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.
The Deputy Majority Leader and MP for Efutu constituency, Alexander Afenyo-Markin is hopeful that the E-levy bill currently before Parliament will be passed without much problems.
Speaking to journalists at the Parliament House, Afenyo-Markin said following deepening of engagement and consultation by the Majority caucus and the Minister of Finance with the Minority in Parliament and other stakeholders on the E-levy bill, he is optimistic that consensus will be reached in Parliament for the passage of the bill.
Hon. Afenyo-Markin also described the E-levy bill as a very important policy that will help government fix roads and create more jobs for the youth.
The Electronic Transfer Levy (E-Levy) Bill was expected to be taken through the various stages Friday evening (January 28) when Parliament reconvened, even though it had earlier been scheduled for next week Tuesday.
However, after sitting from 5pm to 7:10pm, with First Deputy Speaker, Mr Joe Osei Owusu presiding, the House decided that members were exhausted and therefore adjourned to Tuesday, February 1, 2022, without the E-levy showing up for a debate on Friday night as earlier envisaged.
The Minority had argued that the House was supposed to sit at 10 am on Friday, and later members were told sitting was going to start at 2 pm.
Mr Kwame Agboja argued that members were not told that there was going to be an extended sitting.
The Majority Leader, Mr Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu had proposed a 40-minute break for rest when it was 6:45 pm, for members to return and continue with the E-levy. This was after the House had sat from 5pm and statements had been made on the passing of Captain (rtd) Kojo Tsikata, Brig-Gen Constance Emefa Edjeani-Afenu and the recent fire outbreak at Budumburam which killed a family of five that was trapped inside their building.
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
The Vice President of the Republic Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, left Accra, Ghana for New York, United States of America on Saturday January 22, 2022.
Ahead of meetings with senior officials of the United Nations, Dr Bawumia will deliver, on behalf of HE President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, a Statement during the Open Debate of the UN Security Council, to which Ghana was recently elected as a Non-Permanent member.
Dr Bawumia is also expected to hold discussions in Washington DC with the US Assistant Secretary of State for Africa, HE Ms Molly Phee on strengthening the cooperation between the two countries on issues of mutual interest.
The Vice President returns to Accra on Friday, January 28, 2022.
Member of Parliament for Asawase, Muntaka Mubarak has dared the Executive to withdraw the security of all the 137 opposition lawmakers and also withhold their salaries in attempt to frustrate them.
He said the National Democratic Congress (NDC) legislators will not be intimated by the court action against some members of his side in the House.
“The game is to intimidate, frustrate us and they think that they can weaken us but no, they cant. In fact they are rather strengthening and keeping us together.
“You are charging Dominic Ayine because of Zuarungu market , you are bringing Quayson, you are charging Akwatia MP, you can just see the frustration and it is so shameful that they forget that this is a democracy and this is being led by so called learned,” he told journalists after the first hearing of Ato Forson’s case on Monday January 17.
He added “Now, we know everyone of us in danger, they can choose to withdraw all the security that follow all the 137 of us, they can choose to even take all our salary because they think they are in the executive but believe me , it is rather going to strength us. Remember, nothing lasts forever.
“Ato Forson will always be in Parliament, he is not going to neglect that responsibility and be in court, he will always be in Parliament before he comes to court. It is for the court to decide what time they will sit so that he will be able to participate.”
The case which was called on Monday January 17 was adjourned to Tuesday, January 18, 2022.
According to the facts of the case, Dr Ato Forson, when he was a Deputy Finance Minister under the Mahama administration, executed a contract by the government of Ghana to purchase some 200 ambulances for the National Ambulance Service.
Despite the granting of a medium term loan facility of €15.8 million for the 200 ambulances, only 10 were shipped to Ghana in 2014.
“A post-delivery inspection of the first batch of 10 ambulances revealed that same were without any medical equipment in them.
“Other fundamental defects included defects on the body of the vehicles and the patient compartment of the ambulances,” the writ noted.
The two other accused are Sylvester Anemana, who was a Chief Director at the Ministry of Health, and Richard Jakpa, the Ghana representative of Dubai-based Big Sea General Trading Limited.
While Sylvester Anemana has been charged for abetment of crime namely wilfully causing financial loss to the state contrary to Sections 20(1) and 179A(3)(a) of the Criminal Offences Act, 1960 and breaching the Public Procurement Act, Richard Jakpa is on a charge of wilfully causing financial loss to the state “by intentionally causing vehicles purporting to be ambulances to be supplied tot he Republic of Ghana by Big Sea General Trading Ltd of Dubai without due cause”.
Mr Ato Forson, who is the first accused, has additionally been charged for intentionally misapplying public property contrary to section 1(2) of the Public Property Protection Act, 1977.
He is said to have misapplied €2.37 million by causing irrevocable Letters of Credit to be established against the budget of the Ministry of Health in favour of the Dubai-based firm.
The charges were brought against the three by the state
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.”
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.
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.’
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.
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.
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
One of former President John Dramani Mahama’s brothers, Mr Emmanuel Adam Mahama, has died.
A statement from the Office of the former President signed by his Aide, Joyce Bawah Mogtari, said: “This is to announce the death of Emmanuel Adam Mahama, a brother of H.E JohnDramani Mahama, on Friday, 31st December 2021 after a period of illness.”
“The family will announce plans for his burial and funeral in due course,” the statement added
The government has declared Monday, 27 December and Tuesday, 28 December 2021 as statutory public holidays.
This is because 25 December and 26 December 2021, which mark Christmas Day and Boxing Day, respectively and are statutory public holidays, fall on a weekend this year.
In view of the fact that 25 December and 26 December fall on Saturday and Sunday respectively, President Akufo-Addo has, by Executive Instrument (E.I.), in accordance with Section 2 of the Public Holidays and Commemorative Days Act, (Act 601), declared Monday, 27 December and Tuesday, 28 December 2021, as additional public holidays.
A statement issued by the Minister for the Interior Minister, Mr Ambrose Dery, on Wednesday, 22 December 2021, said the days should be observed as such throughout the country
The Office of the Speaker of Parliament, Rt. Hon. Alban S.K. Bagbin, has denied a news publication alleging that members of the Parliamentary Service Board (PSB) had held a board meeting in Dubai at the instance of the Speaker.
“There has not been any meeting of the PSB in Dubai held at the instance and convenience of the Speaker of Parliament,” a statement issued by the Office of the Speaker said.
It explained that the PSB rather participated in an international workshop and team building exercise by the Crown Agents in Dubai.
“It is worth noting that arrangement for the workshop predated the Speaker of Parliament’s medical trip to Dubai. It was initially planned for April 2021 and was finally held in September 2021. It had to be postponed a couple of times due to time constraints and availability of members of the PSB. Consequently, the workshop and the Speaker’s medical trip had nothing in common.
“We entreat all well-meaning Ghanaians to disregard this misleading publication, which only seeks to traduce the Rt.Hon. Speaker’s character by negatively projecting him and the Parliamentary Service Board.”
The Speaker recently undertook a two-week trip to Dubai to seek medical care – from November 27 to December 14.
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has charged district auditors to live up to expectation in the discharge of their duties by ensuring that all avenues that amount to leakage of the public purse are blocked.
He was unhappy with the performance of district auditors as several cases of financial malfeasance also pop up during the hearings Public Accounts Committee.
“Every time we hear details of report of the Auditor-General and hearings of the Public Accounts Committee of Parliament, we know the district auditors are not working as they should. It has become routine for the Auditor-General to uncover cases of financial malfeasance in the public service that will otherwise go unnoticed. We cannot avoid the conclusion that the district auditors must be either complacent or incompetent”.
The President was addressing auditors at the maiden edition of the district auditors’ conference in Kumasi.
The fight against corruption, according to President Akufo-Addo, can be effective if district auditors work as expected of them.
“District auditors working as they should will bring confidence in the public sector. District auditors working as they should will keep in check not only lowly clerk but also the district chief executive and ultimately the President. The district auditor is one of the primary weapons in the fight for the protection of the public purse and the fight against corruption”
“The transformation of the Audit Service in recent times has put us in a position poised to take the fight against corruption to another level. We pledge our readiness to deliver as expected of us and even more”.
The conference was on the theme “Ensuring the Efficiency and Effectiveness of the State Auditor in a digitized economy
Minister of Education Dr Yaw Osei Adutwum has disclosed that students exiting primary school into the proposed six-year Secondary School system will have as part of their courses; aeronautic science, aviation, computer programing and engineering
This, the minister indicates, will prepare the country’s young talents for advanced technologies while supporting the country’s drive to have 60% of all tertiary students offering Science; Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) programs.
“A response to the 4th industrial revolution means that our children should not only go to the secondary schools to study home economics and visual arts only. You can go to high school and learn about aviation, aeronautical sciences and computer sciences where you can write software for computers.”
“You can go to high school and learn to engineer and that is where we can create a pool of talents who can then move on into our universities where we hope to have 60% of our university students enrolled in STEM programs.”
Addressing the 45th Congregation of the Christian Service University College in Kumasi, Dr Adutwum pointed out that there was a need for Ghana to properly adopt the six-year high school system run in the United States of America where the country adopted its Junior and Senior High School system from.
“We borrowed from America but over there, junior high schools have the same facilities as senior high schools. They have practiced six years and now seven years of high school education.”
The minister further pointed out that his outfit is working at enrolling 200 SHS visual arts graduates into engineering programs in selected Universities to erode the status quo which bars such creative students from pursuing higher learning in the Sciences and Engineering.null
To further push this drive, Dr Adutwum stated that a scholarship scheme for rural children with an interest in engineering was already in the works to encourage more children in underprivileged communities to take interest in STEM.
108 postgraduate students and 350 undergraduate students graduated from the Faculty of Humanities, the School Of Business and the Faculty of Health and Applied Sciences of the Christian Service University College.
The president of the University Prof. Samuel Afrane outlined a number of measures including a quality improvement program instituted to rebrand the university to stand shoulder to shoulder with internationally recognized institutions of higher learning.
He explained, “Management of the university has instituted a policy improvement program with interventions and innovations, to transform the institution to achieve a credible and appropriate brand image to position the university as an internationally recognized private Christian university in Africa with a commitment to excel in innovative learning, teaching and cutting edge research.
He was confident with the beefing up of the university’s staff strength with 16 PHD holders and 12 others currently pursuing doctoral studies in varied disciplines, the university will soon increase its number of post-graduate programs from 4 to 7.
Vatican-based Cardinal Peter Appiah Turkson has written to Pope Francis not to continue to serve as Prefect of the Dicastery for the Promotion of Integral Human Development, multiple sources say.
The Ghanaian was appointed the first head of the Dicastery by Pope Francis in 2016.
Before then, he was the President of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace.
According to US-based Catholicnews.com, the Pope is yet to comment on the reported resignation of the only African heading a major Vatican office.
Pope Francis’s merging of the pontifical councils of Justice and Peace, Cor Unum, Migrants and Travelers, and Health Care Ministry is said to have created management challenges.
In June, Pope Francis asked Cardinal Blase J. Cupich of Chicago to conduct a visitation of the dicastery “in the context of a normal examination of the activity of the dicasteries, aimed at obtaining an updated understanding on the conditions in which they operate”.
A couple of months later, the head of the Roman Catholic Church named Salesian Sister Alessandra Smerilli as interim secretary of the human development dicastery, after the resignation of Monsignr Bruno-Marie Duffé, who served as secretary for four years.
Argentine Father Augusto Zampini, who was adjunct secretary of the office and coordinator of the Vatican’s Covid-19 Commission, also left.
Sister Smerilli later joined the management team of the Vatican’s Covid-19 Commission along with Cardinal Turkson and Scalabrinian Father Fabio Baggio, undersecretary of the dicastery’s Migrants and Refugees Section.
It is unclear what reason is behind the Ghanaian’s decision, if confirmed likely Thursday, December 23 at the traditional meeting for Christmas greetings with the Curia..
But sources say it may be because of the managerial challenges.
Cardinal Appiah Turkson, born on October 11, 1948 in Wassaw Nsuta, was made a cardinal by the late Pope John Paul II in 2003.
He was then Archbishop of Cape Coast.
He has two more years to proceed on mandatory retirement.
Despite the resignation, he is still regarded as the only African papabile, that is, a candidate for election to the papacy
Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu II is calling for an amendment of the 1992 Constitution to make chiefs signatories to mining concessions.
Again, the Asante monarch has suggested that traditional leaders be given equities in mining companies that operate within their areas to enable them to also benefit from the natural resources on their land.
According to him, if the chiefs owned equities in the mineral resources, they would be the first to protect the resources and prevent illegal mining, popularly known as ‘galamsey’.
The Asantehene made these remarks at the end-of-year meeting with the Ashanti Regional House of Chiefs at Manhyia in Kumasi on Thursday, 16 December 2021.
He also tasked chiefs in his jurisdiction not to engage in multiple sales of land and warned that any chief found culpable will be de-stooled.
Otumfuo Osei Tutu II also applauded the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Mr Samuel A. Jinapor, for his leadership in tackling matters relating to lands and the natural resources of the country.
According to the traditional leader, since the assumption of office, Mr Jinapor has discharged his duties and responsibilities with lots of diligence, humility, truth and integrity.
This, he said, will take the minister very far in his political career.
The minister was present at the meeting to address the 39-member Regional House of Chiefs on the government’s policies in the lands and natural resources sector.
In an address, he described the New Land Act 2020, as a composite law that encompasses all issues regarding land administration in Ghana.
He said Section 2 of the Act criminalises ‘landguardism’ and grants a sentence of 10 years to anyone who engages in that “forceful conduct”.
The Act, he said, also stipulates the establishment of customary land secretariats across all traditional areas, adding that foreigners cannot purchase and own land for more than 50 years in the country.
The minister also announced the setting up of a committee to look into matters and concerns raised by the chiefs relating to the entry into forest reserves by miners.
He bemoaned that 80 per cent of the country’s forests, since 1900, has been depleted and reiterated that the government has currently banned all forms of reconnaissance, prospecting and mining in forest reserves and declared them as “no-go areas”.
Mr Jinapor pleaded with the chiefs to draw his attention to anyone or company prospecting in forest reserves within their jurisdiction, saying, “prospecting for over 3 to 10 years is mining and must be stopped immediately”.
He also expressed gratitude to the Asantehene for the invitation and assured the house that his ministry will continue to collaborate with Otumfuo and his council to mitigate the challenges in the sector while improving performance at all levels.
The Executive Secretary of the Lands Commission, Mr James Dadson, said the Commission is poised to open more district offices to help decentralise their services.
“We will work with you, Nananom, to register all boundaries to prevent overlaps and bring peace,” he concluded
Speaker of Parliament Alaban Bagbin has reiterated his commitment not to preside over a House to frustrate the business of government.
In Parliament on Thursday December 16, he said “Hon. Members, to conclude on these matters, let me reiterate my solemn pledge to the people of Ghana which I canvassed in my first formal communication to this House.
“I would not superintend over a Parliament to frustrate Government business, But, I will equally not preside over a weak House or be tagged as an errand boy of the Executive arm of government.
“This House is fully focused in discharging its mandate and will do so without any fear or favour, affection or ill-will in ensuring the ultimate best interests of the Ghanaian people are served.
“Let us continue to strengthen our channels of communication, foster dialogue, encourage broader stakeholder consultation and allow the processes we have adopted for our burgeoning democracy to thrive.”
Below is his full address in Parliament…
Formal Statement by the Rt. Hon. Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin, Speaker of Parliament, on the rejection or rescission of the 2022 Budget Statement and Economic Policy of Government
Hon Members, before I proceed to address the topic of my official communication, permit me to praise and glorify the Almighty God/Allah, my fortress and my Lord, for the travelling mercies and the regeneration and renewal of my body and life. Thanks be to you, oh Lord, the creator and master of the universe. I am eternally grateful to you for your grace and love.
I also thank Hon Members for holding the fort in my absence, despite the fact that the conduct of some Members raises fundamental issues bordering on a complete disregard of parliamentary practice, procedure and process of the House. I have taken my time to read the Order Paper, Votes and Proceedings and the Official Reports of the days in issue. And I am convinced we should accept the view of the conscience of the nation that we owe Ghanaians an apology and I will proceed to do just that.
As the Head of Parliament, the voice of the Legislature, who speaks for and on behalf of Parliament, hence the title Speaker, I, with all humility apologize on behalf of the House and all the members, for the aberrations of conduct and behavior of members on those days. I take responsibility for what happens in the House and I admit the House is neither dignified nor exalted by those rancorous and unruly behavior of members. I promise to do everything within my power and authority to lead the House to chart a path of transformation, decency and change, a change for the better.
The conduct of members on those days also touches on the legality of the decisions arrived at in the House and how we arrived at those decisions. It will help for members to look at these issues dispassionately, in humility, devoid of egos and partisanship. As a House of honor, dignity and measureless might and majesty, members of Parliament should, for a while, allow the 1992 Constitution, the enabling laws, precedents and the Standing Orders of the House to lead the way.
Members need to think about how to strengthen the work of this House and by extension, strengthen Ghana’s democratic governance. Members need to consider the precedents we set by every decision and action we take in this house. Over and above that, members must bear in mind that as Members of Parliament, they also represent the people – the citizenry – not just political parties.
Hon Members, just try to recollect, or view a playback of the proceedings or read the Official reports of those sittings, and you will appreciate what I am referring to. What happened was grave disorder with its resultant comedy of errors and I will not take lightly a repeat of such disorder and indiscipline in the House.
Hon Members, I will not bore you or our audience with a recount of the scenery of those proceedings, it is however, incumbent on me to make a pronouncement on these matters and provide some direction on the path to be taken as a House to ensure we are taking steps to fulfil our sacred duty to the people of Ghana. To do this, it is necessary to summarize a few proceedings in order to lay a foundation for me to propose the way forward.
Quorum for the Conduct of Business and Quorum for Voting in Parliament
Hon. Members the first matter that requires some pronouncement is the matter of a quorum which formed the basis for the decision taken by the House to rescind the rejection of the 2022 Budget Statement and Economic Policy of Government.
Admittedly, the Constitution prescribes the quorum for the conduct of business of the House; a lack of quorum meant the business cannot be done. A quorum for one-third of members is required for the commencement of business; a quorum of not less than one-half of members is required to determine, for example, a resolution for approval of international loans and a quorum of not less than two-thirds of members is needed to amend some provisions of the constitution. Depending upon whether it is just to legitimize it to conduct business of Parliament, or take an ordinary decision or make a resolution. See Articles 69 (11), 75 (2) (b), 82 (1), 95 (2) (d), 102, 104, 106 (10), 113 (2), 174 (3), 181 (1), 268 (2), and 291(3). The provision that deals with the basic components of a quorum to transact business are;
One-third of all members of Parliament,
except the one presiding.
Hon. Members, the question of whether or not a quorum exists either for the conduct of Parliamentary business or for taking of vote in Parliament is therefore a question of fact. The practice in all Parliaments since the inception of the 4th Parliament has been to raise the issue of quorum on the floor of Parliament at the time the business or the vote is being taken.
Hon. Members, admittedly it is a responsibility of the Chair to make a determination if there is a quorum at the beginning and at any time during the sitting of the House. However, there is a presumption of quorum to undertake business unless a question is raised. The Chair may in the absence of an objection to the contrary, presume that the House is duly constituted for its work. It is only when such an objection has been raised that the Speaker may then take steps in compliance with Order 48 of S. O. of the House. This is due to a practical challenge of the Speaker knowing at every time the number of members present in the House.
Suffice it to say, however, that where the fact of the absence of a quorum is notoriously obvious to the chair, then perhaps it may be incumbent on the Chair to raise the issue suo moto.
Be that as it may, Hon. Members, the precedents and the practices and conventions of this House, require that the issue of quorum be only raised on the Floor. When the matter is not raised on the floor, the only prima facie indication of the number of Members present is in the record of the Votes and Proceedings of the House.
The following instances are quite instructive on this account;
On the 20th of June 2002, the sitting of the House was suspended after an objection was raised by Hon. Kwakye Addo, MP for Afram Plains South for the absence of a quorum to commence public business. The Rt. Hon. Peter Ala-Adjetey began the process of adjourning the House until his attention was drawn to the fact that Members had begun to fill the chamber. It is important to reiterate the comments of the then Majority Leader, Hon. Paapa Owusu-Ankomah who cautioned that the issue of quorum be looked at since members could be in attendance at Committee sittings, and be conducting Parliamentary business, but not present on the Floor of the House and thus, not counted for the purpose of forming a quorum. Hon. Paapa Owusu-Ankomah’s premise is viewed on a point of law. The issue of quorum is on members present in Parliament and not on the floor or in the Chamber of Parliament. Refer to Articles 102, 104, etc.
Similarly, on the 22nd of February 2014, this House stood adjourned when the issue lack of quorum was raised by Hon. Afenyo-Markin.
Again, on the 9th of November 2018, it was Hon. K.T Hammond who raised the issue of lack of quorum in the House during the consideration of the RTI Bill.
On 20th November 2019, Rt. Hon. Speaker Prof. Ocquaye suspended sitting after the Hon. Mahama Ayariga indicated that the House did not have the numbers to continue the debate on the 2020 Budget. Again, in this instance the issue of quorum was raised by a member during the proceedings.
Hon. Members, what the precedents tell us, and they abound, is that the issue of lack of quorum is usually raised by a Member of the Hose or the Speaker himself having regard to the numbers in the House may ask for an adjournment or suspension of sitting due to the absence of a quorum.
Hon. Members, staging a walk-out is a legitimate form of protest and is part of our Parliamentary norms and practices. Indeed, there have been several walk-outs since 1997 and each side of the aisle has used it as a legitimate tool to register their displeasure with one issue or the other.
The staging of a walk-out, however, does not render Parliament incapable of performing its functions.
Hon Members, may I refer to three (3) instances where walkouts and boycotts have been deployed and the business of the House has continued despite the walkouts.
