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Maverick politician and regional youth organizer for the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP), in the Brong Ahafo Kwame Baffoe popularly called Abronye DC has described former Chief of Staff under Mahama administration as a thief. He was reacting to the Minority’s call on government to immediately terminate the appointment of the Managing Director (MD) of Bulk Oil Storage and Transportation Company Ltd (BOST), Alfred Obeng Boateng over the contaminated petroleum saga.   According to the members, the MD had allegedly colluded, connived and supervised the sale of five million litres of contaminated fuel to a private company, adding that he has some interest in the deal.   The minority said that through the sale of the contaminated fuel, the nation lost $14.25 million and that all those involved must be made to refund the money back to the state in compliance with a Supreme Court ruling on state funds that are wasted or stolen by public office holders. But reacting to the Minority’s call on Rainbow Radio 87.5Fm, Abronye DC alleged that, the Minority he alleged also sold some contaminated fuel worth 5million litres in January 2016 after it was advised by TOR but failed to listen. He further alleged that, one Awuah Darko transferred 3.9 million GHc to the former Chief of Staff with a Fidelity Bank Account number 1070031792536 every month. He said, the current MD of BOST realizing that, stopped the transfer and because of that, they have made up the contaminated story to tarnish his image. Abronye DC was emphatic with his statement and dared anyone to take him to court and has hinted he will soon report to the Economic and Organised Crime (EOCO) to investigate. ‘’Julius Debrah was receiving money every month and because the new MD stopped it, they are at his neck.’’ He maintained one Awuah Darko was at BOST to steal from the state to assist the previous Mahama administration to have money for its campaign. He has also dared Awuah to deny the allegation and has given him till July 5 to respond. ‘’I have all the documents, it is a Fidelity Bank Account. I will provide the Account Number so you can go and investigate. Julius Debrah had no shares in BOST but they were only stealing from the state through dubious means. They were receiving the money for no work done. Julius Debrah’s company, Nursing Capital was receiving the money every month. There is enough evidence to buttress my point. I have everything.’’ The firebrand politician did not end but went ahead to add, another Nigerian Company was receiving an amount of 4 million dollars for no work done due to the scam orchestrated by Awuah Darko and others. ‘’They ripped the nation off. They are thieves and they plotted to rob the state. So the Minority should shut because if they are afraid their people will still go to jail for robbing the state,’’ he said.          
  The Coalition of Bonded Unemployed Diploma Nurses, Midwives and Allied Health Professionals, have issued a threat to picket at the Flagstaff House should the Health Ministry fail to post them. According to them the Ministry has failed to post them after they picketed at the Ministry some two months ago.   The groups two months ago besieged the Ministry, over the failure of government to post them. They were promised employment after financial clearance. But the group, says they have been deceived. Spokesperson for the group , Padmore Agyekum, told Nyankonton Mu Nsem government has failed to meet their demands hence their decision.    “We are disappointed in the actions of the Ministry. On the 5th of May, we had a meeting with the Minister. It was an official invitation with the Minister and Chief Director and they assured us that from that first week in May till June, our posting process will begin so we were hoping to hear something from the Ministry but then up till  now, ending of June, there is nothing like starting of any process and our agencies, that is Ghana Health Service and the rest, should get it, so they can also start with the various placements but we have not heard anything.” “Enough is enough. We are fed up with what is going on at the Ministry.   
