene, Kuffour and Akufo-Addo’s T-shirts or party colours, you can wear them. But individual contestants’ campaign materials are what we’re against.”
 
When asked whether or not the Vice President’s paraphernalia will be accepted, Mr John Boadu who appeared to have been ambushed with the question said
 
“ ……. well, maybe, because he’s the Vice President but if possible do away with it. I think the party will be strict in this directive, he stressed. 
 
John Boadu however assured that all is set for the event which begins with a Muslim prayer on Friday at the Central Mosque

Sad seeing school children learning under trees whilst MPs drive V8s – Martha Ankomah

Sad seeing school children learning under trees whilst MPs drive V8s - Martha Ankomah

Martha Ankomah

Ghanaian actress, Martha Ankomah, has lamented the sad state of school infrastructure in the country. According to her, it is heartbreaking to see school children sitting under trees learning whilst MPs drive in luxurious public-funded V8 cars.

In an interview with Accra FM, Martha Ankomah expressed her disappointment with the state of rural schools, which she attributed to poor leadership.

“Our problem is actually leadership, not just politicians in Ghana, but the whole of African. The problem is leadership.”

She added that Ghana is blessed with all the resources. Yet, the country is poor, but a country like Dubai has only oil but is very developed.

“If Dubai extracts only oil and has been able to develop its country. And Ghana, God has blessed us with all resources, including oil. And yet, we are poor. Then there is no need for other countries to borrow money from Ghana because it is very
worrying.

“Ghana was gifted with everything on earth, but our problem is leadership. And if our leaders are going to change their mindset and have a love for the country, then Ghana would be a better place to be. I feel sad when I see school children under tress learning and MPs drive in V8 sharing goats, chickens and bicycles during elections”.

Martha Ankomah pleaded with government officials, especially lawmakers, to prioritise the country’s needs over personal satisfaction.

“Do something for someone to say this MP really worked. He constructed roads, not the MP that did nothing whiles school children are learning under trees. Good name, the Bible says, is better than riches,” she concluded

Resign to campaign” – Akufo-Addo warns ambitious Ministers

President Akufo-Addo, on Friday gave the clearest warning to his Ministers aspiring to succeed him to “focus on the job” he has given them “or quit now to pursue” their “presidential ambitions.”

This warning came last after Cabinet meeting ended late Friday night and was followed by a political session.

There is growing anxiety within Government and the ruling party over campaign activities of but a very few members of Government who are aspiring to win the nod as the New Patriotic Party’s presidential candidate for 2024, an election which is three years away.

The President reminded the aspirants in his government that not even the 17 NPP candidates who contested for the 2008 presidential slot, including 13 who were in the Government in 2005, were seen to be actively campaigning within the first year of the second John Agyekum Kufuor administration.

The President criticized the premature move of the few hopefuls in his government. The President effectively described it as selfish and irresponsible for aspirants to allow their ambition to get in the way of their ministerial job within the first year of a sitting President’s second and final term.

His warning came a day after the Steering Committee of the New Patriotic Party met at the party headquarters to discuss this very matter among other pressing issues as the ruling party is about to embark on a series of elections for party executives from the constituency, through regional to the national level.

The riot act, outlining what is expected of every Minister in the Akufo-Addo administration was read to the Ministers at the Friday meeting by the Secretary to the President, Nana Bediatuo Asante.  This was followed by a spirited no-words-mincing warning from the President that he would sack any Minister who defied his orders.

Cabinet was shifted from Thursday to Friday because of the funeral of the late statesman and leading architect of both the Provisional National Defence Council (PNDC) and the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Capt (Rtd) Kojo Tsikata.

Earlier at the NPP’s steering committee meeting Thursday night, the issue of billboards of aspiring candidates popping up across the country was also roundly condemned as “vulgar”, conveying a wrong, loud impression of misplaced priority.

Source: Asaaseradio.com

Second Lady, Samira, Leads Bantama Youth Choir To The World

Ghana’s Second Lady, Hajia Samira Bawumia has endorsed the establishment of the newest choir in Ghana, the Bantama Youth Choir, founded by the Minister of Works and Housing, and the Member of Parliament for the Bantama Constituency, Hon. Francis Asenso-Boakye.

