Category: Uncategorized

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Court Ruling

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

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

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

President Akufo-Addo Speaks Up

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Source: Ameyaw Adu Gyamfi/Peacefmonline.com/Ghana

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Background

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

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

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

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

Akufo-Addo responds

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The case has been adjourned to Monday, 14 March 2022

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

These attributes he said are worth emulating.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Source: Ghanasonline.com

Use the pulpit to curb corruption – Bawumia to churches

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

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

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

We’re fighting corruption with Ghana card – Bawumia

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

UTAG members have been on strike since Monday January 10.

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

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


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


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

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


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

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

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

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

Alexander Afenyo Markin Efutu MP1

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Source: 3news.com

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

John Kumah 20212121211213

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

Minority rejects revised rate on 1.5%

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

NPP Sets July 14-16 For Election Of National Executives

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Five car snatchers jailed 75 years

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

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

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

The fifteen years sentence will run concurrently.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

He also said the government would focus on public finances.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

NPP Sets July 14-16 For Election Of National Executives

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

E-levy: Minority rejects reduction to 1.5%

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

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

However, the Minority is still opposed to the levy.

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

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

Akufo-Addo donates GHS100,000 to Appiatse Support Fund

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The community was razed by the explosion.

Government established the Fund to support the community.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

New Head of EU Delegation calls on John Mahama

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

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

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

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

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

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

Alexander Afenyo-Markin

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Source: 3news.com|Ghana

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

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

Kwame A Plus

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

By Gladys Cudjoe|3news.com|Ghana

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Finance Minister

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Chieftaincy Minister denies sacking NABCO trainees

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bawumia represents Akufo-Addo at UN Security Council debate

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Chieftaincy Ministry sacks NABCO trainees despite gov’t assurances

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Police officer shot dead in Bawku

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

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

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

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

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

Security has been beefed up in the region.

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

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

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

Another suspect in the Mamobi-Nima violent clash arrested

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

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

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

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

He is currently in Police custody assisting with investigations.

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

Appiatse Explosion: NADMO extends rescue operation to one week

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

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

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

Four are said to be in critical condition.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mahama Ofosu Ampofo Sit

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Below is the full statement of the party

PRESS RELEASEnull

21st January 2022

For Immediate Release:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Signed

Samuel Ofosu-Ampofo

KG-JHS school calendar back to 3-term system

Dr. Yaw Osei Adutwum

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Source: 3news.com

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

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

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

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

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

More soon

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

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

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

The cause of the fire is not yet known.

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

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

No fatalities have so far been recorded.

However, about 40 wooden structures were burnt.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Apart from the deaths, the explosion destroyed several properties

E-Levy Technically Approved – Majority Leader

Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu

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

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

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

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

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

E-Levy Fears

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

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

Finding Solution

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

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

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

Regretting Blows

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

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

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

Other Views

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

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

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

Transaction Rates

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

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

E-Levy Compromise

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

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

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

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

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

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

E-Levy Potentials

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

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

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

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

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

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

Finance Minister

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

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

“There is no way we can have absolute agreement.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

He said no government official has said that any where.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Disagreements in Parliament are normal but must be civil – Oppong Nkrumah

Information Minister, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, has urged Members of Parliament especially the opposition lawmakers not to physically obstruct process in the House even if they strongly disagree on an issue.

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

He said this while answering a question as to whether the fights in Parliament over the E-levy policy proposal in the 2022 budget will taint Ghana’s image on the international market, during a press conference addressed by the Finance Minister Ken Ofori Atta in Accra on Wednesday January 19.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

BoG Sacks 2 Staff Over Fake Certificates

The Bank of Ghana (BoG) says it has dismissed two staff contrary to claims that the bank has terminated the contract of 90 percent of newly recruited staff for presenting fake certificates.

According to the Bank, the statement circulating on social media is twisted to misinform the public.

In a statement issued on January 18, 2022 the BoG said “It is not true that 90 percent of recently recruited staff were found to have presented fake certificates. The incident being referred to involves two (2) members of staff whose appointments were terminated for providing fake certificates as part of their employment documentation. As part of due diligence processes during and post recruitment, those found to have presented forged documentation (including academic and professional certificates) are either dropped from the recruitment process or their services terminated if already on-boarded and on probation.”

The Bank of Ghana is putting on record that the dismissals are a regular Human Resources management function for staff whose conduct is unsatisfactory or have committed an offence, as stipulated in the Bank’s handbook on Human Resource Policies

Banks to accept only Ghana Card as form of identification starting July 1 – BoG

The Bank of Ghana (BoG) has directed that the Ghana Card shall be the only identification card that will be to undertake transactions at all Bank of Ghana licensed and regulated financial institutions.

These include Banks;Specialised Deposit-Taking Institutions; Non-Deposit-Taking Financial Institutions; Payment Service Providers and Dedicated Electronic Money Issuers; Forex Bureaus and Credit Reference Bureaus.


In line with this Notice, Section 30 of the Anti-Money Laundering Act, 2020 (Act 1044) and Regulation 12 of the Anti-Money Laundering Regulations, 2011 (L.I.1987), all financial institutions shall take steps to update customer records with
the Ghana Card.


Customers of Bank of Ghana regulated financial institutions are therefore advised to update their records with their respective financial institutions with the Ghana Card in line with this Notice.

For KYC purposes, the National Identification Authority verification transaction platform will be integrated into the Bank of Ghana’s financial monitoring platform. This is to ensure that all financial transactions performed within the ecosystem are linked to one identity and information, and unique codes for the transactions shared with the Bank of Ghana (BoG) to facilitate the identification
of initiators/beneficiaries for track and trace purposes. This will include but not limited to transactions by Banks; Non-bank Financial Institutions; and Mobile Money Operators (MMOs).

“The Public is to note that no other form of identification will be accepted for financial transactions in Bank of Ghana after the effective date stated above,” a statement issued by the central bank said on Wednesday January 19

Go to the IMF for help; don’t be shy – Franklin Cudjoe advises government

In a Facebook post on Monday, the political commentator lamented Ghana’s debt profile and called on government to take a second look at its expenditure.

President of IMANI Africa, Franklin Cudjoe, has advised government to seek help from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in the face of the country’s current economic challenges.

In a Facebook post on Monday, the political commentator lamented Ghana’s debt profile and called on government to take a second look at its expenditure.

In his statement, Mr. Cudjoe also urged government to consider seeking help from the IMF to contain the situation.

“We all fall on hard times and need some support from family and friends. .. but Government has driven the country into a debt iceberg and we are sinking with fewer life boats and passerby ships that should care are simply smiling and waving at us.. We need to stop the debt clock by rationalising our expenditure plans and more.. Meanwhile, government should talk to the IMF to help. We shouldn’t be shy at all’, Franklin Cudjoe wrote.

The comment by the policy expert, comes on the back of similar commentaries by some individuals about the current state of the economy.

In an earlier interview on the Super Morning Show, an economist with the University of Ghana Business School (UGBS), Prof. Godfred Alufar Bokpin, warned of a possible collapse of Ghana’s economy.

According to him, as the country’s debt stock hits high distress levels, the current debt situation could get worse by the end of September, if proper interventions are not implemented.

“When you see the proportion of the debt payment, relative to the size of the revenue envelope and you look at your rising debt and you look at the rate of economic growth and the drivers of that growth, you can reasonably predict that it’s just a matter of time that the economy will just collapse. We’re probably going to run into a little bit more difficulties towards the end of September,” he said.

Last week, independent ratings agency, Fitch, downgraded Ghana’s creditworthiness from a B to a B minus, with a projected 83?bt-to-GDP for the year ending December, 2021.

This will significantly affect the country’s access to loans on the international market even as the government’s local revenue mobilization campaign is threatened, as the controversial e-levy is yet to be approved by Parliament.

Ghana’s current public debt stock stands at a staggering 341.8 billion Ghana Cedis with a corresponding debt to GDP ratio of more than 77% as of September 2021 ending. This means if the country should share this amount across the country’s 30.8 million population, everyone will owe approximately ₵11,000 Ghana Cedis.

In terms of interest payments on borrowings, Ghana has spent an average of 147 billion Ghana Cedis, which is 47 billion Ghana Cedis more than the projected revenue plus grants for 2022.

In the first quarter of 2022, the government has indicated it will borrow a total of GHS24.5 billion from the domestic market of which GHS20.7 billion will be used to service existing debt in the local market leaving the government with just GHS3.8 billion to finance other expenses.

Also, Bloomberg, in an article captioned – “Ghana Debt Moves Deeper into Distress as Investors lose Patience,” painted a gloomy picture of the economy.

Even though the Ministry of Finance refuted certain aspects of the article, there have been concerns from the public about the state of the country’s economy and the need for government to deal decisively with the lurking fiscal threats.

Source: Myjoyonline

Otumfuo claps back after Dormaahene’s outburst

The Ashantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu II has disclosed that he has no intention of coercing any traditional ruler to kowtow to him.

Speaking at the first Council Meeting in the Ashanti Region, the Ashantehene stated his intention is to give a facelift to those willing to develop the traditional areas under him.

“The reason why the government created the new regions especially, Ahafo and Bono East is to expand development, it doesn’t mean if you are under the Asante Kingdom you have become autonomous, you still serve the Golden Stool (sikadwa)”, he said.

