Category: News

2022 Budget: ‘It was me; I was in parliament yesterday’ – Adwoa Safo speaks

Dome-Kwabenya MP Sarah Adwoa Safo has said she was in parliament on Tuesday during the voting on the 2022 budget statement contrary to social media rumours that someone impersonated her in the chamber.

“I was present in this house yesterday”, she said, adding: “Mr Speaker, and to state categorically that I cannot force Hon. Okudzeto Ablakwa, who is my friend on the other side, the dress the way I want him to dress and that is an insult on womanhood and so those making that noise should withdraw”, she said in parliament on Wednesday, 1 December 2021 during a debate on the 2022 budget.

The Dome-Kwabenya arm of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) expressed scepticism about the identity of a lady who was seen in the Dome-Kwabenya lawmaker’s seat.

Ms Safo has not been seen in public for months.https://googleads.g.doubleclick.net/pagead/ads?client=ca-pub-4549410436183225&output=html&h=250&slotname=4705176708&adk=1921530005&adf=2366005940&pi=t.ma~as.4705176708&w=300&lmt=1638364953&psa=0&format=300×250&url=https%3A%2F%2Fmobile.classfmonline.com%2Fnews%2Fpolitics%2FIt-was-me-I-was-in-parliament-yesterday-Adwoa-Safo-speaks-29018&flash=0&wgl=1&dt=1638364952133&bpp=7&bdt=1184&idt=1102&shv=r20211111&mjsv=m202111160101&ptt=9&saldr=aa&abxe=1&prev_fmts=0x0%2C300x250&nras=1&correlator=6916878964154&frm=20&pv=1&ga_vid=1861878287.1638364953&ga_sid=1638364953&ga_hid=1378551209&ga_fc=0&u_tz=0&u_his=1&u_h=892&u_w=412&u_ah=892&u_aw=412&u_cd=24&u_sd=2.625&dmc=4&adx=56&ady=1450&biw=412&bih=749&scr_x=0&scr_y=296&eid=31063796%2C44755657%2C31060475%2C31062931&oid=2&pvsid=3015299933480052&pem=108&tmod=1700080683&ref=https%3A%2F%2Flm.facebook.com%2F&eae=0&fc=1920&brdim=0%2C0%2C0%2C0%2C412%2C0%2C412%2C749%2C412%2C749&vis=1&rsz=%7C%7CEebr%7C&abl=CS&pfx=0&fu=0&bc=31&ifi=3&uci=a!3&btvi=1&fsb=1&xpc=hjsuM8XxUO&p=https%3A//mobile.classfmonline.com&dtd=1142

Her leave was extended by President Nana Akufo-Addo some weeks ago.

In her absence, the President has asked the Minister of Water and Sanitation, Mrs Cecilia Abena Dapaah to act as the Minister of Gender, Child and Social Protection.

The Majority Caucus of parliament, in its bid to overturn the rejection of the 2022 budget by a Minority-alone parliament on Friday, 26 November 2021, ensured that all its members, including Adwoa Safo, showed up on the floor to vote for the approval of the budget by a Majority-alone parliament.

However, social media has been awash with debate about whether or not the lady MP thought to be the Dome-Kwabenya MP was really Adwoa Safo.

Jumping into the fray, the Dome-Kwabenya Constituency Chairman of the NDC, Mr Isaac Lamptey, challenged the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) to come clean on the identity of the lady who popped up on the floor of parliament as Adwoa Safo.

Mr Lamptey threw the challenge in an interview with Kwame Appiah Kubi on Accra100.5FM’s morning show ‘Ghana Yensom’ on Wednesday, 1 December 2021.

According to him, the lady cannot be Adwoa Safo.

“As constituents, we know our MP and the personality who purported to be the MP is not our MP”, he insisted.

“As political watchers in the constituency, we know Adwoa Safo has some semblance with her sisters and some friends and the lady who popped up seems to be one of the semblances in the constituency”, he claimed.

He said the MP has sisters who look just like her.

However, Mr Seth Kusi, the spokesperson for Adwoa Safo, denied the claims of the NDC, saying she has been in the country as of Thursday, 23 November 2021.

He added that the MP was not seen on the floor of the house on the previous Friday because she was in a committee meeting in parliament

Covid-19: Cases of Omicron variant recorded in Ghana – GHS

The Ghana Health Service (GHS) has confirmed that cases of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus (Covid-19) have been recorded in Ghana on November 21.

The confirmation was made by the Director General of the GHS, Dr Patrick Kumah Aboagye in Accra on Wednesday December 1.

“There is the emergence of the new variant and I must say, through the robust testing at the Kotoka International Airport, Ghana has detected the Omicron variant already and the cases have come mainly from Nigeria and South Africa. The very first case that was detected during our sequencing was on the 21 of November”, Dr Patrick Kumah Aboagye told pressmen.

The new variant, according to the GHS, has not yet been detected in the communities. However, Dr. Kumah Aboagye mentioned there is the potential of a community spread “if someone has omicron and it’s incubating it will not be detected at the airport”.

He said it is important for all to adhere to all the Covid-19 protocols especially as the festive season nears and more visited are expected.

About the Omicron variant

The World Health Organization has called Omicron a “variant of concern” and on Monday warned that the global risks posed by it were “very high,” despite what officials described as a multitude of uncertainties. Cases have been identified in 20 countries so far, including Britain, Italy, Belgium and the Netherlands. Although Omicron has not yet been detected in the United States, experts say it is only a matter of time before the variant shows up.

Source: 3news.com

Don’t politicise my health issues – Speaker

The Office of the Speaker of Parliament has explained that the recent trip to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) by Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin for a routine medical check-up is part of his conditions of service.

The trip was embarked upon just a day after he ruled to reject the 2022 budget statement and government’s economic policy under controversial circumstances.

He went on the trip with two members of his staff – his aide and one secretary – as well as his spouse and Head of the Parliamentary Clinic, Dr Prince Kofi Pambo.

“The current Speaker of Ghana’s Parliament, Rt. Hon. Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin, being mindful of the times in which the country finds itself, traveled with a comparatively skeletal staff, taking into consideration the economic situation in the country and bearing in mind, the need for frugal and prudent spending,” a release issued by his counsel, Magnus Kofi Amoatey, on Monday, November 29 said.

It explained that there are records to show that all his predecessors, particularly in the Fourth Republic, embarked on similar trips and even the entire leadership of the House are entitled to same.

His office is, therefore, not happy about reports on the trip, particularly on reason why he is accessing healthcare abroad rather than home.

“Indeed, the Speaker has on a number of occasions stated openly and continues to maintain his position to Members of Parliament to help safeguard the public purse and so has been mindful of same in all his dealings as Speaker.

“The Office of Speaker wishes to assure the general citizenry of its commitment to protect the public purse at all times.

“Parliament is also committed to seeking the best interest of the people they represent and will continue to always do so.”

It further explained that the Majority and Minority members may disagree on issues on the floor “but these are all based on procedures, which govern the work of the House and which are strictly adhered to without fear or favour”.

“The office will advise that the health issues of the speaker and that of other office bearers are not politicised as anybody could be taken ill at any time.”

The Speaker is expected back home on Tuesday, December 14, 2021

Otumfuo To Outdoor Gold Coins

Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II

The Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, is set to officially launch his Commemorative Gold Coins on December 12, 2021.

According to information gathered the Commemorative Gold Coins as a fitting memorial in honour of His Majesty Otumfuo Osei Tutu II for the significant role he played in restoring peace to the Dagbon kingdom in the Northern Region of Ghana after decades of protracted Chieftaincy crisis between members of the royal gates.

It’s also acknowledged Otumfuo’s role as a restraining influence that has manifested in almost every election cycle in Ghana.

That influence, additionally, has ensured peaceful elections, culminating in seamless transitions in governments, especially when power changed hands between the two dominant political parties in Ghana.

The face of the Gold Coin bears the image of Otumfuo, with the Adinkra symbols “Bi Nka Bi” on the left side and “Mpatapo,” on the right which symbolizes peace, harmony, and reconciliation.

The reverse of the Gold Coin bears the image of the Golden Stool of Asanteman also known as “Sikadwa Kofi.” Legend has it that, the Sikadwa Kofi, which is the most prized possession of the Asante Kingdom and symbolizes the soul of the Asante people was commandeered from the Heavens by the High Priest, Okomfo Anokye and landed on the lap of the first Asante King, Otumfuo Osei Tutu I.

The Gold Coin will be 99.99% (24 karats) fine gold with a diameter of 37.00 mm and weighing 31.104 grams has been approved by the Bank of Ghana

We want to cut borrowing hence E-levy but NDC says no – NPP

Majority Leader (Left) Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu and Minority Leader Haruna Iddrisu

General Secretary of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), John Boadu, has said the Akufo-Addo administration intended to reduce external borrowing hence, the introduction of some taxes including the E-levy in the 2022 budget statement.

He therefore, finds is difficult to comprehend the position taken by the main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) against the levies which when approved would lead to a reduction in borrowing.

Addressing a press conference in Koforidua on Monday November 29, he said “As long as we continue to export raw materials for little money and use those moneys to  import expensive finished goods at a lower duty level, we shall  continue to struggle with raising revenue to fund development and social services. So, politically, it sounds good for the NDC to say, no way to the restoration of benchmark values but ultimately, such a posture is against the industrialization agenda necessary to create jobs. So it is important to ask the NDC what their industrial policy is. Does the NDC have the plan to change the structure of the import-expert economy? If so, what is the plan?

“The bottom line is that, the NPP won a mandate in the 2020 general elections to continue to govern this country according to its manifesto and the record of cumulative achievements in this fourth republic.

 “The party will be resolute in pursuing policies that inure to the long term benefit of Ghanaians as often stated by His Excellency Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo. We are here to make decisions  to further good governance. We are not in government to avoid hard decisions for the sake of political power. That way, power loses credibility because it is disabled from serving the people’s true interest.

“In conclusion, the NPP will continue to offer well thought through policies to the good people of Ghana. These policies will generate the much needed jobs and incomes for our youth.

“Our policies will continue to provide education for all in need, our policies will continue to and promote and build the health sector , our policies will continue to  protect and grow  the agric sector.

“The NDC, is it their dream that government puts levies on petroleum products? Is it their view that government continues to borrow? Is it their view that we collapse  the local manufacturing economy  in favour of import? The NDC must answer these questions to Ghanaians.

“The New Patriotic Party remains sensitive to the needs of Ghanaian people in the capacity of Ghanaians to take charge of their own future. It is on this basis that we call on all Ghanaians to support this government budget for growth and expansion of our economy.”

The Minority Leader Haruna Iddrisu has said the E-levy policy proposal in the 2022 budget statement is a disincentive to the growth of digital economy.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

But Parliament has rejected the budget statement.

The Majority members had staged a walkout during proceedings on Friday, November 26 but that did not stop the Speaker, Alban Bagbin, from ruling on the motion.

He had given a five-minute break for the Majority members to resume their seats.

But after the time elapsed, Speaker Bagbin ruled that the budget has been rejected after the members present overwhelmingly shouted ‘No’.

Following this development, the Majority Leader in Parliament, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, is accusing the Speaker, Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin, of partisanship in the manner which he handled the motion by the Finance Minister on the 2022 budget statement and economic policy of government.

The motion, as presided over by the Speaker on Friday, November 26 in the absence of the Majority, was lost.

But in spirited challenge to events that unfolded in the House on Friday, the Majority says the Speaker’s actions were unconstitutional and the legal references he fell on to go ahead with the votes were incongruous.

“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 Suame Member of Parliament said.

“Now, what exercise he led for our colleagues on the other side to take a decision on related to a request from the Minister to be allowed space to engage both sides of the House in order to have some consensus and the position that the two sides of the House had adopted.”

The longest-serving MP says he struggles to recollect in the current Republic when a prayer by a minister to revise a position on a motion has been denied by a Speaker.

“When has this happened?” he wondered.

“But be that it may [the Speaker] went ahead, did what he did in our absence because we were not in the chamber. Then went ahead to state that the motion on the budget as moved by the Minister of Finance on Wednesday, November 17 is lost.

“That whole procedure in unconstitutional. As far as we are concerned, it is null and void and it has no binding effect on anybody.”

It is unclear what next action will be taken by the Majority as the Speaker is set to travel to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for a medical review.

The Majority Leader insists Mr Bagbin, who had served as MP since the start of the Fourth Republic until his election as Speaker in 2021, ought to have known the rules better in referencing Article 104 instead of Article 102.

“Assuming without admitting that he had 137 members in the chamber, they were still less than one half of the 275 and by necessary implication, that exercise that he engaged in or supervised is a complete nullity and I believe that whoever presided should bow down his head in shame.”

By Laud Nartey|3news.com|Ghana

Don’t Earn Ghc500 And Go Blindly Defending Politicians On Ghc20k Salary – Vim Lady To Youth

Media Personality Afia Pokuaa has chided Ghana’s youth who support politicians blindly to wake up and face the realities of their lives.

According to her, these young ones whose earnings on a monthly basis is nothing to write home about defend politicians who are supposed to be accountable to the people.

She believes that Ghana is undeveloped because the youth that is supposed to seek accountability are more polarized.

Afia Pokuaa sobs for the future of the country considering the posturing of the Ghanaian Youth and the fact that they see nothing wrong with politicians destroying the future of the country.

To her, it’s about time the youth of the country will wise up and hold politicians and leaders to account and not follow blindly.

“WITCHCRAFT is when people who earn less than ghc 500 a month attack, insult others and vehemently defend ARTICLE 71 holders who receive over 20k salary, free healthcare @ home and abroad, free security, entertainment allowance, free house help etc. I PRAY 4 GHANA’S YOUTH TO WISE UP.”

Budget rejection should lead to a re-examination of engagement process – Franklin Cudjoe

President of Imani Africa, Franklin Cudjoe, has said the engagement process for the preparation of the government’s budget statement should be re-examined.

He raised issues against the engagement process adopted for the 2022 budget statement.

His comments come after Parliament rejected the 2022 budget statement presented on behalf of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo by his Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, on Wednesday, November 17.

The Majority members had staged a walkout during proceedings on Friday, November 26 but that did not stop the Speaker, Alban Bagbin, from ruling on the motion.

He had given a five-minute break for the Majority members to resume their seats.

But after the time elapsed, Speaker Bagbin ruled that the budget has been rejected after the members present overwhelmingly shouted ‘No’.

Commenting on this in a Facebook post, Mr Cudjoe said “The rejection of the 2022 budget should lead to a re-examination of the pre-budget engagement process. For a budget that was to be read on Wednesday, 17th Nov., CSOs were e-invited almost mid-night on Sunday Nov.,14 for a meeting on Tuesday,16th Nov. for their views and expectations.

“Not much could have been achieved both ways. This was the first time though as previous engagements have at least been done 2 weeks prior to the reading

E/R: 17 Police officers in near fatal crash; three in critical condition

About 17 Police officers from the Eastern Regional Police Headquarters have been involved in a near fatal accident on the Apirede Akuapem to Somanya road.

Three of the officers in critical condition have been rushed to the Eastern Regional Hospital while the remaining are receiving treatment at Atua Government Hospital.

The Police Officers were aboard a Mercedes Sprinter bus from Koforidua to Somanya for an official duty however on reaching a section of the road the driver allegedly failed break while descending a hill losing control of the steering wheel.  The vehicle crashed into the bush .

Many of the injured police Personnel were rushed to the Atua Government Hospital even though the accident occurred very close to the newly built Somanya District Hospital which  remains closed despite being handed over for operationalization.

Three of the police officers were referred to Eastern Regional Hospital for emergency intensive care due to the severity of their conditions.

The Public Relations Officer of the Eastern Regional Police Command DSP Ebenezer Tetteh told Starr news when contacted that ” indeed ,on 27th November at about 06:30hours Police Woman Gladys Paddy in charge 17 men from the Eastern Regional Police Command onboard Mercedes Benz sprinter bus with registration number 6780-20 driven by Kofi Asare from Koforidua to Somanya on official duty on reaching a section of the road between Apirede and Somanya the Suspect driver allegedly failed break whilst descending the Apirede hills resulting in an accident ”

He continued “The persons onboard the vehicle sustained various degrees of injuries were rushed to Atua Government Hospital in Somanya for treatment . Three of them meanwhile have been referred to the Eastern Regional Hospital for further treatment because of the extend of their injuries The are responding to treatment at Atua government hospital

Anas to receive Foreign Journalist of the Year 2021 award

Ghanaian investigative journalist Anas Aremeyaw Anas has been named the 2021 NABJ Percy Qoboza Foreign Journalist of the Year award recipient.

The award will be held in the United States of America on Saturday, 4 December 2021.

The organisers of the award, the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ), revealed this in a letter addressed to the Ghanaian investigative journalist.

According to the letter, the investigative journalist will be acknowledged for his ground-breaking and outstanding achievements over the years in journalism.

The event is organised by the NABJ in honour of legendary black journalists who have made magnificent contributions toward the industry with the Percy Qoboza Foreign Journalist of the Year Award being one of the categories.

The award is named after an influential black South African journalist, author and outspoken critic of the government in South Africa, Percy Peter Tshidiso Qoboza

GHS to tighten anti-Covid measures at KIA ahead of Christmas

The Director-General of the Ghana Health Service (GHS), Dr Patrick Kumah-Aboagye, has 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.

Speaking at a press conference in Accra on Sunday November 28, Dr Kumah-Aboagye 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

All SHS, tertiary students should be vaccinated as December is declared vaccination month – GHS

The Ghana Health Service (GHS) has declared the month of December as the vaccination month.

Director-General at the GHS, Dr Patrick Kumah-Aboagye speaking at a press conference in Accra on Sunday November 28 said vaccination is 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 surveilance 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.”

By Laud Nartey|3news.com|Ghana

Over 380 suspected criminals arrested in military operation in Northern Ghana

A total of 386 suspected criminals have so far been arrested for various security infractions in the ongoing joint military operations in the Upper West, Upper East, Northern, North-East, and the Savannah Regions.

The number comprised 279 Ghanaians and 107 foreign nationals-Burkinabe’s, Malians, Togolese, Nigerians, and Nigeriens and were arrested for various infractions and are all being strictly screened.

Brigadier General Emmanuel Okyere, the National Security Advisor, who disclosed this in a media briefing in Wa, said the multinational joint operation dubbed: “Operation Koudolgou” was the fourth in the series since the Accra Initiative in 2017.
He noted that the main objective of the operation was to fight terrorism and transnational organized crimes within their common border to free it from both illegal and criminal activities within defined areas of operation.

Brigadier General Okyere said the operation took place in all five regions of Northern Ghana and in the same areas of neighbouring Cote D’Ivoire, Burkina Faso, and Togo.

He noted that due to the operation, there had been increased presence of security forces in the Northern enclave, adding that these security activities were part of the planned programmes of the Accra initiative, which encompasses Benin, Burkina Faso, Cote D’Ivoire, Ghana, Mali, Niger and Togo.

“We are all aware of the terrorists’ activities in the sun regions and as the adage goes, ‘when you see that there is a fire in your neighbour’s house, you don’t wait for the fire to engulf you, but you fetch water and put it down in case the fire gets to you, you use it to quench the fire”, he said.

The National Security Advisor said they were not waiting for any fire to get to them, but rather, they were doing whatever possible to prevent that fire from getting to them.

“So, all we are doing year-in-year-out for this particular region is to prevent any terrorist attack on our land and this is a shared responsibility,” Brigadier General Okyere said.

He said they were providing a number of boreholes to about seven communities in the operational area as a social responsibility, noting that, ridding the country off criminal elements had been their aim in the exercise and it had been largely achieved.

Brigadier General Okyere clarified that the operation was not targeted at any group of people but rather targeted at a network of criminals, adding that all their operations have been professional and intelligence led.

The National Security Advisor said they were achieving some security in the border areas due to the collaboration with the neighboring security counterparts to carry out cross-border arrests.

“The crime rate in this part of the country has gone down considerably”, the National Security Advisor said.

The joint security forces include the National Security Operatives, the Ghana Armed Forces, the Ghana Police Service, the Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS), the Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority, Ghana Immigration Service, National Investigative Bureau, Research Department of Foreign Affairs, Ghana National Ambulance Service, Forestry Commission, and Narcotic Control.

Lieutenant Colonel Gyima, the Commanding Officer of the 10 Mechanized Battalion in Wa, Mr Suraj Mohammed, the Director of Operations for Ghana Police Service, Brigadier General Moses Aryee, General Officer Commanding the Northern Command and other security Representatives from Burkina, Togo, and Cote D’Ivoire were in the company of the National Security Advisor.

GNA

Police officer arrested for ‘touching thighs’ of a female victim

File

A police officer with the Operations Unit of the Bono Regional Police Command has been arrested to aid investigations in a viral video he was captured in sexually harassing a woman.

The officer, whose name has been given as Victor Antwi Yeboah, a General Lance Corporal, is seen in the video touching the thighs of the female victim, who was screaming in the background asking what the officer was doing.

“On reviewing the video, the Police Administration immediately launched an investigation into the incident,” a press release by the police on Saturday, November 27 said.

“Preliminary investigation indicates that the male person involved in that shameful and despicable act is a Police officer stationed at the Regional Operations Unit, Bono Regional Police Command.”

He was arrested “for violating the dignity of the victim and is currently assisting the investigations”.

The Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Dr George Akuffo Dampare, has reportedly reached out to the victim and “assured her of thorough police investigations”.

She has also been assured of other necessary support including psychological care and trauma therapy.

“The Police Administration further assures the victim and the public that full investigations will be conducted into the matter and the public will be updated in due course.

“We unreservedly apologise to the affected woman in particular for what she experienced and to the public at large since the matter affects the very moral foundation of our country.”

By Emmanuel Kwame Amoh|3news.com|Ghana

“Take Advantage Of Ghana’s Business-friendly Climate” – President Akufo-Addo To Norwegian Business Community

The President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has urged the business community from Norway to take advantage of the business-friendly climate currently existing in Ghana, and invest in the country.

According to President Akufo-Addo, “We will continue to create and maintain the conducive investment environment that not only guarantees the safety of investments, but good returns as well. We will continue to protect legitimate investments, and preserve the atmosphere of peace, stability and security that has been an important contributor to the increasing presence of Norwegian
businesses in Ghana.”

Speaking at the Ghana-Norway Business Forum, held on Friday, 26th November 2021, at the Kempinski Hotel, the President stated his government has, over the last four (4) years, done a lot of work in correcting the fundamentals of the economy which were all pointing in the wrong direction when he took office in 2017.

“We have, over the period, put in place measures needed to reduce the cost of doing business, improve the business environment, and made the Ghanaian economy not only one of the most business-friendly economies in Africa, but also one of the fastest growing economies in the world between 2017 and 2020, averaging annual GDP growth rates of 7% for those years, up from the 3.4% GDP growth rate we inherited from the previous government in 2016,” he said.

With COVID-19 wreaking havoc on economies the world over, President Akufo-Addo reassured that Government is “working to grow the economy at a much faster rate this year, which will enhance the prospects of a win-win environment for both private sector and country; an environment where companies do not just survive, but actually thrive.”

The major programme driving the revival and revitalization of the Ghanaian economy, he said, is the one hundred-billion-cedi (GH¢100 billion) Ghana CARES ‘Obaatampa’ Programme, whose main elements include supporting commercial farming and attracting educated youth into commercial farming; building the country’s light manufacturing sector; developing engineering/machine tools and ICT/digital economy industries; amongst others.

“It continues to be an exciting time to be in Ghana, and to do business in the country. Already, global car manufacturing giants, Toyota and Nissan of Japan, Sinotruk of China, have established assembly plants in the country, as first steps towards the production of vehicles in Ghana,” he said.

President Akufo-Addo continued, “Twitter is establishing its African Headquarters in Ghana, and Google’s first African Artificial Intelligence Centre is located in Ghana. We are privileged to play host to the Secretariat of the African Continental Free Trade Area, which represents, currently, a market of some 1.2 billion people, spread over fifty-four (54) countries, with a combined GDP of $3trillion. Trading in the emerging single market began on 1 st January this year”.

With Ghana witnessing a significant rise in interest from Norwegian investors, in several sectors of the economy, including agriculture, building and construction, general trading, manufacturing, oil and gas, and tourism, President Akufo-Addo commended some of his government’s flagship policies to them.

“Government is also embarking on an aggressive public private partnership programme to attract investment in the development of both our road and railway infrastructure. We are hopeful that, with solid private sector participation, we can develop a modern railway network with strong production centre linkages and with the potential to connect us to our neighbours,” he said.

Speaker rejects Ofori-Atta’s plea to engage leadership of Parliament over 2022 Budget

Speaker of Parliament Alban Bagbin has rejected an application from Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta to be afforded the opportunity to engage the leadership of both majority and minority members of the House ahead of the conclusion of debate on the 2022 budget and economic policy of the government.

