Category: News

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

civilian casualties.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Gov’t enhancing internal revenue mobilization – Bawumia

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“What is it about the Military?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Akufo-Addo declares June 10 Green Ghana Day

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Shirley Ayorkor Botchway, Minister Of Foreign Affairs And Regional Integration

Russia invades Ukraine

Some Ghanaian students, nationals evacuated to neighboring countries

Government committed to evacuation all nationals in Ukraine – Ayorkor Botchwey

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

By Laud Nartey||Ghana

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

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

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

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

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


By Laud Nartey||Ghana

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

Ken Ofori Atta Minister Of Finance

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Alexander Afenyo Markin 5

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bawumia attends UN Security Council meeting

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

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

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

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


You can withdraw our security, block our salary, we don’t care, this won’t last forever – Munkata

Member of Parliament for Asawase, Muntaka Mubarak has dared the Executive to withdraw the security of all the 137 opposition lawmakers and also withhold their salaries in attempt to frustrate them.

He said the National Democratic Congress (NDC) legislators will not be intimated by the court action against some members of his side in the House.

“The game is to intimidate, frustrate us and they think that they can weaken us but no, they cant. In fact they are rather strengthening and keeping us together.

“You are charging Dominic Ayine because of Zuarungu market , you are bringing Quayson, you are charging Akwatia MP, you can just see the frustration and it is so shameful that they forget that this is a democracy and this is being led by so called learned,” he told journalists after the first hearing of Ato Forson’s case on Monday January 17.

He added “Now, we know everyone of us in danger, they can choose to withdraw all the security that follow all the 137 of us, they can choose to even take all our salary because they think they are in the executive but believe me , it is rather going to strength us. Remember, nothing lasts forever.

“Ato Forson will always be in Parliament, he is not going to neglect that responsibility and be in court, he will always be in Parliament before he comes to court. It is for the court to decide what time they will sit so that he will be able to participate.”

The case which was called on Monday January 17 was adjourned to Tuesday, January 18, 2022.

The Ranking Member of the Finance Committee of Parliament  together with two others, has been dragged to the High Court on five counts of willfully causing financial loss to the state.

According to the facts of the case, Dr Ato Forson, when he was a Deputy Finance Minister under the Mahama administration, executed a contract by the government of Ghana to purchase some 200 ambulances for the National Ambulance Service.

Despite the granting of a medium term loan facility of €15.8 million for the 200 ambulances, only 10 were shipped to Ghana in 2014.

“A post-delivery inspection of the first batch of 10 ambulances revealed that same were without any medical equipment in them.

“Other fundamental defects included defects on the body of the vehicles and the patient compartment of the ambulances,” the writ noted.

The two other accused are Sylvester Anemana, who was a Chief Director at the Ministry of Health, and Richard Jakpa, the Ghana representative of Dubai-based Big Sea General Trading Limited.

While Sylvester Anemana has been charged for abetment of crime namely wilfully causing financial loss to the state contrary to Sections 20(1) and 179A(3)(a) of the Criminal Offences Act, 1960 and breaching the Public Procurement Act, Richard Jakpa is on a charge of wilfully causing financial loss to the state “by intentionally causing vehicles purporting to be ambulances to be supplied tot he Republic of Ghana by Big Sea General Trading Ltd of Dubai without due cause”.

Mr Ato Forson, who is the first accused, has additionally been charged for intentionally misapplying public property contrary to section 1(2) of the Public Property Protection Act, 1977.

He is said to have misapplied €2.37 million by causing irrevocable Letters of Credit to be established against the budget of the Ministry of Health in favour of the Dubai-based firm.

The charges were brought against the three by the state

Ghana’s economy will recover much stronger in 2022 – Akufo-Addo

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo   Police.

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has assured that the local economy is recovering from the impact of the coronavirus.

He said it would even recover much stronger this year.

Mr Akufo-Addo expressed optimism of a swift economy recovery due to what he said was the solid economic foundation his administration has built.

“2021 has proven to be tough year not only for us but also everyone on the planet,” he said.null

He added “Our economy is recovering and will recover much stronger in 2022-2023, my government has built solid economic foundation.”

“Our economy is recovering and it will recover much stronger in 2022” – @NAkufoAddo— Ghana Presidency (@GhanaPresidency) January 9, 2022


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

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Labour unions reject 4 percent increment in salaries

Labour unions threaten to strike over the four percent increment

7 percent increment takes effect 2022

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The unions called for a higher percentage increment including GNAT.

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

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


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

Kennedy Agyapong on Asaase Radio’s “Sunday Night”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Philanthropic activities

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Source: Ghana/ Dzidzoamenu

Mahama loses brother

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

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

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

There are brighter days ahead for Ghana – Akufo-Addo

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I pray that Ghana continues to be peaceful – Bawumia

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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


By Emmanuel Kwame Amoh||Ghana

Pure water’ to be sold at GHp40 from today

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

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

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

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

Iced sachet water will be retailed at 40 pesewas.

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Currently, it is inching up to GHC 6.50.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Minister For Health, Kwaku Agyeman Manu55

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

Government considering policies to mandate COVID-19 vaccinations

Omicorn variant not that serve – Agyemang Manu

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Henry Quartey orders closure of all beaches in Greater Accra

Greater Accra Regional Minister Henry Quartey

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

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

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

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

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

Gov’t declares Dec. 27, 28 public holidays

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

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

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

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

Parliamentary Service Board ‘Meeting’ In Dubai Untrue – Bagbin

The Office of the Speaker of Parliament, Rt. Hon. Alban S.K. Bagbin, has denied a news publication alleging that members of the Parliamentary Service Board (PSB) had held a board meeting in Dubai at the instance of the Speaker.

“There has not been any meeting of the PSB in Dubai held at the instance and convenience of the Speaker of Parliament,” a statement issued by the Office of the Speaker said.

It explained that the PSB rather participated in an international workshop and team building exercise by the Crown Agents in Dubai.

“It is worth noting that arrangement for the workshop predated the Speaker of Parliament’s medical trip to Dubai. It was initially planned for April 2021 and was finally held in September 2021. It had to be postponed a couple of times due to time constraints and availability of members of the PSB. Consequently, the workshop and the Speaker’s medical trip had nothing in common.

“We entreat all well-meaning Ghanaians to disregard this misleading publication, which only seeks to traduce the Rt.Hon. Speaker’s character by negatively projecting him and the Parliamentary Service Board.”

The Speaker recently undertook a two-week trip to Dubai to seek medical care – from November 27 to December 14.


Bank of Ghana to start purchasing gold from small scale miners – Bawumia

Vice President Alhaji Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia says in conjunction with the Bank of Ghana (BoG), government is going to start a deliberate gold purchase programme which will target purchasing gold from the Small Scale Mining sector.

He stated that after series of deliberations, the Bank of Ghana has been persuaded to start this programme which is going to be the first of it’s kind in history, adding that the programme when started, will be a boost for the Small Scale Mining sector as purchases made will build the country’s gold reserves.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia however cautioned that regardless of the many advantages of Small Scale Mining, if the act is not done responsibly, it can and will damage the environment.

He, therefore called on the Miners to Mine responsibly to help save the environment and the country’s natural resources.

The Vice President commended highly the efforts of the Minister, Hon. Samuel A. Jinapor and his two Deputy Ministers for their leadership of the natural resources sector.

He added that the Minister has since his assumption of office brought a renewed approach to the process of ending galamsey through diverse initiatives. He sighted an example  of how the Minister made a passionate plea for the 3% withholding tax being paid by Gold producers to be slashed down to 1.5%.

He went on to applaud the organisers of the programme for working tirelessly to achieve such a great feet for the mining sector and for Ghana.

He also employed the opportunity to congratulate the winners of the various categories of Awards, saying that the award should be a motivator to other Miners to do better at their jobs and also keep the environment safe while at it.

The Minister for Lands and Natural Resources Hon. Samuel A. Jinapor in his welcome address, expressed his profound gratitude to the Vice President of the Republic and to the Chief of Staff for taking time off their very busy schedule to honour his invitation and for all the support.

He also sent out his appreciation to leadership and members of the Ghana National Association of Small-Scale Miners (GNASSM) for partnering with the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources, to institute this all-important award scheme and for their tremendous support of Government’s quest to sanitise the small-scale mining industry.

The Minister also disclosed that in the coming year, the Ministry, will continue to pursue measures that are necessary to restore sanity into the small-scale mining industry.

In furtherance of this, he said they have already engaged ADB Bank to establish a Minerals Development Unit at the Bank, which is to provide financial support to small scale miners. Adding that the initiative, is expected to roll out early next year.

The Minister intimated that as Community Mining Scheme remains one of the surest ways of tackling illegal mining, they will continue to promote the Community Mining Scheme to serve as a model for all small-scale mining operations.

Hon. Jinapor gave the assurance that the Ministry will ramp up their regulatory efforts and continue to partner with the leadership of the Ghana National Association of Small Scale Miners to weed out recalcitrant, illegal miners out of the industry, whilst encouraging and supporting genuine legal miners who have regard for our national environment.

“We will never relent on this effort, and, God willing, and with your support, we shall realise the vision of President Akufo-Addo by constructing, here in Ghana, a viable, sustainable, orderly and environmentally-sound small scale mining industry. Together we can, and let us get this done” He concluded.

Mr. Godwin Armah, General Secretary of the Ghana National Association of Small Scale Miners (GNASSM) added his words congratulations to the awardees saying ” Your victory is a symbol of the true reflection of our work and telling the whole world that Ghana is on course to revitalise the Small Scale Mining sector”

He thanked the organisers of the programme and  advised  miners that acquiring mining licences for their operations alone will not keep them in the industry but rather compliance to the legal framework is what will sustain their businesses in the future.

Also in attendance at this colourful event was the Hon. Chief of Staff, Madam Akosua Osei-Opare,  captains and players in the  mining sector, parliamentarians and  among others

Whether you want it or not, we’ll pass e-levy’ – Majority Caucus

The Majority in Parliament has said it will pass the 1.75 per cent e-levy whether the Minority Caucus likes it not.

“The budget has been approved and the Appropriation Act has also been approved and the Finance Minister can go ahead with his plans, but it is the revenue component of the budget that has to do with the e-levy which hasn’t been approved”, Deputy Majority Chief Whip Habib Iddrisu said.

He added: “So, when we return, the Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin, will come and preside and we will have our 138 members and they will also have their 137 and we will pass it”.

“The e-levy is something that we will pass whether they want it or not. They should just tell the Speaker to come and preside, and if he cannot, he should tell us then we will find another Speaker”, he noted in an interview with Accra-based Citi FM.

His comments come after Monday night’s brawl on the floor of the house in connection with the passage of the e-levy bill following attempts by First Deputy Speaker Joe Osei-Owusu to cast his ballot on the bill despite presiding over the business of the house on the day.

Following that, Deputy Majority Leader Alexander Afenyo-Markin, told journalists on Monday that: “We will not proceed to take decisions without Mr Speaker. We need him in the House because, by the technicalities of our own procedures, one of our people would have to sit in, and, therefore, he will not have the opportunity to have his right of voting as a member. Mr Speaker must show leadership in parliament”.

However, Deputy Minority Leader, James Klutse Avedzi, told journalists on Tuesday, 21 December 2021, that: “He [Afenyo Markin] said Bagbin’s absence was a deliberate act to frustrate government business. That is a complete lie. It is not true. We all know Bagbin just returned from Dubai where he went for medical treatment, and he must obey the instructions of his doctors”.

“If Bagbin was not showing leadership, he would have reversed the wrongs by the first Deputy Speaker, but for the fact that he wanted the country to move on, he said he will not do anything to overturn the decisions, so, for Afenyo-Markin to say that Bagbin is not showing leadership. is very surprising.”

“He is the only person who has served Parliament for 28 good years. Everybody should disregard the comments from Afenyo-Markin in relation to the leadership style of Bagbin.”

Meanwhile, Majority Leader Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu has said Mr Osei-Owusu was excusing himself during Monday night’s sitting to take his medication and go to the washroom but not necessarily to take part in the voting process.

According to Mr Kyei-Menash-Bonsu, the Bekwai MP was not well and, so, needed a respite during the balloting on the floor about whether or not the controversial 1.75 per cent e-levy should be considered under a certificate of urgency.

“Is it the case that a speaker can’t even excuse himself to visit the loo? Is it the case?” Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu asked in an interview with the parliamentary press.

“The man was indisposed”, he noted, adding: “He was shivering”.

“And he went to the clinic; the record is there. So, we had to persuade him to come and sit. He was in the chamber and he was shaking like a leaf.”

“We had to go and prevail on him to come and preside”, the Suame MP stressed.

“Of course”, he pointed out, “if he’s presiding, given his own long tenure in Parliament, his own understanding of the rules and procedures in Parliament, we thought that he’d be able to navigate crises periods, with respect, much more than the second deputy speaker but it was getting too much for him”.

“So, he said he wanted to excuse himself to take his medication and then, perhaps, to come back if he felt okay, or, perhaps, maybe to sit somewhere,” Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu said.

Asked if Mr Osei-Owusu was not excusing himself so he could take part in the voting on the floor, Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu retorted: “What if he did? What if he did to take his medication and he came, voting was not over and he thought that because somebody else what presiding he could participate in that? What of that? Is there any illegality in that? There’s no illegality

Akufo-Addo tells district auditors to deliver to expectation

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has charged district auditors to live up to expectation in the discharge of their duties by ensuring that all avenues that amount to leakage of the public purse are blocked.

He was unhappy with the performance of district auditors as several cases of financial malfeasance also pop up during the hearings Public Accounts Committee.

“Every time we hear details of report of the Auditor-General and hearings of the Public Accounts Committee of Parliament, we know the district auditors are not working as they should. It has become routine for the Auditor-General to uncover cases of financial malfeasance in the public service that will otherwise go unnoticed. We cannot avoid the conclusion that the district auditors must be either complacent or incompetent”.

The President was addressing auditors at the maiden edition of the district auditors’ conference in Kumasi.

The fight against corruption, according to President Akufo-Addo, can be effective if district auditors work as expected of them.

“District auditors working as they should will bring confidence in the public sector. District auditors working as they should will keep in check not only lowly clerk but also the district chief executive and ultimately the President. The district auditor is one of the primary weapons in the fight for the protection of the public purse and the fight against corruption

The Auditor-General, Johnson Akuamoah Asiedu expressed their readiness to help in the fight against corruption.

“The transformation of the Audit Service in recent times has put us in a position poised to take the fight against corruption to another level. We pledge our readiness to deliver as expected of us and even more”.

The conference was on the theme “Ensuring the Efficiency and Effectiveness of the State Auditor in a digitized economy

E-levy in limbo as parliament adjourns sitting to Jan. 18

Parliament has adjourned sitting sine die to 18 January 2022.

This means the controversial e-levy has not been passed and would be revisited in 2022 when the House reconvenes.

Following a brawl in Parliament on Monday, 20 December 2021 over the e-levy, the Majority Leader, Mr Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, today, Tuesday, 21 December 2021, prayed the sit-in Speaker, First Deputy Speaker Joe Osei-Owusu, to adjourn the house until January 18, 2022, for cooler heads to prevail.

According to him, tensions were still high to conduct business.

He said: “We adjourned sitting yesterday [Monday] and indicated to ourselves that the house will be reconvening at 9:00 am today, [Tuesday, December 21, 2021] but we have been waiting for all this while making the necessary calls but thus far, nothing responsive, and I think where we are if we take an adjournment, it will allow coolers to come back to this house, and then we come back to continue with business in a much more serene environment. In that regard, Mr Speaker, I invite you to adjourn the house in the hope that we can come back on January 18.”

He was seconded by Minority leader Haruna Iddrisu who said the adjournment will allow for further deliberations.

“It is important that we carry the country along, and we need to demonstrate to the country that our democracy is growing and will not suffer some unacceptable scenes and spectacles we’ve witnessed on the floor.