On August 22, 2003, the Minority staged a boycott of the House in protest against the NHIA Bill. Business of the House continued despite boycott. The total number of majority members used to justify a quorum was the number 101, recorded on the Votes and proceedings of the day and not the number on the floor.
On the 23rd of February 2005, the Minority staged a walkout of the House because of the consideration of the Customs & Excise Petroleum Taxes Bill. Despite the walkout, proceedings continued and the quorum relied upon was the number of members recorded on the Votes and Proceedings as present, including names of the minority who had all walked out.
On the 19th November 2014, the Minority staged another walkout of chamber because of the Bill on the introduction of 17.5% Special Petroleum Tax levy. Again, despite the walkout, Votes and proceedings recorded 274 members present which was more than half of all members to take decisions of the day
It suffices to note that, the failure to register an objection for a lack of quorum meant any decision to be taken in respect of the purported absence of a quorum should have had regard for the numbers as enunciated in the Votes and Proceedings of the House on the said date.
The actions of the House on Tuesday 30th November 2021 bring into sharp focus the powers of a Deputy Speaker vis a vis that of the Speaker.
On that day, the First Deputy Speaker of Parliament presiding found that the vote taken on the 26th of November rejecting the budget was null and void as the requisite number was not present in accordance with Article 104 of the Constitution.
The decision taken on the 30th of November 2021 which decision suggested I acted ultra vires the Constitution when I put the question on the 2022 Budget Statement and Economic Policy of Government appears strange to me. The House was duly constituted for its work for the purposes of business and voting in accordance with Articles 102 and 104 respectively and the public record of the Votes and Proceedings of the House on the 26th of November lends credence to this position.
It is persuasive to note what Erskine May, an authority in Parliamentary Practice says on this matter; “The Speaker’s rulings constitute precedents by which subsequent Speakers, Members, and Officers are guided. . . Such precedents are noted and in the course of time may be formulated as principles or rules of practice. They are an important source of determining how the House conducts its business.”
Hon Members, as to whether a Vice President can preside over a cabinet which had early on taken a decision on a subject matter presided over by the President, and without consulting the President, get the Cabinet to overturn the decision earlier taken, is for your kind debate. But who am I to say my Deputy, Ist Deputy Speaker, the Hon Member for Bekwai Constituency, Hon Joseph Osei-Owusu, the Wise, might have indulged in an act of misconduct tantamount to insubordination.
Hon. Members, we ought to be mindful of the precedents that exist in this House to guide our conduct. This will ultimately prevent an interpretation of our rules that provides us with problems.
Deputy Speaker being counted for the purposes of Quorum
Hon. Members at this point, it is important for me to address the decision of the Hon. First Deputy Speaker in declaring that the quorate number of 138 required to take a vote had been met when the House sat on the 30th of November 2022.
Without a doubt, our Standing Orders and the 1992 Constitution outlines clearly the bar on the one presiding in Parliament in respect of participating in debates or voting on any matter. Article 102 of the Constitution is to the effect that the person presiding, be it the Speaker, a Deputy Speaker or a Member presiding does not form part of the quorate number.
Whether or not the principle applies in pari materia with Article 104 is immaterial because a different issue at law arises which respectfully, the Hon. First Deputy Speaker may not have averted his mind to.
A distinction must be drawn between the temporary absence of the Speaker from the chamber in which case any of the Deputy Speakers may preside, and when the Speaker is unavoidably absent as provided for under Order 13(2). In fact, Order 13 creates two different types of instances under which the Deputy Speaker may preside in accordance with Article 101 of the Constitution.
Under Order 13(1), any of the Deputy Speakers may be asked to take the Chair whenever Mr. Speaker so requests due to his temporary absence from the Chamber. The Deputy Speaker presides until such a time that Mr. Speaker is able to resume the Chair to preside over the proceedings. It must be noted that, under this ambit, the Deputy Speaker may be counted as forming part of the Quorate number required for either business or voting because at the beginning of the sitting, he was not exercising the powers of the Speaker.
Order 13(2) presents a different situation. Under this order, the Speaker’s unavoidable absence from the precincts of Parliament means the First Deputy Speaker assumes the authority of the Speaker and performs all the duties of the Speaker in relation to the Chamber. In this role, the First Deputy Speaker takes on the cloak of an Acting Speaker and for the purposes of our rules and the Constitution assumes all the powers of the Speaker in relation to the business of the House.
In this sense therefore, the First Deputy Speaker for the period of my unavoidable absence from Parliament was the Acting Speaker of Parliament and thus all rules and limitations applied to him in a manner that applies to the substantive Speaker of Parliament.
By and large, the reasoning of the First Deputy Speaker outlining the fact that he is not the Speaker, he holds his membership and does not lose his privileges as a member when he takes the Chair can be said to be correct. However, in so far as he takes on the role as the Acting Speaker of Parliament, his decision to be counted as part of the numbers forming a quorum raises procedural challenges.
Hon. Members, although our Standing Orders are silent on this, many Standing orders and rules from several sister Parliaments provide persuasive rules which suggest that when Deputy Speaker’s or acting Speakers are in the Chair, whatever happens in the House is that officer’s responsibility and the Speaker cannot be called upon to overrule it. Similarly, the reverse is also the case that when a Speaker is in the Chair, whatever happens in the House is the Speaker’s responsibility and the Deputy Speaker or acting Speaker cannot be called upon to overrule it
However, Hon. Members we are where we are because we need to make progress on this matter in a manner that is consistent with our laws, and ensures we are allowing the governance of our country to thrive.
Letter presented by Minister Responsible for Finance on Concessions and Modifications to the 2022 Budget Statement
Hon. Members, I am aware of a letter originating from the Minister for Finance which letter purports to make some concessions and modifications to the 2022 Budget Statement and Economic Policy of Government.
The legal basis of the laying of such a letter and what actions Parliament may take as a result leaves a lot to be desired. I have however held discussions with the Leadership of the House to find a path that is faithful to law, respects our rules and processes and ensures the governance of the country does not grind to a halt.
In that vein the Leadership and I agree that the following steps be taken;
The Minister responsible for Finance comes before the House with an amended statement of the Budget with the said modifications and concessions.
These modifications and concessions will then be adopted by the House and the revised document with the estimates will stand committed to the various Committees of Parliament.
I am aware the Committees have begun consideration of the estimates. It would thus be their responsibility to reconcile the revised estimates with what they have hitherto considered and submit a report for the consideration of the House.
Hon. Members, to conclude on these matters, let me reiterate my solemn pledge to the people of Ghana which I canvassed in my first formal communication to this House. I would not superintend over a Parliament to frustrate Government business, But, I will equally not preside over a weak House or be tagged as an errand boy of the Executive arm of government. This House is fully focused in discharging its mandate and will do so without any fear or favour, affection or ill-will in ensuring the ultimate best interests of the Ghanaian people are served.
Let us continue to strengthen our channels of communication, foster dialogue, encourage broader stakeholder consultation and allow the processes we have adopted for our burgeoning democracy to thrive.
President Nana Akufo- Addo has kicked against the reopening of land borders despite the decrease in infections of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Addressing the nation Wednesday night on measures taken to combat the deadly disease, the President said the time was not right for the country to reopen its land borders as his government is determined to prevent a potential 4th wave of the disease.
The government has been under pressure from residents in border towns to reopen land borders for economic activities, which were curtailed at the height of the pandemic. Some residents of Aflao (Ketu South) led by their Member of Parliament, Dzifa Gomashie, recently embarked on a series of demonstrations to compel the government to reopen the Aflao border to allow economic activity to take place. Similar protests were organized in Elubo in the Western Region.
However, the President insists that the time is just not right to reopen land boarders.
“As you know, the decision to close our borders, which are a source of livelihoods for many, was necessary because we wanted to limit the importation of the virus into the country.
“We are monitoring the level of threat of the disease and ongoing vaccinations in our neighbouring countries, and, as soon as we are satisfied that it is safe to do so, the borders will be open,” Nana Akufo-Addo said.
“Until then, I believe this is not the right time to reopen our land borders, especially as we are determined to prevent a 4th wave, and, as such, they will remain closed until further notice,” the president insisted.
Meanwhile, the president said his government had beefed up its response capability and capacity to deal with the virus should the nation encounter an upsurge in infections.
“Over time, we have expanded our healthcare infrastructure, including oxygen supply and reach, particularly with respect to testing and treatment centres, and the training of health professionals across the country, in the care of severe and critically ill persons,” he said.
The President, however, said the country’s best bet in the fight remains adhering to the enhanced hygiene, social distancing, and mask-wearing protocols, and getting vaccinated.
“Let us choose to live and act responsibly throughout the Christmas festivities, and remember that our actions or inactions will either help to end the pandemic at a much faster rate, or continue to spread the virus in the country. I, on my part, will do everything possible to protect lives and livelihoods, and help return our nation to normalcy. It is possible, and the Government of Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo is determined to realize this goal as quickly as possible,” he added.
Embrace ‘I am creating a job for myself and others’ mentality, Osafo-Maafo
TVET would driver Ghana’s development
Senior presidential advisor, Yaw Osafo-Maafo, urged the Ghanaian youth to embrace the entrepreneurial agenda currently being championed by the government.
He said young people should do away with the sense of job entitlement and rather take on the mentality of creating their own jobs. He reiterated that the youth should have the mentality of “I am creating a job for myself and others”.
Following the above assertion, the presidential adviser stated that the 2022 budget which emphasised the role of entrepreneurship in the development of Ghana was the best budget the country has had so far.
The budget was the best, he said: “because, there are two things in it which are fundamental and these are some entrepreneurship training that we are putting as part of responsibility of government to ensure that the youth is resourced financially to be entrepreneurial, that people cannot use access to funds as a handicap.
“That people can develop skills and become entrepreneurs; the introduction of the E-levy is extremely critical. These two things in this budget, people must hail it, it is fundamentally a good document,” he added.
Yaw Osafo-Maafo who made these remarks during the launch of the new Ghana Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Service said TVET was essential for the creation of more entrepreneurs in Ghana.
He said the Ghana TVET Services would help make TVET the driver of Ghana’s development.
Details of the commemorative gold coins to celebrate the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, for his contributions towards peace-building and the overall development of the country, has been released.
The unveiling was done at the Manhyia Palace in Kumasi on Sunday night at the climax of the last Akwasidae of the year for Asanteman.
The Bank of Ghana (BoG) gave the permission to Gold Coast Refinery Limited to design commemorative gold coins to celebrate the Asantehene, for his contribution to the peace, stability and development of the country in the past 22 years and after he was accorded the title ‘Pillar of Peace’.
The Precious Minerals Marketing Company (PMMC) in collaboration with a business solutions provider, the EON 3 Group, spearheaded the launch of the gold coins which are of 99.99 per cent assay at 24 carat fine gold, with a diameter of 37mm and weight of 31.104 grammes each.
The face of the gold coins bears the image of the Asantehene, with the Adinkra symbols ‘Bi Nka Bi’ and ‘Mpatapo’, which symbolise peace, harmony and reconciliation and the reverse bears an image of the Golden Stool (Sika Dwa).
A statement issued by EON 3 Group said “these Gold Coins will be a long-life project that will stand as a legacy for His Royal Majesty Otumfuo Osei Tutu II.”
It said “proceeds raised will be used to establish a Cultural Resource Centre, which will employ the latest technologies and IT platforms to promote activities related to traditional and customary conflict resolution in Ghana as well as other peace initiatives.”
The Governor of the Bank of Ghana, Dr. Ernest Addison, explained that the outdoored gold coin in honour of Otumfuo Osei Tutu II is not a legal tender.
“The bank approved the issuance of a commemorative coin and offered to assist to procure the coin through appropriate channels. The gold coin will be of no monetary value. By that we mean it will not be a medium of exchange and not exactly a legal tender,” Dr. Addison said.
He emphasised that the commemorative gold coin “is not expected to display any face value to avoid risk of being confused with legal tender in circulation.”
The Governor expressed his pleasure in the bank’s decision to associate with the launch of the coin, in acknowledgement of the strides made by the Asantehene.
“In recognition of the invaluable role and your remarkable achievements in the preservation of peace in the safeguarding of life, the development of Ghana and ensuring peaceful coexistence of the citizenry of Ghana, the Bank of Ghana proudly associates itself with the launch of this commemorative gold coin to climax your Majesty’s 20th year as the Asantehene,” Dr. Addison remarked
The duration for Senior High School Education in Ghana will be shifted from 3 to 6 years, Education Minister Dr Yaw Osei Adutwum, has said.
This decision forms part of efforts to transform secondary education in Ghana with Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) at the centre.
Dr Adutwum further said the number of high schools in Ghana is going to be reduced from 13,000to about 2,500 after the county education system
“That facilities we are providing is just like any high school facility and every one of these schools has library , biology, chemistry and physics lab. Beautiful school buildings and they are coming to a community near you very soon.
“In 2023 when we open those schools you are going to see how we are going to provide six years quality secondary education and not three years plus some three years old middle school-led education that we call high school,” he told journalists in Accra on Tuesday December 14.
Dr Adutwum had earlier said the government was determined to improve on STEM education in the country.
He said the administration was going to partner various stakeholders including private sector operators to provide the much-needed infrastructure like laboratories, workshops, and lecture rooms for STEM based institutions.
“With the Government pursuing strategies aimed at increasing the Gross Tertiary Enrollment Ratio (GTER) from the current 18.84% to 40% by 2030, it is in our interest to continuously expand the infrastructural base of the various tertiary institutions,” Dr. Adutwum said.
He added, “We are all aware of the many ongoing projects on our tertiary campuses, some of which have been abandoned for years, while others are in urgent need of additional Government funding for completion
On Monday December 13 two deputy chairs at the Electoral Commission (EC) Dr Bossman Asare and Samuel Tettey, were prevented from attending a meeting with Parliament’s Special Budget Committee.
This was after they could not explain the absence of the Chair of the elections management body, Jean Mensa who was expected to show up.
A member of the Committee, Ahmed Ibrahim, told journalists that Mrs Mensa had gained notoriety for not appearing before parliament hence the committee’s inability to allow the two deputies to represent her.
The meeting was to consider the 2022 budget estimates of the Electoral Commission.
Mr Ahmed Ibrahim said “Because this is the only Committee that oversights all the constitutional bodies. All the other constitutional bodies have been here by their chairpersons and chief executive officers. So it will not be fair to them.
“And this is not the first time you know when we went to rock city to do the mid-year budget performance review, she could not come; her deputies arrived. We listened to them.
“So we were with the view that when we come for the budget hearing, she will come. So it was unfortunate that she was not here. But there are serious constitutional issues that would be raised in the budget hearing,” he said
Defence Minister, Dominic Nitiwul, has told parliament on Tuesday December 14 consultrations on the pruchase of a presidentail jet is ongoinbg.
He said he will table it before parliament when the consultations are over.
The Bimbila lawmaker was responding to questions raised by North Tongu Member of Parliament Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa on the steps the ministry has initiated to purchase a new presidential jet and the justification.
Executive jet does not mean it is for the sole use of the president. In America no other person can use the Airforce One apart from the President and the Vice.
“We have an executive jet and I am saying to you that Executive Jet issued to do government business and that is the classification.”
He had earlier revealed that the Ghana Airforce of Ghana is requesting for a multi-functional aircraft to add to its inventory as a requisite command and control asset.
“The Ghana Airforce of Ghana is once again requesting for a multi-functional aircraft to add to its inventory as a requisite command and control asset, to be able to connect Ghana’s National Security to diplomacy,” he said on the floor of Parliament while answering questions about the cost of renting a presidential jet for President Akufo-Addo’s recent trip to Europe, on Wednesday June 16.
North Tongu Member of Parliament Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa had raised issued with claims by that the cost of renting a presidential jet for President Akufo-Addo’s trips doesn’t matter.
This was after Mr Nitiwul had justified the president’s decision to rent a luxurious aircraft for use two weeks ago on a Europe and Africa tour at the cost of over 2.6 million cedis.
He said the capacity of the falcon presidential aircraft can no longer carry the president’s entourage without re-fueling.
“The decision to travel particularly to long and multiple destinations such as the president travelling to France, Belgium, South African and back to Ghana especially during this covid time will always require a larger capacity aircraft such as a DBKJ or an aircraft ATJ 319 even when the Falcon is air ready,” he said.
The former Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Cocoa Board Dr Stephen Kwabena Opuni has petitioned the Chief Justice Kwasi Anin Yeboah over the conduct of Justice Clemence Honyenuga.
Aside filing another motion asking Justice Clemence Honyenuga to recuse himself for allegedly exhibiting “bias tendencies and open hostility towards” him, he wants a fresh judge to hear his case.
To this end, proceedings on Monday, December 13, was suspended to await the directives from the CJ.
Dr Opuni, per the petition to the Chief Justice, Kwesi Anin-Yeboah wants a new Judge to hear the motion pending at the High Court.
The application has had been fixed for Thursday, December 16, 2021.
Justice Honyenuga, a Justice of the Supreme Court, who is sitting with additional responsibility as a High Court judge has also been accused of giving preferential treatment to the Attorney General.
The motion to recuse himself stated that, “The conduct of His Lordship Justice Clemence Honyenuga since I opened my defence is one of open hostility towards me, his acts and conduct is such that justice cannot be said to be seen to be done,” the affidavit in support of the motion file on Friday, December 10, 2021 stated.
In court on Tuesday, December 13, Justice Honyenuga, a Justice of the Supreme Court adjourned the trial pending the outcome of the CJ.
This was after the Judge was notified of a motion filed by Dr Opuni through his Counsel, Mr Samuel Codjoe for the judge to recuse himself and hand over the case to another Judge.
When the caae was called, the Judge told the parties in the trial that, there was a motion for him to recuse himself from the trial and a petition sent to the Chief Justice.
But, Mrs Yvonne Attakora-Obuobisa, Director of Public Prosecution (DPP), said they were not served.
The DPP contended that, Counsel could have fixed the hearing of the motion for (Monday, December 13, 2021), knowing very well there was a Court sitting, especially so, because there was such a precedent in the same case at the Supreme Court.
She said the motion should not be made to operate as a stay till it was determined, adding that the dates agreed on and set by the Court must be respected, hence the trial must continue.
AG served with motion
Counsel Codjoe told the Court, that the motion was filed on Friday, December 10, 2021, and on Monday, December 13, 2021, they served a copy of the petition and that of the motion on the Attorney General’s Department, where they acknowledge receipt.
He said considering what the DPP said, she was urging the Counsel to engage in an Act, which was strictly prohibited by the Court deciding on cases, which by virtue of Article 129 (3) of the Constitution was binding on the Court.
He said the DPP’s allegation on him fixing dates in cases was unacceptable and unconstitutional rather it was the Registrar, who fixed dates.
The Judge after listening to both parties adjourned the trial decided to suspend the substantive matter fixed for Monday, December 13, 2021, and adjourned same to December 16, 2021, awaiting the Chief Justice decision or directive.
Dr Opuni, the first accused person has opened his defence with former Director of Finance at COCOBOD as the first of his eight witnesses.
Dr. Opuni, Seidu Agongo and Agricult Ghana Limited are standing trial for 27 charges for allegedly causing financial loss to the state, defrauding by false pretences, conspiracy to commit crime, abetment of crime, money lingering , corruption by public officer and contravention of the PPA Act.
Together, they are accused of causing a financial loss of over GH¢217 million to the state through the sale and purchase of the controversial Lithovit Liquid Fertiliser, which according to the prosecution, was never tested.
They have all pleaded not guilty to the charges and have been granted bail.
The Ghana Geological Survey Authority has discovered large quantities of Iron ore deposits in Akokrowa, a farming community in the Oti Region of Ghana.
The iron ore, according to the geological investigation, is 55.22 weight percent (fe) and of a higher grade.
The Minister for Lands and Natural Resources Hon. Samuel A Jinapor at a meeting with the Chiefs and people of Akokrowa on Tuesday 14th December, 2021 said government will ensure that the commodity found in the area benefits the people.
He said government is determined to provide value addition to its raw commodity and would ensure that the Ghana Intergrated Iron and Steel Development work closely with the GGSA and the community to ensure that full value chain is retained in the region and the country.
He maintained that the exploration and the business of the Iron will create jobs and wealth for the people of Oti and the country in general.
Hon. Jinapor, who is on a two day tour of the Volta and Oti regions as part of his nationwide working visit, described the discovery of the iron ore in commercial quantities as ” Good News” and urged the Chiefs and people to work in harmony to drive development to the area.
In a welcome remarks, the Omanhene of the Apesokubi Traditional Area Okogyeaman Koram II, expressed the readiness of his people to make the project a success.
He pledged to support the GGSA, GIISDEC and government, saying ” I will release Lands to expand and push the progress of the work as and when required”.
The Chief also appealed to the government through the Hon. Minister to provide them with electrification, schools, hospitals and other amenities to help relief the people while commending the President of the Republic for the creation of the Oti Region which has long being on the drawing Board.
Five persons including an 8-month-old baby have met their untimely death in accident that occurred on the Adeiso to Nsawam road in the Eastern Region.
Reports says a Nissan bus with a registration number GG 3212-19 from New Abirem, heading to Accra ran into a pothole causing the accident.
According to the New Abirem station master, Nuhu, when the bus got to a filling station at Adeiso on the Accra-Kumasi highway, it hit a deep pothole on the road, and as a result of the speed it was moving at, one of its tyres burst.
He said the driver lost control and the vehicle somersaulted several times, adding that because the passengers had no seat belt, some of them were thrown out of the window as the bus somersaulted.
“Five people came out from the window and hit their heads on the road and died. These five were two females and three males including the 8 months old baby,” he said.
He explained that “the tragic part was that when the baby came out from the window onto the road, the bus ran over the baby and was smashed”.
He cried out that the driver had loaded lots of things at the back of the vehicle and on top of it, making the bus very heavy.
The driver together with two other passengers sustained minor injuries.
The driver was immediately arrested by the Nsawam Police who rushed to the scene and was taken to the station to write his statement and later granted bail after being given a medical form to attend hospital.
