The Minority in Parliament has lambasted government of Ghana for concealing information on the agreement between Ghana and the United States government regarding the establishment of a military base in country.
The statement which was jointly signed by Haruna Iddrisu, the Minority Leader and the spokesperson on Foreign Affairs for the side, Okudzeto Ablakwa, said the action by government is betrayal and an act of selling off of sovereignty to the US.
The Minority has therefore called on government to withdraw the agreement from Parliament with immediate effect.
The statement added: ‘’We are deeply concerned that provision is made in Article 15 of the agreement for American Law once again to be imposed on Ghana in the settlement of claims arising out of the operations of the base including death, destruction of property or injury. This provision needlessly subjugates Ghana to the United States of America in an unacceptable way. There is a manifest lack of clarity on the nature of the dedicated runway which Article 5(1) commits the Government of Ghana to provide. We wish be apprised of the exact runway in question. Given our precarious economic circumstances, we find it unconscionable that Ghana would be made to assume responsibility including cost, for the provision of security for American Military personnel in Ghana as captured in Article 8 of the agreement.’’
Read Below the full statement
The Minority caucus in Parliament has learned with alarm, a decision by President Akufo Addo to permit the establishment of a Military Base for the United States Armed Forces in Ghana and the subsequent invitation to Parliament to approve the agreement covering same.
After a careful reading of the details of the agreement and the cabinet approval dated 12th March, 2018, we wish to make the following initial comments:
1.We deplore the total secrecy that has shrouded the negotiations leading up to the drafting of this agreement. The Akufo Addo government’s concealment of the agreement from the people of Ghana betrays a certain disregard for the sensibility of our people and their fierce defence of our sovereignty.
2. The agreement has been drafted in a manner that does not state a termination point. In other words, it would exist in perpetuity. This therefore binds all successive governments and yet little or no input was sought from political stakeholders especially those with capacity to form government.
3. Article 10 of the agreement confers exceptionally generous terms on the American side including sweeping tax exemptions on imports and exports of various categories of goods and services. We find it unacceptable that at a time when the Akufo Addo government continues to lament significant shortfalls in revenue and in the face of astronomical duty payments by Ghanaian importers, personnel of the Armed Forces of the wealthiest nation on earth would be exempted from tax and levy payments and in such generous proportions.
4. The agreement has been presented in a manner that conceals vital information which should be available to ensure informed debate on the subject. Whilst Article 1(3) of the agreement mentions ‘Annex A” as the part where information relating to “Agreed facilities and arrears” to be used for the purpose of establishing where the base can be found, no information is provided in the agreement about the said “Annex A” or the “Agreed Areas”. This omission greatly hampers a thorough study and review of the document.
5. We find the non-availability of restraints on movements of United States Army personnel in Ghana as spelt out in Article 12 of the agreement, troubling, as it opens up the country in a manner that undermines both our sovereignty and security.
6. The waiver of the requirement for the use of valid drivers’ licenses issued by appropriate Ghanaian authorities in Article 13 of the agreement, smacks off wanton disregard for Ghanaian law and seeks to impose American law on the country. We are at a loss as to why US citizens in Ghana cannot comply with such a basic requirement?
7. We are deeply concerned that provision is made in Article 15 of the agreement for American Law once again to be imposed on Ghana in the settlement of claims arising out of the operations of the base including death, destruction of property or injury. This provision needlessly subjugates Ghana to the United States of America in an unacceptable way.
8. There is a manifest lack of clarity on the nature of the dedicated runway which Article 5(1) commits the Government of Ghana to provide. We wish be apprised of the exact runway in question.
9. Given our precarious economic circumstances, we find it unconscionable that Ghana would be made to assume responsibility including cost, for the provision of security for American Military personnel in Ghana as captured in Article 8 of the agreement.