“So, I can only concur with what the leader has said, so you adjourn the House sine die for some consultation on the outstanding issue,” Mr Iddrisu said.

Parliament on Monday night, 20 December 2021 became a boxing arena as the House voted for the 1.75 e-levy bill.

The rumpus started when First Deputy Speaker Joe Osei-Owusu, who was presiding over the business of the house in the absence of Speaker Alban Bagbin, attempted to also cast his ballot on whether or not the e-levy bill should be considered under a certificate of urgency.

MPs from either side of the house were seen exchanging blows over the matter, which threw the whole house into chaos.

Earlier in the day, the Finance Committee of Parliament approved the controversial e-levy bill.

The Minority side, made up of 12 members, voted against it while the 12 members on the Majority side voted for it.

The Chairman of the Committee voted in favour of the bill to break the tie.

This meant it had to be put before the plenary for a certificate of urgency vote.

The NDC and its Minority are against the 1.75 per cent levy which will affect electronic transactions.

Several calls on the government to drop the proposed tax has fallen on deaf ears.

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

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

The government says the e-Levy proceeds will be used to support entrepreneurship, youth employment, cyber security, and digital and road infrastructure, among others

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“This morning the Finance Committee held a meeting and we have just come out from the meeting At the meeting we needed to first determine whether we can consider the electronic transfer levy bill before us on a certificate of urgency or;base64,R0lGODlhAQABAAAAACH5BAEKAAEALAAAAAABAAEAAAICTAEAOw==

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Lordina Mahama puts Christmas smile on orphans’ faces

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

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

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

Another beneficiary is the Gambaga Witch Camp

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

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

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

She was 73 years old.

She battled ailments in her dying embers.

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

She was buried over the weekend.

Mr Mahama was in attendance at the funeral.

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

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

“She demonstrated that it could be done and done well

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The case has been in court for 24 years.

It started after the death of one Isaac Asirifi Asante.

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

Nana Otuo Siriboe II

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

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

Gift of the President

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

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

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

President Nana Akufo-Addo

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

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

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

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

Meanwhile, Parliament has passed the appropriation bill amidst disagreements.

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

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

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

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

NPP has learnt its lessons – COCOBOD CEO

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cardinal Appiah Turkson reportedly resigns

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

He was then Archbishop of Cape Coast.

He has two more years to proceed on mandatory retirement.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Joe Osei-Owusu is the First Deputy Speaker

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This took place in a House of 137 Minority MPs.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Get vaccinated – Oppong Nkrumah rallies Ghanaians

Kojo Oppong Nkrumah 643

Compulsory vaccination to be enforced in January 2022

President Akufo-Addo debunks COVID-19 conspiracy theories

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Make chiefs signatories to mining concessions – Otumfuo

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

NABCo workers’ll be paid – John Boadu promises

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Source: Mensah

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

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

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

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

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

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

Below is his full address in Parliament…

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Deputy Speaker being counted for the purposes of Quorum

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

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

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


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

By Laud Nartey||Ghana

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“This is an outrageous claim”, he asserted.

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


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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Yaw Osafo Maafo Senior Adviser1212

2022 Budget the best Ghana has had, Osafo-Maafo

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

TVET would driver Ghana’s development

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Update No. 27: Measures Taken Against Spread of Coronavirus

Address By The President Of The Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, On Updates To Ghana’s Enhanced Response To The Coronavirus Pandemic, On Wednesday, 15th December 2021. 

Fellow Ghanaians, good evening. 

It has been some time since I last came into your homes on a matter that has grabbed not only our attention, but that of every country in the world. 

However, as Christmas approaches, with its attendant, charged activities and with an expected influx of visitors, it is important that I come back into your homes to provide an update on what Government is doing to combat the pandemic, and what is expected of you, the Ghanaian people, in this season. 

When I delivered the last update, I indicated that, in spite of the efforts to rid the nation of COVID-19, the fight was far from over, as we had begun to experience a third wave of COVID-19 infections, driven largely by the delta variant. The data tells us that the months of August and September, in particular, were the most devastating. Some three hundred and ten (310) lives were lost to the virus in those two months alone, representing a quarter of the cumulative deaths from the virus since we recorded our first case in March 2020. 

In the months of October and November, a consistent decline in infection rates occurred, and, mercifully and by the Grace of God, this has continued right into early December. 

As at Sunday, 12 th December, some two million and forty-two thousand, thousand, seven hundred and seventy-eight (2,042,778) tests have been conducted, out of which one hundred and thirty-one thousand, nine hundred and eleven (131,911) positive cases have been recorded. One hundred and twenty-nine thousand, six hundred and eighty-three (129,683) persons have recovered, meaning that, presently, the number of active cases, that is the number of people with the virus, stands at nine hundred and seventy-three (973) persons. In as much as this represents some degree of good news, we have, sadly, had one thousand, two hundred and fifty-five (1,255) persons dying from COVID-19. 

The current data suggests quite a favourable COVID situation prevailing in Ghana, and I say this only to encourage each one of us to continue to be vigilant, and adhere to the enhanced hygiene protocols which have served us so well so far. Three regions, i.e., Ashanti, Greater Accra and Volta, have the bulk of infections. Seven (7) regions have single-digit infections, and six (6) regions, that is Ahafo, North East, Oti, Savannah, Upper West and Western North, at the moment, have zero (0) active cases. We must do everything possible, at the very least, to maintain this situation, especially as the festive season approaches. 

Whilst these numbers should normally provide us with some comfort, as far as this virus is concerned, I am a firm believer in the oft-cited adage that “it is better to be safe than sorry”. 

We are expecting, in this month of Christmas, a large number of visitors, overseas Ghanaians and foreigners, into the country. With the Immigration Service doing a yeoman’s job by intercepting many foreign nationals trying to enter the country through unapproved routes, Government’s concern has been to limit the importation of the virus through the Kotoka International Airport. As things stand, international passengers arriving at Kotoka constitute the highest source of infections in the country, leading us to take drastic measures recently to prevent the importation of the virus from increasing the numbers of infections in the country. 

The Ghana Health Service tells us that an overwhelming majority, that is seventy-five percent (75%), of the positive cases recorded at Kotoka have come from passengers who are not vaccinated. Beginning yesterday, Tuesday, 14 th December, Government has decided that all visitors coming to Ghana have to be fully vaccinated. Furthermore, all persons seeking to travel outside the country must also be fully vaccinated. 

Fully vaccinated passengers coming to Ghana must, in addition, be in possession of a negative PCR test of not more than seventy-two (72) hours, and also take a mandatory COVID test upon arrival at the airport. Children aged five (5) to twelve (12) will not pay for the test. Any passenger, testing positive at the airport, will be kept in isolation, at a designated isolation facility, and a non-Ghanaian will receive treatment at his or her own cost. 

Communications have been duly sent to all airlines flying into Ghana of the imposition of a three thousand, five hundred dollar (US$3,500) fine for each unvaccinated passenger that is allowed to board a flight into the country. 

Unvaccinated Ghanaians and residents in Ghana, who departed the country before 14 th December, and who return by 28 th December, will be offered vaccination on arrival at the airport. Further details will be provided by the Ghana Health Service. 

These are stringent measures, I know, but the benefits far outweigh the negatives. As your President, it is my duty to protect lives and livelihoods. The ravages of COVID-19 have been devastating on our economy, and I am determined to return us to our normal way of life as quickly as possible, by helping to defeat the pandemic. 

Fellow Ghanaians, as I indicated at the outset, the month of December elicits, naturally, an increase in the number of social gatherings in the country. I know many of you have planned either to host or attend a number of gatherings such as religious events and activities, funerals, weddings, concerts, musical shows, festivals, anniversaries, sporting events, family gatherings and parties. Nonetheless, we should be guided by what transpired last Christmas, where there was a sharp spike in the number of COVID infection cases and deaths in the immediate months of January and February 2021. We should avoid the repetition of such a scenario after this year’s Christmas celebration. We do so by: 

  1. ensuring that social events are held in open spaces;
  2. ensuring that attendees wear masks;
  3. ensuring that social distancing is observed;
  4. observing enhanced hygiene protocols, such as hand washing and the use ofsanitisers; and
  5. encouraging attendees, as much as possible, to come vaccinated.

In as much as our active cases are now relatively low, the wearing of masks, unfortunately, remains low, and compliance with the safety protocols is still problematic. Whilst Government does its part to secure the necessary numbers of vaccines to help vaccinate all Ghanaians, we cannot afford to disregard the social distancing, hand washing, mask wearing and enhanced hygiene protocols that have brought us this far. They must continue to be a part and parcel of our daily lives and routines. 

Getting the jab is the best route out of the pandemic, because, according to WHO, it reduces the risk of death, hospitalisation and the spread of the virus. 

It is for this reason that we have committed ourselves to vaccinating some twenty million Ghanaians, that is the entire adult population, by the end of the year. 

After the start of an impressive vaccination drive in March this year, we were confronted with vaccine supply constraints and disruptions at the global level. 

Fortunately, in recent months, the supply situation has improved considerably, and we estimate that, by the end of December, we would have secured a total of some twenty-six million (26 million) doses. 

Indeed, as at yesterday, Tuesday, 14 th December, the Ghana Health Service has taken delivery of seventeen million, seven hundred and thirty-six thousand, seven hundred and ten (17,736,710) vaccine doses. We are expecting an additional eight million, five hundred and twenty-nine thousand, and ninety (8,529,090) doses by the end of the year. We have enough vaccines in the system. So, my fellow Ghanaians, I encourage each and every one of you to take advantage of this, and get vaccinated. 

So far, we have been able to administer only six million, four hundred and twenty thousand, nine hundred and seventy-three (6,420,973) doses out of the 17.7 million we have at our disposal. Let me state, as clearly as I can. The vaccines are safe. They will not harm you. They will protect you and your family. Contrary to the mischief being peddled by some, getting vaccinated will not cause you to vote for the NPP in the 2024 elections, if you do not want to. This is an outrageous claim. Vaccination cannot change your political preferences. That is not its purpose. 

There are significant quantities of vaccines deployed to every corner of the country. We have, thus, declared the month of December as vaccination month, and we are rolling out an aggressive campaign of vaccination, so that as many Ghanaians as possible have the opportunity to be vaccinated. It is a race against time, but we are determined to accomplish it. 

We continue to make steady progress in our quest to manufacture vaccines domestically. Two days ago, on Monday, I was in Luxembourg, where I held discussions with the President of the European Investment Bank, Herr Werner Hoyer, on Ghana’s COVID-19 Response Plan. An €82.5 million facility has been approved for Ghana by the Bank for use in the effort to strengthen healthcare delivery, and the provision of specialist medical equipment and medicines across the country. Government has set aside €20 million of this to establish the National Vaccine Institute, which will supervise the domestic production of COVID-19 and other vaccines, led by the private sector and the business community. 

To my fellow Ghanaians living along the borders of our nation, I know of the difficulties occasioned by the closure of our borders. As you know, the decision to close our borders, which are a source of livelihoods for many, was necessary because we wanted to limit the importation of the virus into the country. We are monitoring the level of threat of the disease and ongoing vaccinations in our neighbouring countries, and, as soon as we are satisfied that it is safe to do so, the borders will be open. Until then, I believe this is not the right time to reopen our land borders, especially as we are determined to prevent a 4 th wave, and, as such, they will remain closed until further notice. 

Government has beefed up its response capability and capacity to deal with the virus should we encounter an upsurge in infections. Over time, we have expanded our healthcare infrastructure, including oxygen supply and reach, particularly with respect to testing and treatment centres, and the training of health professionals across the country, in the care of severe and critically ill persons. However, our best bet in the fight remains adhering to the enhanced hygiene, social distancing and mask wearing protocols, and getting vaccinated. 

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

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

I thank you for your attention, and have a good night. 

T’di Fake Pregnancy: Judge to fast-track trial from next year

Josephine Panyin Mensah is facing trial at a Takoradi Circuit Court for faking a pregnancy and kidnapping

The Takoradi Circuit Court, presided over by His Lordship Michael Ampadu, has cautioned counsel for the accused and the prosecutor to avoid delays in the trial of Josephine Panyin Mensah, who faked an alleged pregnancy and kidnap.

In court on Tuesday, December 14, Prosecutor Superintendent Emmanuel Basintale walked the court through the documents filed as exhibits to include a Police wireless message about the accused missing and her picture and an Order from the District Magistrate Court for disclosure of information from MTN.

But lead counsel for the accused Fiifi Buckman advised the Prosecutor to do proper segregation of the documents, which was adhered to.

Supt. Basintale, therefore, outlined the number of witnesses to include Michael Simmons, the husband of the accused, her mother Agnes Essel as well as Michael Prah and Ebenezer Nyame-Aye who are natives of Axim.

Other key witnesses will be Dr. George Preprah of Takoradi European Hospital, Dr. Jerry James Abrobrah, the Medical Officer at Axim Government Hospital, Dr. Samuel Agyemang, a Gynaecologist at Effia Nkwanta Regional Hospital, and Detective Inspector Archims Amfol.

The judge adjourned the case to Thursday, January 6, 2022 and added that in the subsequent weeks, the court will sit on the case every Thursday of the week to expedite proceedings.

However, during times that any of the party cannot make it, proceedings will be held on Tuesday.

Lawyer Fiifi Buckman pleaded with the court to postpone the next adjournment date from Thursday, January 6, 2022 but his plea was turned down

All Teachers Alliance demonstrate against One teacher, One laptop policy

Members of the All Teachers Alliance Ghana have demonstrated against the One Teacher One Laptop policy introduced by the government.

They presented a petition to the Ghana Education Service (GES) after the demonstration on Wednesday December 15.

Deputy Director of the GES Dr Kwabena Bempah Tandoh received the petition on behalf of the director general of GES, TV3’s Dela Mishel who covered the protest reported.

The group had earlier said it has come to their attention that despite court action they instituted, teachers’ money had been deducted without recourse to court proceedings for the One Teacher One Laptop initiative.

According to them, this has come as a shock to them since the original hearing of the interlocutory injunction filed on the 10th of November, 2021 on the stay of distribution and deduction had been rescheduled for hearing on the 14th December, 2021.

“Many teachers are not happy about this development and have raised genuine concerns about the manner in which GES has authorized the deduction of the laptops’ fee from their November professional development allowance.

“What’s more worrying is that, the majority of teachers especially basic school teachers are yet to receive the laptops. The question now beckons how teachers could be deducted before providing them with laptops?” a statement they issued said.

The One Teacher One Laptop initiate was launched by Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia.

During the launch, he handed over 350,000 laptops in fulfilment of government’s pledge to equip Ghana’s teachers with the requisite ICT skills to prepare the next generation for the Fourth Industrial revolution.

At a brief but colourful ceremony at the campus of the St Mary’s Senior High School, Accra on Friday 3rd September, 2021 Dr Bawumia, assisted by the Minister for Education, Hon Dr Yaw Osei Adutwum; the Director General of the Ghana Education Service, Prof Kwasi Opoku-Amankwa; and the leadership of Teacher Unions, handed over the first of these laptops, known as the TM1 (Teachers Mate 1) to the 71 teachers of the school.

“Effective teaching and learning is critical to developing the human capacity for work, innovation and creativity; necessary ingredients for capacity building. Teachers are the indispensable pillars to this necessary capacity building. This initiative, in collaboration with the Teacher Unions, is to support the vision of the Ghana Education Service of creating an enabling environment to facilitate effective teaching and learning” Dr Bawumia stated.

Under the initiative, Government is to provide every teacher in Ghana, from Kindergarten to the Senior High School level, with a laptop preloaded with educational materials and with access to an E-Library equipped with books recommended by the GES on the various subjects.

The materials can be accessed whether online or offline, and with free Wi-Fi available in 722 Senior High Schools across the country, access to the almost innumerable resources available on the internet is expected to aid research, teaching and learning.

The State takes up 70% of the cost of the laptop, while the teacher makes up the difference. The laptop, however, becomes the personal property of the teacher and serves the benefit of providing a tool for developing the teacher’s professional and personal capacity.

