As some public enterprises maneuver to cut cost and make profit, the Data Protection Commission (DPC) is said to be paying a whopping GH¢24,000, the cedi equivalent of US$3,000, as monthly rent for its current office space.
“Mr.Speaker, the Data Protection Commission is currently operating from rented premises situated on the PawPaw Street, East Legon, at a monthly rent of the cedi equivalent of US$3,000,” Mrs. Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, Minister for Communication and Digitalisation, revealed in Parliament yesterday.
She made the revelation when the Member of Parliament (MP) for Tempane, Madam Lydia LamisiAkanvariba, asked about steps the Ministry was taking to get the DPC a permanent structure, and how much the Ministry paid for the current office location every year.
The DPC exists toprotecttheprivacyoftheindividualandpersonaldataby regulating theprocessingofpersonalinformation and checks by The Chronicle reveal that the Commission has been operating from its current office at Paw Paw Street in East Legon since 2019.
If the Commission pays GH¢24,000, as intimated by Madam Owusu-Ekuful, then it means it pays GH¢288,000 yearly.
This also means that from 2019 to 2021, the Commission has spent a whopping GH¢576,000 on the payment of rent alone, and would spend GH¢864,000 by the end of 2022.
Minister Owusu-Ekuful also noted yesterday: “Efforts have been made to secure a permanent office accommodation from public sources for the Commission by writing letters to both the Ministry of Works and Housing and the Office of the Chief of Staff. These efforts have not yielded the required positive results yet.”
It is not clear if the Commission has never had its own building since its establishment based on this statement by the Minister.
The Chronicle’s checks revealed that the Commission was established in 2012 under the Data Protection Act, 2012 (Act 843).
If the Commission has never had a building since its establishment, it then implies that it has been renting since 2012, and indicates that it has spent massively on rent.
When asked how she intended to resolve the issue, looking at the high cost of rent, Mrs.Owusu-Ekuful responded that if the Member of Parliament knows where cheap accommodation could be accessed, she could notify the Ministry.
She, however, indicated to the House that her Ministry would be in talks with the agency in charge of providing accommodation for public institutions to secure one for the DPC.
“The Ministry will continue to have discussions with the state agencies charged with providing office accommodation for public institutions such as the DPC and is hopeful of a fruitful outcome,” she said.
Meanwhile, the Minister has asked those who have not registered their SIM cards to do by the end of July, because there would not be an extension. The SIM registration exercise commenced on October 1, 2021 and is expected to end on July 31.
According to the Minister, the exercise, when completed, was expected to reduce or eliminate fraudulent and criminal activities facilitated by mobile phones or Sim enabled devices, help the authorities ascertain the real number of valid and accurate SIMs on the mobile networks, enable operators to build better demographics of their customer base, and help them develop products and services to suit these various groupings.
It is also intended to make the National Communications Authority (NCA) attain a more accurate and credible database to regulate the industry better.
“SIM registration will enhance economic growth, as more confidence is built in the telecommunications sector, and people utilise secure devices to access mobile-based digital solutions, both private and public, and minimise mobile money fraud, promote cybersecurity and support financial inclusion,” Mrs.Owusu-Ekuful said.
The Majority members in Parliament got the shock of their lives yesterday, as their counterparts, the Minority, shot down an amount of €75 million intended for a Covid-19 Health Response due to lack of quorum.
The Majority was stunned at the opposition’s reaction, mainly because the debate on the loan agreement had been concluded weeks ago, and the only thing the presiding Speaker had to do was to put the question.
However, the Ranking Member on the Committee of Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, Mr. Bernard Ahiafor, opposed the putting of the question, indicating that the number transacting such a business was inadequate.
“Mr. Speaker,by the decision in that case,foradecisionsuchasthistobetakenbytheHouse [it] needs majority of MPs based on article 104.
“This is a crucial financial decision about to be taken, andyouaregoingto ask thequestionforadecisiontobetakenandwearelessthanfiftyofthemembersoftheHouse,” Mr.Ahiafor submitted.
His comments followed a Supreme Court ruling on the interpretation of articles 102 and 104 of the 1992 Constitution, which deal with quorum in Parliament.
The case, which was between a private Legal Practitioner, Justice Abdulai and the Attorney General, wentagainstJusticeAbdulaiandbyextensiontheMinorityMPs and the caucus hassince ceasedeveryopportunitytodisallowsome of the businesses in theHouse, with regards to the numbers.
But, before the Mr.Ahiabor raised his objection, the Second Deputy Speaker, Mr. Andrew Amoako Asiamah, who was presiding, had wanted to put the question for either the approval or rejection of the House.
This was based on an indication of the Minority Spokesperson on Finance, Mr.Cassiel Ato Forson, that the debate on the money had been concluded and the only thing left for the Deputy Speaker to do was to put the question.
However, the Deputy Minority Leader and Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee, Mr James Klutse Avedzi, indicated to the Speaker that he wanted to make an input, because the Order Paper Addendum, which contained that particular business had indicated that the debate was yet to be concluded.
Despite resistance from both sides that the debate had been concluded, and that it was time for the Deputy Speaker to put the question, Mr.Klutse Avedzi insisted on making a comment, because the Order Paper Addendum had stated otherwise.
The Deputy Speaker, therefore, allowed Mr.Avedzi to make some comments. MrIssacAdongo, Member of Parliament for Bolgatanga Central, also made some comments.
It was after these comments that the Mr Ahiafor raised the objection for the motion to be approved.
The Attorney General, Mr.Godfred Yeboah Dame, who was in the House to transact business on behalf of his Ministry, tried to intervene in the situation, but did not succeed.
He noted that the Supreme Court decision in Justice Abdulai and the Attorney General case didnotunderminethefactthat Parliament wasamasterofitsownrules.
Hesaidthefactsinthematterwereclear, and the parties involved agreed on these facts, and indicated that basedontheprinciplesthat Parliament wasamasterofitsownprocedure,iftheHousehadadoptedaproceduretoapprovetheloan,thentheHouseshouldgobythatprocedure.