The Asantehene also stated he has no interest of skewing history but facts are sacrosanct.

“I want to remind those who have probably forgotten history and speaking out of ignorance, we haven’t forced anyone to serve us, it is even an honour to serve the Golden Stool Agyeman Badu was a teacher, he sworn before me before ascending the throne as the chief of Dormaa he said adding that “It was my orchestration when Dormaa Kusi was defeated.”

He assured that all the chiefs who are in the Bono and Bono East region shall be protected.

“I am also a man, but I love peace.”

In 2010 similar tension ensued between the Asantehene and the chief of Techiman compelling the then president, the late John Evans Atta Mills who sent a high powered government delegation to engage Otumfour and quell a possible escalation.

This was after the Tuobodom chief, Nana Asare Baffour who owes allegiance to the Asantehene has been dragged to Nana Akumfi Ameyaw’s palace

CLOGSAG proceeds on nationwide strike from Thursday

The Civil and Local Government Staff Association of Ghana (CLOGSAG) is asking all its members across the nation to stay home from Thursday, January 20.

According to a circular to the members, this is to press home better conditions of service.

Signed by Executive Secretary Isaac Bampoe Addo, the circular dated Monday, January 17, 2022 said the decision was arrived at by the National Executive Council.

It said notice on the intent of the action was served on all relevant stakeholders as far back as Wednesday, December 22, 2021.

“By this letter, all CLOGSAG members in the Ministries, Departments, and Agencies as well as the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies are informed to stay home from Thursday 20th, January 2022 until further notice.

“In similar vein, by this letter all Chief Directors, Heads of Department, Regional Coordinating Directors, Metropolitan, Municipal and District Coordinating Directors are duly informed.”

Meanwhile, the Local Government Workers’ Union has also declared intention to join the strike from Thursday.

By Emmanuel Kwame Amoh|3news.com|Ghana

Fuel price hit GH₵7; GPRTU, other transport operators to decide next line of action

Fuel prices have hit the projected GH¢7 per litre mark on Sunday, January 16, 2022.

The Ghana Private Road Transport Union (GPRTU) says it is engaging various transport operators on their next line of action due to the government’s failure in stabilising fuel prices in the country.

Fuel prices have hit the projected GH¢7 per litre mark on Sunday, January 16, 2022.

In an interview with Citi News, the Industrial Relations Officer of GPRTU, Abass Imoro, said stakeholders are yet to take a decision on the matter.

He urged drivers to be patient, as the outcome of the stakeholder meetings will be announced soon.

The Institute for Energy Security (IES), had earlier predicted a GH¢7 per litre of fuel in the second pricing window of this month, January.

Fuel prices per litre at most pumps around the country prior to the recent increase dropped to around GH¢ 6.50 on average in the past few weeks, and subsequently rose to reach an average of Gh¢6.70 at most pumps.

Checks by Citi Business News as of 9:00pm on Sunday, January 16, 2022, showed that while a litre of petrol and diesel was going for Gh¢ 6.50 at Goil, Shell was selling both at GH¢ 6.80.

Total, however, was selling a litre of petrol at GH¢6.99 and a litre of diesel at GH¢7.05.

Already, various transport operators, including the Concerned Drivers Association of Ghana, have continually lamented recent increases in fuel prices, indicating that it is having dire consequences on their business.

They earlier threatened to increase transport fares by 40% as a result, but later backed down on the threat.

Source: Citinewsroom

I Can Cough GH¢130m Says Ato Essien

Ato Essien

The embattled founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of defunct Capital Bank, William Ato Essien, has offered to refund another GH¢130 million out of the GH¢620 million bailout money he allegedly stole from the bank which led to its insolvency and subsequent government takeover.

Mr. Essien who is standing trial alongside two others for the alleged theft, at the early stages of the trial which is going into its third year, elected to refund GH¢27.5 million he had carried in a jute bag known in local parlance as ‘Ghana Must Go’, per the prosecution’s account.

Section 35 of the Courts Act (Act 459, 1993) allows an accused person who “admits the offence and is willing to offer compensation or make restitution and reparation for the loss, harm or damage caused,” and Ato Essien appeared to have taken advantage of the Act to make the refund.

Although the prosecution is yet to accept the proposal on the payment of the GH¢27.5 million which includes terms of payment and reparation, Ato Essien has indicated his intention to make a further payment of GH¢130 million in a bid to assuage the charges levelled against him.

Baffuor Gyau Bonsu Ashia who held brief for Thaddeus Sory, counsel for Ato Essien, disclosed the plan to the trial High Court presided over by Justice Eric Kyei Baffuor, a Court of Appeal judge sitting as an additional High Court judge, last Thursday.

Counsel said they are negotiating with the Attorney General on how to make the refund.

“Unlike the initial prayer where we made an appeal to this court to pay the GH¢27.5 million which form the basis of some of the charges, we have also included GH¢130 million that also forms part of the charges,” he said, adding “the discussion has been very fruitful to the extent that the prosecution has written to us dated December 30, 2021, where the prosecution has made its stance very clear.”

Counsel said however that “the only difficulty between us as defence counsel and the prosecution is the quantum which can easily be resolved by an independent auditor.”

Judge’s Enquiry

Justice Kyei Baffuor then requested the said letter from the Attorney and upon perusing it, he said the content of the letter looks like an 80 per cent rejection from the prosecution.

He said the prosecution seems to disagree with the amount involved, the terms of payment and the amount to pay as reparation, but the parties could continue with the negotiations and if they are able to strike a deal finally, they would inform the court.

The judge, however, indicated that the trial will take its normal course and if at the end of the trial the parties are not done with the negotiations, he will hold on to the judgment until they reach an amicable agreement.

He also said that when they reach an agreement and the prosecution decides not to pursue the case any further, he as a “servant of the law” will have nothing he would do about it.

Last Warning

During the trial on Thursday, the court warned that it will revoke Ato Essien’s bail and incarcerate him if his lawyers do not cooperate with the court in the ongoing trial.

The judge issued the warning after lawyer for the embattled businessman failed to file a witness statement on his behalf as ordered by the court last year.

It was not the first time his lawyer failed to file the documents in the trial in which Ato Essien and the defunct bank’s former Managing Director, Reverend Fitzgerald Odonkor as well as Tetteh Nettey, a former Managing Director of MC Management Service owned by Ato Essien, are before the court charged with 23 counts of conspiracy to steal, stealing, and money laundering.

The three are alleged to have misappropriated a total of GH¢620 million liquidity support given to the bank by the Bank of Ghana (BoG) as bailout to enable it service its maturing debt.

The accused persons, according to the prosecution, allegedly opened various bank accounts with Capital Bank through which the GH¢620 million BoG liquidity support were transferred to while others were carried in jute bags (Ghana Must Go) to Ato Essien as payment for ‘business promotion.’

Court Order

The court on November 25, last year, ordered Ato Essien to file his witness statement as well as those of any witnesses he intended to call by December 7, 2021, after the court expressed concern about the ‘snail pace’ at which the accused person was giving his evidence-in-chief.

The accused was initially giving oral testimony but failed to show up in court and the court was told that he was suffering from sleep apnea, a potentially serious sleep disorder in which one’s breathing repeatedly stops and restarts.

Baffuor Gyau Bonsu Ashia, then told the court that they were unable to file the documents because there were certain documents they requested from the Receiver of the defunct bank which they were yet to receive.

The court subsequently gave him additional two weeks to file the witness statements and adjourned the trial for case management.

Non-Compliance

Mr. Bonsu Ashia then indicated on Thursday that they were not able to comply with the court’s orders because they only got the requested documents on January 12 in the evening.

He, therefore, prayed the court to grant him another adjournment to enable them attach what he described as “vital documents” to the witness statement.

The prosecution led by Marina Appiah Opare, a Chief State Attorney, said they were prepared for the case management as scheduled but was not opposed if the court allows the accused person the two weeks requested to file the witness statement.

Court Unimpressed

Justice Kyei Baffuor, who was visibly unimpressed, said the lawyer could have used a subpoena to obtain the documents from the person who was unwilling to release them.

He then turned to Mr. Essien and told him that he as a judge has the power to rescind his bail and put him in custody until the end of the trial if his lawyer fails to comply with the orders of the court.

He said one of the conditions for the grant of bail is not only to ensure that the accused person will show for the trial, but that the accused person would cooperate with the court.

The judge also expressed worry about the manner in which criminal trials are conducted in Ghana, which usually take a very long time to complete compared to other jurisdictions where even trials on indictment are concluded over a short period of time.

Justice Kyei Baffuor said a time will come when what he referred to as “anachronistic Act 30” (the Act that regulates criminal proceedings in Ghana), will be overhauled.

“I will hold in abeyance the invocation of the powers vested in the court to moderate and control its proceedings and extend the time for two more weeks for the first accused to comply with orders of the court,” he said as he reluctantly adjourned the trial to January 27, 2022

¢10k reward for credible information to arrest attackers of Radio Ada

TheGhana Police has announced a GH₵ 10,000.00 Reward for Credible Information that will Lead to the Arrest of suspects who Vandalised Ada Radio Station.

A statement issued on Sunday January 16 said “The Police hereby urge the staff of Radio Ada, people of Big Ada and the general public to remain calm as we continue our investigations into the attack at the Radio Ada station on Thursday, January 13, 2022.”