This shift to ICT-based teaching and learning has many benefits for both teachers and students, according to experts in education. With the curriculum materials already installed onto the laptops, the suggested lesson notes prepared by the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NaCCA) can be downloaded onto the laptops and used to end the burdensome task of writing lesson notes into notebooks.

This would perfectly be in tandem with the fifth skill and competence under the new standards-based curriculum, the promotion of digital literacy.

The laptops would also help in the field of assessment. The filling of School-Based Assessment, report cards, cumulative records, and the building of learners’ individual portfolios would become easier if each teacher owns a laptop.


We’re suffering, our children’re suffering’: Jobless Ashanti NPP members threaten demo

Several aggrieved members of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) in the Ashanti Region belonging to a coalition called NPP Identifiable Groups, an amalgam of several groups, have threatened to demonstrate against the party at the weekend during its National Delegates Conference at the Baba Yara Sports Stadium in Kumasi on Saturday, 18 December 2021.

The angry groups say their members have suffered throughout the Akufo-Addo administration despite having campaigned and worked toward the two victories of the president.

The coalition, which includes groups such as Elephant Movement, Elephant Soldiers, NPP Vibrant Group, Bantama NPP Florida Fun Group, among others, said the Akufo-Addo government has refused to employ them and their relatives in the various government institutions despite a promise to do so.

Addressing a press conference on Wednesday, 15 December 2021, the convener of the groups, Mr Emmanuel Ampiah Mensah, said they have channelled their grievances to the necessary authorities but to no avail.

Mr Ampiah, on behalf of the groups, has given the leadership of the party a three-day ultimatum to call them to a meeting and find jobs for them else they will carry out their threat on Saturday.

“We have done a lot for this party and we are expecting something meaningful but we are not seeing anything. We have our colleagues who are not working, up to date, as I’m talking, a lot of people have gotten a lot of jobs but now, as I’m talking, none of us has received any contract”, he told regional correspondent Elisha Adarkwa.

He added: “I want to region to come and meet us so that we will express our problem to them”, stressing: “We are lacking jobs. Our kids are suffering. We are suffering”.

“We want them to come to our aid”, he insisted.

“So, we are giving them three days; today is Wednesday, we are waiting till Friday, if we don’t hear anything from the regional executives, we’ll advise ourselves”, he threatened

SHS education to move to 6yrs – Adutwum

The duration for Senior High School Education in Ghana will be shifted from 3 to 6 years, Education Minister Dr Yaw Osei Adutwum, has said.

This decision forms part of efforts to transform secondary education in Ghana with Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) at the centre.

Dr Adutwum further said the number of high schools in Ghana is going to be reduced from 13,000to about 2,500 after the county education system

“That facilities we are providing is just like any high school facility and every one of these schools has library , biology, chemistry and physics lab. Beautiful school buildings and they are coming to a community near you very soon.

“In 2023 when we open those schools you are going to see how we are going to provide six years quality secondary education and not three years plus some three years old middle school-led education that we call high school,” he told journalists in Accra on Tuesday December 14.

Dr Adutwum had earlier said the government was determined to improve on STEM education in the country.

He said the administration was going to partner various stakeholders including private sector operators to provide the much-needed infrastructure like laboratories, workshops, and lecture rooms for STEM based institutions.

“With the Government pursuing strategies aimed at increasing the Gross Tertiary Enrollment Ratio (GTER) from the current 18.84% to 40% by 2030, it is in our interest to continuously expand the infrastructural base of the various tertiary institutions,” Dr. Adutwum said.

He added, “We are all aware of the many ongoing projects on our tertiary campuses, some of which have been abandoned for years, while others are in urgent need of additional Government funding for completion

Omicron spreading at unprecedented rate – WHO

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The new coronavirus variant Omicron is spreading across the globe at an unprecedented rate, the World Health Organization (WHO) has warned

Cases of the heavily mutated variant have been confirmed in 77 countries.

But at a press conference, WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said it was probably in many others that had yet to detect it.

Dr Tedros said he was concerned that not enough was being done to tackle the variant.

“Surely, we have learned by now that we underestimate this virus at our peril. Even if Omicron does cause less severe disease, the sheer number of cases could once again overwhelm unprepared health systems,” he said.

The Omicron variant was first identified in South Africa in November, and the country has since seen a surge in infections. President Cyril Ramaphosa has tested positive for Covid-19, and is currently isolating with mild symptoms.

A number of countries have introduced travel bans affecting South Africa and its neighbours following the emergence of Omicron, but this has failed to stop it from spreading around the world.

In the press conference on Tuesday, Dr Tedros reiterated concerns about vaccine inequity, as some countries accelerate rollouts of a booster shot in response to Omicron.

Recent studies of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine showed it produced far fewer neutralising antibodies against Omicron than against the original strain, but that this deficit could be reversed by a third, booster, jab.

Dr Tedros said boosters “could play an important role” in curbing the spread of Covid-19, but that it was “a question of prioritisation”.

“The order matters. Giving boosters to groups at low risk of severe disease or death simply endangers the lives of those at high risk who are still waiting for their primary doses because of supply constraints,” he said.

Supplies to the global vaccine-sharing programme Covax have increased in recent months.

However, world health officials fear a shortfall of tens of millions of doses – like the one which occurred in the middle of this year when India suspended its vaccine exports – could happen again.

In poorer countries, some vulnerable people are yet to receive a single dose.

Source: BBC

We need Jean Mensa, not you – Special Budget Cttee to Bossman Asare, other EC officials

On Monday December 13 two deputy chairs at the Electoral Commission (EC) Dr Bossman Asare and Samuel Tettey, were prevented from attending a meeting with Parliament’s Special Budget Committee.

This was after they could not explain the absence of the Chair of the elections management body, Jean Mensa who was expected to show up.

A member of the Committee, Ahmed Ibrahim, told journalists that Mrs Mensa had gained notoriety for not appearing before parliament hence the committee’s inability to allow the two deputies to represent her.

The meeting was to consider the 2022 budget estimates of the Electoral Commission.

Mr Ahmed Ibrahim said “Because this is the only Committee that oversights all the constitutional bodies. All the other constitutional bodies have been here by their chairpersons and chief executive officers. So it will not be fair to them.

“And this is not the first time you know when we went to rock city to do the mid-year budget performance review, she could not come; her deputies arrived. We listened to them.

“So we were with the view that when we come for the budget hearing, she will come. So it was unfortunate that she was not here. But there are serious constitutional issues that would be raised in the budget hearing,” he said

Consultations ongoing on the purchase of a new Presidential jet – Nitiwul

Defence Minister, Dominic Nitiwul, has told parliament on Tuesday December 14 consultrations on the pruchase of a presidentail jet is ongoinbg.

He said he will table it before parliament when the consultations are over.

The Bimbila lawmaker was responding to questions raised by North Tongu Member of Parliament Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa on the steps the ministry has initiated to purchase a new presidential jet and the justification.

Executive jet does not mean it is for the sole use of the president. In America no other person can use the Airforce One apart from the President and the Vice.

“We have an executive jet and I am saying to you that Executive Jet issued to do government business and that is the classification.”

He had earlier revealed that the Ghana Airforce of Ghana is requesting for a multi-functional aircraft to add to its inventory as a requisite command and control asset.

“The Ghana Airforce of Ghana is once again requesting for a multi-functional aircraft to add to its inventory as a requisite command and control asset, to be able to connect Ghana’s National Security to diplomacy,” he said on the floor of Parliament while answering questions about the cost of renting a presidential jet for President Akufo-Addo’s recent trip to Europe, on Wednesday June 16.

North Tongu Member of Parliament Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa had raised issued with claims by that the cost of renting a presidential jet for President Akufo-Addo’s trips doesn’t matter.

This was after Mr  Nitiwul had justified the president’s decision to rent a luxurious aircraft for use two weeks ago on a Europe and Africa tour at the cost of over 2.6 million cedis.

He said the capacity of the falcon presidential aircraft can no longer carry the president’s entourage without re-fueling.

 “The decision to travel particularly  to long and multiple  destinations such as the president travelling to France, Belgium,  South African and  back to Ghana  especially during this covid  time will always require  a larger capacity aircraft such as a DBKJ or an aircraft  ATJ 319  even when the Falcon is  air ready,” he said.


COCOBOD trial : Opuni petitions CJ over Justice Honyenuga’s conduct

The former Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Cocoa Board Dr Stephen Kwabena Opuni has petitioned the Chief Justice Kwasi Anin Yeboah over the conduct of Justice Clemence Honyenuga.

Aside filing another motion asking Justice Clemence Honyenuga to recuse himself for allegedly exhibiting “bias tendencies and open hostility towards” him, he wants a fresh judge to hear his case.

To this end, proceedings on Monday, December 13, was suspended to await the directives from the CJ.

Dr Opuni, per the petition to the Chief Justice, Kwesi Anin-Yeboah wants a new Judge to hear the motion pending at the High Court.

The application has had been fixed for Thursday, December 16, 2021.

Justice Honyenuga, a Justice of the Supreme Court, who is sitting with additional responsibility as a High Court judge has also been accused of giving preferential treatment to the Attorney General.

The motion to recuse himself stated that, “The conduct of His Lordship Justice Clemence Honyenuga since I opened my defence is one of open hostility towards me, his acts and conduct is such that justice cannot be said to be seen to be done,” the affidavit in support of the motion file on Friday, December 10, 2021 stated.

In court on Tuesday, December 13, Justice Honyenuga, a Justice of the Supreme Court adjourned the trial pending the outcome of the CJ.

This was after the Judge was notified of a motion filed by Dr Opuni through his Counsel, Mr Samuel Codjoe for the judge to recuse himself and hand over the case to another Judge.

When the caae was called, the Judge told the parties in the trial that, there was a motion for him to recuse himself from the trial and a petition sent to the Chief Justice.

But, Mrs Yvonne Attakora-Obuobisa, Director of Public Prosecution (DPP), said they were not served.

The DPP contended that, Counsel could have fixed the hearing of the motion for (Monday, December 13, 2021), knowing very well there was a Court sitting, especially so, because there was such a precedent in the same case at the Supreme Court.

She said the motion should not be made to operate as a stay till it was determined, adding that the dates agreed on and set by the Court must be respected, hence the trial must continue.

AG served with motion

Counsel Codjoe told the Court, that the motion was filed on Friday, December 10, 2021, and on Monday, December 13, 2021, they served a copy of the petition and that of the motion on the Attorney General’s Department, where they acknowledge receipt.

He said considering what the DPP said, she was urging the Counsel to engage in an Act, which was strictly prohibited by the Court deciding on cases, which by virtue of Article 129 (3) of the Constitution was binding on the Court.

He said the DPP’s allegation on him fixing dates in cases was unacceptable and unconstitutional rather it was the Registrar, who fixed dates.

The Judge after listening to both parties adjourned the trial decided to suspend the substantive matter fixed for Monday, December 13, 2021, and adjourned same to December 16, 2021, awaiting the Chief Justice decision or directive.

Dr Opuni, the first accused person has opened his defence with former Director of Finance at COCOBOD as the first of his eight witnesses.


Dr. Opuni, Seidu Agongo and Agricult Ghana Limited are standing trial for 27 charges for allegedly causing financial loss to the state, defrauding by false pretences, conspiracy to commit crime, abetment of crime, money lingering , corruption by public officer and contravention of the PPA Act.

Together, they are accused of causing a financial loss of over GH¢217 million to the state through the sale and purchase of the controversial Lithovit Liquid Fertiliser, which according to the prosecution, was never tested.

They have all pleaded not guilty to the charges and have been granted bail.

Source: Ghana/ Inusah

Gov’t to set up first-ever Second Cycle Applied Technology Institutions – Bawumia

Vice president Dr Mahamudu Bawumia says Government is setting up the first ever second cycle applied technology institutions to train technical and vocational students.

These institutions are to be included for selection by Junior High Students under the Computer School Selection Programme in the next academic year.

Speaking at the official launch of the Ghana Technical and Vocational Education Training, (TVET) service in Accra on Tuesday December 14 Dr Bawumia said the government was determined to growth the human capital of the country since that determines the growth of every country.

He said “if you look at the empirical evidence, about what makes countries grow and develop, we know that it is not gold, it is not diamonds or oils or cocoa for that matter.

“It is not natural resources but the evidence is very clear that it is human resource that drive growth. The combination of human capital and technology that produces these increasing returns to investments in any economy that drives growth we have known this and you can see the attention the president and our government is paying to human capital and technology as a way of transformation”

Subsequenlty, the Vice President wrote on Facebook that “I launched in Accra this morning, the Ghana Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Service to give further impetus and direction to Government’s priority focus on technical and vocational education and training.

“This brings together all the technical and vocational programmes run by the 19 different Ministries under the ambit of the Ghana TVET Service, with the Director General of the Service reporting to the Minister and Ministry of Education, like her counterpart, Director General of the Ghana Education Service and other agencies under the Ministry.

“The operationalization of the Service is also to ensure the smooth take-off of Government’s flagship programme ‘Free TVET For All’, under which all the TVET Institutions which are now captured under the Ghana TVET Service will be included in the next academic year’s (February 2022) Computerized School Selection and Placement System (CSSPS) for selection by the Junior High School graduates.

“We remain committed to providing greater opportunities for technical and vocation training and skill acquisition as we work towards achieving a Ghana Beyond Aid.”

Government in 2017 mooted the idea to align all technical and vocational training institutions. In 2019, the committee concluded its work and submitted to cabinet which was tabled before parliament.

In 2020, Parliament concluded its work which the president signed into law the ACT 1049 setting up the Ghana TVET services

Make Covid-19 vaccines available to all parts of the world – Akufo-Addo to EU

“I am a firm believer in the statement that ‘no one is safe until everyone is safe’. Let us help make vaccines available to all parts of the world, encourage our citizens to take the jab, and we would win the fight against COVID faster and together.

These were the words of the President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, on Tuesday, 14th December 2021, when he delivered an address to the European Union Parliament in Strasbourg, France.

Delivering his speech, President Akufo-Addo stated that COVID-19 has posed the greatest test to humanity in the initial decades of the 21st century, in light of the ravages of the pandemic, which have affected all countries, rich or small.

According to President Akufo-Addo, the predictions of Africa going to be hit dramatically because of her relatively weak public health systems, with streets being littered with dead bodies, when the virus reached the continent, have not come to pass.

“We were not given credit for quickly following the science as recommended, when many leaders in Europe were still fighting ideological battles, and seeking to lay blame on the source of the virus, rather than uniting to fight it,” he said.

The President continued, “At every stage, we in Africa, have been dismayed to discover that every attempt was being made to make COVID-19 also an African disease. Thus, the narrative emerged that it was not really that Africans were not dying from the pandemic, we had to be covering up the true level of infections”.

With Africa caught up in the “vicious vaccine politics that engulfed the world”, he expressed gratitude “for the donations of vaccines through platforms such as COVAX, which was good enough to send its first consignment, anywhere in the world, to Ghana.”

The unsavoury politics of vaccine nationalism the world is witnessing, President Akufo-Addo reiterated, could, however, potentially derail global efforts made at containing the pandemic.

“Till date, less than ten percent (10%) of Africa has been vaccinated, in comparison to the EU, for example, which, as at August, had vaccinated seventy percent (70%) of its population. With countries on the continent still not being able to have sufficient access to vaccines in the requisite numbers, we, like the World Health Organisation, are worried that the phenomenon of hoarding vaccines will worsen even further, as countries begin to administer booster shots in response to the threat posed by the omicron variant of the virus,” the President said.

He used the opportunity of the platform to reiterate the strong opposition of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), of which he is Chairperson, to the decision taken by countries, including those in the EU, to single out African countries for the imposition of travel bans.

Omicron, according to the President, has been discovered in over forty countries, with reports indicating that this variant was present in the Netherlands way before it was discovered in South Africa.