Majority leader Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu who moved the application on behalf of Ken Ofori-Atta argued the move is to afford the minister the chance to address concerns of the minority on imposition of taxes such as the E-Levy in order to secure consensus.

Minority leader Haruna Iddrisu, however, prayed the speaker to be allowed to proceed with his concluding debate before the minister comes in.

The speaker ruled the minister can have the opportunity to state whatever brought him to parliament after the minority is done with his debate.

Haruna Iddrisu in his debate stated the minority will not approve the economic policy of government until the E-Levy is scrapped and allocations are made for phase two of the sea defence project in Keta.

MPs from both sides are in the chamber including one of the two whose availability were in question such as Assin Central MP Kennedy Agyapong who was far away in the USA.

Dome Kwabenya MP Sara Adwoa Safo is however still missing from the chamber

FixTheCountry protesters clash with police

Friday’s #FixTheCountry protesters went on a collision course with personnel of the Accra Regional Command of the Ghana Police Service after they were refused entry into Parliament.

The protesters were seeking to enter Parliament to present their petition to leadership of the House.

But the police stopped the scores from entering the legislature by giving only a quota of 10.

This appeared not to have gone down well with organisers who wanted dozens to enter Parliament to present the petition.

“We are resolving with the followers that only 10 people will be allowed in to present the petition,” the President of the Unemployed Graduates Network, Selorm Kwame Dzramado, who joined the protest, told TV3‘s Joseph Armstrong Gold-Alorgbey.

He described the exercise as having been successful “because the message we are carrying out to Parliament today, the leadership of the House humbly came to this place to meet us”.

The demonstration is calling for a total rejection of the 2022 budget as presented by Minister of Finance Kenneth Ofori-Atta on Wednesday, November 17.

“We describe the taxes as ‘killer taxes’,” Mr Dzramado said. “If those taxes are approved by Parliament today, most Ghanaians will be extinct.”

Meanwhile, the Eighth Parliament is set to approve the budget on Friday, November 26 amid intense disagreement between the Majority and the Minority.

While the Majority thinks the budget will save the country from the ravages of the Covid-induced economic shocks, little wonder the naming it ‘Agyenkwa Budget’, the Minority thinks some of the policies are “draconian”.

“We want Parliament to reject the budget in its entirety. It should be sent back to the Executive capturing our revulsion and capturing our concerns,” the #FixTheCountry protester said.

Source: 3news.com|Ghana

You don’t pay taxes yet you lament over 1.75% levy – Ofori Atta slams Accountants, Lawyers, other professionals

Mr. Ofori-Atta said the Electronic Levy is a necessary evil to rope in many Ghanaians onto the tax net.

Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, has taken a swipe at the 60,000 Ghanaian professionals including Accountants, Doctors and Lawyers, and many more who have not been paying taxes, but lament the 1.75% Electronic Transaction Levy expected to be implemented from 2022.

According to him, digital levy is now the way to go because many Ghanaians who are not paying taxes or under declaring taxes can be captured.

Speaking at the TUC Economic Dialogue on the 2022 Budget, Mr. Ofori-Atta said the Electronic Levy is a necessary evil to rope in many Ghanaians onto the tax net.

“Through technology, therefore, we can find a means of ensuring that everybody contribute to this national reconstruction [economic recovery] that we have to do and recognise that this is the moment in our history, and to tackle these issues. Will it be uncomfortable? Of course, it will be uncomfortable.  But where is the shared burden for us to move across?, he asked.

“So, I listen to social media and then I look at the statistics. Since we brought the national ID [Identification Card] to the Ghana Revenue Authority, I can find some 60,000 of the people who live in my nice neighbourhood [Labone, Cantonements etc.] – accountants, doctors, lawyers – who always blame the informal sector- masons etc. And these 60,000 people are paying nothing and they have been able to convince you that E-Levy is bad because it’s a tax on tax etc”, the Finance Minister explained.

“When I give you your income and you go and buy the Voltic bottle, I put VAT [Value Added Tax] on it, don’t I? So is that not a tax on tax? You can define it as such”, he pointed out.

Continuing, Mr. Ofori-Atta said “now, we have found a system where the issue of transfers is the order of the day and is going to continue to increase, but it catches everybody…then you talk about the poor. So these rich advocates talk about the poor, tax etc. and I’m saying I’ve excluded the first 100, which means that in any month the poor will not be taxed. So if ¢3000 per month is for the poor, is that true?”.

“So this ‘ananse approach’ using the base that is a lie and then building up on it to get all of us riled up, whiles we are at a point in history where we should consider that, what is that we all have to sacrifice to be able to get that son or daughter of yours to reap him or her of the indignity of not working.”, he added. 

Elaborating further, Mr. Ofori-Atta said “so it’s a very solemn time, not a time of where am I going to be, a little bit more and therefore how dare you? The question is how do we break through. “

“When the Norwegians hear, and they are collecting 34% to 40% revenue to GDP, and we are yelling and shouting but we are paying 13% to 14% tax to GDP with a mindset of I pay for your child, your healthcare, I feed your child in school, I give him or her free SHS and that is not considered and we demand more”, he added.

“So 1.75% levy seems at climbing hills, who are we as a people? And where do we want to go as a people? So it’s not a bunch of politicians sitting unconcerned, not realising the moment in time we are in as a nation to have a conversation to say what is the sacrifice we must do”, he stressed.

The argument about the 1.75% E-Levy is expected to intensify in the coming days as Parliament debate the levy and is probable approval.

Source: Charles Nixon Yeboah||Myjoyonline

Controller & Accountant-General clarifies ‘deductions’ in teachers’ November salaries

The Acting Controller and Accountant-General, Kwasi Kwaning-Bosompem, has allayed fears of teachers over a publication about reported deductions in their November salaries.

Mr Kwaning-Bosompem indicated that the deductions are as a result of an agreement reached between the Ghana Education Service (GES) and various teacher unions.

“The Ghana Education Service officially wrote to request for the deduction of 30% of the cost of laptops supplied to teachers under the One-Teacher-One-Laptop programme amounting to 509.55ghc,” the Controller and Accountant-General stated in a press release on Thursday, November 25.

“The 70% of the cost of the laptop is being borne by the government of Ghana.”

He further indicated that GES also wrote for a deduction of GH¢100 as Teacher Licensing Fee.

“These deductions, per the letters we received were as a result of agreements between the Ghana Education Service and the various teacher unions.

“The Controller and Accountant-General will NOT unilaterally effect deductions from salaries without the necessary authorisation.”

Mr Kwaning-Bosompem assured all government employees that they will paid what is legitimately due them

Covid fight: Gov’t is not serious – Akandoh

Juaboso Member of Parliament, Kwabena Mintah Akandoh has said the government’s fight against the coronavirus pandemic has not been the best.

He asked the government to up its game in dealing with the situation because the country is not out of the difficulty yet.

He told journalists in Parliament on Thursday November 25 that “The attitude of government points to the fact that they are not serious to combat Covid-19 . We must know we are not out of the woods of Covid yet. In fact some countries are returning to lockdown.”

On Wednesday November 24 while speaking on the floor of Parliament, Mr Akandoh noted that the government had failed to meet its own target of vaccinating the targeted population.

Mr Akandoh said the government had so far managed to inoculate 2.5million people as of October 2021, a figure that is against the target of 17 million people for the same period.

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo had said during his address at the 76th Session of the UN General Assembly on Wednesday September 22 that Ghana was working to reach the target of vaccinating twenty million people by the end of 2021.

“Five million is not a figure to be sneered at, particularly when we consider the situation in many other African countries. We are grateful that our efforts at the management of the pandemic and vaccine distribution have been recognised, and we have received these amounts so far. We are still hoping to vaccinate twenty million of our people by the end of the year,” he said.

President Akufo-Addo continued, “Ghana agrees with the call of the Rome Declaration of Global Health for voluntary licensing and technology transfers to boost vaccine production. The Africa Union is working with WHO, WTO and other global partners to expand its vaccine manufacturing and deployment.”

But Mr Akandoh who is also the Minority spokesperson on Health, said “Mr Speaker, it is a fact that as a country we have failed to vaccinate our people on time to meet the herd immunity.

“Mr Speaker, I say so because the government presented to us a vaccination plan and this document is titled ‘ Covid-19 vaccination deployment and vaccination plan”.

According to this document on page 29 we were supposed to have vaccinated about 1.5million people between April and June 2021. Again, from June to August we were supposed to have vaccinated about 6.3million . Between September to October we should have about 9.5million people . At this time we should have vaccinated not less than 17million people.

“Ironically, if you refer to the 2022 budget we have vaccinated on 2.5million. Per their own marking scheme, 2.5 divided 17 is an obvious fail

Minority Chases Ken Ofori For Budget Debate

The National Democratic Congress (NDC) Minority in Parliament has questioned why Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta could not make it to the budget debate in Parliament.

The Deputy Minority Chief Whip, Ahmed Ibrahim, who raised the concerns said he cannot fathom what could prevent the Minister of Finance and his two deputies from making themselves available to the House.

He expressed worry since they were not present in order to hear and revert to the President alternative proposals that would come up during the deliberations on the budget.

“The Minister of Finance moved a motion on behalf of the president. We are debating the motion to make alternative inputs to be sent to the president, who sent him to bring the motion to us, Mr. Speaker, where is the mover of the motion? This house must not be taken for granted.

“If the President sends you to bring us the budget statement and Economic Policy, it’s necessary we are going to suggest alternative solutions. The Minister for Finance must be here, to take notice of all the alternative solutions that are going to be proposed and send it to the president. At least one of them must be here, Mr. Speaker where are they,” Ibrahim quizzed.

However, the Deputy Majority Leader, Alexander Afenyo-Markin, in responding to the difficulties from the Minority side said they (Minority) wants to score cheap political points with the least opportunity.

“Mr. Speaker, I am surprised at the Deputy Minority Whip. The Finance Minister and his deputies, joined Parliament in Ho for the post-budget workshop. They take parliament seriously. Mr. Speaker, they (Minority) have been in government before and they know in moments like these, the Ministry will be engaged in a lot of activities.

“Mr. Speaker, if it is all about every day trying to score cheap political points, they may do so,” he said.

The Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Joe Osei Owusu, who sat in for the Speaker, Alban Bagbin in ruling on the disagreements said “there are senior analysts from the Ministry in the House” who can represent the Minister.

“Otherwise, could anybody here tell me where in our standing orders that says the Minister should be here,” he asked

I’ve been lambasted to the extent that I don’t have any image in this country – Health Minister

Ghana’s Health Minister, Kwaku Agyeman-Manu

Health Minister Kwaku Agyemang-Manu has said he has suffered from his quest to ensure that the larger population of Ghana gets vaccinated against the dreaded coronavirus.

According to him, while he was in a haste in searching for vaccines giving the times the country found itself, his own colleagues in Parliament were lambasting him for not coming to Parliament to seek approval.

But these same colleague of his, he added, are now complaining that the government has not met its target as far as the vaccination is concerned.

His comments were in reaction to to what Juaboso Member of Parliament, Kwabena Mintah Akandoh said to the effect that the government had failed to meet its own target of vaccinating the targeted population.

Mr Akandoh said the government had so far managed to inoculate 2.5million people as of October 2021, a figure that is against the target of 17 million people for the same period.

It is recalled that President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo said during his address at the 76th Session of the UN General Assembly on Wednesday September 22 that Ghana was working to reach the target of vaccinating twenty million people by the end of 2021.

“Five million is not a figure to be sneered at, particularly when we consider the situation in many other African countries. We are grateful that our efforts at the management of the pandemic and vaccine distribution have been recognised, and we have received these amounts so far. We are still hoping to vaccinate twenty million of our people by the end of the year,” he said.

President Akufo-Addo continued, “Ghana agrees with the call of the Rome Declaration of Global Health for voluntary licensing and technology transfers to boost vaccine production. The Africa Union is working with WHO, WTO and other global partners to expand its vaccine manufacturing and deployment.”

But contributing to a debate on the 2022 budget statement in Parliament on Wednesday November 24, Mr Akandoh who is also the Minority spokesperson on Health, said “Mr Speaker, it is a fact that as a country we have failed to vaccinate our people on time to meet the herd immunity. Mr Speaker, I say so because the government presented to us a vaccination plan and this document is titled ‘ Covid-19 vaccination deployment and vaccination plan’.

According to this document on page 29 we were supposed to have vaccinated about 1.5million people between April and June 2021. Again, from June to August we were supposed to have vaccinated about 6.3million . Between September to October we should have about 9.5million people . At this time we should have vaccinated not less than 17million people.

“Ironically, if you refer to the 2022 budget we have vaccinated on 2.5million. Per their own marking scheme, 2.5 divided 17 is an obvious fail.”

Reacting to these comments in Parliament, Mr Agyeman Manu who is also lawmaker for Dormaa Central said “Our debt situation is not anything that anybody can write home about but let us look at how some of these monies have been spent.

“Honourable Akandoh is asking for complete investigations into Covid expenditures. Because they are materials and that add up to our debt, we will get investigations into that area.

” When I was rushing to get the vaccines to do vaccination very quickly to meet our Covid target, I was called culpable of not having come to Parliament and I have been lambasted to the extent that now, I don’t have any image in this country, [by] your own colleagues in the chambers. Now you stand up and tell me that our vaccinations have been very slow

Ama Benyiwa Doe to be buried Dec 18

The burial of the former member of the Council of State, Ama Benyiwa Doe, will take place on Saturday, 18 December 2021 at Gomoa Abora in the Central Region, the family has announced.

The family made the announcement when they paid a courtesy call on former President John Dramani Mahama at his office in Accra on Wednesday, 24 November 2021.

The visit was to inform Mr Mahama about the funeral arrangements for the former Central Regional Minister.

Former President Mahama described the late Ama Benyiwa Doe as “one of the most inspirational icons to have served our party, the NDC, and this great nation.”

Mr Mahama also noted that she “was not only a politician but also a gender activist and champion of women’s rights. Ama Benyiwa Doe was an embodiment of limitless courage, commitment and passion for service.”

A former Commissioner-General of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), Mr George Blankson, who led the family delegation, revealed that the funeral will take place from Friday, 17 to Sunday, 19 December 2021 at the former Minister’s hometown.

Also present at the meeting was the former Chief of Staff Julius Debrah, the NDC’s election 2020 running mate, Professor Jane Naana Opoku-Agyemang and the General Secretary of the NDC, Mr Johnson Asiedu Nketia.

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

Joblessness: Accept part of the blame – Gyampo to Ofori-Atta

Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta

A Professor at the University of Ghana, Ransford Gyampo has said the government must accept that it has not been able to create the enabling environment to support private individuals who will want to go into entrepreneurship.

Prof Gyampo was reacting to comments by the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, who had overserved that there is a gap between what students learn in the universities and what industry requires of them when they graduate.

Mr Ofori Atta had indicated that employers are unable to find graduates with the skills sets they are looking for to occupy specific positions.

Speaking at 73rd Annual New Year School & Conference at the University of Ghana, the minister said there was the need for university training to be in sink with industry needs especially in the face of rising unemployment among the youth.

According to the minister, about 6.6 million young people would be ready for the job market in 2024 and that the public sector is already full so there is the need for graduates to be trained to be able to venture into entrepreneurship.

“85% of the unemployed youth have just left secondary school, what do we do with them, how do we give them vocational training to be able to become productive citizens? Over 50% of tertiary degrees enrollment occur in fields with limited or no future growth, how do we resolve that in the way we teach our graduates?” he said.

Mr. Ofori-Atta also urged universities to pay more attention to the changes in the global economy and to align the training they give students. He emphasized the need to take advantage of the growing digital economy and train more information technology savvy graduates.

“We have about 9 million people in a global economy that is driven by digitization, even though the jobs are in that direction we have less than a thousand graduates with IT related skills every year from our tertiary universities. What has put the universities to sleep without realizing this major shift in where the world is going?” he observed.

According to the Minister, there is also the need to address the situation where jobs are available but graduates are unable to take up the jobs because they do not have the skills.

“Employers are already feeling the pinch in the misalignment in our inadequacy of talent for their needs and therefore the drop in their looking for internships from our graduates. They report hard-to-fill positions despite high unemployment and we should be able to do something about that.”

But speaking in an interview with TV3, Prof Gyampo said “Our core mandate is to train people, train their minds so that their minds become so fertile to be able to fit into any other situation they find themselves.

“That is the reason why somebody studies Linguistics, Philosophies and is able to get out of school and is able to head a bank.”

He added “As far as I ma concerned we have several vocational training centres and they churn out students who still cannot find jobs. If you like let us now convert the universities into vocational training centres and see whether the students who go out will find the jobs.

‘Rather than trying to put the blame on on us us, I think he should accept part of the blame by admitting the fact that they have not been also able to create that kind of environment that would enable people or entrepreneurs to survive.

“Anytime there are interventions for private key people who want to go into entrepreneurship, these interventions go to party foot soldiers, people who are completely clueless about setting up businesses, they are completely ignorant

The most important issues are being answered by the 2022 budget – Oppong Nkrumah

Information Minister Kojo Oppong Nkrumah has said the 2022 budget statement answers the most important issues on the minds of Ghanaians.

Contributing to a debate on the budget, he said, “By 2016, when the immediate past administration was leaving office, growth had come to as low as 3.4%. Until COVID hit us, this government was growing the economy at an average of 7% on year on year.

“What that meant was that a lot of young people were getting jobs in the private sector. Additionally, even in the public sector, the government of Ghana under the leadership of President Akufo-Addo ensured that at least about 300,000 young Ghanaians were recruited in the public sector both for those who are paid by the Controller and Accountant General and from those from the Non-Subverted Agencies.

“This is very different from the days we were told that because we were down to the bone and had gone to the IMF, we couldn’t have recruited people into the public sector.

“But what is even exciting is that in this 2022 budget, this administration has made available GHS1 billion to support young men and women who want to embark on their own business known as the YouthStart initiative. And so, Mr. Speaker, the most important issue on the minds of Ghanaians is being answered by the 2022 budget,” he added.

He told Parliament to approve the 2022 budget statement presented by the Minister of Finance because the document tackles the problems that the country is saddled with at the moment.

For instance, he said, the budget has special arrangement to address the issue of youth unemployment in the country.

This and several other reasons make it crucial for this budget to be approved by the House, the Ofoase Ayirebi lawmaker said.

“The most important question, unemployment is answered by this budget,” he said.

Mr Oppong Nkrumah further urged his colleagues in the Minority to approach the discussion on the budget from nationalistic perspective.

His admonishing comes after the Minority Spokesperson on Finance Casiel Ato Forson had said the 2022 budget statement is unacceptable.

Ato Forson also noted that the content of the budget is unrealistic.

Contributing to a debate on the budget in Parliament on Tuesday November 23, he said the New Patriotic Party (NPP) administration inherited a debt of GHS120 billion from the National Democratic Congress (NDC) but within four years, it has shot up to 341billion cedis  

“In fact, if you do the maths, within four and half years you have incurred GHS221billion, representing almost 65 per cent of our GDP,” the lawmaker for Ajumako-Enyan-Esiam said.

“This budget is the most inconsistent budget I have ever seen,” he said.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

There will be no sky trains in Accra – Minister retracts government’s earlier promise

The Minister of Railway Development, John Peter Amewu has disclosed that an intended sky train project in Accra by the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) government has been shelved.

He said the government has no plans to go ahead with the project because of its cost.

Speaking in an interview on Accra based Citi TV, the Minister said funding for the project has become problematic.

“The sky train that we are talking about is the one that is going to run on columns in the sky like the ones you see in Dubai but no agreement has been signed.”

“It is not possible to be done now. I don’t see any sky train being done in the next 3-4 years. There is not going to be any Sky train in the country. It is not possible.”

He also added that funding for the construction of some of the already started projects is becoming problematic for the government.

“Rail construction takes a lot of time and it is also capital intensive. A kilometre of a railway line is about four to five times the cost of building a concrete infrastructure in terms of building an asphaltic road.”

“So considering the fiscal space that we have in the country, facilities to absorb it is becoming problematic for the government and you know our current debt to GDP which is in excess of 70%.”

In November 2019, the government through the then Minister for the sector, Joe Ghartey, signed an agreement for the construction of the Accra SkyTrain Project on the sidelines of the African Investment Forum in South Africa.

The proposed initiative in Accra provides for the development of five routes, four of which are comprised of radial routes that originate at the proposed SkyTrain Terminal, at the heart of Accra, at the Kwame Nkrumah Circle, and one route that provides an intra-city commuter loop distribution service, also emanating from Circle.

The project envisaged a total track length across all routes of 194 kilometres.

EC to accept only Ghana Card as proof of citizenship

The Electoral Commission (EC) says it is ready to adopt the Ghana card as the only document to prove one’s citizenship in the next voter registration exercise.

Dr Serebour Quaicoe, Director, Electoral Services at the EC, told the Ghana News Agency in an interview that the Commission had already reached a consensus with the political parties and was waiting for an amendment of the registration laws by Parliament to give legal backing to the move.

He said when the law is amended, persons who did not have the Ghana card would not be able to register to vote because the law would not allow the use of passport or guarantors as substitute for the Ghana Card.

“We are going to amend the law to incorporate that. What it means is that going forward, anybody who turns 18 and want to register, you have to come with evidence of the Ghana card to show that you are a Ghanaian and 18 years then we will register the person. You can’t use your passport or guarantors when the law is amended,” he said.

The EC’s last voter registration exercise was conducted in June 2020, ahead of the general elections.

In that registration exercise, the EC accepted the Ghanaian passport and Ghana card as proof of citizenship. Persons who did not have both documents were made to provide two guarantors who had already registered to get registered.

The National Identification Authority, as of October this year, said it had issued cards to about 12 million Ghanaians.

Dr Quaicoo said the EC was still reviewing the 2020 elections and is working closely with the political parties and stakeholders to implement reforms to enhance the country’s electoral management processes.

“Our doors are open for proposals and recommendations and if it is in accordance with the law, we are going to assess it together and if possible, we will add it to our reforms,” he said.

Article 51 of the 1992 Constitution grants the EC the power to, by constitutional instrument, make regulations for the effective performance of its functions, and in particular, for the registration of voters, the conduct of public elections and referenda.
The 2020 voters registration exercise was governed by the Public Elections (Registration of Voters) (Amendment) Regulation, 2020 (C.I. 126), which was passed by Parliament in June 2020.

Source: GNA

Police warn persons who display weapons on social media

IGP

The Ghana Police Service has issued a stern warning to persons who have developed the penchant of displaying weapons on social media.

The law-enforcement agency said such acts will be dealt with according to law if the persons behind them are arrested.

The warning was issued after the arrest of one Nii Ponponsuo, who was seen brandishing a weapon amid threats on social media.

He was arrested on Monday by personnel from the Police Intelligence Directorate and set to be arraigned before court Wednesday, November 24.

A search conducted led to the retrieval of one 12 bore SB pump-action gun.

The police warned the public to be wary of such acts as they will not be spared when found.

The warning also comes a few weeks after award-winning hiplife artiste AMG Medikal was arrested for same offence.

He has since been put on trial and will reappear on Tuesday, December 7 after being granted a GH¢100,000 bail

2022 budget will offer jobs – Oppong Nkrumah

Minister for Information, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, says the 2022 budget statement and economic policy responds to concerns of youth unemployment in the country.

According to him, the spate of youth unemployment in the country brought on by the coronavirus global pandemic has compelled government to propose policies that will create avenues for young men and women to find descent jobs in both the public and private sectors of the country. He said this during the 2022 budget debate on the floor of Parliament on Tuesday November 23, 2021.

“By 2016, when the immediate past administration was leaving office, growth had come to as low as 3.4%. Until COVID hit us, this government was growing the economy at an average of 7% on year on year. What that meant was that a lot of young people were getting jobs in the private sector. Additionally, even in the public sector, the government of Ghana under the leadership of President Akufo-Addo ensured that at least about 300,000 young Ghanaians were recruited in the public sector both for those who are paid by the Controller and Accountant General and from those from the Non-Subverted Agencies.

“This is very different from the days we were told that because we were down to the bone and had gone to the IMF, we couldn’t have recruited people into the public sector. But what is even exciting is that in this 2022 budget, this administration has made available GHS1 billion to support young men and women who want to embark on their own business known as the YouthStart initiative. And so, Mr. Speaker, the most important issue on the minds of Ghanaians is being answered by the 2020 budget,” he added.

Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta on November 17, 2021 presented the 2022 budget to Parliament. The budget, on the theme: “Building a sustainable entrepreneurial nation: fiscal consolidation and job creation”, emphasizes a post-COVID-19 economic recovery agenda, centered on youth entrepreneurship.

