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Showing posts from October, 2014

Minerals Commission, 2 others to track excavators (Back,page)

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The Minerals Commission is in talks with the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA) and the Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) to begin the registration and electronic tracking of all excavators in the country.
The initiative, according to the Chief Executive Officer of the commission, Dr Toni Aubynn, is to check illegal mining.
A specific timeline was not given for the start of the exercise but he said the system would be in place within a year.
Interacting with the media in Accra yesterday, Dr Aubynn said importers of excavators received some tax waivers because of the mining and construction industry, noting that in some instances the equipment was used for illegal activities in the mining sector.
“What we intend to do is to register them and track them, using state-of-the-art tracking systems so that we know that you are using the excavators for the intended purpose. If you are not using them for that purpose, they should be parked,” …

GCAA grounds Starbow (Back page)

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The Ghana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) has grounded the operations of Starbow, a local airline, following a crash involving one of its aircraft that resulted in the injury of two people.

The decision is to allow the GCAA to conduct checks on the company’s aircraft to determine whether or not they are air worthy.

The Deputy Minister of Transport, Mrs Joyce Bawa Mogtari, said investigations into the incident were expected to be completed by next  Tuesday.

The Ghana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) has grounded the operations of Starbow, a local airline, following a crash involving one of its aircraft that resulted in the injury of two people.

The decision is to allow the GCAA to conduct checks on the company’s aircraft to determine whether or not they are air worthy.

The Deputy Minister of Transport, Mrs Joyce Bawa Mogtari, said investigations into the incident were expected to be completed by next  Tuesday.
Mrs Mogtari told Joy FM that the ministry’s main conc…

Use local building materials--experts (20 October 2014) Page 86

Some players in the real estate sector in Ghana have made a strong case for the use of local building materials in the building and construction industry.

They asserted that the persistent use of cheaper local resources would help add value to the country’s natural resources and create jobs for the unemployed.

Speaking at a roundtable discussion in Accra on sustainable real estate in Ghana, a design/build consultant, Mr Brandon Rogers, and an architect, Mrs Akosua Obeng, observed that the prevailing system was not environmentally sustainable.

The forum, organised by Lamudi Ghana, an online real estate marketplace, brought together real estate developers, architects, agents and property brokers to deliberate on sustainable alternatives for the country’s real estate industry.

 Mr Rogers, whose company uses mainly local materials for it projects, said Ghanaians could not continue using foreign materials when available local materials suited their environment.

“Ther…

Nduom kicks against perpetual campaign mood (17 October 2014)

The 2012 Presidential hopeful of the Progressive Peoples Party (PPP), Dr Papa Kwesi Nduom, has asked the media to spare him questions about his political ambition for now.

According to him, the nation must have time for development after elections and not remain in perpetual election mood.

“We cannot be in a perpetual campaign mode in this country.  There is a time for building a nation. There is time for making contributions to solve our problems. As for politics, there is time for it, when it comes, we would deal with it,” he said at a media engagement in Accra last Tuesday.

At the programme, which Dr Nduom said was his last media engagement for the year, issues including compulsory basic education in Ghana, energy, the economy and politics were highlighted.

Falling short of making a definite pronouncement on his political future, the two-time presidential candidate said “Election time will come soon enough and when it comes, we would all know where we stand. Some p…

Presidential contest, friendly affair - Alan Kyerematen

Presidential contest, friendly
affair - Alan Kyerematen

The New Patriotic Party presidential hopeful, Mr Alan Kyerematen, has said the party presidential contest is a friendly competition whose loser must support the winner to clinch power in the 2016 Election.


He also discredited allegations that he had a grudge with the party’s 2012 Presidential candidate, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, saying he does not “hate” his arch-contender in the race.

“He’s my brother”, the former Minister of Trade told supporters and delegates in Accra last Saturday as he officially launched his campaign.

The former Ambassador to the US and Nana Akufo-Addo are two of five aspirants who made it to the second phase of the contest following the August 31 Special Electoral College which pruned down the number of contenders from seven to five.

The other successful candidates include MPs Francis Addai-Nimoh, Joe Ghartey and Kofi Osei-Ameyaw. The last two have voluntarily opted out of the race.

Launching his campaign, M…

Drivers still flouting directives on bus stops(17 September 2014)

Four months after the Motor Traffic and Transport Department (MTTD) had directed its various units to clear bus stops within the Accra metropolis of vehicles that park and load, the situation persists.