The Second Lady, while leading an Inaugural Ceremony and a Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols, of the MP’s Choir, commended the legislator for bringing together strong and talented Ghanaian youth to sing for God and mother Ghana.
Hajia Samira Bawumia said she shares in Mr. Asenso-Boakye’s aim of making his Choir an international one that can take the name of Ghana to places where other disciplines might not have taken it- she promised her support to this cause.

Speaking at the Inauguration and Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols, held at the A. T Nartey Assembly of the Pentecost Church, Bantama on Saturday, 11th December, 2021, the excited Founder and President of Bantama Youth Choir, Hon. Francis Asenso-Boakye explained that “As a member of the Methodist Church, I have always loved to watch the choirs singing, especially when the choristers are processing at chapel.

As I kept enjoying this from infancy, I tried being part of the choir, but one day, the Choir Master told me not to come for rehearsal again since my voice was not good for singing. I knew I didn’t have a good voice, so I succumbed to his instruction.

However, my being out of the choir didn’t kill my interest in Choral Music- I have always supported Choristers wherever I have been.

So my establishing the Banatama Youth Choir stems from my love for choral music and my resolve to engage the youth of the Bantama Constituency in worthwhile pursuits”.
 
The Minister and MP while speaking at the inauguration and Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols indicated that he believes that the good training he had at the Sunday School and Boys Brigade in the Methodist Church while a child and youth, helped to shape his life better for the challenges and responsibilities in his career and entire life today, hence, the founding of the Bantama Youth Choir to turn the singing talents of the youth into skills and to train them to be resourceful in order to be able to contribute to national development, as well as upholding strong Christian values amongst the youth.
 
Mr. Asenso-Boakye indicated that he wants to build his choir to become a vibrant internationally recognized singing group that will be performing on global stages like the Sowetho Choir and Winneba Youth Choir do.
 
Ghana’s Second Lady, Hajia Samira Bawumia was the Guest of Honour at the inaugural ceremony of the Bantama Youth Choir and the carols night programme. Other dignitaries at the programme were Minister of Information, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, CEO of Kessben Group, Mr. Kwabena Kesse, Member of Parliament for Asokwa, Hon. Patricia Appiagyei, CEO of Jeshop Construction, Mr. James Osei Brown, Kumasi Metro Director of Urban Ing. Nana Poku Agyeman, Chief of Nzema and Businessman, Nana Nkansah Boadu, Philanthropist and CEO of Beauty Queen Hotels, Nana Adwoa Dokuaa, Ghana’s Former Ambassador to China, Amb. Edward Edward Boateng, CEO of Prefos Ltd, Mr. Alex Kwasi Fosu, Secretary General –Ghana Commission for UNESSCO, Ama S. Nerquaye –Tetteh, Head of Legal CIB-Stanbic Bank Ghana Ltd., Board Chairman of Exim Bank and Businessman, Mr Boateng Gyamfi and a host of others.

The Bantama Youth Choir and a guest group, Celestial Evangel Choir put up incredible performances that thrilled and excited audience at the programme.

A stunning performance by Soloist, Dentaa Amoateng, a Ghanaian British Award winning singer, actress, producer and entrepreneur made one felt they were listening to an opera singer in the New York City’s Beacon Theatre.

We’re not obstructing gov’t; ask them to do the right thing – Minority to Otumfuo

Muntaka Mubarak

The Minority in Parliament has challenged claims by the Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu II that rejection of the E-Levy amounts to frustrating government policy.

The Asantehene on Sunday at his gala night in Kumasi urged MPs not to dictate to government but rather allow electorate to pass judgment at the polls.

“We elect people to represent us to make sure there is some equilibrium in what governments do. It is to our good that our representatives in Parliament subject the national budget to the most rigorous scrutiny and to call for changes.”

“Government must also have the humility to acknowledge and embrace the useful inputs from all sources, but our representatives need to bear in mind that it is not their role to either determine policy or to frustrate the executive from performing their legitimate duties,” the Otumfuo said.

But speaking to the media, Minority chief whip Muntaka Mubarak argued rejection of the E-Levy does not amount to frustrating government.

According to the Asawase MP, the move by the NDC MPs is rather to safeguard the interest of the public.

“All over the world, oversight is done by the minority and we are just doing our work. We don’t intend to frustrate government, we don’t to obstruct government business, we will not stand in the way of government trying to do what is right.