The reports said one woman who sustained minor injury, lost her husband and baby and another man lost his wife through the accident.
Meanwhile, the bodies of the deceased havevbeen taken to the Nsawam Government Hospital Morgue and the other passengers who sustained serious injuries are receiving treatment at the Nsawam Government Hospital
Former Inspector General of Police (IGP), David Asante-Apeatu, has discontinued the defamation case he brought against a Net2 TV Journalist, Justice Kwaku Annan.
The former IGP sued Justice Kwaku Annan, host of ‘The Seat’ of Net 2 Television for defamation.
The decision to discontinue the case comes after the lawyer of the former IGP was told in court by the judge sitting on the case that he ‘did not know the people he was dealing with’.
“Counsel, you say today s your birthday, if I were you, I will use my birthday to write a letter to the registry and let Clark together with the court look for him and service him. You don’t know the people you are dealing with”.
Mr. Asante-Apeatu asked the court for damages; costs, including lawyers fees over defamatory comments made by Mr Annan in a June 16, 2021 broadcast which he avers injured his reputation as a well-known retired IGP of Ghana and a forensic specialist.
According to the statement of claim, Mr Annan in the broadcast suggested that the IGP is a fence for criminals in Nigeria and Ghana, harbours as well as works in cahoots with criminals and is on the payroll of top criminals in Ghana.
“The plaintiff avers that the words complained of are utterly false, products of the defendant’s imagination and were mischievously calculated by the defendant to disparage the plaintiff and to create disaffection for him and to bring him into odium in the eyes of right-thinking members of the Republic and the global community,” the suit reads.
“In consequence, the plaintiff’s reputation has been egregiously damaged and he has suffered debilitating distress and embarrassment. Further, he has been inundated with numerous calls from professional associates, journalists, social relations and friends and outright strangers, and he has had to answer very mortifying questions”.
However, in a letter sighted by Starrfm.com.gh Mr. Asante-Apeatu instructed his lawyer to stop pursing the case without stating any reason for discontinuing with the case.
Attached is the discontinuing statement from the Former IGP
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has said the double-track system which was introduced to enable more students benefit from the implementation of the Free Senior High School (SHS) suffered unfounded criticisms and vilification.
In his views, the result of this year’s West African Senior Secondary School Examinations (WASSCE) indicate that the criticisms were unsubstantiated.
The double-track system was introduced by the government of Ghana on the 11th September, 2018.
It started with green track students enrolled for the 2018/2019 academic year to absorb more students into the Senior High School SHS.
The policy attracted criticisms from some Ghanaians including members of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) who believed that the government was destroying the educational system.
“I believe that if Ghanaians come together we can come out with a workable timetable and schedule for implementing free SHS, because the double track system is not understandable. We just finished vacation, children have been at home for almost three months, it’s time to go to school and you say they should stay back at home for another forty-one days and let their friends go so they can also go after that time.
“It doesn’t make sense and that is because our friends don’t listen to advice,” Mr Mahama said at Cape Coast where he was campaigning for the slot to lead the NDC in the 2020 election.
“I believe that if Ghanaians come together we can come out with a workable timetable and schedule for implementing free SHS, because the double track system is not understandable. We have talked about this national stakeholders conference for so long but they have refused to hold it”.
But in a short statement released by the Director of Communications at the Presidency, Mr Eugene Arhin on Saturday December 11, 2021 reacting to the results of this year’s WASSCE, Mr Akufo-Addo said “The 2021 WASSCE results of the second batch of the Akufo-Addo graduates” show 54.08% of students recoding AI-C5 in English, as opposed to 51.6% in 2016, 65.7% recording AI-C6 in Integrated Science in 2021, as opposed to 48.35 in 2016, 54.11% recoding AI-C6 IN Mathematics, as compared to 33.12% in 2016 and 66.03% recording AI-C6 in Social Studies, as compared to 54.55% in 2016. Lest we forget, the 2021 batch of students were the pioneer of the double track system , which elicited a lot of vilification and unfounded criticism on its introduction.”
WAEC on Wednesday, December 8, 2021, in a statement said “a total of 1,339 subject results and 174 entire results of some students who sat for the 2021 WASSCE for School Candidates in Ghana have been cancelled”.
“It added that “the entire results of 3,667 candidates have also been withheld pending the conclusion of investigations into various cases of examination malpractice detected during and after the conduct of the examination.
Additionally, the scripts of candidates from 194 schools in certain subjects have been withheld and are being scrutinized”.
President Nana Akufo-Addo has said he is not a court to clear or convict persons accused of corruption in his government.
That job, he noted, is solely for the courts.
Speaking at a high-level national conference on the theme: “Building a culture of integrity for generations” to commemorate International Anti-Corruption Day and Human Rights Day in Accra on Friday, 10 December 2021, the president said no corruption allegation against any of his appointees has gone uninvestigated under him.
“The government has undertaken, arguably, the boldest initiative since our nation attained independence nearly 65 years ago, to reform and strengthen the capacity of our institutions to tackle corruption in the public sector”, the president said.
“Charity, they say, begins at home; and, that is why, so far, every single alleged act of corruption levelled against any of my appointees has been investigated by independent bodies such as the Commission for Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), Criminal Investigations Department (CID) and, in some cases, by Parliament itself”, he asserted.
“It is not my job to clear or convict any person accused of wrongdoing or of engaging in acts of corruption; that is the job of the courts”, he emphasised.
The president clarified: “My job is to act on allegations of corruption by referring the issue or issues to the proper investigative agencies for the relevant inquiry and necessary action, including – if required – the suspension of the affected official pending the conclusion of the investigations”.
“That is exactly what has been done since I assumed the mantle of national leadership on 7 January 2017”, said the president.
He recalled: “As it was in 2019, I suspended the then-acting head of the Public Procurement Authority from office after conflict of interest and corruption allegations had been levelled against him”.
“Following recommendations from CHRAJ based on their investigation, I removed him from office in October 2020 and the Office of the Special Prosecutor, is seized with the matter for prosecution”, he noted
State-owned Ghana Oil Company (GOIL) has suspended its membership of the Association of Oil Marketing Companies (AOMCs) with immediate effect following accusations that its recent reduction in fuel prices was due to government influence.
The government had urged oil marketing companies (OMCs) to reduce prices of petroleum products in order to cushion the motoring public. This had followed a sit-down strike by some driver unions.
GOIL complied with this recommendation and reduced its prices to GHp15 per litre at the pumps, having recently reduced them by GHp14 per litre.
But the AOMC wrote to the Minister of Energy, Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh, asking government to steer clear of price deregulation as being implemented by OMCs.
This appears not to have gone down well with GOIL as captured in a statement dated Wednesday, December 8, 2021.
“GOIL wants to state categorically that at no point did the government ‘direct’ the company to reduce its fuel prices as being alleged and circulated.
“GOIL is a listed company with a constituted Board of Directors and Management and takes decisions based on prudent commercial principles,” the statement signed by Managing Director Kwame Osei-Prempeh said.
It stressed that the recent reduction in prices was as a result of the consideration of the welfare of the ordinary Ghanaian.
It sad the motive was “to cushion Ghanaians in the difficult post-Covid period”.
It therefore challenged AOMC to provide proof of its allegations.
“The allegation that government is interfering in the industry is unfounded and baseless. GOIL has the right as any other OMC to determine its prices.
“We at GOIL believe the association has shown gross disrespect to the company and treated it with contempt and public ridicule. GOIL has therefore decided to suspend its membership of the association immediately
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has said West Africa and for that matter, Ghana must not give up when it comes to guaranteeing the integrity of the electoral process and consolidating peace through the establishment of accurate electoral registers, the due validation of candidatures, the material organisations of ballots, and the proclamations of authentic results.
Speaking at the 2 nd Kofi Annan Peace and Security Forum, held at the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre (KAIPTC), on Wednesday, 8th December 2021, stated that Ghana is often touted as a beacon of democracy in Africa, and has won plaudits for her democratic credentials.
Though still fraught with challenges, he indicated that Ghanaian democracy has been consolidated with the conduct of eight (8) elections, five (5) presidential transitions, three (3) of which resulted in the peaceful transfer from one political party to another.
“We want to be seen as a positive influence in other African countries who continue to face challenges with democratic consolidation,” he added.
He continued, “Out of duty towards our children and grandchildren, we must not give up when it comes to guaranteeing the integrity of the electoral process and consolidating peace through the establishment of accurate electoral registers, the due validation of candidatures, the material organisations of ballots, and the proclamations of authentic results”.
Touching on Ghana’s candidature for a non-permanent seat in the United Nations Security Council for the years 2022-2023, which was successful, with Ghana garnering the highest number of votes on the day, he assured that Ghana will make sure that Africa’s voice is heard loud and clear in the deliberations of the Council, both on matters affecting the continent and on global issues.
“With the continent confronted by multiple threats to the territorial integrity of some of its states, and many of its civilian populations being put under serious threat, it will be our position on the Council that now is not the time for the Security Council to reduce its peacekeeping mandates on the continent. On the contrary, it should look to increasing them. We must not, on the global scale, be caught in a “penny wise, pound foolish” scenario,” President Akufo-Addo added.
Member of Parliament for Tema West, Carlos Kingsley Ahenkorah, has asked Ghanaians who do not want to pay the 1.75 e-levy to stop using Mobile Money (MoMo).
He said the propanganda against the e-levy for political expediency is nauseating.
He told TV3’s Komla Klutse in an interview in Parliament on Wednesday December 8 that “No human being or no person likes to pay tax but it is a known fact that taxes are generally appalled by people who are supposed to pay them.
“So, what is happening is quite understandable. But to the extent that it has been used to gain some political points or it is being done for political expediency, for me, is very unfortunate.
“I will tell you something, I have always been saying that the MoMo tax is not a compulsory tax, you only pay when you use it. If you don’t use it you don’t pay so for me, there is no way any other procedure for making payments is going to equal MoMo.
“Right now, what we are saying is the tax is targeted at those who have the ability to pay, not those who are receiving. If you are receiving it is okay to go and negotiate with the person who has gone to the bank to borrow money and be a MoMo agent, pay money out, otherwise keep the money on your phone and you don’t pay any money.
“It is money targeted at those who want to use the service, even if I stand here and tell people that if you like don’t pay or if you like don’t use MoMo, I tell you, using MoMo will be far cheaper. If you think using the MoMo service is difficult or expensive, you try taking your money out there and even see.”
Three school children have died after a vehicle conveying them home collided head-on with an overtaking car.
The three deceased children have been identified as Jerry Quartey, Osten Kwaku and Albert Odame Sarfo, all 7 years.
Starr News has gathered that the incident occurred Tuesday, December 7, 2021, at about 4:30 pm when an Almera Taxi Cab with registration number GS 5736-09 carrying the twelve (12) school children and driven by Atiemo Erasmus collided head-on with an unregistered Toyota Camry driving by suspect Penry Boahen, 24, who engaged in wrong overtaking upon reaching Mampong Akuapem from Akropong direction.
Occupants on both vehicles including the school children and both drivers sustained serious injuries and were rushed to Tetteh Quarshie Memorial Hospital.
Three of the children were confirmed dead while two were quickly rushed to Korle Bu Teaching Hospital and Ridge Hospital in Accra.
Parents of the victims have since been trooping to the Tetteh Quarshie Hospital in anxiety after hearing the accident.
This resulted in near chaos and stampede as parents and family members were forcing their way to the wards to see their children.
The Public Relations Officer of the Eastern Regional Police Command, DSP Ebenezer Tetteh told confirmed the accident to Starr news when contacted.
He, however, said the two suspect drivers will be arrested to assist investigation when discharged.
The two vehicles have been impounded and towed to the Police station for testing
The Government of Ghana is implementing two major interventions to urgently respond to the effects of climate change.
These are the Ghana Cocoa Forest REDD+ Programme (GCFRP) in cocoa forest land scape, mainly in the southern part of the country and The Ghana Shea Lands Scape Emission Reduction Programme in the Northern Savannah zones of Ghana.
Ghana’s Minister for Lands and Natural Resources Hon Samuel A. Jinapor stated this at the opening of 12th Bosphorus Summit, in Istanbul, Turkey on Monday 6th December, 2021.
These programmes, the Minister said will enhance the ecosystem whiles improving Livelihood opportunities for farmers, women groups and Forest users in general.
Hon. Jinapor said in line with the vision of the President of the Republic of Ghana, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, the country on June 11th 2021, successful planted 7 million seedlings nationwide under the flagship Green Ghana initiative.
He also stated that a robust Afforestation Programme which seeks to restore degraded land scapes across all ecological zones and inculcate the culture of tree planting among the Ghanaian Youth will be rolled out soon as part of government’s Master Plan on Land scape restoration.
The Minister also called on various countries, institutions and the private sector actors to partner Ghana and exchange the rich experience and best practices in land scape restoration among others.
Hon. Jinapor further urged participants at the Summit and the International Community to deliberate on the effects of Climate Change on the ecosystem which links forest and sustainable Livelihoods.
He said ” Let us invest in technology and science that prevents impact of climate change on the Livelihoods of the people we lead”.
The Minister was of the view that ” We can only achieve our aim if global climate actions are real and verifiable, and this we must do, by embracing real and verifiable emissions reduction initiatives”.
On his part, the Chairman of the International Cooperation Platform (ICP) Mr. Rona Yircali said the time has come for the International Community to reaffirm their commitment towards the enhancement of the environment.
He hoped discussions at the Summit including Climate Change and the importance of Agriculture will help to make the world a better place.
The 12th Bosphorus Summit hosted by Turkey’s Commercial Capital Istanbul, featured the participation of Ministers of State, Diplomats, experts and Academics from Ghana, Angola, Jordan, Turkey, Kosovan, Palestine, Denmark, Belgium, UK, USA , Norway, Azerbaijan and many other countries worldwide.
Other discussions centered on cyber security, artificial intelligence, conflict resolution, transport and Industrialisation.
Government has reviewed 1.75% e-levy to 1.5%, Ken Ofori-Atta
Government to generate revenue from e-levy
Brouhaha surrounding e-levy sends uncertainty to the global capital market, Oppong Nkrumah
Information Minister, Kojo Oppong-Nkrumah, has said the probability of Ghana running back to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for financial assistance is high if the proposed e-levy on all electronic transactions and remittances is rejected.
According to him, the e-levy has been programmed in a way to generate about 6.7 billion dollars as revenue for the country.
Speaking on CitiTV Point of View programme on Friday, December 3 and monitored by GhanaWeb, the Information Minister said, the more people talk ‘evil’ about the e-levy, the more it sends the wrong signals to investors on the global market.
He said, “this e-levy has been programmed to bring us about a billion dollars. About 6.7 or so billion dollars. It is equivalent to what if you don’t go for this e-levy, we will end up going to IMF… We have found a revenue measure which we believe will do the trick for us. Now, if you come and stand on the floor and begin litigating – okay I’ll move it to this, I’ll move it to that, you begin to send signals unto the global capital market of uncertainty,” he added.
“Even present investors in your bonds will begin to ask themselves whether your fiscal measures are credible, whether they should continue staying in your bonds or begin to withdraw which will have an effect [on us],” he stated.
It would be recalled that on November 17, 2021, Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, during the 2022 budget reading in parliament, announced the introduction of 1.75% tax on all electronic transactions.
He later said government has reviewed the e-levy tax from 1.75% to 1.5%.
According to him, this new directive forms part of strategies to widen the country’s tax net.null
He added that the e-levy will enhance financial inclusion and protect the vulnerable in the country.
President Akufo-Addo has described as unfair and discriminatory travel bans placed on some African countries after South African scientists sequenced and recorded the Omicron variant of COVID-19
According to Akufo-Addo, attempts to single out African countries for the imposition of travel bans, as instruments of immigration control, were highly regrettable given the fact that the variant was discovered initially in the Netherlands and not in Africa.
The United States, the United Kingdom and the European Union have barred entry to travellers from South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Lesotho, Eswatini, Egypt, Mozambique, Malawi and Nigeria, following the discovery of the Omicron variant of COVID-19 in those countries.
At a joint media briefing at the Jubilee House on Saturday in Accra, after bilateral talks by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, who is on a two-day visit to Ghana, called for the bans to be lifted immediately.
“We repeat our firm opposition to all attempts to single out African countries for the imposition of travel bans as instruments of immigration control when we are told, for example, that the omicron variant of COVID-19, which was recently sequenced and reported by South African scientists, was discovered much earlier in the Netherlands,” said President Akufo-Addo.
Akufo-Addo added, “Those scientists should be applauded by the world and not be the object of condemnation and travel bans.”null
President Ramaphosa said the travel ban was a “slap in the face of not just South Africa but African excellence in scientific endeavor.”
“It was African Scientist who detected this variant and who alerted the world to it. Instead of the world applauding the scientific excellence of an African country, they have decided that they should punish the country where these excellences emanated from.
“It was African scientific expertise particularly in genomic sequencing that brought it to the world’s attention. Now, these arbitrary travel restrictions are already causing substantial damage to the economies in our region SADC, particularly those countries that are most reliant on tourism.
“This is an imposition of apartheid measure against countries in southern Africa,” he emphasised.
President Akufo-Addo addressing Ghanaians on Christmas eve
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has placed a temporary ban on all Ministers of State and their deputies at least for a month
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has placed a temporary ban on all Ministers of State and their deputies at least for the next one month except travels for motivated by serious medical emergencies sources close to the Presidency has confirmed to Asaase News.
This action by President Akufo-Addo, will be the second of its kind since he assumed office as President of the Republic in January 2017.
On the 21st of June 2018, the President, in a letter signed by his Chief of Staff, Madam Akosua Frema Osei Opare, directed that, all foreign travels by Ministers, Deputy Ministers, MMDCEs and Heads of Government Agencies be temporarily suspended with immediate effect”.
“Guidelines in respect of future foreign travels aimed at minimizing disruption to Government’s domestic work will be communicated to you shortly” the 2018 directive indicated.
It is not clear what is informing the latest decision of the President to ban all Ministers and their Deputies from traveling outside the Ghanaian jurisdiction.
However, in light of the fact that most of the President’s Ministers and Deputy Ministers are serving Members of Parliament and with the pendency of the appropriation of the 2022 budget statement and economic policy of government by Parliament, the directive of the President is perhaps to ensure that all members of the Majority caucus in Parliament are readily available to carry out domestic and parliamentary work
Government is working towards establishing a Farmer Database Scheme to track the subsidized fertiliser distribution programme to halt smuggling.
The Ministry of Food and Agriculture will also take the biometric data of beneficiary farmers to aid in the authentication.
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo announced this at the 2021 National Farmers’ Day celebration at the Adisadel College Park in Cape Coast on Friday.
He said the number of farmers benefiting from the subsidized fertiliser distribution programme had increased from 597,662 in 2016 to 1.2 million as of October 2021.
President Akufo-Addo urged all stakeholders in the agriculture value-chain to support the sector policies and interventions to ensure sustainable livelihoods and an improved economy.
Government would strengthen linkages of the Planting for Food and Jobs and the Rural Industrialisation Agenda to improve livelihoods and empower Ghanaians, he said.
The investment in the agricultural sector, over the past five years, was yielding positive results, complemented by the efforts of the farmers and fishers to prevent food shortage during the COVID-19 pandemic, the President said.
The Ghana COVID-19 Revitalization of Enterprises Scheme, otherwise known as ‘Ghana-Cares’ or Obaatanpa programme, with GHc100 billion budget projection from both government and the private sector, had components for youth who wanted to enter into agro-processing and agribusiness, he said.
He, thus, urged the youth to take advantage of the Scheme to establish themselves in those areas to be self-sufficient and create jobs.
Alhaji Mashud Mohammed from the Mion District of the Northern Region was crowned the 2021 Overall Best National Farmer.
He received GHc600,000 from the Agricultural Development Bank, 500,000 worth of insurance cover from GLICO Insurance and a study trip to Israel, sponsored by Broadspectrum Limited.
Mr Suleman Yidaana from the East Mamprusi District of the North East Region was the First Runner-up and received a tractor, trailer, Disc Plough, a Boom Sprayer and Ghc300,000 worth of insurance cover by GLICO Insurance and a study trip to Israel.
Reverend Samuel Sida from the Asutifi North District of the Ahafo Region was the Second Runner-up and was presented a Nissan Navara Double Cabin Pick-Up and Ghc200,000 worth of insurance cover by GLICO Insurance.
Mr Kweku Ehun from the Gomoa West District of the Central Region was the Overall Best Fisherman and would receive a two-bedroom house built at his preferred location.
A total of 165 gallant farmers and fishers across the country were rewarded for their sterling efforts in sustaining the economy through the production of food and cash crops as well as fish over the period.
This year’s Farmers Day was celebrated on the theme: “Planting for Food and Jobs; Consolidating Food Systems in Ghana.,”
President Akufo-Addo was the Guest of Honour, and Odeefuo Amoakwa Buadu VIII, the Paramount Chief of Breman Asikuma Traditional Area and President of the Central Regional House of Chiefs, the Chairman.
The Ministry of Food and Agriculture, the Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development and the Ghana Cocoa Board jointly hosted the colourful and well-attended programme to recognise the enormous contributions of Ghana’s gallant farmers and fishers.
Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu II has expressed worry over the current power outages in the Ashanti Region, saying it has destroyed all his electronic appliances.
The Asante monarch said this at the Manhyia palace when Energy Minister Matthew Opoku Prempeh, together with the management of the Ghana Grid Company Limited (GRIDCo), Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) and Volta River Authority (VRA) paid a courtesy call on him today, Wednesday, 1 December 2021.
The region is currently experiencing power outages which have affected some companies and residential homes.
GRIDCo has attributed the power outages to the damage done to its 330kV Aboadze-Kumasi transmission lines at Bogoso after a communication tower fell on it.
The Asantehene appealed to the Energy Ministry and its partners, including GRIDCo and ECG, to do their best to resolve the power fluctuations.
Otumfuo Osei Tutu II noted that the development of the nation depends on electricity, adding that if the lights are not stable, it will go a long way to affect the government’s “one district-one factory” policy.