“The world should be grateful to the South African scientists, whose knowledge and expertise in genomic sequencing enabled them identify the new variant. Plaudits, not the condemnation of their peoples, should have been their portion. Why is there not a travel ban imposed on the Netherlands, but against South Africa, one might ask?” the President Akufo-Addo asked.

Whilst acknowledging the importance of Africa building up her health delivery systems to enable the continent withstand future crises, he told the EU Parliament that his government has launched Agenda 111, which seeks to build district hospitals in each district of Ghana where there is none, so that ordinary people can have ready access to medical care.

In addition to this, he stated that Ghana has decided to set up a National Vaccine Institute, which will supervise the domestic production of vaccines across several sectors, including anti-COVID-19 ones, led by the private sector and business community.

“We need to be self-reliant, and shed the image of beggars living on charity, aid and handouts, and make better and more intelligent use of our abundant natural resources, in order to pull ourselves out of poverty to prosperity. These are not new aspirations; they have simply been reinforced by the lessons of the pandemic,” he added

Africans need to be self-reliant, shed image of beggars living on charity – Akufo-Addo at EU

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has said, while delivering an address to the European Union (EU) Parliament in Strasbourg, France on Tuesday December 14, that Ghana has decided to set up a National Vaccine Institute.

He explained that the Institute which would supervise the domestic production of vaccines across several sectors, including anti-COVID-19 ones, would be led by the private sector and business community.

Explaining the rationale behind the setting up of the institute, he said “We need to be self-reliant, and shed the image of beggars living on charity, aid and handouts, and make better and more intelligent use of our abundant natural resources, in order to pull ourselves out of poverty to prosperity. These are not new aspirations; they have simply been reinforced by the lessons of the pandemic.”

the predictions of Africa going to be hit dramatically because of her relatively weak public health systems, with streets being littered with dead bodies, when the virus reached the continent, have not come to pass.

“We were not given credit for quickly following the science as recommended, when many leaders in Europe were still fighting ideological battles, and seeking to lay blame on the source of the virus, rather than uniting to fight it,” he said.

The President continued, “At every stage, we in Africa, have been dismayed to discover that every attempt was being made to make COVID-19 also an African disease. Thus, the narrative emerged that it was not really that Africans were not dying from the pandemic, we had to be covering up the true level of infections”.

With Africa caught up in the “vicious vaccine politics that engulfed the world”, he expressed gratitude “for the donations of vaccines through platforms such as COVAX, which was good enough to send its first consignment, anywhere in the world, to Ghana.”

The unsavoury politics of vaccine nationalism the world is witnessing, President Akufo-Addo reiterated, could, however, potentially derail global efforts made at containing the pandemic.

“Till date, less than ten percent (10%) of Africa has been vaccinated, in comparison to the EU, for example, which, as at August, had vaccinated seventy percent (70%) of its population. With countries on the continent still not being able to have sufficient access to vaccines in the requisite numbers, we, like the World Health Organisation, are worried that the phenomenon of hoarding vaccines will worsen even further, as countries begin to administer booster shots in response to the threat posed by the omicron variant of the virus,” the President said.

He used the opportunity of the platform to reiterate the strong opposition of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), of which he is Chairperson, to the decision taken by countries, including those in the EU, to single out African countries for the imposition of travel bans.

Omicron, according to the President, has been discovered in over forty countries, with reports indicating that this variant was present in the Netherlands way before it was discovered in South Africa.

“The world should be grateful to the South African scientists, whose knowledge and expertise in genomic sequencing enabled them identify the new variant. Plaudits, not the condemnation of their peoples, should have been their portion. Why is there not a travel ban imposed on the Netherlands, but against South Africa, one might ask?” the President Akufo-Addo asked.

Whilst acknowledging the importance of Africa building up her health delivery systems to enable the continent withstand future crises, he told the EU Parliament that his government has launched Agenda 111, which seeks to build district hospitals in each district of Ghana where there is none, so that ordinary people can have ready access to medical care.


Declare disputed 8 year accumulated bills as bad debt – Krobo groups to ECG

Two major youth groups in the Krobo area in the Eastern Region have made fresh demands to the Electricity Company of Ghana, 24 hours after the power distributor restored power to the Yilo and Lower Manya Krobo Municipalities after seven days of power cut over an impasse.

A joint statement issued Tuesday, December 14, 2021, by the groups -Kloma Hengme (KH) and Kloma Gbi (KG) stated that, while they partly welcome ECG’s proposal to ring-fence accumulated bills of customers in the area from 2014 to 2017, it also counterproposes to ECG that the disputed accumulated bills be ‘absorbed’ as bad debt or be ring-fenced up to July 2021 “to clean the slate for a fresh start”.

This, the groups believe would help to make headway on the impasse.

The groups explained that ” facts remain that between 2018 and today, (during which ECG either failed to serve bills or had difficulty doing so) many tenants changed homes and the difficulty landlords will face in getting these tenants who have moved out to pay such old bills could derail efforts geared toward finding a solution to the challenge at hand. In our estimations, these proposals are practical ones that will get people back to paying their bills and solving the problem once and for all. This is more like saying, we can and have to make some sacrifices now, to safeguard the future”.

The two groups were also described as wrong timing for the introduction of prepaid meters in the two Municipalities.

“Many have expressed concerns about the wrong timing of the introduction of prepaid meters – and the apprehension that the meters will be used to recoup the outstanding disputed ‘debt’.

“We made the point that whilst we welcome the policy to roll out the prepaid metering system in the Krobo enclave, we hold the view, based on the concerns raised by many of our members and a cross-section of the citizenry, that introducing it at this material time when issues (and perceptions) of wrong bills are still rife will affect the acceptability of this new technology.

“We suggested that considering the peculiar nature of the impasse, people were most likely to read various meanings into the exercise, including some perceiving it as a form of ”punishment”. We proposed that ECG temporarily suspend the rollout of the meters and rather focus on first addressing all outstanding issues to create a soft-landing spot for the implementation of the project” the State said.

Kloma Hengme and Kloma Gbi groups also want the Police to investigate the killing and maiming of their compatriots in 2019 to protest against overbilling by ECG.

Meanwhile, the two groups have dissociated themselves from threats to ECG staff and proposition of free power supply by the United Krobo Foundation which it acknowledges as part of three groups that were fronting for the impasse with ECG to be resolved.

Below is the full statement issued by the groups.


Tuesday 14th December, 2021, Odumase-Krobo: Kloma Hengme (KH) and Kloma Gbi (KG) hereby issue this joint statement to set the records straight on some issues emanating from the impasse between the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) and its customers in the Yilo and Lower Manya Krobo municipalities.

The statement also states our stance on the recent demonstration staged by the United Krobo Foundation (UKF) that led to the relocation of ECG’s district office from Somanya to Juapong and the subsequent power outage in the two municipalities for seven days.

It is worth noting that Kloma Gbi, Kloma Hengme, United Krobo Foundation (UKF) and all other advocacy groups or networks playing a role in the resolution of this impasse are autonomous. The Electricity Company of Ghana in its stakeholder engagements only engaged these groups jointly and under the umbrella of Youth Groups for purposes of convenience.

We wish to state the following:


Kloma Hengme and Kloma Gbi completely disassociate ourselves from any threats issued on the lives of ECG staff by the UKF before, during and after the demonstration staged on 22nd November 2021.

Apart from the fact that this action was avoidable, we are also of the view that it has the potential of needlessly shifting public and national attention from the real (outstanding) issues underlying the impasse.

We are nonetheless encouraged by the visit of the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Dr. George Akuffo Dampare, to Odumase-Krobo and Somanya and the assurances that the Ghana Police Service will provide the needed security to ECG’s staff as well as enforce law and order in the area.

We disagree with the unilateral declaration made by the UKF that ECG’s customers in the Yilo and Lower Manya Krobo Municipalities would no longer work with the company and the issuance of a 21-day ultimatum to ECG to pack out from the area. Just like the two Konors and their Traditional Councils have already publicly stated, this demand by UKF does not exactly represent the views of residents in the two municipalities.×343&!5&btvi=4&fsb=1&xpc=YgAoIK3CEs&p=https%3A//

Besides, it has the potency of truncating ongoing diplomatic efforts to find a sustainable solution to the impasse. We are fully aware that ECG is the legally mandated body that distributes electricity in the Southern part of Ghana and regardless of existing challenges, we are of a firm belief that further engagements could help address the outstanding issues.

Having given the above disclaimers, we would like to redirect attention to the real issues underpinning the never-ending impasse, and some suggestions we have jointly tabled during recent stakeholder engagement with ECG, which we still stand by:


Before the recent demonstration staged by the United Krobo Foundation (UKF), the various advocacy and heritage groups in the two municipalities namely Kloma Gbi, Kloma Hengme and United Krobo Foundation took some collective decisions on the real issues aimed at bringing a solution to the recurrent impasse. These positions were arrived at after series of stakeholder meetings and engagements between these groups first in April 2018, and recently between June and October 2021.

That, ECG must closely work with the Ghana Police Service, and drive the crusade to institute a full-scale investigation into the incident that led to the shooting and gruesome killing of Thomas Partey, and the maiming of several others who, until the unfortunate incident, were bread winners of their families.

And as part of this exercise, steps must be taken to ensure that justice is duly served the numerous victims of the shooting incident as has been done in other parts of the country. This, if not done, could become a major setback in finding a lasting solution to the impasse.

It is rather unfortunate and unacceptable that since May 2019 that the shooting incident occurred, there has been no word from the police or government and its allied agencies despite the numerous petitions that were served them. We continue to stand by our joint calls for justice to be served in this matter and we humbly call on the new IGP to take this up.

As part of recent stakeholder engagements between ECG and stakeholders in the two municipalities, many have expressed concerns about the wrong timing of the introduction of prepaid meters – and the apprehension that the meters will be used to recoup the outstanding disputed ‘debt’.

We made the point that whilst we welcome the policy to roll out the prepaid metering system in the Krobo enclave, we hold the view, based on the concerns raised by many of our members and a cross-section of the citizenry, that introducing it at this material time when issues (and perceptions) of wrong bills are still rife will affect the acceptability of this new technology.

We suggested that considering the peculiar nature of the impasse, people were most likely to read various meanings into the exercise, including some perceiving it as a form of ”punishment”. We proposed that ECG temporarily suspend the roll out of the meters and rather focus on first addressing all outstanding issues to create a soft-landing spot for the implementation of the project.

While we partly welcomed ECG’s proposal to ring-fence bills from 2014 to 2017, we also proposed the following two options: (i) that the disputed accumulated bills be ‘absorbed’ as bad debt or (ii) that the disputed accumulated bills up to July 2021 be ‘ring-fenced- to clean the slate for a fresh start. We were of the conviction that this arrangement could soften the grounds and get customers back to paying ways.

The facts remain that between 2018 and today, (during which ECG either failed to serve bills or had difficulty doing so) many tenants changed homes and the difficulty landlords will face in getting these tenants who have moved out to pay such old bills could derail efforts geared toward finding a solution to the challenge at hand.

In our estimations, these proposals are practical ones that will get people back to paying their bills and solving the problem once and for all. This is more like saying, we can and have to make some sacrifices now, to safeguard the future!

Having distanced ourselves from threats issued, and the unreasonable demands made by UKF and re-directed attention to the real (outstanding) issues, it is important at this juncture to also mention that there are some issues we take a strong exception to including certain decisions, utterances, and reportage ECG continue to take and churn out into the public domain.



We take a strong exception to ECG’s deliberate attempt to lump all youth groups in the two municipalities together and thereby create the impression that all of us are jointly inciting the public when indeed it was very clear from UKF’s press statement and its letter to the Energy Minister that the demonstration was single-handedly organised by the group.

This singular action by ECG has caused so much injury to our public image as responsible entities and reduced us in the estimation of right-thinking members of society. We therefore take serious exception to this action of ECG and call on its leadership to show circumspection in its public utterances and in the generation of literature the company continues to spill into the public sphere.


During the many ECG stakeholders’ meeting we attended, officials of the company formally made us aware that about 25% of the company’s customers in the Krobo district are paying their bills faithfully and are not owing ECG.

It is therefore unfortunate for the company to lump all customers together and punish these faithful customers even when the Traditional authorities and Security Councils of the two Municipalities, Lower Manya Krobo and Yilo Krobo, have assured them of maximum security and safety.

This action of ECG has the tendency to discourage these faithful customers from continuing to pay their bills conscientiously. ECG should have thought through this before plunging the entire Krobo area into total darkness for one week. We strongly object to the ‘punishing’ of customers, especially faithful ECG customers in the area for the indiscretion of a few.


The continuous closure of the Somanya office and revenue collection points in the two municipalities, as well as the delay in inaugurating the Odumase-Krobo office, will serve as a disincentive for the payment of bills as customers (including the faithful ones) now have to endure the drudgery of travelling all the way to Juapong in the North Tongu District just to pay their bills.

At such a time when the main goal of ECG is to get customers back to paying their bills, measures that will bring customer service closer to the doorstep of the people should rather be pursued. Punitive measures, like those that have currently been deployed by ECG, will rather prove counterproductive in the long run.


We take a strong exception to the deliberate misinformation / inconsistencies in ECG’s public pronouncements that residents are illegally interfering with the company’s network. In one instance, the company says two transformers were damaged because customers were engaging unqualified electricians to switch lines from one transformer or phase to another. Then in another, it says residents have deliberately burnt down three transformers and some installations in protest.


The silence of the Public Utility Regulation Commission (PURC) on the seven-day power outage in the two municipalities is rather unfortunate. PURC’s posture and loud silence seem to suggest that it has sanctioned the punitive actions taken by the Electricity Company of Ghana and cares less about what happens to consumers in the enclave. One would have thought that as the regulator of the sector, PURC will remain neutral at all times or be perceived as such and continue to play its mediation role to help bring finality to this impasse.

Notwithstanding the issues raised supra, Kloma Hengme and Kloma Gbi would like to take this opportunity to give thumbs up to ECG for heeding our calls and those of all other stakeholders to restore power to customers in the area. The leadership and members of Kloma Gbi and Kloma Hengme would like to assure ECG of our usual and continued cooperation and support as we all work together to bring finality to this impasse

Stay United For Development – Dr Bawumia Advises Zongo Residents

The Vice-President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, has asked residents of Zongo communities to continue to stay united for the development of their areas.

He urged the people in Zongo communities to keep faith with the government for it to continue to provide the necessary infrastructure, especially education, to improve the well-being of the people.

This was contained in an address read on his behalf by the Co-ordinator of the Inner Cities and Zongo Development, Alhaji Ben Abdallah, at the introduction of Alhaji Hashiru Issah Kurmi V as Chief of Koforidua Zongo in the Eastern Region last Saturday.

The new chief succeeds the late Alhaji Ali Kurmi whose 40-day funeral prayer (Adowa) was also performed at the event.

The event was attended by a large crowd including Zongo chiefs across the country, as well as politicians from both sides of the political divide.


According to Dr Bawumia, a chief must always be sincere and truthful to his people and also listen to them on all matters.

He said chiefs must also serve the people in dignity and humility.

Those attributes, he said, would foster unity and promote development in the Zongo communities.


In an address read on his behalf, former President John Dramani Mahama appealed to the Council of Muslim Chiefs and Imams in the Eastern Region to pray for the National Democratic Congress (NDC) to recapture power at the 2024 general election.

That, he said, would enable the NDC to complete its development agenda for the Zongo communities and the country as a whole.

For his part, Alhaji Kurmi promised to dialogue with the youth in the community to know their needs and how best to provide them.

He solicited the support of the people and assured them of an open and inclusive administration, since “this is an era of charge for the betterment of all.”



Five Crushed To Death At Adeiso

Five persons including an 8-month-old baby have met their untimely death in accident that occurred on the Adeiso to Nsawam road in the Eastern Region.

Reports says a Nissan bus with a registration number GG 3212-19 from New Abirem, heading to Accra ran into a pothole causing the accident.