Accordingly, the YouthStart initiative was announced in the budget as the vehicle for supporting young entrepreneurs to gain access to capital, training, technical skills and mentoring to launch and operate their businesses. The initiative is expected to create some 1 million jobs and support young entrepreneurs to develop commercially viable businesses

E-levy: Minority to demand a proper vote on the subject – Haruna Iddrisu

Haruna Iddrisu Parliament20223123123

Haruna Iddrisu says his side will demand a proper vote on e-levy

He said the Minority will vote against the levy

He spoke on Joy News

Haruna Iddrisu, the Minority Leader, has indicated that the NDC Caucus in Parliament will demand a proper vote on the electronic levy [E-levy] proposal which was announced by the Finance Minister in the 2022 budget statement to Parliament.

According to him, his side is willing to vote against the revenue and some other revenue measures which were part of the budget.

The Tamale MP explained on Joy News’ ‘PM Express’ programme that aired on Monday, November 22, that, “We will reject it outright. There’s no way the Minority will stand with the government on the introduction of the e-levy. It’s not just opportunistic but an oppressive tax regime but also lazy. It will derail the progress we have made as a country on the digital economy. We are united and collectively, we will subject it to a vote and be counted standing in opposition.”

He noted that the government could have used other means to raise sustainable revenue without resorting to “lazy” tax measures.

He suggested that, one of the ways in which government can raise sustainable revenue is by cutting down on its “profligate” expenditure to raise revenue to build the country.

“I just think that it’s a no no for the country at this material time. You tax when you don’t discipline your opulent and profligate expenditure, that is not encouraging. You cannot be asking Ghanaians to tighten their belts whilst you lose your excessive and unexplained expenditure. Take the rental of presidential jets for instance, and you’d hear arguments that the president must bath in the air and you hear the amount of money that is spent, colossal, on travels,” Haruna Iddrisu added.

1.75% levy on electronic transactions

Ken Ofori-Atta introduced a new 1.75% levy on all electronic transactions such as Mobile money transactions, remittances and other electronic transactions.null

Fees and charges of government services have also been increased by 15%.

The Finance Minister explained, “It is becoming clear there exists an enormous potential to increase tax revenues by bringing into the tax bracket, transactions that could be best defined as being undertaken in the informal economy.

“As such government is charging an applicable rate of 1.75% on all electronic transactions covering mobile money payments, bank transfers, merchant payments, and inward remittances, which shall be borne by the sender except inward remittances, which will be borne by the recipient.

“To safeguard efforts being made to enhance financial inclusion and protect the vulnerable, all transactions that add up to GH¢100 or less per day, which is approximately ¢3000 per month, will be exempt from this levy,” Ofori-Atta revealed.

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

Youth unemployment will be the next pandemic to hit Africa if… – UN Peace Ambassador

The United Nations Peace Ambassador in Ghana, Bishop Samuel Ben Owusu, has expressed worry that youth unemployment is going to be another major catastrophe to hit the African continent if measures are not taken to address the menace.

The Senior Pastor at the Pottersville  Church and  also the Country Director  of International Association  of World Peace Advocates implored African governments to as a matter of urgency initiate measures to tackle the problem.

Addressing the press in Accra on Sunday after his trip to the UN General Assembly in New York, he said “I told the president that as we are fighting Covid 19 today, if we are not careful the next pandemic that will hit Africa will be youth unemployment if we do not have a very deliberate strategy  for the youth of Africa.

“Youth unemployment has contributed to a lot of crimes, this has contributed to social bully, social media insults and more especially hate speeches.”

Meanwhile, the Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia has also said the most serious threat to Ghana’s security is unemployment but the government of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo is fixing it.

He urged heads of state agencies to adopt a more efficient use of public resources in order to maximise the values of what has been entrusted to them.

Speaking at the closing ceremony of a retreat for board chairpersons, heads and deputy heads of government institutions at Nkwatia-Kwahu on Sunday, Dr. Bawumia told the heads of state institutions that state agencies have crucial roles to play if Ghana’s quest for less reliance on foreign support is to be achieved, hence the need for them to adopt innovative ways of transforming their respective agencies for the benefit of all Ghanaians.

“As Heads of Institution, we have a responsibility to constantly represent the Ghanaian people in a transparent and accountable manner,” Dr. Bawumia said.

“It is our responsibility to always maximize the value of what has been entrusted to us for the benefit of everybody.”

Ghana Beyond Aid, the Vice President noted, is a long-term project, which requires enormous resources from both the public and commercial sectors, in keeping with the goal of becoming less reliant on the charity of external donors.

Stressing on the significant roles the public sector, in particular, is expected to play towards driving Ghana closer to the vision of Ghana Beyond Aid, he urged the heads of institutions to “harness and use the country’s own resources to transform the economy effectively and efficiently for a rapid, but a sustainable growth path.”

“Ladies and gentlemen, to reform our specified entities in realizing a Ghana Beyond Aid, heads of institution, need to be more professional and transparent in their approach to public investments, as well as greater efficiency in the use of all public resources.”

“It necessitates a shift in thought and attitude so that we can begin to do things differently—smarter, more efficiently and effectively, and with a greater feeling of patriotism and civic responsibility.”

The Vice President also implored the heads of state institutions to uplift the technological capabilities of their respective organisations, in line with government’s digitization agenda, in order to boost their operations for the benefit of Ghanaians and also to contribute effectively towards the economic transformation of the country.

“To achieve the vision of Ghana Beyond Aid in the shortest possible time, we need to improve our technology capabilities,’ Dr. Bawumia said.

“According to Alexis Ohanian, you needed to open a factory to participate in the industrial revolution; this time around, you only need to open a laptop to participate in the internet revolution. There is a global paradigm shift, and we must not be left behind in this 4th Industrial Revolution,’ he added.

“This has been my primary inspiration for the digitization agenda; that is, to apply technological innovation to transform the ways and means by which we engage in our everyday production and exchange of economic activities. Whether at home, at our offices, farm and factory, whether it is person to person, person to business, business to business, or person and business to government, transparency and efficiency are our watchwords.”

“Our economic transformation can best be aided by digital transformation to overcome some of our development challenges.”

“For example, our use of drone technology in the delivery of medical supplies has helped us to overcome many challenges in the delivery of health care services to the people who live far in the rural areas and far from urban centres.”

“We save lives, provide more efficient management and distribution of critical medical supplies and gain more equitable access to the health care system.”

“When we apply technological innovations to the passport office, to DVLA, to the distribution of pre-mix fuel and fertilizers, we are improving on our production and service delivery capabilities to transform the economy.”

“That is why as heads of public institutions we take this opportunity to implore each one of you to join us in this transformation. Somewhere in your organization, somewhere in your production and delivery of services for a fee, technological innovation and digital transformation procedures can lift the performance of your organization, or help the organization overcome the obstacles we have faced for several years. It is all in innovations of processes, procedures and data management.”

The Vice President further called on heads of state institutions to repose the confidence President Akufo-Addo has placed in them by adding value to their respective institutions, which will ensure expansion, to create more opportunities for the youth.

“The most serious threat to the nation’s security is unemployment. The Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo government has made significant progress in resolving this issue. But there’s a lot more that must be done. The challenge is real and your role in tackling the unemployment quandary cannot be overemphasized.”

“As heads of institution, if you can expand your scope of operation for maximum returns and profitability, to be able to recruit the youth to tackle this heinous joblessness among the nation’s youth, we will have made significant progress in providing jobs for our youth.”

“You have been specially selected and appointed by the President who has a lot of confidence in your ability to turn around the fortunes of your institutions. I know you will meet this expectation and make the country proud.”

“Let us show the Ghanaian people how grateful we are for the opportunity to serve our country. Let us add value to the public sector.

The government has 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 2 Billion Cedis.

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

“This, Mr. Speaker results in an unprecedented historic 10 Bn Cedis commitment to the private sector and YouStart over the next 3 years.

“Mr. Speaker, YouStart is a vehicle for supporting young entrepreneurs to gain access to capital, training, technical skills and mentoring to enable them launch and
operate their own businesses.

“Mr. Speaker, 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.”

By Laud Nartey|3news.com|Ghana

Approach 2022 budget with national agenda in mind – Kojo to Minority

Information Minister, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, has asked the Minority in Parliament to approach the debate on the 2022 budget statement from a nationalists perceptive.

He indicated that the budget contains policy proposals which seek to tackle the fundamental challenges facing the country hence, must be approved.

“We want to have a conversation with the national agenda ahead of us,” he said during a debate on the budget in Parliament on Tuesday November 23.

“This house should approve the economic proposals in the budget,” he added.

He further asked Parliament to approve the 2022 budget statement presented by the Minister of Finance.

He explained during a debate on the budget statement in Parliament on Tuesday November 23 that the document tackles the problems that the country is saddled with at the moment.

For instance, he said, the budget has special arrangement to address the issue of youth unemployment in the country.

His comments came after the Minority Spokesperson on Finance Casiel Ato Forson had said the 2022 budget statement is unacceptable.

Ato Forson also noted that the content of the budget is unrealistic.

Contributing to a debate on the budget in Parliament on Tuesday November 23, he said the New Patriotic Party (NPP) administration inherited a debt of GHS120 billion from the National Democratic Congress (NDC) but within four years, it has shot up to 341billion cedis  

“In fact, if you do the maths, within four and half years you have incurred GHS221billion, representing almost 65 per cent of our GDP,” the lawmaker for Ajumako-Enyan-Esiam said.

“This budget is the most inconsistent budget I have ever seen,” he said.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

MoMo tax is a killer, a monster – Adongo

The e-levy proposal in the 2022 budget statement is a monster and a killer, Bolgatanga central Lawmaker, Isaac Adongo, has said during a debate on the 2022 budget statement in Parliament on Tuesday November 23.

He said the proposal should not be approved because it will further impoverish the people.

“The e-levy is a monster, it is a killer,” he said while rejecting the proposal.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Kwabena Duffour Speaks On Economy Nov. 29

Dr Kwabena Duffuor

Former Minister for Finance in the Mills administration, Dr. Kwabena Duffour is scheduled to speak on issues on the current economic direction of the country with his Ghanaian Dream project.××

The former governor of the Bank of Ghana who is a presidential hopeful of the NDC’s lecture is expected to touch on transformation of the economy and job creation.

In a flyer posted on his social media platform about the lecture scheduled to take place at the Tang Palace Hotel in Accra and being organised by the Institute of Fiscal Studies (IFS), his brainchild dubbed “The Ghanaian Dream: Transforming the economy through Job Creation and opportunities for all.”

Recently, the owner of the defunct UniBank held similar lecture where he shed light on the current state of the economy and expressed concern about why a country such as Ghana which is endowed with rich natural resources cannot positively change the economic fortunes of its people.

Dr. Duffour who has been speaking at a forum organized by the Institute for Financial Services Ghana therefore called for a collective effort of all stakeholders to help exploit the abundant natural resources to benefit the citizens

Taxing MoMo will lead to taxing savings – Ato Forson

The Minority Spokesperson on Finance, Casiel Ato Forson has said a move by the government to tax Mobile Money transaction will mean taxing savings of the people.

He explained that people keep money on the mobile money accounts as savinhs. Therefore any attenpt to tax that transcation will targetd at taxing people’s savings.

Contrbuting to a debate on the 2022 budget statement in Parliament on Tuesday November 23, Mr Ato Forson who is lawmaker for Ajumako-Enyan-Esiam rejected the move by the government to levy MoMo transactions.

Taxing Mobile Money,” he said “will mean taxing people’s savings,”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

By Laud Nartey|3news.com|Ghana

More Covid-19 vaccines arrive in Ghana

More than 1.7 million doses of the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine arrived in Ghana on Monday, bringing the total of US-donated vaccines to Ghana to more than 4.2 million doses since September. 

US Ambassador Stephanie Sullivan was joined by Deputy Minister of Health Mahama Asei Seini, representatives of the Ghana Health Service, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration Kwaku Ampratwum Sarpong, and the UNICEF Country Representative to Ghana Ms. Anne-Claire Dufay, to receive the vaccines at Accra’s Kotoka International Airport

“These life-saving vaccines, donated on behalf of the American people, will help save Ghanaian lives, as we work together to defeat this virus.  These doses are the same safe and effective vaccines used in the United States.  There is no better time for Ghanaians to protect their families and communities by getting the jab,” said Ambassador Sullivan.

Delivered through COVAX, the donations are part of the United States’ global efforts to fight the Covid-19 pandemic. 

In September, President Joe Biden committed to donating 1.1 billion doses of Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine worldwide. 

The United States government has already delivered 252 million doses to over 100 countries, including 71 million doses in Sub-Saharan Africa alone. 

With President Biden’s commitment, the American people are now donating three vaccine doses for every dose that has been administered in the United States. 

The United States has strongly supported Ghana’s Covid-19 response efforts, providing more than $30 million for personal protective equipment and training for medical professionals, medical equipment and testing supplies, vaccine distribution planning and support, economic assistance for impacted communities, three new regional Public Health Emergency Operations Centers in Ghana, as well as educational support for Ghanaian students during the pandemic.

This whole of government approach has included elements of the Department of State, Department of Defense, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).

Source: US Embassy

Start your own businesses – Bawumia tells graduates

The Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia has advised graduates to venture into entrepreneurship, where they can develop their own businesses to enable them to build a sound future for themselves.

According to him, going into entrepreneurship will also help the graduates contribute to the development of the country.

In a speech read on his behalf by a Deputy Minister of Education, Rev. John Ntim Fordjour, at the 13th congregation of the University of Mines And Technology (UMaT) in Tarkwa last Saturday, the Vice President said the public sector would not shut its doors to graduates but added that there was much to gain from venturing into entrepreneurship.

“Not only are you expected to be working in the public sector; you are equally expected to be drivers of the private sector. Some of you should start planning to begin your own businesses with knowledge gained from the training you have received, and possibly employ others,” he said.

He added “You should develop such positive traits as hard work, honesty, dedication, trustworthiness and humility,” he told them.

He further told them that as they stepped out into the world of work, they should take advantage of all opportunities that would come their way and position themselves to be relevant to society.

The Vice President’s comments come a few weeks after the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta advised the youth to venture into entrepreneurship as the government cannot absorb them into the public sector.

Ken Ofori-Atta added that the government’s payroll is full.

According to him, about 60% of the government’s revenue is already being paid as salaries to some 650,000 public sector workers.

“We have gone through a period where most people look for jobs with the government. That payroll is full because we are spending some 60% of revenue on the remuneration of some 650,000 people, and that is not sustainable,” he disclosed at Springboard-Ghana Cares Youth Dialogue in Accra

Reject outrageous 2022 Budget – FixtheCountry Movement to Parliament

A Pressure Group, Fix the Country Movement has asked Parliament to reject the 2022 Budget and Economic Policy of the Government presented by the Minister for Finance, Ken Ofori Atta because it was not people centered.

According to the Movement, the budget contains outrageous content and it does not conform to what Ghanaians were looking forward to.

They further reiterated that the 2022 budget does not also look at improving the Ghanaian standard of living with respect to purchasing of items, rent among others.

“The E-levy is just one of the things that we want to talk about, we want Parliament to sit down and look at the budget and disapprove it because they (Government) need to go and come again.

“We have been approving budgets for some time now and we realized that all these budgets have not had any positive effect on the ordinary Ghanaian. So we are looking for a budget that would give a positive reference on the ordinary Ghanaian,” the National Spokesperson and Convener for Fix the Country Movement, John Ekow Koomson told Starrfm.

The Finance Minister, Ken Ofori Atta, on Wednesday, November 17 announced that the government has abolished all road tolls on public roads and bridges.

According to him, the toll collection personnel will be reassigned adding that the move is expected to positively impact productivity and reduce environmental pollution.

Reading the 2022 Budget in Parliament on Wednesday, Mr Ofori Atta stated “Mr.  Speaker, our roads need fixing. Our roads are being fixed. It is true that more roads have been fixed and are being fixed over the last five years than any relative period in the entire history of our nation. We even want to do a lot more.

“That is why for decades, Government after Government imposed and maintained tolls on some public roads to raise funds for road construction and maintenance. This is the situation in many countries. Over the years, the tolling points have led to heavy traffic on our roads and lengthened travel time from one place to another, impacting negatively on time and productivity. The congestion generated at the tolling points, besides creating these inconveniences, also leads to pollution in and around those vicinities.

To address these challenges, the Government has abolished all tolls on public roads and bridges. This takes effect immediately after the Budget is approved. The toll collection personnel will be reassigned. The expected impact on productivity and reduced environmental pollution will more than offset the revenue forgone by removing the tolls,” the Minister told Parliament.

Meanwhile, Fix the Country Movement are expected to meet the Ghana Police Administration on Monday 22nd November, 2021 for their impending demonstration on Friday 26th November 2021

E-levy best for building an entrepreneurial nation – Ofori-Atta defends

Finance Minister, Ken Ofori Atta112121

Ken Ofori-Atta has been defending the e-levy

He said it is best to build an entrepreneurial Ghana

He spoke to Joy News


Ken Ofori-Atta, Finance Minister, has defended the 1.75% electronic levy (e-levy) which was in the 2022 budget statement presented before Parliament.

Speaking to Joy News during the ongoing Volta Fair at the Ho Sports Stadium, the minister stated that, the e-levy will be the best way Ghana can build an entrepreneurial nation.

He explained, ‘we know that it takes the invisible hand of the state to pick people up. And so this historic 10 billion intervention that we have had and finding ways for burden-sharing.”null

‘So we recognise the problems of youth unemployment, the problem of roads, the problem of debt and we as a nation have decided to burden share,” Ofori-Atta said.

1.75% levy on electronic transactions

Ken Ofori-Atta introduced a new 1.75% levy on all electronic transactions such as Mobile money transactions, remittances and other electronic transactions.

Fees and charges of government services have also been increased by 15%.

The Finance Minister explained, “It is becoming clear there exists an enormous potential to increase tax revenues by bringing into the tax bracket, transactions that could be best defined as being undertaken in the informal economy.

“As such government is charging an applicable rate of 1.75% on all electronic transactions covering mobile money payments, bank transfers, merchant payments, and inward remittances, which shall be borne by the sender except inward remittances, which will be borne by the recipient.

“To safeguard efforts being made to enhance financial inclusion and protect the vulnerable, all transactions that add up to GH¢100 or less per day, which is approximately ¢3000 per month, will be exempt from this levy,” Ofori-Atta revealed.

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

Inefficiency in gov’t spending requires attention – Majority Leader

Majority Leader in Parliament

One area of the economy that requires attention is the inefficiencies in government spending, Majority Leader Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu has said.

He explained that higher budgetary allocation alone may not translate into social and economic outcomes unless specific measures are implemented to correct the underlining inefficiency in spending.

He has therefore asked the Committees of Parliament to trace and track the allocations that are made to the various sectors of the economy in order to assure Ghanaians that there is value for money in the expenditures that are made on their behalf.

He said these during a post 2022 budget statement workshop in Ho on Saturday November 20.

The Suame Member of Parliament further indicated that it is worrying that below 10 per cent of the total working population in Ghana are registered tax payers.

He wondered how the government is going to be able to generate enough revenue to embark on development projects with these statistics in place.

Speaking at a post 2022 budget workshop in the Volta regional capital Ho over the weekend, the Suame Lawmaker said the government has not been able to raise enough domestic revenue to develop the country.

“Our inability to raise enough domestics revenue to meet government expenditure with less than 10 per cent of the total working class registered as tax payers, how can the government implement policies and programmes to improve the living conditions of Ghanaians.

“This is quite worrying and requires urgent steps to correct same.”

He added “Another area that requires attention is efficiency in government spending. Higher budgetary allocation alone may not translate into social and economic outcomes unless specific measures are implemented to correct the underlining inefficiency in spending.

“Here, I believe the committees of Parliament are required, as I keep saying, to trace and track the allocations that are made to the various sectors of the economy in order to assure our country men and women that indeed, there is value for money in the expenditures that are made on behalf of the people of this country.”

At the same forum, the Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu, said that his side in Parliament will not support the controversial E-levy policy proposal in the 2022 budget statement.

According to him, the levy serves as a disincentive for the growth of digital economy.

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.”

The introduction of the levy attracted concerns among a section of Ghanaians.

For example, the National Communications Officer of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Sammy Gyamfi said on the Key Points on TV3 Saturday November 20 that the government was punishing Ghanaians for their own recklessness following the introduction of these taxes.

 “They are punishing Ghanaians for their on recklessness,” Sammy said among other things.

Also speaking on the same show, a Fiscal Policy Specialist at Oxfam, Dr Alex Ampaabeng said the minority MPs should be blamed if this disapproved.

He explained that approval of the 2022 budget statement which was presented to Parliament by the Finance Minister Ken Ofori Atta on Wednesday November 17, will require the support of lawmakers from both sides of the house to do so.

Therefore, if the tax on mobile money transaction (E-levy), is approved by Parliament, the National Democratic Congress Members of Parliament should also be held liable, not only those on the government’s side.

“That is the first point that I want to make,” he said.

He further stated that the tax is going to counter the government’s agenda of ensuring a cashless stem because people will now resort to relying on cash transactions

Captain Kojo Tsikata is dead

A founding member of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Captain Kojo Tsikata, is dead.

This was announced by the National Communications officer of the NDC, Sammy Gyamfi on the Key Points on TV3 Saturday November 20.

“This is really sad news not just for the NDC. It is a sad news for Ghana,” Sammy said.

Kojo Tsikata was the former Head of National Security and Foreign Affairs of the Provisional National Defence Council (PNDC).

He is listed as a retired army captain in the Ghana Army.

Tsikata was sent to the Congo with Major General Ankrah as part of a Ghanaian military contingent with orders from Kwame Nkrumah to protect the Pan-Africanist and anti-neocolonialist Patrice Lumumba, who was the Prime Minister. He later visited ConakryGuinea, to visit Nkrumah.

He was arrested, detained, and put on death row as a suspect of an assassination plot against Nkrumah on his arrival.

Samora Machel, a freedom fighter, intervened to pardon him. Samora travelled with him to Mozambique. He later arrived in Angola in 1964 to join MPLA fighters and internationalist fighters from Cuba.

He was appointed in 1982 under the Jerry Rawlings administration. He had been in charge of national security since 1982 and later joined the Rawlings administration on 21 January 1995. He was a member of the council of state and a captain of the Ghana Army.

 He also served as a member of the council of state of Ghana.

In 1995, he was asked to join a negotiating team with Ibn Chambas who was the then Deputy Foreign Minister, and Brigadier General Agyemfra, accompanied by Harry Mouzillas from the Ghana News Agency as a journalist to cover the events.

They travelled to join Mr. James Victor Gbeho, the then Chairman of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and a Resident of Flt Lt Jerry John Rawlings and Mr. Ate Allotey, a diplomat.

He rejected a national award to be conferred on him in the category of the order of Volta companion under President Kuffour. He was listed as one of the six government officials under the NDC regime to receive the award.

He was appointed by Gaddafi to a senior advisory position in charge of the Al Mathaba central committee, a support centre for the liberation movement and anti-imperialist and anti-Zionist organisations.

A retired supreme court judge, Mr. Justice G. E. K. Aikins, intimated that Captain Tsikata was implicated in the kidnapping and murder of three high court judges and a retired army officer on 30 June 1983 during the PNDC regime and was never tried. Among the suspects were Captain Kojo Tsikata and Sergeant Aloga Akata-Pore, both key members of the then PNDC.

Ghanaians brought Tsikata under scrutiny, but during the National Reconciliation Commission (NRC) hearing he denied being involved with the killing of the judges.

There was also insufficient evidence to prosecute Captain Tsikata according to the Attorney General of Ghana’s detailed reasons. One reason was that, before the execution of the sole witness, he withdrew his accusation against Captain Tsikata.

Joachim Amartey Quaye, one of the architects of the murderous incident, was imprisoned and some soldiers, Tekpor, Dzandzu, and Helki, were all found guilty of murder, sentenced to death, and executed by firing squad.

One of the convicted, Amedeka, escaped prison and has not been seen since.

By Laud Nartey|3news.com|Ghana

This is not a pro-people budget’ – Asiedu Nketia slams NPP over E-levy

General Secretary of the largest opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), Johnson Asiedu Nketia, has described the NPP government as very insensitive over the latter’s introduction of a mobile money and other digital transactions tax in the 2022 budget.

The former legislator was also unhappy about the abolishing of road tolls on the various public roads across the country.

Speaking on Okay FM’s Ade Akye Abia programme, Mr Nketiah indicted the government for non performance, saying the current administration lack ideas to generate income for the economy and is rather using unconventional approach which will impact negatively on an already over-burdened Ghanaian.