He urged the power-producing companies to collaborate to solve the erratic power situation affecting the region.
The Asantehene also called on the energy minister to ensure the Ameri power plant the ministry has promised to relocate to Kumasi is done on time to make the lights stable.
For his part, Dr Prempeh promised to ensure the power outage is resolved
Minister for Information, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, says the 2022 budget statement and economic policy responds to concerns of youth unemployment in the country.
According to him, the spate of youth unemployment in the country brought on by the coronavirus global pandemic has compelled government to propose policies that will create avenues for young men and women to find descent jobs in both the public and private sectors of the country. He said this during the 2022 budget debate on the floor of Parliament on Tuesday November 23, 2021.
“By 2016, when the immediate past administration was leaving office, growth had come to as low as 3.4%. Until COVID hit us, this government was growing the economy at an average of 7% on year on year. What that meant was that a lot of young people were getting jobs in the private sector. Additionally, even in the public sector, the government of Ghana under the leadership of President Akufo-Addo ensured that at least about 300,000 young Ghanaians were recruited in the public sector both for those who are paid by the Controller and Accountant General and from those from the Non-Subverted Agencies.
“This is very different from the days we were told that because we were down to the bone and had gone to the IMF, we couldn’t have recruited people into the public sector. But what is even exciting is that in this 2022 budget, this administration has made available GHS1 billion to support young men and women who want to embark on their own business known as the YouthStart initiative. And so, Mr. Speaker, the most important issue on the minds of Ghanaians is being answered by the 2020 budget,” he added.
Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta on November 17, 2021 presented the 2022 budget to Parliament. The budget, on the theme: “Building a sustainable entrepreneurial nation: fiscal consolidation and job creation”, emphasizes a post-COVID-19 economic recovery agenda, centered on youth entrepreneurship.
Accordingly, the YouthStart initiative was announced in the budget as the vehicle for supporting young entrepreneurs to gain access to capital, training, technical skills and mentoring to launch and operate their businesses. The initiative is expected to create some 1 million jobs and support young entrepreneurs to develop commercially viable businesses
Information Minister, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, has asked the Minority in Parliament to approach the debate on the 2022 budget statement from a nationalists perceptive.
He indicated that the budget contains policy proposals which seek to tackle the fundamental challenges facing the country hence, must be approved.
“We want to have a conversation with the national agenda ahead of us,” he said during a debate on the budget in Parliament on Tuesday November 23.
“This house should approve the economic proposals in the budget,” he added.
He further asked Parliament to approve the 2022 budget statement presented by the Minister of Finance.
He explained during a debate on the budget statement in Parliament on Tuesday November 23 that the document tackles the problems that the country is saddled with at the moment.
For instance, he said, the budget has special arrangement to address the issue of youth unemployment in the country.
His comments came after the Minority Spokesperson on Finance Casiel Ato Forson had said the 2022 budget statement is unacceptable.
Ato Forson also noted that the content of the budget is unrealistic.
Contributing to a debate on the budget in Parliament on Tuesday November 23, he said the New Patriotic Party (NPP) administration inherited a debt of GHS120 billion from the National Democratic Congress (NDC) but within four years, it has shot up to 341billion cedis
“In fact, if you do the maths, within four and half years you have incurred GHS221billion, representing almost 65 per cent of our GDP,” the lawmaker for Ajumako-Enyan-Esiam said.
“This budget is the most inconsistent budget I have ever seen,” he said.
The Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta announced a new levy to be charged by government in 2022 on all electronic transactions to widen the tax net and rope in the informal sector.
“It is becoming clear there exists enormous potential to increase tax revenues by bringing into the tax bracket, transactions that could be best defined as being undertaken in the ‘informal economy’,” Mr Ofori-Atta observed on Wednesday, November 17 as he presented the 2022 budget statement in Parliament.
“After considerable deliberations, government has decided to place a levy on all electronic transactions to widen the tax net and rope in the informal sector. This shall be known as the ‘Electronic Transaction Levy or E-Levy’.”
He explained that the new E-levy will be a 1.75 per cent charge on all electronic transactions covering mobile money payments, bank transfers, merchant payments and inward remittances to be borne by the sender except inward remittances, which will be borne by the recipient.
This will, however, not affect transactions that add up to GH¢100 pr less per day.
“A portion of the proceeds from the E-Levy will be used to support entrepreneurship, youth employment, cyber security, digital and road infrastructure among others.”
This new levy is scheduled to start Saturday, January 1, 2022.
In 2020, total value of transactions was estimated to be over GH¢500 million with mobile money subscribers and users growing by 16 percent in 2019.
According to a Bank of Ghana report, Ghana saw an increase of over 120 percent in the value of digital transactions between February 2020 and February 2021 compared to 44 percent for the period February 2019 to February 2020 due to the convenience they offer.
This was definitely heightened by the advent of Covid-19 especially during the lockdown
The e-levy proposal in the 2022 budget statement is a monster and a killer, Bolgatanga central Lawmaker, Isaac Adongo, has said during a debate on the 2022 budget statement in Parliament on Tuesday November 23.
He said the proposal should not be approved because it will further impoverish the people.
“The e-levy is a monster, it is a killer,” he said while rejecting the proposal.
The Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta announced a new levy to be charged by government in 2022 on all electronic transactions to widen the tax net and rope in the informal sector.
“It is becoming clear there exists enormous potential to increase tax revenues by bringing into the tax bracket, transactions that could be best defined as being undertaken in the ‘informal economy’,” Mr Ofori-Atta observed on Wednesday, November 17 as he presented the 2022 budget statement in Parliament.
“After considerable deliberations, government has decided to place a levy on all electronic transactions to widen the tax net and rope in the informal sector. This shall be known as the ‘Electronic Transaction Levy or E-Levy’.”
He explained that the new E-levy will be a 1.75 per cent charge on all electronic transactions covering mobile money payments, bank transfers, merchant payments and inward remittances to be borne by the sender except inward remittances, which will be borne by the recipient.
This will, however, not affect transactions that add up to GH¢100 pr less per day.
“A portion of the proceeds from the E-Levy will be used to support entrepreneurship, youth employment, cyber security, digital and road infrastructure among others.”
This new levy is scheduled to start Saturday, January 1, 2022.
In 2020, total value of transactions was estimated to be over GH¢500 million with mobile money subscribers and users growing by 16 percent in 2019.
According to a Bank of Ghana report, Ghana saw an increase of over 120 percent in the value of digital transactions between February 2020 and February 2021 compared to 44 percent for the period February 2019 to February 2020 due to the convenience they offer.
This was definitely heightened by the advent of Covid-19 especially during the lockdown
Deputy Information Minister, Fatima Abubakar, speaking at a press briefing in Accra on Sunday, noted that victims of QNET have suffered heinous conditions over non-existing jobs.
The government has cautioned desperate job seekers to be cautious of the activities of QNET, an international e-commerce based direct selling company which claims to offer jobs outside Ghana. ×
“Victims are lured into lucrative non-existing jobs but end up entrapped in the operations of a network marketing company, QNET. Upon arrival in these countries, the victims are stripped of their valuables, held hostage under squalid conditions, and forced to commit to QNET services by signing a contract under duress. The only way for victims to gain their freedom is to be compelled to lure others into the business,” she said.
She revealed that the government is liaising with law enforcement agencies in Mali to rescue Ghanaians lured into QNET activities in Mali.
“Checks have revealed that some Ghanaians are caught up in several QNET facilities across Mali. Consequently, the Ghanaian Mission in Bamako is liaising with the law enforcement agencies in Mali to rescue Ghanaians forcibly engaged in QNET activities in Mali,” she said.
According to her, other nationals of African countries like Nigeria, Burkina Faso, and Cameroun have fallen victim to the scam by similar syndicates in Ghana.
“There have been reports of similar syndicates operating in Ghana, particularly in Pokuase and Amasaman, who convince Nigerians, Beninois, Burkinabes, and Cameroonians to come to Ghana on the pretext of securing jobs for them,” she added.
In July this year, the Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Godfred Dame petitioned the commercial division of the Accra High Court to dissolve the QNET marketing company and accused it of operating as a Ponzi scheme.
The Attorney General in its petition said, “Investigations by the National Security Council Secretariat disclosed that the respondent, (QNET), operates in a manner akin to a Ponzi scheme by luring clients to make deposits and investments with them which they eventually lose.”
It added that “The respondent (QNET) lures unsuspecting members of the public to pay the sum of about GH¢5,000 to place them in various jobs which turned out to be a hoax.”
The petition was filed under the Corporate Insolvency and Restructuring Act, 2020 (Act 1015)
The 30-year-old female teacher who bruised a nine-year-old girl’s body with mercilessly caning for allegedly not doing her homework has been arrested by the Domestic Violence and Victims Support Unit of the Manhyia Divisional Police Command of the Ashanti Region.
Elizabeth Tweneboah Kodua teaches at the Happy Royals International School in the Asokore Mampong Municipality.
She was handed over to the police by her uncle.
The police are interrogating her as part of the investigations.
The little girl’s father, Mohammed Saani, on Thursday, told journalists: “I was at work when I got a phone call that a teacher has beaten my child because she failed to do the homework assigned to her”.
“I didn’t expect that it will be this severe”, he said, adding: “When I saw the way she has been brutally whipped – with bruises all over – I couldn’t control my anger”, he said.
“When I tried confronting the headmaster, he got so upset.
“He said the teacher had already explained her action to him, so, I reported the case to the police and took my child to the hospital”.
“How cruel can a teacher be?”
“If I had met the teacher physically, I wouldn’t have spared her at all,” he said
After the meeting, the Acting Director-General of Public Affairs of the Ghana Police Service, ACP Kwesi Ofori, said there was a consensus between the two parties on the matters of the law and religion.
“There was that sort of mutual discussion and respect for each other and all is based on how the churches might conduct their operation and activities, taking into account the position of the law,” ACP Kwesi Ofori told journalists.
“Of late, we have witnessed so many challenges, limitations and things that call for dialogue and I can say that we have agreed and key among the issues discussed is education and law enforcement.”
On his part, the immediate past Chairman of the Christian Council of Ghana, Rev Dr Paul Kwabena Boafo, who is also the Presiding Bishop of the Methodist Church-Ghana, was satisfied with the discussions.
“. . .We pray that it will go on so that we can have sanity, discipline, in our nation and all of us as Ghanaians will be happy for it”.
The founder and leader of New Life Kingdom Chapel International, Stephen Akwasi, otherwise known as Jesus Ahuofe, has been picked up by the police at the forecourt of Accra100.5FM on Tuesday morning.
His arrest is allegedly in connection with his prophecy on September 28, 2021, that dancehall artiste Shatta Wale will be shot on October 18, 2021.
Three men clad in mufti, with the driver in a police uniform, picked up the prophet while he was waiting to appear on the mid-morning show Ayekoo Ayekoo.
The prophet had earlier indicated his plans to report himself to the law enforcement agency after the show.
He was taken to the police headquarters.
The police, in a statement earlier, said it cannot trace the whereabouts of Shatta Wale.
It said its attention had been drawn to the widely circulated news on the alleged gunshot attack on Shatta Wale.
On hearing the news, the police noted that launched an investigation into the matter including making contact with some of his close friends and family members and all of whom claimed not to have knowledge of his whereabouts or the alleged incident.
Meanwhile, Shatta Wale says his life is in danger and he is on the run until the country shows him that there are laws.
He said this in a Facebook post to break his silence after rumours went viral that he had been shot by some unknown gunmen on Monday, 18 October 2021.
The police have arrested embattled comedian Funny Face for allegedly threatening some persons in a social media video that has since gone viral.
The arrest according to the police via their Facebook page was effected on October 18, at about 10:14 pm after Funny Face threatened to kill the mother his children and commit suicide afterwards.
The statement indicated that the controversial actor would be submitted to court for an order for psychiatric examination.
The statement read “due to the history of the suspect, the police shall submit Benson Nana Yaw Oduro Boateng to the court for an order for psychiatric examination, to determine the next line of investigative action.”
”The police is committed to protecting lives with the generous help of the public. We want to assure the public that we shall not take anything for granted in the interest of public safety
He said the government is determined to create the enabling environment for the youth to create their enterprises.
This, according to him, will reduce the over-reliance on the government for jobs and also lessen the burden on the payroll.
He revealed that 60 per cent of Ghana’s revenue is spent on salaries and remuneration for workers on the government’s payroll.
He described this situation as unsustainable.
Speaking at the graduation ceremony at UPSA on Friday October 15, he said “So, the future for you with regards to jobs is the most important thing at this stage. We have gone through a period where most people look for jobs from government etc. That payroll is full because we are spending some 60 per cent of our revenue on remunerating some 650,000 people and that is not sustainable.
“The question then really is has UPSA trained you to be entrepreneurs, and your question will be where the financing is coming from. But you do, in you, have the skills set to be able to do what you have to do.
“Our responsibility as government is to create the environment and the macro stability, currency stability and ensure that you have access to the relevant skills and financing.
“This budget that we are going to be doing is going to really focus on the youth and we will have a programme here, looking at the youth and demands and how we can structure, in the next two or three years, the Ghana Obaatanpa Programme to ensure that you become your own bosses and you become entrepreneurs.
” So there is a new world out there , it is not a factory that employs ten people, but individuals like you employ two or three of four five people to create that energy for our country to transform
The Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) has demanded the recall of some batches of Ceres 100% Juice from the Ghanaian market.
A statement on Friday, 15 October 2021, said: “The Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) Ghana, in collaboration with Transmed Ghana Limited, Accra, wishes to bring to the attention of the public, an ongoing recall of certain batches of Ceres 100% Apple Juice”.
The FDA noted: “This follows information received from the International Food Safety Network (INFOSAN) and the manufacturer of the product, Pioneer Foods Groceries (Pty) Limited, South Africa, confirming that extensive laboratory tests and consultations with their local supplier of the apple juice concentrate, revealed that it contained levels of mycotoxin-patulin higher than the regulatory threshold”.
“It is important to note that so far, most of the affected batches have been successfully retrieved and this includes all the 1-litre pack sizes”.
“The FDA’s market surveillance team is therefore working earnestly with the importer to remove all the affected products in trade and is calling on persons in possession of the above products to return them to any of the depots of Transmed Ghana Limited, nationwide or to any FDA offices across the country.”
The juice has also been recalled in Kenya and markets in Eastern and Southern Africa as well as Singapore
The National Democratic Congress (NDC) Central Regional Communications Director, Emmanuel Kwesi Dawood, who was arraigned in court over allegation that he had sexual intercourse with his biological daughter and impregnated her, was yesterday remanded into police custody by a Circuit Court in Cape Coast.××
Dawood, 40, was remanded by the Circuit Court 2 presided over by Her Honour Dorinda Arthur-Smith, to re-appear on October 27.
There are two different cases that the Central Regional DOVVSU of the Ghana Police Service are currently pursuing against Dawood.
The police have filed a case of abetment of crime relating to a supposed illegal abortion he allegedly caused to be performed on the daughter, who claims the accused impregnated her, at the Circuit Court 1 and another case of incest and defilement which is before the Circuit Court 2.
Dawood was detained overnight on Tuesday and sent to Circuit Court 1 on Wednesday morning, where he was granted GH¢30,000 bail with two sureties, one to be justified, for the charge of abetment, and was asked to return to the court on October 27.
Circuit Court 2
At the Circuit Court 2 where he was remanded until October 27, Dawood was charged with three counts of defilement, incest and assault.
On Count One, the charge read: Defilement of a female child contrary to Section 101(2) of the Criminal Offences Act, 1960, and said Dawood had sexual intercourse with his daughter, Rita Arhin, in 2019.
For Count Two, Dawood was charged with incest, contrary to Section 105 (1) of the Criminal and Other Offences Act, 1960 (Act 29), and the offence, the prosecution said, was committed against Rita Arhin in 2019 at Agona Swedru in the Central Region.
Count Three is for assault contrary to Section 84 of the Criminal Offences Act, 1960 (Act 29), and the offence was that Dawood on August 27, 2021, at Agona Swedru, unlawfully hit and stepped on the abdomen of Rita Arhin, his daughter.
The charge sheet filed, was signed by ASP Daniel Mensah Gadzo.
According to the Central Regional DOVVSU, “the complainant in the case is Mavis Ayite, who is unemployed and the mother of the survivor or victim Rita Arhin, aged 18 years, who stays with her grandmother, Margaret Arthur at Otabilkrom, a suburb of Agona Swedru.
“Accused Kwesi Dawood, aged 40, is the biological father to the girl and stays in the same vicinity with the survivor and grandmother at Otabilkrom.”
“During the year 2019, on a day, accused lured the survivor who was then 15 years old into his matrimonial home and informed her that he used to love her mother so much but their love could not last long hence, he wanted to replace the love for the mother to her by dating her.
“Survivor told accused that she cannot do that but accused went ahead and forcibly had sexual intercourse with the survivor in his matrimonial room at Agona Swedru.
“After the act, the accused person promised to send the daughter abroad only if she did not disclose the ordeal to anyone, but if she revealed it her life will be very miserable.”
“The accused then released the girl and she went home but did not inform anyone. Accused and the survivor became sexual partners and their last sexual act was in the month of June, 2021 at Agona Swedru.”
“In 2020 survivor got pregnant but accused took her to one Atta Mensah who was not a medical practitioner at Agona Swedru and aborted the pregnancy for her. Survivor later informed her school counselor about all that she had suffered in the hands of the accused.”
“On August 27, 2021 after accused heard that the survivor has informed the school counselor, he attacked and subjected her to severe beatings. Survivor managed to run away to her grandmother. Complainant was informed later and she lodged complaint at Agona Swedru DOVVSU.
“Police medical report form was issued to the complainant to send the survivor to any government hospital for examination and treatment and report, which she did. Later the case was transferred to the Regional DOVVSU in Cape Coast for further investigations. Accused was arrested, cautioned and after investigations charged with the offence before the honourable court.”
Initially, Kwesi Dawood said the woman (Mavis Ayite), who is ‘pushing’ the girl (victim) to make the allegation, was a TESCON member at the University of Education, Winneba (UEW), and that it was an NPP agenda to discredit him.
Later on Adom FM on Monday, the same Kwesi Dawood said that it was his own NDC party elements who were behind the agenda he had accused the NPP of instigating, and said the NDC elements were doing that because the party’s internal election was drawing closer.
In the ensuing heat, the NDC Regional Secretary, Kojo Quansah, confirmed on Monday that Kwesi Dawood has been suspended by the opposition party.
“When we look at the position Kwesi Dawood is holding as Regional Communications Officer, and for him to be embroiled in such a case, we obviously, are sad,” he said.
“In party politics, all the executives are one body so anyone of us who is involved in a criminal case automatically will have negative effect on the whole party. It is Kwesi Dawood who is being alleged to have been involved in incest but technically, his conduct is affecting all of us.”
Mr. Quansah said “we haven’t told him to go and have sex with his daughter, but once it is alleged to have happened, we shall use Article 48 of our party’s constitution to take drastic decision against Kwesi Dawood.”
“It has worried all of us, especially the administrator of the region. How can I stand somewhere and say that we do not know anything about what Kwesi Dawood has done?” he queried, adding “we heard it as an allegation, and the victim has spoken, the mother of the girl has spoken and the police who are investigating the case have also spoken, so we cannot do any cover-up.”
“We want to put on record that Kwesi Dawood has been suspended as Regional Communications Director of the NDC. As a major political party, we do not condone such things. Even if our leader is found to have breached the law, we can take action against him.”
The NDC through its General Secretary, Johnson Asiedu Nketia, said the party has quashed the decision to suspend Dawood.
He issued a statement yesterday saying, “The Functional Executive Committee (FEC) of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), has taken note of reports in the media that the Central Regional Communication Officer, Mr. Kwesi Dawood has been suspended by the Central Regional Executive Committee of the party over some allegations that are pending before a Court of Competent Jurisdiction.”
“Our attention has also been drawn to media interviews granted by the Central Regional Secretary of the party, Mr. Kojo Quansah in which he confirmed the said decision by the Central Regional Executive Committee.
“The Functional Executive Committee of the party at its meeting held today, 13th October, 2021 took the view that the suspension of Mr. Kwesi Dawood is not only prejudicial to the matter pending in Court, but that same violates the rights of a criminally accused person to a fair trial, the rules of natural justice and Article 46(1)(a)(c)(d) of the NDC Constitution.”
The statement said it was evident from the NDC constitution that “only the Functional Executive Committee at the national level of the party has the power to suspend an office holder of the party at the regional level,” and said “consequently, FEC has quashed the purported suspension of Central Regional Communication Officer, Mr. Kwesi Dawood by the Central Regional Executive Committee of the party, as same is wrongful and without regard for due process.”
“As a law abiding party, we do not and will not condone crime of any form. Neither will we judge an accused person unheard nor presume him guilty until proven innocent. Thus, the Functional Executive Committee will abide by the decision of the Court hearing the matter on the guilt or innocence of the accused person, before we decide on whether or not he should be subjected to disciplinary proceedings of the party.”
Chronology of Events
2003 – The girl’s mother (Mavis Ayite) became pregnant and Dawood said on radio that the woman said he had impregnated her. “We were in the same church. She was in the Girls’ Brigade and I was in the Boys’ Brigade. Somewhere in 2003, we were involved in fornication. It was a one off thing and that was all. I was even suspended from the church. Later they came back that she was pregnant. It was not even up to one month after the fornication. As a responsible man I said I had accepted it.”
2004 – The lady delivered. Dawood said “my family was actively involved in helping her till the time she delivered. We gave her a lot of things.”
2011 – In 2011, the girl would have been about seven or eight years. Dawood said on radio that he started taking the responsibility of looking after her including paying her school fees following passionate appeals from the woman’s father. “In 2010, there was serious flooding in Swedru and after the destruction, I moved to a new place, and Mavis’ father, now deceased, appealed to me to look after the girl who was growing up. He told me Mavis is not looking after the child and that it was the grandmother who was looking after the child.”
