Showing posts from January, 2012

2011 in review, Saturday, December 31, 2011, SPREAD

THE term ‘Theatre of events’ best describes 2011, which witnessed infrastructural development laced with drama, disasters, scandals and political turbulence.

The year began with a ministerial reshuffle which knocked out a number of ministers and deputy ministers, including the then Education Minister, Mr Alex Tetteh-Enyo, and the Tourism Minister, Mrs Zita Okaikoi.

Then came increases in fuel prices that got the Trades Union Congress (TUC), civil society organisations and the opposition in a frenzy.

Before the dust could settle on the fuel price hikes, President J.E.A. Mills cut the sod for what would have been the biggest housing project in the history of Ghana, the STX Housing Project, which is yet to materialise.

The project, which is to house some 30,000 men and women of the security services, has suffered a setback cast in boardroom wrangling and court action between STX Ghana and its Korean counterpart.

For the ‘ghosts’ on government payroll, 2011 was a year of exorcism as the …

EPA sanctions Ghana Bauxite Company, Friday, October 7, 2011, Back pg

The Ghana Bauxite Company Limited has incurred the wrath of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for refusing to submit its monthly environmental monitoring data for processing in the 2010 Public Disclosure for Environmental Performance Rating Programme.

Ghana Bauxite, the only company in the entire Akoben Programme to have declined the submission of its environmental reports, therefore, faces regulatory actions, including legal proceedings and financial penalties which are not specified by the EPA.

Under the Akoben initiative, the environmental performance of mining and manufacturing operations is assessed using a five-colour rating scheme. The colours are gold, green, blue, orange and red, indicating environmental performance ranging from excellent to poor.

These ratings measure the environmental performance of companies based on their day-to-day operations once they have successfully cleared their Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and obtained their environmental permit to…

Work to achieve Pan Africanism ideals-Mumuni, Saturday, October 22, 2011, pg 13

AFRICAN countries can no longer remain indifferent to the suffering and plight of their neighbours if the ideals of Pan Africanism is to be realised, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Mohammed Mumuni, has said.
He said a true expression of Pan-Africanism could be achieved when member states of the AU and societies in Africa regarded peace, security and the well-being of their neighbours as fundamentally intertwined with theirs.
The Foreign Minister was speaking in Accra at  the opening of a two-day experience-sharing workshop on ‘Improving West African Capacities in Mediation and Peace Process organised by the Crisis Management Initiative (CMI), in collaboration with the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Centre.
The CMI is an independent non-profit organisation, working to resolve conflict and to build sustainable peace.
The workshop brought together experts in peace building from ECOWAS countries who would share experie…

'Registration Our Prime Focus', Wednesday, October 26, 2011, Front Page

The Chairman of the Electoral Commission (EC) has indicated that the focus of the commission now is on the biometric registration process and not verification.

The verification process, he said, was yet to receive a concrete decision from the EC and explained that even though the two — the registration and the verification — complemented each other, the EC would go ahead with the registration, with the hope of receiving more funds to do the verification.

“If done well, biometric voter registration can ensure a verifiable voters register, in the sense that a person’s name can occur only once in the register and at a specific polling station, thereby ensuring that that person can vote only once under his or her name,” Dr Kwadwo Afari-Gyan said.

The EC Chairman was speaking at a forum organised by the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) in Accra yesterday to solicit the views of key stakeholders, so that some of the concerns raised on the adoption of the biometric voter registration coul…

Odumase-Krobo youth in a near clash with police, Thursday, November 2, 2011, Front page

Chaotic scenes manifested at the palace of the Paramount Chief of the Manya Krobo Traditional Area on Monday when a group of about 40 armed policemen attempted to arrest Nene Tetteh Zogli, a divisional chief of the area who was alleged to have stabbed one of his sub-chiefs at a durbar to climax the annual Ngmayem Festival at Odumase Krobo last Friday.

Angry youth responded to the beating of war drums at about 7:30 p.m. to protect the palace when the policemen stormed the place to arrest Nene Zogli, who was alleged to have taken refuge there.

Armed mainly with clubs, some of the youth pitched camp at the entrance of the palace drumming and singing war songs while others blocked the roads leading to the palace and burnt lorry tyres.

Cautious of the possible repercussions of a clash, the policemen withdrew from the palace around 8:30 p.m. but more people kept pouring in solidarity with the occupants of the palace.

However, at the time of filing the report on Tuesday, calm had returned to…

Gays Can Be Tried. The Law Is Silent On Lesbians, June 7, 2011, Front page

The Director of Public Prosecutions, Ms Gertrude Aikins, has indicated that persons caught engaging in homosexual activities could be liable for prosecution.

Responding to calls for the country to enact laws to ban homosexuality, she stated that Section 104 (1) (b) of the Criminal Code made the act a criminal offence.