“When they mentioned that they are scrapping road tolls, I said that there’s something bigger, something unpleasant that they are bringing on board,” indicating: “MoMo is now the game of the day, it penetrates to the rural areas, the unbanked population; they use MoMo, so, if you are taxing that one and you’re rather cancelling road tolls whose incidence falls on vehicle owners, it means that it is not a pro-people budget at all.

“You don’t maximise revenue at the expense of people who are overtaxed.

“I believe the next NDC government will do much better by retaining tax on road tolls which is fundamental. Road tolls in which the rich people in the country pay, the government has abolished the tax on it and imposed tax on the poor MOMO users,” he stated.

1.75% Momo Levy

Mr Ken Ofori-Atta, the Finance Minister, during the 2022 Budget Statement presentation in Parliament on Wednesday, said effective January 1, 2022, the Government would impose a 1.75 per cent levy on mobile money and other digital transactions, with exemptions on transactions that add up to GHC 100 or less a day, approximately GHc 3,000 a month.

Mr Ofori-Atta explained that the upsurge in the use of e-payment platforms as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, has been an impetus for the introduction of the levy.

As a result, Ghana recorded a total GHS500 billion from e-transactions in 2020 compared with GHS78 billion in 2016.

He said: “It is becoming clear there exists an enormous potential to increase tax revenues by bringing into the tax bracket, transactions that could be best defined as being undertaken in the informal economy.”

He noted, therefore, that the government is charging an applicable rate of 1.75% on all electronic transactions covering mobile money payments, bank transfers, merchant payments and inward remittances, which shall be borne by the sender except inward remittances, which will be borne by the recipient.

“Mr Speaker, to safeguard efforts being made to enhance financial inclusion and protect the vulnerable, all transactions that add up to GHS100 or less per day, which is approximately GHS3,000 per month, will be exempt from this levy,” Ken Ofori-Atta told parliament.

He said E-Levy proceeds will be used to support entrepreneurship, youth employment, cyber security, road infrastructure, among others.

“Mr Speaker, this new policy also comes into effect once appropriation is passed from 1st January 2022. The government will work with all industry partners to ensure that their systems and payment platforms are configured to implement the policy,” he said.

Watch video below:

https://www.youtube.com/embed/5wYQ3SEOBvI

Source: peacefmonline.com

We can’t develop Ghana without taxes – Gov’t to Ghanaians

John Kumah 20212121211213

The Akufo-Addo led administration has asked Ghanaians to bear with them on the increase in E-levy since the nation can only have meaningful developments through the collection of taxes.

Addressing the media at the New Patriotic Party (NPP) Headquarters in Accra, the Deputy Minister for Finance, John Kumah explained that the new charges on MoMo would not affect receivers but only senders.

“So the government is pleading with the entire citizenry in the country that we acknowledge the hardship that we are in. We are pleading that Ghanaians would accept the tax which is the E-levy.

“It is only when you send GHC200 you are charged Ghc1.75 even your first Ghc100 would not be charged, the MoMo levy would apply on your second Ghc100. Secondly, all money from your MoMo account to your bank account would not attract any charges, likewise, when you transfer money from your bank account to your MoMo account you don’t pay any charges,” he explained.

The Deputy Minister also disclosed that other developed nations like the USA and UK would have to take some measures with respect to taxation in order to keep them going.

“Now, I beg to say that it is not with joy that the government imposes tax but the truth of the matter is that there is no nation that can be built without taxes. We need as a citizen and as a nation help to raise resources so that we can spend on the things that we expect the government to do. In building us roads, hospitals, infrastructure and providing jobs for the young people,” he explained.null

The Minister for Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta in presenting the 2022 Budget to Parliament announced the scrapping of road tolls and the introduction of E-levy to cover Mobile money transactions, remittances and other electronic transactions.

Additionally, fees and charges of government services have also been increased by 15%.

“Total value of transactions for 2020 was estimated to be over GHS 500 billion Cedis compared to GH¢78 billion Cedis in 2016 just 5 years ago, while total mobile money subscribers and active mobile money users have grown by an average rate of 18% and 16% respectively between 2016 and 2019. Mr. Speaker, it is becoming clear there exists an enormous potential to increase tax revenues by bringing into the tax bracket, transactions that could be best defined as being undertaken in the “shadow economy”.

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

Source: starrfm.com.gh

‘I was hooked as a common criminal’ – Sosu recounts traumatic experience with police

Francis Xavier Sosu   Recounts

Francis-Xavier Sosu recounts his encounter with the police

He said, he was manhandled

He spoke on Metro TV


Francis-Xavier Sosu has recounted that for his own effort to free himself from the officers of the Ghana Police Service, he would have been treated as a common criminal.

The Madina MP led some of his constituents on a demonstration against bad roads on October 25, a sanctioned march which the police contend triggered some unlawful acts, hence the attempt to arrest the MP.

He said the police manhandled him on the day of the protest and he subsequently reported two police officers to Parliament.null

There were also police officers present at a church service to arrest the MP, although the police have denied that they were there to arrest him.

Sosu questioned why some senior police officers will obstruct his duty as an MP.

“How would you show up in a protest and hook a Member of Parliament as a common criminal, it took my own effort to wedge them off and the youth surrounding and resisting,” he recounted on Metro TV’s ‘Good Afternoon Ghana’ on Friday, November 19.

The NDC MP indicated that it is so easy for any individual to be screaming, are MPs above the law or whatsoever.

To him, what happened between himself and the Police during the protest is far from an MP acting as if he was above the law.

“Nobody is above the law; I am very conversant of Article 17 of the Constitution i.e. equality before the law. It doesn’t matter [who you are, you can be] the street sweeper, the President, Assembly Member, the Unit Committee Member, the Municipal Chief Executive, the trotro driver, the Okada rider.

“Everybody in this country is equal before the law and equality before the law also implies that the police is equal before the law.

“The same law that gives you the power of arrest, prescribes the mode of the arrest. If you do not follow that mode because it is about the liberty of another citizen, that arrest will be unlawful,” lawyer Sosu explained.

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

Road Minister had ‘administrative’ right to suspend road tolls – Kojo Oppong Nkrumah

Information Minister, Kojo Oppong-Nkrumah, has justified why the Roads Minister suspended the collection of the tolls when Parliament had not approved the 2022 Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the government.

2022 Budget

Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta presenting the 2022 budget of the government in Parliament announced that motorists who ply public roads nationwide will no longer be required to pay road tolls after the budget has been approved.

“Government has abolished all tolls on public roads and bridges. This takes effect immediately the Budget is approved,” Ken Ofori-Atta said.

Roads Minister’s directive

However, prior to the approval of the budget, the Roads Minister in a statement on Monday directed that toll collection at the various toll booths across the country should be halted effective Thursday, November 18, 2021.

“Following the presentation of the 2022 Budget by the Hon. Minister of Finance on behalf of His Excellency, the President of the Republic of Ghana on Wednesday, November 17, 2021, the Ministry of Roads and Highways hereby directs the cessation of the collection of road and bridge tolls at all locations nationwide. This directive takes effect from 12am on Thursday, November 18, 2021,” part of the statement read.

The road Minister has been criticized for this decision and for what some has described as a breach of Parliament’s regulations.

Administrative Right

Information Minister, Kojo Oppong-Nkrumah, speaking to this in a one-on-one discussion on Peace FM’s morning show ‘Kokrokoo’ program said the Minister had “administrative” right to do such.

According to him, even though the constitution says you should go to parliament when introducing a new charge, “if Parliament has given you powers to introduce a charge and you want to suspend that charge, administratively you can do so without going to Parliament”.

Speaker’s Directive

Meanwhile, the speaker of Parliament has asked the road minister to reverse the decision to suspend the collection of the road toll.

According to him, until Parliament approves the financial proposals and policies contained in the 2022 budget, no minister can implement any policy contained in the budget.

“So, I think that it is proper for us to direct the minister, a senior member of this House, to honourably withdraw that directive; failure to do so will be a serious breach of the directive of the Speaker and that will amount to contempt of Parliament,” he indicated.

The Minister on the other hand says he only suspended the operationalization of the toll and not the law.

Listen to him in the video below:

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

Source: peacefmonline.com

Immediate implementation of toll directive illegal – Sosu

Deputy Ranking Member on the Parliamentary Select Committee on Legal Affairs Francis-Xavier has described the hasty approach to the implementation of the decision to abolish road tolls in the country as a populist approach.

Sosu who is also the Member of Parliament for Madina Constituency in the Greater Accra Region said the approach is an affront to Parliament as an institution.

In line with the government’s decision to abolish road and bridge tolls across the country, the Minister of Roads and Highways, Kwasi Amoako Atta directed that collection of the tolls must stop by 12AM Thursday November 18.

A statement he issued on Wednesday November 17 after the budget presentation by the Finance Minister said “Following the presentation of the 2022 budget by the Finance Minister on behalf of the President of the republic of Ghana on Wednesday November 17, 2021, the Ministry of Road and Highways hereby directs the cessation of collection of road and bridge tolls at all locations nationwide. This directive takes immediate effect from 12am on Thursday November 18 2021”.

Reacting to the issue on 3FM’s Sunrise hosted by Alfred Ocansey on Thursday, Lawyer Sosu said “it is quite unfortunate the approach by the minister and the government”.

“The approach is a very populist approach to divert the attention of the momo tax. Everybody can appreciate the kind of hardship that proposal is going to bring to Ghanaians and we will do all to oppose it [Momo Tax].

He explained that “every budget statement is a proposal by the government. It is subject to debate and approval. They are all matters that must be subjected to discussions”.

“One would have thought that if they are interested in immediate implementation, they would have brought a motion or certificate of urgency so that we can abort it immediately. But this that we have not discussed or debated and approved, honestly, it’s completely reckless and I don’t know how they are going to answer to that”.

The Madina MP said “the discretionary powers vested in people is supposed to be used to have due regard to others. It’s illegal. It has no legal basis. It’s an assault on Parliament.  They have already gone before Parliament. That approach is an affront to Parliament

Drivers’ license, birth & death cert, others to see at least 15% increase in charges from Jan. 2022 – Ken Ofori-Atta

The announcement is part of the new initiatives by the government intended to raise domestic revenue.

Effective January 2022, the fees and charges for all government services will increase by at least 15%.

This is according to the 2022 budget statement presented by the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta on Wednesday, November 17, 2021.

Per the document, the new charges will be subjected to an annual adjustment by the average inflation rate with the consent of the Finance Minister.

The budget document also stated the new fees will be automatically reviewed every five years.

“Review Fees and Charges with an average increase of at least 15 percent in 2022 and thereafter subject it to automatic annual adjustments by average inflation rate as published by the Ghana Statistical Service, but with the prior consent of the Minister for Finance. The fees and charges should, however, be subjected to general review every 5 years. The effective date of implementation is 1st January 2022,” the budget stated.

The announcement is part of the new initiatives by the government intended to raise domestic revenue.

Charges for government services such as vehicle registration and drivers’ license issuance by the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA), birth and death certificate issuance by the Birth and Death registry, passport issuance by the Passports Office among others will be affected by this new measure.

Hitherto, these agencies needed to propose their service charge increment to the Finance Ministry, negotiate and get approval.

The new directive of the government therefore appears to regulate the frequency and rate at which such fees and charges are increased or decreased in some cases.

Source: Jonas Nyabor||Citinewsroom

NDC stands 60% chance of winning 2024 elections – Kevin Taylor projects

Kevin Ekow Badioo Taylor   WADR

Kevin Taylor, a vocal US-based socio-political commentator has claimed without any evidence, that the opposition National Democratic Congress, NDC, stood a 60% chance of winning an election as compared to the ruling New Patriotic party’s 40%.

Taylor was commenting on the call for former First Lady Nana Konadu Agyeman-Rawlings to be invited back to the party that her husband, the late Jerry John Rawlings founded.

The call was made by Dr Zanetor Agyeman-Rawlings, the first daughter of the Rawlings’ during the first anniversary of JJ’s death.

Taylor’s response to a comment by another commentator and political activist, A Plus, intimated that Zanetor was only seeking to bring her mother back to the winning side when the next elections are held, describing her call as “smart.”

“NDC, as it stands now, has a 60% chance of winning 2024 against NPP 40% hence Zanetor want her mother to be taken care of again.

“In 2016 NPP had 60% against the NDC 40 and she (Nana Konadu) joined crusaders of change which brought Akufo Addo and has been rewarded somehow.

“It’s about being smart and seeing where the pendulum swings too and force yourself in there,” he added.

What did A Plus posted on Facebook

The one-time musician turned political activist posted a photo of a GhanaWeb story in which former NDC Deputy General Secretary, Koko Anyidoho, is claiming that he will lead the return of Konadu to the NDC.

“Akufo Addo and his government have taken very good care of Nana Konadu. In fact, she has enjoyed this government more than all NPP footsoldiers, financiers and sympathizers.

“So now that her daughter and others are pushing for her to return to the NDC party, what will her message be if she mounts a campaign platform? That Akufo Addo is what? That NPP is what? That NDC must remove NPP from power because she doesn’t understand why she is enjoying but others are suffering or what? Aaah well…

“Please me I’m only asking ooo. I’m not well. Don’t come and inzut me I beg.”

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

Nat’l Security Minister to be in Parliament to answer question on Akufo-Addo’s foreign travels

Albert Kan Dapaah is the Minister of National Security

The Minister of National Security, Albert Kan Dapaah, is expected in Parliament today, Thursday, November 18, to answer questions on President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s foreign travels.

The question was posed by Member of Parliament for North Tongu, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, in May.

He had accused the President of profligacy in going for a more expensive aircraft while the presidential jet was in good condition.

The Ranking Member of the Foreign Affairs Committee had originally posed the two-fold question to the Minister of Defence and Minister of Finance.

The former, Dominic Nitiwul, was in Parliament to provide his side of the answer while the latter, Ken Ofori-Atta, after several days of being handed reschedules appeared on Wednesday, July 21 but only had to defer to the National Security Minister as the most suitable government official to answer the question.

On Wednesday, November 17, Mr Okudzeto Ablakwa tweeted that Mr Kan Dapaah will be in the House to answer the question.

“Let’s see if our tortuous search for accountability will yield the desired results [Thursday],” he wrote.

“Transparent and accountable governance will either be enhanced or dealt a mortal wound tomorrow – I keep a somewhat open mind for now.”

By Emmanuel Kwame Amoh|3news.com|Ghana

Lands Minister inaugurates 11-member LEAF coalition task force

The Government of Ghana under the leadership of President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo is committed to ensuring that the country becomes a fully-fledged member of the Lowering Emissions by Acceleration Forest Finance (LEAF) Coalition and enjoy the full benefits derived by members by virtue of their affiliation with the coalition, Lands and Natural Resources Minister, Samuel Abu Jinapor has disclosed.

According to him, with the country signing a letter of intent to be part of the coalition, it has become necessary for it to explore ways of meeting other conditions precedent for the signing of an “emission reduction purchase agreement”.

Hon Samuel Jinapor explained that the sigining of the final agreement will permit the country to have access to funding to fight its emission and climate change challenges.

In light of this, the Ministry has set up a committee and commissioned it to work towards the attainment of the set objective.

Launching the committee on Wednesday, November 17, 2021, the Minister, Hon. Samuel A. Jinapor tasked the committee members to bring their experience and knowledge to bear and help government achieve its targets.

“We were successful at signing an a letter of intent with LEAF Coalition. Ghana was the only country from Africa to be selected by the panel of experts after the rigorous scrutiny that our application had to be subjected to”, he said.

The LEAF coalition is a public-private initiative led by the government of UK, Norway and several global giant companies to raise funding for forest base climate action. Already they’ve raised $1billion. The signing of the letter of intent is a major hurdle that a country has to cross before we can get to the point of signing a binding emission reduction purchase agreement. At that stage, we will be able to access some of the funding to be able to prosecute some of our ambitious afforestation programs,” the Minister added.

The Chairman of the Commmittee who also doubles at the Deputy Minister of Lands and Natural Resources in charge of Forestry, Hon. Benito Owusu-Bio welcomed the challenge and assured of sacrifices to help the country satisfy all demands and access the funding.

“The committee would want to assure that we are very grateful for being selected to be members of this important task force.

“We also want to assure you that we’ll hit the ground running and produce a very robust proposal that will enable the government and the ministry be able to access the funding”, he said.

The other members of committee are Mr Tutu Agyare, Dr Eugene Owusu, Mr Musa Abu-Juam, Mr John Allotey, Mr Tabi Agyarko, Mr Joseph Osiakwan, Mr Hugh Brown, Mrs Roselyn Fosua-Agyei, Mr Michael Akowuah and Mr Foster Gyamfi

You can’t charge me in absentia – Sosu to Police

Madina lawmaker Francis-Xavier Sosu has said that he will be in court to answer the charges against him.

He told journalists on Wednesday November 17 in Parliament that he was out of the country during the two days that his case was called in court.

“I will be in court, I am still a lawyer and I go to court. I go to court representing people so if I have to be in court I will be in court

“Let me quickly serve a notice, even that criminal summons was made without due process and due regards to law.  You cannot accuse a person if you have not heard from the person because you don’t charge people in absentia. So how you even came by an accusation and a charge is very fraudulent.”

He added “If you want to arrest any ordinary citizen, not even a member of Parliament, you must tell the person the reason  for the arrest. The Police never told me why they wanted to arrest me.  The first attempt to arrest me they never provided any reason.  Guess what,  that failed  and they attempted to arrest  me a second time  in church  and the second attempt failed , that was the only time they  came up with a press  release ostensibly  to now give a reason why they wanted to arrest me . That is not law enforcement.

He further admitted that he should have submitted himself to the Police “however we must be careful not to set wrong precedent. I have been human rights lawyer for the past eleven years and I have been at the forefront of talking about what must be lawful and what is unlawful. Police can arrest and there are basis and there is legal basis for arrest by the Police. Before you arrest a person you must have a suspicion or the crime might have been committed in front of you in your view.

“If you attempt to arrest somebody you should be telling the person for the arrest and reading out the right of the person to the person. If the police fails to do that that is unlawful arrest.”

The lawmaker failed to show up in court on Tuesday November 16 because he was still out of the jurisdiction on parliamentary duties.

Magistrate of the Court, Oheneba Kuffour citing another letter from Speaker Alban Bagbin noted that the Madina MP has not returned from his duties.

He however described some portions of the letter from parliament as confusing.

He cited the part of the letter which states, “I have been directed by the Rt. Hon. Speaker to bring to the attention of the Hon.

Court that the Hon. Member is attending at the proceedings of the 3rd Meeting of the first Session of the 8th Parliament, which commenced on Tuesday, October 26, 2021, and is also currently representing Parliament and the Country in a conference in the United States of America.”

Magistrate Kuffour was of the view that the letter created the impression Parliament was sitting in Ghana and abroad.

But reacting to the concern raised by the Magistrate, lead counsel of Francis Sosu, Victor Adawudu explained that it meant the MP was performing parliamentary duties.

“I’ve always insisted that Sosu is not a coward. If he has rights he will defend. We don’t see this as any matter that he will run away from,” Victor Adawudu intimated. He assured that the MP would show up in court once he returned.

The case was subsequently adjourned to 29th November, 2021

The Police had charged him for causing damage to public property.

The Director General, Public Affairs Directorate of the Police Service, ACP Kwasi Ofori, said on Wednesday November 3 that “The Police has obtained a criminal summons and has been duly served for him to appear in court on November 8…as we enumerated the charges includes obstructing the highway, causing damage to public property,” he said.

The Police had been seeking to arrest him for allegedly involving in a violent protests in his constituency.

The National Democratic Congress  MP had led some of his constituents to embark on a demonstration against deplorable roads in his constituency.

The demonstration started peacefully at Danfa around 6:00am but later saw demonstrators burning tyres and mounting roadblocks on the Ayi Mensah-Danfa Road.

Sosu has however denied saying “That any allegation of the Police about my involvement in unlawful blockade of road and destruction of public property is false and an afterthought carefully manufactured by the police to shift attention of the people of Ghana from the key issues of bad roads raised by our protest and demonstration.”

Gov’t to create 1m jobs with YouStart initiative

The government has 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 2 Billion Cedis.

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

“This, Mr. Speaker results in an unprecedented historic 10 Bn Cedis commitment to the private sector and YouStart over the next 3 years.

“Mr. Speaker, YouStart is a vehicle for supporting young entrepreneurs to gain access to capital, training, technical skills and mentoring to enable them launch and
operate their own businesses.

“Mr. Speaker, 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.”

By Laud Nartey|3news.com|Ghana

100,000 NABCo-ers get extra year; YouStart, Comms Min. to absorb 67,000 others

The government of Ghana says the remaining 67,000 beneficiaries of the Nation Builders Corps (NABCo) programme who have not yet secured jobs, can breathe a sigh of relief as they will not be laid off this year.

Instead, two windows; the YouStart programme and a digital inclusion programme will gradually absorb them in batches during the next fiscal year.

Announcing this during the presentation of the 2022 budget statement and economic policy in parliament on Wednesday, 17 November 2021, the Minister of Finance, Mr Ken Ofori-Atta, said the government will, through the initiative, support these beneficiaries to gain access to capital, training, technical skills and mentoring to enable them to launch and operate their own businesses under the initiative.

He said: “The NABCo programme was designed as a temporary stepping stone for young graduates for a period of three years”.

“In the last three years, 100,000 young graduates have benefitted from the NABCo programme”.

“With over 33,000 trainees already securing jobs, the government will work to ensure that the remaining NABCo trainees are effectively supported to take advantage of the opportunities YouStart presents.”

NABCo was introduced by the Akufo-Addo-led administration in 2017 as part of measures to address graduate unemployment in the country.

The initiative was run under seven modules, namely Educate Ghana, Heal Ghana, Feed Ghana, Revenue Ghana, Digitize Ghana, Enterprise Ghana, and Civic Ghana

The headteacher is one of us, we’ve forgiven him’ – Families of 9 drowned students

“We believe that even if the teacher hadn’t sent them to his farm, they would have been called by God on that day either way.

The families of the nine students of St. Charles Junior High School who drowned in the River Oti at Saboba in the Northern Region, are not interested in making the Headmaster of the school, Emmanuel Jashain pay for the death of their loved ones. 

This was disclosed by the Spokesperson of the families, Jesse Nyimakan on Citi FM’s  Eyewitness News on Monday, November 15, 2021.

According to him, the harm has already been done, and holding grudges against the headmaster will not correct it in any way.

He added the family is not interested in pursuing the case although the state has by itself pressed criminal charges against him.

“We were hit by this news on Friday. It was a big blow to us. We were thrown into a state of confusion. We haven’t had it easy at all these past days. But then it has happened already..”

“We believe that even if the teacher hadn’t sent them to his farm, they would have been called by God on that day either way. Perhaps that was the day they had to go. In fact, the family is demoralised but what do we do, the headmaster is one of us.”

“We have been with him for a while now and he hasn’t exhibited any untoward behaviour. We believe it is not his doing that this happened. The family has come together and decided to let it go, though we are deeply hurt. I lost my son too. He was about 18 years. But the harm has already been done. Even if the case is dragged, we are unwilling to collaborate with the court,” he added. 

The Headteacher has been remanded into prison custody over his alleged role in the drowning incident that left nine students dead.

The headteacher is alleged to have sent thirty-one students to work on his farm last week Friday, and on their return, the canoe they were travelling in capsised, leading to the death of the nine.

It is against the Ghana Education Service code of ethics for headteachers or teachers to use students for their personal assignments.

The accused has since been charged with manslaughter, that is ‘a crime of killing a human being without malice, aforethought or in circumstances not amounting to murder.’

At a Tamale District Court where the case was called on Monday, November 15, 2021, the defence counsel pleaded with the court to grant his client bail, arguing that the accused voluntarily submitted himself to the police hence had no intention to jump bail should he be granted.

Source: Edna Agnes Boakye||Citinewsroom

Criminalisation of persons under LGBTQI+ Bill is absurd – Akoto Ampaw

Akoto Ampaw GTV Show.png

The Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee of Parliament has begun public hearings on the Promotion of Proper Human Sexual Rights and Ghanaian Family Values Bill which seeks to criminalize LGBTQI activities in Ghana.

The hearing is to seek clarification from organizations that submitted a memorandum on the introduction of the Bill to inform the Committee’s report.

Interest groups including MPs, Academia, Civil Society organizations and religious bodies were given the opportunity to express their opinion on the draft legislation.

Following the introduction of the Bill by some MPs, several arguments have been made on the subject with some arguing for the Bill, with others opposed to it.