Radio Ada 93.3 in the Greater Accra Region was reportedly attacked on the morning of Thursday, January 13 by a group of eight men, one of who was said to have been armed with a pistol.

A presenter who was on-air at the time of the attack is reported to have been beaten while the studio equipment of the station were vandalized leading to a temporary shutdown of the station.

A statement by management of the station says “two Radio Ada staff together with visitors to the station were held hostage during the attack”.

The management says, the attackers disclosed publicly their reason.

“The attackers openly declared that they had come to vandalise the station because of its Manor Munyu and other programmes discussing the recent developments in the Songor.  They threatened to inflict further havoc should the station continue with programmes on the Songor”, parts of the statement reads.

Meanwhile, the case has been reported to the Big Ada police while the beaten presenter was taken to the Ada East District Hospital for treatment

Alban Bagbin unhappy about the withdrawal of military attaché

Alban Bagbin Speaker Of Parliament1

Alban Bagbin‘s military personnel withdrawn

GAF says they were assigned without proper procedure

Bagbin describes the move as an attempt to deny him security protection

The Office of the Speaker of ParliamentAlban Bagbin, has written to question the motive behind the withdrawal of some four military personnel assigned to offer the Speaker some protection.

According to the statement sighted on citinewsroom.com, Alban Bagbin’s office described the move as an attempt to strip the Speaker off security protection and it is untenable.

The statement further added, the decision to withdraw the soldiers sets a bad precedent for the country’s democracy and it is much worrying when no explanation was given.

The development, the Speaker’s office indicated, sets Alban Bagbin up for harm.

“In a country that takes pride in its democratic institutions and processes, the decision to reduce the number of security personnel assigned to the Speaker detracts from the political gains that Ghana has made, and is a bad precedent.

“The unknown reason for such a move is puzzling, but the real motive should be obvious to all objective observers of the political scene in Ghana.

“If it is an attempt to gag the Speaker, this move will serve to only widen the gap between the legislature and the other arms of government. It also hints at the possibility of a plot to place the safety and security of the Speaker in harm’s way,” the statement read in parts.

Background

The Chief of Staff at the Headquarters of the Ghana Armed Forces, Major General Nicholas Peter Andoh, withdrew four military personnel attached to the office of the Speaker of Parliament.

The military indicated in a letter sighted by GhanaWeb that, the soldiers were attached to the Speaker ‘without proper procedure.’

“It is humbly requested that the personnel are withdrawn with effect from 14 January 2022 while efforts are made to regularize their attachment,” the letter stated.

The officers, WO I Jafaru Bunwura, WO II Apugiba Awine David, S/Sgt Agbley Prosper and Sgt. Bonney Prince have been serving Bagbin’s office since he became Speaker in January 2021.

Read the Office of the Speaker of Parliament’s statement below:

RT. HON. SPEAKER, ALBAN S.K. BAGBIN, STRIPPED OFF SECURITY COVER

The office of the Rt. Hon. Speaker, Alban S.K. Bagbin, has taken note of the withdrawal of four military officers posted to assist in the protection of the Speaker. The attempt to strip the Speaker off security protection is untenable.

In a country that takes pride in its democratic institutions and processes, the decision to reduce the number of security personnel assigned to the Speaker detracts from the political gains that Ghana has made, and is a bad precedent.

The unknown reason for such a move is puzzling, but the real motive should be obvious to all objective observers of the political scene in Ghana. If it is an attempt to gag the Speaker, this move will serve to only widen the gap between the legislature and the other arms of government. It also hints at the possibility of a plot to place the safety and security of the Speaker in harm’s way.

The citizens of this country yearned for an effective separation of powers as well as check and balance, and voted to have a hung Parliament. They are looking for a lot more consultation, consensus building and dialogue. This move contrasts with that and certainly is a bad precedent.

In decisions such as these, we must ensure that we are guided by the overall interest of this country and the sustenance of our democracy and its institutions.

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

Abronye runs for cover as irate Dormaa youth invade NPP press conference

Abronye DC 234

Dormaahene laments lack of projects in community

Dormaahene sets records straight on foundation of Kumasi

Abronye refutes Dormaahene’s allegations


A press conference by the Bono Regional wing of the New Patriotic Party turned into a full-blown melee after some irate youth of Dormaa stormed the venue and chased out the executives with weapons, Sunyani-based Ark FM reports.

A report by the radio station states the thugs forcefully made their way to the venue with life-threatening weapons.

The Bono Regional chairman of the NPP who was addressing the press conference reportedly had to seek cover as he feared for his life.null

The incident occurred at the Regent Resort Hotel near Abesim while Abronye was aimed at addressing some statement made by the Dormaahene, Osagyefo Agyemang Badu I.

According to the report, the weapon-wielding youth protested against the staging of the press conference as they believe it is a show of disrespect to their chief.

Police however intervened timely to ensure that there was no bloodshed and that properties were also protected.

Abronye is quoted to have dismissed some claims made by the Dormaahene that the Akufo-Addo government has not honoured its promise to the people Dormaa.

Abronye mentioned a number of projects built by the Akufo-Addo government in Dormaa.null

“There are several projects inherited from the previous government and new ones that are going on all over the country so, for the Omanhene to say that is a bad omen that can bring his stool into a disrepute,” he said.

The station reports that the press conference was held later held at the Henpon Hotel under Police and Military protection.

The Police have meanwhile launched investigations into the matter.

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

Bagbin’s security hasn’t been removed, soldiers are not part of security of Speaker, MPs – Gov’t

Minister for National Security,

The Ministry of National Security has said the news about the withdrawal of the soldiers attached to the Office of the Speaker has been given misinterpretations by a section of the Ghanaian public.

The Ministry said in a statement that soldiers do not form part of the security arrangement of the Speaker and Members of Parliament.

They only come in a need-basis in accordance with stated state protocols, the Ministry explained.

The statement added that the security of the speaker is intact, no changes have been made to it.

“The Ministry of National Security would like to place on record that contrary to the aforesaid misrepresentations, all requisite resources including logistics and personnel required for full protection of the Speaker have been provided.

“It is worth noting that for the first time since 2017, the security arrangements for both the Speaker and Members of Parliament have been significantly enhanced.

“It also needs stating that personnel of the Ghana Armed Forces do not form part of the security detail for the Speaker and Parliament as Parliamentary security support is provided by the Ghana Police Service. Any need for specific agency support is typically executed on the need-basis in accordance with stated state protocols.”

The clarification comes after Member of Parliament for Banda and Deputy Minority Whip, Ahmed Ibrahim, has claimed that the removal of the soldiers who were attached to the Office of the Speaker, was on the orders of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.

Speaking on the News 360 on TV3 Saturday January 15, the Member on the Defence Committee said the news of the removal came at a shock to the Minority in Parliament.

“This came to us a great shock,” he said, adding that “this is the time we all need to come together to work on security.

“We are surprised as a minority to hear government withdrawing the military detachment of the speaker. The speaker is number three, even the EC chair is using about ten Military personnel. So if the Speaker duly requested for four and they have been on duty for over one year, the questions is what has changed? It raises security questions.”

He added “It is president Akufo-Addo who has withdrawn the military detachment, he is the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces. The Minority will meet on Monday.”

The Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) has said that the four soldiers who have been withdrawn from the Office of the Speaker of Parliament were attached to that particular office without proper procedure.

This resulted in the decision to withdraw them while efforts are made to regularise their attachment, a statement said.

“The under-named military personnel were attached to the Office of the Rt Honourable Speaker of Parliament without the proper procedure,” the statement signed by the Chief of Staff of the Ghana Armed Forces, NP Andoh to the Speaker said.

“It is humbly requested that the personnel are withdrawn with effect from 14 January 2022 while efforts are made to regularise their attachment,”

By Laud Nartey|3news.com|Ghana

Bagbin’s improperly assigned ‘little army’ taken from him

The Ghana Armed Forces has withdrawn some four military personnel detailed to the office of the Speaker of Parliament, Mr Alban Bagbin.

A letter from the Chief of Staff of the Ghana Armed Forces, NP Andoh, addressed to the Speaker said the four officers did not go through the right processes before being attached to the Speaker’s office.

They include WO1 Jafaru Bunwura, WOII Apugiba Awine David, S/Sgt Agbley Prosper and Sgt. Bonney Prince.

They have been protecting the Speaker since January 2021.

The letter to Mr Bagbin said: “It is humbly requested that the personnel are withdrawn with effect from 14 January 2022 while efforts are made to regularise their attachment”..

Read the letter below:

Source: classfmonline.com

Ghana removed from EU grey list of high risk third countries in money laundering activities– Akufo-Addo

“We are delighted that, on 7th January 2022, we received a notification from the European Commission, through the intermediary of the Commissioner for Financial  Services, Financial Stability and Capital Markets Union, Mairead McGuinness, that  Ghana, after the pursuit of some rigorous reforms, has now, formally, been removed  from the Grey List of high-risk third countries in money laundering activities.” 

These were the words of the President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo- Addo, on Thursday, 13 th January 2022, when he addressed a joint press conference, at Jubilee House, with the visiting President of the Republic of Hungary, His Excellency János Áder, who is on a State Visit to Ghana. 

It will be recalled that, in 2016, Ghana was subjected to a Second Round of Mutual Evaluation by the Inter-Governmental Action Group against Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing in West Africa (GIABA). 