This intervention from Mr. Dame was not adhered to, as the Second Deputy Speaker adjourned sitting without approving the money.
Yesterday’s incident was not the first time the Minority had raised issues of a quorum since the Supreme Court ruling.
Some months ago, the Minority stopped the approval of a €20 million agreement between the Government of Ghana and the German Development Bank Group, Frankfurt.The amount was to finance the Green Credit Line, under the Reform and Investment Partnership between the Government of Ghana and the Federal Republic of Germany.
Former Minister for Finance and Economic Planning, Dr. Kwabena Duffuor, has officially launched the much-touted ‘Ahoto Project’ to enable the National Democratic Congress (NDC) generate enough resource to wrestle for power come 2024.
Dr.Duffuor launched the project at the NDC Head Office at Adabraka in Accra yesterday.
Addressing party executives and supporters, Dr.Duffuor said the essence of the donation to the party was to enable it have other avenues of generating funds to finance its activities, especially at the grassroots.
The donation was estimated to cost the former Finance Minister a whopping GH¢1,000,000, it made up of canopies, chairs, nylon ropes and outdoor sound systems.
According to him, each of the 275 constituencies would benefit from this initiative, adding that Santrokofi, Akpafu, Likpe and Lolobi (SALL) had been earmarked for the project.
He said the purpose of the donation was to enable the various constituencies to rent the items out to raise some form of revenue to support party activities.
Dr.Duffuor advised against individuals and constituency executives misappropriate the income or claim ownership of the items, as they were party property.
The former Bank of Ghana Governor also used the occasion to render an unqualified apology to the party’s national executive for overstepping his boundary in the line of his earlier donation.
The General Secretary of the party, Johnson Asiedu Nketia, accepting the apology, said although the party welcomed donations from all and sundry, there were laid down procedures to be followed.
He said the procedure had been necessitated by incidents post-elections that some individuals who made donations to the party turned round to demand the items or had wanted to dictate how they should be utilised.
Mr. Nketia added that others also used borrowed funds or government funds to sponsor party activities and later expected that those funds were repaid by the party.
According to him, since donations were not retainable, the party had put measures in place to avert the recurrence of those incidents.
He thanked Dr.Duffuor for keeping faith with the party and supporting it at all time necessary, adding that donations, contributions and dues were the only means the party raised revenue.
The National Chairman of the party, Samuel Ofosu Ampofo, added that opposition was not easy, therefore, party supporters and all well meaning individuals should emulate Dr.Duffuor’s shining examples.
He promised that the items would be well taken care of to serve the purpose of the donation.
The National Chairman of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Mr. Samuel Ofosu, Ampofo, has accused the government of plunging the country into an economic mess.
Speaking to the media after a retreat of all 16 Regional Chairmen and some party stalwarts in Wa last week Sunday, Mr. Amposu said most Ghanaians could no longer cope with the current economic situation in the country, due to poor management and wanton corruption under the Nana Akufo-Addo-led government.
According to him, the government had poorly managed the country’s resources, thereby putting Ghanaians under an all-time economic hardship. “We believe that, as a government, in situations such as this, you need to provide leadership and provide interventions that will let the people know that, indeed, the government has empathy for the people,” he said.
But Mr. Ampofo said the government was rather nonchalant and lacked empathy. He called on Ghanaians to hold the New Patriotic Party (NPP) in check, and show them the exit in the next General Elections.
He said the NDC was determined to form the next government and provide cutting-edge governance that would bring Ghanaians out of the current economic hardship.
“The challenges that we are facing now call for deeper reflection, and to look for an alternative that has the experience and capabilities to manage the economy. You cannot look further than the NDC,” he said.
The three-day retreat was a monthly programme that brings together all the Regional Chairmen of the NDC to strategise and interact with key stakeholders of the party.
It was also to galvanise support from the grassroots, and to drum home the need for unity within the rank and file of the party.
The meeting in Wa also brought together various constituency executives, former appointees, sitting members of Parliament in the region, as well as some branch executives to deliberate on issues affecting the party, and to plan on winning the 2024 General Elections.
An Accra High Court has frozen the accounts of the East Ada District Assembly for refusing to pay a contractor who had rendered services to it in 2016. The decision comes after efforts by the contractor over the last five years to receive his payment claim yielded no dividend.
Nene Teye Akplehey Adzomani IV, known in private life as Prince Akplehey, was contracted by the Assembly in 2016 to provide streetlights, bulb igniters and photocells, as well as rehabilitate existing streetlights at a contract sum of GH¢89,593.75, which he duly executed.
However, after completing the contract in November 2016, he could not be paid before and the government was changed after the General Elections.
According to the contractor, frantic efforts to get the Assembly to pay his money had proved futile.
The current leadership of the East Ada District Assembly claimed it did not recognise any such contract, compelling him to officially write to the Greater Accra Regional Coordinating Council and the present Regional Minister, Henry Quartey, who intervened, but the Assembly disobeyed him.
The Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO) authenticated that such works were done. As a result, the office of the Attorney General advised the contractor to seek redress at the law court with his documentary proof.
The Accra High Commercial Court, presided over by Her Ladyship Rebecca Sittie, in her ruling in March this year, ordered that the East Ada District Assembly pay Prince Isaac Akplehey GH¢89,593.75 being the contract sum, with accrued interest of GH¢277,396.10 over the unpaid period.
The court also awarded GH¢20,000 in favour of the plaintiff, bringing the total judgment cost to GH¢386,989.85. However, the Assembly was yet to honour the directive, as a result of which the court had frozen its accounts.
When The Chronicle reached the East Ada District Coordinating Director, Fred Kpodo, on Tuesday to confirm whether or not an Accra High Court had frozen the accounts of the Assembly, he said: “It is… It is something like that. Please, I am driving on the deadly Motorway, so… yes, it is true,” in a 47-second telephone interaction with The Chronicle.
Unemployed youth in Obuasi, on Wednesday, poured onto the streets of Obuasi to draw the attention of the government to their continued state of unemployment and the need to create jobs for the youth and also bring down the cost of living in the country.