A Group of Concerned Ghanaian Citizens called for the outright rejection of the Bill as it violates the Constitutional provision on fundamental human rights. A Private Legal Practitioner and spokesperson for group Akoto Ampaw, said the Bill which was brought before Parliament, as a Private Member Bill clearly violates the Constitution.

He said the Bill clearly imposes cost and charges on the consolidated fund and should therefore not have been introduced before Parliament by a Private Members’ Bill. Mr Akoto Ampaw described as absurd the criminalisation of persons who expressed sympathy or support for the LGBTQI community.null

This he said is a violation of freedom of expression and stigmatisation against persons engaging in LGBTQI. He said the Bill must be rejected by Parliament on grounds that it stokes hate, intolerance, and violence against LGBTQI activists.

In a presentation a representative of the Ghana Pentecostal and Charismatic Council, Apostle Ofori Kuragu, said the anti gay Bill conforms with the Constitution as it affirms the fundamental human rights of all Ghanaians and protects the vulnerable persons against the influence of the LGBTQI+ Community.

He said the Bill reflects the majority view of the population which in clear terms frowns on LGBTI activities and urged Parliament to consider the general mood of the citizens by passing the Bill.

The Church of Pentecost and Advocates for Christ expressed support for the passage of the Bill to uphold the Ghanaian moral values.

The Ghana Aids Commission urged Parliament to consider the challenges the Commission and other State Agencies that depend on international donor support may suffer if the Bill is passed.

Source: gbcghanaonline.com

NDC Delivered Cargo Vehicles As Ambulances – Buaben Asamoa Jabs Mahama

The New Patriotic Party says former President John Mahama has no moral right to accuse President Akufo-Addo of nonperformance because he did not achieve anything significant while in office.

It comes after Mr Mahama accused the government of wasting the public purse and also being insensitive about the plight of Ghanaians.https://googleads.g.doubleclick.net/pagead/ads?client=ca-pub-2623005858729319&output=html&h=343&adk=3559006387&adf=3229197991&pi=t.aa~a.2816640267~i.3~rp.1&w=412&lmt=1636726996&num_ads=1&rafmt=1&armr=3&sem=mc&pwprc=2278969447&psa=0&ad_type=text_image&format=412×343&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.peacefmonline.com%2Fpages%2Fpolitics%2Fpolitics%2F202111%2F455627.php%3Futm_source%3Ddlvr.it%26utm_medium%3Dfacebook&flash=0&fwr=1&pra=3&rh=319&rw=382&rpe=1&resp_fmts=3&sfro=1&wgl=1&fa=27&dt=1636726996714&bpp=31&bdt=13838&idt=32&shv=r20211109&mjsv=m202111080101&ptt=9&saldr=aa&abxe=1&prev_fmts=0x0%2C412x343%2C412x343%2C412x343%2C412x343%2C412x343%2C412x343&nras=2&correlator=6672910427662&frm=20&pv=1&ga_vid=2132991338.1636726992&ga_sid=1636726992&ga_hid=1002337097&ga_fc=1&u_tz=0&u_his=1&u_h=892&u_w=412&u_ah=892&u_aw=412&u_cd=24&dmc=4&adx=0&ady=1308&biw=412&bih=797&scr_x=0&scr_y=3&eid=31063685%2C31060475&oid=2&pvsid=2862837919214935&pem=530&ref=http%3A%2F%2Fm.facebook.com%2F&eae=0&fc=1408&brdim=0%2C0%2C0%2C0%2C412%2C0%2C412%2C797%2C412%2C797&vis=1&rsz=%7C%7Cs%7C&abl=NS&fu=128&bc=31&ifi=9&uci=a!9&btvi=4&fsb=1&xpc=VyRZoSesz9&p=https%3A//www.peacefmonline.com&dtd=154

“John Mahama and the NDC are yet to deliver one socially sensitive intervention for the people of Ghana to justify their type of social democracy. The monumental failure of the one-time premium for the NHIS is a glaring example. They collapsed free maternal healthcare,” NPP Communications Director Yaw Buaben Asamoa said at a press briefing Thursday.

He stressed: “They delivered a few cargo vehicles in the name of ambulances and up till now, we do not know the accounting for those ambulances.

“Above all, they continue to oppose Free SHS, a policy which is the most socially inclusive in the Fourth Republic, yet Mahama had a long introduction touting his credentials as a social-democratic person and that of his party and couldn’t point to one policy that alleviates poverty effectively for the people of Ghana”.

What Mahama said

Former President John Dramani Mahama has described President Akufo-Addo as disrespectful and insensitive for continuously flying luxurious private jets with taxpayer’s money despite several complaints by Ghanaians.

“The misuse of scarce resources on the avoidable creature comforts of the President and other leading officials must come to an end…it is an unpardonable show of disrespect and insensitivity to the plight of the suffering masses for millions of Ghana cedis to be spent renting luxurious aircraft for Presidential travels at a time when the state of Ghana has a fully fitted and airworthy Presidential aircraft that can ferry the President anywhere in this world”.

“The staggering GH¢68 million spent on Presidential trips for the first nine months of 2019 alone constituted an unconscionable waste of very limited public resources at a time that the population was being asked to tighten their belts”, the 2020 flag bearer of the National Democratic Congress said on Wednesday, 10 November 2021 in a thank-you address to Ghanaians for the support they showed him in the last election.

He added that “resources entrusted into their care must be used judiciously for the public good, not for the excessive comfort of leaders. If this kind of waste was avoided, significant resources could be saved to address some of the more pressing concerns of the people.

“There are indications that government prefers to impose more hardship and suffering on Ghanaians, by introducing very painful fiscal measures in the 2022 budget to be read next week as a way of avoiding an IMF programme.

This government must realise that there is only so much that the already over-burdened Ghanaian people can bear” and, thus, “piling more taxes and levies on them will have devastating consequences on households. The very high cost of living will go through the roof leading to severe suffering for millions of people”.

“This is not the time for more taxes. The people are reeling under the heavyweight of existing taxes. This is the time for efficiency, and the modest use of the taxes collected”.

Read the full speech below:

#thankGhana address to end the nationwide thank-you tour Social Justice & a Sustainable Economy by John Dramani Mahama NDC 2020 Presidential Candidate & former President

Good evening, my brothers, my sisters, ladies and gentlemen.

As you have just heard, I am John Dramani Mahama. I was born in Damongo, grew up in Accra and Tamale spending my holidays in Damongo. I schooled in Achimota, Tamale, at the great GHANASCO, Legon and later in Russia.

Along this journey, I have learnt useful lessons from the school of life – the theatre of rich, potent and abundant dreams.

We were created in the image and likeness of God and given power to overcome adversity and defeat, particularly when we work in unity and with a common purpose. This unity and common purpose are needed if we want to transform our great nation, Ghana, into a sustainable economy underpinned by social justice.

As social democrats, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) believes and has always subscribed to a compassionate political philosophy that seeks to create opportunities for all to develop to their fullest potential, not just a few.

The framers of our constitution and national laws espoused these principles and directed our governments to bolster social justice through equitable, prudent, and sustainable allocation of our national resources with the future generation in mind.

Our governments must therefore lead the way in guaranteeing social justice. As citizens, we must not give up when our government shirks this responsibility. We must, in our own small way, keep hope alive by offering support to encourage each other.

When a Ghanaian is in need, we must support him or her to rise up and walk. This promotes and sustains our common humanity. For me, the ethnicity, partisan affiliation, religious background or gender of that Ghanaian in need does not matter and should not matter.

The “I am because you are” spirit is not alien to the Ghanaian. We live and experience life as a community and not as individuals. Each day, I become even more aware of our interconnectedness as a people, with common hopes of prosperity, safety and liberty for ourselves and future generations.

This fundamental lesson was evident in the contrasting lives in Achimota, Accra, and Tamale. As a Member of Parliament for Bole-Bamboi, as Vice President and as President, this guiding principle has always influenced my decision-making.

Let me at this point thank you for joining me this evening as I give thanks to the almighty God and to you – all Ghanaians, and the rank and file of the NDC, for your prayers, support, encouragement, and perpetual guidance in my political career.

I note that the audience here is drawn from a wide array of backgrounds, from high-flying professionals through to students and to those who look forward to employment after having completed their education.

This diversity notwithstanding, I believe we are all bound by a single strand woven around the desire to see our country prosper and develop in a manner that gives opportunities to all.

It has been barely a year since Ghanaians went to the polls to elect a President and two hundred and seventy-five Members of Parliament.

Despite misgivings about the processes leading up to the election, we had reposed hope and confidence in what was a time-tested tradition of peaceful and fair elections since our democratic return in 1992.

Our expectations proved to be misplaced as the worst-possible election in 29 years was delivered last year.

The umpire of our elections, the Electoral Commission, for some reason, chose to sacrifice the much-heralded good image it had carved over the years. Our difficulties with the elections have been well-documented and I would belabour the point if I recounted them here.

Suffice it to say that the kind of violence that claimed the lives of eight of our citizens, the misuse of security agencies to influence the outcome of elections in some constituencies and the uneven playing field that marred the 2020 elections, should never be allowed to recur.

We, in the NDC have duly learned useful, even if bitter lessons, from the entire episode. We are willing to engage the EC in constructive dialogue with a view to addressing the clear shortfalls of the present electoral process and fashion out one that meets the expectations of all if we are to avoid the unfortunate incidents of 2020.

We have started this process by proposing a number of reforms to the electoral process and we continue to carry out consultations with stakeholders. We look forward to having an opportunity with the Electoral Commission to discuss these reforms and their possible implementation.

Despite the disappointment of the loss, I deemed it appropriate to extend my appreciation and gratitude to Ghanaians who found me worthy enough to vote for in their millions.

The over 6.2 million people who, according to the officially declared results, spent time in long queues over a period of 12 hours to vote for me, deserve all the appreciation I can muster.

Their show of support is a great source of encouragement for me and the great NDC, which I led into the election, that we have the trust of Ghanaians and that with the right approach, we will be victorious next time

Reject anti-gay bill – Akoto Ampaw to Parliament

Mr Akoto Ampaw, a member of the concerned Ghanaian citizens reading a statement on behalf of the group during the media briefing

Private Legal Practitioner, Akoto Ampaw has called on Parliament to reject the Anti-LGBTQI Bill, which he claims does not meet legal requirements as stipulated in the 1992 Constitution.

According to him, the Bill in its current form violates Article 1(1) (2):” which uphold the sovereignty of the people of Ghana in whose name and whose welfare the powers of Government shall be exercised in the manner and within the limits laid down in the Constitution”.

“Irrespective of the number of people who support the Bill, the legislation must meet the first provision of the constitution. If it does not by Clause (2) of Article 1 of that bill or legislation is void”.

Mr Akoto Ampaw made the observation when he appeared before Parliament’s Committee on Constitutional, Legal, and Parliamentary Affairs on behalf of a group of Concerned Ghanaian Citizens against the passing of the Bill.

Parliament on Thursday began sitting on the Anti-LGBTQI Bill also known as the Promotion of Proper Human Sexual Rights and Ghanaian Family Values Bill, which was laid in the House on Monday, August 2, 2021, and read for the first time.

The Bill among other things is seeking to criminalize some activities of members of the LGBTQ Community in Ghana.

Mr Akoto Ampaw also pointed out that the combined effect of the two provisions was that the Select Committee and Parliament as a whole had a duty to ensure that any bill that comes to Parliament, must first be checked whether it had been introduced in accordance with the constitution.

He said even after crossing that heddle, Parliament must interrogate and determine whether the bill and its processes were within the limit of the constitution.

Mr Akoto Ampaw also argued that the Speaker of Parliament violated Articles 108 and 296 of the 1992 Constitution by allowing the Anti-LGBTQI Bill to be laid before the House through Private Members.

He stated that per article 108 of the 1992 Constitution, “Parliament shall not proceed on a bill, which will impose costs or charges on the Consolidated Fund unless it is presented by, or on behalf of the President.”

He noted that, “the speaker is not above the Constitution, he is subject to the mandatory provisions of the Constitution and it is our view that the Speaker violated article 108 of the Constitution when he allowed such a bill that clearly imposes a charge on the consolidated funds and public funds to be laid before Parliament.”

Apostle Ofori Kuruagu of the Ghana Pentecostal and Charismatic Council in his argument to the Committee stated that Parliament as the representative of the people at all material times was expected to mirror the broad opinions of its constituents and where appropriate serve as a vehicle to satisfy the interest of the people whose mandate it represented through the vehicle of legislation.

He said the passage of the Anti-LGBTQI Bill would give eloquent expression to the sovereign will of the majority of the people which Parliament represented and a bold attempt from the dangerous notion that anything foreign is “good for the nation”.

“This nation is being inundated with all forms of foreign values…we see this bill as a bold attempt to disassociate Ghana from such a menace”, he added.

Apostle Ofori Kuruagu also stated that “the Bill seeks to customize the distinct values of the people by creating a situation to preserve the time honour values of the nation free from foreign corruption and imposition”.

He argued that the Bill was a proactive step to give impetus to certain aspects of the country’s criminal jurisprudence and deny it the oxygen to fuel the flames of possible “wildfire” that might obliterate the foundations of the nation’s cherished norms and values, which makes us Ghanaians.

Source: GNA

LGBTQI : I’ll defend the right of minorities everywhere – Gabby

Gabby Otchere-Darko has said he is against the anti-gay bill that is before Parliament at the moment.

In a tweet, the former Executive Director of the Danquah Institute said “I am against the anti-gay bill & not shy to say so. I am a proud Ghanaian who cherishes all that is good about our value systems, including tolerance.

“And, I will defend the right of minorities everywhere. I have the courage and a sense of justice to disagree with the majority.”

I AM AGAINST THE ANTI-GAY BILL & NOT SHY TO SAY SO. I AM A PROUD GHANAIAN WHO CHERISHES ALL THAT IS GOOD ABOUT OUR VALUE SYSTEMS, INCLUDING TOLERANCE. AND, I WILL DEFEND THE RIGHT OF MINORITIES EVERYWHERE. I HAVE THE COURAGE AND A SENSE OF JUSTICE TO DISAGREE WITH THE MAJORITY.— Gabby Otchere-Darko (@GabbyDarko) November 11, 2021

Parliament has started works to ensure the passage of the bill.

The Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs on Thursday November 11 started the public hearing on the memos submitted by the public on the bill.

During the sitting, a member of the committee, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful said the bill would go through changes before it is passed.

The Member of Parliament for Ablekuma West explained during the first public sitting of the committee to deliberate on the memos that have been presented on the bill that, just as with all other bills that eventually get passed by Parliament go through reviews, the anti-gay bill will also be subjected to the same treatment.

It is highly possible that the bill will not be the same after passage, she said.

She further asked the Pentecostal and Charismatic Council (PCC), to rephrase their memo that was presented to Parliament on the bill.

The Minister of Communications noted that the memo which was presented on behalf of the PCC by Apostle Ofori Kurago, called on parliamentarians to be mindful of the electorate when making contributions to the discussion

But in her view, this amounts to ‘veiled threat’ directed at the lawmakers.

 “You seem to issue a veil threat to the parliamentarians who have to be mindful if the electorate in the work that we are doing and in your assertion that this will be one of the most important pieces of legislation that this house will consider.

“But this process  would also result in  significant changes to the bill  and so the bill as  we have seen it now , as with all  processes of the passage of  legislation in this house , the bill that is introduced  is not the one that is eventually  passed into law . So if you are telling us that that you support his bill as it is, that we should do our work mindful of the people out there then you are hampering us the free expression in the performance of our duties as members of Parliament and so I will entreat you to rephrase that because it didn’t come across to is well. It is as if you are telling us to be mindful of what we are doing and that any changes might result in some attack or otherwise for us doing our works.”

The Committee commenced the public hearing on the memorandum received from the public on the anti-gay bill today Thursday November 11.

The Committee has stopped receiving additional memos on the bill.

The Ranking Member on the Committee, Bernard Ahiafor, told TV3’s Parliamentary correspondent Courage Komla Kluste in interview on Wednesday November 1o that “Those who submitted the memo would be invited to appear before the committee with their memo and justify the stand that they have taken. So, as usual, the LGBTQ bill which has been referred to the Constitution, Legal Committee of Parliament has generated a lot of interest  as a result of the memoranda received so far.

“It is ranging between 140 and 150 so the committee is scheduled to start the stakeholders’ engagement effective tomorrow.

“I believe strongly, when they advertised the bill welcoming memorandum the time frame was given, that time frame has since long elapsed.

“Having regard to the nature and quality of the bill we relaxed the rule and then we have received memos up to last week.

“So, I believe since the committee is going to start work on the  memo effective form  tomorrow, from tomorrow  I don’t think the clerk  of the committee will received any further  memo.”

It is recalled that Deputy Majority Leader in Parliament, Alexander Afenyo- Markin, projected that it would take the parliamentary committee 15 weeks, at least, to hear the 150 memoranda that have so far been presented as part of the move to pass the bill.

The Effutu lawmaker made this calculation having in mind the possibility of Parliament receiving more memoranda apart from the 150 already received.

He explained that each week, the committee has decided to consider 10 of the memoranda. That brings the calculation to fifteen weeks.

His comments come after his colleague Member of Parliament for Banda, Ahmed Ibrahim, had called on the House to carry along the nation as efforts are being made to pass the bill.

Speaking on the floor of the House Friday November 5, he said “On the issue of this LGBTQ , the committee has received about 150 memoranda I am well informed of steps they have taken so far They have met and programmed to hear them weekly and from next week they are starting.

“So if honourable Ibrahim Ahmed wants us to carry the nation along then per my calculation, if they are doing weekly we don’t know whether any more memoranda will come.

 “Then it means that we are looking at fifteen weeks. Every week they are doing ten, 150 and they want to do ten a week. So it is important all those who have brought memoranda are heard. It is after that that they will now prepare their report and then come and we make progress.”

The Promotion of Proper Human Sexual Rights and Ghanaian Family Values Bill was laid in the House on Monday, August 2 and read for the first time.

Reading for the first time, a clerk in the legislative assembly stated that the Bill proscribes lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transgender, queer and intersex (LGBTQI) and other related activities and propaganda or advocacy and promotion for same.

It also came to light that it supports protection for children and persons who are victims or accused of homosexuality.

Second Deputy Speaker Andrew Asiamah Amoako referred the Bill to the Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Committee for consideration.

“For the first time, it is referred to the Committee on Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs for consideration and report,” Mr Asiamah Amoako, who is also the MP for Fomena, directed

Akufo-Addo in France for UNESCO 75th anniversary ceremony

The seat of government, the Jubilee House has announced on Thursday November 11 that President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo will, this afternoon, lead the Ghanaian delegation to attend, at the invitation of UNESCO’s Director General, Audrey Azoulay, the 75th anniversary ceremony of the founding of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

The event is being held at UNESCO headquarters in Paris, France.

The Director of Communications at the Presidency, Mr Eugene Arhin said at a press conference on Thursday that “The United Nations Charter, which came into effect on 16th November 1945, provided for the creation of a specialized agency in the fields of education and culture, and the President will, on Friday, 12th November, deliver a statement, at the height of the commemoration, on the impact UNESCO has had in Ghana, and what Ghana expects from UNESCO in the coming years.

“President Akufo-Addo will from Saturday, 13th November, to Saturday, 20th November, take a much-deserved, long overdue seven-day leave of absence, during which he has accepted an invitation to preside over the panel that will adjudicate a debate in the French Parliament on “The Trial of Progress”, on Friday, 19th November.

“The President is expected back in Ghana on Saturday, 20th November, and, whilst away, the Vice President, Alhaji Mahamudu Bawumia, will act in his stead

499 Law School Applicants Failed’

Godfred Yeboah Dame

The Office of the Attorney General has stated that the 499 potential law students who have filed a suit against the Ghana School of Law and the General Legal Council (GLC) have no basis to do so because they did not pass the entrance examination which guarantees them admission.××

The AG in an affidavit in opposition to the suit filed by the applicant indicated that no irreparable damage will be done to the potential students if the court refuses to grant their application for interlocutory injunction.

“The applicants have failed to particularise the irreparable damage that will be done if they are not granted admission, especially when the law school is still in existence and running the law course. No irreparable damage will be done to the applicants since they did not pass the Ghana School of Law entrance examination,” the affidavit sworn to by Gyamfuaa Mac-Owoo, a State Attorney, averred.

Main Suit

The applicants are in court seeking the enforcement of their fundamental human rights, what they call a retrospective application of a law which denies them the right to be admitted into the Ghana School of Law, and called it discrimination.

The applicants are part of the a group of LLB graduates who sat for the 2021 Ghana School of Law entrance examination but could not be admitted although they said they had passed the exams.

According to the applicants, the GLC is changing its position and trying to retrospectively apply a law which states that the 50 per cent pass mark is made up of 50 per cent pass in Section A and a 50 per cent pass in Section B, which violates certain portions of the 1992 Constitution.

They are therefore, seeking a declaration by the court that the GLC declaring them as having failed the exams despite meeting the 50 per cent threshold violates Articles 17, 23 and 25 of the 1992 Constitution.

They are seeking an order of mandamus to compel the GLC to admit them into the Ghana School of Law for the Professional Law Course.

Affidavit In Opposition

But the AG’s Department in its affidavit in apposition averred that the candidates who passed the 2021 entrance examination have been duly issued with instructions for their enrolment into the Ghana School of Law, which has not and will not cause irreparable damage to the applicants who are trying to enter the school.

It denied the allegation by the applicants that the GLC was trying to retrospectively apply a new rule governing the admission process, arguing that the minimum of 50% each in both Section A and Section B had been applied in previous entrance examinations and not a new rule.

“The candidates who were genuinely interested in gaining admission to the Professional Law Course of the Ghana School of Law did not make ‘wayside’ inquiries about the requirements for admission to the Professional Law Course at the time the 1st respondent (GLC) had published the requisite instructions to prospective candidates in the Daily Graphic.”

It further averred that GLC did not inform applicants that the pass mark for the entrance examination was 50%, adding that it will be unjust for the court to compel the GLC to admit candidates who did not meet the minimum threshold for minimum mark set by the GLC.

It said the GLC has not unjustifiably denied any candidate who passed the entrance examination admission to the Ghana School of Law, adding that “had the applicants passed the examination they would have been admitted.”

The affidavit in opposition further averred that the Attorney General has not failed to exercise his statutory powers on the GLC as there has not been any breach of the 1992 Constitution, arguing that “if there had been any breach of the Constitution, the 2nd respondent (AG) would have called out the 1st respondent (GLC) without being prompted to do so.”

It is therefore, urging the court to dismiss the application for being frivolous and vexatious.

Hearing of the case has been set for November 19, 2021

Defence Minister leads delegation to Yaa-Naa over war mongering

Minister for Defence Dominic Nitiwul, who is also the Member of Parliament (MP) for Bimbilla Constituency, has led a government delegation including some MPs from the Northern Region to the Gbewaa palace in Yendi following some social media comments of a possible Konkomba, Dagomba and Nanumba conflict.

Speaking at the Gbewaa palace, the Minister described the information as malicious and treacherous.

He revealed that government through the National Security Ministry and other security operatives are tracking down the perpetrators of such information.

“We are tracking those people peddling such war mongering information to raise tension and I assure you we will deal with them.”

He added, “Konkombas, Dagombas and Nanumbas are brothers and have lived peacefully over the years and so any attempt to distract the peace among these people will be fiercely resisted.”

Mr. Nitiwul warned that “henceforth, anybody or group of person’s whose publications, discussions or commentary on the subject matter will seek to influence a possible conflict will be severely dealt with”.

He charged all metropolitan, municipal and district chief executives (MMDCEs) in the Region to sensitize their people on the need to live peacefully.

Member of Parliament for Yendi Constituency Alhaji Farouk Aliu Mahama applauded the swift intervention by government and called on the youth to desist from acts of war mongering.

He indicated that the 1994 Konkomba, Dagomba and Nanumba conflict claimed more lives and any reccurrence will be detrimental to the peace and development of the Region.

The Yaa-Naa, Abukari Mahama II, on his part, applauded government for the intervention.

You cook figures, sue me if I’m lying – Mahama to Ofori Atta

Former President John Dramani Mahama has accused the Finance Minister Ken Ofori Atta of tampering with economic figures just to make the Akufo-Addo administration look good in the eyes of credit rating agencies.

Mr Mahama noted that the Finance Minister has failed to include liabilities such as the energy sector and the banking sector cleanup debts to the deficit.

“The economy was in mess even before covid, they used Covid as the cover up. The Finance Minister, I repeat , he has been cooking the books .

“I have said it several times , if he thinks I am not speaking the truth he should sue me, he has been cooking the books. He doesn’t give the right picture of the economy.

“Liabilities such as the Energy Sector debt, banking sector cleanup he doesn’t add them to the deficit. He puts it as a footnote and so when he says our deficit is 6 per cent it is because huge liabilities items are not part, he has hidden them.