10. More fundamentally, we find it difficult to appreciate how the Akufo Addo government could enter into an agreement from which the country derives virtually nothing. We take note of claims by Defence Minister, Dominic Nitiwul, that an amount of US$ 20 million would be given to the Ghana Armed Forces as part of regular support.
We fail to see how this amount can qualify as the direct benefit that we are deriving as a nation from this agreement which is so disproportionally skewed in favour of the United States of America. In any event, the quoted amount would be woefully inadequate to compensate for the huge sacrifices that Ghana is making under this agreement and the total surrender of our sovereignty. It further makes complete mockery of the much-vaunted “Ghana beyond Aid” slogan of President Akufo Addo.
11. We condemn the offer of the use of a dedicated radio spectrum by the United States Forces free of charge, as captured in Article 14 of the agreement. This is happening at a time when Ghanaian companies have either had their licenses revoked or been slapped with astronomical fines for alleged non-payment of spectrum fees.
We wish to stress that the primary interest of any truly free State as Ghana, is the preservation of its sovereignty and the autonomy of its people. The proposed agreement denigrates both, as well as the authority of our government and laws.
In light of the above, we demand an immediate withdrawal of the agreement from Parliament pending the holding of broad consultations and a thorough national discussion involving all relevant stakeholders.
More importantly, the Akufo Addo government cannot disregard genuine concerns by Ghanaians that the siting of this base in Ghana and the presence of United States Armed Forces personnel, could make the nation a prime target for terrorists who have intensified their activities in the West African Sub-Region.
In its current form, this agreement completely betrays the interest of Ghana.
Haruna Iddrisu (MP)
Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa (MP)
Ranking Member, Foreign Affairs Committee
The Bank of Ghana (BoG) on Tuesday March 20, 2018 announced a take-over of private bank, uniBank.
Governor of the Central Bank, Ernest Addison at a press outlined five major reasons for the take-over.
The Bank of Ghana will now be in control of the day to day running of the local bank and has accordingly appointed KPMG as the official administrator to oversee the process.
Read Below the reasons for the take-over
1. uniBank persistently maintained a capital adequacy (CAR) ratio below zero (currently negative 24%), making it technically insolvent. This contravened the 10% minimum CAR required.
2. uniBank suffered liquidity shortfalls and consistently breached its cash reserve requirement. As a result, UniBank relied extensively on liquidity support of over GHS 2.2 billion from the Bank of Ghana over the past two years to meet its recurring liabilities.
3. uniBank conducted its credit administration in a manner that has jeopardized the interests of depositors and the financial sector as a whole.
4. uniBank failed to comply with a directive of the Bank of Ghana dated 26th October, 2017, under section 105 of Act 930, prohibiting the bank from granting new loans and incurring new capital expenditures.
5.uniBank failed to comply with several other regulatory requirements, including Lending to a number of borrowers in excess of its regulatory lending limit (single obligor limit).
6. uniBank was borrowing from the inter-bank market without the written approval of the Bank of Ghana when its CAR was less than the prescribed ten percent (10%), in breach of the BoG laws.
7. uniBank was outsourcing a number of services such as those of tellers, receptionists, and security, to affiliate companies without the prior approval by the Bank of Ghana, contrary to BoG Laws.
8. uniBank refused to cooperate with the Bank of Ghana in the performance of its supervisory responsibilities, including deliberately concealing some liabilities from its balance sheet, and failing to submit documents and records for supervisory inspection.
9. uniBank was engaged in poor corporate governance and risk management practices which rendered the bank vulnerable to macroeconomic shocks.
10. uniBank was generally conducting its affairs in a manner detrimental to the interests of depositors and the financial system as a whole.
The Bank of Ghana has announced it has taken over the management of private bank, Unibank .
Govenor of the Central Bank , Ernest Addison , at a press conference explained that , the takeover is due to challenges facing the bank. He mentioned weak supervisory standards and weak operations as the cause of the challenges .
He told the media that , the bank , last year, provided inaccurate data during the central bank's effort to resolve the problems.