Though the round of mutual evaluation showed some progress over an earlier one in 2009, there were still significant gaps that needed to be addressed which led Ghana being placed under observation by the International Cooperation Review Group (ICRG). 

Consequently, European Union added Ghana to its list of high-risk third countries with strategic deficiencies in their Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) regime, in October 2020, as a direct result of Ghana being on the FATF list. 

Over the last three years, an Inter-Ministerial Committee led by the Ministry of Finance had been hard at work coordinating key reforms to cure strategic AML/CFT deficiencies. 

Ghana-Hungary Relations 

Welcoming His Excellency János Áder to Ghana, President Akufo-Addo described the visit as a landmark one, “as it is the first time since the fall of communism that a President from Hungary is paying a State Visit to Ghana. We are honoured by your presence, Mr President.” 

According to President Akufo-Addo, “President Áder and I first had the opportunity of meeting on the sidelines of the R20 Austria World Summit, held in Vienna in May 2019, where we both pledged our commitment to exploring further areas of interest for the mutual benefit of our two countries. This visit reinforces our commitment to engage each other further to this end.” 

The bilateral discussions between the two leaders and their delegations centered on the expansion of relations in the sectors of trade, pharmaceuticals, manufacturing, ICT, financial services, water management and environmental protection, with an agreement put in place for the commencement of meetings under the auspices of a Permanent Joint Commission for Cooperation (PJCC), which will serve as the platform for accelerating mutually beneficial co-operation between Ghana and Hungary. 

The President revealed that, soon, a number of key agreements will be signed between Ghana and Hungary, including the continuation of the Educational Exchange Programme, the mutual visa exemption for holders of diplomatic and service passports between the Republic of Ghana and Hungary, the Memorandum of Understanding on Sports Co-operation between the Ministry of Human Capacities of Hungary and the Ministry of Youth and Sports of Ghana, the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Hungary on Co-operation in the field of water management in Kumasi, and the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in the field of environmental protection and nature conservation

4 new flex fighter vessels show govt’s consistency in maritime security investment – MP

Member of Parliament for Nsawam-Adoagyiri, Frank Annoh-Dompreh, has said the 4 new flex fighter vessels acquired for the Ghana Navy is an indication of the government’s commitment in investing in maritime security.

He said President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has consistently invested in improving the defensive capability of Ghana’s forces.

“The Ghana Navy has received 4 new flex fighter vessels to enhance maritime security, protect offshore oil and gas installations and safeguard Ghana’s Exclusive Economic Zone. H.E @NAkufoAddo, has consistently invested in improving the defensive capability of our forces,” the Majority Chief Whip said in a tweet on Friday January 14.

THE GHANA NAVY HAS RECEIVED 4 NEW FLEX FIGHTER VESSELS TO ENHANCE MARITIME SECURITY, PROTECT OFFSHORE OIL AND GAS INSTALLATIONS AND SAFEGUARD GHANA’S EXCLUSIVE ECONOMIC ZONE. H.E @NAKUFOADDO, HAS CONSISTENTLY INVESTED IN IMPROVING THE DEFENSIVE CAPABILITY OF OUR FORCES. PIC.TWITTER.COM/USROO18CKC— Hon. Frank Annoh-Dompreh (@FAnnohDompreh) January 13, 2022

The Government has acquired four new fighter vessels for Ghana Navy as part of moves protect the country’s waters.

The vessels are expected to enhance the capacity of the Ghana Navy to protect the country’s maritime area.

The vessels which will be manned by Naval captains with international ratings are equipped with the needed logistics to protect national installations and also deter and make Ghana’s adjoining coast safer.

The Government over the years has provided the necessary vehicles, machines, and other equipment that will help improve the security of its citizens on the land, in the air, and our water bodies

Bawumia launches Pan-African Payments System

“In my humble opinion, PAPSS is an African Solution to an African problem and it is the most practical and most important achievement in payment systems integration on the African continent since independence from colonial rule. 

“We as Africans should be very proud of this historic feat which demonstrates how the application of digital technology can solve many problems we are facing individually and collectively.” 

These were the words of the Vice President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, when he joined other political, financial and Fintech leaders from across the African continent in Accra for the commercial launch of the Pan-African Payment and Settlement System (PAPSS) on Thursday, January 13, 2022. 

The Pan-African Payment and Settlement System is a cross-border, financial market infrastructure instantly connecting payment transactions across Africa, eliminating the need to route such payments through third party banks usually located outside the continent. 

Among others, it is designed to enable instant and secure payments between African banks, payment service providers and other financial market infrastructure; enable instant and near instant payments made by both originators and beneficiaries in their local currencies anywhere in Africa; and simplify the historical complexities and costs of making payments across Africa’s borders, providing operational efficiencies that open up vast economic opportunities. 

Available trade statistics provided by the African Union in its Annual Trade Report of year 2020 indicates that Intra-African trade remains low with an average of 13% for intra-imports and 20% for intra-exports over the period of the last seven years.  

These trade payments and relationships are also characterized by settlement involving foreign exchange use which sometimes put pressure on African currencies coupled with issues relating to speed of transactions, convenience and high cost of these transactions. 

Officials of the Afreximbank and the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), lead promoters of PAPSS, say the operationalization of the payment system will benefit all stakeholders, from governments, banks and payment providers to the end customers; corporates, small enterprises and individuals, removing the challenge of dealing with 42 different countries and 4 exchange systems. Its roll out is expected to save banks on the continent some $5 billion in transaction fees. 

The PAPSS, which will allow Member States to transfer funds within Africa on the same day and at a lower cost, is set to benefit Africa’s exporters and importers by providing a faster, safe and secure transfer of funds, Vice President Bawumia explained. 

“Businesses and traders would no longer have to spend days waiting for the confirmation or receipt of funds to facilitate a trade as payments will be cleared and settled in real time. It provides a simplified process that reduces the costs and complexities of foreign exchange for cross-border transactions between African markets. 

“The biggest beneficiaries of PAPSS will be small and medium-sized businesses, investors who make high value payments across the borders and consumers who have been using informal means to make cross border payments.” 

The Vice President, who had urged Governors and other stakeholders to speed up the PAPSS roll-out and integration process when he addressed a virtual the annual Conference of the Association of African Central Banks in November 2021, expressed delight that the six year old dream had finally been achieved. 

“Over the years, there has been tremendous emphasis by central banks on the development of domestic payments systems such as such as Real-Time Gross Settlement (RTGs), Automated Clearing House (ACH), Securities Settlement System (SSS), Automated Check Processing System and a National Switch, etc. However, there has been less focus on cross border or intra African payments. Notwithstanding their significance, intra African payments faced various challenges including cost, access, speed and transparency. 

“Broadly, inadequate trade related infrastructure on the African continent and under-developed cross-border payment and settlement systems as well as settlement in foreign currency have culminated in persistence of informal trade in the Sub-Sahara Africa region. We are now in a better position to reduce this trade informality by coming together to provide the required integrated payments infrastructures and systems. 

“As you are all aware, the underlying motive behind our integration scheme is the expectation that, through collaborative efforts, participating countries in the integration programmes would generate maximum socio-economic benefits for their citizens in the sub-region. Regional integration, undoubtedly is an efficient tool for overcoming the constraints imposed by the nature and size of individual national markets. It has been realized that if production of goods and services is carried out in an enlarged regional economic space, there is a greater chance of achieving substantial economic benefit.” 

Mike Ogbalu III, first CEO of PAPSS, underscored the importance of the payment system, emphasizing that it will “eliminate the artificial borders that have militated against intra-African trade and our collective effort to integrate our economies. It is a very welcome development indeed.” 

Source: 3news.com|Ghana

I Haven’t Resigned-Cardinal Turkson

Cardinal Peter Kowdwo Appiah Turkson

Cardinal Peter Kowdwo Appiah Turkson has denied claims in section of both local and international media that he has resigned as a cardinal of the Catholic Church.

According to the former President of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, some people misunderstood his notification to Pope Francis about the end of his five years term in a specific role and position as resignation.

It would be recalled that news broke out in December that Cardinal Turkson have abruptly offered his resignation from a key Vatican department.

Speaking on Accra based radio station, Asaase radio, Cardinal Turkson explained that”… So that’s just what happened. Why this was seen and interpreted as resignation beats my imagination and as a result of that, I tweeted to explain all of this but people took things the way they wanted to take it. There was nothing to get upset or get worried about.”

He stressed that, “If you wanted to put it more bluntly, we’ll probably say that within the church in our circus, the saying is that: nobody goes up the cross and then descends from the cross. Jesus didn’t go to the cross and then decided to come off the cross, so when you engage in the service of the church I think you go all the way …

“What it is, is a very simple thing; I don’t know why it made such rounds around the world and generated all the discussions. Here in the Vatican, every position is given for five years and at the end of the five years, either the term is extended, renewed or one is reassigned to some other position. I left Ghana in 2010, that means I have been here [for] eleven years which means I’ve done two terms of five years…”

“I’ve met this experience before, at the end of the set of five years, my mandate was slightly modified and extended. When I came here, I was to take charge of an office called Justice and Peace, at the end of five years it had a merger. Three other offices were joined with our office and that became the second set of five years and this happened in August 2016. So 2021 is the end of the second set of five years. So at the end of all of these years, you notified the Pope that your five years is up to enable him to take a decision.”