2011 -2017 – Dawood said he was looking after the child but she was not staying with him. “From 2011, looking after the child became my full responsibility. I have so many kids I am looking after. Some belong to me, others are adopted. This girl is not my child!”
2017 – In 2017, the girl moved to stay with him. She was about 14 or 15 years. “The girl started staying in my house in Swedru somewhere in 2017/2018. She was here until August this year (2021). She was staying with me as one of the children I have been looking after and she is not my biological daughter,” Dawood said.
2019 – According to the girl, Dawood started having sex with her in 2019 when she was about 15 or 16 years.
2020 – The girl said Dawood impregnated her in 2020 and made her to do an abortion. He allegedly got his friend to administer an injection to terminate the pregnancy, and according to the victim, she bled for more than two weeks.
The girl’s mother said the person who performed the abortion is a doctor, and mentioned his name as Dr. Atta Mensah, but Dawood said it was not true although he admitted he knows the name Atta Mensah as an Assemblyman. “I know an Assemblyman called Atta Mensah. I didn’t send her to anyone to be injected. It is part of their fabrication.”
He then made serious allegations, including describing the teenager as a nymphomaniac.
He said “my neighbours told me the girl has become a deviant. She could invite boys from Accra to all have sex with her at the same time. Everybody in my area is aware of these things. She has been sleeping with many guys. People have been complaining to me about her lifestyle.
August 2021 – The girl claims that Dawood beat her up when he got to know she had informed her mother about the father’s incestuous act
A Ghanaian prisoner who was rearrested after escaping from a police cell in Nkafoa, Central Region, has narrated how a police officer helped her escape after giving him four rounds of sex. 27-year-old Theresa Forson who had earlier been convicted in a theft case and was in police custody at Nkanfoa Police Station awaiting sentencing, said 36-year-old Lance Corporal Isaac Apomah released her after she gave in to his demand for sex.
Presenting a case against Apomah who made his first appearance before a court on Monday September 27, Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Daniel Mensah disclosed that the police officer was the station officer at the Nkanfoa Police Station on September 25, 2021.
He said around midnight, L/Cpl Apomah brought four sachets of ‘Abe Nsuo’ also called “One Show”, to the station and gave the plaintiff, who was at the time, a prisoner on remand at the station, two sachets to drink which she drank.
Around 3:00am, L/Cpl Apomah in a conversation with Miss Forson, said the detective handling her case was troublesome and that he could let her go scot-free if she would allow him to have sex with her. Miss Forson reportedly agreed to the deal and had sexual intercourse with L/Cpl Apomah, after which he opened up the cells for her to have her bath.
ASP Mensah said; “Apomah then gathered Ms Forson’s items, which were being kept in police custody, including a mobile phone, and put them at the entrance of the police station and signalled her to run away.”
Upon arriving her family house, Ms Forson went to her father-in-law and narrated the incident that had transpired. The man then took her back to Bakaano Police Station where the incident was reported.
Theresa was rearrested and handed over to the Kotokuraba Police for investigations. The policeman who is to appear before the court again on October 12, 2021, was charged with rape and aiding the escape of a convict.
Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) has rubbished claims by the Member of Parliament (MP) for North Tongu in the Volta Region, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa that there is disquiet within the ranks and file of the Armed Forces.××
According to the GAF the statement by the National Democratic Congress (NDC) MP’s statement is not only a palatable lie but also without basis.
Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, alleged in a story carried by an electronic media on Tuesday September 28, 2021 which was sourced from the Facebook timeline of the legislator that “there is some form of disquiet within the ranks of the Ghana Air Force with President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s preference for luxurious aircraft operated by a foreign crew”.
However, a statement issued by the Public Relations Directorate, General Headquarters, Burma Camp, Accra on Tuesday, September 28, 2021 denied the remarks by the notorious MP.
“We wish to state unequivocally that this allegation is untrue and without basis,” according to the statement signed by Commander Andy La-Anyane, Acting Director of Public Relations of the Ghana Armed Forces.
He indicated that personnel of the Ghana Armed Forces are rather excited with high level of moral as result of the support the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has done for them in terms of retooling of the Forces for smooth running of operations and accommodation provided for the troops and their families.
“For the avoidance of doubt, the morale of personnel, not only in the Ghana Air Force as is being alleged, but the entire Ghana Armed Forces has never been at a very higher level. Personnel of the Ghana Armed Forces appreciate the numerous additions that the government has made for the smooth running of operations, including accommodation for troops and their families, vehicles to enhance mobility, review of salaries amongst many others.
“Troops also appreciate the efforts being made by government in retooling the Forces with the acquisition of a number of platforms including war ships for the Ghana Navy, Armoured Personnel Carriers for the Ghana Army, various aircraft including strategic lift for VIPs for use by the Ghana Air Force and many others.
“It is also important to state that the fighter squadron of the Ghana Air Force is currently being retooled by government to augment the professional posture of the Ghana Air Force.”
“The Ghana Armed Forces therefore admonished the general public to treat the allegations of disquiet within the ranks of the Ghana Air Force with the contempt it deserves”.
Serving warning notice to Ablakwa and other politicians over politicization of the Forces, the GAF further stated that “Additionally, we wish to entreat all Ghanaians, including politicians, not to drag the Ghana Armed Forces into partisan politics. Our mandate as captured in the 1992 Constitution is to defend the territorial integrity of Ghana and we should be allowed to focus on our mandate.
“Finally, we wish to assure the general public once again that morale of troops is very high
The Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, Samuel Abu Jinapor has said the government is focused on fostering closer collaboration with the Swiss government to further strengthen bilateral relations.
Key among the areas for collaboration were the adaption of best responsible mining practices and afforestation.
Mr Jinapor explained that the preservation of Ghana’s forest cover is critical saying that the government, through the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources was working to protect and manage the country’s natural resources as well as reduce the impact of deforestation on climate change.
The Minister stated this on Monday, 27 September 2021 when the Swiss Ambassador to Ghana, Philipp Stalder called on him in Accra.
Mr Jinapor further highlighted efforts being made by Ghana to develop an efficient land administration system.
On the Greening Ghana initiative, the Minister commended the Swiss Ambassador for leading his team to plant trees and touted the many areas of cooperation the two countries can work at.
He said the Greening Ghana programme will be scaled up next year.
For his part, Mr Stalder said there is room for investment under the Paris Agreement in the protection of the environment and mitigation against climate change.
He explained the relevance of mining in the development agenda of both countries and pledged to work with the government to tackle the issues relating to deforestation and climate change.
The government has held an engagement with the media aimed at sensitising journalists on Ghana’s newly-drafted National Security Strategy (NSS).
The engagement is the first of three sessions put together by the National Security Ministry and the Ministry of Information in taking broad-based inputs from relevant stakeholders, the media inclusive, on the implementation of the NSS.
The participants included journalists drawn from various television and radio networks in the Greater Accra, Central, Western, Volta, Western-North and Oti regions.
Addressing the participants, National Security Minister Albert Kan-Dapaah said the government is using the engagements to primarily equip the media with the appropriate information on the document and how it will be implemented.
He emphasised the need for the media in the country to be circumspect in their daily reportage, especially on issues that have national security implications.
“The media, by definition, is an independent institution”.
“There is a limit to the role of other accountability institutions but for the media, it possesses the independence that enables it to hold the government to account”.
“It is a very important duty the media play, which is why we get concerned”, Mr Kan-Dapaah noted.
“That is why it is important that our media men and women don’t play with the security and stability of the country. Also, it is important that the media is able to do away with sensational stories that have very serious security implications and not because it will help to sell newspapers and get viewership”, he said.
The NSS document was launched on 7 June 2021 by President Akufo-Addo, as part of measures to coordinate national response efforts to protect and safeguard the country from threats, risks and challenges to its security and stability from both domestic and international environments.
For his part, the Minister of Information, Mr Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, whose ministry facilitated the engagement, underscored the need for extensive education and sensitisation on the content of the strategy.
He said the engagement is important because it provides stakeholders the opportunity to deepen their understanding of their roles in the implementation of the strategy
The Minister for Local Government and Rural Development Dan Kwaku Botwe has warned Assembly members to stop blackmailing the President’s nominees.
He threatened that President Akufo Addo is clothed with powers by the Constitution to dissolve any assembly found to have defaulted its functions, and transfer such functions to an individual or a body to run the assembly.
“So nobody should think that they can blackmail anybody, blackmail the district because they cannot be dissolved. They can be dissolved and your functions can be taken over by one person or body and we pray that nobody pushes us to that level,” Dan Botwe said.
The comment by the Minister follows reports of rejections of Metropolitan, Municipal, and District Chief Executives nominees.
Addressing the Okere District Assembly in the Eastern Region on Monday, September 27, 2021, the Minister explained that, these powers of the President are explicitly stated in the Local Governance Act, 2016 Section 36&37 of Act 936 which can be triggered by the President if the need arises.
“This goes to many of the assemblies knowing the functions of the Assembly yet some wants to use various means to subvert the work of the assembly and the nomination process. We must understand that by the same law, in Section 36 of Act936, the President has some powers. An investigation by the President that is section 36 Act936 states ‘the President may cause the performance of any function or matter of a District Assembly under this or any other enactment be investigated if the matter is likely to affect the discipline of the District Assembly and shall give direction as appropriate,” Dan Botwe stressed.
He continued that “Section 37 states, [and I want it to be known across the country]. By the Law, the President may declare a district assembly to be in default of its functions by Executive Instrument if it is in the interest of the public to do so. And May by the same Executive Instrument or another Executive Instrument, direct the district assembly on how to perform any office function specified in the Executive Instrument or (B) the President may transfer to a person or body the performance of any of the functions of a District Assembly in default specified in the executive instrument. Where the President has transferred the functions of a district Assembly in default to a person or body, the President may by the same or other Executive Instrument dissolve or suspend the district assembly for not more than a year”.
Dan Kwaku Botwe said governance is a serious business hence Assembly members must understand to commit to the processes.
“Running a country is a serious business so anytime you elect yourself to be of service in any part to develop the nation, I beg you, it is a very serious issue and we expect all of us to do that, it is service to the nation. Service to the community and you are offering leadership”
Meanwhile, the District Chief Executive nominee for Okere Kenneth Daniel Addo secured hundred percent votes for his approval by the Assembly
Josephine had admitted that she hatched the plot alone without the help of any relative – ACP Kwesi Ofori.
The Acting Director of Public Affairs of the Ghana Police Service, ACP Kwesi Ofori, says Josephine Panyin Mensah faked her pregnancy to court her husband’s admiration and acceptance.
Speaking on Citi TV/Citi FM’s The Big Issue, ACP Ofori said the woman’s decision to fake the pregnancy and kidnapping was purely based on issues relating to her marriage.
He however clarified that Josephine had admitted that she hatched the plot alone without the help of any relative.
“From her account, she said she did it alone just to satisfy her husband. It was a pure family issue that she wanted to portray that she was pregnant. She did all that for the admiration of her husband.”
Josephine Panyin Mensah, has been in the news since last Thursday after the media reported that she was nine months pregnant and had been kidnapped during a dawn walk.
She resurfaced a week later at Axim in the Western Region without her alleged pregnancy or baby.
She had claimed that she delivered the same day she went missing and that the kidnappers had stolen her baby.
The Western Regional Minister, Kwabena Okyere Darko-Mensah subsequently claimed Josephine was not pregnant as reported, a claim subsequently corroborated by the Ghana Police Service.
Police conducted two separate medical tests on Josephine at different hospitals, with both reports proving that she was never pregnant.
Josephine’s relatives and neighbours however disagreed with the report of the Ghana Police Service.
ACP Ofori said the Police will soon decide on the next line of action.
Many have wondered why the woman will fake a pregnancy and put herself through so much stress when she already has one child for the husband
• The MSWR says they are doing a lot in the sector and so cannot be said to be sleeping
The Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources has described as misleading the claims that its minister is supervising clogged gutters and dirty streets in Accra.
This is in response to a story carried by GhanaWeb on Tuesday, August 24, 2021, with the title, “Kwame Minkah blasts Abena Dapaah over clogged gutters, dirty Accra streets” but sourced from myxyzonline.
In that story, the host of Tonton Sansan on TV XYZ, Prince Kwame Minkah, hit hard at Cecilia Dapaah, the sector minister, over the filth taking over the streets of Accra amid huge budgetary allocation for the sanitation sector.
He went on to say that she had failed to show leadership in tackling the indiscriminate disposal of waste in the national capital, adding that she is “sleeping on her job.”
But in a rejoinder made available to GhanaWeb, the ministry says the comments do not represent the actual facts.
“The Ministry would like to state categorically that the publication is misleading and does not portray the actual facts in relation to the mandate of the Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources (MSWR) which is under the leadership of Hon. Cecilia Abena Dapaah.
“Per Article 245 of the 1992 constitution, and the Local Governance Act 2016, Act 936, with Amendment (Act 940), the issues raised in the publication fall within the functions of the Metropolitan Municipal and District Assemblies and not the Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources,” the statement said.
Also, the statement clarified that contrary to claims that they were doing little work, they had made giant strides in the sector, including the improved access to potable water to over 420,000 people.
“However, regarding the concerns about water shortages in some parts of Accra, the Ministry would like to state that some significant investments have been made by government through GWCL in that direction.
“The implementation of the Greater Accra Metropolitan Area (GAMA) Water and Sanitation Project has improved access to potable water to over 420,000 people (equivalent to 85,000 Households) living in the GAMA. The achievement is as a result of about 282km length of distribution and service pipelines laid; undertaking about 10,242 New Service Connections and the establishment of Low-Income Consumer Support Unit (LICSU) in Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL) to promote and sustain water supply delivery to Urban Poor. The cost of the project was US$48. 1 million,” it stated.
“You can send the recommendation to the Business Regulatory Reforms Unit (BRRU) or you can write directly to the Chief Director at the MoTI and attention the BRRU,” said Mrs. Afriyie Addo.
The Ministry of Trade and Industry (MoTI) is calling on the public to assist the government in its institutional automation agenda.
As part of government’s intention to digitalise the economy for effective service delivery by state institutions, the MoTI, which is coordinating the processes says the public’s contribution on how they want some enterprises to function will be of much benefit.
Head of Business Regulatory Reforms (BRR) Programme at the Ministry of Trade and Industry, Diana Afriyie Addo, disclosed during one of IMANI-GIZ’s Dialogue Series.
With the session theme on ‘Business registration, regulation, property rights and its impact on Ghana’s business climate’, the event brought together stakeholders to discuss how the challenges in the sector will be addressed.
Elucidation on land acquisition and its registration, the Registrar General’s development so far on digitalising their services, what the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC) is doing, the MoTI’s role in coordinating these activities amongst others were discussed.
In an exclusive with Ghanasonline.com, Mrs. Afriyie Addo avowed the public can either use the complaint units of the various institutions for these recommendations, or write directly to the ministry.
“Some of the activities that we are reforming are being implemented by institutions and it is services that they’re rendering and if you go there and you are not satisfied with the service, most of the institutions there have complaint units and you can also communicate to us because we are doing the work together.”
“So if you have any institution that’s rendering a service and you know there is something that needs to be done with this particular service that they’re rendering, then you can send us that recommendation so that we also communicate to that institution.
“You can send the recommendation to the Business Regulatory Reforms Unit (BRRU) or you can write directly to the Chief Director at the MoTI and attention the BRRU that these are the recommendations that you have in relation to a reform that needs to be done for a particular institution,” she explained.
The Ministry, according to Mrs. Afriyie Addo also have a portal that can be accessed on http://www.bcp.gov.gh.
President Akufo-Addo has decried moves by some countries in Europe in not recognizing Covishield, the Indian version of the AstraZeneca vaccine.
According to President Akufo-Addo, “one unfortunate development appears to be the recent measures on entry into some countries in Europe, which suggest that Covishield, the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine manufactured in India, is not recognised by some countries in Europe.”
The President made this known on Wednesday, 22nd September 2021, when he took his turn to speak at the 76th United Nations General Assembly, currently ongoing in New York, in the United States of America.
His comments come on the heels of the “simplified travel measures” announcement by recently by the UK Government, and, indeed, by some countries in Europe, which comes into effect from 4th October.
The measures specify that persons who have received double-dose vaccines such as Oxford-AstraZeneca, Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna or the single shot Janssen vaccine “under an approved vaccination program in the UK, Europe, US or UK vaccine programme overseas” will be considered fully vaccinated.
The rules also consider persons who have received jabs under public health bodies in Australia, Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Bahrain, Brunei, Canada, Dominica, Israel, Japan, Kuwait, Malaysia, New Zealand, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Korea or Taiwan as fully vaccinated.
“What is intriguing is the fact that this vaccine was donated to African countries through the COVAX facility. The use of vaccines as a tool for immigration control will be a truly retrogressive step,” the President noted.
Ghana, President Akufo-Addo said, has so far received five million doses, which have been administered to frontline health workers and those classified as being most at risk.
“Five million is not a figure to be sneered at, particularly when we consider the situation in many other African countries. We are grateful that our efforts at the management of the pandemic and vaccine distribution have been recognised, and we have received these amounts so far. We are still hoping to vaccinate twenty million of our people by the end of the year,” he said.
President Akufo-Addo continued, “Ghana agrees with the call of the Rome Declaration of Global Health for voluntary licensing and technology transfers to boost vaccine production. The Africa Union is working with WHO, WTO and other global partners to expand its vaccine manufacturing and deployment.”
He told the Assembly that Ghana recognised that vaccination is the way to protect populations, and revitalise societies.
In the case of Africa, the President stated that vaccinating seventy percent (70%) of the population in the shortest possible time, as is being done elsewhere in the world, means some nine hundred million Africans have to be vaccinated.
He stressed that the Afreximbank’s structuring of the Africa Vaccine Acquisition Taskforce’s two-billion-dollar acquisition of four hundred million Johnson & Johnson vaccines is part of the historic African Union’s COVID-19 Vaccine Development and Access Strategy.
“It is a critical milestone in our collective fight against the pandemic, in a continent suffering the worst brunt of vaccine nationalism. The Africa Vaccine Acquisition Taskforce vaccine programme, partly manufactured in South Africa, is the single largest and most far-reaching trade transaction since the entry into force of the African Continental Free Trade Area in January this year,” he added.
President Akufo-Addo described it as an “eloquent testimony” to the benefits of domestic production and pooled procurement in Africa, as envisioned by the African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement.
COVID-19 has been damaging
Recounting his statement at the 2017 UN General Assembly, where he indicated that he wanted to build an economy that was not dependent on charity and handouts, President indicated that the significant progress that had been made by Ghana between 2017 to 2020, where an average growth rate of 7% was recorded, had been eroded.
“In 2020, when the global economy and sub-Saharan Africa’s contracted by 3.5% and 2.1%, respectively, Ghana was one of the few countries that produced a positive growth rate. This is a testament to our determination to build a Ghana Beyond Aid,” he said.
However, he stated that many economies in Africa are in recession, as the virus’s impact on economies and livelihoods has been devastating.
“The latest numbers from the African Development Bank indicate that African economies, which contracted by 2.1% in 2020, are yet to return to pre-pandemic levels. More than thirty million Africans fell into extreme poverty in 2020, and nearly forty million could do so in 2021,” he said.
The social impact of the pandemic, President Akufo-Addo reiterated, “has been devastating; over one hundred and three million African jobs have been lost. Women, who account for forty percent (40%) of total employment, have been most hard hit
The provisional results show that Ghana’s population has increased by 6.1 million since 2010 when the population was around 24.7 million
The Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) has announced on Wednesday that provisional results from the 2021 Population and Housing Census indicate that Ghana’s population is now 30.8 million.
Speaking at a press conference in Accra, Professor Samuel Kobina Annim, the Government Statistician, said the provisional results show that Ghana’s population has increased by 6.1 million since 2010 when the population was around 24.7 million.
Breaking down the numbers, Prof Annim said there are more females (50.7%) in Ghana as compared to males representing 49.3%.
He said the final population results will be presented on 18 November 2021.
The 2021 PHC is Ghana’s first duly digital census and the first census in an African country to be conducted successfully during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The provisional results highlight findings from the 2021 PHC Preliminary Report which focuses on population size and sex composition, population density, and structures by region.
The preliminary report is the first of several census data products to be released over the next two years.
Madina MP Francis-Xavier Sosu has told residents of Danfa and Amrahia in the Greater Accra Region that he did not promise to fix the roads during the campaign season last year because he knew that was not the role of a lawmaker.
The residents accused him of failing to fulfill campaign promise he made to them in last year’s elections.
The residents have registered their displeasure over the poor road network in the area.
The MP, according to the residents in statement is on record to have promised the residents to fix the poor state of the road stretching from Amrahia and Danfa all the way to Ayimensa toll booth.
According to the residents, in his bid to win the 2020 elections he (Francis Sosu) was emphatic the poor road network would be fixed and even went ahead to accuse the then sitting MP, Boniface Abubakr of failing to address the problem.
“We have been expecting the current National Democratic Congress Member of Parliament for Madina Constituency Mr. Francis Sosu to continue from where Ahaji Boniface left, but so far, nothing has been done after all the promises to win the hearts and minds of the residents.
“We are aware of the steps taken by the former Member of Parliament for the Madina Constituency and first Minister for the defunct Ministry of Inner-City and Zongo Development under the leadership of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, Alhaji Abubakar Saddique Boniface tp get the roads in the area reconstructed before his exit from office.
“In fact, Alhaji Boniface during his time as MP, had the local chiefs and dignitaries visit the roads and announced the presence of the contractor on site”.
But reacting to their claim in a statement, Mr Sosu said “First and foremost, the fact that issue of roads are being raised during a year where government has touted as “Second Year of Roads” shows the insincerity and failure of Government with respect to its responsibility and pledges to the people of Ghana. After two solid years of Government claims of fixing roads in Ghana dubbed “First and Second Year of Roads”, it is obvious that the Akufo Addo-Bawumia led Administration has been engaged in a politics of rhetoric and not real development. This abdication of responsibility cannot be laid at the doorsteps of the Member of Parliament (MP) for the area. This also shows the failure and incompetence of the Assembly led by the Municipal Chief Executive (MCE) for the area in performing her functions as the Representative of the President and foremost development agent within the Constituency.