“He has done that for a long and so when he gets the Fitch and Moodys’ ratings it looks like the economy is doing well,” Mr Mahama said on Tuesday November 9.

He further asked the Akufo-Addo administration to up its game in dealing with the hardships Ghanaians are saddled with at the moment.

Mr Mahama noted that times are hard for Ghanaians. The economy, in his view, is not doing well hence, the destitutions.

Mr Mahma said “I think that this government has to sit up

Stop fuel smuggling at Aflao border – NPA Boss to Custom officers

The Chief Executive of the National Petroleum Authority (NPA), Dr Mustapha Abdul-Hamid has revealed that illicit fuel trade activities are high at the Aflao border.

He stated that the NPA has not licensed any importer to bring fuel through the Aflao border and urged the border officers to stop the importation of petroleum products by road.

Dr Abdul-Hamid made the comments when he led the management of the Authority to tour the Aflao border to familiarize himself with illegal activities on the border.

The NPA Boss said combating fuel smuggling is still a menace that denies the government of the right revenue. “The NPA is an agency responsible for monitoring downstream petroleum industry, and that combating fuel activities is central to what the Authority does” he emphasized.

Dr Abdul-Hamid said Ghana is the only country in the subregion that consumes the highest quality of fuel, and that it was important to maintain such a feat. He, therefore, called for these activities to be tackled to the barest minimum.

The Chairman of the Aflao Border Security Committee, Majeed Amandi, reacting said unapproved entry points and routes on the Ghana-Togo borders were fueling criminal activities including fuel smuggling.

Mr. Amandi who doubles as Assistant Commissioner of the Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority – Aflao Collection, indicated that the service was fighting the menace together with other security agencies as well as the NPA in a bid, to intensify patrols and enhance efforts to combat the long-standing problem.

The Assistant Commissioner noted that during patrol operations they observed that illegal actors operate at midnight to avoid detection. He described them as daring because they always found their way into the country’s borders and offload unwholesome petroleum products into the Ghanaian market. He said this is also a result of the unavailability of special boats for patrols on the seas at night.

The Chairman noted that border security agencies were in need of working tools to combat the illicit trade. The commander, therefore, called on members of the border security committee and management to be alert on such illegal activities and gave the assurance that Customs would liaise with the agencies to ensure the menace is dealt with, and hand over wrongdoers to the appropriate authorities.

The Volta Regional Manager of the NPA, Mr Rasheed Dauda, said he appreciated the collaboration with the security agencies at Aflao and pledged to work closely with them to arrest the criminals.

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

Nat’l Cathedral: Moses built a temple despite hardships of Israelites – Palmer-Buckle

The Vice-Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the National Cathedral and Metropolitan Archbishop of Cape Coast, Most. Rev. Charles Gabriel Palmer-Buckle has justified the construction of the National Cathedral despite the criticism against it.

According to Archbishop Palmer-Buckle, biblical Moses built a temple for God at a time the Israelites were suffering and wandering in the desert.

He said the argument by some critics that there is hardship and, therefore, constructing the cathedral was not important, does not hold water.

“The argument against this cathedral has been that there is hardship and people are hungry so forth and so forth”.https://googleads.g.doubleclick.net/pagead/ads?client=ca-pub-4549410436183225&output=html&h=343&slotname=4705176708&adk=2053710314&adf=2366005940&pi=t.ma~as.4705176708&w=412&lmt=1636483464&rafmt=1&armr=1&psa=0&format=412×343&url=https%3A%2F%2Fmobile.classfmonline.com%2Fnews%2Fgeneral%2FNat-l-Cathedral-Moses-built-a-temple-despite-hardships-of-Israelites-Palmer-Buckle-28408&flash=0&fwr=1&rs=1&rh=250&rw=300&rpe=1&resp_fmts=3&sfro=1&wgl=1&dt=1636483464006&bpp=14&bdt=4073&idt=962&shv=r20211103&mjsv=m202111040101&ptt=9&saldr=aa&abxe=1&prev_fmts=0x0%2C412x343&nras=1&correlator=6934751672113&frm=20&pv=1&ga_vid=1956408157.1636483465&ga_sid=1636483465&ga_hid=2047004927&ga_fc=0&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&adx=0&ady=1388&biw=412&bih=797&scr_x=0&scr_y=123&eid=44752094%2C182982100%2C182982300%2C31062938%2C31062944%2C31060475&oid=2&pvsid=1346537587538520&pem=344&ref=http%3A%2F%2Fm.facebook.com%2F&eae=0&fc=1920&brdim=0%2C0%2C0%2C0%2C412%2C0%2C412%2C797%2C412%2C797&vis=1&rsz=%7C%7CEebr%7C&abl=CS&pfx=0&fu=128&bc=31&ifi=3&uci=a!3&btvi=1&fsb=1&xpc=UEz3LPxJQv&p=https%3A//mobile.classfmonline.com&dtd=991

“But when God instructed Moses to build the Tabernacle for God, the Israelites were on the desert and didn’t have what to eat but they contributed and contributed so much that it exceeded expectation in building the Tabernacle,” he said.

The Cape Coast Metropolitan Archbishop said this at a fundraising event in Koforidua to support the construction of the national cathedral.

The event was organised by the Board of Trustees of the National Cathedral together with the Eastern Regional Coordinating Council, RCC and the Local Council of Churches.

Palmer-Buckle encouraged Ghanaians especially Christians to contribute religiously toward the building, saying: “If we get one million Christians of the 23 million who will donate every month just GHS100 per person for three years so that at the end of the day you have GHS1,200 times one million, it means we’ll have GHS200 million a year. If we’ll be consistent with that we can finish that project in time

It doesn’t make sense – John Dumelo rubbishes No-vaccine-No-entry directive for events

It doesn’t make sense – John Dumelo rubbishes No-vaccine-No-entry directive for events

John Dumelo and Mark Okraku Mantey

John Dumelo disagrees with the directives from the Ministry of Tourism, Arts & Culture regarding how to keep the public safe and ensure a fun-filled COVID-19 controlled holiday period. According to him, asking patrons to show their vaccination cards before entry is not feasible, doesn’t make sense and would not work. 

John Dumelo made his misgivings known on the United Showbiz show. He opined that the directive would infringe on the rights of people who are not interested in getting vaccinated. He also listed a few reasons that do not make.

“No, it won’t work. That’s it. It’s not going to work. Number one, how would you know who is vaccinated or not. If I show you my card, how do you know I am vaccinated? … Were you there when I went to the hospital for the injection?”

According to John Dumelo, one cannot authenticate the genuine of the COVID-19 card as to whether the holder actually received the vaccine or not. 

“Let’s say tomorrow, Monday, I went to the hospital, and Kwame is the nurse. Charley Kwame, and then he gives me a fake injection with a card. The card is genuine, biodata and all are printed on it. But how do you know that I have taken the injection?

“The second one is that if you are saying that the patrons coming to the event show take the injection, what about those foreigners who didn’t want to take the vaccine?”

John Dumelo mentioned that he is advocating for the government to make provisions for those who do not want to get vaccinated. In his submission, he also stated that he is not against people getting vaccinated. But people should also not be forced to do so. 

“To get it straight…we are not against vaccination. We are not. But we want to talk for those who don’t believe in the vaccine. That you shouldn’t disenfranchise them from enjoying.”

The Deputy Minister of Tourism, Arts & Culture, Honourable Mark Okraku Mantey, outlined COVID-19 measures that the government has in place for the December festivities. This included vaccination cards before entry, social distancing and handwashing protocols. 

“Vaccination cards will be required to enter. You must show that you have been vaccinated to be able to enter. Age five and above would require a mask. Masks would be removed for special activities like eating and drinking.”

By Grace Somuah-Annan|3news.com|Ghana

Be Cautious Of QNET’s Job Offers Abroad – Deputy Information Minister

Deputy Information Minister, Fatima Abubakar, speaking at a press briefing in Accra on Sunday, noted that victims of QNET have suffered heinous conditions over non-existing jobs.

The government has cautioned desperate job seekers to be cautious of the activities of QNET, an international e-commerce based direct selling company which claims to offer jobs outside Ghana.
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“Victims are lured into lucrative non-existing jobs but end up entrapped in the operations of a network marketing company, QNET. Upon arrival in these countries, the victims are stripped of their valuables, held hostage under squalid conditions, and forced to commit to QNET services by signing a contract under duress. The only way for victims to gain their freedom is to be compelled to lure others into the business,” she said.

She revealed that the government is liaising with law enforcement agencies in Mali to rescue Ghanaians lured into QNET activities in Mali.

“Checks have revealed that some Ghanaians are caught up in several QNET facilities across Mali. Consequently, the Ghanaian Mission in Bamako is liaising with the law enforcement agencies in Mali to rescue Ghanaians forcibly engaged in QNET activities in Mali,” she said.

According to her, other nationals of African countries like Nigeria, Burkina Faso, and Cameroun have fallen victim to the scam by similar syndicates in Ghana.

“There have been reports of similar syndicates operating in Ghana, particularly in Pokuase and Amasaman, who convince Nigerians, Beninois, Burkinabes, and Cameroonians to come to Ghana on the pretext of securing jobs for them,” she added.

In July this year, the Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Godfred Dame petitioned the commercial division of the Accra High Court to dissolve the QNET marketing company and accused it of operating as a Ponzi scheme.

The Attorney General in its petition said, “Investigations by the National Security Council Secretariat disclosed that the respondent, (QNET), operates in a manner akin to a Ponzi scheme by luring clients to make deposits and investments with them which they eventually lose.”

It added that “The respondent (QNET) lures unsuspecting members of the public to pay the sum of about GH¢5,000 to place them in various jobs which turned out to be a hoax.”

The petition was filed under the Corporate Insolvency and Restructuring Act, 2020 (Act 1015)

Transport operators won’t increase transport fares – GPRTU

The Public Relations Officer (PRO) Ghana Private Road Transport Union (GPRTU), Alhaji Ibrahim Abass Moro said has said transport operators are not going to increase fares in spite of the rise in fuel prices.

He explained that Ghanaians are already overburdened hence they won’t worsen their plight by increasing the fares.

The decision, he said was taken at a meeting held on Monday November 8

They had earlier served a notice to increase transport fares today, Tuesday, November 9, 2021, if the government failed to resolve the rising fuel prices in the country.

Prices at the pumps on Thursday, November 4, 2021, saw an increment of 1 pesewa, from the previous GHS6.80p to GHS6.90p.

Passengers and transport operators are unhappy because the government recently approved the removal of the Price Stabilization and Recovery Levies (PRSL) on petrol, diesel, and LPG for two months.

The directive should have started in November but consumers are rather seeing an upward adjustment of fuel prices in Ghana.

Reacting to the issue on Tuesday on whether or not the transport operators would increase it fares as it said last week, Abass Moro said “we  [Cargo truck drivers, articulated truck driver, long distances busses] had a marathon meeting yesterday and we came out with something successful.

“We are not going to increase transport fares. We all know the challenges in the country but there are taxes and levies that must be taken out of the petroleum products but we are not going to announce an increase in transport fare”.

By Kweku Antwi-Otoo|3news.com|Ghana

Tidal waves: Declare state of emergency along the coast of Volta region – Dzifa Gomashie

The Member of Parliament for the Ketu South constituency, Dzifa Abla Gomahsie is asking government to declare a state of emergency along the coast of the Volta Region where heavy tidal waves destroyed houses and properties on Sunday dawn.


Abla dzifa gomashie says the presidents must at all cost fix the perennial problem.

“The state of emergency should have been declared yesterday [ Sunday]” she told journalists on Monday November 8 on the heels of the tidal waves that affected Keta and its environs on Saturday, November 6, that has destroyed properties and rendered about 700 people homeless in the area.

Meanwhile, the Minister of Works and Housing, Francis Asenso-Boakye has said that while government makes all the necessary efforts to avert tidal waves from happening, coastal residents should also avoid practices that expose them to vagaries of the rising sea levels.

According to him, there have been reported cases of sand winning, uprooting of mangrove along the coastal stretch.

If these continue, he said, the investments by government cannot yield the needed protection.

Speaking at a press conference in Accra on Monday November 8, in connection with the tidal waves that affected Keta and its environs on Saturday, November 6, that has destroyed properties and rendered about 700 people homeless in the area that “I must reiterate that Government acknowledges the urgent need to permanently address the devastating effects of tidal waves in the affected towns of Agavedzi, Salakope, and Amutsinu communities in the Ketu South Constituency.


“These communities are on the same coastal stretch as Blekusu, also in the Ketu South Constituency. This coastal stretch is characterized by narrow beaches and the effects of tidal waves along the coastal stretch can be very devastating, and consequently result in beach erosion, loss of land, property and sometimes extensive flooding in the event of wave overtopping.

“The erosion of the beaches also impacts negatively on fishing, which is the main source of livelihood of the communities along this coastal stretch.


“As part of measures to curb these devastating incidences in these towns, in July 2015, the Ministry of Works and Housing engaged Messrs Amandi Holding Limited to design and construct coastal protection works along this stretch, starting from Blekusu and working towards Agavedzi, Salakope, and Amutsinu under the Blekusu Coastal Protection Project.

“The project, which protects 4300 metres (i.e., 4.3 kilometres) of the coastal stretch, had the first phase completed in July 2019, and has since functioned effectively, protecting lives, livelihoods and properties while reviving fishing
activities.”

He added “The Ministry of Works and Housing (Government) notes the sense of urgency for undertaking the second
phase of the project to protect Adina, Agavedzi, Salakope, and Amutsinu communities and others to the east of Blekusu. To this end, the Ministry is commenced urgent steps to implement the second phase of the project.

“The Ministry has finalized the Evaluation of the relevant proposal to start the works under the second phase of the project.


“It is important to note that in April 2021, a technical team from the Hydrological Services Department of the Ministry, upon my directive, travelled to the affected communities to engage the Municipal Chief Executive of Ketu South Municipal Assembly and
some community leaders on the matter of the implementation of the second phase of the project. I have also had the opportunity to visit these communities, together with the technical team from the Ministry and the Hydrological Services Department, in June this year, to have a first-hand understanding of the situation.


It is envisaged that the completion of the works envisaged under the second phase of the project will cover a minimum coastal stretch of 8,000 metres (8 kilometres) and this will surely ensure the total protection of the people of Agavedzi, Salakope, and Amutsinu communities and other affected communities within the Constituency that continue to bear the brunt of this occasional
disasters.

The scope of works under the second phrase of Blekusu Coastal Protection Project (Phase 2) entails the construction of 37 armour rock groynes, with land reclamation, to protect eight (8) kilometres of coastal stretch.


“The Ministry is currently engaging the Ministry of Finance to raise the needed funding for the implementation of the second phase. It is important to note that value addition is critical in ensuring that a platform for recouping the capital investment is provided. Thus, in addition to protecting lives and properties, the works under the Blekusu Coastal Protection Project (Phase 2) will protect the beaches and its environs against encroachment by the sea, arrest the current environmental deterioration, mitigate the social and economic consequences of beach erosion, and strengthen the economic and production base of the area through enhanced fishing activities.”

Source: 3news.com|Ghana

I’m coming to Ghana next week – Kennedy Agyapong announces

Kennedy Agyapong NET2 Warning.png

• Kennedy Agyapong has been rumored to be down with illness

• His son has denied those allegations, stressing that his father is hale and hearty

• He has promised to return to Ghana ‘next week’


Kennedy Agyapong, the Member of Parliament for Assin Central is expected to arrive in the country next week following extended holidays in the United States of America.

The lawmaker has been away for months with wild speculations that he was battling ill-health.

In a video sighted by GhanaWeb and confirmed by a source close to him, Kennedy Agyapong was heard informing someone about plans to return to Ghana next week.null

“I will be coming next week,” he said in the video whiles urging the person not to believe the stories in circulation about his health.

Kennedy Agyapong’s arrival will put to bed rumors of ill-heart that gained ground in recent days.

A son of the businessman was forced to come out deny the claims that his father had been struck by a stroke and was unable to function properly.

Kenneth Nana Takyi who is the Chief Executive Officer of Net2 TV said: “This has been going on for the past few weeks and he wanted to speak on it but I told him to enjoy his stay and I will handle it. He is doing well in the United States and there is nothing wrong with him. One of my sisters is with him and he is doing fine.

“Everybody should relax, there is no cause for alarm. If something had happened, we would be the break the news so everyone should relax. Afia Schwarzenegger made a post that she wishes him well and I replied to her post that he is doing very fine,” he said.

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

Free Wi-Fi in 710 SHSs: Gov’t providing quality education – Bawumia

Government will continue to invest in the provision of educational tools and infrastructure in order to ensure quality and relevant teaching and learning, Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia has assured.

In line with this, Government has embarked on over 3,000 various educational infrastructure projects including dormitories, classrooms and dining halls across the country, with nearly 50% of them already completed.

The Vice President, who was speaking at the 60th Anniversary Speech and Prize giving Day of Navrongo Senior High School (Navasco) on Saturday 6th November, 2021, said provision of other ‘soft’ infrastructure, such as Wifi, Laptops and training are also receiving very serious attention.

“The goal of quality education can only be attained with appropriate investment in educational infrastructure. It is on the back of this understanding that Government under the leadership of H.E. President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has embarked on over 3,000 various educational infrastructure projects across the country, nearly 50% of them already completed. In the Upper East Region, about 164 of educational projects have been undertaken, 57% of them already completed,” he disclosed.

“We are also investing in the provision of appropriate technology to digitalize the learning and teaching experience, to prepare our teachers and students to take full advantage of the Fourth Industrial Revolution,” the Vice President continued.

“The government of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo is committed to providing quality education and providing a conducive environment for teaching and learning, especially in this age of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. That is why we have provided free Wi-Fi in 710 Senior High Schools across the country, including NAVASCO. There is also free Wi-Fi in 46 Colleges of Education, and 13 public universities. 350,000 laptops have also been supplied to teachers across the country. We will be doing even more to make teaching and learning more accessible and reflective of modern trends,” he added.

Vice President Bawumia advised the students to “shun all negative activities and invest your time and energies in acquiring goods of the mind – imagination, knowledge, and creativity- and the development of your capabilities and skills for the future. Acts of vandalism, recklessness and defiance to School authority would not make you a proud NABIA and certainly not a good citizen of Ghana.

“Let me also admonish students on the use of mobile phones and the internet. Our digital and educational revolution requires the use of these instruments. But, they must never become inseparable companions and distractions to you. Although the mobile phone has a lot of positives, some students often use them for negative activities and spend more time on the phone to the detriment of their studies. Let us embrace the technological progress for academic excellence.”

Sounding a note of caution to parents and all stakeholders, Vice President Bawumia emphasized that the training of students into responsible adults was a collective effort, and all must play their part.

Opened on 30th September, 1960 with 66 Students and 4 Staff including the Headmaster, Mr J. K. Fiergbor, the Navrongo Senior High School has become a national icon. The Old Students are found in all walks of life such as governance, academia, medicine, engineering, industry, the security services, administration, education, business, the Bar and Bench, culture and religion.

It currently has a Teaching Staff strength of 121 and 70 Non-Teaching Staff with a student population of 2,124

ECOWAS holds 6th Finance Ministers meeting in Accra Friday

ECOWAS Ministers of Finance are expected to converge on Accra, Ghana, on Friday, 12 November 2021, to examine and approve the various Supplementary Act and the Regulations as recommended by the experts and Directors General of Customs for submission to the Council of Ministers in December 2021.

They are meant to enhance the fluidity of intra-community trade and strengthen the Customs union across the region.

In order to ensure an effective review of these draft texts, there will be a technical meeting of the Joint ECOWAS-UEMOA Committee for the management of the ECOWAS Customs union from 8th to 10 November 2021.

This regional meeting of experts will be followed immediately by a meeting of the Directors General of Customs of ECOWAS member states on 11 November 2021.

With the implementation of the ECOWAS Common External Tariff (CET) on 1st January 2015 in member states following the Declaration of the Authority of Heads of State and Government at its 46th Ordinary Session held in Abuja on 15th of December 2014, this marked an important milestone in the establishment of a Customs union in the ECOWAS region.

This is in consonance with the provisions of Article 3 of the Revised ECOWAS Treaty on the establishment of a common market in the Community.

With the implementation of the CET in 14 ECOWAS member states and Mauritania and the advent of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) the need to reform other equally important trade facilitation and Customs instruments to make the ECOWAS region a strong and economically competitive community has become imperative.

These trade and customs instruments relate to the regulation and automation of transit procedures in member states and the reforms and management of intra-community trade in “made-in-ECOWAS” goods among others.

Aside from the Ministers of Finance from member states, the Directors General of Customs of ECOWAS member states, Experts from the customs and Industry/Trade/Finance experts across the ECOWAS member states, The Islamic Republic of Mauritania, ECOWAS and UEMOA Commissions are all expected to participate at the meeting

Bawumia launches Konkomba Youth Education Endowment Fund

Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia Sunday afternoon, 7 November 2021 joined the Konkomba Youth Association and the Konkomba Community in Accra for the launch of the Konkomba Youth Education Endowment Fund.

Dr Bawumia said establishing the fund is a laudable initiative, which will help in the education and development of the youth, as well as complement the government’s investment in education and relentless effort in developing the youth, who constitute the majority of the country’s human capital.

He commended the Konkomba Youth Association and its leadership for undertaking such a progressive initiative

Akatsi Attack Police Station Over Death Of 22-Year-Old Man

There is a growing tension at Akatsi in the Akatsi South Municipality of the Volta region, following an attack on the Police station over the death of a 22-year old unemployed Etornam Avulekpor.
The clash, which started on Friday, November 5 at about 0600 hours, allegedly resulted in the injury of some agitating youth as a result of an attempt to attack Chief Superintendent Atsu Joseph Dzineku, Akatsi South Municipal Commander, over an alleged beating of the deceased during an operation conducted by his outfit to clamp down on some criminal activities in the area on Wednesday.
CSP Dzineku disclosed to the Ghana News Agency (GNA), they found about 60 rappers of substances suspected to be Indian hemp during the exercise which was conducted at Akatsi ‘Asiviaveme’ area.
The exercise, CSP Dzineku said, led to the arrest of three suspects including the deceased who suffered some health complications after the arrest was made.
He said the deceased was moved to Hoggar Clinic, a private health facility within the Akatsi township before later being transferred to the Volta Regional Hospital in Ho to seek further medical attention during which he passed on Friday November 5.
The police chief explained that the melee, which saw the throwing of stones and other offensive objects and burning of lorry tyres near the Police station, led to the damage of some vehicles parked at the station as well as some shops and passing vehicles.
“I tried to calm the situation by calling for reinforcement from the region, where they responded swiftly,” he added.
Mr Dzineku also stated that he sustained a minor injury during the attack which he managed to bring under control.
However, some youth of the town have alleged that the Police applied some maximum force in arresting the suspects, which resulted in one sustaining severe injuries and was later taken to hospital for treatment after the arrest.
Etornam, popularly known as ‘young money’ was later pronounced dead whilst receiving medical attention in Ho.
The situation, which caused the wrath of some youth, massed up and went to the Police station to express their dissatisfaction over the alleged beating of the deceased leading to his death.
Edward Ayisu-Xede Dogbeda, brother of the deceased, said his brother was not engaged in any act of criminality during his arrest, and that “the police did not inform us about what actually caused the arrest of my brother.”
The family is alleging the manner in which the deceased was handled caused his death, and are therefore calling for justice to prevail.
CSP Dzineku assured, Police were still investigating to know the cause of death.
Officers from the Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) of the Ghana Police Service have since manned the Police station to ensure order as well as the safety of life and property.
Municipal Chief Executive (MCE) of the area, Martin Kofitsey Nyahe appealed to the youth to remain calm as they expedited action to ascertain the cause of death.
Mr Nyahe, who chairs the Municipal Security Committee (MUSEC), said the timely intervention of the police helped in preventing more harm as thought.
The MUSEC, he said, will be monitoring the situation as the police patrol the area.
“An emergency meeting would be held on Monday, November 8 to discuss the circumstances leading to the disturbing activities.

Keta: About 3,000 people rendered homeless by tidal waves

Affected residents, mainly children and women, have their residential abodes destroyed by the tidal waves.

At least 3,000 people in Keta municipality have been rendered homeless after tidal waves swept through their homes on Sunday dawn.

Communities such as Abutiakope, Kedzikope and Keta Central are largely affected as affected homeless residents are left with nothing to salvage.

Affected residents, mainly children and women, have their residential abodes destroyed by the tidal waves.

Some of them were awakened by the waves at Sunday dawn which is widespread in Abutiakope, Kedzikope and Keta Central.

