The President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has stated that his government’s vision of a building a progressive and prosperous Ghana depends very much on the work being undertaken by the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA).
According to President Akufo-Addo, GRA is “a central part of whether or not we are going to succeed as a nation. When we speak about wanting to build a Ghana Beyond Aid, what we are saying is that we should become, like all the progressive countries in the world, a country that depends on its own resources to buttress its own development, and not a country going around cap in hand begging for this or that.”
The President explained that Ghana should become a “country of dignity and pride, that is able to finance its own development. And, if we are going to be able to do that, you are at the cutting edge. If you succeed, Ghana succeeds. If you fail, we will fail.”
President Akufo-Addo made this known on Wednesday, 8th November, 2017, when he visited the Tema Harbour to interact with officials of the Ghana Revenue Authority, as well as apprise himself of the work being undertaken at the harbour.
He told the officials of GRA that “the work my government is doing depends so much on you. If you are able to meet our revenue targets, it will then mean that we would be able to finance the expenditures we would need in our social sectors, for our education, for our housing, for our health, amongst others”.
President Akufo-Addo added further that “we would then be able to invest in those parts of the economy that we would need to invest in to grow our economy, industry, trade and agriculture.”
He continued, “It is not by accident that we were the first of the black nations on the continent to become free from European colonialism. It is because generations of Ghanaians had fought and worked and mobilised to bring us to where we are today. We have a very proud past. But what will make that proud past count is if we have a prosperous and rich future.”
It is for this reason the President encouraged the GRA officials to bear in mind that “the time has come for us not to ‘chop’ Ghana small, but to make Ghana great. If that is where all of us are, we are going to build a Ghana that is going to be the wonder of this world. The world will then see that there are Africans capable of doing it.”
President Akufo-Addo, thus urged the GRA to be “sincere, active collaborators, co-operating to build the Ghana of our dreams. My part is to try to help define and design the policy. But you are the people responsible for executing it. If the execution is solid, Ghana is solid.”
Tema Port Expansion Project
Prior to visiting the Tema Harbour, the President visited the site of the Tema Port expansion project, where he reiterated the commitment of his government towards the rapid development of the country, which will put Ghana onto the path of progress and prosperity, during his tenure of office.
The Tema Port expansion, which is a $1.5 billion project, will improve Ghana’s trade competiveness, facilitate trade growth and improve revenue mobilisation. The project will also allow the Tema Port to accommodate some of the world’s largest container ships, and improve cargo handling services and capacity.
Describing the project as an exciting development in Ghana, President Akufo-Addo stressed that “we just have to wish that everything goes well, so you can meet the contractual deadlines. It is extremely important for the development of Ghana that such a development should take place. As you know, we are committed to a very rapid development of our country, especially its industrial and agricultural sectors.”
The rapid development of the country, according to the President, requires the necessary support infrastructure.
“This (Tema Port) is one of them, which will ensure that we will have in our country a 1st class port, modern and capable of receiving the biggest vessels in the world, and allowing us to accelerate the pace of our development and of our exchanges,” he said
President Akufo-Addo assured the partners of the project of government’s support to assist them in fulfilling their contractual obligations in bringing the project online.
“It is a massive undertaking. Some of our neighbours are also undertaking important port developments in Cote d’Ivoire and in Lome, Togo. I have seen the Lome facility myself, but I am sure they will not be superior to what we will have in Ghana,” a confident President Akufo-Addo added.
The youth wing of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) has taken a swipe at teh Deputy Director of teh National Service Scheme (NSS) Nana Boakye.
According to the youth wing Nana Boakye popularly known as Nana B has accused members of the Tertiary Education Institutions Network (TEIN) of the NDC of inciting some personnel of the National Service to kick against the insurance scheme introduced by the service scheme.
The statement said:’’ The youth wing of NDC consider Nana Boakye’s pronouncement unfounded and, unwarranted attack emanating from an impotent, incapable and ill-advised management, that is desperately trying to defend an obnoxious decision and, an orchestration to divert public attention from his NPP government’s shameful policy to extort money from the pockets of National Service Personnel who are already squeezed by the current harsh economic conditions in the country.
By this statement we wish to make it abundantly clear to Nana Boakye that, the position he occupies is not a political one. Neither do National Service Personnel perform their services based on political affiliation. For him to repeatedly mention TEIN in answers to legitimate questions is not only diversionary but desperation. He must therefore stop clutching at the members of TEIN as a smokescreen to cover the clear failure at the scheme.’’
The statement which was signed by Kobby Barlon, Deputy National Youth Organiser, NDC cautioned the Deputy Director to desist from using his office for political gains and work in the interest of personnel of the scheme.