He assured depositors their money is safe , stressing " we are not liquidating the bank, we are saving it"
The taka over comes weeks after Unibank announced it was taking over adb .
Meanwhile , the top line managers have been asked to step aside and KPMG asked to take over management
The US government has denied media reports for the establishment of a military base in Ghana. A circular issued by the Embassy in Ghana said ‘’In response to the story released by Joy News on March 20, 2018, the United States Embassy wishes to underscore that the United States has not requested, nor does it plan to establish a military base or bases in Ghana.’’ According to the release, ‘’ The current Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) between the United States of America and the Republic of Ghana is approximately 20 years old. It does not cover the current range and volume of bilateral exercises and assistance. This year, the United States of America is investing over $20 million in training and equipment for the Ghanaian armed forces. Ghana is also once again preparing to train U.S. forces – as it did in 2017. It concluded: ‘’The United States and Ghana are planning three joint security exercises in 2018, which require access to Ghanaian bases by U.S. participants and those from other nations when included.’’
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has left Ghana today [Tuesday] to lead the Ghanaian delegation to the Extraordinary Summit of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the African Union, which will be held in Kigali, on March 21, 2018, a statement signed by Eugene Arhin, Director of Communications has said.
The Extraordinary Summit will witness the signing of an agreement that will launch the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), intended to make Africa ‘’the largest free trade area created since the formation of the World Trade Organization.’’
The president was accompanied by Minister for Foreign Affairs, Shirley Ayorkor Botchway , the Minister for Trade and Industry, Alan Kyeremanten and officials of the presidency and the foreign ministry, the statement added.
The president the statement said will return to Ghana on Wednesday March 21, 2018, and in his absence, the Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, shall, in accordance with Article 60(8) of the constitution act is stead.’’ The statement concluded.
The Hunger Project Ghana, on Monday, 19th March, 2018 commenced a Five (5) Day training workshop in Bunso (Eastern Region) for the second batch of about 28 Animators (Community Volunteers) under its Maternal and Child Healthcare Improvement Project to support mothers and caregivers on ideal feeding for infants and young children also educate community members on positive maternal and child health practices.The training is designed for 28 community Volunteers from Tokome, Taido, Osonson, SubrisoAwosoase, Sakabo, Kyeremase and Kwaboadiin the Central, Eastern and Volta Region.
Supporting rural women and young children is fundamental to The Hunger Project’s work, and ensuring safe and adequate maternal care is at the top of its priorities. Ghana’s maternal mortality rate is among the worst in the world, with an average of 300-500 deaths per 100,000 live births, according to 2015 UN data. The shortage of midwives and deficiency in Ghana’s health services puts pregnant women and their children at heightened risk of delivery complications and mortality. The Hunger Project-Ghana, in accordance with its communal transformation and objective principle to advance the living conditions of folks living in rural communities is investing about 285,000 Euros(funds from Else Kroner Fresenius Stiftung Foundation) in maternal and child healthcare improvement. The main objective of the Maternal and Child Healthcare Improvement Project for Ghana is to contribute to the reduction of maternal and child mortality in 15 epicenter rural communities by 2019 ; included is improving utilization of community-based health and nutrition services by women of reproductive age, especially pregnant women, and children under the age of 2 years.
It is in this direction that, THP Ghana and the Ghana Health Services are training personnel (CHN, Animators & Epicenter Project Officers) to assist the few midwives occupied in the rural communities in the fight against maternal and child morbidity and mortality. The five day training workshop for community volunteers will see participants throughrecommended Infant and Young Child Feeding (IYCF) practises with prominence on exclusive breastfeeding and the use of available foods nearby during the complementaryfeeding stage as well as education on Maternal, New-born and Child Healthcare (MNCH). This is the second batch of Animators to be trained as MNCH& Nutrition educators
The Hunger Project – Ghana would have trained about 60 community volunteers, 15 Community Health Nurses and THP-Ghana’s Project Officers from 11 districts in the Central, Eastern and Volta Regions to lead the campaign against maternal and child mortality in Ghana by the end of this workshop on 24th March, 2018.