The department had, in February this year, issued an ultimatum stipulating an April deadline to drivers parking in such bus stops to stop the practice or risk being dealt with by the police. However, four months  after the deadline, the chaotic situation remains.

The Daily Graphic of Tuesday, January 21, 2014 reported the growing concerns over the conversion of bus stops into illegal trotro and taxi stations, a development which is responsible for the worsening traffic situation in parts of the metropolis.

One of such illegal stations is the 37 Military Hospital bus stops, which an official of the MTTD of the Ghana Police Service described as the worst example.

It is common to find trotros and taxis parked for long periods at the designated bus stops. In the morning an…

Eating from plastics during pregnancy exposes babies to health risks (14 October 2014) spread

PREGNANT women who regularly eat food packaged in plastic materials risk exposing their unborn babies to dangerous chemicals.

This exposure could lead to prostate and breast cancers later in the lives of the children.
According to a retired Clinical Chemist/ Toxicologist, Prof. Nii-Ayi Ankrah, during placenta transfer, the chemical would be  transferred to the foetus if it does not have a well-developed defence mechanism.

“The implication is that the foetus will be damaged before the birth of the baby,” he said.
The former Head of the Clinical Pathology Department of the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research (NMIMR) told the Daily Graphic that generally for toxins, once the foetuses are exposed, there was danger.

Prof. Ankrah said two chemicals—Phthalates and Bisphenol A—which are present in plastic materials of everyday use, posed health risks that also included the destruction of the kidney.

Phthalates dangers
Apart from  being used for food packaging, Phthalates, which are u…

Afari-Gyan must be replaced now — GBA (08 October 2014) front

The Ghana Bar Association (GBA) has called on President John Dramani Mahama to appoint a new chairman of the Electoral Commission (EC) to boost the image and credibility of the commission ahead of the 2016 elections.

The current Chairman of the EC, Dr Kwadwo Afari-Gyan, will bow out of office next year after more than two decades at the helm of affairs.

He was appointed Deputy Chairman of the Interim National Electoral Commission (INEC) by the then Provisional National Defence Council (PNDC) government.

The INEC supervised the 1992 elections that returned  Ghana to multi-party democracy.
With the coming into force of the 1992 Constitution, a new EC was set up and Dr Afari-Gyan became its first substantive Chairman and has supervised five presidential, parliamentary and district assembly elections.
Traits of the next EC Chairman

According to the GBA, “All Ghanaians will be looking for in the new chairman of the EC is one who is perceived as capable and just; a person of int…

I can’t be responsible for Abuga Pele’s failure - Humado appeals to court (Front)

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A former Minister of Youth and Sports, Mr Clement K. Humado, says he cannot be held responsible for the failure of the former National Coordinator of the Ghana Youth Employment and Entrepreneurial Development Agency (GYEEDA) to perform due diligence on the payment of $522,000 to the Management Development and Productivity Institute (MDPI).

He said he approved of the payment of the funds to MDPI based on the claims and submissions made by Abuga Pele, saying as a minister, he depended and took decisions based on tasks assigned to his subordinates.  

“I cannot be held responsible for a claim that is deceptive,” he told the Fast Track High Court hearing the case in which a representative of Goodwill International Ghana (GIG), Philip Akpeena Assibit, is standing trial for defrauding the government to the tune of GH¢4.1 million on the pretext of securing a $65-million World Bank facility.

Standing trial with Assibit is Pele, the former National Co-ordinator of GYEEDA.

Mr Humad…

180 entries received for Gong Gong awards (20 October 2014)

The Advertising Association of Ghana (AAG) has received 180 entries for this year’s Gong Gong awards, which celebrates advertising excellence in Ghana.

Scheduled for December 5, 2014, this year’s event, the eighth since its inception, received entries from July 23 to August 22 and covers works from 2008 to 2012 in one category and only 2013 adverts in another category.

The awards, which has been on hold for some years now, bounces back after a four- year break.

According to a breakdown of the entries received by the awards committee, television leads the pack with 78, followed by radio, 48; print/press,35; outdoor, 28; activations, 1; and digital, 4.

This year’s awards would be held on the theme; “Creating Advertising: Catalyst for Economic Growth.”

The awards to be contested for are in categories including alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, food and confectionery, corporate services, insurance and financial services, textile and fashion/accessories, health and pe…

Spot fine in the freezer more than a year after planned introduction (20 October 2014)

More than a year after the announcement of the introduction of a spot fine system to discipline drivers who go against road regulations, the system is yet to take off.