The demonstration was to demand immediate interventions from the government, as the youth, mostly graduates of tertiary institutions, claimed they were struggling to make ends meet upon graduation. Wearing red bands, the angry youth, from mining communities in the Obuasi enclave, displayed placards which portrayed a simple message: “We are hungry and need jobs.
Mr. Emmanuel Kofi Ayamga, leader of the demonstrating youth, indicated that though they were engaged in community mining as approved by the government, Anglo Gold Ashanti (AGA) had stopped them from operating.
He said the AGA was located in the area, but was not employing them, as a result of which they had petitioned both the Municipal and District Chief Executives in the area to intervene.
Ms. Faustina Amissah, Obuasi East District Chief Executive (DCE), who received the petition from the youth, has relayed the missive to the Ashanti Regional Minister for onward transmission to the government.
She assured the youth that she would continue to engage with them until a solution was found to their problem.
Meanwhile, Mr. Emmanuel Baidoo, Sustainability Manager of AGA, has indicated that the company had not released some parts of its concession for mining operations, stressing that the AGA concession remained its own.
Benjamin Narh Okunor, a 64-year-old resident of Kpone-Bawaleshe in the Greater Accra Region, is on the run, after allegedly defiling a 12-year-old girl.
A teacher at the Kpone-Bawaleshe Primary School, about a fortnight ago, drew the attention of the authority to the victim’s ordeal, after noticing how oftentimes the little girl visited her office in a month to request for a sanitary pad.
The victim [to be referred to as Aku] confided in the teacher that her 64-year-old foster father had been having sex with her and her 14-year-old sister, since 2020 when parts of Greater Accra were locked down as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.
She alleged that whenever Mr. Narh wanted to have sex with either of them, he asked them to send a book to his room. Aku said neither of them could disclose their ordeal to anybody, because their foster father often pointed a gun at them, threatening to shoot them should they tell anybody.
It was until the teacher wanted to know why Aku collected more sanitary pads in a month that she narrated her suffering at home. The matter was, first and foremost, confirmed by Ernestina Ohenewaa Larbi, Headmistress of the Kpone-Bawaleshe Presbyterian Primary School, on Monday, June 20, 2022, when The Chronicle visited the school.
Hosted by the Headmistress and one other female teacher in her office, Madam Ernestina said after the school authorities had noticed weird virginal fluids discharged from Aku, and the narration of her ordeal, they reported the matter to the Social Welfare Department, which invited Aku’s biological mother to disclose the act to her.
However, she said Aku’s mother’s plea to allow her and the family to settle the matter at home provoked the Social Welfare Department to report a case of defilement to the Domestic Violence and Victims Support Unit (DOVVSU) of the Shai-Osudoku Divisional Police Command, Dodowa.
The CID in charge of the case is Millicent of the DOVVSU of the Dodowa Divisional Police Command where The Chronicle visited on Monday, June 20, 2022.
At the Command, the Divisional Commander, Mr. Ntsor, confirmed that the alleged defilement had been reported to his outfit by the Social Welfare Department, but said the medical report form and case had been referred to the National Headquarters.
The suspect, he added, was presently at large, “but if you want further details of the case, please go to the Police Headquarters,” he concluded in a brief response in his office.
Aku was examined by the Shai-Osudoku District Hospital, Dodowa, and there Dr. Kennedy Brightson, Medical Director, told The Chronicle that from his examination it was obvious that Aku was sexually active and noticed a torn and healed hymen.
He said Aku was at the facility with Detective Millicent of the DOVVSU, Shai-Osudoku Divisional Police Command.
Aku is currently in the care of an orphanage
The Greater Accra Regional Minister, Henry Quartey, on Wednesday this week, led a combined team of military, police and personnel from the other security agencies to demolish hundreds of illegal structures erected on a land belonging to the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) at Frafraha, near Adentan.
Prior to this exercise, officials of CSIR claim they made several approaches to dissuade the ‘invaders’ to stop the illegal activities on the land, but these went unheeded. They land grabbers rather employed land guards who harassed officials of the government agency. The Regional Minister, therefore, decided to protect and preserve the property on behalf of the state, by pulling down all the illegal buildings on it.
A section of the public does not, however, agree with the action, arguing that since the land grabbers had already completed the construction of the buildings, they should have been allowed to pay for the cost of the land, instead of demolishing the houses. To those who belong to this school of thought, building a house in Ghana is very expensive, and that the government took a wicked action against the offenders.
First of all, The Chronicle sympathises with those whose buildings were demolished, because construction of a house or home is not easy. Some of them might have used their lifetime investments to construct these buildings, therefore, demolishing them is a heart-breaking situation nobody will be prepared to accept. But, whilst acknowledging this fact, we are also at a loss as to why people will muster courage to build on public lands, knowing very well the implications of such decisions. It is a sad situation – that most Ghanaians lack knowledge in the acquisition of lands. Before one decides to pay for land in any part of the country, he or she should first demand the site plan from the seller, and conduct a search at the Lands Commission, which result will show who owns the land before making any financial commitment.
The CSIR land at Frafraha is well demarcated and walled, and these land buyers ought to have known that it was illegal to build on it. Unfortunately, there is this view people hold that once the houses have been constructed, the government will not pull them down. This is the reason why the illegal construction of houses on state lands is done in the night with the help of land guards. On the basis of this, we do not agree with those calling on the government to compensate those whose structures have been destroyed at Frafraha.
The moment the government does that, it will open the floodgate for people to pounce on state lands and start developing them, knowing very well that at the end of the day, if the structures are demolished, they will be compensated.
In 1997, the then Ashanti Regional Minister, Daniel Ohene Agyekum, undertook a similar exercise by demolishing some illegal buildings built in the catchment area of the Owabi Dam. Unfortunately, he could not finish because some of the illegal occupants proceeded to court for an injunction.
We do not, however, know how the case ended, but years down the line, no lessons have been learnt, as people have again invaded the same forest surrounding the Owabi Dam and are constructing mansions on the land.
