Teacher trainee allowance ready; Govt to spend GH¢144m per academic year (August 30, 2017, Front)

Chief Executive of the SLTF, Nana Kwaku Agyei Yeboah

About 45,000 teacher trainees in 41 public colleges of education will, from next month, receive GH¢204 each as monthly allowance from the Students Loan Trust Fund (SLTF).
Although each student is entitled to GH¢400, part of that — GH¢196 — will go directly to the colleges to pay for trainees’ utilities and feeding.
The amount is, however, GH¢248 less than the GH¢452 the trainees were receiving after deductions before the allowance was scrapped in the 2013/2014 academic year by the previous government.
The figure means that each trainee will receive GH¢816 directly per semester (given that a semester is four months), while the government will spend GH¢144 million per academic year.

In total, the government is expected to spend at least GH¢18 million monthly on the projected number of students, with GH¢9.18 million of the amount going to the trainees in monthly allowances, while GH¢8.82 million goes to the colleges for feeding and th…

Scientists confer on research works on climate change, water insecurity (August 29)

Mrs Patricia Appiagyei ( 2nd row, 6th left), Prof. Samuel Nii Odai (5th left), Centre Leader of Regional Water and Environmental Sanitation Centre, Kumasi (RWESCK) and Prof Aba Andam (7th left), President of the Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences, with participants. Picture: Maxwell Ocloo

Climate change and sanitation experts and early career scientists working in Africa are meeting in Accra to discuss their research works with the aim of coming up with antidotes to water insecurity, climate change, flooding and sanitation issues confronting Ghana and other parts of  the continent. It is the first regional conference and school to be held in West Africa that is dedicated to discussing water, climate change and environmental sanitation. The meeting will particularly focus on the perennial challenges facing Ghana with regard to water shortage and sanitation.
The four-day conference and school is  on the theme: “Responding to the challenges of climate change, water security and environ…

Nissan Kicks: Rigid, roomy and comfortable (August 28)

Three young men with heights lurking around six feet plus enter the back seat of a car in a showroom, with smiles on their faces, while curious spectators watch—legroom under test.

A plumb woman gets behind the wheels; she plays around the steering and the dashboard and steps out winking at her male companion. He said nothing, both smiled.
Another man opens the boot of the same vehicle shocked to find a spare tyre tucked underneath the cargo space—he breaks into a grin.

Five smiles and hundreds of applause in minutes apart for Nissan’s latest badge—Nissan Kicks—launched by Japan Motors last Thursday.

The little monster of an SUV was cooked and garnished on Nissan’s V-motion platform, which is the same set of chassis that underpins two of Nissan’s poster rides— Qashqai, X-Trail, Micra and Juke. The Kicks represents everything that Nissan has learned as the crossover-pioneer.

To its credit, Nissan in 2006 created an entirely new market segment for crossover vehicles with the Nissan Qash…

Experts recommend ban on chemical, nuclear weapons (August 23, 2017)

A technical committee of experts in weapons, ammunition, and security has recommended that Ghana ban all chemical and nuclear weapons from entering or leaving the country.
However, the use of chemical and nuclear agents for peaceful purposes, including energy generation, research and for antidotes to diseases, including anthrax, is permitted. The recommendations were made at the end of a two-day workshop to approve a list of weapons and ammunition that will be allowed to enter or leave the country last Saturday.
The workshop, which brought together participants from the security services, some ministries, departments and agencies and academia, is in conformity with the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT), an international instrument to regulate the trade in conventional arms and ensure peace, safety and global security.
Control List
Known as the Control List, the draft list of weapons is expected to be validated by all stakeholders before it goes to the Cabinet for approval and subsequently forwa…

SSNIT engages audit firm to review financial records (August 23, 2017)

The Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) has engaged the audit firm, PricewaterhouseCoopers, to, among other things, review the financial records and state of affairs of the trust as of March 31, 2017.

The review, which is expected to be completed in eight weeks, will also assess the internal control and financial management systems to identify any weaknesses and make recommendations for best practice.

The review will also cover an audit of the trust’s Information Technology (IT) systems in use to identify and document gaps in the system, in view of the large expenditure on a new operating system.
At a press conference in Accra on Tuesday, the Board Chairman of SSNIT, Dr Kwame Addo-Kufuor, said the review had become necessary because there were challenges, including financial irregularities, improper management practices, high management cost and imprudent investments which drained the resources of the trust.
The independent review would be anchored on four main areas…

Government overspent budget by GH¢4.2 billion last year — Auditor-General’s Report (August 15, 2017)

Last year, the government overspent its budget by a little over GH¢4.2 billion, although its revenue fell by almost GH¢9.5 billion.

The over expenditure and the shortfall in public revenue have been captured by the Auditor-General in its 2016 Report.

Blaming the development on the government’s weakness in budgetary management, the report stated that all major line items — direct tax, indirect tax, non-tax, compensation, interest, subsidy and other expenses — registered unfavourable variances.

“I noted, in this connection, wide variations between approved budget estimates and recorded actuals, ranging from 8.3 to 94 per cent in the main budget line revenue and expenditure items, resulting in a revenue shortfall of GH¢9,456,812,168 and excess expenditure of GH¢4,202,131,992,” the report, signed by the Auditor-General, Mr Daniel Y. Domelevo, stated.
Revenue shortfalls
Although the government’s revised budget projected to collect GH¢11,358,930,103 in direct taxes, the Ghana Revenue Author…

Company accuses NRSC of selling its idea but NRSC denies (AUGUST 14, 2017)

The unfolding drama concerning the mandatory national towing project has taken a new twist as the National Road Safety Commission (NRSC) has been accused of selling the mandatory towing concept to Road Safety Management Service Limited (RSMSL) after it received the idea and piloted its implementation.

Officials of Ruttchen Trucks Ghana (RTG) Limited, who claimed ownership of the idea, told journalists at a press conference in Accra last Thursday that after due diligence was done on the feasibility of the concept from 2007 to 2009; the RSMSL was not one of the companies that submitted any interest when proposals were invited.

At the press conference dubbed: “Stop deception and corruption; mandatory towing—the facts and truth Ghanaians must be told”, they warned that should overtures for arbitration fail to settle the issue amicably, they would go to court because the company had copyright to the concept.
NRSC denies
But responding to the allegations, the Public Relations Officer of th…