Showing posts from September, 2013

Abossey Okai: Ghana's auto spare part mecca

Right across Asamoah's shop, a back-breaking task of lifting an engine onto a truck ensues. There, about five men, drenched in sweat, struggle to fit the engine on a lever, which would eventually do the lifting onto the car.

A group of barefooted and shirtless boys run in circles after a deflated football, much to the annoyance of a woman selling banku and fried fish.

Another day is in motion at Abossey Okai---Ghana's auto spare part mecca. So alluring is the reputation of Abossey Okai in the spare part industry in Ghana that it has become a refrain that 'if you do not get the car spare part you want at Abossey Okai, then you may as well sell your car to scrap metal dealers'

Sandwiched between Kaneshie and Korle Bu, Abossey Okai is a pandemonium of homes and vendor's multi storey building, stalls and table top shops crammed with auto spare part and accessories imaginable-- including engines, pistons, brake pads, lights, bumper, doors, spark plugs, ig…

Beware! -It’s a scam (Page 20)

Have you had someone throwing himself or herself against your vehicle and insisting you knocked him or her, and is harassing you for money? You are not alone. It is the latest trick in town.
The story is always that the incident happens at the blind side of the driver, mostly at the rear or on the side and not in front.

That is just one part of the tales of scam on our roads these days. Others are also using crying children at secluded places as a decoy to rob.

The con artist targets drivers of new vehicles or four wheel drives.

According to some drivers who fell in the traps of such youngsters, the ‘victim’ and his accomplice(s) often plead against reporting the case to the police, and when the mandatory 48-hour period elapses, they then come demanding money from the drivers.

Some of the affected drivers said they finally had to change their mobile numbers and sometimes residence to avoid the harassment.

Tales of the modus operandi of these people, whether at the Airport Res…

GRIDCo to use assets for telecom services (Sept 27, 2013) pg 20

Mr Samuel Jinapor(2nd left), the deputy minister of Energy, addressing members of the GRIDCO Board at their annual general meeting in Accra. Those with him on the dais are Mr Emmanuel Appiah Korang (2nd right), Chairman of the GRIDCO Board, Mr Suraj Omoro(left), Director, Network Performance, and Mrs Monica Senanu, Board Secretary, both of GRIDCO. Picture: EMMNAUEL BAAHThe government has given approval for the Ghana Grid Company (GRIDCo) to use its transmission assets to carry out general commercial telecommunication and other related services.

This means that the GRIDCo’s transmission towers, spread across the country, could become useful as telecom cell sites.

The company’s fibre optic cables that are used in managing its systems could also be made available for Internet services.

Last year, the shareholders - the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning and the Ministry of Energy- declined to amend the mandate of the company to include telecom services with fears that …

Ghana not prepared for terrorism - Security expert (September 26. 2023( pg 29

A security analyst, Emmanuel Sowatey, has raised red flags about Ghana’s preparedness to adequately address challenges that comes with terrorism in case terrorists strike in the country.

“We are not prepared for that now. When you go to some shopping malls, for instance, you’ll see emergency exits but most of the time, it is  locked. The key is with somebody,” he said.

Mr Sowatey who was reacting to events unfolding in Kenya where Al-Shabab militants reportedly stormed the Westgate Mall Nairobi, killed 69 people and injured more than 170 others.

Among the casualties in the shoot-out in Kenya were renowned poet and former Chairman of the Council of State, Prof. Kofi Nyidevu Awoonor, who died in the attack and his son, Afetsi Awoonor, who sustained injuries.

Foreign policy

With terror organisations including Nigeria’s Boko Haram getting bolder by the day, he said it was time the government relooked at the country’s internal security since a country’s foreign policy had bea…

Ghana in shock as terrorists kill Awoonor (Sept 23, 2013) Front

The late Prof. Kofi AwoonorWhen Professor Kofi Nyidevu Awoonor received invitation to attend this year’s Storymoja Hay Festival, a Kenyan literary festival, little did he know that a foot in the Eastern African country’s capital would be his last stint with life.

His love for literary works came to the limelight with the publication of his Rediscovery and Other Poems in 1964, and it is this same love that ended a decorated life spent in academia, politics and the literary world.

Interestingly, the Pan-African wordsmith died on Dr Nkrumah’s birthday, the Ghana Association of Writers (GAW) Book Festival Day and a day he was expected to speak at the Kenyan literary festival.

The 78-year-old former Chairman of the Council of State was among 69 people confirmed dead by the Kenyan government in the shooting at the Westgate Mall in Nairobi, for which the Somali Islamic extremist group,  Al-Shabab, has claimed responsibility.

His son,  Afetsi  Awoonor,  who was reportedly shot i…

Ghana, others to benefit from US power project (September 21, 2013) spread

The United States Government has launched an initiative to double access to power supply in six sub-Saharan African countries, including Ghana.
The project is also expected to build the capacities of their respective power regulators, including the Electricity Company of Ghana and the Ghana Grid Company.

Known as Power Africa, the project tackles one of the most critical challenges to sustainable economic growth and development in sub-Saharan Africa – access to electrical power.