After mentioning that he was not upset about the report concerning his resignation because he new it was not true, Cardinal Turkson disclosed that Pope Francis has reassigned him to take up another responsibility.

He said “I wasn’t upset. So this is what happened last year, the Pope decided to reassign and…have you move on and that’s just what happened; you have to notify the Pope that your five years are up and doing that it’s not resignation, it’s just a notification,” he said.

“Over here in the Italian language, we say that: you put your mandate back to his hands for him to reassign, extend, modify or do what he wants to do with it. So that’s just what happened. Why this was seen and interpreted as resignation beats my imagination and as a result of that, I tweeted to explain all of this but people took things the way they wanted to take it. There was nothing to get upset or get worried about.”

Cardinal Turkson is seen by some as a candidate to become the first African pope in 1,500 years

It’s only Ghana that is championing mandatory vaccination – Sammy Gyamfi

The National Communications Officer of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) who is against the mandatory vaccination being done by the Government of Ghana has noted that it is only Ghana that is championing mandatory vaccination.

He said on the Sunrise show on 3FM hosted by Alfred Ocansey on Wednesday January 12 that one can enter the United States and other parts of the world today, without vaccination.

“You can enter USA today without vaccination. It’s only Ghana that is championing mandatory vaccination,” Sammy Gyamfi who is also a private legal practitioner said.

He further stated that “We have been doing so well without this mandatory vaccination. Look at the countries with the highest vaccination rate, they are still battling with the virus.

“Health advisor says when you’re suffering from complications it means the vaccine is working so some people keep these problems to themselves. If you take the vaccine and something happens to you, you can’t hold anyone responsible.”

Sammy Gyamfi had sued the Attorney General (AG) and the Ghana Heath Service (GHS) over the mandatory vaccination exercise.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

He added “Our contact tracing will be strengthened.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Meanwhile, some 11 doctors have written to President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to issue a directive for the nationwide vaccine rollout in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic to be paused.

The doctors say the risks associated with these vaccines, per the data studied so far, outweigh the potential benefits, if any.

In their petition dated Monday, January 10, 2022, the doctors, who call themselves as Concerned Ghanaian Doctors, cited how the UK and Israel are still battling with the virus despite a high vaccination rate of their respective populations.

“These countries have very high vaccination rates, currently deploying booster programmes, yet they are struggling to get the virus under control especially with these new variants,” the doctors observed in the jointly-signed petition.

“Assuming as a country we are to vaccinate more than 50% of our population, are we going to continue with perpetual boosters every 3 to 6 months in an attempt to maintain vaccine induced immunity for this disease?

“Where then is the end point when these vaccines do not stop infection or the spread of Covid-19? Is this financially feasible for us as a nation?”

They contended that the case fatality rate is not as high as anticipated especially given the fact that not many citizens are testing.

For them, the vaccines becoming a mandate is only a ploy by some pharmaceutical companies to rake in profits.

“If there is safe, effective, affordable, freely available early treatment for Covid-19, vaccines are no longer a priority.

“It doesn’t take a genius to recognise the financial benefit of pharmaceutical companies in demonising potential early, effective treatments.

“If these medications do work, that’s wonderful in the human race’s fight against Covid-19. However, they are practicably placebos if they don’t work. Why the suppression and demonising of these early treatments then, if the concern is health.

“Considering all these, wouldn’t it be prudent to pause and ask ourselves whether these novel vaccines are necessary in the first place,” they quizzed.

For them, Ghana, and for that matter Africa, must lead the way in the fight against Covid-19.

“All the relevant metrics show that Ghana and Africa at large have done better than most of the world with respect to the pandemic even before the advent of these vaccines.

“It is possible the rest of the world are rather to learn from us.”

The doctors are Dr Timothy Oblijah Armah, Dr Bismark Opoku-Asare, Dr Faisal Adjei, Dr William Ghunney and Dr Bernard Boateng Adjei.

The others are Dr Doreen Oye Agyei, Dr Michael Agyemang-Wiredu, Dr Richard Fayah and Dr Sedem Cyril Klinogoh.

The rest are Dr Phil Dowuona and Dr Emmanuel Awuttey

Gov’t is committed to STEM education – Akufo-Addo

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has said the government is committed to making science, technology, engineering and Mathematics, (STEM), education a key objective to improving  quality education in the country to ensure students become globally competitive.

President Akufo-Addo said this when he was speaking at a sod cutting ceremony for the construction of a science, technology, engineering and Mathematics senior high school in Accra.

“I ma delighted that the school, dedicated principally to the teaching and learning of science ,technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) is being built under the presidency Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo. I thank all stakeholders especially my erudite Minister of Education and Member of Parliament for Bosomtwe , the Honourable Dr Yaw Osei Adutwum with the conception of this brilliant idea,” he said.

The President later wrote on his Facebook page that “On Wednesday, 12th January 2022, I cut the sod for the commencement of construction of the Accra STEM Academy, a school, dedicated, principally, to the teaching and learning of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM).

“Within the next twenty-four (24) months, God willing, the Accra STEM Academy will be completed from kindergarten to high school, with an expected population of some two thousand (2,000) students.

“This Academy will have a number of state-of-the-art facilities, including a four-storey classroom block, science laboratories, a sickbay, administrative area, staff common room, library, washrooms, canteen, and a one thousand, five hundred (1,500) capacity multi-purpose hall.

data:image/gif;base64,R0lGODlhAQABAAAAACH5BAEKAAEALAAAAAABAAEAAAICTAEAOw==

“The Accra STEM Academy, being constructed at a cost of thirty-two million cedis (GH¢32 million), will equip learners from kindergarten to senior high school with 21st century skills in problem solving, creativity, communication, collaboration, data literacy, digital literacy, and computer science.

“In addition, the Accra STEM Academy will be a place where learners in junior high school will be provided with the options of learning basic engineering, manufacturing, and global studies to help them make informed decisions on their preferred programmes of choice at senior high school level.”

President Akufo-Addo said there is the need to reorient the country’s educational system to equip students to succeed in the 21st century.

The 32 million cedi educational facility when completed,  will be fully inclusive, giving access to persons with disability to acquire skills and improve their livelihoods.

These skills include critical thinking, problem-solving, creativity, communication, data literacy and digital literacy and computer science drawn from broad pillars of fundamental literacies and competencies.

Minister for education, Dr. Yaw Osei Adutwum, said Ghana is geared towards achieving a more robust educational system will require the integration of relevant academic content with experiences that nurture the skills and mindsets needed for socio-economic transformation.

 Some 35 of such schools are expected to be constructed across the country including five universities. The school facility is expected to be completed within 24 months

Stop the hypocrisy; support national interest initiatives – Oppong Nkrumah to opposition

He expects politicians, especially those in opposition parties, to ‘stop the hypocrisy’ and be truthful to the masses on how critical such decisions are to development.

Information Minister, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, says government may sometimes be forced to make some ‘unpalatable’ decisions, in the interest of Ghanaians.

He bemoaned the posture on what revenue mobilization measure is acceptable or not has become dependent on which side a politician is on.

He expects politicians, especially those in opposition parties, to ‘stop the hypocrisy’ and be truthful to the masses on how critical such decisions are to development.

The Ofoase-Ayirebi Member of Parliament, in an interview on Face to Face on Citi TV cited decisions bordering on revenue generation as one of such initiatives.

“The revenue question is bigger than whether or not we are making some money from road tolls. The challenge we have in this country is that, legitimately, Ghanaians are demanding things from the government. The government has only two ways of responding to those demands. You either borrow or raise revenue. We are at a point where our debt to GDP ratio is close to about 80%. It is not healthy for us to go further. We intend to raise some more revenue while plugging out the excess expenditure.”

“The revenue generation measures since I started politics have never been exciting for Ghanaians. We always find the political class being hypocritical while the government defends it. The moment power switches hands, postures change.”

“I think the political class should stop the hypocrisy because we all know that without confronting the revenue question, neither of us can fully develop the country to its full potential. We have got to stop the hypocrisy, confront the real issues and tell Ghanaians the truth,” he added.

He suggested that the opposition parties rather channel their energies into holding the government of the day accountable.

“What we must do is to ensure that when the revenues are raised, people are held accountable for it. I have heard people advise that we earmark the usage of revenue from E-Levy, label every road that is done, and publish such information on an annual basis. I think those are rather brilliant suggestions.”

Government intends to charge a 1.75% levy on electronic transactions such as mobile money, bank transfers, and inward remittances in 2022.

The government says portions of revenue collected from the levy will be used to support entrepreneurship, youth employment, cybersecurity, digital, and road infrastructure, among others.

Despite reasons given by the government for its implementation, it remains contentious, as Minority Members of Parliament (MP) have tried various means to have it thrown out.

The Minority maintains that the imposition of the levy will inflict more hardship on Ghanaians.

Source: Citinewsroom

Police doing away with unprofessional, unethical conducts – IGP

IGP

The Inspector General of Police, COP Dr George Akuffo Dampare, has assured the general public that the service would provide quality policing.

He said all the unethical and unprofessional conducts being exhibited by some officers would be eschewed.

“We want to give you the assurance that whatever it takes to make sure that all those unprofessional things , unethical things, , inhumane things that you are displeased with, as a public whom we serve and therefore you our masters and we your servants.