Municipal Chief Executive for Keta, Emmanuel Gemegah has been touring communities hit by the waves.

The displaced residents have been left stranded as many of them describe the situation as unbearable.

The victims want immediate government interventions.

“We are homeless and this has been a worry to us for years now, we need the government’s urgent attention,” some residents said.

Source: Ivy Setordjie||Myjoyonline

Gov’t building 3,000 educational infrastructure; 50% of them done – Bawumia

The government will continue to invest in the provision of educational tools and infrastructure in order to ensure quality and relevant teaching and learning, Vice-president Mahamudu Bawumia has assured Ghanaians.

In line with this, the government has embarked on over 3,000 various education infrastructure projects including dormitories, classrooms and dining halls across the country, with nearly 50% of them already completed.

Dr Bawumia, who was speaking at the 60th-anniversary Speech and Prize-giving Day of Navrongo Senior High School (NAVASCO) on Saturday, 6 November 2021, said the provision of other ‘soft’ infrastructure, such as Wifi, laptops and training, is also receiving very serious attention.

“The goal of quality education can only be attained with appropriate investment in educational infrastructure. It is on the back of this understanding that the government, under the leadership of H.E. President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has embarked on over 3,000 various education infrastructure projects across the country, nearly 50% of them already completed”, he said.

“In the Upper East Region, about 164 of education projects have been undertaken, 57% of them already completed,” he disclosed.

“We are also investing in the provision of appropriate technology to digitalize the learning and teaching experience, to prepare our teachers and students to take full advantage of the Fourth Industrial Revolution,” the Vice-president continued.

“The government of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo is committed to providing quality education and providing a conducive environment for teaching and learning, especially in this age of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. That is why we have provided free Wi-Fi in 710 Senior High Schools across the country, including NAVASCO. There is also free Wi-Fi in 46 Colleges of Education, and 13 public universities. 350,000 laptops have also been supplied to teachers across the country. We will be doing even more to make teaching and learning more accessible and reflective of modern trends,” he added.

Vice-president Bawumia advised the students to “shun all negative activities and invest your time and energies in acquiring goods of the mind – imagination, knowledge and creativity – and the development of your capabilities and skills for the future”.

“Acts of vandalism, recklessness and defiance to School authority would not make you a proud NABIA and certainly not a good citizen of Ghana”.

“Let me also admonish students on the use of mobile phones and the internet. Our digital and educational revolution requires the use of these instruments. But they must never become inseparable companions and distractions to you. Although the mobile phone has a lot of positives, some students often use them for negative activities and spend more time on the phone to the detriment of their studies. Let us embrace the technological progress for academic excellence.”

Sounding a note of caution to parents and all stakeholders, Vice-president Bawumia emphasised that the training of students into responsible adults was a collective effort, and all must play their part.

Opened on 3o September 1960 with 66 students and four staff including the Headmaster, Mr J. K. Fiergbor, the Navrongo Senior High School has become a national icon.

The old students are found in all walks of life such as governance, academia, medicine, engineering, industry, security services, administration, education, business, the Bar and Bench, culture and religion.

It currently has a teaching staff strength of 121 and 70 non-teaching staff with a student population of 2,124

Five Students In Police Custody For Stabbing Colleague At KOSS

Emmanuel Frimpong

The Konongo Police Command in the Ashanti Region will on Monday parade five students of the Konongo Odumase Senior High School (KOSS) to court to face the law for allegedly stabbing a first-year male student to death.××

The suspects including the key suspect, Emmanuel Frimpong, 17, were arrested last Friday when a misunderstanding ensued between the students leadig to the death of a student when they closed from prep around 9pm.

The Konongo District Police Commander, DSP Osei Adu Agyemang who confirmed the incident said preliminary investigations revealed that the suspects had led other senior colleagues to bully first years on campus.

He explained that “These five suspects who are all in Form 2, ganged up and decided to go to House Three and then bully the first years”

According to him, “they first attacked and assaulted some of them. They further moved to the mini market on campus and grabbed another first-year student and attempted to drag him away to molest him but was rescued”.

The Police Commander narrated further that the action infuriated Emmanuel Osei Frimpong who went and attacked a first-year student but was stopped by the deceased.

“Feeling angry, the suspect pulled out a small kitchen knife and stabbed the deceased without any provocation”, DSP Osei Adu Agyemang added.

He noted that the deceased, who bled profusely after sustaining knife wounds at the lower left ribs, was rushed to the Konongo Government Hospital but was pronounced dead by medics.

DSP Agyemang said, “We have also retrieved the blood-stained small kitchen knife and the blood-soaked uniform worn by the deceased”, adding that “We hope to remand them into police custody whilst a pathologist conducts investigations to establish the cause of death”.

“We have arranged with school authorities and we want to maintain patrols on campus for one week”, the Police said.

Meanwhile, the Headmaster of the school, Dr. Benjamin Kwaku Baah has described the incident as unfortunate but pledged to give its full cooperation to the police to ensure that the perpetrators of the act are brought to book

Ambassador Eudora Quartey-Koranteng Body Arrives From Italy

Minister for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, has received the mortal remains of the late Ghana’s Ambassador to Italy Eudora Quartey-Koranteng, at the Kotoka International Airport.
The Foreign Ministry in a statement said the remains arrived on board a Turkish Airline flight TK 629 and was accompanied by officials of the Ghana Embassy in Rome, Italy.
It said a solemn ceremony, which was held upon the arrival of the remains of the late Ambassador was attended by members of her family and Ms Ayorkor Botchwey, who led officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration.
“The body has been handed over to the family for the necessary funeral arrangements to be made,” it said.
The sad demise of the late Mrs Quartey-Koranteng occurred at her residence in Rome, Italy on 20th October.

NAM1 fights bench warrant

Nana Appiah Mensah (NAM1), the Chief Executive Officer of the now-defunct gold dealership company, MenzGold Ghana Limited, has directed his lawyers to appeal against a bench warrant issued for his arrest.

The Adentan Circuit Court in Accra issued the warrant on Thursday, 4 November 2021 for the arrest of the businessman and two others for allegedly defrauding some people after they failed to appear in court over the matter.

A statement issued by NAM1’s lawyers said the “case concerns the purchase and acquisition of three vehicles, of which one has been paid for”.

The payment of the two other vehicles, the statement noted, “is outstanding due to some irreconcilable issues”.

It continued: “The buyers, Iddrisu Haruna and William Tekpor, together with the sellers, Basit Haruna and Michael Nii Coffie, who are the main parties to the contract, are surprisingly missing in the claim before the court”.

The statement added: “Instead, Elikem Akakpo, the complainant (who is not a party to the contract) rather filed a suit before the court against other third parties: Nana Appiah Mensah (the arbiter), Eric Amponsah (the sellers’ introducer), and Gabriel Kwamigah (who held brief for the buyers)”.

“To be clear on the subject, I, Nana Appiah Mensah did not purchase, acquire, nor transact any business of any sort, as my role was just an arbiter. I only came in as a third party to help resolve some issues concerning the two other vehicles upon the request of the two parties (buyers and sellers)”, the lawyers said.

The process through which the verdict was arrived at, the statement noted, “is fraught with serious legal infractions, as it did not conform with Section 60 and 61 of the Criminal Procedure Code of 1960 (Act 30) which is clear on the process of arrest, charge, accusations etc.”

“We have directed our lawyers to appeal the ruling on the point of the said law (Act 30) to bring finality to this matter”.

“Kindly contact Lawyer Yaw Danquah on 0244 101 012 for further clarities on this matter”, the statement added

Parliamentary Committee Handling Anti LGBTQI+ Bill To Commence Sitting Next Week

The Parliamentary committee handling Ghana’s anti LGBTQI+ Bill will commence sitting next week.
A total of 150 memoranda have been received on the Promotion of Proper Human Sexual Rights and Ghanaian Family Values Bill, 2021, otherwise referred to as anti LGBTQI+ Bill by the public.

The Deputy Chairman of Business Committee, Mr Alexander Afenyo-Markin who made this known said the Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee of Parliament will, from next week, commence sitting to consider the various memoranda that have been received on the bill against lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transgender, queer and intersex (LGBTQI) activities in Ghana.

He said the committee will consider 10 memoranda each week for the various interested parties who submitted the memoranda to be heard on the bill.
After hearing all the stakeholders, he said the members of the committee will prepare a report and submit same to Parliament for consideration and “for us to make progress”.

Mr Afenyo-Markin, who is also the Deputy Majority Leader, stated this in response to a request by the First Deputy Minority Whip, Mr Ibrahim Ahmed, who sought to know the roadmap to the passage or otherwise of the bill.

Response

Answering, Mr Afenyo-Markin said the sitting would ensure that all parties had a fair hearing before Parliament proceeded on the bill.

He said he had been informed about steps the committee had taken so far.

“Per my calculation, if they are doing 10 memoranda weekly, we do not know if any more memoranda will come, then it means we are looking at 15 weeks for the hearings to be done,” he told the House.

Dominating proceedings

It is projected that the third meeting of the first session of the Eighth Parliament will be dominated by the bill.

So far, both parties on each side of Parliament have publicly thrown their weight behind the passage of the bill but agreed on the need for some amendments to be made in the bill to fine tune it ahead of its possible passage.

Majority stance

On Wednesday, October 13, 2021, the Majority Leader, Mr Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, gave an assurance that Parliament would not disappoint Ghanaians in the consideration and passage of the bill that seeks to criminalise LGBTQI+ activities in Ghana.

He said MPs were representatives of the people for which reason the citizenry should be rest assured that Parliament would not turn its back on them.

Speaking to the press in Parliament to state the stance of the Majority on the bill, Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, who is also the Minister of Parliamentary Affairs, expressed doubt that any lawmaker would be against the principles of the bill.

While giving the assurance that Parliament would do the right thing with regard to the bill, the Majority Leader, however, said there was the need for a “careful balance” in assessing it.

Minority’s position

Just two days after the press conference by the Majority, the Minority caucus also held a similar conference on Friday, October 15, 2021 in Parliament, where the Minority Leader, Mr Haruna Iddrisu, stated that his side was resolutely opposed to the introduction, formalisation and legalisation of LGBTQI+ practices and rights in Ghana.

“As representatives of the Ghanaian people, MPs have an obligation to protect the moral fibre of the Ghanaian society and promote the cohesion, unity and preserve Ghana’s time-tested cultural practices and beliefs which have kept us together as one country,” the Minority Leader, Mr Haruna Iddrisu, said when he addressed a press conference in Accra on Friday, October 15, 2021.

 

 

Source: graphiconline.com

Roads Minister threatens to terminate road contracts over capacity

The Minister for Roads and Highways, Kwasi Amoako-Atta, has threatened contractors who have abandoned their sites over lack of funds will lose their contracts.

Speaking on the floor of Parliament Friday, the Road Minister revealed that most of the contractors who have abandoned their work usually lack capacity to deliver but rather use the delay in releasing funds by the government as an excuse.

“There are so many contractors in our constituencies who have been awarded contracts but are not working under the guise of non-payment. And a lot of them have not worked to the standard to be paid, as much as there are some outstanding payments,” he disclosed.

He said most Contractors have classifications that were not properly examined before they were awarded the job.

“Currently, there is a reclassification ongoing in my office. I am assuring you (Parliament) from 2022 my Ministry would award contracts to potential contractors who have the capacity to work. I don’t want any of my colleagues to suffer because I am also an MP,” he stated.

Responding to questions from the MP for Adentan, Mohammed Adamu Ramadan on the ARS Roundabout to Dzen Ayor dual carriage road in his constituency, Mr. Amoako-Atta said the ongoing reclassification exercise would solve that issue.

The move, according to the minister, will ensure only contractors with capacity will be awarded projects to work on

Akufo-Addo’s mismangement cause of current economic hardship in Ghana not COVID-19 – Sammy Gyamfi

Communications Officer of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Sammy Gyamfi has called on Ghanaians to blame the current economic hardship in the country on the gross mismanagement of the country by the Akufo-Addo administration not COVID-19.

Speaking on Angel FM’s Anɔpa Bɔfoɔ on Wednesday, the NDC man said he is shocked that Ghanaians have accepted the ‘baseless’ claims of the NPP that the harship in the country is global.

According to him, the country would have been better off if the current administration had managed the numerous grants that were given to the country due to the COVID-19 outbreak in the country.

“We were lucky as a country and had lots of inflows when COVID-19 struck…we didn’t suffer like the other economies which suffered as a result of lock down and others…we had 45 Billion as revenue.

This was more than what we got in 2019, so it’s a lie when someone cliams that the country’s revenue inflows took a nose dive when COVID-19 stuck…,” he said.

He further mentioned that the country benefitted a lot from other international agencies during in the heat of the COVID-19 outbreak.
“IMF gave the country $2 billion because of COVID…even President Mahama had just 950 million dollars from IMF from Romania in his four years. Apart from that, this Goverment because of COVID went to Parliament and sought for approval to borrow GHC 10 million from Bank of Ghana, even with that, they over-borrowed by going for GHC 20 million Ghana cedis…,” he said.

Against this backdrop, the NDC man said it is never true that country’s finances suffered because of COVID-19.

“Even the free things, that were given to the citizenry because of elections, the citizens were made to pay for it after the elections, so what is the Government talking about…,” he added.

NABCO was a vote-buying employment scheme – ILAPI

The Executive Director for policy think tank Institute for Liberty and Policy Innovation (ILAPI), Mr. Peter Bismark has stated that the Nation Builders’ Corps policy (NABCO) was a vote-buying employment scheme meant to deceive the beneficiaries into voting for the New Patriotic Party (NPP).

Speaking on the Class Morning Show on Wednesday, 3 November 2021, Mr Bismark told show host Kofi Oppong Asamoah that “you know, NABCO is not employment, let’s put it that way, it is not an employment program, it is a training program mainly for vote-buying so I call it a vote-buying employment scheme.”

He further indicated that the NABCO policy was a strain on the budget of the government, and beyond the budget, it had no policy paper or blueprint.

“There was no document or blueprint on NABCO. They had no document on the exit plan. There was nothing like that,” he added.

In his view, NABCO would have succeeded if the government had taken time and managed the policy as a socio-economic policy.

The NABCO initiative which was launched by PresidentNana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, on Tuesday, 1st May, 2018 came to end in October 2021.

President Akufo-Addo while launching the programme was confident that by the time NABCO trainees exit the scheme “the requisite work readiness skills and experience, often deemed a barrier to their employment as fresh graduates, would have been resolved.”

One hundred thousand youth were employed in seven priority areas termed modules. The modules were – Educate Ghana; Heal Ghana; Feed Ghana; Revenue Ghana; Digitise Ghana; Enterprise Ghana; and Civic Ghana

Ghana Card cannot replace the e-passport – Sammy Gyamfi replies Bawumia

Sammy Gyamfi 1.png

The National Democratic Congress (NDC) party’s Communications Officer, Sammy Gyamfi, has trivialized the activation of the e-passport function of the National Identification Card (Ghana Card) as announced by Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia.

According to Sammy Gyamfi, Ghana Card which is expected to serve as an e-passport in the coming years is just an identification document to complement the already existing Ghana passport.

Dr. Mahamadu Bawumia in an earlier conference said “by the end of first quarter of 2022, Ghana Card will be recognized globally as an e-passport and can be verified in all International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) compliant borders,” which currently is made up of 197 countries and 4,000 airports.

He added that Diasporan Ghanaians who hold the Ghana Card should not have to obtain visas on their return to the country when the activation is completed.

However, speaking with the co-host of Angel FM’s Anↄpa Bofoↄ morning show, Nana Yaa Brefo, Mr. Gyamfi said that the Ghana Card cannot replace the e-passport because unlike the latter, the NIA card does not have a page to be stamped and it can only be used within visa free countries.

“In the real sense of E-passport, it is the same traditional passport which is the book. The back has been embedded with a micro cheap (RDIF Micro cheap) and the data of the user is captured on the digital page and your picture is also stored in digital form.null

“So if you are holding an e-passport, it’s like you are bearing a booklet but with a cheap embedded in the back cover whereby wherever you go, you can use that passport. It is a security feature.

“But our Ghana Card is not the same as that e-passport, because you can only travel with it to countries that are visa free. So, if you are going to an Ecowas country like Nigeria, you don’t need visa or neither the Caribbean countries.

“They are visa free. With that if you hold Ghana Passport you will be able to travel into those countries with it. If you don’t have it, you can travel with the Ghana Card without Visa.

“But if you are going to the US, Europe UK, where you require entry visa, You can’t use the Ghana Card because there is no page where you can stamp the entry visa. You need e-passport which is a booklet.”

Source: angelonline.com.gh

Gov’t is offering value to Ghanaians through technology – Oppong Nkrumah

Kojo Oppong Nkrumah (L) with Founder of Ashesi University during the public lecture by Dr Bawumia

Information Minister, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, has said the government is leveraging technology to improve how things are done and to offer value to Ghanaians.

His comment follows the public lecture delivered by the Vice President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia in which he highlighted how the administration is solving problems with technology.

The Ofoase Ayirebi lawmaker in series of tweets said “Across various facets of the economy, the @NAkufoAddo administration is leveraging technology to improve how things are done and to offer value to Ghanaians. Thank you Vice President @MBawumia for making time to participate in the fireside conversation. #BawumiaSpeaks.”

“It is Digi time in Ghana and Vice President @MBawumia led the conversation on how Government is implementing a new system as a foundation to drive the digital transformation in Ghana. #BawumiaSpeaks.”

During the lecture at Ashesi University on Tuesday November 2, Dr Bawumia announced that from the first quarter of 2022, the Ghana Card will be globally recognised as an e-passport.

He indicated that the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) has duly accepted the usage of the cards as e-passport from the second quarter of 2022.

According to him, Wednesday, October 13, 2021 marked a milestone for Ghana as the country was officially received as the 79th member of ICAO.

He said with this move, the country’s major identification document produced by the National Identification Authority (NIA) will be allowed as a source of identification – in this case an e-passport – for international travels.

“This means that by the end of the first quarter next year, the Ghana Card will be recognised globally as an e-passport,” he stressed, adding: “When this happens, holders of the Ghana Card will be allowed to board any flight to Ghana.”

This means that the Ghanacard will be recognized as an e-passport and can be read and verified in all ICAO compliant borders (in 197 countries and 44,000 airports in the world). When this happens, holders of the Ghanacard will be allowed to board any flight to Ghana.

“Furthermore, the good news for diasporan Ghanaians is that when the Ghana Immigration Service is linked to the NIA architecture diasporan Ghanaians who hold the Ghanacard should not have to obtain visas to travel to Ghana. We expect this to be operational by the end of the first quarter of next year. Ghana is one of the few countries in the world where the national ID card is also an e-passport.”

By Laud Nartey|3news.com|Ghana

Our management of Covid-19 is world class – Bawumia

Bawumia Construction

Ghana’s Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia has touted Ghana’s management of the Covid-19 outbreak as world-class.

He asserted that despite the negative effect of the pandemic, the government has put in place several measures to mitigate the devastating effects.

He was speaking at an event hosted by Ashesi University.

He was addressing the students in how digitalization is transforming the economy and positioning Ghana for the emerging global digital revolution.

The lecture was on the theme, Transforming an Economy through Digitization: The Ghana Story.null

Dr. Bawumia, who is spearheading the government’s digitalization drive, explained the government’s vision, the measures undertaken so far, and the impact of digitalization on the general Ghanaian economy and service delivery, both by government and the private sector.

He said although Covid-19 had had some devastating effects on our economy, the government has achieved a lot.

Dr. Bawumia indicated that the record of the NPP in its first term is unprecedented and no government in Ghana’s history can compare.

Source: rainbowradionline.com

Focus on politicians; prophets are rather helping the nation – Nigel Gaisie to IGP

Prophet Nigel Gaisie, Founder and Leader of the Prophetic Hill Chapel has tasked the Inspector General of Police to focus more on the utterances of politicians.

He said the law of causing fear and panic is mostly flouted by the utterances of politicians.

In an interview with Accra based TV3, Prophet Gaisie said prophecies by men of God do not cause fear and panic as it’s been suggested in some quarters.

Speaking in relation to the recent arrest of Stephen Akwasi known as Jesus Ahuofe, the prophet who prophesied the death of dancehall artist, Shatta Wale, Prophet Gaisie said “If state apparatus really want to talk about prophecies, if they want us to educate them on prophecy you don’t go and pick the Anglican, respectfully.

“But you pick the prophets like me, Bishop Owusu Bempah, Bishop Salifu Amoako, third generational prophets.

“Anybody that says [our prophecies cause fear and panic], I think that person is carnal because the work we are doing is not academic, it is not intellectual, it is spiritual. I have never seen any Ghanaian prophet take a gun and go shoot somebody physically.

Inspector General of Police, Dr George Akuffo Dampare
Inspector General of Police, Dr George Akuffo Dampare “I have never seen any Ghanaian prophet gather to stage a coup or whatever.

“So, what is the insecurity that is? We are rather helping the nation, we are the gate watchers. If we are talking about fear and panic, if the Finance Minister comes up and tells me that the government payroll is full that is fear and panic.”

Ghana Card to enable Ghanaians board flights without visas – Bawumia

Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia has announced that from the first quarter of 2022, the Ghana Card will be globally recognised as an e-passport.

He has indicated that the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) has duly accepted the usage of the cards as e-passport from the second quarter of 2022.

According to the Vice President, Wednesday, October 13, 2021 marked a milestone for Ghana as the country was officially received as the 79th member of ICAO.

He said with this move, the country’s major identification document produced by the National Identification Authority (NIA) will be allowed as a source of identification – in this case an e-passport – for international travels.

“This means that by the end of the first quarter next year, the Ghana Card will be recognised globally as an e-passport,” he stressed, adding: “When this happens, holders of the Ghana Card will be allowed to board any flight to Ghana.”

Dr Bawumia, who was the Deputy Governor of the Bank of Governor until 2008, said Ghanaians in the diaspora will then need no visas to travel to Ghana.

“Therefore, the good news to diasporan Ghanaians is that when the Ghana Immigration Service is linked to the NIA architecture, diasporan Ghanaians who hold the Ghana Card should not have to obtain visas to travel to Ghana.

“We expect this to be operational by the end of the first quarter of next year.

“Ghana is one of the few countries in the world where the national ID card is also an e-passport.”

So far, over 15 million Ghanaians have been enrolled on the Ghana Card with a target of the government to cover most of the population by the end of 2022.

The Ghana Card has become the sole document for the ongoing nationwide SIM card registration exercise, which ends in March 2022.

“The issuance of the Ghana Card has provided Ghana with a database that will be the anchor for all transactions in the future, providing unique identity to all individuals

Police grant Juaben MCE nominee bail after being arrested for allegedly paying bribes

Sources say an amount of GH¢5,000 was allegedly paid to each of the 26 assembly members.

The two-time rejected MCE nominee for the Juaben Municipal Assembly, Alex Sarfo Kantanka has been granted bail after he was arrested by the police for allegedly bribing Assembly members to influence their vote in his favour.

Mr Kantanka was sighted in a viral video demanding a refund of monies paid to the assembly members for his endorsement.

Sources say an amount of GH¢5,000 was allegedly paid to each of the 26 assembly members.

Police, however, opened investigations into the alleged bribery case to ascertain when the alleged bribe was paid to the Assembly members.

During the first confirmation process, the Juaben MCE nominee had five out of 26 votes cast.

The election was subsequently postponed twice for various reasons after the President re-nominated him for the second time.

The nominee, in the second election, garnered only 10 votes out of the total 26, with one rejected ballot.

The nominee after losing went into the assembly’s conference room where the members were gathered to demand a refund of the money he allegedly paid to the assembly members.

One of the assembly members, Patrick Yeboah, claimed he was assaulted by the nominee outside the conference room after the election.

He added that he was prevented from retaliating.

In a viral video on social media Myjoyonline.com has learnt Mr Kantanka is captured using unprintable words on some assembly members, who he believed voted against him.

The police subsequently intervened to get him out of the premises.

The nominee’s supporters also massed up at the assembly grounds threatening to assault all assembly members locked up in the building.

The police had to whisk away the Regional Minister from mob assault.

Representative of the Ashanti Caucus of MPs, Emmanuel Agyei Anhwere, was, however, assaulted by the mob.

Source: Myjoyonline

UW/R: GHS sacks NABCO beneficiaries

The Ghana Health Service (GHS) has released beneficiaries of the Nation Builders Corps (NABCO) in the Upper West Region.

This was disclosed in a letter addressed to the Regional Director of NABCO in the region.