Read below the full statement
For immediate release
DESPERATE NANA BOAKYE MUST LEAVE TEIN AND NDC OUT OF HIS SHAMEFUL INSURANCE SCHEME
The youth wing of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) has taken note of the pronouncements of the Deputy Executive Director of the National Service Scheme (NSS), Nana Boakye on ‘’ Ekosii Sen’’ a twi political programme on Asempa FM.
Nana Boakye, also knowns as Nana B in his pronouncement accused the Tertiary Education Institutions Network (TEIN) of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) as brain behind current agitation by NSS personnel against the NSS management. The NSS personnel has strongly kicked against what they describe as arbitrary deduction of allowances under the guise of insurance for personnel.
The youth wing of NDC consider Nana Boakye’s pronouncement unfoundedand, unwarranted attack emanating from an impotent, incapable and ill-advised management, that is desperately trying to defend an obnoxious decision and, an orchestration to divert public attention from his NPPgovernment’s shamefulpolicy to extort money from the pockets of National Service Personnel who are already squeezed by the current harsh economic conditions in the country.
By this statement we wish to make it abundantly clear to Nana Boakye that, the position he occupies is not a political one. Neither do National Service Personnel perform their services based on political affiliation. For him to repeatedly mention TEIN in answers to legitimate questions is not only diversionary but desperation. He must therefore stop clutching at the members of TEIN as a smokescreen to cover the clear failure at the scheme.
The revelations emanating from the NSS in the past week show a Directorate that is completely lost on the mandate of the office they occupy and are now delving into part time insurance marketing for the purpose of meeting political ends as the evidence suggests.
If Nana Boakye is to be taken seriously as a man who believes in free choice as a political orientation of the Party he belongs to, he must, together with his bosses, scrap that insurance scheme which they are forcing on the young Ghanaian serving his or her country. You cannot tell Ghanaians that you believe in free markets and yet dictate options to people especially when they are young and economically vulnerable. It is simply unconscionable and directly contravenes rights of those citizens in the eyes of the 1992 constitution.
Nana Boakye and his 'create, loot and share' team must take time to read what their duties are according to the law and seek advice if necessary, rather than insisting on sullying the NSS with a divisive labelling of the personnel as NDC members.
To resolve the shameful and forceful imposition of this insurance scheme on the National Service Personnel will not take attacks on members of the National Democratic Congress. It will take common sense and respect of the rights of all National Service Personnel without political lenses. Nana Boakye must take the advice and leave the Youth of the great NDC alone.
God bless the NDC.
God bless our homeland Ghana.
Kobby Barlon, Deputy National Youth Organiser, NDC
Reports reaching Rainbow Radio has it that a group of land guards have allegedly murdered a commercial driver known as Allebe at Opoeikuma near Kasoa in the Central region.
According to information available to the station, two of the suspects reportedly boarded the deceased’s vehicle and upon reaching their destination decided to alight without paying the lorry fare. This resulted in a heated argument between the driver and the suspects.
The suspects were said to have informed their colleagues numbering about 12 over what happened. They reportedly stormed the driver’s residence attacked with blocks and finally stabbing him.
The group also damaged deceased 207 benz vehicle in the process.
Wife of the deceased, Mrs. Tetteh confirmed the story and added that, his son went to report the incident to police when the suspects were in the act but the police failed to respond and rather gave him a medical form to send his father to the hospital.
According to her, the late husband originally known as Sampson Tetteh, was stabbed multiple times in the chest and other parts of the body.
As part of efforts to reduce the high rate of teenage pregnancy at Gomoa Makessim in the Central region, traditional leaders have imposed a 6am-6:30pm curfew on residents under the age of 18 years.
The curfew takes immediate effect and those who violates the order according to the traditional leaders, will be made to pay a spot fine of GHc 20.
Rainbow Radio’s Nana Yaw Asare said, the action follows the increasing rate of teenage pregnancy in the community.
He also revealed that those who will violate the order will be subjected to some lashes.
Meanwhile, residents in the area are appealing to the traditional rulers to review the time since it is not favourable for them.
The Court of Appeal on Wednesday November 8, 2017 dismissed an application of a stay of execution by the Attorney General in the case where the residence and work permits of an Indian Businessman, Ashok Sivaram are under contention.
The court made of three judges in its ruling said, the application and argument by the AG were unmeritorious, hence their decision to dismiss it.
State Attorney Jasmine Armah filed a new application after she withdrew a similar one last week.
After the High Court ordered the state to restore the work and resident permit of the Indian businessman, the state has been seeking for stay of execution.
The court on July 31, 2017, quashed the deportation of Mr. Sivaram by the Interior Minister, Ambrose Derry.