In our view, the only way to stop these practices is to keep on pulling down the structures. Should the government renege on this, she will be left with no lands in the near future to carry out public activities that will benefit the entire country.
Dear Senior Opupulepu,
How are you do? I hope you are do fine, fine as I and my shordies are all do fine.
Senior, hmmmm, I have two serious matters which I cannot speak to Yahweh directly, due to fear and obedience, in fact more of fear than anything else.
Senior, you remember when Yahweh decided to use water and liquid soap plus a little bit of alata samina to wash the whole of ewiase? You remember He said he did that because, the fine, fine beautiful ewiase He created, out the image and likeness of those beautiful gardens in His Kingdom Heaven, suddenly became choked with polythene bags and rubbish which came out of the misconducts of wineful, ginful and sinful human kind.
Senior, Yahweh, went for a super Rambo-sized reservoir full of aqua, as in water. Poured in a bucket full of liquid soap and with a standing brush in hand which He scrubbed the alata samina into it, He washed ewiase properly. All the dirt, rubbish and sins of those who came to world and immediately they arrived all the various variety of sins also came, were washed away clean.
Senior, every living creature drowned that day; every living creature except your buddy, buddy called Wofa Noah. After the bathing of ewiase, Yahweh saw the innocent cockroaches, lizards, rats, mosquitoes, house flies, town flies and bush flies, which died because of sinful man, He felt sorry and said as long as He lives, He will never wash ewiase again.
Senior, recently, the Noah’s floods lookalikes have started appear-appearing all over ewiase, including Ogyakrom. And these floods seems like they are humans.
Senior, I say so, because, you can see them jogging on the roads and footpaths, some are even found enrolling for Free Senior High School (SHS) as they occupy skuuls. Others are not feeling too well so they enter into hospitals and some are made to believe that some tenants’ tenancy agreements had expired as in ended, so they enter into such rooms by water, by force, to start lodging there.
Senior, the floods also enter into markets inside, going to buy koobi, kakadro, and vegetables to go and make stew at home. But the only places, we are yet to see the floods enter are the omanhene palace, and who born flood, and the bow and arrow professionals and the professional thief slappers’ living and working quarters, like who born flood, again, they would go and meet no nonsense Dam-Pra there.
Senior, can you tell your buddy, buddy Wofa Noah to please remind Yahweh of the promise He made about not bringing down water to wash ewiase, again? In fact, I do not think our nowadays sins are worse than that of Noah’s time, even though we now havemore politicians, lawyers, policemen (excluding Dam-Pra) than before.
Senior, the major sins now are committed by the slay queens and princesses who will look akupa boy’s face and tell him without blinking an eye that apart from him, she has no other sweetie-sweetie muah-muah. Meanwhile,at that very moment, an alhaji is waiting for her, a sugar daddy is waiting for her call, a politician has MoMo millions of cowries to her so that she can go and do shopping so that they travel out of town, and a colleague male student is getting ready to meet her so that he would teach her theory and they will both have practical studies beneath the sheets.
Senior, such sins are nothing compare to the times of Noah, so why these floods? Except if there are some hidden sins we do not know off, we beg Yahweh to tear our ears to them small.
Senior, now that it seems Yahweh thinks we are misbehaving like Noah’s days, our Omanhene Nana Onsurowuo Owuobiayeowuo, the Great Leopard, decided to do what David could not do some. He has decided to build a temple for people to go inside and weep and cry crocodile tears unto the Lord, for their countless sins to be forgiven, and to get immunity from sinning and to go and sin around no more.
Senior, that night when the Omanhene whipped Onapowura Nana Ontiaobiara in an unfair fight, which everywhere thought the ex-former Omanhene would beat the Great Leopard well, well for his too known, it ended up that indeed the fight was unfair.Because, instead of Nana Onsurowuo been beaten and shown the moon inside they plant maize, it was Onapowura who was rather beaten, that he momentarily forgot how to spell his own name and even lost his way home.
Senior, when the delightful Great Leopard got home, his sweetie-sweetie muah-muahhad prepared and served him with a baby bath tub full of kontomire stew garnished with crabs (land, sea and aircrabs), dried fish, smoked fish, koobi, snails, go-at me-at, what the obrini man calls goat meat, pig feet and Delay mackerel among many others, served over a half barrel full of cassava, green plantain, cocoyam and yam ampesi. And Nana ate all well, well and wash it down with seven Kufuor gallons full of palm wine.
Senior, I do not know whether he was under the influence of bellyfulness or it was the palm wine or whether it was the feeling he was feeling when his sweetheart started running her fingers in his bald head in numerous attempts to see whether there was some hair on the sakora head to count.
Senior, there and then our Omanhene saw visions and in one, he was standing in front of the Throne of the Most High.And while the Elects were promising Yahweh, he too, a mere mortal and earthling decided to promise Yahweh something. He decided to build a temple for all to go and worship Yahweh in it.
Senior, King David made such a promise, but God spoke through His prophet and told David not to put into practice, the art and craft lessons he learnt in building and construction classes in JHS. So, David could not build anything.
Senior, our Omanhene, after telling us the promise he made to Yahweh, about building a temple, he waited and waited and waited to hear something from the Lord’s prophets to either start something or forgo the promise. When every prophet was silent, meaning Yahweh said “Yes” since silence means consent, Nana Owuobiayeowuo, then put pink-cars on the ground and started to build the temple.
Senior, now that the temple has reached roofing level, all the prophets of the land are now saying Yahweh said to them that He is against the construction of the temple.Who born dog, sorry,who born angel? As for me I am behind the Omanhene to complete the temple. He should not mind those prophets. They fear that when the temple is completed and in operation, Yahweh would come and take a seat in the sanctuary and reveal to mankind all the sins they as prophets have been sinning. They also know that with Yahweh around, they cannot collect tithes from church members again and no one will attend their healing and deliverance services. These selfish prophets do not have Ogyakrom at heart. They only think of themselves and their families.
Senior, please tell Yahweh, we truly need the temple. As it is now I am Dan sorry, I am Done.