“Secondly, the 1992 Constitution of the Republic and Local Government Act 2016 (Act 936) proscribes clear roles and functions of Members of Parliament and Metropolitan/Municipal/District Chief Executives. As MP for Madina Constituency, it is my responsibility to call the attention of the Executive branch of Government to the challenges facing the area when given the opportunity.
“This I have done and continue to do through various means and fora when given the opportunity including through questions to the Minister responsible for Roads and Highways on the floor of Parliament, through questions to Ministers designate responsible for related sectors during Vetting of Nominees as Member of the Appointments Committee of Parliament, among others.
Again, the fact that for the past four (4) years, attempts have not been made by the Akufo Addo-Bawumia led Administration to fix the roads in Madina Constituency considering and despite the fact that the former MP for the area also doubled as a Minister of State shows how much the NPP Government led by President Akufo Addo have failed the people of Madina Constituency.
“Hence, the calls for me to fix the roads shows the lack of attention to development in the Constituency and the confidence the people have in me to address this challenge despite being in office for only eight months. This lack of seriousness to issues of local governance and development of communities in Ghana is reflected in delays in nomination of Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives nine months after elections.”
• Youth groups are an important voice in the governance process
• Speaker Alban Bagbin says these groups must be commended not condemned
• He says their activism amounts to being citizens not spectators
Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin, has spoken about the need for young people to be heard in their demand for accountability and inclusivity in nation-building and development.
According to him, giving the youth a voice in the affairs of the country provides seamless integration of their concerns in nation-building and thus promotes sustainable development.
In a statement carried by TV3, he stressed that youth groups that have come up in recent times must be commended and not condemned. He said these groups were playing their roles in seeking to be active participants in the governance of the country.
“In recent times in Ghana, there are some positive developments in the country that should be commended but not condemned.
“The formation of youth groups and movements in response to the call of the President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to Ghanaians not to be spectators but citizens in the governance of the country should be supported by all well-meaning Ghanaians.
He continued: “So youth groups such as ‘Youth in Politics,’ ‘Youth in Development,’ ‘Fix The Country Now’ are all positive developments that should be encouraged and supported.”
Recently, a group of young activists emerged under the banner of #FixTheCountry campaign, a largely online group that leveraged on social media to demand good governance and accountability.
A planned march was torpedoed by Police months back before they managed to secure a court order that allowed them to protest in Accra in August. A second protest took place in Sekondi Takoradi on 21st September.
The #FixTheCountry campaign has been accused of political bias on several occasions by pro-government persons who say the group tilts towards and is even funded by the main opposition National Democratic Congress.
But the NDC’s 2020 flagbearer and former president, John Dramani Mahama, during his ongoing ‘Thank You Tour’ dismissed the talk of financing the group stressing that its activities were as a result of collective political failure.
Following the delay in the release of the Committee’s report, families of the killed youth say they have become apprehensive and have hence written to the Presidency to furnish them the report.
The families of the youth who were killed during the Ejura disturbances have written to the Presidency requesting for copies of the report of the committee that probed the issue.
“Earlier today, we, the families of the victims of the Ejura shootings, and the family of Ibrahim Anyass Mohammed, alias Kaaka, resolved to submit separate Right to Information requests to the Office of the President, and to the Minister of Interior, requesting access to the Report of the Ministerial Committee constituted at the request of the President to look into the Ejura Shootings.”
“With the above in mind, we have requested access to the report of the Ministerial Committee into the Ejura Shootings, in the hope that releasing the report for public discussion could kick-start the long-delayed process needed to provide justice for our families, and our community,” they added in a statement.
They explained that they took the action following the delay in making the report public.
“Despite repeated assurances by Government officials that the Report will be released expeditiously, including a claim by the Minister for Information that the Report will be released latest by the end of last week; no such steps have been taken. As a result, we have become apprehensive about the commitment of the Government to releasing the report, and to working towards justice for our families.”
The families of the victims say that the appropriate authorities have taken no steps to investigate, arrest or prosecute the perpetrators of these crimes, many weeks on due to the delay in releasing the committee’s report.
Meanwhile, a member of the Justice Koomson Committee that probed the Ejura disturbances, Dr. Vladimir Antwi-Danso, has said it is unfair to ask the committee to pile pressure on the government to publish the Ejura report.
Speaking to the media, Dr. Antwi Danso said the committee is done with its work, hence the onus now lies on the government to make the report public.
“Our work ended with the submission of our findings to the government, and it ends there. I will still insist that it is not our duty to demand the publication of the report. Legally, we don’t have the right… It is also not fair,” he said.
Nearly two months ago, on 29 June 2021, some military personnel deployed to Ejura, following some disturbances, shot and killed some of the residents.
The disturbances occurred following the killing of Kaaka a social activist in the area.
Following the incident, the President of Ghana called for a public inquiry into the shooting incidents, and a Ministerial Committee was subsequently put in place.
The report was submitted to the government on July 27, 2021.
The President of the Republic and Co-Chair of the Group of Eminent Advocates of the 2030 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has urged world leaders to hasten the implementation of the 17 UN SDGs in order to build a fairer, healthier, safer and more prosperous world for all.
According to President Akufo-Addo, “As our world strives to deal with the challenges posed by the pandemic, we have to turn the crisis into an opportunity, and ramp up actions necessary to achieve the SDGs.”
Speaking at the 2021 SDGs Moment on the “Decade of Action”, on Monday, 20th September 2021, at the UN Headquarters, the President recounted the 2019 Declaration, where world leaders declared the years 2020 to 2030 as the Decade of Action, and called on all Member States to step-up and scale up significantly actions to give the world a fighting chance of achieving the SDGs by 2030.
He indicated that, a few months after the historic Declaration, the entire world was hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has since had a devastating effect on lives and livelihoods, and significantly undermined prospects of achieving the SDGs.
“Available estimates indicate that, in 2020 alone, some 124 million people in the world were pushed back into extreme poverty, with some 132 million people experiencing hunger as a result of the pandemic. The net effect of these adverse developments is that our world is unlikely to eradicate extreme poverty and hunger by 2030,” the President said.
Describing the quest to achieve the SDGs, in the wake of the pandemic, as becoming more daunting, he urged world leaders “to think big, act big and act smartly.”
As countries take action to address the effects of the pandemic, President Akufo-Addo stated that “we cannot afford to perpetuate unsustainable development, by disturbing the critical balance between economic, social and environmental imperatives.”
He continued, “Our recovery measures and interventions cannot and should not be de-linked from actions to ensure prosperity, promote peace, protect people, and safeguard the planet. Undeniably, the SDGs provide a sound framework for responding to the pandemic, and putting communities, businesses and ecosystems on a sustainable pathway.”
Proposing “two essential ingredients for the task of building forward better, and scaling-up actions to hasten progress towards the realisation of the SDGs”, the President noted that, firstly, there is a pressing need to bridge the US$ 2.5 trillion SDGs financing gap, especially for developing countries, where the human development deficit is indeed greatest.
“With an estimated US$360 trillion available in global financial assets, as of 2019, the resources to finance the SDGs are certainly available. The question raised is whether the rich countries of the world are, thus, prepared to accept the new paradigm of the SGDs, and play their part or not,” he noted.
The President’s also touched on the world’s ability to access and deploy innovative solutions and new technologies, that will greatly speed up progress towards the goals.
“New forms of social practice and organization, as well as new and improved technological products and processes, are key enablers for achieving the SDGs. Whilst embracing innovation, deliberate steps should be taken to discourage innovations that contribute to environmental degradation, that are disruptive of livelihoods, and that exacerbate inequalities,” President Akufo-Addo added.
Two people have been confirmed dead while eleven others are in critical condition following an accident at Ekumfi Esaakyire on the Winneba-Cape Coast High way.
The accident happened Saturday morning around 6:20 am between a Toyota Fish vehicle with registration number CR-748-17 and a Sprinter bus with registration number GT-5860-20.
Reports say the Toyota vehicle fully loaded with passengers was traveling from Accra to Cape Coast and the Sprinter bus was also traveling from Mankessim to Accra when they collided at the sharp curve at Ekumfi Esaakyire.
The driver and one other at the front of the Toyota fish died while the victims were being conveyed to the Winneba Trauma Hospital.
An eyewitness blamed the accident on the driver of the Toyota Fish whom he said was speeding at the curve while overtaking
A suspected armed robber has been shot dead in a failed robbery attack on the Adonteng Rural Bank branch in Abomosu in Atewa West District in Eastern Region.
The deceased armed robber was part of a robbery gang that attempted to attack the bank at about 1:55 am Friday, September 17, 2021.
According to the branch manager of the bank, Bernice Brago, the men armed with guns, all wearing face masks exchanged gunshots with the private security man on duty Adomako Samuel when he noticed them.
Police visited the scene of crime upon receiving information and found that the armed men had broken part of the glass door leading to the bank hall and part of the window frame.
Police further found one empty BB cartridge and a crowbar.
The Police team combed the area and found the lifeless male body in a pool of blood. He was later identified as Annor Joseph, 34, a native of Abomosu, lying dead, about 120 meters behind the bank with his itel mobile phone lying beside him.
Gunshot wound was detected in his throat.
The Deputy Public Relations Officer of the Eastern Regional Police command Inspector Francis Gomado said the itel mobile phone and the crowbar were retrieved by Police as exhibit while the body of the deceased has been deposited at the Kibi Government Hospital morgue for preservation awaiting autopsy.
Rampant armed robbery attacks in parts of the Eastern region have reduced following the deployment of the Anti-Armed Robbery Taskforce by the Acting Inspector General of Police Dr.George Akuffo Dampare
• Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey says ECOWAS should consider amending its charter on good governance
• She said, this will prevent coups bedevilling the West African sub-region
• She made this known to journalists in Accra ahead of the ECOWAS summit
Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, has advised the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to consider amending its charter on good governance and democracy to prevent coups bedevilling the West African sub-region.
Speaking to the media in Accra ahead of the September 16 extraordinary ECOWAS summit, she explianed, “on the issue of whether we should have preventive measures, I think that is very important and probably what we should be looking at now in view of what is happening, is to amend the charter so that ECOWAS can have more stringent measures proactively to deal with such situations.
“So it is something that is being looked at. I am told that [not verified] there is something that has been done; it hasn’t gotten to the level of the Council of Ministers to go to the Heads of State. But in view of what is happening, I think it is something that maybe we should be looking at to actually forestall some of these situations.null
“But when you do all the engagements that are necessary whether it’s from the Heads of States level or from the level of the Council of Ministers and the person says that this is my country; we’re a sovereign country there’s not much that you can do.”
Ayorkor Botchwey noted that, by applying pressure on the various West African states, it will go a long way to prevent another coup from happening in the future.
“But applying pressure is what we can all continue (to do) as ECOWAS, African Union and International Community at large so that these things do not happen. So yes, probably the time has come for us to do something to prevent such situations using very coercive means,” she said.
Meanwhile ECOWAS Thursday imposed sanctions, including a freeze in financial assets and travel bans, on the military junta in Guinea.
The bloc has also given the military rulers a six-month ultimatum to return the country to constitutional order, Jean-Claude Kassie Brou, ECOWAS President, told the media after the regional grouping’s extraordinary Summit, in Accra, to firm up a decision on the political impasse in Guinea.null
Eight leaders, including the Presidents of Togo, Cote d’Ivoire, Senegal, Burkina Faso, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea Bissau and Niger, took part in the meeting.
Nigeria was being represented by its Vice President. Three other foreign ministers and a prime minister represented their countries.
The Summit, opened by ECOWAS chairman Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, discussed the outcome of the high-level mission that the Bloc sent to Guinea last week after the virtual emergency meeting of the region’s leaders on September 8, 2021, following the ouster of President Alpha Conde by an elite unit of that country’s military on September 5.
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo will today, Thursday, 16 September 2021, submit a list of nominated Metropolitan, Municipal, and District Chief Executives (MMDCEs) to the Minister for Local Government and Regional Re-organisation Dan Botwe.
This was disclosed by the Director of Communications at the Presidency, Eugene Arhin in a Facebook post.
Mr Dan Botwe, he said is expected to announce list very soon.
The government has been criticised for the delay in appointing new MMDCEs with some critics arguing that it is stalling developments across the country.
The Koforidua Circuit Court “B” presided by Her Honour Mercy Adei -Kotei has convicted the 30-year-old carpenter who abducted and defiled a 14-year-old girl, to seven (7) years imprisonment with hard labour.
Keteku Enock Yaw was convicted on his own plea of guilty on the first count of defilement.
He, however, pleaded not guilty to the second count of abduction hence expected to reappear before the court for trial to continue.
The Prosecuting Officer Chief Inspector Richmond Keelson told the Court on September 7, 2021, when the case was first heard that, the complainant in the case who stays with the victim travelled to Nkawkaw to attend a funeral on August 27, 2021 and left the victim in the care of her sister.
She was informed upon arrival on August 30, 2021 that the victim had gone missing since August 28, 2021.
During the search of the whereabouts of the victim, her dress was found hanging on a dry line on the corridor of the convict’s room in the same vicinity.
The convict came out of the room when the door was knocked. The complainant and a witness in the case forcibly entered the room only to see the victim lying on the bed of the accused person.
He was arrested and handed over to DOVVSU. The victim said the accused had sexual intercourse with her and locked her in the room whenever he went out.
The convict admitted having sexual intercourse with the victim only twice.
A police medical report was issued to the victim which a medical doctor confirmed that the victim had been defiled.
He was charged with abduction and defilement.
The victim told Starr news the convict Keteku Enock Yaw had Sexual intercourse with her four times a day and locked her in the room whenever he went out.
“He had sexual intercourse with me four times daily. He locks me in the room whenever he is leaving to work. He bought food for me once a day. Bled during the first day. Now I feel pain. He bought some dresses for me that when I give birth then I would wear them
Construction of phase two of the Tema motorway interchange begins by November 2021 says Ministry of Roads and Highways.
This is as a result of the signing of an agreement between the Government of Japan and the Government of Ghana on Friday September 10, 2021.about:blankabout:blank××
Ambassador of Japan to Ghana, Himeno Tsutomu, and a Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, signed agreement.
The minister lauded the Japanese government for its continued support to Ghana in different sectors including energy, agriculture, medical, and infrastructure, more importantly, road infrastructure.
He acknowledged that through the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), Japan is not only supporting the Tema Motorway Interchange project, but also the construction of a new bridge across the Volta River on the Eastern Corridor road.
“Upon completion, it is my hope that the projects would ensure safe, efficient road transportation and contribute to the efficient flow of goods and services as envisioned by the government of Ghana led by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo,” the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration said.
Kwasi Amoako-Atta told the media after the signing of the agreement that the project will begin in earnest since the funds have been made available.
He explained that the agreement entails the financing of the phase two of the Tema motorway interchange project and rehabilitation of national trunk road N8 by the Japanese government.
According to him, “There is a company that executed the first phase. But it is not automatic that they will be elected to do the second phase. But whatever it takes, the contractor will come from Japan. Now that the agreement has been signed, the way is now opened for the project to start, so between now and November, the Tema Motorway project will commence for the second phase.
“The N8 which is the Twifo Praso- Assin Fosu is also in the second phase. The first phase links the Bekwai road and that has already taken off. The contractors are there as we speak and there are lots of work ongoing on there. There is no hindrance at all. Ghana is always proactive, and the President wants to see this action implemented.”
The phase 2 project is a continuation of the phase I project, which helped to improve the section of the road between Assin Praso and Bekwai.
The approximately $60million project is part of government’s international corridor road improvement plan whose objective is to facilitate trade within the West African sub-region.
The construction works involve the transformation of the parallel two-tier interchange into a three-tier interchange by a Japanese construction firm known as Messrs Shimizu Dai-Nippon.
This is expected to hasten turnaround time at the interchange. It is also, generally, expected to improve the capacity, safety, and efficiency of transport and freight on the Tema Motorway roundabout
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has cut sod for the second phase of construction works on the main University of Health and Allied Sciences (UHAS) Campus in Ho.
The 68-million-dollar China Aid phase two project will provide fully equipped state-of-the-art administration block, School of Nursing and Midwifery, classrooms, offices, libraries, and laboratories to mitigate the infrastructure challenges of the University, since its establishment in 2012.
President Akufo-Addo, who was on a working visit to the region said the university had persisted and continued to prove its worth with countless achievements and assured of government’s readiness to help it expand.
“Even though it is a young University, already, its receiving lots of laurels and accolades and rankings…therefore, there is the need for the Government to ensure the infrastructure is at the measure of the University,” he said.
President Akufo-Addo said China continued to hold firm her friendship with Ghana, which would continue to grow into progressive partnerships.
“It gives me the opportunity to express once again, the strong appreciation of the Government and the people of Ghana to the Government of the People’s Republic of China. The solidarity the Chinese Government and people continue to exhibit towards us is something that, Mr Ambassador, we appreciate very much indeed,” he said.
“The various things that make up Ghana’s Foreign Policy to China are well known. We are not deviating and we will not deviate from the One China Policy. It continues to be an important cornerstone of the Foreign Policy of our country.”
The President recognised the University’s role in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic, saying it was a testing centre for the region and surrounding areas.
Mr Lu Kun, the Chinese Ambassador, said the development would aid the school’s advancement to provide more professionals to sustain the government’s bold health delivery initiative; Agenda 111.
“China and Africa will embark on a long journey of collaborations based on the One China principle,” he said.
Mr Lu said the collaboration had long flourished in education and would be expanded to other areas, adding: “China will always remain Ghana’s ultimate friend and partner
As a partner in the fight against the coronavirus, China would work with Ghana to secure the much-needed vaccines, he said.
Dr Yaw Osei Adutwum, the Education Minister, said the project showed government’s commitment to expanding tertiary education intake to help meet the country’s educational needs.
He said the coronavirus pandemic made it more crucial to prioritise educational demands, and expressed the hope that the project would be timeously delivered.
Chinese Nantong Si Jian Construction Company is executing the project within a 22-month period, and the Government of Ghana will provide road infrastructure and other inputs as part of a counterpart-funding component.
Professor John Owusu Gyapong, the Vice Chancellor of the University, said upon completion, the University would add close to 30,000 square meters of floor space, and the student population would grow from the current 6,000 to 10,000.null
He acknowledged government’s dedication to the development of the prime Health University to make it a centre of excellence.
“It is always humbling to see that you take great interest in the development of UHAS. UHAS is determined to be a star in tertiary education, and your constant interest in us gives us all the zeal and commitment to push this agenda to provide quality health manpower to solve our country’s health needs,” he said to President Akufo-Addo.
“Indeed, it is a necessary and crucial aspect of the overall goal of this University, which will facilitate our mandate as a university dedicated solely to the training of health professionals for national development.”
“Your efforts at expanding infrastructure are, therefore, laudable and highly commendable and a testament to the Government’s commitment to the health sector and the wellbeing of its citizens.”
The Vice Chancellor said the school would require high volume buses and good roads as it developed and appealed to the President to help achieve that.
President Akufo-Addo stopped to inspect work on the Fodome Campus of the University on his way to the sod-cutting ceremony, and told the traditional leaders in Hohoe that the Government was seeking some 160 million dollars to develop it into a “separate independent” institution in the enclave
One person has been confirmed dead while about ten passengers have been seriously injured in a gory accident at Ekumfi Akwakrom in the Ekumfi District of the Central Region.
The accident occurred on the Winneba-Cape Coast Highway Thursday evening around 4:00 pm.
The accident was between a Metro Mass bus with registration number GS 2614-17 which was from Accra heading towards Secondi Takoradi and a Toyota Corolla with registration number GV 22-14 also from Mankessim in the opposite direction.
Investigations conducted by EIB Network’s Central Regional Correspondent Yaw Boagyan revealed that that, the Toyota Corolla in an attempt to overtake another vehicle in a sharp curve collided with the Metro Mass Bus.
Speaking to some of the victim’s in the Metro Bus they said, the metro bus driver saw the Toyota Corolla making a wrongful overtaking and in an attempt to swerve the bus collided with the Toyota corolla causing the driver of the Toyota to die instantly leaving 10 passengers in the metro bus seriously injured including the driver.
Some Eyewitnesses in the community called the Fire Service and the Police from Mankessim who cut the Vehicle into pieces before removing the deceased who was stuck in the car.
The injured people are receiving treatment at the Mankessim Roman Catholic Hospital whiles the deceased have been since deposited at Saltpond mortuary for Preservation and autopsy.
The deceased is yet to be identified.
The Vehicles have also been sent to the Jedu Police Station for investigations.
The President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, on Friday, 10th September 2021, commissioned the Hohoe Technology Solution Centre, one of five (5) new facilities being established by the Rural Enterprise Programme of the Ministry of Trade and Industry.
The Hohoe Technology Solution Centre, located at Gbi Godenu, and constructed at a cost of GH¢6.07 million, will support Government’s industrialization agenda, particularly the 1-District-1-Factory initiative.
The key functions of the Technology Solution Centre will be the production of spare parts and repair services for district factories and oil and gas industry, the manufacturing of agro-processing equipment, and the provision of training for human resources capacity building
The Hohoe TSC is expected to serve factories, artisans and other customers in the following districts in Volta and Oti, including Hohoe, Afadjato South, Kpando, North Dayi, Jasikan, Kadjebi, Biakoye, and the soon to be inaugurated Guan District.
The Hohoe Technology Solution Centre is one of five Centres spread around the country, with the others located at Kumawu in the Ashanti Region, Savelugu in the Northern Region, Elmina in the Central Region and Dormaa Ahenkro in the Bono Region.
The five new TSCs are an upgraded version of and an addition to the original 26 Rural Technology Facilities (RTF) established by Rural Enterprises Programme across the country, in collaboration with GRATIS and the host district assemblies.