” If you are not pleased with us, the things that you are not pleased with us, we are going to do away with them and we need your help to get there,” he said at a function in Accra on Tuesday January 11.

@GHPOLICESERVICE WILL DO AWAY WITH UNPROFESSIONAL AND UNLAWFUL CONDUCT – IGP, DR AKUFFO DAMPARE #3NEWSGH #NEWS360 PIC.TWITTER.COM/0NBEJ0SY7C— #TV3GH (@tv3_ghana) January 11, 2022

By Laud Nartey|3news.com|Ghana

Akufo-Addo launches ¢6.1 million Police Emergency Medical Intervention Fund

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has commissioned the newly-established Police Virtual Medical centre and a ¢6.1 million Police emergency medical intervention fund for personnel of the Service.

TODAY, H.E @NAKUFOADDO LAUNCHED GH¢6.1 MILLION POLICE EMERGENCY MEDICAL INTERVENTION FUND, AIMED AT PROVIDING IMMEDIATE FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE FOR THE MEDICAL TREATMENT OF POLICE OFFICERS, WHO GET INJURED IN LINE OF DUTY. HE MADE A MODEST CONTRIBUTION OF GH¢100,000 TO THE FUND PIC.TWITTER.COM/JODQTIM8ZC— Ministry of Information (@moigovgh) January 11, 2022

Police personnel, irrespective of their location, can now access healthcare services from the hospital anywhere in the country, at any time.

HE ALSO COMMISSIONED THE NEW OUT-PATIENT-DEPARTMENT (OPD) FACILITY AT THE HOSPITAL, WHICH WILL HELP DECONGEST THE EXISTING FACILITY, WHICH, HITHERTO, WAS RESPONSIBLE FOR SEEING TO PATIENTS WITH EMERGENCY CASES AS WELL AS TO REGULAR OPD PATIENTS.— Ministry of Information (@moigovgh) January 11, 2022

Officers of the Service are guaranteed a protected platform for seamless consultations with the doctor.

POLICE PERSONNEL, IRRESPECTIVE OF THEIR LOCATION, CAN NOW ACCESS HEALTHCARE SERVICES FROM THE HOSPITAL ANYWHERE IN THE COUNTRY, AT ANY TIME. OFFICERS OF THE SERVICE ARE GUARANTEED A PROTECTED PLATFORM FOR SEAMLESS CONSULTATIONS WITH THE DOCTOR PIC.TWITTER.COM/SKWJTELT66— Ministry of Information (@moigovgh) January 11, 2022

He also commissioned the New Out-Patient-Department (OPD) facility at the Hospital, which will help decongest the existing facility, which, hitherto, was responsible for seeing to patients with emergency cases as well as to regular OPD patients.

HE COMMISSIONED A VIRTUAL MEDICAL CENTRE AT THE POLICE HOSPITAL, WHICH IS AN END-TO-END VIDEO HOSPITAL MANAGEMENT SYSTEM, WILL ALLOW PATIENTS, NO MATTER WHERE THEY ARE LOCATED IN THE COUNTRY, TO UNDERTAKE VIRTUAL CONSULTATION WITH HEALTHCARE PROFESSIONALS AT THIS HOSPITAL. PIC.TWITTER.COM/NNR5VDGNVS— Ministry of Information (@moigovgh) January 11, 2022

He commissioned a Virtual Medical Centre at the Police Hospital, which is an end-to-end video hospital management system, will allow patients, no matter where they are located in the country, to undertake virtual consultation with healthcare professionals at this hospital

Adom-Otchere lied; we were not paid bonuses in Christmas – Airport workers

The Divisional Union of the workers of the Ghana Airports Company has denied claims by the board chairman of the company Paul Adom-Otchere that they were paid their bonuses by the end of 2021.

Also, the union has dismissed claims by Mr Adom-Otchere that they were paid before Christmas saying their December salary was paid in January 2022.

“It is never the case that GACL employees were paid bonuses at the end of the year 2021 as was put out there by the Board chairman. In actual fact, the last time bonuses were paid in GACL, was in 2017. Indeed as we speak 2018 bonus which was negotiated for is still in arrears.

“Again, for the records, employees December 2021, salaries were paid in January 2022, contrary to what was communicated by the Board chairman. This practice is so alien to GACL and is only gaining prominence in the last few months under the watch of the Board Chair,” the group said in a statement.

The statement comes on the back of the controversy regarding the purchase of Christmas tee by the Airports Company.

Below are details of the statement

RE: PAYMENT OF BONUS & DEC. SALARIES TO GACL STAFF- BOARD CHAIR

The attention of the Divisional Union has been drawn to a statement circulating on social media attributed to the Board chairman of GACL.

The statement is putting so much pressure on staff leadership hence our decision to respond accordingly.

While staying away from the substantive issue which appears to border on abuse of office, we wish to correct some misrepresentations that were contained in the said release;

Fact 6,
It is never the case that GACL employees were paid bonuses at the end of the year 2021 as was put out there by the Board chairman. In actual fact, the last time bonuses were paid in GACL, was in 2017. Indeed as we speak 2018 bonus which was negotiated for is still in arrears.

Again, for the records, employees December 2021, salaries were paid in January 2022, contrary to what was communicated by the Board chairman. This practice is so alien to GACL and is only gaining prominence in the last few months under the watch of the Board Chair.

Such factually inaccurate statements only ends up given rise to staff agitations especially with the knowledge that the Board has failed to give mandate to management to commence negotiations on staff conditions of service with the Union after proposals were submitted in the middle of November, 2021.

We want to assure all that any attempt to play with the future of the hardworking employees of GACL shall be fiercely resisted.

Long live GACL.

By the Divisional Union

Transport fares to go up by 40% on January 17 – Concerned Drivers Association of Ghana

C-DAG stated the increment is influenced by a number of factors including the price of fuel at the pumps, the increase in the prices of vehicles and the increment of spare parts and lubricants.

The Concerned Drivers Association of Ghana (C-DAG) has announced a 40% increment in transport fares across the country from Monday, January 17, 2022.

In a press release dated January 10, the Association noted the upward adjustment has been necessitated by the unbearable hardships facing drivers currently.

“It must be noted that we commiserate with Ghanaians on the current economic hardship but in order to keep us in business, we are left with no other option but to adjust transport fares a little upward which is a 40% increment,” part of the statement reads.

C-DAG stated the increment is influenced by a number of factors including the price of fuel at the pumps, the increase in the prices of vehicles and the increment of spare parts and lubricants.

“It must be noted that we also experience the economic conditions of the country. It has become extremely difficult for us to manage our homes as prices of basic commodities, including sachet water have also seen an upward increment,” they added.

The Association urged Ghanaians to embrace the new “transport fares when it takes effect from Monday, January 17, 2022.”

The Association also encouraged Ghanaians to avoid fighting drivers and their conductors when the new fares are implemented. 

Source: Myjoyonline

FULL TEXT: President Akufo-Addo’s message to the Black Stars

Akufo-Addo sends a message to Black Stars

Demands that the team returns with Ghana’s fourth AFCON trophy

Black Stars begin campaign today against Morocco


President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo on Sunday, January 9, 2022, sent a message to the Black Stars 24-hours to the kickoff of their campaign at the African Cup of Nations in Cameroon.

The President’s message relayed via his Facebook post was a mix of history, motivation and good wishes to Andre Dede Ayew and the playing body, Milovan Rajevac and the technical team and the team’s management body.

The crust of the message was for the team to execute one task and only one – to go a step further than they did in 1992, 2010 and 2015, when they lost in the finals – by bringing the trophy back home.null

Read full text of Akufo-Addo’s address

On the eve of the commencement in Cameroon of the 2021 African Cup of Nations Championship, I send wishes from all Ghanaians to you, the playing, technical and management teams of the senior national soccer side, the Black Stars.

We are all happy that finally the AFCON 2021 tournament which was postponed from last year is now going to be held, the Coronavirus pandemic notwithstanding.

Like any other edition of AFCON, the Ghanaian people demand nothing short of ultimate glory from the stars. The pressure to succeed is understandably high because of our status as four-time winners and also because it has been 40 long years since we last lifted the trophy. The target for you naturally is to bring the cup home.

We have to go a step further than the second places recorded in 1992, 2010 and 2015 and bring the 40-year drought to an end. The task may be daunting but it is certainly not insurmountable. I believe that in the current crop of players, we have the talent to match any of the best teams on the continent.

The Ghana team has been penciled down as one of the favourites of the tournament because of its sheer quality, let us work to bring the prediction to fruition.

You the current crop wear the jersey of the Black Stars, the same jersey worn by Ghanaian legends such as Addo Damptey, Ben Simons, Aggrey-Fynn, Wilberforce Nfum, Edward Acquah, Mohammed Salisu, the non-pareille Baba Yara, Abdul Razak, Opoku Nti and Francis Kumi.

Wear it with pride, wear it with determination, be of one mind and spirit and be united on or off the pitch. Whether you are in the starting 11 chosen by coach Milovan Rajevac or not, you owe it a duty to back and support wholeheartedly your teammates representing the nation on the field, that is how a fifth Afcon trophy for mother Ghana can be achieved.

To you, my fellow Ghanaians, now more than ever is the time to throw our unwavering support behind the team, yes I’m aware that there are 30 million coaches in Ghana, however, in this age of social media, we cannot allow any form of pessimism especially in our comments to filter through to the team.