According to the New Abirem station master, Nuhu, when the bus got to a filling station at Adeiso on the Accra-Kumasi highway, it hit a deep pothole on the road, and as a result of the speed it was moving at, one of its tyres burst.

He said the driver lost control and the vehicle somersaulted several times, adding that because the passengers had no seat belt, some of them were thrown out of the window as the bus somersaulted.

“Five people came out from the window and hit their heads on the road and died. These five were two females and three males including the 8 months old baby,” he said.

He explained that “the tragic part was that when the baby came out from the window onto the road, the bus ran over the baby and was smashed”.

He cried out that the driver had loaded lots of things at the back of the vehicle and on top of it, making the bus very heavy.

The driver together with two other passengers sustained minor injuries.

The driver was immediately arrested by the Nsawam Police who rushed to the scene and was taken to the station to write his statement and later granted bail after being given a medical form to attend hospital.

The reports said one woman who sustained minor injury, lost her husband and baby and another man lost his wife through the accident.

Meanwhile, the bodies of the deceased havevbeen taken to the Nsawam Government Hospital Morgue and the other passengers who sustained serious injuries are receiving treatment at the Nsawam Government Hospital

GRA will collect E-Levy, not private company – Ministry of Finance

GRA will collect E-Levy - Ministry of Finance

The Ministry of Finance has refuted allegations that a private company has been awarded a contract to collect the proposed Electronic levy (E-levy) on Mobile Money transactions, inward remittances and ATM withdrawals.

Instead, the Finance Ministry in a statement issued yesterday said the Ghana Revenue Authority is the state agency mandated to collect the levy at a cost that shall not exceed the standard cost of revenue mobilization.

The Ministry’s statement was in reaction to publications that suggested that a private company has been awarded a contract to collect the E-Levy.

“The attention of the Ministry of Finance has been drawn to social media publications claiming that government has dropped the allocation of GHC241,933,000 for the E Transaction Levy Services in the 2022 Budget and it will, therefore, not appear in the Appropriations Bill,” the statement said.

“Additionally, the Ministry is aware of allegations making the rounds that a private company has been awarded a contract to collect the E-Levy. Another allegation is that the services of the said private company have now been abrogated.

“The Ministry of Finance wish to state that these allegations are all untrue.

“The Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) is the state agency mandated to provide for the collection services, the cost of which shall not exceed the standard of revenue mobilization as has always been the practice. This standard indicative cost is what is outlined in the budget. GRA will manage all discussions to ensure full deployment of their current platforms and resources for the collection of the E-Levy”.

Read the statement below;



1. The attention of the Ministry of Finance has been drawn to social media publications claiming that government has dropped the allocation of GHC241,933,000 for the E Transaction Levy Services in the 2022 Budget and it will, therefore, not appear in the Appropriations Bill.

2. Additionally, the Ministry is aware of allegations making the rounds that a private company has been awarded a contract to collect the E-Levy. Another allegation is that the services of the said private company have now been abrogated.

3. The Ministry of Finance wish to state that these allegations are all untrue.

4. The Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) is the state agency mandated to provide for the collection services, the cost of which shall not exceed the standard of revenue mobilization as has always been the practice. This standard indicative cost is what is outlined in the budget. GRA will manage all discussions to ensure full deployment of their current platforms and resources for the collection of the E-Levy.

5. On 6th December 2021, the Hon. Minister for Finance provided full clarification on the earmarking of GHC241m as the E-levy services fee. For avoidance of doubt, and to prevent further misinformation, we reproduce the relevant sections of the Minister’s statement.

6. “We do have an understanding with the Ghana Revenue Authority which uses up to 3% of the money it raises for ensuring that they can make such collections. The GH241 million is therefore a reserve that is intended to be put aside to facilitate GRA’s collection of these resources”, to quote the Minister.

7. “Additionally, typically when we have new tax measures, there is the issue of refunds and we usually make some compensation for that, sometimes 6% or so of the value to ensure that if those refunds come, we are able to pay for them”, the Minister added.

8. “So, in essence, this really will be to back up GRA in a way to ensure that all the problems that people envisage and the difficulties other countries have had will be mitigated in Ghana, so we should be in readiness to support that.”

9. We wish to reiterate that, the E-Transaction Levy remains one of the efficient means by which Government would be able to raise the needed revenue to support the economic development programmes for 2022. We count on your support.


Fmr. IGP Asante-Apeatu discontinues defamation case against Net2 Presenter

IGP David Asante-Apeatu

IGP David Asante-Apeatu

Former Inspector General of Police (IGP), David Asante-Apeatu, has discontinued the defamation case he brought against a Net2 TV Journalist, Justice Kwaku Annan.

The former IGP sued Justice Kwaku Annan, host of ‘The Seat’ of Net 2 Television for defamation.

The decision to discontinue the case comes after the lawyer of the former IGP was told in court by the judge sitting on the case that he ‘did not know the people he was dealing with’.

“Counsel, you say today s your birthday, if I were you, I will use my birthday to write a letter to the registry and let Clark together with the court look for him and service him. You don’t know the people you are dealing with”.

Mr. Asante-Apeatu asked the court for damages; costs, including lawyers fees over defamatory comments made by Mr Annan in a June 16, 2021 broadcast which he avers injured his reputation as a well-known retired IGP of Ghana and a forensic specialist.

According to the statement of claim, Mr Annan in the broadcast suggested that the IGP is a fence for criminals in Nigeria and Ghana, harbours as well as works in cahoots with criminals and is on the payroll of top criminals in Ghana.

“The plaintiff avers that the words complained of are utterly false, products of the defendant’s imagination and were mischievously calculated by the defendant to disparage the plaintiff and to create disaffection for him and to bring him into odium in the eyes of right-thinking members of the Republic and the global community,” the suit reads.

“In consequence, the plaintiff’s reputation has been egregiously damaged and he has suffered debilitating distress and embarrassment. Further, he has been inundated with numerous calls from professional associates, journalists, social relations and friends and outright strangers, and he has had to answer very mortifying questions”.

However, in a letter sighted by Mr. Asante-Apeatu instructed his lawyer to stop pursing the case without stating any reason for discontinuing with the case.

Attached is the discontinuing statement from the Former IGP

Source: Ghana/ Dzidzoamenu

South Africa’s president tests positive for Covid

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa (R) was in Ghana on Saturday, Dec. 4, 2021 for a state visit

South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa has tested positive for Covid-19 and is being treated for mild symptoms.

Mr Ramaphosa started feeling unwell on Sunday after leaving the state memorial service of South Africa’s last apartheid President FW De Klerk in Cape Town, according to a statement from the presidency


People who had contact with the president on the day have been advised to watch for symptoms or to get tested.

The president is fully vaccinated and has delegated all his responsibilities to Deputy President David Mabuza.

President Ramaphosa returned last Wednesday from a trip to the West African countries of Nigeria, Ivory Coast, Ghana and Senegal.

The presidency said he and his delegation were tested for Covid in all the countries they visited. It said the president had tested negative on his return.

The highly contagious Omicron variant, which has prompted global concern, was first identified in South Africa last month.

Source: BBC

Finance Minister will continue engaging Minority on e-levy – Bawumia’s office

An economic policy analyst at the office of the Vice President, Kabiru Mahama has assured that the government will continue consultations on the e-levy proposal in the budget statement.

He said stakeholders including the Minority in Parliament and civil society organizations are being engaged on the levy.

“Government will continue to engage the minority,” he said on the Key Points on TV 3 Saturday December 10.

He added “The Finance Minister will lead the consultation.”

For his part, the Chief Executive Officer African Energy Consortium Limited, Kwame Jantuah, indicated that government should have done a wider consultation before its introduction.

In his view, the Finance Ministry should have sought ideas from civil society groups and all other stakeholders on the policy to make acceptable by all.

Also speaking on the Key Points, he said “Whether they put e-levy on it or they don’t, government wins.

“So, they put a levy on MoMo, Ghanaians decide we are not going to do MoMo. Two things, they might either keep their money under their bed or they will revert to the banks. If they revert to the banks, who borrows from the banks? Who do the banks want or likely to loan money to?

“Is it the private sector or government? It is government. So, if people put their money back to the banks, government goes to the banks, loan moneys from the banks because the banks know that it is guaranteed that government will pay, and what does that do to the private sector as the engine of growth? It collapses because these same banks don’t give private sector the money. so either way government wins.

“But I feel that if it so happened that initially before they start to think about e-levy they had consultations with civil society , stakeholders and all maybe it would have been more acceptable than it is now.”

Bongo Member of Parliament, Edward Bawa who was also on the same programme revealed that negotiations on the introduction of the e-levy have collapsed.

“Negotiations have collapsed,” he said.

He further questioned the Akufo-Addo administration’s decision of introducing more taxes when the New Patriotic Party (NPP) condemned the Mahama administration for making similar decisions.

Referring to an article published by the pro-NPP Statesman newspaper which criticised Mr Mahama’s introduction of taxes, Mr Bawa said Ghanaians thought the Akufo-Addo administration was not going to levy the people.

But reacting to his comment, Dr Kabiru Mahama, disagreed with the comments that negotiations have collapsed.

“From the government’s view, negotiations haven’t collapsed,” he said on the same show.

He further stated that the position of the Minority on the e-levy is not the position of government.

“It is quite unfortunate to state that consultations have collapsed,” he said.

The Finance Minister Ken Ofori Atta had said at a press conference earlier that consultation were ongoing on the proposal.

He said “On the matter of the E-levy, having regard to its serious fiscal implications, we will continue our consultations with the Minority Caucus in Parliament and other relevant stakeholders, with a view to achieving consensus and reverting to the House in the shortest possible time.

“We  are determined to enhance domestic revenue mobilisation, the presence of our proposal on the E-Levy  is to widen the tax net and generate the required revenue to support entrepreneurship, youth employment to build our infrastructure especially roads and reduce our debts,” he said.

“Let me emphasise that the E-levy represents our greatest opportunity to in the medium-term widen the tax  base and meet the tax to GDP ratio of 20% as pertains among our peers.”

Meanwhile the e-levy was absent from the business statement for next week after Deputy Majority Speaker did not mention it in the House on Friday December 10.

By Laud Nartey/

Free SHS: Double-track suffered unfounded criticisms – Akufo-Addo

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has said the double-track system which was introduced to enable more students benefit from the implementation of the Free Senior High School (SHS) suffered unfounded criticisms and vilification.

In his views, the result of this year’s West African Senior Secondary School Examinations (WASSCE) indicate that the criticisms were unsubstantiated.

The double-track system was introduced by the government of Ghana on the 11th September, 2018.

It started with green track students enrolled for the 2018/2019 academic year to absorb more students into the Senior High School SHS.

The policy attracted criticisms from some Ghanaians including members of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) who believed that the government was destroying the educational system.

For instance, Former President John Mahama said the system made no sense and further called for its review.

“I believe that if Ghanaians come together we can come out with a workable timetable and schedule for implementing free SHS, because the double track system is not understandable. We just finished vacation, children have been at home for almost three months, it’s time to go to school and you say they should stay back at home for another forty-one days and let their friends go so they can also go after that time.

“It doesn’t make sense and that is because our friends don’t listen to advice,” Mr Mahama said at Cape Coast where he was campaigning for the slot to lead the NDC in the 2020 election.

“I believe that if Ghanaians come together we can come out with a workable timetable and schedule for implementing free SHS, because the double track system is not understandable. We have talked about this national stakeholders conference for so long but they have refused to hold it”.

But in a short statement released by the Director of Communications at the Presidency, Mr Eugene Arhin on Saturday December 11, 2021 reacting to the results of this year’s WASSCE, Mr Akufo-Addo said “The 2021 WASSCE results of the second batch of the Akufo-Addo graduates” show 54.08% of students recoding AI-C5 in English, as opposed to 51.6% in 2016, 65.7% recording AI-C6 in Integrated Science  in 2021, as opposed to 48.35 in 2016, 54.11% recoding AI-C6 IN Mathematics, as compared to 33.12% in 2016 and 66.03% recording AI-C6 in Social Studies, as compared to 54.55% in 2016.  Lest we forget, the 2021 batch of students were the pioneer of the double track system , which elicited a lot of vilification and unfounded criticism on its introduction.”

WAEC on Wednesday, December 8, 2021, in a statement said “a total of 1,339 subject results and 174 entire results of some students who sat for the 2021 WASSCE for School Candidates in Ghana have been cancelled”.

“It added that “the entire results of 3,667 candidates have also been withheld pending the conclusion of investigations into various cases of examination malpractice detected during and after the conduct of the examination.

Additionally, the scripts of candidates from 194 schools in certain subjects have been withheld and are being scrutinized”.

By Laud Nartey||Ghana

It isn’t my job to clear or convict corrupt persons; that’s for the courts’

President Nana Akufo-Addo has said he is not a court to clear or convict persons accused of corruption in his government.

That job, he noted, is solely for the courts.

Speaking at a high-level national conference on the theme: “Building a culture of integrity for generations” to commemorate International Anti-Corruption Day and Human Rights Day in Accra on Friday, 10 December 2021, the president said no corruption allegation against any of his appointees has gone uninvestigated under him.

“The government has undertaken, arguably, the boldest initiative since our nation attained independence nearly 65 years ago, to reform and strengthen the capacity of our institutions to tackle corruption in the public sector”, the president said.

“Charity, they say, begins at home; and, that is why, so far, every single alleged act of corruption levelled against any of my appointees has been investigated by independent bodies such as the Commission for Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), Criminal Investigations Department (CID) and, in some cases, by Parliament itself”, he asserted.

“It is not my job to clear or convict any person accused of wrongdoing or of engaging in acts of corruption; that is the job of the courts”, he emphasised.

The president clarified: “My job is to act on allegations of corruption by referring the issue or issues to the proper investigative agencies for the relevant inquiry and necessary action, including – if required – the suspension of the affected official pending the conclusion of the investigations”.

“That is exactly what has been done since I assumed the mantle of national leadership on 7 January 2017”, said the president.

He recalled: “As it was in 2019, I suspended the then-acting head of the Public Procurement Authority from office after conflict of interest and corruption allegations had been levelled against him”.

“Following recommendations from CHRAJ based on their investigation, I removed him from office in October 2020 and the Office of the Special Prosecutor, is seized with the matter for prosecution”, he noted

GOIL suspends AOMC membership over allegations of gov’t interference

State-owned Ghana Oil Company (GOIL) has suspended its membership of the Association of Oil Marketing Companies (AOMCs) with immediate effect following accusations that its recent reduction in fuel prices was due to government influence.

The government had urged oil marketing companies (OMCs) to reduce prices of petroleum products in order to cushion the motoring public. This had followed a sit-down strike by some driver unions.

GOIL complied with this recommendation and reduced its prices to GHp15 per litre at the pumps, having recently reduced them by GHp14 per litre.

But the AOMC wrote to the Minister of Energy, Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh, asking government to steer clear of price deregulation as being implemented by OMCs.

This appears not to have gone down well with GOIL as captured in a statement dated Wednesday, December 8, 2021.

“GOIL wants to state categorically that at no point did the government ‘direct’ the company to reduce its fuel prices as being alleged and circulated.

“GOIL is a listed company with a constituted Board of Directors and Management and takes decisions based on prudent commercial principles,” the statement signed by Managing Director Kwame Osei-Prempeh said.

It stressed that the recent reduction in prices was as a result of the consideration of the welfare of the ordinary Ghanaian.

“Profit is therefore not the company’s prime motive, we also take cognisance of our corporate social responsibility to Ghanaians.”

It sad the motive was “to cushion Ghanaians in the difficult post-Covid period”.

It therefore challenged AOMC to provide proof of its allegations.

“The allegation that government is interfering in the industry is unfounded and baseless. GOIL has the right as any other OMC to determine its prices.