The Maternal and Child Healthcare Improvement Project Coordinator at The Hunger Project Ghana, Stephanie Ashley has stated that, training of the 60 community volunteers or animators is pivotal to THP-Ghana’s pursuit to aid reduce maternal and child morbidity and mortality especially in Rural Ghana where the issue is very worrying. Speaking exclusively to Rainbow Radio, the Project Coordinator emphasized that these trained community volunteers will complement the efforts of the 15 community Health Nurses(whose have been equipped with skills in offering long term Family planning services, Community Infant and Young Child Feeding and Maternal and Child Health Services)who are being trained as midwife assistants to address the shortage of midwives at Community Health Planning and Services (CHPS) compounds in three regions across the country.
As part of The Hunger Project’s holistic, women-centered, community-led developmentpolicy, this project supports work in 11 districts across three regions in Ghana – Eastern, Volta and Central – with funding from the Else-Kroner-Fresenius Foundation over the next two years. Communities will work to improve maternal and child health by providing maternal and child care services in sub-districts to address the shortage of midwives.Though The Hunger Project-Ghana in partnership with the Ghana Health Services (GHS) have commenced the two year project to address the shortage of midwives at Community Health Planning and Services (CHPS) compounds, they still believe the number is no competition for the threat that maternal and child deaths poses, hence the resolution to train additional60 Volunteers to assist the CHN fight the prevalent canker that is dominant in rural communities.
As the mindset of dependency and gender discrimination starts to transform, and women and men commit themselves to a new future, The Hunger Project Ghana empowers volunteers to build the social capital they need to fulfill their vision. Each Animator (Community Volunteers) unit is trained in how to organize themselves, facilitate group action and reporting, communicate and handle decision-making. The Hunger Project has discovered that volunteers are often most motivated and inspired by working alongside others who share similar interests and characteristics. The 60 community volunteers according to the Project Coordinator after their training will work alongside the Community Health Nurses and THP-Ghana’s Epicenter officers to handle issues of maternal and child related complications as well as educating community members on the importance of IYCF practises.
Highlife legend Mr. Charles Kofi Amankwaa Mann, popularly known as C. K Mann has died.
According to family sources, C. K. Mann died this morning 20th March, 2018 around 7am at the GPHA Hospital in Takoradi.
C. K. Mann suffered stroke in December 2017 and has since been bedridden.
Charles Kofi Amankwaa Mann, known as C. K. Mann, is a Ghanaian Highlife musician and producer. He was awarded the Grand Medal of Ghana by John Agyekum Kufour in 2006.
He was 83 years old
The Regional Police Commander for Ashanti Region, COP Ken Yeboah, has attributed the fresh attacks that claimed a life at Ahwiaa on Monday, on tramadol.
The police officer bemoaned the abuse of drugs by the youth in the communities and has hinted they will meet with the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) to find lasting solutions to the issue.
‘’The abuse of tramadol and other drugs may have influenced the youth to misbehave. Some of them want to feel superior over others and so they abuse drugs and engage in lawlessness. I would not attribute this to drug abuse alone. There may be other factors but the drug abuse should be checked,’’ he added.
He told Nyankonton Mu Nsem that, the clash was fueled after a group of young people attacked a 16 year old girl for dating another young boy from the Asante line.
He said, the lady after the attack reported the incident to his boyfriend who later arranged with some others to retaliate.
One person he stated lost his life in the process and 56 individuals have been arrested and being prepared for court.
COP Ken Yeboah said traditional authorities from the two communities have been engaging on how possible to find lasting peace over a protracted dispute over the past fifteen years.
He also indicated that only a few young people between the ages of 16-18 years are the ones creating the problems in the communities.