We cannot directly or indirectly afford to break their morale. In the highs and lows, in good or bad times we must show the team that we are Ghanaians and we look out for each other no matter what.null

We can make the Black Stars a force to reckon with once again on the continent and on world football beginning with this tournament.

Go for gold, go for the fifth AFCON trophy, we can do it, I know we can. May God bless the Black Stars and us all. And may God bless our homeland Ghana and make her great and strong.

I thank you for your attention, I pray that we and the Black Stars have a great tournament.

Black Stars kick start campaign today

The Black Stars arrived in the Cameroonian capital of Yaounde on Saturday, flying in from their training camp in Doha Qatar.null

They will play Morocco in their first game on today, 10 January. The team will also play Gabon and Comoros with the hope of qualifying to the round of 16th stage of the competition.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/Bay0iSxzLC8

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

Mensah Thompson lied, Akufo-Addo’s relatives did not use presidential jet for UK shopping trip – GAF

The Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) has denied a claim made by Mr. Mensah Thompson, Executive Director of Alliance for Social Equity and Public Accountability (ASEPA) to the effect that the Presidential aircraft of the Ghana Air Force was used by relatives of the President for a shopping trip to the United Kingdom between 20th and 30th of December 2021.

Mensah Thompson had alleged that “So between the 20th and 30th of December, 2021..during the Christmas, the children of a close relative of the President took Ghana’s Presidential Jet the Falcon EX jet on a trip to the UK just for Christmas shopping.They didn’t go alone, they went with their friends and partied in the sky all through the trip, taking snap videos and flaunting their lucky adventure.

“Ghana has spent close to half a billion dollars in the last two years renting private jets for our President, whiles his family members continue to lavish in our rejected aircraft at the expense of the poor tax payer.

“The Ministry of National Security, the Ghana Airforce and the Civil Aviation Authority would have to provide answers to the good people of Ghana why a national security asset like the Presidential jet was left at the mercy of spoilt youngsters who went partying around the world playing in Ghana’s Presidential jet, creating an international diplomatic spectacle embarrassing the country Ghana.”

But GAF said this claim is not true.

A statement issued by Commander, Acting Director Public Relations GAF, Andy La-Anyane on Sunday January 9 said “We wish to state without any equivocation that the said publication is untrue, frivolous and without any basis. We additionally wish to state that the said aircraft has not been to Europe for a very long time and this publication is therefore a figment of the authors imagination. These allegations can easily be verified since there is always a task order for the movement of all Ghana Air Force platforms.

“We believe that this unfortunate publication which has been circulated widely is a calculated effort to undermine the image of the Ghana Armed Forces in the eyes of the general public. More disturbing is the fact that whilst the GAF is focussed on its mandate of protecting the territorial integrity of the country against serious external and internal threats, others are working very hard to distract us from our core mandate.

“We are calling on all Ghanaians, especially politicians once again, not to drag the GAF into any partisan politics. The Ghana Air Force platforms will continue to be used for the interest of all Ghanaians including its traditional role of maintaining fighter ground attack capabilities and providing close air support during operations, as well as providing transport support to the Ghana Armed Forces. We will continue to provide surveillance over the air space of Ghana and over the Exclusive Economic Zone of the country.

“In view of the seriousness we attach to such malicious publications, the issue has been referred to the Inspector General of Police for further investigations

AFCON 2021: No Covid case in Ghana camp ahead of Morocco match

Milovan Rajevac and Mike Stankovic

Black Stars coach Milovan Rajevac said on Sunday that his team has no Covid positive case ahead of their opening match at the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations.

Rajevac disclosed this at press conference for the clash against Morocco on Monday in Yaoundé.

“Covid is a serious issue these days and I see some of the teams have problems and for us we did our PCR test and all players and officials are ok and we hope it stays like that throughout,” Rajevac said.

Some teams have seen their preparations disrupted by Covid with CAF saying countries suffering outbreaks will have to play their matches even if they have only 11 players available.

Any nation unable to fulfil a fixture will forfeit the game 2-0.

Black Stars arrived in Cameroon on Saturday night and look poised to have a wonderful tournament.

The trophy is the target as Rajevac’s side wants to end the 40 years drought

I used to waste time and energy on my enemies’ – Koku Anyidoho

Koku Anyidoho 610x400

I am happy I no longer have time for my enemies – Koku Anyidoho

Koku Anyidoho commends Akufo-Addo for refurbishing Asomdwee Park

AMI is doing well – Koku Anyidoho


Former Deputy General Secretary of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Koku Anyidoho, has indicated that he is at peace with his status quo.

He said unlike previously, he no longer has the time and the energy to waste on his political enemies.

“I used to waste time & energy on my enemies; I don’t have time for them again. I am happy,” he tweeted.

Koku Anyidoho said in a post on his Twitter page on January 7, 2022, that seem to show appreciation to President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo for his commitment to complete the refurbishment of the Asomdwee Park, which is currently the resting place of the late former President John Evans Atta Mills.null

Koku Anyidoho mentioned in his tweet that the Atta Mills Institute (AMI) which he founded and is the Chief Executive Officer of was doing well.

“Atta-Mills Institute is growing from strength to strength in the name of the Lord,” he said

The founder of AMI share a picture of the Asomdwee Park saying: “This is what Asomdwee Park will look like when President Akufo-Addo finishes construction & commissions”

UE/R: Notorious armed robber busted

The Special Anti-Robbery Squad and Surveillance team of the Upper East Regional Police Command, through an intelligence-led operation, has on Saturday, 8 January 2022 arrested Abdulai Issaka Achalicaab, a notorious armed robber at Sandema.

Police said its reports show that Abdulai Issaka Achalicaab has been behind a series of robberies at Sandema, Fumbisi and other surrounding enclaves.

He is also on the Police wanted list for jumping bail in a robbery case pending trial before a Court in Bolga since 2020.

Further details established that the suspect is responsible for the robbery in Kadema which occurred on July 24, 2021, in which a victim was severely wounded.

During the special operation, the Police recovered from the suspect three unregistered motorbikes believed to have been robbed from others and used for his robbery expeditions.

The Police commend the Upper East Regional Command for their efforts in pursuing criminals in the region for the safety of the public

UTAG begins strike Monday over poor conditions of service

The University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG) have declared an indefinite strike from Monday, 10 January 2022.

The industrial action by the lecturers was contained in a statement dated January 8, 2022.

The Association cataloged a number of reasons for which they are laying down their tools.

Among them include “the pittance agreed to be paid as annual research allowance”.

They want among other things for the government to “reconsider the payment of a more realistic research allowance” as they said it is critical to their research output, promotion and ultimately national development.

Attached is the full UTAG statement:

COVID funds: KATH whistleblower Accountant dismissed

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Akufo-Addo to cut sod for Accra STEM Academy Wednesday

Model of the Accra STEM Academy

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

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

It will be the Accra STEM Academy.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

E-levy is being misunderstood – Ambrose Dery

Dery Ambrose   PAC

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

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

E-levy remains priority as Parliament reconvenes after holidays

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

COP Tiwaa Addo-Danquah heads EOCO

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

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

The appointment starts Monday January 10.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

By Laud Nartey|3news.com|Ghana

Former NPP Gt. Accra Chairman Ashitey reported dead

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

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

He was 67.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Below is his full statement…

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

Here are the facts:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Parliament to resume Jan. 25 instead of Jan. 18

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Police busts ‘mad’ driver shortly after social media exposé

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

He drove a car with registration number GW 402 V.

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

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

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

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

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



Alban Bagbin absent as Parliament votes on E-levy

The voting process degenerates into violent clashes

Bagbin rejects the accusation that he deliberately refused to preside

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

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

Sammy Gyamfi 1.png

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

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

The reversal of the discounts affects 43 items.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Source: www.classfmonline.com

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

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

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

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

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

The unions were calling for a higher percentage increment.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Rev Isaac Owusu Bempah said during his 31st night preaching on Friday December 31 that “I will like to appeal to the IGP that if he needs briefings on the prophetic ministry he should invite some of us, not pastors who do not believe in prophecies

Improve on condition of teachers – Asantehene to gov’t

The Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu II has urged the government to work to improve on the condition of teachers in the country.

He said the status of teachers should truly reflect the level of importance attached to their positions in the society.

The Asantehene said these when he was addressing members of the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT) at their 6th Quadrennial National Delegates conference.

“While we will always urge moderation in the face of the national economic realities, we will nonetheless, urge policy makers to ensure that the status of our teachers truly reflect the level of importance we attach to their place in society,” he said.

He further cautioned teachers against the use of strike fas negotaion tool.

He tasked them to adopt an improved way of negotiation rather than strike.

The Asantehene explained that, school children are the ones who face the consequences of such actions and not politicians.

But the Asantehene said “Obviously, those who really suffer are the innocent children. I urge you all to focus your minds on the need for an improved way for negotiations and consultations which will minimize, if not eliminate, any recourse to industrial action and the harmful consequences on our children

Gov’t will work to bring economy back on track – Bawumia

The Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia has said the Akufo-Addo administration will work to bring the economy back following the devastation done by the dreaded coronavirus pandemic.

“In the coming year, we will continue to strive to get the economy back on track from the shackles of COVID-19,” Dr Bawumia said when he met some Muslims in Accra Monday January 3.