“We at GOIL believe the association has shown gross disrespect to the company and treated it with contempt and public ridicule. GOIL has therefore decided to suspend its membership of the association immediately

We must not give up on ensuring integrity of electoral process – Akufo-Addo

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has said West Africa and for that matter, Ghana must not give up when it comes to guaranteeing the integrity of the electoral process and consolidating peace through the establishment of accurate electoral registers, the due validation of candidatures, the material organisations of ballots, and the proclamations of authentic results. 

Speaking at the 2 nd Kofi Annan Peace and Security Forum, held at the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre (KAIPTC), on Wednesday, 8th December 2021, stated that Ghana is often touted as a beacon of democracy in Africa, and has won plaudits for her democratic credentials. 

Though still fraught with challenges, he indicated that Ghanaian democracy has been consolidated with the conduct of eight (8) elections, five (5) presidential transitions, three (3) of which resulted in the peaceful transfer from one political party to another. 

“We want to be seen as a positive influence in other African countries who continue to face challenges with democratic consolidation,” he added. 

He continued, “Out of duty towards our children and grandchildren, we must not give up when it comes to guaranteeing the integrity of the electoral process and consolidating peace through the establishment of accurate electoral registers, the due validation of candidatures, the material organisations of ballots, and the proclamations of authentic results”. 

Touching on Ghana’s candidature for a non-permanent seat in the United Nations Security Council for the years 2022-2023, which was successful, with Ghana garnering the highest number of votes on the day, he assured that Ghana will make sure that Africa’s voice is heard loud and clear in the deliberations of the Council, both on matters affecting the continent and on global issues. 

“With the continent confronted by multiple threats to the territorial integrity of some of its states, and many of its civilian populations being put under serious threat, it will be our position on the Council that now is not the time for the Security Council to reduce its peacekeeping mandates on the continent. On the contrary, it should look to increasing them. We must not, on the global scale, be caught in a “penny wise, pound foolish” scenario,” President Akufo-Addo added. 


E-levy: If you don’t use MoMo, you don’t pay – Carlos Ahenkorah

Member of Parliament for Tema West, Carlos Kingsley Ahenkorah, has asked Ghanaians who do not want to pay the 1.75 e-levy to stop using Mobile Money (MoMo).

He said the propanganda against the e-levy for political expediency is nauseating.

He told TV3’s Komla Klutse in an interview in Parliament on Wednesday December 8 that “No human being  or no person likes to pay tax but it is a known fact that taxes are generally appalled by people  who are supposed to pay them.

“So, what is happening is quite understandable. But to the extent that it has been used to gain  some political points or  it is being done for political expediency, for me, is very unfortunate.

“I will tell you something, I have always been  saying that the MoMo tax is not a compulsory tax, you only pay when you use it. If you don’t use it you don’t pay so for me, there is no way any other procedure for making payments is going to equal MoMo.

“Right now, what we are saying is the tax is  targeted at those who have the ability to pay, not those who are receiving. If you are receiving it is okay to go and negotiate with the person who has gone to the bank to borrow money and be a MoMo agent, pay money out, otherwise  keep the money  on your phone and you don’t pay any money.

“It is money targeted at those who want to use the service,  even if I stand here and tell people that  if you like don’t pay or if you  like don’t use MoMo, I tell you, using MoMo will be far cheaper. If you think using the MoMo service is difficult or expensive, you try taking your money out there and even see.”


E/R: Three school kids die in head-on collision; several injured

Three school children have died after a vehicle conveying them home collided head-on with an overtaking car.

The three deceased children have been identified as Jerry Quartey, Osten Kwaku and Albert Odame Sarfo, all 7 years.

Starr News has gathered that the incident occurred Tuesday, December 7, 2021, at about 4:30 pm when an Almera Taxi Cab with registration number GS 5736-09 carrying the twelve (12) school children and driven by Atiemo Erasmus collided head-on with an unregistered Toyota Camry driving by suspect Penry Boahen, 24, who engaged in wrong overtaking upon reaching Mampong Akuapem from Akropong direction.

Occupants on both vehicles including the school children and both drivers sustained serious injuries and were rushed to Tetteh Quarshie Memorial Hospital.

Three of the children were confirmed dead while two were quickly rushed to Korle Bu Teaching Hospital and Ridge Hospital in Accra.

Parents of the victims have since been trooping to the Tetteh Quarshie Hospital in anxiety after hearing the accident.

This resulted in near chaos and stampede as parents and family members were forcing their way to the wards to see their children.

The Public Relations Officer of the Eastern Regional Police Command, DSP Ebenezer Tetteh told confirmed the accident to Starr news when contacted.

He, however, said the two suspect drivers will be arrested to assist investigation when discharged.

The two vehicles have been impounded and towed to the Police station for testing

Our presidential jet becoming Uber for African head of states’ – Ablakwa

According to the Foreign Minister, Ghana decided to give out the Presidential jet, having considered important relations with its neighbours.

Ranking Member on Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, says Ghana’s presidential jet has been turned into a presidential Uber for other African heads of state.

According to the North Tongu MP, Ghana’s presidential jet has been used on more than 10 occasions by other African heads of state to go about their business when President Akufo-Addo rents private jets for his international trips.

The MP filed a question for the Foreign Minister, Shirley Ayokor-Botchwey, to answer how much it was costing the Ghanaian taxpayer for Ghana’s presidential jet to be given out to other heads of state.

According to the Foreign Minister, Ghana decided to give out the Presidential jet, having considered important relations with its neighbours.

She, however, failed to provide answers on how much it cost to the Ghanaian taxpayer, saying that was in the purview of the National Security Minister.

Mr Okudzeto Ablakwa said he is not satisfied with the answers given by the Minister and will continue to press for answers.

The North Tongu legislator said he’s worried the presidential jet is being used as a presidential Uber to carry other African Heads of States around.

“We keep giving out this presidential jet for free; they don’t even pay for aviation fuel. So there have to be some parameters, some policy that guides, so it doesn’t become a presidential Uber.”

He added, “Why is it that when our president has to travel particularly to Europe and America, he chooses to charter these ultra-luxurious aircraft and then leave our presidential jet in the hands of other African presidents?”.

Meanwhile, the National Security Minister, Albert Kan Dapaah, is scheduled to appear before Parliament on Friday to answer Okudzeto Ablakwa’s question on the cost of chartering private jets for the President’s foreign trips.

Source: Bismark Kwaku Asante||Myjoyonline

S/R: 10 crushed to death in Gindabor crash

Ten passengers travelling on a VIP bus with registration number GT 5693-15 toward the Upper West Region have died in an accident around Gindabor in the Savanna Region.

The accident occurred when the passenger bus veered off the road and rammed a tree.

The ghastly crash led to the bus being split into two halves.

Apart from the deaths, several other passengers sustained serious injuries.

It is, however, not clear what caused the accident.

Speaking on Accra100.5 FM’s mid-day news on Wednesday, 8 December 2021, about the accident, the Sawla Tuna Police Commander, Mr De-graft Adjei Armah, said the vehicle heading toward Wa, veered off the road into a tree.

He noted that the police suspects the driver was fatigued.

He said the bus started the journey with 45 passengers but some alighted leaving about 20 aboard the vehicle when the accident happened.

He stressed that the dead is made up of three children and seven adults.

The dead have been deposited to the Wa morgue while the injured are receiving treatment at the Wa hospital

We want GHc1.50 reduction per litre on fuel prices – GPRTU

The Ghana Private Road Transport Union (GRPTU) has explained that the 15p reduction in fuel prices by GOIL is not entirely what commercial transport operators are demanding.

Public Relations Officer (PRO) for the GPRTU Abass Imoro said they are demanding Ghc1.50p per litre.

He disclosed that at the meeting held at the presidency, authorities told them they cannot reduce fuel prices at Ghc1.50p all at a go.
He said authorities have promised to reduce fuel prices at a gradual process.

Speaking on Nyankonton Mu Nsem on Rainbow Radio 87.5Fm, he noted they have given the government the benefit of the doubt and were hopeful their demands would be met.

Mr. Imoro indicated that the constant increase in fuel prices has affected commercial transport operators.

Commercial drivers on Monday, December 6, 2021, embarked on a sit-down strike in protest of high fuel prices.

Many passengers, including workers, traders, and school children, were left stranded at various bus terminals and roadsides while drivers blocked roads to prevent their colleagues and private vehicles from moving amidst resistance.

The sit-down strike was led by the Ghana Private Road Transport Union (GPRTU) and other transport operators.

The strike was later suspended following a meeting at the Jubilee House.

Abass Imoro said authorities have realized how strong the driver unions were and would take steps to address them.

Like the sons of Issachar, understand the times we’re in – Ofori-Atta tells Ghanaians

Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, has shed light on the need for every Ghanaian to pay tax.

There is an ongoing contention over taxes as aggrieved Ghanaians complain bitterly about the introduction of an e-levy and petroleum product taxes.

Yesterday, some incensed commercial transport vehicle drivers staged a strike action, refusing to convey passengers in protest against fuel price increments and taxes on petroleum products.

Although the drivers have suspended the strike following a statement that the leaders of their Union have been invited to the Presidency, there is uncertainty on whether or not they will hit the streets again.

Also, the e-levy has attracted opposition with the Minority in Parliament and some Ghanaians fighting for either the removal of the levy or a reduction.

The levy, which will take effect in February next year, is purposed to compensate for the removal of road tolls and with the aim to provide infrastructure development in the country.

All Ghanaians are expected to pay a 1.75% e-levy on all electronic transactions but many citizens are already shedding tears as they believe this new tax will overburden them.

Speaking on Peace FM’s ‘Kokrokoo’, Ken Ofori-Atta appreciated the citizens’ concerns regarding the payment of taxes but maintained that taxation is the right way to go in transforming the economy.

“Taxes are disincentive to everybody. It isn’t anything strange. The question is how do you put in administrative measures to ensure that people do not migrate from it and that everybody pays their due. And we’re moving towards a cashless society, you find ways to make it expensive to be handling cash, so you change the society,” he argued.

He wondered how Ghanaians expect the nation to develop and will complain about paying taxes.

With emphasis on the e-levy, he disclosed that there is a huge tax inequity in Ghana showing a few people pay taxes, hence the need to resolve this issue.

“You know things are introduced. Things are managed and monitored. Things are adjusted; it doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t start when we know that the world is moving towards a digital economy. So, we don’t have our heads in the sand to purport that we are doing something we haven’t thought about. What we want to do, especially with the employment and the debt situation [and] infrastructure, we are very convinced that that is the way to go . . . so, it’s just a new dawn; a new era and the plea understanding that we should all support it.”

He encouraged the citizens to embrace the idea of paying taxes saying, “like the sons of Issachar, we should understand the times that we are in and therefore agree on a way in which, as a nation, we move forward. So, that’s where we are at this junction”.

The Minister further promised that the government will ensure no person is left out of the tax net, saying ”societies have to change and that will be, as a government, our responsibility to implementing a way in which trying to evade, dodge, whatever is mitigated. So, society has to change and we will work with everyone”.

No salaries in 2022 if … – Oppong Nkrumah warns persons on govt payroll

Information Minister and Member of Parliament for Ofoase Ayerebi in the Eastern Region of Ghana Kojo Oppong Nkrumah has hinted that government cannot pay salaries in 2022 if the current budget is not approved.

According to him, if appropriations are not done on the 2022 budget presented to Parliament by the Finance Minister, all government can do is to set aside money for three months in 2022 after which the country will have to ground into a halt.

He made this known when he spoke to Accra-based OKAY FM in an interview.

Kojo Oppong Nkrumah said “if we are unable to do the appropriations, we have the opportunity to allocate funds to sectors of the economy for three months after which we have no power to spend.

We will not be able to pay salaries, we will not be able to service our debts, we will not be able to pay for power, the country will grind to a halt as a result of our inability to work on the appropriations”.

The Lawmaker said it is therefore imperative that the appropriations are worked on in Parliament and passed in order for government business to go on as expected for the growth of Ghana.

“There is the need for us to work together as a house to ensure that we pass the various appropriations so that Ghana can move forward towards the right direction,” he said on OKAY FM in Accra.

The Government of Ghana has for the first time had difficulties in approving its budget for a fiscal year.

The government has been forced to modify the budget presented to Parliament by the Finance Minister because the Minority in Parliament are said to not be happy with some of the levies and other programmes the government intends to undertake and implement in 2022.

The Minority believes that these levies will bring untold hardship to the people of Ghana and therefore have kicked against the 2022 budget.


Don’t contest Ofosu Ampofo for NDC national chair – Ayariga to Asiedu Nketia

Asiedu Nketia (Left) and Samuel Ofosu Ampofo

Bawku Central Member of Parliament, Mahama Ayariga has asked the General Secretary of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) Johnson Asiedu Nketia not to contest for the position of the National Chair against the current chairman Samuel Ofosu Ampofo.

Mr Ayariga believes that if Mr Asiedu Nketia contests for the posotion, it will put the party in a very difficult situation because the party cannot afford to lose one of them from the leadership.

Asked who he is supporting for the chairmanship position, while speaking on the Good Evening Ghana show on Tuesday December 7, he said “I actually haven’t given a thought. I believe that the two of them should find a way of continuing to work together, if you ask for my honest view. Because whatever Asiedu Nketia will accuse the chairman of, the chairman can equally accuse Asiedu Nketia of. They were together when we won elections, they were together when we lost two elections so the two of them are equally responsible.

“We have confidence in the two of them  and so we want them to remain  to work together  but if they force us to have to make a choice  it will be a difficult choice but we will  prefer that  the two of them find a way of  continuing to work together.

 “I don’t see the difference between  the powers of a General Secretary  vis-à-vis  the National Chairman,  If you ask me.

The General Secretary is more of the engine of the party  so, to move yourself from  General Secretary and go to  chairmanship, I don’t know what will happen  but I prefer that  they are all there because  Asiedu Nketia, in a way,  has become the soul of the party, everybody in the party likes Asiedu Nketia, the grassroots like him, everybody feels that he worked very hard for  the party. At the same time, they also have respect for the chairman of the party.

“So he is putting us in a very  difficult situation given that it is not  the chairman who wants to go and contest  General Secretary , it is he who wants to go and  contest the chairman.

 “So he is the one who is putting us in a very difficult situation . We like him so much.

“I know he has quite some weight in the party  and he is one of the  very few people who can have their way through  anything that they want in the party  except that  in this instance, I will  plead with him  to reconsider his decision  because it is going to put us all in a very difficult situation.

“We like him, under any circumstance we cannot lose Asiedu Nketia  but at the same time we don’t want to also throw away our chairman.”

By Laud Nartey||Ghana

Convicted Akuapem Poloo again files Notice of Appeal against 90 days jail term

Lawyers of convicted actress Rosemond Alade Brown popularly known as Akuapem Poloo have filed a notice of appeal at the Court of Appeal challenging the dismissal of her appeal by the High Court.

On Monday, December 1, 2021, the High Court presided over by Justice Ruby Aryeetey dismissed her Appeal seeking a non-custodial sentence instead of a custodial sentence.

The High Court ruled that the 90 days custodial sentence imposed on her by the Circuit Court was not “manifestly excessive” and “harsh” and therefore cannot interfere with that decision.

Five days after, her lawyers led by Andrew Kudzo Vortia have filed a notice of appeal to challenge that decision and a notice for bail.

A copy of the notice of appeal sighted by filed on Monday, December 6, 2021 stated as follows;

“Please take note that the convict/appellant/appellant herein, being aggrieved by the judgment of the High Court Criminal Division (1)Accra, Her Ladyship Ruby Aryeetey dated 1st December 2021 dismissing the appellant appeal against the conviction and sentenced to 90 days imprisonment imposed on the appellant on each count to run concurrently by Her Honour Mrs Christiana Cann dated April 16, 2021 hereby appeals to the court of appeal on the grounds set out below and for the release stated here under.

“That the learned judge erred in failing to appreciate that as a young first offender and a single parent, a noncustodial sentenced of a fine instead of a custodial sentence of 90days imposed on the appellant by the trial court is appropriate in this case,” the notice of appeal stated.