Section 104 (1) (b) of the Criminal Code states, 'Whoever has an unnatural carnal knowledge of any person of sixteen years or over with his consent is guilty of a misdemeanour,' while (1) (a) of the same code, which makes reference to sodomy, states, “Whoever has unnatural carnal knowledge of any person of the age sixteen or over without his consent shall be liable on conviction to imprisonment for a term of not less than five years and not more than twenty-five years.'

The law is, however, silent on any form of punishment for lesbianism, that is, sexual relationship between two females.

Ms Aikins said persons engaged in such activities fell foul of the law b…

Old settlements in Accra to be upgraded, Sunday, November 5, 2011, pg 18

THE Accra Metropolitan Assembly(AMA) is to commit two million Ghana Cedis to feasibility studies to upgrade some old settlements in the metropolis.

The project, which forms part of the city authority's rural housing project, will take off next year in communities which include Nima, Korle Gonno and Ga Mashie.

Similarly sports facilities in Chorkor, Dansoman, Agbogbloshie , La and Mamprobi will either be reconstrcuted or will all be given facelifts.

The Mayor of Accra, Mr Alfred Okoe Vanderpuye , announced the packages at the hearing and launch of the maiden Greater Accra Composite Budget in Accra.

The AMa has budgeted to spend some GHC 202, 509, 249 in 2012 for projects including roads, the reconstrcution of some selected markets, and the construction of educational and health infastructures, waste management and agriculture among others.

The Composite Budget is an integrated metropolitan, municipal or district budget, that incorporates all budgets of the decentralised departments…

Warrant for arrest of Ghana Post MD, others, Saturday, November 5, 2011. Front Page

The Accra Circuit Court has issued a bench warrant for the arrest of the Managing Director of Ghana Post Company Limited, Mr Abdul Rafiu Abdulai, and two other officials of the company for defaulting in the payment of Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) contributions for the employees of the company.

The total indebtedness of Ghana Post Company Limited to SSNIT amounts to GH¢1,100,427.81.

By defaulting in the payment of SSNIT contributions, the company is said to have contravened the National Pension Act of 2008, Act 766, which empowers SSNIT to institute criminal charges against it.

Unhappy about the refusal of Mr Abdulai, Mr Winfred B.K. Safo, the Deputy Managing Director, and Mr Ruben Gabianu, the company's Head of Finance, to either appear before it in person or be represented by others, the court, presided over by Ms Georgina Mensah-Datsa, issued the warrant for their arrest.

The facts of the case as presented by the prosecutor, Mr Joseph Nunoo a…

PNC aspirants hopeful , Thursday, November 10, 2011, pg 16

THE usual bubble and carnival that characterise the vetting of aspirants for national executive and flag bearer positions of political parties in the country was missing on Tuesday, at the Peoples National Convention (PNC) Headquarters at Kotobabi in Accra where the party’s vetting committee began vetting a number of aspirants.

The brass bands, the traditional drummers, the colourful twists and turns of dancers , and the vociferous cheering supporters were no where to be found  rather, the various aspirants were routinely outdoing each other with their posters plastered all over the place. A party source told the Daily Graphic that the euphoria would pick up as aspirants for the hot seats come up later in the week.

Speaking to the Daily Graphic after her vetting, Miss Janet Nabila , an aspirant for the position of  Women Organiser said “the vetting went well and I am hopeful that I will go through. I believe, I handled the questions well.”

Even before she  received  the nod from membe…

2012 elections: Convicts to vote, Thursday November 10, 2011, Front

The Chairman of the Electoral Commission, Dr Kwadwo Afari Gyan, has given the assurance that prisoners will be allowed to vote in the 2012 general election.

DR Afari-Gyan told the Daily Graphic that the prisoners would be registered just like any other Ghanaian during the biometric registration process next year.

The EC Chairman’s assurance is a U-turn from the previous stand that the Commission could not guarantee the inmates the right to vote because there were more technical issues that needed to be addressed.

The comment comes on the heels of the call by President J.E.A Mills to Electoral Commission to take the necessary steps to comply with the Supreme Court ruling which gave prisoners the right to vote.

President Mills on Tuesday said the government would resource the EC to ensure that prisoners voted in compliance with the Supreme Court ruling.

The Supreme Court, in a landmark ruling in May, 2010, declared null and void section 7(5) of the PNDC Law 285, which im…

“Include private universities in GETFund allocations,” Wednesday, November 16, 2011, pg 11

AUTHORITIES of private universities in the country have called on the government to include their institutions in the allocations of the Ghana Education Trust Fund (GETFund) in order to increase access to university education in the country.

“We are part owners of the Fund and it is only fair that it is opened to us to expand infrastructure and improve access to university education to the youth.”

