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Showing posts from October, 2013

E-waste threatens lives of children at Agbogbloshie, (Wednesday, October 23, 2013) pg 26

 Children under seven years at Agbogbloshie in Accra and other parts of the country who are exposed to electronic waste (e-waste) are likely to develop a number of impairments in future.

According to a study by the Ghana Atomic Energy Commission (GAEC), such children are likely to develop deficiencies such as lower intelligence quotient (IQ), shorter attention span, learning disabilities, impaired physical growth and audio-visual impairment as a result of high lead-blood levels.

Lead-blood level is a test that measures the amount of lead in the blood. This test is used to screen people at risk for lead poisoning, including industrial workers and children who live in urban areas.

It is also used to see if treatment for lead poisoning is working.

The study, which started in 2010, found that while lead-blood levels among children in a school close to e-waste sites exceeded 85 per cent; those in children at the burning site had exceeded 88.2 per cent.

The levels on a church premises close to…

Workers to wear red armbands from today (October 22, 2013) Front page

Organised labour has called on all its members nationwide to put on red armbands and fly red flags at their various workplaces from today.

The decision to wear red bands, instead of embarking on a strike, follows an appeal by President John Dramani Mahama to organised labour to exercise restraint while the technical committee established to review tariff hikes submits its report.

Organised labour arrived at the decision at a marathon meeting in Accra yesterday to deliberate on developments on its engagement on what it described as astronomical utility tariff increases.

The softening of the position of labour on the tariffs means that the potential nationwide strike which would have crippled productivity in the public sector has been put on hold.

The technical committee, which was set up by the government to review the recent increment in utility tariffs, is expected to present its preliminary report this week.

The Trades Union Congress (TUC) had, on October 8, 2013, given the government a…

CLOGSAG Strike to affect 700,000 pockets (Friday, October 18, 2013) Front page

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Library PhotoAbout 700,000 civil and public servants risk not being paid at the end of the month if the Civil and Local Government Staff Association of Ghana (CLOGSAG) does  not call off  its industrial action.

This is because staff of the Controller and Accountant-General’s Department (CAGD), the institution which processes the salaries of workers on the government’s payroll, are part of the strike.

As a result, the processing of pay cheques at the CAGD for more than 700,000 workers on the state payroll has stalled.
Members of CLOGSAG began a nationwide strike last Monday in demand for their unpaid market premium and allowances.

The association, on September 20, 2013, announced its intention to go on strike if government failed to yield to its demands by before October 14.

Situation on the ground
Activities at the various ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) have come to a virtual halt following the strike by CLOGSAG.
However, at some departments and agencies, incl…

'Insist on quality goods, services' (October 17, 2013) pg 57

Members of the public have been urged to insist on quality goods and services to protect themselves against substandard products and services. 

That, according to the Minister of Trade and Industry, Mr Haruna Iddrisu, would help businesses to adhere to high standards in their operations.

Making a strong case for the protection of consumers in a speech read on his behalf at a durbar to mark this year's World Standards Day in Accra, the minister charged the Ghana Standards Authority (GSA) to work harder to ensure the safety of consumers in the country.

He called for a strong collaboration among stakeholders including importers, manufacturers, exporters, consumers and regulatory bodies, to guarantee quality and safe products on the market.

The minister's comment comes on the heels of reports of sub-standard drugs being imported into the Ghanaian market culminating in the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) banning the importation and distribution of all medicinal products…

Arik Air passengers prevents Accra-bounded flight from taking off, (Monday, October 14, 2013) pg 5

Back from Lagos, Nigeria       

THERE was commotion at the Murtala Mohammed Airport in Lagos , Nigeria last Saturday, when passengers of a New York-bound Arik flight that was grounded, because it had developed a fault, refused to allow passengers of the airlines’s Accra flight to board.

The angry passengers who claimed the airline had not communicated to them blocked the entrance of the tunnel leading to the plane thus delaying the flight schedule take off for Accra at 7.15 am for more than 35 minutes.

What started as a shouting fit by one female passenger later snowballed into angry chants.The group of five passengers from Liberia had waited till the airline staff  finished checking the boarding passes and security clearance of the Accra flight before striking.

Even before the airline staff gave the green light for the first passenger to board the airline, four  men joined the woman screaming on top of their voices and blocked the entrance of the tunnel.

“We won’t move an inch, if …

Internet access must not corrupt culture (Friday, October 4, 2013) pg 29

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Mr P. V. Obeng- Chairman, National Development Planning CommissionThe Chairman of the National Development Planning Commission, Mr Paul Victor Obeng, has made a strong case for the need to ensure that increasing access to the Internet does not lead to the importation of alien cultures.

“While increasing access to the Internet would improve the socio-economic circumstances, its negative influences calls for a concerted effort to counter the bad influence.
 Increasing access should not lead us to the importation of attitudes that are incompatible with our social norms,” he said.

He was speaking at the opening of the Regional Development Forum (RDF) for Africa and the Regional Preparatory Meeting for Africa (RPM Afr) in Accra. The two conferences are being held ahead of the World Telecommunication Development Conference (WTDC) scheduled for next year.