“That the custodial sentence of 90 days imposed on the appellant be set aside and in lieu, be substituted with a noncustodial sentence of a fine,” It stated.

Aside, the notice to appeal, the lawyers have also filed for bail pending the determination of the appeal.

EIB Network’s Court Correspondent Murtala Inusah reports that the notice for bail application would be moved on December 15, 2021.

The convict is currently serving the remainder of her jail terms.

First Appeal

The High Court in Accra presided over by Justice Ruby Aryeetey on Monday, December 1, 2021 dismissed the appeal filed by Rosemond Alade Brown challenging her 90 days custodial sentence.

The court while affirming the Circuit Court decision said, the punishment imposed was to cause much harm to the convict which will then become a deterrent to herself and others.

April 16, judgment

On April 16, Actress and social media personality Rosemond Brown popularly known as Akuapem Poloo was jailed for 90 days or three months by an Accra Circuit Court.

This was after Akuapem Poloo pleaded guilty to three charges.

She was charged with the publication of nude pictures with her seven-year-old son. She changed her not guilty plea to guilty before being convicted.

She was sentenced to 90 days on each count but the court said, the sentence must run concurrently.

This means she will only serve a 90-day jail term which is three months.

The Court presided over by Her Honour Mrs. Christiana Cann, said such cases are becoming prevalent in society, and Institutions including the court must act.

The court said it took into consideration all the pleas for mitigation before arriving at the decision.

Pregnancy test

Before her sentencing, the presiding judge confirmed that the actress was not pregnant after her test came out negative.

The pregnancy test ordered by the court is a requirement by law to ensure that, before a woman who pleaded guilty in court is sentenced, the court should know her status.

She was then remanded into custody for the prosecution to take her to any Government hospital to conduct the pregnancy test and produce the results.


The outspoken actress was charged with three counts of publication of obscene materials, engaging in domestic violence, conduct that in any way undermines another person’s privacy or integrity, and engaging in domestic violence namely conduct that in any way detracts or is likely to detract from another person’s dignity and worth as a human being.

Rosemond who had displayed her naked picture with her son on social media on June 30, 2020, earlier pleaded not guilty to all the charges.

Brief facts

Brief facts of the case presented to the court by the prosecution led by Chief Inspector Agartha Asantewaa were that the complainant is Bright K. Appiah, the Director of Child Rights International Ghana.

According to the prosecution, on June 30, 2020, the accused person celebrated her son’s seventh birthday and she took her nude pictures together with her son who was also half-naked and posted same on her Instagram page which went viral on social media.

She told the court that, the pictures attracted comments, adding that the behaviour of the accused person was likely to detract from the dignity of her seven-year-old son among others.

Chief Inspt. Agartha told the court that the complainant petitioned the Director-General Criminal Investigations Directorate and the matter was referred to the Domestic Violence and Victims Support Unit.

Akuapem Poloo, she said was arrested and in her caution statement, admitted posting the nude picture with her son unintentionally.

But, the prosecution held that Rosemond had deliberately posted the nude picture together with her son


Millions of young people will lose their jobs if E-levy is implemented – MoMo agents

The Mobile Money Agents Association of Ghana is asking the government to completely scrap the E- Levy proposal from the 2022 budget.

The group says the policy is not pro poor.

The agents at a press conference today have therefore sounded a word of caution to government to consider dropping the policy and has given itself one month to determine the next course of action .

“It will elicit behavior that will undermine the cash lite and the digitalization drive of the economy, millions of young people will lose their jobs , 80 per cent chances of going back to the cash system, an envisaged potential business will be a mirage, innovative businesses that thrive on mobile money may lose their investments, the country will be taken several years back from where we have gotten to,” Evans Otumfuo, General Secretary said at a press conference on Tuesday December 7.

The Finance Minister Mr Ofori Atta indicated at a press conference on Monday December 6 said that consultations were still going on regarding the proposal in order to reach a consensus.

“On the matter of the E-levy, having regard to its serious fiscal implications, we will continue our consultations with the Minority Caucus in Parliament and other relevant stakeholders, with a view to achieving consensus and reverting to the House in the shortest possible time,” he said.


NPP bans T-shirts, billboards at confab grounds

The Ashanti Regional branch of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) has served notice that billboards and paraphernalia advertising some personalities seeking to lead the party in the 2024 general elections, will not be tolerated at the party’s delegates’ conference slated for 17 to 20 December 2021.

The party has warned that the wearing of T-shirts bearing the portraits of flag bearer hopefuls and mounting of giant billboards of such personalities, will not be tolerated prior to and during the conference scheduled for the Heroes Park in the Kumasi metropolis of the Ashanti Region.

Dr Francis Adomako, the Ashanti Regional Organiser of NPP, served this notice during an interview on Accra-based Happy FM.

He said delegates who are spotted wearing paraphernalia of some of these aspirants will not be admitted into the inner perimeters of the conference arena.

According to him, the party is considering these measures to bring sanity into the flag bearer race.

He added that billboards already existing in the area will not be touched but those mounted for the sake of the conference will all be removed.

He said any activity that seeks to campaign for any individual can be done several metres away from the venue.

“The mounting of billboards in front of the venue will also not be tolerated”, he warned

We’ll end up going back to IMF if e-levy is rejected – Oppong-Nkrumah

Government has reviewed 1.75% e-levy to 1.5%, Ken Ofori-Atta

Government to generate revenue from e-levy

Brouhaha surrounding e-levy sends uncertainty to the global capital market, Oppong Nkrumah

Information Minister, Kojo Oppong-Nkrumah, has said the probability of Ghana running back to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for financial assistance is high if the proposed e-levy on all electronic transactions and remittances is rejected.

According to him, the e-levy has been programmed in a way to generate about 6.7 billion dollars as revenue for the country.

Speaking on CitiTV Point of View programme on Friday, December 3 and monitored by GhanaWeb, the Information Minister said, the more people talk ‘evil’ about the e-levy, the more it sends the wrong signals to investors on the global market.

He said, “this e-levy has been programmed to bring us about a billion dollars. About 6.7 or so billion dollars. It is equivalent to what if you don’t go for this e-levy, we will end up going to IMF… We have found a revenue measure which we believe will do the trick for us. Now, if you come and stand on the floor and begin litigating – okay I’ll move it to this, I’ll move it to that, you begin to send signals unto the global capital market of uncertainty,” he added.

“Even present investors in your bonds will begin to ask themselves whether your fiscal measures are credible, whether they should continue staying in your bonds or begin to withdraw which will have an effect [on us],” he stated.

It would be recalled that on November 17, 2021, Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, during the 2022 budget reading in parliament, announced the introduction of 1.75% tax on all electronic transactions.

He later said government has reviewed the e-levy tax from 1.75% to 1.5%.

According to him, this new directive forms part of strategies to widen the country’s tax net.null

He added that the e-levy will enhance financial inclusion and protect the vulnerable in the country.


Weak exchange rate exposes Bawumia’s incompetence – Dr Duffuor

Kwabena Duffuor23112312213123

Ghana cedi under intense pressure, Bloomberg survey

Bawumia’s rhetoric exposed by weak exchange rate, Duffour

Investors on international capital market exit from Ghana’s bonds

Dr Kwabena Duffuor, a former Bank of Ghana Governor has said poor economic management has resulted in the woeful performance of the local currency on the foreign exchange market.

According to him, incompetence on the part of Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia has been widely exposed due to Ghana’s weak exchange rate regime.

Speaking on GHONE TV on Monday, December 6, 2021, Dr. Kwabena Duffuor said the cedi keeps depreciating at a much faster rate against the US dollar hence claims made by Dr Bawumia before seeking to stabilise the local currency has proven to be mere rhetoric.

“There are challenges obviously, look at the cedi for example, when I was in office [2012] you needed 1 cedi 88 pesewas to get a dollar but now you need 6 cedis 20 pesewas to get a dollar. Years ago, Dr. Bawumia said when the fundamentals are weak the exchange rate will expose you, the exchange has exposed the government now, meaning the fundamentals are weak by Bawumia’s own explanation,” he explained.null

“The cedi is running and he promised that he will arrest the cedi, where is he, Dr Bawumia the cedi is running arrest it. He also made a point that he had worked at the central bank and that there was soo much money and we didn’t have to go and borrow, what has happened during his term,” Dr. Duffuor continued.

Meanwhile, the Ghana cedi has come under intense pressure as the year comes to an end.

According to a recent Bloomberg survey, the cedi is classified among African currencies with the ‘Worst Spot Returns’ and is now ranked 14th among 20 top African currencies tracked by Bloomberg after being the best performing currency in Africa in the first quarter of 2021.

The survey however attributed this to increased corporate demand for the US dollar and the exit of Ghana’s bond by some foreign investors on the international capital market.

Over the past few months, the cedi has succumbed to pressures from the foreign exachange market, losing more grounds to the dollar. Bloomberg has however, put the depreciation of the cedi at 4.05%, though the Bank of Ghana data shows a lower decline in value of the local currency to the US dollar.


AfCFTA critical to a prosperous Africa – Akufo-Addo

Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo

Share of intra-Africa trade to Africa’s combined GDP only 16 percent, Akufo-Addo

AfCFTA key to promoting intra-Africa

We are determined to produce our vaccines, Akufo-Addo

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has said Africa needs to put in more efforts to greatly increase intra-African trade.

This, he said, is essential in creating wealth and prosperity on the continent.

He noted that the intra-European trade was pegged at 72 percent of the combined GDP of Europe while that of Africa was merely 16 percent.

“These two statistics tell us everything about the relative economic development of Africa and Europe”, he said.null

The president who disclosed this at the Ghana-South Africa Business Forum in Accra added that to promote inter-African, the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement must be implemented successfully.

“As God will have it at this critical moment of Africa’s history, the AfCFTA’s Secretariat is located here in Ghana, and the first Secretary-General of the AfCFTA is a South African, who had shown a great deal of attitude and enthusiasm for the work,” he stated.

He further stated that the role of the private sector was very critical for the implementation of AfCFTA and, therefore urged them to take on the responsibility of moving the process of regional integration and regional trade forward.

The president assured the business community especially South African, businesses that his government would continue to create a conducive investment environment for them.

President Akufo-Addo revealed that Ghana and South Africa had agreed to set up a Business Advisory Council to promote investment among the two countries.

Also, President Akufo-Addo said the countries must work together to ensure that the continent’s capabilities in vaccines production was enhanced.null

“We cannot enter the next round of the pandemic and are dependent again on people who hoard vaccines when the world needs them. We are determined this time around, to develop our capacity to produce vaccines,” President Akufo-Addo said.

On his part, President Cyril Ramaposa commented the business community and the government of Ghana for putting in measures to ensure that a lot of business did not collapse during this COVID-19 era

According to him the critical condition for the recovery of the economies of African countries was the successful rollout of COVID-19 vaccines and the continued adherence to the measures and protocols put in place to keep citizens safe and alive.

He lamented that while more than 220 million vaccine doses had been administered worldwide only 6.7 percent of the African population was fully vaccinated.


Gov’t amends 2022 budget to please Minority; promises more E-levy consultations

The government, through Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta, has amended the 2022 budget to take into consideration certain demands of the Minority in parliament.

At a press conference on Monday, 6 December 2021, Mr Ofori-Atta said he has officially written to the Speaker of parliament concerning the modifications.

“On behalf of the President, I have written to the Right Honorable Speaker of Parliament with details of amendments in response to emerging concerns by all stakeholders including the Minority Caucus”, he said.

The modifications are:

Agyapa Royalties deal: We shall amend paragraphs 442 and 443 to take out references to mineral royalties collateralisation. It is important to note that any reference to Agyapa was for informational purposes and, as such, was not reflected in the fiscal framework

Tidal Waves disaster: In respect of the unfortunate tidal waves which rendered about 3,000 people homeless in Keta, we shall make the necessary budgetary allocations of at least GHS10 million to complete the Feasibility and Engineering studies for the coastal communities adversely affected. We will broaden the scope of the study to consider a more comprehensive solution to protect Ghana’s 540 Km of coastline, including the 149 Km between Aflao and Prampram. Meanwhile, NADMO has responded to the humanitarian crisis created by the tidal waves on the Keta coastline.

Aker Energy transaction: We shall amend paragraph 829 of the 2022 Budget on the acquisition of a stake from Aker Energy and AGM Petroleum by GNPC, to reflect the resolution of Parliament dated 6th July 2021 that “the terms and conditions of the loan for the acquisition of the shares shall be brought to Parliament for consideration pursuant to article 181 of the Constitution; and

Benchmark values: We shall avert any hardships to importers and consumers while safeguarding the interest of local manufacturing industries to secure and expand jobs for our people. This administrative exercise, which reviewed 43 out of 81-line items, has the objective to promote local manufacturing and the 1D1F policy, including the assembling of vehicles. It is important to note that this adjustment affects only 11.4% of the total CIF value, of which 50% is for vehicles. From our analysis, the potential increase in retail prices should be relatively insignificant and therefore inflation should be muted. The YouStart policy will also support our accomplished Traders with appropriate training and access to capital to become Manufacturers in order to expand the industrial base of our society and our import substitution strategy, in line with our Ghana Beyond Aid agenda.

E-Levy: On the matter of the E-levy, having regard to its serious fiscal implications, we will continue our consultations with the Minority Caucus in Parliament and other relevant stakeholders, with a view to achieving consensus and reverting to the House in the shortest possible time.

Mr Ofori-Atta noted: “We will work with the relevant Committees of Parliament to reflect these modifications in the 2022 Budget, as is the usual practice before the Appropriation Bill is passed. Any other concerns which may emerge shall be addressed during the discussions of the estimates by the Committees, as has been the tradition”.

Following the stalemate over the budget, theMinority made five demands, which it said needed to be met before it could support the passage of the budget.

They include the following:

1.Suspend the Electronic Transaction Levy (E-Levy):The Government should suspend the E-Levy and properly engage stakeholders to agree on a reasonable policy. How can mobile money payments, bank transfers, merchant payments, and inward remittances be charged 1.75 per cent? The policy is not retrogressive, not pro-poor, and does not support the much-touted digitalisation agenda and cash-lite economy that we all yearn for.

2.Withdrawal of Agyapa:The NDC Minority will not support any collateralisation of our revenues, particularly mineral resources. The future of our country will be bleak if we continue in that regard. We cannot jeopardise the future generations of our country just for our present desires.

3.Provide for Tidal Waves Disaster:The Government should incorporate in its revised Budget adequate measures to address the issue relating to the Tidal Waves Disaster in Keta and other communities. The victims should be supported. And the Phase II of the Blekusu Coastal Protection Project must find space in the Budget.

4.Properly re-construct the wording relating to the Aker Energy:Relating to GNPC acquisition of stake from Aker Energy and AGM Petroleum, the revised Budget should reconstruct paragraph 829 of the rejected Budget to reflect the decision of the House as captured on 6th August 2021 Votes and Proceedings of Parliament.

5.Review the Benchmark Value for Imports:Government should, in a revised Budget, reconsider paragraph 247 of the rejected Budget which sought to restore the Benchmark Values of imports by suspending the 50 per cent discount on selected General Goods and the 30 per cent discount on vehicles. Some concession should be given to the importers

11m To Benefit From E-Levy- Ofori-Atta

Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta says proceeds from government’s proposed Electronic Transaction Levy, commonly called E-Levy would create jobs for over 11 million people.

According to him, proceeds from the 1.75 proposed levy in the 2022 Budget Statement and Economic Policy will be used to support young entrepreneurs in the country as a way of tackling unemployment.

“Of this number, 2.4million are in formal employment whilst the remaining 15 million are split between informal and underemployment as 11 million people are with no clear path when it comes to employment opportunities,” Mr. Ofori-Atta said this when addressing thousands of young people, at a Springboard Youth Dialogue at the University of Cape Coast in the Central Region themed: “Building a Sustainable Entrepreneurial Nation; Opportunities for Ghana’s Youth”.