The Chairman of the Conference of Heads of Private University of Ghana (CHPUG), Prof. James Hawkins Ephraim, made the call at the fourth congregation of the Wisconsin International University College, Ghana  at Agbogba in Accra.

Prof. Ephraim noted that the contribution of private universities to the development of the country could not be underrated hence the need to support them to lubricate the development of human resource in the country and ultimately, the country’s growth.

In all, 804 students were awarded with first degrees in programmes including Computer Science, Management Compute…

Blow-Chem joins competition with Bel Aqua, Thursday, November 23, 2011

Blow-Chem, producers of Bel Aqua Mineral Water, has invested $2,300,000 in infrastructure to position the product as bottled water of choice both in terms of competitive pricing and quality.

“Water is essential for life; it is at the core of nutrition and, therefore, health. Bel Aqua Water has developed an outstanding expertise in bottled water. This expertise extends from quality preservation to knowledge on its health benefits to making different formats available that respond to the different hydration needs of consumers,” the company said.

During a visit to the plant, Mr Manoj J. Lakhiani, the Chairman of the company, told the Daily Graphic that  “it took the management of Blow-Chem a year to come out with Bel Aqua because we didn’t want to produce an ordinary bottled water as we know the essence of water to a healthy life; we wanted to be one step ahead in terms of quality, which we have done through teamwork and thorough research.”

In that regard, he said, the company had so fa…

Local Govt Ministry organises clean-up at Tema

The Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development has directed all Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies to review the performance of waste management companies they have engaged.

That according to the sector Minister, Mr Samuel Ofosu-Ampofo, is to ensure that only companies that have the capacity to deal with waste collection and management efficiently are given the task.

Mr Ampofo noted that “the government pumps millions of cedis to support the activities of the MMDAs in the collection and disposal of waste hence would not tolerate any underperformance”.

The minister gave the hint on the sidelines of a clean exercise organized by the ministry with the support of Zoomlion, as part of activities marking the Christmas festivities in Tema.

Similar exercises, according to the minister, have been organised in other parts of the country in order to clear the waste that come with the celebration.

At Tema Community Two, the minister joined hands with youth groups, opinion lea…

Global Management challenge launched

A NEW business competition that offers the youth the opportunity to grow virtual businesses and acquire skills for managing their own businesses has been launched in Accra.

Known as the Global Management Challenge, it is the world’s largest strategy and management simulation competition which has had more than 450,000 university students and corporate executives as participants  throughout the world in the past 30 years.

As part of the competition, teams made up of three to five students or corporate executives are formed to run a virtual company, with the objective of finishing with the highest company share price on the simulated stock exchange.

 The teams compete by taking decisions in the areas of marketing, sales, production, human resources, finance, research and development, knowing that the other competing teams are operating in the same market and selling the same products.

Launching the competition, the Deputy Minister of Youth and Sports, Mr Nii Nortey Duah, stated that un…

GRIDCo To Invest $230m In Power Infrastructure, June 29, 2011, Spread

The Ghana Grid Company Limited (GRIDCo) is to raise about $230 million this year from local and international financial markets to invest in the country’s electrical energy infrastructure.

Under the initiative, which feeds into its long-term capital investment plan, GRIDCo will receive 80 million euros from French companies Coface Group and Societe Generale, in partnership with the SG-SSB Bank.
Other collaborators are Korea’s EXIM Bank, which is contributing $70 million, the Cal Bank and the Standard Chartered Bank, which are providing $13 million and $ 25 million, respectively.

The Chief Executive Officer of GRIDCo, Mr Charles A. Darku, told the Daily Graphic on the sidelines of its second annual general meeting (AGM) in Accra yesterday that the French support would be used to finance a project to close the northern loop of the transmission network from Tumu through Han to Wa.

The Korean funds, on the other hand, would be used to build a line from the Aboadze Thermal Plant through Pr…

34,000 Ghost Names Removed From Pensioners' Payroll, Thursday, January 6, 2012

A project initiated by the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning (MoFEP) in February 2011 to clear ghost names from the government’s payroll has detected and expunged about 34,000 illegal names on pensioners’ payroll in seven regions.
The ghost names represent 38 per cent of the pensioners registered so far during the project which is being executed by 3M Cogent of the United States at a cost of $2.385 million.
The project collected biometric data of some 54,544 out of the 88,467 pensioners in the Greater Accra, Eastern, Volta, Central, Ashanti, Western and Brong Ahafo regions.
According to the Project Co-ordinator and ICT Adviser of MoFEP, Mr George Gyamfi, even though some pensioners could not be captured, the number of those pensioners was not substantial.
“A handful of people have called to say that they have not been registered and so we have established a desk at the ministry to register them, but their number will not underestimate the figures we have,” he stated.
Mr Gyamfi…