An 18-member team from the United States’ (US) North Dakota, including personnel from the state’s Department of Emergency Services and members of the North Dakota National Guard, has completed a two-week training with their Ghanaian colleagues from the National Disaster Management Office (NADMO).
The training focused on preparing for natural disasters, including earthquakes.
Togo and Benin also sent representatives from their national civil protection agencies to observe the exercise, stressing the importance of regional responses to natural disasters.
An official statement from the US Embassy in Accra and copied the Ghana News Agency identified two major active fault lines in Ghana, the Coastal Boundary Fault and Akwapim Fault zone intersect in the region.
“Our partnership with Ghana, through NADMO and Ghana Armed Forces, is strong, long-term, and benefits both our countries. I am proud to be here representing North Dakota, while deepening cooperation with our Ghanaian colleagues,” said Major General Alan Dorhmann, who serves as Adjutant General of the North Dakota National Guard as well as Director of the North Dakota Department of Emergency Services.
The exercise, known as Lignite Coast 2022 Operation Shikpon Wosomo, built the capacity of NADMO and its collaborating agencies to manage disasters and ensure prompt response to earthquakes and similar natural disasters in the future.
The training included traditional classroom teaching and planning, as well as a full-scale simulation exercise to test local capabilities and identify areas for improvement.
Ghanaian agencies including Ghana National Fire Service, Ghana Armed Forces (48 Engineers Regiment), National Ambulance Service, Ghana Police Service, National Communications Authority, Ghana Health Service, the Geological Survey Authority, and the Volta River Authority participated in the two-week event.
The statement said the North Dakota National Guard and Ghanaian counterparts had been working together through the U.S. State Partnership Programme since 2004.
The State Partnership Programme helps build collaborative relationships between individual U.S. states and partner countries in support of U.S. foreign policy goals.
“The North Dakota National Guard’s cooperation with the Ghana Armed Forces and NADMO is one part of the United States’ robust security cooperation with Ghana.
“Through joint exercises like African Lion that is taking place now in Morocco and Ghana, U.S. and Ghanaian forces train together to be better prepared for the future. A joint training for U.S. and Ghanaian military medical professionals at the 37 Military Hospital in Accra also concludes.
“Additionally, the programmes like the Security Forces Assistance Brigade team, which is currently working with Ghana Armed Forces colleagues in Tamale, also help share best practices, provide training, and build local capacity to respond to security threat,” it added.News Ghana, Latest Updates and Breaking News of Ghana, GNA, https://newsghana.com.gh/joint-natural-disaster-training-by-u-s-and-ghana-ends/
Voting has begun to elect new executives for the Volta Regional Chapter of the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA).
More than 40 members in good standing are expected to cast their ballot for new executives except the Vice Chairman position.
Mr Harrison Kofi Belley, Lake News Online, Mr Emmanuel Agbaxode, GNA and Mr Hubert Mawuli Yevu-Agbi, Freelance are vying for the Chairman slot.
Mr Kafui Gati, a retired journalist with the Ghanaian Times, will be all smile since he has no one contesting him for the Vice-Chairman position.
Apart from the Chairman slot, the Treasurer position which is being contested by Madam Ivy Setordjie, Multimedia and Madam Ewoenam Kpodo, GNA is on lips of members of the Association.
For the Secretary position, Mr Frederick Duodo–Takyi, Daily Guide and Mr MacLiberty Misrowoda, Freelance will battle it out.
The election will also see the members elect officers for the national positions of the Association.
Voting ends at 1500 hours.News Ghana, Latest Updates and Breaking News of Ghana, GNA, https://newsghana.com.gh/volta-gja-elects-executives-today/
Mr Frank Annoh-Dompreh, the Majority Chief Whip, has charged the National Democratic Congress (NDC) to do more to celebrate the memory and principles of former late President Jerry John Rawlings.
He said the best way for the NDC to preserve the memory and principles of the late former president was not through monuments as some had suggested.
Speaking on the floor of Parliament in Accra, Mr Annoh-Dompreh, who is also the Member of Parliament (MP) for Nsawam-Adoagyiri, urged the party to preserve their former founder’s legacy.
The MP in contribution to a statement by Mr Kofi Iddie Adams, a former aide to the late president and MP for Buem in remembrance of the latter’s birthday, said the best memory of former late President would reflect in the approach to instill what he stood for in Ghanaians.
“Mr Speaker, in my personal view the best memory will not be reflected in monuments, the best memory of the former president will be reflected in our approach as a country to instill what he stood for in students where probably it will be taught in our schools and for the youth of our country to come and embrace these ideals and principles that he stood for.
“Monuments are not the best, will not be the best legacies and that is my strong view,” he said.
Mr Annoh-Dompreh also called on the NDC to take charge of ensuring that the legacy of the former President was preserved.
According to him, it was up to the NDC to emulate and reflect the very principles and values its founding father stood for, for the rest of Ghana to follow their lead.
“I also think that the best memory and the best example should be set by the NDC party. The best terms of our memory of our former President, former President Jerry John Rawlings, that example should be set by the NDC as a party, and they should set the tone for others to follow,” he said.
The Majority Chief Whip told Parliament that the NDC had so far failed to reflect and preserve the values and legacies of the late former President, and therefore urged them to take cues from other parties that had successfully done the same for their founding fathers.
“Mr Speaker, today, from where I sit, I don’t see that on their part. The greatest respect I don’t see that on their part. For instance, and I don’t want to make any comparisons, there are political parties that up to date their founders are still remembered and when they mention the tradition, they mention these forefathers and the torch blazers.
“I don’t see that, and I want to urge my colleagues in the NDC, they must help the nation to celebrate the former president. What you are doing is not enough,” he said.News Ghana, Latest Updates and Breaking News of Ghana, GNA, https://newsghana.com.gh/do-more-to-preserve-late-rawlings-legacy-annoh-dompreh-to-ndc/
Ms Noelle Appiah, Programmes Manager, International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA-Ghana), has called for the modification of widowhood rites in the country.
She said sometimes those customs have negative implications on widows, and thus excluding them economically and socially.