According to him, “Nothing is impossible for us as a government, our task is to ensure we extend opportunities to the youth. The consequences of having eleven million people with no clear path, undoubtedly, our recovery efforts hinges on tailored support to provide skills and funding to our young people to pursue their ambition to free them.

“How do we as a nation move into an entrepreneurial stage to have an opportunity to contribute to national development? How do we reduce our debt and create employment? How do we take care of our infrastructure and roads so that we open up the country and build good Internet systems to create opportunities for all? Why are we being resistant to the future? We have nothing to fear. Have we as a nation understood the times that we are in and are we ready to sacrifice to move to a whole different level?

“When somebody tells you we shouldn’t go there, tell them, give me an alternative for this 11 million people who are at home and not working,”

He stressed that 58 percent of the country’s population are between 15 and 59 years, which is about 18million people.

For his part, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Springboard roadshow, Rev. Allbert Ocran appealed to stakeholders to bring on-board interventions that would empower the youth to show interest in entrepreneurship.

Source: Daily Guide

Passengers left stranded in Accra as drivers’ strike bite hard

Passengers have been left stranded in most parts of Accra following the strike by the Coalition of Commercial Transport Operators which started today, Monday December 6.

The drivers are protesting the high cost of fuel in the country.

Scores of frustrated passengers were seen standing on the pavement at Lapaz as they waited for vehicles to pick them to their various destinations.

Some Commercial drivers who complied with the decision to strike were seen with canes hitting other buses who had loaded passengers and failed to heed the call to strike, forcing all of them to step down from the vehicles.


Africa must start manufacturing its own vaccines – Ramaphosa

President of South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa has urged African countries to prioritize efforts to produce their own vaccines.

He said the best way to vaccinate the entire population on the continent is for African countries to start producing their own vaccines.

Speaking at the Ghana-South Africa business forum in Accra on Saturday December 4, he said “The fastest way to vaccinate our population is if we are allowed to manufacture our own vaccines and at the same time build our own domestic pharmaceutical manufacturing capabilities.

“As African leaders, we have to adopt strategies for a resilient recovery and one of the best ways of doing so is if we manufacture our own vaccines.”

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo had said earlier said that, the global shortage of coronavirus vaccines meant Ghana must develop its capacity to produce its own vaccines domestically, and reduce the dependence on foreign supplies.

He said Ghana must be self-sufficient in this regard in the future, and prepare better to deal with any such occurrences in the future.

To this end, he said in an address to the nation on Sunday July 25 that “the Committee I established, under the leadership of the world-renowned Ghanaian scientist, Professor Kwabena Frimpong Boateng, to investigate Ghana’s potential as a vaccine manufacturing hub, to meet national and regional needs, has presented its preliminary report which, amongst others, recommends the establishment of a National Vaccine Institute to spearhead this development.

“Government has committed to inject seed funding of some twenty-five million United States dollars (US$25 million) this year into this whole enterprise

We’re Proud Of President Akufo-Addo’s Recognition As African Of The Year” – President Cyril Ramaphosa

The President of the Republic of South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa, has paid glowing tribute to the President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo- Addo, over his recognition by Forbes Magazine as the “African of the Year”. 

At a State Dinner held in honour of the visiting South African President, at Jubilee House, on Saturday, 4 th December, the South African President was full of praise for his Ghanaian counterpart for being adjudged the African of the Year by world’s renowned media entity, Forbes. 

President Ramaphosa extolled the virtues of President Akufo-Addo which led to Forbes awarding him the prestigious African of the Year crown. 

“We are proud of this recognition, Your Excellency, because it speaks of your commitment, it speaks of your creativity, your innovation, and your clear strategic vision of what should happen in your own country, as well as on our beloved African continent” he said. 

President Ramaphosa also stressed that the recognition of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo by Forbes is about his vision for Ghana, in particular, and the African continent as a whole. 

“The recognition by the magazine is about your vision, not only for Ghana but for the people of our continent as well” the South African President stated. 

Not only was President Ramaphosa pleased with President Akufo-Addo’s recognition as the African of the Year, but he was also impressed by the cultural heritage of the Ghanaian people. 

“This morning, Your Excellency, you took me to Kumasi to show me the wonders of Ghanaian culture and spectacular traditions during the 50th Celebration of Nana Otuo Sriboe II of Juaben. I was deeply moved and impressed to see how Ghana has continued to keep true to the traditions of old, traditions that span generations and generations”, the South African President said. 

Continuing, President indicated that “I will go back to South Africa with vivid memories of a people who are together in the very peaceful spirit celebrating, and I was truly honoured and humbled that you did take me to see the wonders of Ghanaian culture and tradition” he said. 

On his part, President Akufo-Addo thanked President Ramaphosa and his delegation for their visit to Ghana, and reiterated his confidence that the visit will deepen the ties of friendship and co-operation between the two countries and their peoples. 

“For me, one of the essential pillars of our relations must be the mutual nurturing of our young people. They are the ones to inherit the legacy of our current co-operative endeavours, who should work towards preserving and further enriching it,” he said. 

The President continued, “With your visit, I am confident that a solid foundation for this new and mutually-beneficial co-operation has been laid, just as we have renewed our determination to work towards strengthening our common commitment to our continental organisation, the African Union”. 

President Akufo-Addo places temporary travel ban on Ministers, Deputies Ministers

President Akufo-Addo addressing Ghanaians on Christmas eve

 President Akufo-Addo addressing Ghanaians on Christmas eve

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has placed a temporary ban on all Ministers of State and their deputies at least for a month

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has placed a temporary ban on all Ministers of State and their deputies at least for the next one month except travels for motivated by serious medical emergencies sources close to the Presidency has confirmed to Asaase News.

This action by President Akufo-Addo, will be the second of its kind since he assumed office as President of the Republic in January 2017.

On the 21st of June 2018, the President, in a letter signed by his Chief of Staff, Madam Akosua Frema Osei Opare, directed that, all foreign travels by Ministers, Deputy Ministers, MMDCEs and Heads of Government Agencies be temporarily suspended with immediate effect”.

“Guidelines in respect of future foreign travels aimed at minimizing disruption to Government’s domestic work will be communicated to you shortly” the 2018 directive indicated.

It is not clear what is informing the latest decision of the President to ban all Ministers and their Deputies from traveling outside the Ghanaian jurisdiction.

However, in light of the fact that most of the President’s Ministers and Deputy Ministers are serving Members of Parliament and with the pendency of the appropriation of the 2022 budget statement and economic policy of government by Parliament, the directive of the President is perhaps to ensure that all members of the Majority caucus in Parliament are readily available to carry out domestic and parliamentary work

Source: Asaase fm

Gov’t Is Building Robust And Resilient Agricultural Systems – Dr Afriyie-Akoto

Dr Owusu Afriyie-Akoto, the Minister of Food and Agriculture, Friday pledged government’s continued commitment to building robust and resilient agricultural systems to maintain national food security.

“We are firmly on that path to building a robust, resilient and equitable food system that can withstand shocks. The evidence of this finds expression in Government’s flagship programme; Planting for Food and Jobs (PFJ), which was launched by the President in 2017,” he said.

“All the five modules of the PFJ are contributing significantly to the national transformational agenda of government. These are Food Crops Module, the Tree Crops Module, the Livestock Module, Rearing for Food and Jobs, Greenhouse Technology Module, and the Farm Mechanisation Module.”

Dr Afriyie-Akoto gave the reassurance at the 37th Farmers Day celebration at the Adisadel College Park in Cape Coast, on the theme: “Planting for Food and Jobs: Consolidating Food Systems in Ghana,” which honoured 165 farmers and fishers across the country.

The strategic agriculture interventions had the potential to do more in the coming years to better the lives of the people.

Across the modules are underlying core strategies to promote agribusinesses along the value chain to ensure maximum returns and job creation for the economy and in the spirit of building a ‘Ghana Beyond Aid.’×343&!7&btvi=4&fsb=1&xpc=VAPdDqSdxh&p=https%3A//

He underlined the recent global shortage of fertilisers and the dramatic rise in the international prices of the commodity due to world market price instability over the last 12 months.

“Since we import all our fertiliser requirements, our farmers cannot escape the consequences on our domestic subsidy programme. The Ministry, therefore, encourages farmers to turn to organic fertilisers, which are available locally,” he advised.×343&!8&btvi=5&fsb=1&xpc=q1LFa9W0sd&p=https%3A//

The Ministry was also working to redouble efforts in attracting the Multi-Billion US Dollars required to invest in a fertiliser manufacturing plant, using the surplus gas find in the offshore explorations, Dr Afriyie-Akoto said.

In furtherance to that supporting agribusiness also meant quality job creation for many, especially the youth, in the promotion of entrepreneurship in agriculture and wealth creation for entrepreneurs.×343&!9&btvi=6&fsb=1&xpc=xN9HvfnYzj&p=https%3A//

In that regard, the Ministry, through the promotion of agribusiness, has transformed the Youth in Agriculture Programme from a non-performing institution to a vibrant one since 2018.

The programme, in 2021, engaged more than 15,000 youth, including young women, through 54 nucleus-outgrower agribusiness partners, to cultivate maize and other crops, the Minister said.

The high yielding varieties and efficient fertilisers used in the programme more than doubled their yields, resulting in the indirect engagement of 62,000 additional youth, as grain aggregations, transporters and marketers.

Also, the programme implemented three Greenhouse projects in the southern and mid-belts of the country.

This resulted in the creation of various youth jobs and a highly thought-through arrangement for the trainees to acquire agro technological skills in Israel, Dr Afriyie-Akoto said.

From 51 and 75 students, who participated in the 11-month paid internship in 2018 and 2019, respectively, the programme has more than doubled student participation.

“I am happy to announce that 200 trainees are embarking on the Israeli internship this year 2021 alone,” the Minister said.

The increase in the numbers was due to the high reputation gained by the Ghanaian trainees in Israel due to their hard work, discipline and the mentoring arrangements put in place by the Ministry before departure.

“Back from Israel, the trainees are assisted by the Ministry to develop agribusiness plans and to seek support for their own private agribusinesses,” he said.

“The returnees, who arrived this year, are being assisted to develop their own businesses in the Dawhenya and Bawjiase Greenhouse villages for vegetable production.”

The Minister congratulated all farmers and fishers and the Agriculture Development Bank, Exim Bank and Stanbic Bank and partners for their support towards a good cause.

Source: GNA

Bawumia on 3-day official trip to Guyana

Ghana’s Vice-President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, left Accra on Friday, 3 December 2021 for the Co-operative Republic of Guyana, for a 3-day official visit.

While in Guyana, Dr Bawumia will conduct a series of meetings that would lead to the signing of mutually-beneficial development agreements between the governments of Ghana and Guyana.

Dr Bawumia is accompanied by some government officials.

He will return to Accra on Wednesday, 8 December 2021

Haruna Iddrisu Is Insistent On Zero Percent E-levy – Felix Ofosu Kwakye

Former Deputy Communications Minister, Felix Ofosu Kwakye, has stated that Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu remains unsupportive of government’s decision to impose the electronic transaction tax (E-levy). 

Speaking on the position of the Minority pertaining to the levy, Mr Ofosu Kwakye indicated that reports that the Minority leader has settled for the imposition of 1% E-levy are inaccurate.

According to him, interactions with the Tamale South MP revealed that he, Haruna Iddrisu will together with the NDC MPs oppose the introduction of the E-levy irrespective of the rate presented by the Akufo-Addo-led government.

“I have had the opportunity to engage the Minority leader since yesterday after a clip of him at an event organized by the Ghana Chamber of Telecommunications surfaced. There have been some varied interpretations and many have expressed concern over whether the NDC was backing down from its initial position.

“From my discussions with him, he has permitted me to state authoritatively, for the avoidance of doubt that he will be joining all his 136 colleagues to reject this budget anytime it comes up if all the five conditions they have tabled are not met including zero percent E-levy.

This is the position of the Minority leader,” he said on Accra-based Metro TV.

His comments come to rectify reports in the media that the Minority leader has settled for the imposition of 1% E-levy.

According to sources, Minority Leader in Parliament, Haruna Iddrisu, speaking at the 10th Anniversary launch of the Ghana Chamber of Telecommunications in Accra on Thursday said his side will readily accept a reduction of the proposed electronic transaction levy (e-levy) to 1% from 1.75%.

“A week ago, it was no no no, we won’t accept e-levy but having listened to officials in government, including the Minister of Finance. I am convinced to accept a departure from my original no to accepting a one per cent e-levy,” he said.

“We are not against it but we want it fixed at one per cent. We fear for double taxation because we already have the communication services tax,” he added.

These comments according to Mr Ofosu Kwakye have been misconstrued; adding that “it is unfortunate only a small potion of the clip was played.”

Meanwhile, the Minority Chief Whip, Muntaka Muhamad has in a press statement noted that the NDC Caucus is committed to opposing the introduction of the electronic transaction tax.

He revealed that no consensus has been reached by both the Minority and Majority side in Parliament.

“We wish to state unequivocally that no concrete decision or agreement has been reached between government and the NDC Caucus in Parliament on this matter.

As we speak, government’s so-called concessions are unknown to us and we have no clear indication that they intend to seriously consider any of the proposals that have come up.”

In view of this; “The NDC Caucus in Parliament wishes to assure Ghanaians that it will continue to use every legitimate and lawful channel to resist the 1.75% E-Levy.”


Farmers Day remains one of the lasting legacies of Rawlings – Koku Anyidoho

Koku Anyidoho 610x400

A former Deputy General Secretary of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Koku Anyidoho has indicated that the Farmers Day celebration is one of the biggest legacies of the late former President Jerry John Rawlings.null

National Farmers Day in Ghana is celebrated on the first Friday of December each year to recognise the contributions of farmers and fishers in the country.

The holiday is designed to pay respect to the importance of the farming and fishing industry in the socio-economic growth of Ghana.null

In a tweet as part of the celebrations today Friday, December 3, Mr Anyidoho said “Papa J is gone: Farmers Day remains. Jerry John Rawlings instituted Farmers Day in 1985, and it remains one of his lasting legacies. Ayekooo to ALL our farmers and fishermen for keeping bodies and the soul of the nation alive. Long live Ghana.”

Papa J is gone: Farmers Day remains. Jerry John Rawlings instituted Farmers Day in 1985, and it remains one of his lasting legacies. Ayekooo to ALL our farmers and fishermen for keeping bodies and the soul of the nation alive.
Long live Ghana ???????? ????????— Samuel Koku Anyidoho???????? (@KokuAnyidoho) December 3, 2021


$1m Police emergency fund coming – Dampare assures officers

The Inspector General of Police Dr. George Akuffo Dampare has disclosed to personnel of the Service plans to introduce a one million dollar Police emergency fund to cater for officers who sustain injuries in the line of duty.

According to the IGP, the fund was triggered by his own experiences with officers who were injured in the line of duty but are struggling to secure funds for the needed medical attention.

“We are putting things in place to revive your welfare and I’ll give you two first. Very soon there will be an operationalisation, we are waiting for a presidential endorsement, which of course the President will come in and launch. There will be an over one million dollars police emergency intervention fund.

“Any officer who in line of duty gets sick or injured, we will not wait for any paper to be worked on from minister of interior, minister of finance and chasing round round looking for money to treat that person, we will  immediately get help for that person. We will have funds available to treat that person wherever that treatment should be been it Ghana or abroad,” the IGP told officers in the Ashanti region where he is currently on a working tour.

Dr Dampare also assured the officers of efforts to improve medical access for them.

“We are establishing police Virtual Medical Center. You can be in Kumasi or wherever and still be in police hospital in Accra. And if you don’t understand let me explain to you. You just download the app onto your phone and if you’re sick at any time of the day or midnight and you want to see a doctor, you will just go and press the app and it will tell you what time and how many minutes you have to wait to see a doctor virtually. So as soon as your time comes five minutes, 10 minutes, then the doctor will do video call and start consulting. And after a consultation, then electronically, the lab request will be sent to you