As part of the project, the US Government is providing more than $7 billion to support investment in the energy sector, in the next five years in Ghana, Nigeria, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Kenya and Liberia.

Apart from building on the continent’s huge power potential, the scheme is expected to increase reforms in the energy sector as well as investment into sustainable and clean energy sources including solar, wind and geothermal.

Financed by 12 US agencies, Power Africa is expected to increase to 10,000 m…


Who is your auto mechanic? (MONDAY, SEPT 16,2013) PG 20

Vehicles needs proper checks and maintenance by qualified mechanicsMy childhood friend called me last Saturday to complain about how his mechanic had messed up his gear box and had since been running away from him.

The sweet-tongue artisan had managed to squeeze quite a substantial amount of money from him, only to fall on excuses when my friend went for his car which had been in the workshop for the past two months.

Apparently, his car had been putting up the attitude of abnormal jerky movements while changing gears and safety conscious as he was; he had gone to the mechanic to deal with the malfunction.

Two months down the line, he is still chasing the mechanic for his car which cannot even roar to life, let alone breath.

“This guy has demobilise me. Now I depend on taxis and sometimes trotro to move around, when I have car sitting in his workshop. I don’t know what I’ll do to him, if I get hold of him. It’s not fair. Why couldn’t he tell me he couldn’t handle it,” he …

Aggudey jailed 3 months (Setempter 16, 2013) FRONT

The Accra Circuit Court on Saturday sentenced the Chief Executive Officer of Gocrest Securities Limited, George Oposika Aggudey, to three months in prison for failing to pay the social security contributions of  his employees.

The court, presided over by Mr Aboagye Tandoh, sentenced Aggudey, who was the 2004 presidential candidate of the Convention Peoples Party (CPP), on two counts of failing to pay the social security contributions of his employees and the penalties thereof.

The court also ordered him to pay the GH¢2.6 million arrears the company owed the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) as of December 2012.

By defaulting in the payment of SSNIT contributions, Mr Aggudey contravened the National Pension Act of 2008, Act 766, which empowers SSNIT to institute criminal charges against defaulters.

Running Battle
Aggudey has had a long-running battle with SSNIT over the payment of social security contributions of his employees.

In October 2006, after sev…

EPA cracks the whip -Closes down gold mine ( Sept 14, 2013) Front

Officials of the Mining Department of the EPA at the site of the polluted Ayensu stream.The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on Thursday flexed its muscle and closed down a gold mine of the FMCI Accra Limited, a foreign company, at Mpeasem in the Ashanti Region.

This is because the company has violated mining regulations and failed to adhere to best practices.

Apart from failing to properly reclaim the land, the company,  a subsidiary of Canada-based FMCI Financial Corporation, has also failed to post the required reclamation bond and polluted the Ayensu stream, a water body in its concession.

During an unannounced compliance monitoring exercise conducted by the EPA, it was realised that the mine had on two occasions changed ownership and names without recourse to the EPA.

The company had acquired its EPA permit, which expires in April 2014, on October 24, 2012 as Romex Mining Ghana Limited but later transferred its interest to Aburi Goldfield Limited before FCMI came in…

GNPC, BoG in a fix; no record on drill ship sale (Sept 12,2013) FRONT

MORE  than a decade after the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) had sold its drill ship to pay judgement debt awarded in favour of Societe Generale by a UK court, there is no record at the Bank of Ghana (BoG) to show the nature of the transaction.

While the BoG does not have records of any cash transfer before and after the sale of the drill ship, Discoverer 511, the then owner of the ship, the GNPC, does not have the transaction records of the sale ordered by the Ministry of Energy either.

As a result, the period of the sale of the ship, the buyer and the actual judgement debt due Societe General are yet to be established by the Commission on Judgement Debts.

The commission subpoenaed the GNPC to make available its audited accounts covering 1999 to 2005, including its corresponding asset register,  transaction report on the sale of the drill ship and minutes of meetings of the GNPC Board covering 1999 to 2005.

The commission also ordered the BoG to make avail…

Livestock policy hub launched

A national livestock policy hub to help increase livestock production and make the country self-sufficient in meat production has been inaugurated in Accra.
Among other things, the hub, which draws its membership from all sectors of the livestock production chain, is expected to design and formulate livestock policies and recommend them to the government for implementation.
Based on the success of the livestock policy hubs in developing livestock sectors in other countries, the concept is being tried in Ghana through the Reinforcing Veterinary (VET-GOV) Governance in Africa programme.
The programme is being implemented in partnership with the regional economic committes and the Food and Agriculture Organisation.
Although livestock production has a huge potential to create jobs for many, it remains largely untapped due to diseases and others factors.  As a result, the country continues to import livestock products to meet the growing demand for animal protein.
Ghana impo…
More than a decade after the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) had sold its drill ship to pay judgement debt awarded in favour of Societe Generale by a UK court, there is no record at the Bank of Ghana (BoG) to show the nature of the transaction.

Read full story here ...