“We cannot just leave our role in the House and wait for the next election. It is the reason a budget is brought here, it is the reason four state of the nation addresses are read within the four year tenure. We can assure his majesty and all the pastors and imams that as Minority we are not here to obstruct government business. Encourage government to do what is right,” he said.

Muntaka also revealed ministers are unable to account fully for their 2021 allocations.

For instance he cites a ministry which is struggling to justify spending about 1 billion cedis on conferences in spite of COVID-19 restrictions on physical gathering.

Source: Ghana/Starrfm.com.gh

NPP Confab: ‘No COVID-19 jab, no entry’ – Nsia-Asare

Unvaccinated New Patriotic Party (NPP) delegates attending the upcoming conference will not be allowed entry, the Presidential Advisor on Health, Dr Anthony Nsia-Asare has announced.

This forms part of efforts to ensure that all Ghanaians are immunised against COVID-19.

“Any delegate who is coming to the conference without having been vaccinated will not be allowed into the grounds of the conference,” Dr Nsia-Asare noted while speaking to journalists in Accra on Monday, 13 December 2021.

He said that the vaccination cards of delegates will be checked before being allowed entry into the conference arena.

The event is scheduled to take place on Saturday, 18 December 2021.

He stated: “I repeat: any delegate who is coming should be vaccinated. If you are not vaccinated yet, you have today, tomorrow, Thursday, Friday to vaccinate before you go to Kumasi”.

“If you don’t come with any vaccination card, the genuine one, we will check, you will not be allowed into the conference.”

The government has declared the month of December as a month of vaccination against COVID-19.

This comes on the heels of the detection of a new variant called Omicron by South African scientists.

The December vaccination is, therefore, to ensure the prevention of a fourth wave.

It will target specific venues and groups.

Thus, persons who are not vaccinated will be denied entry into places such as sports stadia, restaurants, beaches among others

EIB offers €82.5 million support to Ghana to strengthen healthcare system

The President of the Republic of Ghana, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has welcomed the €82.5 million support offered to Ghana by the European Investment Bank (EIB) to strengthen healthcare, provision of specialist medical equipment and medicines across Ghana under the national COVID-19 Health Response Plan.

The concessional financing package, which comprises a €75 million facility from the EIB, and €7.5 million grant from the European Commission, was signed at the Luxembourg Headquarters of the European Investment Bank, following President Akufo-Addo’s official visit to Luxembourg on Monday, 13th December 2021.

The new agreement with Ghana represents the largest national EIB financing for COVID related health investment in Africa.

The new facility, representing the EIB’s largest support for COVID related health investment in sub-Saharan Africa, was signed by one behalf of Ghana by Hon. Kwaku Ampratwum-Sarpong, the Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs, and Ambroise Fayolle, European Investment Bank Vice President, in the presence of President Nana Akufo-Addo, EIB President Werner Hoyer and H.E. Sena Siaw-Boateng, Ambassador of Ghana to the European Union.

“Strengthened cooperation between Africa and multilateral development partners is crucial to share global best practice and ensure a rapid response to health, social and health challenges triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic. The European Investment Bank and the European Union are key partners for Ghana and I welcome their support for our national COVID-19 Health Response Plan,” President Akufo-Addo said.

He continued, “Ghanaian and EIB experts have worked tirelessly in recent months to finalise this initiative since President Hoyer and I met earlier this year. Specialist healthcare and medical services will benefit from both the EIB’s largest backing for COVID health resilience in Africa and EU grant support”.

“Ghana has taken visionary steps to ensure that the impact of COVID can be managed and long-term investment unlocked to strengthen both health services and access to finance by business. A few months ago President Akufo-Addo and I confirmed EIB backing for the Development Bank of Ghana. It is an honour to welcome our Ghanaian friends to our Luxembourg headquarters to demonstrate the impact of our joint response to improve COVID-19 healthcare and discuss how to further strengthen Team Europe’s partnership to improve lives and opportunities in Ghana in the years ahead.” said Werner Hoyer, President of the European Investment Bank.

“Europe and Ghana stand side by side to tackle the health challenges triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic. The new Team Europe support for Ghana’s COVID-19 Health Response Plan will strengthen public health and enhance resilience to the pandemic across Ghana in the months and years ahead through new investment backed by the European Union and European Investment Bank.” said Jutta Urpilainen, European Union Commissioner for International Partnerships.