The RTFs were established to serve as magnets for industrial activity and have been equipped to perform as hubs for technology promotion, dissemination and transfer to the informal sector. They also provide skills training to master crafts persons and apprentices.
Their main roles and functions were to increase the productive capacity of rural producers and to promote the commercialization and specialization of agriculture within the framework of national economic growth.
The new TSC model was conceived in 2017 by the Ministry of Trade and Industry, under the general plan to realign the Rural Enterprises Programme to be consistent with Government’s Industrialisation Policy.
The TSCs have enhanced capacities with much bigger workshop buildings and workshop spaces for machining and fabrication, offices, classrooms, showrooms, kitchenette and conference facilities.
They are equipped with modern machinery and tools to provide the technology solution needs of industries within their catchment.
President Nana Akufo-Addo is expected to start his tour of the Western and Western North regions today, Friday, 3 September 2021.
The president will travel around the two regions within four days.
Apart from his expected interactions with the chiefs and traditional leaders in those regions, the president is also going to cut sods for some projects.
Per an itinerary released by Issah Fuseini, the New Patriotic Party’s (NPP) Regional Director of Communications, on the first day of the visit, the president will pay a courtesy call on the Dompim Chief in his palace and later inaugurate the Narubizi Rubber Factory under the 1D1F in the Wassa East District.
Additionally, the president will call on the acting Paramount Chief of Shama at Yabiw in the Shama District.
He will also meet with the Nzema chiefs at Nzema Manle in Esiama in the Ellembelle District.
In the Shama District, the president will visit Keda Ghana Ceramics Company Limited in Aboadze, producers of Twyford ceramic tiles to inaugurate the third phase of the factory and also cut the sod for the commencement of the fourth phase.
The president, on day two, will inspect the Dixcove Landing Beach in the Ahanta West Municipality, cut the sod for the commencement of the Takoradi-Tarkwa road in Tarkwa, as well as inspect the construction of a Polyclinic at Bogoso in the Prestea-Huni Valley Municipality.
The president will also pay a courtesy call on the Chief of Wassa Akropong in his palace in the Wassa Amenfi East District and leave for Sefwi- Wiawso in the Western North Region
The CEO of MTN Selorm Adadevoh says his outfit will ensure that the new innovation delivers value to its stakeholders in Ghana
Selorm Adadevoh, the chief executive officer of MTN has said the telecoms giant is poised to roll out 5G in Ghana next year.
Speaking at the MTN@25 Business Executive Breakfast series on Wednesday (18 August) on the theme: “Conversations with MTN Ghana – 25 Years of Brightening Lives and Beyond”, Adadevoh said the telco has always been at the forefront of technology innovation.
The MTN CEO said his outfit will ensure that the new innovation delivers value to its stakeholders in Ghana.
Adadevoh added that MTN is currently focused on becoming a complete Digital Operator by 2023, while pursuing its Agenda 2025 strategy to drive the digital Ghana agenda.
“MTN has for the past 25 years been at the forefront of technology innovation in Ghana, having been the first to bring GSM, 2G, 3G, 4G, Mobile Money and hopefully 5G by next year
The Speaker of Parliament, Mr Alban Bagbin, has asked Muslims to pray for the country as “these are not the best of times for our country.”
Mr Bagbin said the challenges of the country in various aspects of national endeavour are pronounced.
In his Eid al-Adha message on Tuesday, 20 July 2021, Speaker Bagbin noted: “Our economy needs an urgent boost if we are to experience growth and development. We have been propagating a paradigm shift in the management of our economy, which never seems to materialize. We cannot continue down the route on which we are currently, with very little effort at industrialization: it has not been helpful.”
He stated that within the Ghanaian social setup, education and health facilities are overstretched.
“The growth in our population, which I believe will be borne out by the ongoing population and housing census, has not seen a reciprocal attempt to improve upon infrastructure for health and education. The result is there for all to see: lack of hospital beds and schools under trees continue to be challenged,” he added.
On top of all these, the Speaker said Ghana remains sharply divided along political lines.
He said: “We strive to find the political coloration of citizens who raise issues with where our country is headed, instead of finding out the reasoning and the logic in the issues raised. We cannot continue like this. In addition, we see very little attempt to punish corruption and inefficiency among the political class, thereby creating the perception of political clubbing at the highest level of the political superstructure of this country.”
In his view, these are what “we must pray for during this solemn occasion, so that the Almighty Allah will properly order our steps as a country and place us on the path towards national reconstruction and restoration.”
He called on leaders of the country to exhibit a lot more sacrifice whilst working at resolving the many challenges that confront the nation.
Below is the speaker’s full message:
MESSAGE FROM THE RT. HON. ALBAN SUMANA KINGSFORD BAGBIN, SPEAKER OF PARLIAMENT, ON THE OCCASION OF THE CELEBRATION OF EID AL-ADHA
I extend my warmest compliments and well wishes to the National Chief Imam, Sheikh Osman Nuhu Sharubutu, and the Muslim Community in the country on the occasion of the celebration of the feast of Eid al-Adha. Eid al-Adha is a festival that commemorates the annual pilgrimage to Mecca and the sacrifice of Abraham. It is celebrated to remind us of Abraham’s obedience to Allah.
The Islamic community has instituted this festival to remind us of the need for sacrifice, obedience, sharing, and thanksgiving. It is a period for introspection and reconnection with the Almighty Allah. During this solemn period, I urge all Muslims to pray for Ghana and the welfare of our people as you come together for the congregational prayer to mark this special day. I believe when we approach Allah together in supplication, He will listen to our prayers to guide our dear country along the path of truth and righteousness.
These are not the best of times for our country. The challenges we have in the various aspects of national endeavor are pronounced. Our economy needs an urgent boost if we are to experience growth and development. We have been propagating a paradigm shift in the management of our economy, which never seems to materialize. We cannot continue down the route on which we are currently, with very little effort at industrialization: it has not been helpful.
Within our social setup, education and health facilities are overstretched. The growth in our population, which I believe will be borne out by the on-going population and housing census, has not seen a reciprocal attempt to improve upon infrastructure for health and education. The result is there for all to see: lack of hospital beds and schools under trees continue to be challenged. On top of all these, Ghana remains sharply divided along political lines. We strive to find the political coloration of citizens who raise issues with where our country is headed, instead of finding out the reasoning and the logic in the issues raised. We cannot continue like this. In addition, we see very little attempt to punish corruption and inefficiency among the political class, thereby creating the perception of political clubbing at the highest level of the political superstructure of this country.
These are what we must pray for during this solemn occasion so that the Almighty Allah will properly order our steps as a country and place us on the path towards national reconstruction and restoration. We need to demonstrate a lot more care for one another in the decisions we make as government and in the care that we demonstrate towards each other. Leaders of this country need to exhibit a lot more sacrifice whilst we work at resolving the many challenges that confront us. This is where my admiration for Eid al-Adha comes to the fore: the spirit of sharing and the sacrifice that the Islamic faithful exhibit during this period is legendary. This is particularly towards the elderly, loved ones and to the deprived in society.
I pray that this same spirit will guide us all to reduce the unnecessary tensions and divisions in our country so that together, we can build a safe and a prosperous nation for ourselves and for generations to come. I wish all Muslims a very joyous and reflective Eid al-Adha. Barkah da Sallah and may Allah make us live to see another Sallah.
Tamale North Member of Parliament Alhassan Suhuyini has said Ghanaians are right in the criticism against the $28million MPs’ car loan because their condition of living is worsening.
Speaking in an interview with TV3’s Parliamentary correspondent Komla Kluste on Thursday July 15, he said “Let us take our time. People are right in the way they are complaining about the situation because they live in worse conditions . so they are right the way they are complaining but we as leaders must appreciate that it is within their right to complain as they do but it is our duty to take actions that will be better for the state
“To also go sentimentally to say because you are criticizing us we will go for an option that we all know on the face value is more burdensome on the state is not an act of leadership, with all due respect.”
Member of Parliament for Ajumako-Enyan-Esiam Casiel Ato Forson has called on all legislators to support the decision to stop the MPs car loan arrangement.
He said on the floor of the House on Thursday July 15 that the time has come for such an arrangement to stop.
“Every four years, two vehicles are given to Members of Parliament are given loans to procure vehicles.
“That is why we have firmly recommended to this House. We want to urge members that the time has come for all of us to accept that going forward we will not accept this car loans , It shouldn’t be a car loan , we also deserve duty post vehicles. We want to urge members to reject car loans going forward,” the member of the Finance Committee said.
In Parliament on Thursday July 15 during a debate on the $28million car loan for lawmakers, Member of Parliament for Tamale Central Ibrahim Murtala Mohammed told some of his colleague MPs who oppose the facility not be pretend to be who they are not.
This comes after his colleague Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa has said in relation to the loan that the impression has been created as though the lawmakers in the house for their personal gains.
Contributing to a debate on whether or not this should be approved on Thursday July 15, Mr Ablakwa said “The impression is created as though the 275 Members of Parliament of this house are here just for ourselves. We are not here for ourselves, we are here for the people of Ghana.
“We went to the people and offered ourselves with a vision to serve them and to deliver on the hopes and aspirations of our people and to achieve for our collective good a country that is based on success on progress, on development that our people will be well and duly served and that their wellbeing at all times will be our focus.
“That is what we wake up every morning to do. We need to re-assure the good people of this country that it has never been about us.”
In reply, Ibrahim Murtala Mohammed said “In as much as I agree with such admonishing, I want to entreat myself and my colleagues we shouldn’t be pretentious over such admonishment. It shouldn’t just come from our lips, we must be seen demonstrating that.
“If the four wheel drive is a luxury to some members of parliament I say that it is not a ;luxury to others . It is not an idea of us being admonished that we should demonstrate that we love the people of this country.
“That is our responsibility and let us see that in our action. I will want to caution myself and caution my colleagues when the cameras are before you don’t tyr to play saint , when the cameras are before you don’t try to pretend to be who you are not because we know the conduct of everybody and if we begin to question the con duct of people , I don’t think that is what the people of this country want. I agree that don’t give us any car loan.”
Murtala Mohammed had told Mr Ablakwa to return the two cars he bought from loan facilities for legislators if he is a principled person.
He described the position taken by Ablakwa regarding the car loan facility for legislators as hypocritical.
He accused Mr Ablakwa of lacking principles relative to this matter.
Ghana’s Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta submitted to parliament for approval a loan agreement of $28 million pending consideration by the Finance Committee, a facility that has been approved by the House on Thursday July 15.
This is for the purchase of 275 vehicles for members of the 8th Parliament.
This move has divided opinions among members of the Ghanaian public and also the legislators themselves on whether or not this is a good decision in the midst of the severe economic hardship Ghanaians are saddled with.
Okudzeto Ablakwa on Wednesday July 14 revealed that he and some of his colleague lawmakers from across the political divide had made progress in getting parliament to reject the 28million car loan facility for the legislators.
He stated that he and his colleague from the New Patriotic Party (NPP) Patrick Boamah cosponsored a private member’s motion which the Rt. Hon. Speaker admitted for urgent debate this week.
“Glad we made major progress today in our efforts to have Parliament reject the US$28million MPs’ car loan facility.
“Really elated that my colleague NPP MP, Patrick Boamah and I cosponsored a private member’s motion which the Rt. Hon. Speaker admitted for urgent debate this week,” he said in a tweet.
Mr Boamah who is the Vice-Chairman of Parliament’s Finance Committee has said in an earlier interview that if he has his way, he will tell the legislators to reject the facility.
“For me, if I have my way I will tell my colleague MPs to reject that facility for the simple reason that all the other arms of government vehicles are procured for them without having to go through this process where the media is always on the back of MP s for contracting a loan.
“I don’t see the reason why we should be the subject for this public bashing,” he told journalists on Wednesday July 7.
Commenting on this development, Mr Murtala said “I remember in the coffee shop he called me while he was standing with the contact person of one of the companies and he was asking me whether I will take my car from that company, so where is the principle in this? Since when did he realise that taking the car is unconscionable?
“He has gotten two cars and a new MP who is coming who doesn’t even have a motorbike, whose constituency is farther than his, whose constituency is broader than his, who also needs to discharge his responsibilities by being mobile, such an MP should not be given a car? Let us get serious in this country.”
“This is not a principle. Then he should retune the other cars two cars,” he told Joy Prime on Thursday July 15.
“Okudzeto is not just a colleague Member of Parliament, myself and him we have come a very long way. He has taken the loan two times. I went to Parliament with him the same time when he took the car loan. In the Seventh Parliament I wasn’t there but he took the loan.
“So where is the principle in this? Since when did he realize that taking the car was unconscionable . Who is he trying to deceive?
“This is not a principle position. I remember in the coffee shop he called me while he was standing with the contact person of one of the companies and he was asking me whether I will take my car from that company, so where is the principle in this? Since when did he realise that taking the car is unconscionable?”
A driver and his mate have died in a gory accident after the collision of a VIP bus with registration number GT 5255 17, and a petroleum tanker on the Mankessim-Cape Coast Highway.
According to an eye witness, the incident happened on Tuesday night July 13, 2021, at 10:30 pm at Saltpon in the Mfantseman Municipality of the Central Region. The eyewitness said the National Ambulance Service struggled to rescue lives from the accident.
The driver of the bus according to eyewitnesses died instantly upon the impact, same as his conductor before reaching the hospital.
Assemblymember for the Nkubeam Electoral Area, Saltpond, Francis Ekow Dotse said the Ambulance Service had to cut open some metals to enable them remove the body of the conductor and that of the driver. He noted that three out of six passengers on board the bus who sustained injuries are in critical condition at the Cape Coast Teaching Hospital.
The other victims have been discharged from the hospital Wednesday morning.
Mr. Ekow Dotse in an interview with Starr News said the VIP bus attempted to overtake another vehicle but ended up colliding with the tanker driver.
“I was called by a colleague that an accident had happened. I rushed to the scene and was overwhelmed. It was a bus and a tanker. One dead, the driver of the bus was already dead from the impact.
The conductor was stuck between crushed metals and was breeding.
It took fire service officers and the ambulance service hours to cut him loose from the scrap.
“He was reported dead upon reaching the hospital. Nine of the passenger on board the bus got injured but the condition of three is very critical. But I am told they have been stabilized this morning,” he said.
The locally manufactured pistol and one AA cartridge were found after careful examination by police officers on duty.
Speaking to the media, the Accra Regional Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Effia Tenge, said the police had begun a manhunt for the suspect.
“On July 11, 2021, a lady of about 23 years visited the charge office of the Cantonment Police Station to visit an inmate who was on remand for robbery at the cells. She came along with two packs of fast food and during the inspection of the food, it was found that she had hidden a locally manufactured pistol with one cartridge.”
She added that the police have recovered security camera footage of the incident and were working on identifying the woman.
“The lady at the time of the inspection was carrying a baby and pretended as giving help to the child, only for her to escape from the charge office. Luckily, the police have been able to retrieve CCTV footage, from the charge office and so the police are on a manhunt for this lady.”
Meanwhile, the police are also urging the public to assist in the arrest of the suspect
The National Democratic Congress (NDC) Member of Parliament (MP) for Assin North, James Quayson has filed a motion for certiorari at the Supreme Court asking it to quash the orders of a Cape Coast High Court which ordered him to file his written legal argument in a petition brought against his election.
His seat is under threat after a resident in the constituency in the Central Region filed an action at the High Court claiming that Mr. Quayson as at the time he was filing to contest for the seat held Canadian citizenship and did not qualify to do so under the laws of Ghana.
However, the NDC MP wants the Supreme Court to quash the decision of the High Court because he claims the trial court refused to stay proceedings and refer a matter of Constitutional interpretation to the highest court.
The embattled MP wants the highest court to interpret Article 94 (2) (a) of the 1992 Constitution which prohibits a person who holds citizenship of another country from contesting as MP in Ghana.
He is also asking the Supreme Court to prohibit Justice Kwasi Boakye from further hearing the petition.
There is a petition against the election of Mr. Quayson as MP for Assin North in the Central Region for holding a Canadian citizenship at the time of filing his nomination forms with the Electoral Commission (EC) to contest in the parliamentary elections.
The petition filed by Michael Ankomah-Nimfah is saying that the respondent’s failure to renounce his Canadian citizenship before filing his nomination violates Article 94 (1) (a) of the 1992 Constitution.
The court presided over by Justice Boakye had ordered the parties in the matter to file their written legal arguments for consideration.
But the NDC MP has gone to the Supreme Court for the interpretation of Article 94 (2) (a) of the 1992 Constitution.
He argued that per Article 130 (2) of the 1992 Constitution, the High Court should have stayed proceedings and referred the case to the Supreme Court the interpretation of Article 94 (2) (a) of the 1992 Constitution.
“I am advised by my counsel and I verily believe same to be true that the Supreme Court has not yet had the opportunity to interpret Article 94(2) (a) of the 1992 Constitution as regard the material time that a person must not owe allegiance to a country other than Ghana in order for the person to be qualified to stand for election as a Member of Parliament,” he averred.
The MP’s affidavit in support of the motion further argued that “the Supreme Court has power under Article 129 (4) as well as Article 132 of the Constitution (1992) to make a referral to itself of the constitutional issues arising in the said High Court, since the said court has refused to make same and also to order a stay of its proceedings pending the determination of the constitutional issues referred to.”
He is therefore, seeking the court to quash the order of the Cape Coast High court asking him and the plaintiff to file their written legal arguments.
He also wants the court to prohibit Justice Boakye from further hearing the case on ground that certain comments he made on May 12, 2021, create a real likelihood of bias against him
Kpembe Wura, Babanye Ndefosu II, has thanked the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, for the massive levels of development they have witnessed in Kpembe, in the Salaga South constituency of the Savannah Region, since 2017.
Addressing President Akufo-Addo when the latter paid a courtesy call on him at his palace, at the commencement of day 2 of the President’s tour of the Savannah Region, Babanye Ndefosu II told President Akufo-Addo that his annual visits to the Region have been purposeful and beneficial.
“These are marked by the numerous development projects at various stages of completion within the municipality and the tradition area as a whole,” the Kpembewura said on Monday, July 12.
He continued, “Your Excellency, under your stewardship, the area has seen massive developmental projects and programmes, including other policies. In the (East Gonja) municipality, we have a sustainable water supply project, more than three (3) ongoing market projects including one at Bunjai, a modern astroturf football pitch, a completed modern warehouse facility, a rice factory almost completed, a Regional Feeder Roads Office Complex, ongoing salaga township roads, Tamale-Makango road, and Deba-Fufulso road, and many more,” he said.
These initiatives, according to the Kpembe Wura, “obviously will or have positively impacted on the lives of my people and I in diverse ways, and also gave the municipality a facelift we never expected. Your Excellency we are grateful.”
He used the opportunity of the President’s visit to appeal to the President to increase the admission quota for the Kpembe Nursing and Midwifery Training College, which, he said, receives some 2,000 applications, but only admits some 200 students.
Following the inception of the Free SHS policy, he urged the President to consider establishing a satellite campus of the University of Education to absorb many graduates of the policy.
“We continue to repose our confidence, unflinching support and hope in your leadership. We trust you will deliver us to the promise land. You are already on an enviable trajectory, and we can only invoke the presence of Allah to add more wisdom, sound health and guidance to serve Mother Ghana deservingly,” the Kpembe Wura added.
He listed a chronology of failed prophecies by Badu Kobi and prayed that the Christian Council will grant his request.
Read P. K. Sarpong’s full write-up below:
An Appeal To The Christian Council To Stop Fake Prophet Badu Kobi From Giving Prophecies
Dear Christian Council,
With giant tears still streaming down my cheeks, I come to you with a request you must not refuse me.null
One Prophet Emmanuel Badu Kobi has been desecrating God’s miraculous works with his BetBoro kind of predictions.
A chronology of his prophecies would help you in granting my request for me.
He said that John Mahama would win the 2016 elections. Of course, he lost. In fact, he even said Akufo-Addo was cursed and not destined to become a president of Ghana. Akufo-Addo is Ghana’s President for the second time running.
He prophesied that Trump would win the US elections in 2020. Trump, my main man, lost.
He also prophesied that Mahama would win the 2020 elections. He lost miserably!null
Just yesterday, hours before Argentina and Brazil kicked the ball in the final match of the Copa America tournament, this same Badu Kobi prophesied in a video that went viral that Brazil would overpower Argentina. God shamed him as Argentina rather won.
Hoping that Emmanuel Badu Kobi would keep his mouth shut by not attempting any more prophecies about the England/Italy final match of the Euro2020 competition, Badu Kobi, once again, prophesied that England would win the match with ease.
Sir, England has lost. Italy, the country he said would lose, ended up winning instead, inducing tears of agony from those of us who threw our weights behind the Three Lions.
Now, let me come down to my request. I beseech you to stop Badu Kobi from prophesying in the name of God! He is defiling the name of God with his fake prophecies.
Stop Badu Kobi from prophesying and showcasing them on television and Facebook. YouTube too, stop him from sending his fake prophecies there.null
I ask this with sadness crawling over me like ants climbing over a dead animal and feasting on its body.
It is my fervent hope that this request of mine would be given the necessary consideration it deserves. Thank you!
Agatha Donyinah, the mother of one of the people injured by bullets fired by soldiers during the Ejura demonstration in the aftermath of the mob lynching of social media activist Ibrahim Kaaka Mohammed, has told the three-member committee investing the disturbances that her son had gone to the pharmacy to get some medicines for his ailment when he was shot.
The mother-of-three said her son, Louis Ayikpa, 20, was shot as he was about entering the pharmacy.
The single-mum trader told the committee that Louis, a final-year student of Effiduase Senior High School, had come home on Monday, 28 June 2021, because he was sick.
After being hit by the bullet on the 29 June 2021, she said her son was first rushed to the Ejura Government Hospital and later referred to the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH).
She said the son has been operated on because, according to doctors, the bullet affected his intestines.
Madam Agatha told the committee that she wants justice to be served since she has no help from anyone.