Judgement debt commissioner decries poor record keeping (Wed, Sept 11, 2013) pg 40

The Non-Formal Education Division (NFED) of the Ministry of Education says it does not owe African Automobile Limited (AAL) in respect of 23 vehicles supplied to the division in 2001. At the sitting…
Read full article

Foreign Ministry creates Diaspora Support Unit (Saturday, September 7, 2013) pg 39

A Diaspora Support Unit has been established at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration to serve as a platform for Ghanaian enterprenuers who have returned from abroad to exchange ideas on how to grow their businesses.

 Read more at Diaspora Support Unit

UNPUBLISHED: civil society organisations for scaling up nutritions launched

Ghana last Thursday  joined 40 other countries across the world to launch the coalition of civil society organisations for scaling up nutrition (SUN).

The local version known as the Ghana Coalition of Civil Society Organisations for Scaling up Nutrition (GHACCSUN) has aims including advocacy on nutrition issues in Ghana and mobilize technical capacity to complement government efforts to reduce malnutrition.

The SUN is a movement founded on the principle that all people have a right to food and good nutrition. It unites people—from governments, civil society, the United Nations, donors, businesses and researchers—in a collective effort to improve nutrition.

Specific interventions proposed under the SUN initiative include support  for exclusive breastfeeding up to 6 months of age and continued breastfeeding, together with appropriate and nutritious food, up to 2 years of age; fortification of foods; micronutrient supplementation; and treatment of severe malnutrition.

The SUN programme is t…

Weija footbridge opened for use (September 4, 2013) pg 33

RESIDENTS and schoolchildren of Weija can now heave a sigh of relief following the inauguration of a footbridge across the Densu River to ease their movement to and from the town.

A ceremony was held yesterday to officially open the bridge to the community.

Beaming with smiles, Samuel Asare, a pupil of the Weija Presbyterian Primary School, said, “I am so happy because now it is easy to walk to school. I don’t have to fear that the bus will leave me behind or that I will sit in a canoe to cross the river.”

Started in March this year, the 40-metre steel footbridge was funded by the Ga South Municipal Assembly under the Local Government Capacity Support Project Urban Development Urban Grant.

The construction of the GH¢339,050-bridge brings to an end the torture the residents of Weija and schoolchildren in particular had to go through on a daily basis as they move to and from school and their workplaces.

A plan for a vehicular bridge is being considered to provide an alternative route to…

Remove import duty on new tyres - CPA (Monday, September 2, 2013) pg 20

The Consumer Protection Agency (CPA) has advocated the removal of import duties on new tyres to make the new tyres more affordable.

“The biggest headache of the Ghanaian consumer is pricing. If the Ministry of Transport manages to bring the price down, it will help change the mindset of people that second hand tyre is better than the new one,” Mr Kofi Kapito, the Chief Executive Officer of the agency, said at a forum on tyre standardisation in Accra. “If we are committed to reducing accidents on our roads, this is an important option,” he added.

One of the major reasons vehicle owners buy used tyres is because of cost. On the average the cost of a new tyre is six times the used tyre. Organised by the National Road Safety Commission, the forum brought together regulators and dealers in the tyre industry, including the Ghana Standard Authority, the tyre- dealing associations and companies, Ghana Ports and Habour Authority and the Vehicle Examination and Licensing Author…

Recalcitrant drivers to lose license under soon-to-be-introduced spot fine system (Spread)

Under the new spot fine system to be introduced in November, drivers who go against road regulations more than four times will have their licences revoked.

"When you commit the offence, our electronic system will generate your profile as a driver, so that we can track your performance to advise us on where to place you in the risk factor as a driver,” the Director of Planning at the National Road Safety Commission (NRSC), Mr David Adonteng, explained.

Mr Adonteng made this known when officials of the NRSC paid a courtesy call on the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Mr Mohammed Alhassan, in Accra on Wednesday September 19.

The visit served as a platform for the two institutions to discuss possible areas of co-operation.

Mr Adonteng said a driver whose licence was revoked would have to go through the process of applying for a new licence after a specified period.

Among the 38 offences that will attract spot fines are jumping the red light, driving without a seat belt, dr…

380 cardio patients in need of urgent cash await surgery at Korle-Bu (September 18, 2013 ) Front page

Three hundred and eighty  heart patients who are in need of financial assistance are currently on the waiting list of the National Cardiothoracic Centre (NCC) at the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital to undergo heart surgery.

Two hundred and fifty out of the number are children. On the average, heart surgery in Ghana costs between GHC 10,000 and GHC 12,000.

With the cost of heart surgery out of the reach of most Ghanaians, the Ghana Heart Foundation pays 50 per cent of the cost: with patients expected to bear what remained, but even that even remains a challenge for many patients.

According to Director of the the NCC, Dr Lawrence A. Sereboe, 20 out of the number had been on the list for more than three years in critical conditions, noting that "without surgery they are not going to last for two years.”

Dr Sereboe was speaking at the the launch of a concert initiated by silky-voice musician, Kwabena Kwabena, to raise funds for poor people with heart diseases.

Dubbed the 'Kwa…

Line of trees cut to give way to Giffard Road expansion works