According to the court, the Interior Minister exceeded his jurisdiction by determining fraud against the Indian businessman without recourse to the court.
The High Court in September ordered the Immigration service to restore the work and residence permit of Mr. Sivaram within seven days, after months of failing to do so, despite a decision quashing his deportation due to its illegal nature.
The queen mother of Otoase in the Eastern region, Awo Abuama II has denied sending land guards to assassinate the MP for Ayensuano constituency Samuel Ayeh-Paye.
Speaking in an interview with Nyankonton Mu Nsem on Rainbow Radio 87.5Fm, she expressed shock at the claims by the MP that she [queen mother] sent land guards to come and kill him.
The legislator is reported to have granted an interview on Accra based Adom Fm that, the queen mother hired some land guards who sprayed bullets and wreck havoc in his family house because he [MP] stopped the construction of a public toilet just in front of his family house in the constituency.
However, narrating her side of the story, the queen mother said, the MP lied.
According to her, she received a call from a contractor they hired to construct a public toilet on a piece of land but some persons associated with the MP, attacked him.
She said, there is no public toilet in the area and the only one in the community has not been opened due to politics as members of the NPP and NDC are claiming ownership.
She also alleged that the MP threatened the contractor with a gun and asked him not to return to the land again.
Mr. Aye-Paye had also said in the interview that the queen mother was his cousin but Awo Abuama II denied the claims and said. the legislator does not belong to her family tree.
The queen mother further revealed that the legislator some years ago, got a suspect who stabbed her with a bottle released when the suspect had not been prosecuted for attempting to kill her.
Attempts to reach the legislator to react to the queen mother’s claims proved futile.
The Minority in Parliament has hinted of hauling the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori Atta before the House over the issuance of the Energy Bond which was recently issued.
‘’We intend to summon the minister responsible for finance to appear before parliament to answer to the circumstances that led to the willful breaches of the laws and constitution of the Republic of Ghana through this reckless conduct. Such gross disrespect for the constitution and parliament will have no place in our current democratic dispensation where actors like the Finance Minister arrogate to themselves the status of 12th century despots.’’
According to the Minority’s spokesperson on Finance, Casely Ato Forson, the Minister failed to seek parliamentary approval before issuing the bond.
He described the issuance as illegal and unconstitutional.
He said: ‘’ Government went into the international financial market to raise an amount of 6 billion cedis with a possibility of an additional 4 billion cedis, making a total of 10 billion cedis, with a vehicle called ESLA PLC i.e. Energy Sector Levy Act Public Limited Liability Company. The Energy Sector Levy is a public tax measure enacted by an Act of parliament. The government by forming a public limited liability company using tax revenue approved by parliament without prior parliamentary approval is in clear breach of Ghanaian law. Assigning the Energy Sector Levy Act to the issuer’s amounts to collateralization of tax revenue without prior approval of parliament, which is illegal and unconstitutional. Furthermore, the formation of a public limited liability company without prior parliamentary approval is illegal and unconstitutional.’’
He indicated further that the Minister has caused financial loss to the state by his unconstitutional action.
‘’According to the prospectus that was issued on the 17th of October, 2017. The ESLA PLC is unrated but an independent special purpose company which is being sponsored by the Government of Ghana (rated B3 Stable (Moody’s); B- positive (S&P); and B, Stable (Fitch)). The government could have saved up to 200 basis points if they had gone to the financial market on the strength of Government of Ghana ratings, rather than the ESLA PLC which is unrated and unknown. Simply put, the state could have saved 2% of 6 billion cedis times 10years, which is an equivalent of 1.2billion cedis over the period. The government delegation has woefully caused financial loss to the state as a result of this gross incompetence,’’ he said a press conference today [Wednesday].
The Minister he noted has brought the name of Ghana under disrepute and must offer apology unreservedly for his action.
‘’This singular failure of bonds issuance in this administration has brought Ghana’s image and integrity into disrepute. Ghana has become a laughing stock for this gargantuan failure and bomb that cannot be located with the recent US2.5 million Ghana Post GPS even in the middle of river Oti. We therefore call on the Minister for Finance to apologize unreservedly and in no uncertain terms to the good people of the Republic,’’ he concluded
Mr. David Prah, the communications director for the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP), in the Eastern region, has lambasted Mr. Okudzeto Ablakwa, the MP for North Tongu for daring government to prosecute former officials under Mahama over alleged corruption.
The legislator, Mr. Okudzeto has asked the ruling government to stop talking and prosecute former appointees of Mahama if they have the evidence.
The ranking member on the Foreign Affairs Committee in Parliament said the opposition NDC is fed up with the litany of allegations leveled against its members by the NPP led-Government and its appointees without proof or any form of evidence whatsoever.