Under the new system being jointly undertaken by the National Road Safety Commission (NRSC), Ghana Police Service and the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA), drivers who flout road regulations more than twice will have their licences revoked.

“When you commit the offence, our electronic system will generate your profile as an offending 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 of the National Road Safety Commission, Mr David Adonteng, said in September last year.
What is spot fine?  Spot fines otherwise known as ticketing in other parts of the world are used to punish road traffic offenders.

In some states in the US, offences including driving under the influence of alcohol, knocking down of pedest…

26 Arrested for defecating into drains (Saturday, 18 October 2014 )

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Twenty six people have been arrested in the La-Dadekotopon municipality for defecating into drains.

They were arrested in the early hours of last Thursday in a joint exercise by the municipal assembly and the Cantonments Police.

 The move is part of efforts to eradicate cholera in the municipality, which is among the hardest hit by this year’s cholera outbreak.
The culprits were arrested while they were openly easing themselves into drains around the Aviation Social Centre, the Civil Service Secretariat at Cantonments, the Trade Fair Cemetery, the Wizard Park, near the Rangoon Camp Cluster of Schools, and the Africa Lake.

Eighteen others were arrested in a similar exercise in the municipality last month.

Cholera figures

Ever since the first case of a patient with cholera was reported at the La General Hospital in July this year,1,726 patients with the disease have been treated at the hospital, with 16 deaths. Ten out of the 16 were brought in dead.

The cholera outbreak has so f…

Action Chapel International prays against Ebola (17 October 2014)

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Hundreds of Christians yesterday turned out at the Prayer Cathedral of the Action Chapel International (ACI) on the Spintex Road in Accra to pray against the dreaded Ebola Virus.

The church has declared a two-week fasting and prayer session as part of its contribution to preventing the disease from entering Ghana.

Led in prayer by the Founder of the ACI, Archbishop Nicholas Duncan-Williams and Prophet Gideon Danso, a senior pastor of the church,the congregation prayed, building spiritual walls around the country during its weekly Dominion Hour prayer session.

Prophet Danso told the highly charged congregation that Ebola could be blocked with prayer.

With that, shouts of “Ebola away!! Ebola, be accursed!!” filled the room, as the congregants clapped and stamped their feet to symbolically trample on the disease.

Prophet Danso observed that the recent research that indicated that Ghana would be one of the latest countries that the disease would spread to was not far-fetched a…

Use IMF bailout to save economy from further troubles - Nduom (Oct 16, 2014) page 16

The government’s decision to go to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for a bailout is an indication that it has reached the limit of its ability to manage the economy, the 2012 presidential candidate of the Progressive People’s Party (PPP), Dr Papa Kwesi Nduom has observed.

He, however, said the decision would give the government the opportunity to save the economy from further troubles.

He, however, expressed misgivings about the ability of the government to work within conditions that would come with the IMF bailout as governments over the years had failed to adhere to promises made to the Bretton Wood institutions.

He observed that the country had become notorious in the international community for failing to stick to the terms of various forms of assistance given it by the IMF and donor countries, only to return for more assistance.

“We make promises that we will do this and that. We will do better... then we get the money from the IMF and all the other funds …

Families cry for justice as dockets on 6 murder cases gather dust (15 October 2014) Front page

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Dockets on six high-profile murders that were perpetrated in certain communities between 2005 and 2012 continue to gather dust, as the families and friends of the victims await justice.

Apart from their inability to unravel the motives behind those heinous crimes, the police have also not been able to apprehend the culprits.

Famillies shocked and angry Some relatives of the victims of the murder cases are shocked and angry that the police had failed to seek justice for their departed family members.

According to them, although jail terms for the perpetrators would not bring back their family members to life, it was their only remaining consolation.

They therefore appealed to the Inspector General of Police (IGP) to ensure that the killers of their relatives were arrested and dealt with by law.

“It is sad that all these years, the police even keep us in the dark about what has happened to the investigations,”one family member said.
Memory lane Almost 10 years ago, gu…

Ghana Gas Project won’t solve energy problems - Kwabena Donkor (11 October 2014 )

The Ghana Gas Project is not the solution to Ghana’s recurrent energy crisis, the Chairman of the Parliamentary Committee on Mines and Energy, Dr Kwabena Donkor, has said.