Mr Obeng observed that if Africa did not build a useful and development-oriented character, in the wake of the Information Comm…

Remove import duties on MMT spare parts (page 20)

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The Head of Communications of Metro Mass Transit, Mr Eric Boadi-Misa, has called for the removal of import duties on spare parts the company brings into the country.

The move, he said, would ensure that the company reinvested more of the cash available to it into acquiring extra buses.

Currently, the company has 1048 buses but bad roads in the hinterlands, especially during the rainy season, meant a little over 800 being active most of the time. The remaining has to be on stand-by on maintenance schedule. The MMT operates on 423 routes nationwide.

Mr Boadi-Misa, who spoke to the Daily Graphic, said the company was taking a number of initiatives as part of a rebranding exercise.

Key among the initiatives include, the introduction of e-ticketing and the training of all drivers of the company.

“We are rebranding in terms of customer service. We want to give a better picture to the public. The electronic ticketing will help us plug revenue leakages.”

To be introduced in the first qu…

Two roads crashes involving three cars occur in Ghana approximately every hour (pg 20)

She left home excited… After three years, she was going to meet her parents. Tamale has been kind to her. Right after national service, she had a job with one of the big non-governmental organisations in the northern regional capital. The pecks were good and to ice the cake, marriage was not far away.
With an earphone in her ears and a book in hand, she sat right behind the driver. Her attention buried in the book. Then it happened. Within a split second, she heard an explosion. Wails of Jesus! Jesus! Kai! Woyoooo! drowned as the vehicle somersaulted. She lost consciousness….

When Ama, clothed in blood, regained consciousness on the isolated highway, she limped out of the mangled vehicle with a head splitting pain.

One hour came, then two… then three before the ambulance arrived… With the speed of a cat, the paramedics put her on the stretcher and lifted her into the ambulance.

But she couldn’t make it… She died.

It is this long emergency response hours that the Nationa…

Spot fines to be piloted in four regions, Friday, October 25, 2013

Five major routes have been selected as pilot roads for the spot fine system under which offending drivers will be charged on the spot for committing minor offences.
The system, which begins next month, will be tried on selected major roads in Accra, Tema, Kumasi, Sunyani and Dodowa before going nationwide in August 2014.

Speaking at a programme to review the National Road Safety Action Plan in Accra yesterday, DSP Samuel Sasu Mensah of the Motor Traffic and Transport Department (MTTD) of the Ghana Police Service said the department was working with the National Road Safety Commission (NRSC) and other stakeholders, to implement and enforce the spot fine system.

Routes

Specific roads targeted in the pilot are: Accra–Tema, Accra–Achimota–Ofankor–Nsawam, Accra–Kasoa–Winneba, Accra-Adenta, Adenta–Dodowa and Adenta– Aburi.

The rest are Tema–Akosombo, Tema–Sogakope, Kumasi city, Kumasi–Bekwai, Kumasi–Techiman, Kumasi–Mampong and Kumasi–Sunyani roads.

Between January and September th…

ECG sits on GRIDCo, VRA service charges (pg 39)

The inability of the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) to promptly pay service charges it collects on behalf of the Ghana Grid Company Limited (GRIDCo) and the Volta River Authority (VRA), to the two companies is affecting their operations.

While GRIDCo is entitled to GH¢ 4.5 million weekly, it receives between GH¢ 1.5 million and GH¢ 2 million. The Volta River Authority (VRA), which is expected to rake in GH¢ 8 million weekly, receives GH¢ 3 million.

The failure of the ECG to fully meet its weekly financial obligations, the Finance Director of GRIDCo, Mr Kofi Okufo Dartey, told the Daily Graphic, was “gradually impacting negatively on our daily operations”.

“Every week, they have a gap of GH¢ 2 million to make up. It is a big challenge for us. Our only source of income is on transmission services charge and ECG controls about 80 per cent of that income. If they don’t pay us, it affects our operations,” he said.

Mr Dartey spoke to the Daily Graphic on the fringes of the Ann…

Boycott! Lower Manya Krobo declares ‘self-government' (FRONT)

THE Lower  Manya  Krobo Municipal Assembly (LMKMA) may soon be counting its losses in taxes following the declaration of “self-governance” by the chiefs and people of the Manya Krobo Traditional Council.

The decision means a boycott of the payment of tolls, taxes and levies which constitute internally generated funds (IGFs) on which the assembly runs.

Currently, an interim management team is managing the affairs of the assembly, which has been without elected members since 2010.

Last week, the Manya Krobo Traditional Council issued a seven-day ultimatum to the Electoral Commission (EC) to announce a date for assembly elections, which were not held in 2010 because of a dispute over the alignment of seven electoral areas in the municipality in the Eastern Region with the Dangme West District in the Greater Accra Region.

The ultimatum
In a letter dated Tuesday, September 24, 2013 and addressed to the Chairman of the EC, the council had stated that the date for the election must not be later t…