“In some customs, when women lose their husbands, they stay at home for three months, without any source of income to cater for the family, resulting in hardship. It looks like immediately your husband dies; poverty becomes your next friend.”
Ms Appiah made this observation at a ceremony organised by the Samuel Amo Tobbin (SAT) Foundation for widows to commemorate this year’s International Widows Day celebration on the theme, “Invisible Women, Invisible Problem” in Accra.
She said the theme was appropriate as it raises concern about how widows have been made invisible to their challenges that affect them especially with regards to inheritance.
She said women must be familiar with provisions and procedures under the PNDC Law 111, so that when their husbands die intestate, they would be able to benefit from his properties outside the matrimonial home.
“The PNDC Law 111 looks at properties outside the matrimonial home because the matrimonial home is solely for the surviving spouse and then all children (legitimate children) and so there is a percentage for each one under the PNDC Law,” she said.
Ms Appiah also urged women to effect changes to their signatories with their Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) when they start having children to avoid any misunderstandings after death.
She urged the widows to be advocates, productive, and industrious in order to be recognized and be able to support their children to attain higher laurels in the future.
Mrs Harriet Asante, Executive Director, SAT Foundation, the CRS wing of Tobinco Pharmaceutical challenged widows across the country to be strong-willed and take control of their lives.
She said widowhood was not meant to reduce a woman’s status or take the life out of her despite losing a spouse, adding that it was just a phase which would pass, urging them to earn a living and not resign to fate.
“As widows, we must not be weak, and vulnerable, but rather, we must be empowered. When your husband passes on, you can do something with the small thing that you have. This will geminate a lot of things for the family and yourself and help you to earn a living,” she added.
In 2010, the United Nations acknowledged June 23 as the International Widows’ Day, with the aim of gathering support for widows and spreading awareness about their situation.
The day is also to highlight the experiences of widows and the assistance they require, and a call for action for achieving full rights and recognition for widows. This special day plays an important role in strengthening the voices of widows, who largely face discrimination and hardship globally.News Ghana, Latest Updates and Breaking News of Ghana, GNA, https://newsghana.com.gh/fida-ghana-calls-for-the-modification-of-widowhood-rites/
The University of Health and Allied Sciences (UHAS) has held its maiden International Day celebration to encourage multinational collaboration.
Held on the theme: International Community: A Catalyst for UHAS Growth, the UHAS International Day featured cultural themes from the various nationalities making up the University community.
Prof. John Owusu Gyapong, the Vice Chancellor of the University, said the promotion of international relations formed part of its core strategies towards an identity of diversity and inclusion.
He said the University sought to create a working environment of diverse people, promote tolerance and cross-cultural learning, noting that different personalities from different cultures and ideas would make the University a better place.
The Vice-Chancellor said the University encouraged gender equality in diverse facades and was working to make structures and facilities well adaptable to the physically challenged.
He noted how international faculty contributed ‘“very significantly” to the growth of UHAS and recognised also the “great” contributions to academic quality, counting more than 20 international partnerships, as well as several successful faculty and student exchange programs in top countries around the world.
The Vice-Chancellor, however, said student exchanges were low, and that the University had only four international students, the latter which he blamed on challenges with bank transfers affecting students from Nigeria.
UHAS has 25 international faculties from Cuba, Nigeria, Cameroon, and India at various Schools including Public Health, Pharmacy, and Medicine.
“The International Day will celebrate role of international community in the successes of UHAS and we will continue to cherish collaboration and work to see it grow,” Prof. Gyapong assured.
Mr Gambo Yusuf Hamza, the Deputy Nigerian High Commissioner, appealed to the Government to “look into the issue of resident permits” as millions of Nigerian students sought educational pastures in the country.
Dr. Archibald Yao Letsa, the Volta Regional Minister, said the Region supported the University’s quest to become a “universal city,” and promised to help conquer challenges to the stride, including issues with fees transfer for the international students.
The celebration made a colourful ambience of the newly renovated and christened Prof. Kofi Anyidoho Auditorium, with flags and costumes of the various nations working with the University.
Cultural displays captured the varieties, and a food bazaar at the end, also provided a taste of the various national staples.News Ghana, Latest Updates and Breaking News of Ghana, GNA, https://newsghana.com.gh/uhas-celebrates-international-day/
Chief Inspector Stephen Atidzon, the Station Officer of Awudome Tsito Police Station in the Ho West district, says peace and security are the bedrock for the country’s development.
“No country can develop in a state of insecurity, chaos, lawlessness, and fear,” he said.
Chief Inspector Atidzon said this when he presented a paper on “Crime and security challenges in the country” at the Salvation Assemblies of God Church at Awudome Tsito.
He, therefore, reiterated the need for government to resource the security services to enable them to fight the ever-increasing crime in the country.
Chief Inspector Atidzon said the security services were hitherto fighting traditional crimes like stealing, child delinquency, substance abuse and prostitution.
He said organized crime, kidnapping, murder, and armed robbery were now on the ascendancy, creating a state of insecurity, fear, and panic among the citizenries.
The Chief Inspector said some of these crimes were because of parental irresponsibility, unemployment, marital and divorce issues.
Others, he said, were government policies, abuse of power, political interference, lack of transparency, technology, political recruitment into the security services and lack of logistics for the security services.
Chief Inspector Atidzon said these crimes could be minimised through responsible governance, fairness in providing logistics and creating job opportunities for the youth.
He appealed to parents to inculcate Christian values into their children, monitor and have time for them.
He called on the citizenry to assist the security services in fighting crime in the country by volunteering to inform them.
Rev. Samuel Amegboe, the Pastor in charge of church, said the situation in the country needed divine intervention and called on christians to rise in prayer and supplication for God to intervene for the nation.News Ghana, Latest Updates and Breaking News of Ghana, GNA, https://newsghana.com.gh/peace-security-are-bedrock-for-development-chief-inspector-stephen-atidzon/
Ahead of the impending national elections of the main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) former Sports Minister Hon. Elvis Afriyie Ankrah, has announced his interest in the General Secretary position of the party.