The meeting provided an opportunity to discuss recent EIB support for the retrofit of the Kpong Dam, Development Bank Ghana and COVAX, explore future cooperation to support local vaccine manufacturing and outline the EIB’s strengthened engagement in Africa through a new dedicated development finance branch to be launched in the new year.

The EIB and EU backed health investment will improve medical treatment for patients with COVID at Treatment and Isolation Centres and Intensive Care Units, as well as measures to detect and contain the virus and slow down transmission. The initiative will both enhance medical treatment during the pandemic and enhance public health in the years ahead.

Ghana was the first country in Africa to receive COVID-19 vaccines under the EIB and EU backed COVAX initiative. EIB experts also briefed President Akufo-Addo on plans to further accelerate delivery of vaccines across sub-Saharan Africa.

EIB strengthening co-operation with Ghana
The EIB is finalising new support for business investment in Ghana with ECOBANK that is expected to be confirmed in the coming weeks.

This follows the formal agreement in May this year between President Akufo Addo and EIB President Werner Hoyer for EUR 170 million EIB backing for the new Development Bank Ghana. This represented the largest ever EIB engagement in Ghana and most significant support for a national development finance institution in Africa.

Once operational Development Bank Ghana will increase access to long-term finance and boost job creation for thousands of businesses in key sectors, including agribusiness, manufacturing, ICT tourism and other services across Ghana.

The European Investment Bank is the world’s largest international public bank and financed transformational investment across Ghana, including renewable energy at the Kpong Dam, business and services, since 1976.

Background information
The European Investment Bank (EIB) is the long-term lending institution of the European Union owned by its Member States. It makes long-term finance available for sound investment in order to contribute towards EU policy goals.

Haruna Iddrisu issues strongly-worded reply to 1st Deputy Speaker

Minority Leader Haruna Iddrisu has taken a strong exception to the dismissal of his motion by the Acting Speaker of Parliament, Joseph Osei-Owusu, by describing the latter’s decision as “abuse of discretionary power”.

Mr Osei-Owusu, who is the First Deputy Speaker, had refused the motion by the Tamale South Member of Parliament to overturn his own ruling of admitting a rejected motion on the 2022 budget statement and government’s economic policy.

Haruna Iddrisu himself had led the Minority to cause the motion by Minister of Finance Ken Ofori-Atta to be lost. Speaker Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin was then presiding over proceedings.

But five days later after the Speaker had left for Dubai for a medical review, the Majority with Mr Osei-Owusu in the Speaker’s chair, admitted the motion and, in effect, approved the 2022 budget.

But Haruna Iddrisu sought to overturn that decision with his motion, which was refused in a letter signed by Clerk to Parliament, Cyril Nsiah.

But on Monday, the Minority Leader also had a reply for the First Deputy Speaker.

“Kindly take note that the NDC Minority Caucus which I lead and my good self vehemently disagree with your position on the motion and your conduct in this matter.

“We take the strong view that your conduct affronts Orders 79, 81, 82, and 90 of our Standing Orders and can no longer be tolerated.

“In that regard, we are resolved to pursue this matter further with the Right Honourable Speaker upon his return.”

By Emmanuel Kwame Amoh|3news.com|Ghana

Man, 55, allegedly killed by wife after heated argument at Mankessim

Reports gathered suggested the said woman allegedly murdered the 55-year-old trunk repairer, Agya Atta, o ver marital issues.

Residents of a suburb at Mankessim have launched a search for a woman who is on the run after allegedly hacking her husband to death.

Reports gathered suggested the said woman allegedly murdered the 55-year-old trunk repairer, Agya Atta, over marital issues.

It is said that following their separation, the two have been at loggerheads over whom to take responsibility for their young son.

Kojo Essel, an apprentice of the deceased, who spoke to Adom News, said hours before he was found dead, his boss was engaged in a heated argument with his wife on phone before heading home to meet her.

He added he decided to check on his boss after he had been away for a while, and that was when he found him in a pool of blood, lifeless, inside his room.

A frantic call was made to neighbours who arrived at the scene to witness the incident.

The Mankessim Police were also called to the scene and investigations have commenced.

Source: Seth Kofi Adjei//Adomonline