The letter dated Monday, 1 November 2021, signed by the Medical Director of the Upper West Regional Hospital, Robert Ameniya said: “Following your contractual agreement to end the services of NABCO beneficiaries in the various institutions on 31 October 2021, we are by this letter releasing all NABCO beneficiaries to you with effect from 1 November 2021 for further action. “

It further stated that: “By this letter NABCO beneficiaries posted to this hospital are informed to stay off until further notice.”

It also thanked the NABCO beneficiaries for their support, adding that: “We will reach out to you if we need your services.”

The NABCO initiative, launched by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo in 2018, was to employ some 100,000 unemployed graduates.

Beneficiaries were paid GHS700 and worked for a three-year period.

Modules under the initiative included Educate Ghana, Feed Ghana, Revenue Ghana, Heal Ghana, Digitise Ghana Enterprise Ghana and Governance Ghana.

President Akufo-Addo speaking on Kumasi-based Ash FM in a recent tour of the Ashanti Region noted that the initiative will continue to recruit more jobless graduates.

“We are looking at recruiting many more into the programme in the coming days,” the President posited.

Source: classfmonline.com

Don’t sit at home waiting for gov’t jobs; create one, leverage social media – Adu Boahen to youth

Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta told the truth when he recently said the public payroll was full, Mr Charles Adu Boahen, Minister of State at the Ministry of Finance has said.

Speaking at the Graphic Business/Stanbic Bank Breakfast Meeting on Tuesday, 2 November 2021 about the direction of the yet-to-be-presented 2022 budget, Mr Adu Boahen said the fiscal policy document will “…last but not the least, focus on job creation, especially targeted at the youth and also entrepreneurship because we believe that – especially in the environment we are today – we really need to find ways to create a more entrepreneurial society: a society where everybody is not afraid to venture out and try a business or some kind of occupation and provide them with the tools and the training to be able to do so”.

In his view, “if we all or a lot of us try something entrepreneurial, more likely than not, we might create two, three, four jobs in the process”.

“I think it was two weeks ago [that] my minister mentioned that the public sector payroll is full much to the consternation of a lot of people but I think he was just telling the truth”, he noted, adding: “And, if we have that mindset, I think we’ll start to look outside of the box and outside of the typical employment channels to see what there’s available”.

Mr Adu Boahen observed that some young Ghanaians are leveraging social media to expose and market their talent, craft and startups to the world, which he commended and encouraged.

“I must say I’ve been very impressed by what I see online and the creativity and the resourcefulness of the Ghanaian people; and, if you go on Instagram and you see the fashion and artistry and creativity of Ghanaians who now have a global platform of the likes of Amazon and Instagram to be able to showcase their works; so, that challenge we had when we were growing up where if you wanted to start something, you had to virtually go from door to door or spend a lot of money on advertising, you really don’t have that barrier-to-entry now, in terms of trying to come up with your own products and I must say there are some really talented people around”, he admired.

Citing some examples, he recalled: “There was a text going around the other day about a gentleman who is doing furniture and there were pictures of it and his number was on the bottom and I saw some of the furniture and I was like: ‘Whoa; this is really good stuff!’ And, you know, with WhatsApp and Instagram, he can reach tens of thousands of people”.

“So, maybe, the only challenge or impediment for people like that is startup capital. So, we need to figure out a way to provide that $5,000 or GHS10,000 for startups and same in the agricultural sector”, he noted.

Mr Adu Boahen also recalled listening to a radio station earlier this year which “interviewed a gentleman who had a piggery and you know, when you listen to him and where he started from and what he has today, you realise that you don’t really need a lot of money to start a piggery and it can be quite a lucrative business”.

He continued: “And then they also interviewed a lady who had gone into palm in a joint venture with some chiefs and now has a pretty sizeable plantation and I was very impressed”.

“And there was another gentleman they spoke to who was growing corn and the sort of analyses he had applied to corn-growing – I was like ‘whoa!’ – including spacing, how to maximise every acre. And I was like: ‘We are thinking’”.

“And, so, I think we need to really encourage that entrepreneurship drive and find a way to create a more entrepreneurial society right from the curriculum in the schools so that we provide the youth with the right tools to be able to capitalise on that rather than sit at home waiting for that public sector job”, Mr Adu Boahen stressed

A/R: Six burnt, 22 injured in gory crash at Akumadan

Six passengers have been burnt to death while 22 others have sustained injuries in a gory car crash on the Akomadan-Kumasi road in the Ashanti region.

The accident occurred Tuesday morning, 2 November 2021.

The bus with a registration number GP 4215-17 aboard passengers from Nandom to Kumasi went in flames after it crashed into a Kia Rhino towing vehicle with a registration number GB 6983-12 which had been parked on the roadside.

The Akomadan District Police Commander, DSP Gyasi Agyemang told Class News’ Elisha Adarkwah that the driver of the passenger bus was overspeeding and declined to stop at a police checkpoint when he was stopped by the police.

He said the bus, however, rammed into the towing vehicle which had been parked about 10 metres away from the checkpoint where the driver declined to stop.

Mr Gyasi said the bus caught fire from the front and about 22 of the passengers were able to run for their lives but sustained some injuries.

Six passengers were burnt beyond recognition.

He said the driver of the bus was able to escape and he is currently on the run.

Mr Gyasi said those who sustained injuries have been rushed to the Akomadan government hospital for treatment

WE’LL COMBAT CLIMATE CHANGE, BUT PROTECT GHANA’S DEVELOPMENT AS WELL” – PRESIDENT AKUFO-ADDO

“Ghana acknowledges the importance and effects of Climate Change, and the urgent need to combat it, and we acknowledge equally the importance of protecting our development. We believe that a balance must be struck and maintained between our social, economic and environmental imperatives.”

These were the words of the President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, on Tuesday, 2nd November 2021, when he delivered Ghana’s statement at the UN Climate Change Conference, COP 26, currently ongoing in Glasgow, Scotland.

Taking his turn to address delegates on day 2 of the Summit, President Akufo-Addo stated that climate change is the greatest threat to the realisation of the Sustainable Development Goals, as it has enormous impact on the fundamentals required for survival on earth.

“Even though we, in Africa, are the least of the contributors to this phenomenon, responsible for less than four percent (4%) of the global volume of carbon emissions, we suffer the most because our agrarian and resource-driven economies are peculiarly susceptible to the effects of climate change, and our capacity to withstand its shocks is weak,” he said.

Agriculture, water, energy, and the extraction of mineral resources, the President said, are essential drivers of developments in African countries, but, at the same time, are characteristically sensitive to changing climate.

With the African Development Bank stating that Africa will need some US$3 trillion “in mitigation and adaptation by 2030” to enable her implement nationally determined contributions, he noted that the question of financing Africa’s commitments naturally arises.

“The Almighty has blessed our lands with abundant natural resources, and it would be wholly unfair for the world to demand that Africa abandons the exploitation of these same resources needed to finance her development, and help us to cope better with the threat of climate change, at a time when many countries on the continent have only just discovered them,” President Akufo-Addo said.

He continued, “The development and industrialisation of the wealthy nations of today were also hinged on the exploitation of their natural resources. This development came at the expense of pollution and the emission of greenhouse gases. Even today, the western world is responsible for 76% of carbon emissions.”

Africa, the President said, is naturally very disappointed by the failure of the wealthy nations to honour their commitments of making available one hundred billion dollars (US$100 billion) annually to the poorer countries to assist the continent in the fight against climate change, and by the unavailability of the technology transfer that will help Africa find sustainable ways of charting a path out of this existential crisis.

“Those same nations are, however, insisting that we abandon the opportunity for rapid development of our economies. That would be tantamount to enshrining inequality of the highest order, a totally unacceptable conclusion,” he added.

President Akufo-Addo stressed that “We must find a solution that is equitable and fair; a solution that levels the playing field; a solution that recognises the historical imbalances between the high emitters and low emitters. Ghana, therefore, supports the call for debt-for-climate swaps, which will address a multitude of issues in one fell swoop.”

He, thus, urged world leaders to use COP 26 as “a turning point to create a more prosperous, greener and fairer world, which maintains the balance between the social, economic and environmental requirements of all nations of the earth, rich and poor.”

Success, in this endeavour, he reiterated, is the greatest inheritance the world can leave for current and future generations.

Protecting Ghana’s Forests and Oceans
President Akufo-Addo also participated in the World Leader’s Summit on protecting the world’s forests and oceans, held on the sidelines of COP 26.

Describing deforestation and forest degradation as the “greatest challenges to sustainable forest management” in Ghana, the President stated that Ghana has, in the course of the last two decades, adopted several policies and programmes, such as National Forest Plantation Development Programme and the Ghana Forest Plantation Strategy, aimed at restoring her lost forest.

“In June this year, I led the entire country, through the Green Ghana Project, to plant over seven million trees, far above the five million we had targeted. Next year, we aim to plant a minimum of twenty million trees, and we have already begun earnest preparations towards this,” he added.

The President Assured that “from 2024 and beyond, we aim to reduce emissions by some ten million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent in the cocoa-forest landscape, through the implementation of the Ghana Cocoa Forest REDD+ Programme, one of five ecological landscape-tailored programmes in Ghana’s REDD+ Strategy.”

Ghana, President Akufo-Addo stressed, through her Nationally Determined Contributions in the forestry sector, “is committed to supporting the global target of halving emissions by 2030, and attaining neutrality by 2050”.

Oceans
Reiterating Ghana’s commitment to managing sustainably her ocean, as the historic Transformation Document that was launched in December last year enjoins the country to do, the President added that the country is putting in place the requisite structures and processes to finalise her Sustainable Ocean Plan by 2025.

“The pressing threats we face are marine security, due to the prevalence of piracy and armed robbery on our seas, the mounting menace of Illegal, Unregulated and Unreported fishing (IUU), overfishing and its attendant decline in fish stocks, and plastic pollution,” he said.

As Ghana deal with these challenges, in partnership with the United Nations Division for Ocean Affairs and Law of the Sea, “we are also conducting an Ocean Governance Study to help us strengthen our legal and institutional framework for ocean management”.

In addition, the President noted that to help reduce the excessive pressure, over-exploitation and to replenish Ghana’s falling marine fish stocks, just as was done last year, he told the gathering that Ghana has implemented a closed season for artisanal and industrial finishing.

“The results have been a phenomenal success, and we intend to continue to implement this policy with huge positive dividends over the medium-term. We must leverage our collective political influence, build strong partnerships with business leaders and influencers in civil society to drive effectively the implementation of the Transformations Document by all countries,” he added.

Kasoa: Over 100 prostitutes, suspected criminals arrested

The Central Regional Police Command has arrested over 100 stripers, prostitutes and suspected criminals at three separate nightclubs at Kasoa in the Awutu Senya East Municipality of the Central Region.

Police say the suspects were in the nightclubs smoking and performing lewd acts on women with bottles and their fingers.

In an interview with EIB Network’s Central Regional Correspondent Yaw Boagyan, Deputy Central Regional Police Commander ACP Oduro Amaning revealed that the situation was terrible and degrading with young men “fingering women, inserting bottles in their vagina and smoking Indian hemp.”

ACP Oduro Amaning also entreated parents to monitor the activities of their female children and also search their bags before going out to reduce the level of deviant behaviour ongoing in the country.

The suspects have been taken to the Kasoa Police station awaiting to be processed for court.

Source: Ghana/Starrfm.com.gh

Akufo-Addo to address world leaders at COP26 today

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo will today, Tuesday, November 2, address world leaders at the ongoing United Nations (UN) Climate Change Conference (COP 26) in Glasgow, Scotland.

Ghana’s leader left Accra on Sunday for the summit.

He is scheduled to speak on Ghana’s position on Climate Change as well as measures put in place to combat the threat it poses.

He will also deliver three separate statements on efforts Ghana is making to protect her forests and ocean.

President Akufo-Addo has been scheduled to address the summit in the forenoon at Plenary Cairn Gorm.

He will speak after the President of the Dominican Republic, Luis R. Abinader and before Madagascar’s Andry Rajoelina.

The President will later participate in the Africa Adaptation Acceleration Summit, being held on the sidelines of COP 26.

He is in Glasgow together with the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, the Minister for Energy, Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh, the Minister for Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, Dr. Kwaku Afriyie, the Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, Samuel A. Jinapor, and officials of the Presidency and Foreign Ministry.

They are scheduled to return to Ghana on Thursday, November 4.

By Emmanuel Kwame Amoh|3news.com|Ghana

Another kidnap case hits Western Region

After weeks of controversies amidst anxiety and uneasiness relating to reports of fake kidnap cases in the Western Region, there has yet been another reported case of an alleged kidnap.

The name of the alleged victim has been given as Stephanie Kumiwaa, 26.

Stephen Kumi, who is the boyfriend of the victim, tells Connect FM’s OMANBAPA morning show host, Nhyiraba Paa Kwesi Simpson, the last time he spoke with Stephanie was on Sunday, October 17.

According to him, on that fateful day, Stephanie, a resident of Mpohor told him she would be coming to visit him after church.

“I didn’t hear from her again after the long chat on phone, only for me to be called the next day by some guys using my girlfriend’s phone that they had kidnapped her and that I should pay GHS2,000 otherwise she would be raped and used for rituals,” Stephen recounted to Paa Kwesi Simpson

According to him, after days of back and forth, he and a friend of the alleged victim, whose name has only been given as Sandra, contributed GHS1,000 and sent to the guys through Stephanie’s phone, only for the alleged kidnappers to still demand for another GHS2,000.

The case was then reported to the Mpohor Police and the Assembly member of the town.

As at November 1, 2021, the whereabouts of Stephanie is yet to be known while the alleged kidnappers have not been heard from for over a week

Source: 3news.com|Ghana

Rejected Juaben MCE-nominee arrested and bailed over bribery claims

The MCE-nominee (left) in a conversation with an assemblyman

The rejected MCE-nominee for Juaben in the Ashanti region Alex Sarfo Kantanka has been bailed after he was arrested by Police in Kumasi for allegedly paying bribes to assembly members.

The nominee was seen in a viral video demanding a refund of alleged bribes he paid assembly members for his confirmation.

The police have commenced investigations to determine if the alleged bribes were paid to the assembly members prior to the voting or otherwise.

Background

The disappointed nominee who could not control his emotions at the loss accosted an assembly member to return the bribe he took earlier before the confirmation.

According to Francis Yeboah Adumasah, an assembly member who doubles as the welfare committee chairman of the assembly, ”as a welfare chairman, it is my responsibility to get the assembly members who came for the assembly meeting their transportation, while going for the transport money from the finance officer the nominee attacked me to refund the money he gave me and so I informed the Ashanti regional minister Simon Osei-Mensah and his police bodyguard”.

“In our earlier meeting in which the nominee failed to secure the two-thirds majority of the total votes Yes, he gave money but not today’s election. The money he gave me I used for the work he assigned me to do so what’s his problem’?’ he questioned.

He described the rejected nominee as a ‘bitter loser’ explaining “you can’t win assembly elections without paying for electorate transportation.”

Member of Parliament for the Atwima-Nwabiagya South Constituency Emmanuel Adjei Anhwere, who was in the Juaben to monitor the election was also attacked by the disappointed nominee’s supporters.

However, the timely intervention of the police restored calm to the area

Anti-gay bill: Parliament will do what is best for Ghana – Majority Leader

Majority Leader in Parliament

The Majority Leader in Parliament, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, says Ghana’s legislature will do what is best for the country in relation to the anti-gay bill which is currently before the House.

He told TV3’s Dzifa Bampoh in interview that the lawmakers will do what is appropriate regarding this bill.  

Asked about his reaction to concerns that Ghana is likely to face sanctions from the international community if the bill is passed, he replied saying “Let us pass the bill, we will do what is appropriate. In our dealing with the international community the interest of Ghana withhold, we should consider the interest of Ghana, but the same constitution also says that we should also  submit to international treaties.”

“That is why I am saying let us get there  and I believe that ultimately,  Parliament will do what is best for this country.,” the Suame Lawmaker said.

On this issue of the anti-gay bill, the Executive Director of the Ghana Centre for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana), Professor Henry Kwasi Prempeh has told the Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin that he acted inappropriately in his comments.

In the view of Prof Prempeh, the Speaker of Ghana’s Parliament is supposed to serve as the referee and not a player in the matter.

Therefore, he said, a comment made by the Speaker to the effect that the bill was going to be passed smacks of impropriety on his part.

Mr Bagbin shared his views on the ongoing debate on homosexuality in Ghana and also on the antigay bill.

He said he is pro-life therefore parliament will pass the bill as soon as possible.

“Ghanaians have spoken with one voice. I sit here as Speaker of Ghana, I represent Ghanaians and the country Ghana. We have spoken with one voice that we don’t want anything to do with whatever things they add,” Mr Bagbin said in an earlier engagement.

Speaking on the Key Points on TV3/3FM on Saturday October 30, Prof Prempeh said “There is no question that from the beginning, even before the bill was laid the RT Honorable Speaker, a very good friend, had made promises about when the bill was going to be passed. This was completely out of order for a Speaker. Our speaker is not the Speaker of the House in the US, he is not Nancy Pelosi.

“Nancy Pelosi is a an elected member of congress, she votes, she participates in debates, that is their system so she can have an opinion about a bill, express it and do all kinds of things to enhance it, our speaker is not of that kind.

“Our speaker actually is like a referee, an umpire of debate in the house and it is quite unsavory for him to be the person promising when the bill will be passed and that it will be passed by all means. I think from the very beginning the Speaker has acted inappropriately in this matter. There is nothing special about this bill.”

The controversial anti-gay bill which is currently before parliament has already divided opinion in the Ghanaian public discourse.

While some, particularly the religious and traditional groupings, have supported the Bill and hopeful of its passing, others say it could incur the wrath of the international community against Ghana.

For instance, a private legal practitioner Mr Akoto Ampaw has said the way and manner the bill has been designed indicates the extremism of the mind frame that produced it.

He is totally against the bill and wants it abandoned.

“The fact that the bill goes to that extent of criminalizing somebody who is an intersex or criminalizing somebody who is asexual, this is a meaningless project, shows the extremism of the mind frame that produced that bill,” he said on TV3’s Key Points with Dzifa Bampoh on Saturday October 9.

He further said the current debate on homosexuals in Ghana is not about religious beliefs or numbers.

“First of all, I want to make the point clear that  this debate  is not about religious beliefs.

“Secondly, this debate is not about numbers. It is not lining up how many people support gays -30million,  how many people are against gay  – 2million, that is not the issue.

“The fundamental issue has to do with our constitution and rights .That is the basic issue that we have to address.”

He added “It is a bit gratifying that just recently the Majority leader in Parliament said that the matter will not be discussed on the basis of religious beliefs. I think that is a major step forward if that is how parliament is going to address this matter. It is a constitutional matter.”

Several bodies including the Ghana Catholic Bishop Conference have said that want homosexuality to be illegal in Ghana.

The Bishops described the practice as abomination on the basis of scriptures in the Holy Bible.

“As a Church, we want this abominable practice made illegal in our country… The Bible, which is foundational to Christian beliefs and practices, condemns the practice,”

“Although the particular inclination of the homosexual person is not a sin, it is a more or less strong tendency ordered towards an intrinsic moral evil, and thus the inclination itself must be seen as an objective disorder…

“The Church rejects the unfounded and demeaning assumption that the sexual behaviour of homosexual persons is always and very compulsive and, therefore, they should not be blamed for their homosexual acts,” a statement they issued said.

It added “Nevertheless, according to the Church’s understanding of human rights, the rights of homosexuals as persons do not include the right of a man to marry a man or of a woman to marry a woman. For the Church, this is morally wrong and goes against God’s purpose for marriage. We should also point out that the European Court for Human Rights has ruled that same-sex “marriages” are not considered a human right, making it clear that homosexual partnerships do not in fact equal marriages between a man and a woman. The ruling was announced 9th June 2016 in the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, France.”

Meanwhile, the dean of the Faculty of Law at the University of Professional Studies, Accra (UPSA), Professor Kofi Abotsi has said the debates for gay rights or criminalization in Ghana is unwinnable.

According to him, both sides are digging in and positions are becoming irrational and untenable.

“The debates for gay rights or criminalization is unwinnable! Both sides are digging in and positions are becoming irrational & untenable and this is crowding out good reasons and circumspection as lawmakers ponder the bill & it’s intents!” he said in a tweet on Thursday October 7.

The Promotion of Proper Human Sexual Rights and Ghanaian Family Values Bill was laid in the House on Monday, August 2 and read for the first time.

Reading for the first time, a clerk in the legislative assembly stated that the Bill proscribes lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transgender, queer and intersex (LGBTQI) and other related activities and propaganda or advocacy and promotion for same.

It also came to light that it supports protection for children and persons who are victims or accused of homosexuality.

Second Deputy Speaker Andrew Asiamah Amoako referred the Bill to the Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Committee for consideration.

“For the first time, it is referred to the Committee on Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs for consideration and report,” Mr Asiamah Amoako, who is also the MP for Fomena, directed.

The Chairman of the Pentecost Church, Apostle Eric Nyamekye has asked President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to fight Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer or Questioning, Intersex (LGBTQI+) before he exits office.

He said although Mr Akufo-Addo has stated categorically that gayism and lesbianism will not be legalized under his watch, the President must begin to take measures to stop the gayism movement that has started in the country before he exits office.

“The church of Pentecost is 10.38 per cent of the Ghanaian population and we are against this LGBTQI+.

 “Our concern is not about today, it is about the future. Today when we let in this LGBTI what is going to happen is that we are going to accept same sex marriage which the president says it is never going to happen at his watch.

 “But if he allows LGBTQI to start, it is true that it is never going to happen at his watch but, by the time it gets to same sex marriage the president will not be the president of the nation. I agree with him but he should stop this, he should close the doors at where it matters and we are saying that he should close it now.

“This movement is an insult to God the creature, you are just telling God that he didn’t think enough,” he told journalists on Wednesday October 6.

The Church of Pentecost on Wednesday presented a memo to parliament in support of the steps taken to pass the anti-gay bill which is currently before the legislature.

The memo was presented to the lawmakers on Wednesday October 6

Benz driver who was picked up for reckless driving fined GHS1,800

Kofi Sasa, the driver of the black Mercedes Benz who was arrested for allegedly driving recklessly at Opeibea House, Airport, has been fined GHS1,800.

 He was fined on Monday November 1.

His case was first called on Monday October 25 but he could not show up due to poor health.

The Police said he had been admitted to the hospital for medical treatment.

He was picked up by Police Sunday October 24.

Source: 3news.com|Ghana

A/R: 17 feared dead in road accident at Offinso Abofour

17 people are feared dead in an accident that occurred Monday dawn at Offinso Abofour in the Offinso South District of the Ashanti Region.

Sixteen others who sustained varying degrees of injuries are receiving treatment at St Patrick’s Hospital.

The accident involved a Sprinter Bus heading towards the Northern part of the country and had on board head porters numbering 31 and a Trailer loaded with logs travelling down south.

Preliminary investigations by the National Road Safety Authority indicate both drivers were tired and veered off from their lanes colliding head on.

Information gathered by TV3 has it that most of the casualties are children of the head porters.

Source: Beatrice Spio Garbrah| 3news.com|Ghana

I am just confused’ – NABCo trainee frustrated as programme ends

One of the beneficiaries of the Nation Builders Corp (NABCo) has expressed frustration as to the way forward after the expiration of the programme on Sunday, October 31.

The programme was introduced in May, 2018 by the government as a stop-gap measure to solve the graduate unemployment conundrum in the country.

Contracts for the beneficiaries were to take three years with an assurance by the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, to make the programme permanent.

However, some organisations are yet to take a decision on the beneficiaries.

The Ghana Standards Authority (GSA), for instance, has asked all NABCo trainees to proceed on two-week leave from Monday, November 1 in order “to plan and strategize on retaining trainees for the services of the Authority”.

Speaking on anonymity on TV3‘s New Day on Monday, November 1, a beneficiary with the ‘Educate Ghana’ module said he has been asked to continue teaching despite the expiration of the programme.

He told host Berla Mundi how he was prevailed upon by the Kumasi-based demonstration school to stay on for sometime for a firm decision from the secretariat.

He said not only him, but the head of the school also is confused.

“I am just confused,” he blurted out, complaining he does not know where his payment for the rest of the time will come from.

“Clearly, there is no payment of any fund or school fees at the primary school.”

‘Knee jerk approach’

On the promised continuation of the programme by President Akufo-Addo during the electioneering period in 2020, the University of Cape Coast (UCC) graduate said there was no planned approach to that promise.

“Career pathway was a knee jerk approach,” he said.

“It was because of elections.”

But also speaking on the programme, labour expert Benjamin Arthur commended the programme and said there will definitely be a transition in the coming days.

Citing the GSA case, he said: “If you understand employment language, it tells you that something is cooking.”

By Emmanuel Kwame Amoh|3news.com|Ghana