But responding to the comments, David Prah revealed that, the NPP will soon drag some corrupt officials under the former president before court for their various corrupt practices after investigations into 16 high profile cases have been concluded.
According to him, Okudzeto Ablakwa and other appointees joined former President Mahama’s company of thievery to steal from the state but none of them will go unpunished.
They will cry of witch-hunt when we start coming after them. The state money is for the people of Ghana and not some individuals. The rot at SADA, the Youth Employment Agency and other agencies was serious. We will start prosecuting them and none of them will go scot free. EOCO is investigating and we they will soon face the music.
‘’So far 16 high profile cases have been concluded and prosecutions will begin and so when it starts, nobody should complain of witch-hunting. If you are a witch, you will be hunted,’’ he said.
Deputy Communications Director for the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), Kwaku Boahen has described President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo as an ‘’embodiment of corruption.’’
Kwaku Baohen told Kwame Tutu on Rainbow Radio 87.5Fm that, the president lacks the political will to fight corruption under his watch.
He also lambasted the president for practicing a ‘’family and friends’’ style of governance.
He alleged, the president has appointed the mother of his first daughter, his girlfriend, in-laws and other close associates in different capacities under his administration.
He further took his gun on Senior Minister, Osafo Maafo for appointing his children to head some state institutions when he [Maafo] told Ghanaians that, the state could no longer employ people because the civil service was chocked.
The NPP government is impotent, corrupt and has failed woefully in managing the affairs of state, he added.
He said, if you do not have a family member in the NPP, you will not have a share of the national cake.
The District Chief Executive of the Ada West District in the Greater Accra Region of Ghana, Lawyer A. F. Akrofi says he is highly inspired by the efforts shown by the people in the Matsekope Epicenter cluster to have moved from the mindset of dependency and resignation to self-reliance and responsibility, in the quest to end poverty and hunger. The Matsekope Epicenter was declared self-reliant at a colourful ceremony held on Thursday, 2nd November, 2017 after completing a ten year partnership program with the Hunger Project-Ghana (THP-Ghana).
Throughout Africa, The Hunger Project’s Epicenter Strategy mobilizes populations of a cluster of communities within a 10km radius to create an “Epicenter” or a Centre from where community-led development emanates and spreads to the surrounding areas. Through this fully integrated development strategy, community members establish and manage their own programs to improve food security, nutrition, health, education, micro-finance, water and sanitation. The Hunger Project – Ghana, in 2001, mobilized 13 communities which include Matsekope, Mahem, Salom, Toflokpo, Luhuor, Amlakpo, Addokope, Bornikope, Hwakpo, etc. in the Ada West District with the objective of helping to end hunger and poverty through sustainable grassroots, women-centered strategies by facilitating the coming together of rural communities to pursue development objective as a family. The Epicenter as an infrastructure consists of a Clinic with Nurses’ Quarters, Community Bank (Cooperative Credit Union), Conference Center, Library/KG and a Food Bank. The Matsekope Epicenter has graduated to self-reliance, meaning that in that cluster of villages, community members have demonstrated their confidence, capacity and skills to act as agents of their own development.
Speaking at the self-reliance celebration, the DCE of the Ada West District, Hon. A. F Akrofi commended the contribution of The Hunger Project-Ghana (THP-Ghana) to eradicate poverty and hunger in the district. The DCE added that the advancement of lives in the 13 communities under the Epicenter within a short period has been as a result of the self-mobilization and interventional programs introduced by THP-Ghana. Lawyer Akrofi pledged that other developmental hubs will be cited within the District to emulate the success story of the Matsekope Epicenter.
The Country Director of THP-Ghana, Mr. Samuel Erasmus Afrane, in his speech indicated that, he was enthused by the commitment demonstrated by the people of the Matsekope Epicenter to have grown a seed capital of approximately 25, 000 Ghana Cedis to about 400,000 Ghana Cedis in the last ten years. He tasked them to continue to do more to ensure that all programs initiated with the collaborative support of The Hunger Project - Ghana are sustained to give meaning to the investments made by the Morris Family from Australia to help improve development progress in the Epicenter.
The ceremony was climaxed with the unveiling of a plague and a tree planted to mark the occasion by the DCE, the Country Director of THP-Ghana, the Chief of Matsekope - Nene Ayiku Adzovu I and the Queen Mother of Matsekope to signify strength, unity and development. Also present at the graduation ceremony were: the District Police Commander - ASP George Aboagye, the District Coordinating Director for the Ada West Assembly – Alhaji Shehu Kadir, the Zonal Director of the National Disaster Management Organization (NADMO), Officials from the Electricity Company of Ghana in the district and Chiefs, Queen Mothers and Elders from the 13 Epicenter communities.