The Pru East Member of Parliament also took issues with the country’s over- reliance on gas supply from Nigeria for power generation, insisting that those using that as an excuse for the country’s energy crisis were not fit to be in office.

“How many times have we not known that this supply was unreliable? Since when has gas supply from Nigeria been reliable? It has historically been unreliable and the least you can do in planning is to plan with the fact that gas from Nigeria cannot be depended upon so let's look at alternatives,” he said.

He was speaking at a roundtable discussion in Accra on the expectations and the way forward for the country’s energy sector.

Organised by the Institute of Green Growth Solutions, a non-governmental organisation, the programme was meant to diagnose the problems…

Ghanaians join global march against poaching (October 7, 2014)

Ghanaians last Saturday joined the rest of the world in a global march to pressurise governments to put in more efforts to end poaching, as fears of the extinction of elephants and rhinoceroses increase.

Scores of people gathered at the Aviation Social Centre in Accra to lend their voice to the global crusade, dubbed ‘the Global March for Elephants and Rhinos.’

The March
Carrying placards with messages including “25,000 rhinos left,” “Save the elephant,” “March against extinction,” “Ban Ivory,” “ Every 15 minutes, one elephant dies,” the participants marched through some principal streets of Accra, including those leading to the 37 Military Hospital, Dr Kumoji Hospital, the Headquarters of the Ghana National Fire Service, Danquah Circle, Morning Star School and the Togo Embassy.  The protest march was also held in 133 other cities around the world.

Before taking to the streets, the organiser of the Accra March, Ms Barbara Bilgre, observed that the poaching business w…

Ghana to start electronic tagging of trees (Tuesday, October 7, 2014)

Ghana is to begin the electronic tagging of trees in its forests as part of measures to deal with illegal logging, the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Nii Osah Mills, has said.

The system is a satellite mapping process that works by scanning bar codes stamped onto trees, creating an electronic paper trail that helps to track trees whether in the forest or out for export.

“This new system tags the trees and monitors their whereabouts from stump to port," Nii Mills said at the inauguration of the board of the Forestry Commission in Accra.

The 11-member board chaired by Mr Edward A. Prah, who has long-standing experience in the timber industry, has been charged, among other responsibilities, with the strategic direction, the regulation of the utilisation of forest wildlife resources and the co-ordination of policies related to forest and wildlife resources.

In other countries, the purpose of the bar codes is to help firms comply with the stringent laws on exp…

Gas shortage hits Accra, other places (October 6, 2014)

An acute Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) shortage has hit Accra and other parts of the country, forcing consumers to return home from gas filling stations with empty cylinders.

There are reports of long queues in Koforidua and fruitless searches by consumers in some parts of the Volta Region.

But users of the product for domestic, commercial and industrial purposes may heave sighs of relief following an assurance by the National Petroleum Authority (NPA) that it will take delivery of gas from today.

The Public Relations Officer of the NPA, Mr Yaro Kasambata, said about 7,000 metric tonnes of the product would be received at the Tema and the Takoradi ports today.

Users of LPG in Accra and parts of the Eastern and Volta regions who had thronged the filling stations for gas last week had to go home with empty cylinders, as the product had run out at the various filling stations.

At the Go Gas LPG filling station at the Kawukudi Junction, near the Accra Girls’ Senior High …

Management of Dynasty Restaurant to be prosecuted despite cleaning up kitchen, surroundings. (Oct 02, 2014)

The Dynasty Chinese Restaurant has cleared the mess in its kitchen and surroundings that resulted in the restaurant being closed down for operating in an unhygienic environment.

However, the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) has given strong indications that the management of the restaurant would be prosecuted for flouting its directive and operating when the restaurant was closed down.

The Director of Public Health of the AMA, Dr Simpson A. Boateng, told the Daily Graphic after inspection of progress of work at the restaurant that the management of the facility would not be left off the hook for breaching the closure notice.

The inspection was done by a team comprising personnel of the Ghana Tourism Authority and the AMA—the two institutions that are collaborating to ensure that the restaurant operates in a safe and hygienic environment.

“We want to send a strong signal to every organisation within the metropolis that we live with laws and if you flout these laws with im…

Dynasty Restaurant reopens ... After meeting directives of AMA, Tourism Authority , October 8, 2014

The Dynasty Chinese Restaurant has been reopened days after it was shut down for operating in unhygienic conditions.

The Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) and the Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA) gave the restaurant the green light to reopen after its management had satisfied all the directives of the two bodies.

“We are satisfied with what they have been able to do within this short time. I am very impressed,” Dr Simpson Anim  Boateng of the AMA told the Daily Graphic after the joint inspection with GTA officials.

The restaurant was shut down on September 25, 2014, following an unannounced visit to the facility, during which the AMA found that grease and soot had accumulated on the heat extractors in the kitchen and the walls were dirty, while a defective gas cylinder there had a stone on top of the regulator, probably to prevent leakage.

Most of the stoves were rusty and appeared to have outlived their usefulness. Cobwebs were all over, while a pungent smell hung aroun…

Ghana’s Envoy in Japan recalled over illegal gambling (Oct 21, 2014)

Ghana’s Ambassador to Japan, Mr Edmond Kofi Agbenutse Deh, has been recalled pending the completion of a Bureau of National Investigations (BNI) inquiry into allegations that Ghana’s mission in Japan had been involved in an illegal gambling business which had led to the arrest of 10 Japanese.

A statement issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration said the ambassador was on leave awaiting the conclusion of the BNI investigations, as the Japanese authorities had completed their investigations.

The statement, signed by Mr Leslie Kojo Christian, the Chief Director of the ministry, said following reports of the alleged involvement of the ambassador in an illegal gambling operation in Tokyo, the Foreign Affairs Ministry recalled Ambassador Deh for consultations.

The Ghana Embassy in Japan was instructed to submit a detailed report on the matter.

It said after exhaustive interrogation by the BNI, the ambassador was directed to return to Tokyo to assi…

BNI yet to release report on gambling at Ghana's mission in Japn (SPREAD)

The Bureau of National Investigations (BNI) is still investigating allegations that Ghana’s mission in Japan had been involved in an illegal gambling business which had led to the arrest of 10 Japanese.

The Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Mr Thomas Kwesi Quartey, told the Daily Graphic that the report was yet to be released.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration had, in a statement issued by the sector Minister, Ms Hannah Tetteh, said it was being assisted by its staff in Japan to conduct its own investigations into the matter.

Mr Quartey told the Daily Graphic on March 25, 2014, that investigation into the alleged letting out of part of a property belonging to the mission to a gang of Japanese gamblers, had gone far and indicated that interviewing Ghana's current Ambassador to Japan on the issue would facilitate the completion of the investigations.

He declined to make any further comment on the investigations, insisting…

Oxford Street to host ‘Buy Ghana’ fair (Page 26)

Come December this year, the Osu Oxford Street in Accra, a prime shopping arena in the metropolis, will host one of the biggest fairs to promote made-in Ghana goods.

The event slated for December 20-21 and dubbed ‘Oxford Street International Fair,’ is expected to have the popular street flooded with corporate souvenirs, artworks and artefacts, clothing and accessories, electronics, cosmetics, automobiles, foods and drinks and published educational materials, among others.

The Chief Executive of the Accra Metropolitan Assembly, Mr Alfred Okoe Vanderpuye, at a meeting with the organisers, endorsed the fair, describing it as an excellent move for promoting the ‘Buy Ghana’ agenda.

He said the fair would serve as a catalyst to boost commerce in the city, especially in manufactured products, services and tourism.

He has, therefore, called on businesses in the capital to embrace the initiative.

Aims of the fair
Mrs Catherine Morton, the Project Director of Street Fairs International (SFI), organ…

Ghana Tourism Authority sanctions Dynasty Restaurant (Front page)

The Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA) has slapped further sanctions on the Dynasty Chinese Restaurant for operating under unhygienic conditions.
The restaurant, which holds a ‘grade one’ licence from the GTA, meaning it is among the top restaurants in Ghana, has been asked to renovate its kitchen to acceptable standards before it will be allowed to operate.  
That aside, the restaurant will pay between GH¢500 and GH¢1,000 as penalty for operating in unhygienic conditions in the wake of the cholera outbreak that has claimed more than 100 lives, with more than 12,000 people hospitalised.
The Public Relations Manager of the GTA, Mr Ben Ohene-Ayeh, told the Daily Graphic that the authority was not impressed by conditions in the kitchen of the restaurant; days after the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) had ordered its closure.
“We have asked them not to open until they put the place right and then call us for re-inspection. Then we will certify them before they will be allowed to open. Until we a…