He is seeking to take over the mantle from the longest-serving General Johnson Asiedu Nketiah.
Elvis Afriyie Ankrah, who is currently the Director of Elections for the NDC, has said he will contest for the position if nominations are opened.
He made this known in an interview with TV3’s Roland Walker on Friday, June 24, 2022.
“In November when nominations are opened, I will be filing for the General Secretary position,” he said.
He further indicated that he has a clear understanding of what the NDC should do and also has the capacity to work with everybody.
If he wins, he will be replacing the current General Secretary Johnson Asiedu who is likely to contest for the National Chair position of the party.News Ghana, Latest Updates and Breaking News of Ghana, Nana Beeko, https://newsghana.com.gh/elvis-afriyie-ankrah-eyes-ndc-general-secretary-position/
The Commonwealth People’s Forum — the largest gathering of civil society in the Commonwealth — convened leading experts on public health, finance and Covid-19 response to discuss how to fund resilient national health systems in the wake of the pandemic.
Tuesday, 21 June – Public health specialists and advisors to the World Health Organisation, Asian Development Bank and World Bank came together at the Commonwealth People’s Forum in Kigali, Rwanda yesterday to discuss how the coalition of 54 Commonwealth member states can advance health justice.
It’s the first time Commonwealth civil society has convened in four years at this scale, owing to the pandemic, with the discussion spanning improving solidarity between Commonwealth countries and pandemic preparedness.
In particular, advocates agreed on next steps for tackling global health emergencies, focusing on progressive taxation as vital to achieving universal health coverage:
Dr Ravi Rannan-Eliya, a Sri Lankan physician and economist and consultant for both the World Bank and Asian Development Bank, said:
‘In most Commonwealth countries, we don’t have insurance, we rely on taxation.…We have to get the well-off to pay more in taxes…And you can’t build resilient health systems unless you use public financing. That means government taxation or mandatory social insurance, which requires government intervention. Why is this a solidarity issue? It’s a solidarity issue because both those things require you to take money from the better off to provide services for the vulnerable.’
Dr Justice Koonin, Australian HIV advocate and co-chair of the Universal Health Coverage 2030 campaign group, agreed and added that civil society must play an advocacy role to ensure marginalised groups aren’t left behind:
‘There’s a statement in the 2019 WHO declaration calling for all governments to increase public health spending on primary health care by 1% of GDP — that’s the bare minimum. And this must be achieved through progressive taxation. It’s difficult politically, but that’s why civil society needs to be there. Because universal health coverage isn’t universal health coverage if it doesn’t apply to prisoners and refugees, if we’re not talking about LGBT people. If we provide health care services to everyone else, but not those people, that’s not universal health coverage.’
Professor Senait Fisseha, Chief Advisor to the WHO Director-General, world-renowned physician and leader in reproductive health and rights from Ethiopia, explained what’s at stake if public financing of healthcare systems isn’t prioritised in the Commonwealth:
‘The global system failed people, especially vulnerable marginalised communities. People in sub-Saharan Africa were scrambling for vaccines. So governments do need to prioritise healthcare investments. The Abuja declaration was for African nations to increase 15% of our GDP into health. Only two countries in sub-Saharan Africa, Rwanda and South Africa, have done that. Many of us are investing very small amounts. So there’s a question of how do we increase domestic resources to ensure we have a very strong primary health care system.’
Dr Ravi Rannan-Eliya gave an example of how to achieve this, citing an example of when the UK public resoundingly supported higher taxation to make their National Health System stronger, in the midst of a global recession and at a time when spending was frozen.
He adds this was driven by civil society — with the British Medical Association and other health unions undertaking strategic polling of voters and taking this evidence to the UK government.
‘Healthcare spending was the only item of the budget that was increased [by the UK government] at that time. So this is an example of civil society at its best. That’s what I would call for in your own country.’News Ghana, Latest Updates and Breaking News of Ghana, News Desk, https://newsghana.com.gh/civil-society-experts-call-for-progressive-taxation-in-health-justice-in-the-commonwealth/
MTN Ghana extended its network coverage to 5.3 million Ghanaians in 2021 through network expansion, Mr Selorm Adadevoh, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the telecommunication giant, has announced.
He said the company had approximately 400 rural telephony sites and was partnering the Ghana Investment Fund for Electronic Communication (GIFEC) to extend coverage to more Ghanaians under the National Rural Telephony Project.
Speaking at the 2022 editors and stakeholders’ forum in Kumasi, Mr Adadevoh said the company had covered all regions and district capitals with 4G, adding that about 8,800 kilometers of fibre had been installed to provide quality service to subscribers.
With over 4,000 cell sites nationwide, MTN is taking steps to share its infrastructure with other operators to improve connectivity across the country.
The CEO said MTN had already partnered Vodafone to explore the initiative and was engaging other operators to create more access for Ghanaians beyond the MTN customer.
“We are willing to share this infrastructure that has given us this level of population with all the other operators in the market. What this means is that as a country, we grow faster in terms of our information technology enablement and get more access to people in all parts of the country,” he explained.
He said MTN had contributed significantly to the fundamental economic growth of the country by creating over 600,000 jobs which continued to support families while inspiring hope.
“In addition to that, we contributed GHC3.1 billion last year alone to different governmental institutions, including tax and different levies as part of our contribution to Ghana’s development,” he indicated.
MTN is also building an ICT hub for the government where different digital services from training, supporting small and medium enterprises, and educating the youth on digital skills would be offered, the CEO hinted.
He said the company was also helping the government to put together the Accra Innovation City Project.
“The whole idea is to build a technology area where companies such as Twitter, Google and Microsoft can come and set up and launch their regional businesses from Ghana, creating jobs, training our people, building skills and also paying taxes here in Ghana,” he said.
The contribution of MTN to taxes alone constituted 4.4 per cent of the total taxes received by the government, according to Mr Adadevoh.
He said it was extremely important to develop the local supply chain, saying that 78 per cent of vendors of MTN were locals, but stressed the need to scale up local production of certain components that were not sophisticated to cut down on the importation of equipment by the telecommunication industry.