He added “We are also committed to our inclusive governance of the past five years, which has seen us invest in education and other sectors of the country”.

It is recalled that President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo had earlier assured that his government had the ability to resuscitate Ghana’s economy after the outbreak of the virus.


In Ghana, the outbreak impacted on businesses, forcing some operators to announce business shutdown or lay-offs.


Delivering the fourth address to the nation on the coronavirus “As we have demonstrated over the course of the last three years, where we inherited an economy that was growing at 3.4% and transformed it into one which has grown by an average of 7% over the last three (3) years, I assure you that we know what to do to bring back our economy back to life,” he stated

Opoku Onyinah never sought prophetic direction from Owusu Bempah – GPCC

The Ghana Pentecostal and Charismatic Council (GPCC) has denied claims by Prophet Isaac Owusu Bempah that the Council’s former President, Apostle Opoku Onyinah, consulted him to seek prophetic direction.

Setting the records straight, the GPCC, in a statement, explained that it called for a meeting in 2016 to discuss with Prophet Owusu Bempah, his utterances on some Bishops in the media as well as his prophecies about the death of some notable members of Ghana’s society.

The statement said the Council delegated its then-President, Apostle Opoku Onyinah; and Rt Rev Dr Nana Anyani Boadum, to meet with Prophet Owusu Bempah, in the stead of the entire National Executive Council so that Prophet Owusu Bempah would not feel like he was on “trial”.

The GPCC said at the meeting, Apostle Onyinah sought to understand the prophetic ministry of Prophet Owusu Bempah and how he began his ministry, which he (Owusu Bempah) explained.

After listening to the Prophet, the statement said Apostle Onyinah advised him on how men of God should communicate what God gives or reveals to them in public by being sensitive to the sensibilities of those they prophesy to.

The statement said at no point in time, during the meeting, did Apostle Onyinah seek any prophetic direction from Prophet Owusu Bempah.

Fuel price to rise by 3.7% – COPEC

The price of petrol at the pump is expected to rise by 3.7%, the Chamber of Petroleum Consumers (COPEC) has predicted.

In a statement, COPEC said Brent crude plunged by 10.7% to $73.45/barrel on 26 November 2021 and the OPEC Reference Basket (OPB) plunged by 6.9% to $76.09/barrel on the same date.

It said the OPB further tumbled to $70.07/barrel on 2 December 2021.

The plummeting crude oil prices were due to the new Omicron variant of the COVID-19 pandemic, which restricted mobility in some countries, coupled with the expectation of gradual increase in oil production by the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC)+.

However, Brent crude futures settled at $1.56 or 2.1% at $76.85 a barrel, the highest close since 26 November 2021, and a gain of 4.5% on the week as of 23 December 2021.

Additionally, the U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures ended at $1.03 or 1.4% at $73.79 a barrel, to rise 4.1% on the week as of 23 December 2021.

COPEC said the surge in crude oil prices is due to supply disruptions in Libya, which cut flow by about 300,000 b/d in addition to the “lower anxiety toward the Omicron variant because of the perception that the variant is containable than previously feared”.

In Ghana, the National Petroleum Authority (NPA) indicated that the benchmark price for petrol/MT for setting ex-pump price of petrol in the 1st Window of January 2022 is $707.95/MT.

Again, the Benchmark price for diesel/MT for setting ex-pump price in the same widow is $641.38/MT.

The NPA set the Ghana cedi at GHS6.4040 against the dollar.

Using the conversion factor of 1324.4 for petrol from a metric tonne to litres; 1183.43 for diesel from a metric tonne to litres and a maximum total marketer’s margin and dealer’s margin of GHS0.75 based on the flexibility of OMC margins, as well as a forward rate of GHS6.4040 to a dollar, the ex-pump prices for petrol is expected to surge by 3.7% and diesel is expected to surge by 2.5%.

Averagely, ex-pump prices are expected to surge by 3.1% in the 1st Window of January 2022 from 1st to 16th January.

The ex-pump prices of petrol and diesel are expected to surge by 3.7% and 2.5%, respectively.

In nominal terms, ex-pump prices of petrol and diesel are expected to increase by 24 pesewas and 17 pesewas, respectively.

The average surge for both products in nominal terms is 20 pesewas representing 3.1%.

Some OMCs could increase their prices less than the 20 pesewas increase due to competition.

COPEC said if the government suspends the zeroing of the PSRL on diesel, petrol and LPG, then ex-pump prices could surge by, at least, 34 pesewas

Ignore Ato Forson’s propaganda; prices of goods won’t go high – John Kumah

Deputy Finance Minister John Kumah has dismissed claims by the Ranking Member on Finance in Parliament, Casiel Ato Forson, that things will be difficult this year.

In a Facebook post Sunday, the former Deputy Finance Minister said prices of goods will be increased by at least 30%.

“Unfortunately, the Akufo-Addo/Bawumia Government has reversed the discount on all items using Benchmark values effective today.

“Please Expect Prices of Goods such as Rice, Sugar, pharmaceuticals, cement, roofing sheets to go up by at least 30% effective today,” the MP wrote among other things.

However reacting to the claims also on Facebook,  Mr Kuma said the Ranking Member made his analysis without any factual basis.

“It is unfathomable to think that a former Deputy Minister of Finance could be this pessimistic, speculative and propagandist on important issues concerning the economy of Ghana.”

Below are details of the post by the deputy minister

Often, you expect those who are well-informed about development in this economy to speak the truth backed by facts. It is unfathomable to think that a former Deputy Minister of Finance could be this pessimistic, speculative and propagandist on important issues concerning the economy of Ghana. It is therefore important, I state categorically, that all the speculations by Hon. Ato Forson are his own creation and are not supported by data.

Indeed, the economy is expected to grow at 4.9% even with ravaging COVID-19. The government is turning around the economy back to the era of high growth before COVID-19 pandemic came to our shores.

1. It is not true that prices of goods are to increase by circa 30% as Hon. Ato is speculating. There is no evidence to back this speculation.

2. On the cedi’s performance, I’m surprised at Ato’s submission.  As at end December 2021, the cedis had depreciated by 3.63% compared 3.93% same time 2020. This represents one of the lowest depreciation seen in the currency in the last decade. The Pound has only deprecated by 1.64% compared to 7 08% in 2020. The cedi as at end December 2021 had APPRECIATED against the Euro by 4.48%. Certainly, it is out of place to speculate about a currency with this sterling performance. Government is confident that the cedi will hold against the major trading currencies in 2022 given all the innovative currency management policies introduced including the forward auction.

3. On fuel, it is important to state that Hon. Ato’s opinion on potential increase in fuel is not supported by any data. Indeed, the Office of President on 31st December 2021 directed the Ministry of Finance to extend the withdrawal of Price Stabilisation and Recovery Levies on Petrol, diesel and LPG for additional one month. Though fuel prices response to a number of factors, Government is determined to cushion consumers as and when necessary.

4. On taxes, let me intimate that government is not introducing any new taxes as being speculated. The e-levy as was announced by the Finance Minister, is the only levy before Parliament for consideration.

5. On interest rate, Hon. Ato’s expectation of a hike is untenable. Following the banking sector reforms, our banks have been well positioned to lend to credit worthy clients at cheaper cost. Though NPLs have increased due to COVID-19, Government is very certain that interest rates will not go out of the roof. Government through programmes such as YouStart and GhanaCARES will support individuals, businesses and institutions with cheap credit to help them realise their dreams.

6. On domestically focused financing, Hon Ato’s view that such a approach is bad for the economy is laughable. Our domestic market has proven capable of meeting the funding needs of government. Through the numerous policy interventions in the market, the market has now become solid and ready to provide the funding needed to support the budget.

In doing so, government in line with the Debt Management Strategy is mindful of the cost-risk trade off and will at all times ensure that fine balance is maintained and to protect the interest of the Republic

Brace up for more hardships this year – Ato Forson to Ghanaians

Cassiel Ato Forson is the Minority Spokesperson on Finance

Cassiel Ato Forson is the Minority Spokesperson on Finance

The Ranking Member on Finance in Parliament, Casiel Ato Forson, has predicted that Ghanaians will experience  ‘Economic Misery and inflation’ this year.

He is therefore entreating Ghanaians to brace-up for more economic hardship.

In a Facebook post, the former Deputy Finance Minister said prices of goods will be increased by at least 30%.

“Unfortunately, the Akufo-Addo/Bawumia Government has reversed the discount on all items using Benchmark values effective today.

“Please Expect Prices of Goods such as Rice, Sugar, pharmaceuticals, cement, roofing sheets to go up by at least 30% effective today,” he disclosed in an earlier post on the grounds of a statement released by the Ghana Revenue Authority on the removal of reduction of value on imports and selected items.

The Member of Parliament for Ajumako Enyan Essiam Constituency disclosed that the Ghanaian cedi now trading at almost 6.5cedis to 1 US Dollar is likely to hit 7 cedis before end of the year.

Explaining further, he said fuel prices are to go up by 18 pesewas this week.

“Multiplicity of taxes and Levies to take effect by End of January 2022. Interest Rates likely to go up again.

“Government will be borrowing heavily from the domestic market since the Euro bond market is closed to Ghana for, at least, the first half of 2022,” the MP reiterated