Meanwhile, the family of the late Ibrahim Kaaka Mohammed have said events in the past few days, as far as the work by the three-member Ejura ministerial committee is concerned, have left them “less certain of the scope, focus, real intent and even utility” of the exercise, and have, thus, decided not to appear before the committee.
The lynching of the late social media activist sparked outrage in Ejura, leading to a march in which two demonstrators were shot and killed by soldiers.
Kaaka’s family was expected to be among those appearing before the committee today, Friday, 10 July 2021 but the family, in a statement signed by spokesperson Nafiu Mohammed, said the events of the past few days have left them disappointed.
“We, the family of Ibrahim ‘Kaaka’ Mohammed, regret to formally notify you of our decision to not participate in the ongoing public inquisition, which is purportedly concerned with the “circumstances that led to the unfortunate occurrences of Tuesday, 29th June 2021”.
“However, events over the past few days, have left us less certain of the scope, focus, real intent and even utility of the ongoing inquiry”.
“As such, we feel let down in our enthusiasm for what we assumed would provide a much-needed opportunity for truth, soul-searching and institutional accountability for state-sanctioned violence,” the statement added.
“As you may be aware, we, like many people in Ejura, welcomed and continue to appreciate the president’s decision to instruct you to inquire into the circumstances that led to indiscriminate killings of the people of Ejura by members of our military forces.
“We congratulate you on your decision to heed the call of civil society organisations to recuse yourself from the inquiry, and to set up a separate Committee of Inquiry”.
“In addition, having sought and obtained independent legal advice as to the work of the committee, and our rights vis-à-vis the committee, we have become apprehensive of the substantive and procedural regularity of the committee’s work.
“We are also now concerned that the committee’s work does not provide the appropriate framework for a full, faithful and impartial inquiry, as envisaged under Article 278 of the 1992 Constitution.”
The family accused the committee of attempting to distance Kaaka from the #FixTheCountry movement, and unfavourably criticising the live media coverage of the unrest that ensued as being responsible for “the criminal conduct of the security forces
The Ghana Water Company Limited has absolved itself of blame in the fire incident at a three-storey building, known as Hong Kong, opposite the Makola Shopping Mall Complex.
The fire incident which occurred on Monday, July 5, 2021, and took the police about two days to completely douse the flames left several shops and property worth thousands of Ghana Cedis destroyed.
The Ghana National Fire Service in the wake of the incident heavily blamed the GWCL for the challenges in dousing the flames due to the lack of access to properly functioning water hydrants.
But speaking on News Tonight on GHOne TV on Monday, July 5, 2021Chief Manager in charge of Public Relations at the GWCL Mr. Stanley Martey rejected the accusation.
“What happened in the Makola area is that in one of the hydrants the pressure was low but in other hydrants around Makola or not to far from Makola they had very high pressures so they had gone there to fill their tenders. Now if you listen to the fire officers very well you get the understanding that the main challenge is not lack of water to quench the fire, the main challenge was access to the building so it is not about water this time”
He continued “They had nine tenders at the area, and at every point in time had water in them. So the challenge was not water, but lack of access (to the building). We were also present on the grounds working with them (Fire Service) so we also have information on what was happening on the ground. There are fire hydrants in the Makola area, at that point in time the pressures was not too much. So they had to go about 2 to 3 kilometers, that didn’t affect their work in quenching the fire.
Meanwhile, the GWCL is expected to address a press briefing later this morning to respond to the accusations leveled against them by the Ghana National Fire Service after a similar news conference by the Service.
The Municipal Chief Executive for Ejura, Mr Mohammed Salisu Bamba, has told the Ejura committee probing the recent shooting incident in the Ashanti Region that led to the death of two protesters that the two suspects arrested in connection with the mob lynching of social media activist Ibrahim Kaaka Mohammed, are not his bodyguards, contrary to such claims by the main opposition National Democratic Congress.
Mr Bamba said on Thursday, 8 July 2021 that he only has a police escort and does not have personal bodyguards.
The president’s representative in the municipality said he only knows the suspects as members and polling station executives of the governing New Patriotic Party and does not have any personal relationship with them.
Mr Bamba said some people are just playing politics with the murder of Kaaka and, thus, have linked him to the suspects.
He also indicated that he was not aware of the social media activities of the Kaaka, who, he noted, was a member of the NPP, before his death.
Mr Bamba said when the youth was agitated, he left a voice note on the youth Whatsapp platform asking them to remain calm and assist the police to conduct investigations into the initial disturbances.
The MCE said he was advised not to come to the community during the day of the rioting for security reasons, thus, his absence from the area on 29 June 2021 – the day of the shooting.
He also said some people polarised the youth of Ejura against the police and the political heads for their own interest before the day of the demonstration.
Concerning the shooting, Mr Bamba said the military should have used minimal force in handling the demonstrators.
“Sincerely speaking, I have not received any official information with regard to the fact that this whole thing is about A or B. What I can say as a resident, an indigene of Ejura is that some faceless individuals are trying to use the death of Kaaka for their own parochial interest. That’s what I can say looking at the circumstances and the whole environment has been polarized. I must also add that the event of 29 June that led to the death of the two individuals and others getting injured cannot be looked at in isolation. Some of the interviews that I listened to point to the fact that the youth and the community was actually polarised against the police and the political heads before the 29th”, the MCE said
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo on Wednesday said Ghana looks to deepening diplomatic relations and bilateral ties with the Swiss Confederation.
That is why he said, Ghana was cooperating with the Swiss Government in the areas of energy, climate change, education, trade, among others areas of common interests.
The President said this when he hosted a former Swiss President, Simonetta Sommaruga, for a working lunch at the Jubilee House, Accra.
Ms Sommaruga, who is the current Swiss Minister for Environment, Traffic, Energy and Communications, is in Ghana as part of two-nation tour of Africa, which has also taken her to Senegal.
President Akufo-Addo recalled the relations between the two states, which dated back to when Swiss missionaries settled in Ghana in the early days of Christianity in the country.
He said that country and its people had in no small measure contributed to what Ghana was today.
“We all know the very positive impact of Swiss nationals on our national development,” he stated. “They have a lot to do with the fact that, today, about 70 percent of Ghanaians are Christians…much of the initial work (Christianity) was done by the Swiss, Since then, we have had a strong relationship.”
The President also emphasised the dominance of Ghana’s cocoa in the relations between both nations, and commended the continuous interest of Swiss chocolate companies to purchase Ghanaian cocoa.
He expressed gratitude to the Swiss Government for supporting Ghana to increase renewable energy, and was hopeful that with that cooperation, the country could achieve its goal of having at least 10 percent of renewable energy in its energy mix in the next decade.
On her part, Ms Sommaruga also lauded the longstanding, good and close contacts between Switzerland and Ghana.
She recalled President Akufo-Addo’s reciprocal visit to Switzerland in 2020, which according to her, had strengthened the bonds between the nations.
The Swiss Minister talked about the Climate Protection Agreement signed between the country and Ghana, which would see Switzerland assume its responsibility in international climate policy.
The Agreement would enable Switzerland reduce its carbon emissions, partly abroad, through climate protection projects in Ghana.
It is the second agreement of its kind worldwide under the Paris Climate Accords (Paris Agreement). Switzerland concluded a similar agreement with Peru in October 2020.
Parliament is to ratify the agreement to pave way for its full implementation in Ghana.
Ghana is Switzerland’s second biggest African trading partner, after South Africa. Ghana’s main exports to Switzerland include gold and cocoa.
Ghana’s Parliament has approved a loan agreement facility of 200 million Dollars for the financing for the COVID-19 Emergency Preparedness and Response Project.
This is to enable the rolling out of a mass vaccination programme in the country since a number of individuals who had received the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine are yet to receive the second dose.
Presenting the Finance Committee’s report at the plenary, Financing agreement between the Government and the International Development Association on the Floor of Parliament on Tuesday, July 6, 2021, the Committee Chairman, Kwaku Agyeman Kwarteng disclose
FIVE Persons have met their untimely death in a fatal accident after their bus crashed into a faulty Man Diseal truck carrying quantities of Guinness crates at Suhum – Omenako, a community along the Accra to Kumasi Highway in the Eastern Region Wednesday dawn.
Five other passengers also sustained various degrees of injuries and are currently on admission receiving treatment at the Suhum Government Hospital.
Confirming the incident to DGN Online, Eastern Regional spokesman of the Ghana Police Service, DSP Ebenezer Tetteh noted that the suspected driver name not yet known was driving Hyundai H100 mini bus with registration number ER 1335-Z with passengers on board from Nkawkaw towards Accra direction.
According to him, on reaching a section of the road at Omenako near Suhum on the highway, he overtook a vehicle ahead of him without observing traffic from the opposite direction.
The Police spokesperson said in the process he crashed into a Man Diesel trailer truck with registration number GN 6885-20 driven by suspect Asam Musah, age 46 years, loaded with unspecified quantities of Guinness crates from Accra direction.
DSP Tetteh explained that five passengers onboard the Hyundai bus died on the spot including the driver while five passengers on board the same bus sustained injuries and were rushed to Suhum Government Hospital for treatment. The bodies have since been deposited at the same hospital morgue pending autopsy. Meanwhile, efforts are underway to tow both mangled vehicles from the scene for the free flow of traffic.
On the same stretch, a Toyota Corolla with registration number GT 8876-09 has been involved in a fatal accident leading to the death of one person while two others in critical condition on Tuesday evening.
The private car speeding from Accra to Kumasi suddenly veered off its lane on reaching Niifio near the Suhum stretch of the Accra-Kumasi highway and crashed.
One of the three passengers died on the spot while the two are on admission at Suhum government hospital.
The body of the deceased has been deposited at the morgue of the same facility pending identification by family members.
Western North Regional Minister Richard Ebbah Obeng, has presented 150 study desks to the Nkwadum, Besibema, and Sika ne Asem basic schools all in the Akontombra District.
The Regional Minister indicated that it formed part of the “One-Child One desk initiative” launched in May this year, aimed at clearing over 66,000 desks deficit in schools across the Western North Region.
He said selected schools in Bia West, Bia East, Suaman and Akontombra Districts have so far received their share of the desks which would help clear all the desks deficit in educational institutions within the Region.
The Regional Minister noted that the desks would go a long way to help improve upon teaching and learning especially at the basic level.
“It will also serve as a motivation for pupils to always be in class”, he added.
He commended MP for Akontombra, Alex Djonobuah Tetteh, District Chief Executive for Akontombra, Yawson Amoah, Western North Regional Director in charge of Coastal Development Authority(CODA), Edmond Afriyie, and traditional authorities in the Region for their unflinching support towards the” One-Child One Desk initiative.
Mr Obeng promised to give one hundred bags of cement to complete the construction of an ICT center at Nkwadum started by the community.
He also announced he would sponsor the mock examinations for BECE candidates in the entire Region, this year, noting that would help them pass their Basic Education Certificate Examinations.
The DCE commended the Regional Minister for the gesture and assured the assembly’s readiness to support the initiative with one thousand one hundred(1,100) study desks.
Mr Thomas Coffie, Akontombra District Director of Education also expressed gratitude to the Regional Minister and the District Assembly for the support, which according to him, would help improve upon the standard of education in the area.
He said Fifty-Five schools from the Akontombra District have benefited from the Ghana Accountability for Learning Outcome Project(GALOP) and commended the government for all the educational interventions in the area.
Nana Owusu Kwao II, chief of Nkwadum, lauded the Regional Minister for the initiative and asked pupils to take advantage of all government educational initiatives to become useful to themselves and society.
The Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS) and the Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL) have clashed over the unavailability of water in the fire hydrants in and around Accra Central Business District (CBD) to quench Monday’s inferno which gutted a three-storey building near Makola.null
While the GNFS says the unavailability of water in the hydrants affected their efforts to quench the fire immediately they got to the scene, the GWCL believes they could have moved to a nearby hydrant for water when the ones in and around the CBD were not working.
Fire gutted the three-storey building at Makola in the central business district of Accra on Monday, July 5, leaving many traders in sorrow over loss of wares.
Most of the traders deal in cosmetic products.
The fire, according to eyewitnesses, began at around 9:00 am in one of the shops and spread to others.
It took fire personnel almost 12 hours to bring the fire under control.null
Explaining further the extent of the damage caused by the fire, the Head of Public Relations at the GNFS, Ellis Robinson Okoe, told Maakye host Captain Smart on Onua TV and Onua FM on Tuesday that “there were no access roads to where the building was. All the fire hydrants are not working. No water was flowing and the distance was a factor”.
“The flexibility to the building was not there. Traffic also blocked us,” he added.
DO II Robinson Okoe said “we need hydraulic platform…helicopters…we will need more breathing apparatus to be able to fight fire but we don’t have them.”
But reacting to the no-water in the fire hydrants assertions, the Head of Communications at the Ghana Water Company, Stanley Martey, refused to accept them.
“We have to allow the technical people to talk when it comes to some of these things. The Fire Service will never accuse Ghana Water. It is the media that pushes them to say certain things.”null
He explained that “in Accra, every kilometre had fire hydrants so if you get to one and there is no water, you move to the second one.”
Mr. Martey added that “the demand for water is more than we are able to supply so we can’t get the whole of Accra water every time that is why we ration water.”
He said “[GNFS] had about nine fire tenders and at every point in time they needed water? Accra is complicated.”
• Alban Bagbin says he will continue to lead the against LGBTQ+ legalization in the countrynull
• He believes that homosexuality is against the natural order
• Bagbin has been criticized for his stance on the issue
Alban Bagbin, the Speaker of Parliament has reiterated his stance against the legalization of Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender, Queer (LGBTQ+) activities in the country.
Parliament last week initiated a process to pass an anti-LGBTQ+ law that will make activism or any form of pro-LGTBQ+ activity illegal in the country.
Bagbin’s strong stance against the movement has been condemned and laughed off by pro-LGBTQ+ plus campaigners with one of them allegedly describing the Speaker of Parliament as ‘funny’.
Responding to this description, Bagbin said that he will not be cowed by such criticisms and will continue to pursue the agenda against the legalization of LGBTQ+.
He noted that their activities are not only against the values and beliefs of Ghanaian society but also an affront to the natural order.
“One of their activists said on social media that I’m a funny person. I will continue to be a funny person to make sure that the right thing is done. I’m pro-life and I will continue to be funny to ensure that lives are saved in the world. I will continue to be funny to ensure that this world created by God as a garden of Eden for us to enjoy will continue to be enjoyable by everyone,” he said.
Meanwhile, Bagbin’s comments and posture on the matter has been condemned by Professor Henry Kwasi Prempeh of the Centre Democratic Development.
In a Facebook post, Professor Prempeh wondered why Bagbin seems to be making himself a star out of the anti-LGBTQ+ movement in Parliament.
“How a Speaker, who is not a Member of Parliament, and has no legislative initiative or vote in the business of the House gets to make himself into the cheerleader for a bill, including personally guaranteeing its passage, just beats me.
“…He is cast more in the mould of the Speaker in Westminster, not the Speaker of the House of Representatives in Washington,” he said in a Facebook post.
The Police is poised to provide the necessary security for the safety of the planned demonstration by the youth of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) on Tuesday, July 6, in Accra.
In a message posted on its Facebook page, the Police said the decision followed a meeting Mr James Oppong-Boanuh, the Inspector-General of Police, held with the organisers of the planned demonstration, at the Police Headquarters in Accra on July 2.
It said all matters relating to the march were discussed and agreed, including the routes and COVID-19 protocols.
It would be recalled that the NDC in a letter to the Inspector-General of Police, dated Wednesday, June 30, and signed by Mr George Opare Addo, its National Youth Organiser, declared the Party’s planned demonstration, dubbed: “A March for Justice Demonstration and Street Protest”.
“This is to notify you that the NDC through its Youth Wing will hold a demonstration and street protest dubbed, “A March for Justice” in Accra, on Tuesday, 6th July from 0800 hours in the morning to mid-day,” the letter said.
“This letter is sent your way in line with the Public Order Act. The Act (491) stipulates that the Police be notified under section (1) of any special event within the meaning of the Public Order Act.”
The letter said that the protest was to demand justice for “all persons killed and brutalized by state-sponsored thuggery and/or adventurism by police and military forces”.
It said the planned protest was also to seek social justice for the unemployed youth.
The protest would follow these routes: “One chapter would start from Madina, the other from the Accra Business District, the third from Osu and the last from Lapaz.
“We will all meet at the Jubilee House to present a petition to the President of the Republic, to the Inspector-General of Police at the Police Head Office and the Speaker of Parliament at Parliament Houses,” it stated.
“We are willing to meet with the Police for further discussions on the subject matter.”
The Police had earlier expressed their unwillingness to provide security for mass protestors in view of the threat such activities posed as COVID-19 super spreaders.
• Ghana Armed Forces say it will deal with soldiers captured on video assaulting Wa residentsnull
• This was contained in a statement signed by Colonel Aggery-Quashie
• The soldiers were in search of a mobile phone
The Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) has indicated that, it will institute an internal disciplinary measure to deal with some of the soldiers who were involved in brutalising Wa residents over a missing mobile phone.
In a statement signed by Colonel E. Aggrey-Quashie, Director Public Relations, the GAF condemned the acts by the soldiers and stated that, “such unprofessional conduct by the military will not be condoned by any member of the force.”
The statement explained further that, “[the] unprofessional conduct took place on Thursday, 1 July 2021 and at a time when the Commanding Officer of the soldiers, and the Chairman of the Regional Security Council were both out of town on official engagements.null
Internal disciplinary measures have been instituted to deal with all those who will be found culpable in this unprofessional conduct by the soldiers.”
Some armed soldiers have been caught on camera brutalising residents of Wa in the Upper West Region on Thursday, July 1, over a missing mobile phone supposedly belonging to one of the soldiers.
According to one eyewitness, one of the soldiers is believed to have boarded what is referred to as “Yellow Yellow” or “Mahama Cambo” and lost his phone.
The incident is said to have started at 1:00 pm and lasted for close to an hour at the Wa main traffic.null
Several of the victims are said to have sustained various degrees of injury.
Two of them are currently on admission at the Wa Municipal Hospital.
A 29-year-old vulcanizer, who was a victim, is suspected to have developed a fracture in his right thigh during the assault.
This comes after soldiers opened fire on protesters at Ejura in the Ashanti Region, leading to the death of two people and four others injured.
The Public Relations Officer of the Upper West Regional Coordinating Council, Cletus Awuni, who was also a victim, told an Accra based Citi FM that, the soldiers dragged him out of a car and interrogated him for filming the incident.null
The GAF said, due to the seriousness of the matter, “the Chief of the Army Staff is leading a high-powered military delegation to Wa to meet the traditional and opinion leaders to find an amicable way of resolving this unfortunate incident. The delegation will also explore means to assuage the anger of the people and promote good neighbourliness.”
“The Ghana Armed Forces once again wishes to assure the people of Wa and the general public that their safety is paramount at all times, as such would not condone any unprofessional conduct by any member of the force,” the statement concluded.
The police providing security for the relocation of onion sellers at Agbogbloshie in the Ablekuma Central to Adjen Kotoku had to fire warning shots and tear gas at some people it described as “criminals” on Thursday, 1 July 2021, the deadline for all the sellers to have moved.
The Operation’s Commander, DSP Kwesi Ofori, told journalists that: “It is a peaceful exercise that has been discussed and planned regarding the evacuation of onion traders from Agbogbloshie to Adjen Kotoku”.
“The market women have fully cooperated and they are not even here currently because they are even setting up at Adjen Kotoku. But it is some criminal elements that want to take advantage of the situation to mar the operation”, he said.
“You can see the security forces taking every step to protect the traders wherever they are. Some groups of criminals have intended to burn and disrupt their businesses and cause mayhem,” he noted.
Greater Accra Regional Minister, Mr Henry Quartey, is leading the relocation of the onion sellers as part of his ‘Let Make Accra Work’ pet project, which involves decongesting slums and removing unauthorised structures in the capital city.
He told journalists at the Agbogbloshie site that as of the deadline, more than 90 per cent of the sellers had moved and that “means they have shown good faith, they have done very well” and “I salute them”.
“This is the capital city of Ghana and this is what we find ourselves in”.
“We had intended to use three days to clear the place but from the look of the magnitude of filth, we may spend about a week in doing that job”.
“Now that we’ve cleared the place, we won’t allow even a single person to come to the site again. It is done. We are going to move on. We’ve taken possession of the land and we’ll put it to good use”, he said
An enumerator in the ongoing 2021 Population and Housing Census in the Bawku West District of the Upper East Region died and another sustained injuries when the motorbike they were travelling with crashed into a cargo truck at Saka, a suburb of Zebilla on Wednesday.
The truck had been parked on the road and the motorbike crashed into it.
The deceased was identified as Faisal Issah, a nurse by profession while the other accident victim who sustained injuries was identified as Gifty Abane Alalbilla, a teacher.
According to eye witnesses, the accident happened on Wednesday (June 30, 2021) at about 6:30am.
The deceased was reportedly riding while Alalbilla was the pillion and they were on their way to collect census data at Googo and Tambigu communities in Zebilla when the accident occurred.
Issah died on arrival at the Zebilla District Hospital while Alalbilla is currently responding to treatment at the Bawku Presbyterian Hospital.
Sources at the Zebilla District Hospital said the deceased suffered severe head injuries and multiple fractures.
The deceased was a nurse stationed at the Zebilla Senior High Technical School Clinic while his colleague was a teacher employed by the Campaign for Female Education (CAMFED), an international non-governmental organization founded in 1993 to teach students of the Zebilla Senior High Technical School.
The District Census Officer, Mr Thomas Awuni told Graphic Online that the unfortunate accident has thrown the community and other enumerators into a state of shock and sadness.
He expressed condolences to the bereaved family and wished Alalbilla the other accident victim a speedy recovery .
He explained that the counting exercise will not be affected since other enumerators will be reassigned to the communities affected due to the unfortunate accident.
Issah has since been laid to rest in his hometown in Bawku in line with Islamic tradition.