“If you want to compete in the global purchasing environment, then your standard should be global, because you cannot expect to compete just because you are a Ghanaian,” he advised local manufacturers.News Ghana, Latest Updates and Breaking News of Ghana, GNA, https://newsghana.com.gh/mtn-ghanas-coverage-hits-5-3m-ghanaians-in-2021/
Dr Joseph Ebow Bannerman, an academic and renowned Consultant, says his book, “The CONSULTANT,” is a manual for the younger generation who wants to venture into the business of consulting.
The book, whose content is detailed in his professional experiences and career, spanning over several decades and documentary research was launched as a duty of giving back to society.
Speaking in an interview with the Ghana News Agency after the launch, Dr Bannerman, said, ” the idea behind this book is to help those who want to be in that kind of business, know how best to handle that aspect of the business. This is a kind of manual for young people who go into consulting.”
He said pragmatic illustrations and examples in the book would serve as templates and in the appendixes, there is some guidance on how to negotiate and handle contracts and write proposals.
Others are using consultant cycle approach starting from business development through to contract execution and this would help make the young ones productive.
The 310-page document contains some thought-provoking experiences that could be found in appendixes 12 and 17.
Dr Bannerman told the Agency that his motivation to put together such a document in a seemingly new vocation, consultancy is based on the premise that the State had played a role in shaping them back in the university.
“The State has spent some money on some of us, we had education a little easy and after university things were rosy. And so, we need to give back to society,” he stated.
The event brought together technocrats, people from academia, diplomats and eminent personalities including Prof. Justice Samuel Kofi Date-Bah, former Supreme Court Justice and Mr Kwame Mpianim, an Economist.
In reviewing the book, Mr Mpianim, described appendix 17 as the most fantastic, adding that “every executive who relied on good communication, report writing, unambiguous contracts could benefit from the wisdom scattered in the book.”
He said Ghana could have created more jobs in the agriculture, railways if the State had implemented 10 per cent of what Plan Consult did.
Prof Justice Samuel Date-Bah, Chairperson for the launch, in his remarks said, commended Dr Bannerman for adhering to their old conviction of transferring the knowledge acquired through their careers with the support of the State.
He said consulting is a relatively new profession in Ghana and “THE CONSULTANT” would play a critical role in highlighting it and serving as a practical guide for the profession.
The Forward of the book was written by Mrs Mary Chinery-Hesse, and the first few copies were bought at GH₵ 5,000 eachNews Ghana, Latest Updates and Breaking News of Ghana, GNA, https://newsghana.com.gh/renowned-consultant-launches-book-on-consultancy-for-young-people/
Access Bank Ghana Plc has recorded a robust growth trajectory across key indicators in the fiscal year ended 2021.
Profit before tax grew from GHS 355 million in 2020 to GHS 501 million in 2021, recording a 41 per cent growth while total operating income rose from GHS 567 million in 2020 to GHS 728 million in 2021, recording a 28 per cent increase.
These were revealed at the annual “Facts Behind The Figures” session, held virtually in collaboration with the Ghana Stock Exchange.
The platform offers an opportunity for listed companies to present their performance to key stakeholders including investors and shareholders, while receiving feedback from those stakeholders.
Mr Olumide Olatunji, Managing Director of Access Bank Ghana Plc expressed excitement about the confidence reposed in the Bank by its customers, which was evident by the Bank’s significant growth recorded across key performance metrics.
He commended the efforts made by all stakeholders to achieving the feat.
“The 28 per cent growth in Gross earnings is mainly due to increase in interest income from increased yields on the back of reduced cost of funds from 5.87 per cent in 2020 to 4.76 per cent in 2021,” he said.
He said due to efficient treasury activities, the Bank recorded a 101 per cent increase in net trading income, from GH₵ 151 million to GH₵ 305 million as well as a 26 per cent year-on-year increase in fee and commission income from GH₵ 69 million to GH₵ 87 million.
Mr Olumide noted that the Bank had a deliberate and disciplined outlook for 2022, with a targeted focus on strategic expansion and growth.
The Bank is focused on optimizing operational efficiency to ensure it is well-positioned to withstand any shocks in an increasingly volatile operating environment as the world continues to learn to live with Covid-19 and rising inflationary pressures.
“The Bank will continue to invest in tailored products to meet the needs of customers by offering best-in-class user experience in retail and consumer banking services. All these are aimed at enhancing customer satisfaction and returning value to customers,” he added.
Mr Olumide said that Access Bank was committed to becoming a bank of choice in Ghana, as part of its retail banking growth & wholesale banking consolidation aspiration.
Touching on the Bank’s commitment to international trade and payments, he said “Under our universal gateway strategy, we are optimizing payments, remittances, transfers, trade, cross-border, and electronic banking to serve our customers to achieve our strategic vision of being the preferred bank in international trade transactions within the African continent and beyond.”
He assured stakeholders that the Bank was safe and that its strategy was strong with a team committed to delivering value to customers and shareholders.
Madam Pearl Nkrumah, the Executive Director for Retail and Digital Banking assured customers of the Bank’s steadfastness in pursuing digital-led solutions to enable clients to transact online.
“E-levy is not going to halt our plans as a Bank. We have digital products and technology that are user friendly and provide solutions for customers. We have commenced our Agency banking offering, packaged as AccessCLOSA which brings banking even closer to customers by using agents in our neighborhood,” she noted.
Madam Abena Amoah, the Deputy Managing Director of the Ghana Stock Exchange revealed that Access Bank posted the highest dividend yield with 34.62 per cent and the lowest price to earnings.
She commended management of the Bank for listing on the Ghana Stock Exchange.
The Bank’s performance was recognized in various awards in 2021 including the Most Innovative Retail Banking Brand and Best CSR Bank by the Global Brands Awards, The Best Bank in Customer Service and Best Retail Bank by the World Economic Magazine, among others.News Ghana, Latest Updates and Breaking News of Ghana, GNA, https://newsghana.com.gh/access-banks-profit-before-tax-grew-to-ghs-501m-in-2021/