The immediate-past public relations officer for the Energy Ministry, Hon. Edward Bawa has lambasted the Nana led administration over recent cases of allege corrupt deals just six months into his[President Akufo-Addo’s] administration. The energy consultant and current Member of Parliament (MP) for in an interview with Kwame Tutu on Rainbow Radio 87.5Fm, slammed the president stating that he does not have the will to crack the whip on corruption as promised Ghanaians. He was responding to the circumstances leading to the sale of over 5 million litres of contaminated fuel by the Bulk Oil Storage and Transportation Company Limited (BOST). BOST has said not even a litre of the off-spec product was on the market and that the allegations were false.   “Some of the product sold to the off-taker now reside in the tank farm of Zupoil Ltd. at Tema which has been verified as at June 27, 2017. A joint team of NPA officials, Representative from Consumer Protection Agency, National Security and the Media have inspected the off- spec product so far lifted from BOST depot and is confirmed intact and secured in their yard contrary to the allegations that the product is being sold on the market,” the statement from BOST said. An eight member-committee has been set up to investigate the allegation but Mr. Bawa believes the continuous stay of the current boss at BOST will compromise the investigation. He said, all we are asking for is to ensure that if there are certain things they did wrong, they should correct it. Some drivers may have purchased the contaminated product.’’ The NPP he added promised to reduce petroleum products but if they cannot do that, they should not sell contaminated fuel to Ghanaians. The Minority he noted will insist on the interdiction of the Alfred Obeng Boateng for a full scale investigation to be conducted. When asked if the failure of government to interdict the boss will be a smack on the fight against corruption, he said, ‘’the claim by President Nana Akufo-Addo to fight corruption is a Kwaku Ananse Story. From Ken Ofori-Atta’s bond and to this particular case and what people are doing, it is clear that the current government is not committed to fighting corruption.’’     ‘’If just for six months (6) one agency alone can let the country lose almost 15million GHc, you can look at how things will happen if he is able to find its feet on the job. That is the point I am making. The commitment to fighting it; Nana Addo must begin to show it based on the current cases that are coming in the early days of his government,’’ he added.
The Country director of Christian Children’s Fund for Canada Mr. George Baiden has revealed that violence and abuse of children, including sexual violence remains very high with over 90% of children reporting to have experienced physical violence, both at home and in the school environment. He said this in his address during the International Day of The African Child 2017 celebration held in Tamale. According to the country director, child labor and child trafficking are long-standing problems with no evidence of being reduced despite government and civil society's efforts in recent years to address them. According to him, other serious acts such as child labour, child marriage, birth registration and support for female genital mutilation continue to affect the nation. Mr. Baiden also revealed that most of the state institutions set up to support children in relation to these problems, are either under resourced or lack effective structures for coordination. Meanwhile, the country director is hopeful that Ghanaians will join government and stakeholders to ensure that they hasten work to protect and empower children by 2030. Mr. William Anim Dankwa of Christian Children’s Fund of Canada, Tamale, added his voice by saying that, Non-governmental organization, religious groups and other civil society organizations are working with government with the backing of UNICEF and other international organizations to address the issue of child violence and abuse. He said since the time of the signing of the convention on the right of the child Ghana has come a long way and is making progress in child protection and institutionalization of rights in the northern region and the country at large. ”As a nation, we have made progress in some fronts including sending the girl child to school, fighting female genital mutilation, improving gender ratios in schools among others, Mr. stated On the other hand Mr. William said amid the recent encouraging performance by the country, Ghana and African at large continue to face many challenges as far as the protection of rights are concerned, and it is one of the reasons why the Christian children’s fund of Canada and partners are focusing on ensuring that children have the and can aspire to achieve their dreams.   ”Ghana and African continue to face many challenges as far as the protection of rights are concerned. By: Prince Kwame Tamakloe 
An eight-member committee has been set up by the Energy Ministry to investigate  the circumstances leading to the sale of over 5 million litres of contaminated fuel by the Bulk Oil Storage and Transportation Company Limited (BOST). The Committee is being chaired by the sector Minister, Boakye Agyarko. The membership of the committee is made up of officials drawn from the National Petroleum Authority (NPA), Ghana Standards Authority, Civil Society Groups and other stakeholders. The Minister who announced the committee at the Energy Sector mid-year review workshop which opened at Ada Wednesday, said, his ministry has received preliminary report of investigations conducted on the issue by the NPA. “We note that BOST has so far evacuated a total of 471,000 liters of the said product and has currently suspended evacuation in compliance with NPA instructions. We wish to assure the general public that the Ministry is determined to ensure that the integrity of the quality of petroleum products supplied in the country is protected.”      “The terms of reference for the Ministerial Committee includes but will not be limited to the following: determine the circumstances that created the off-spec product; review the procedures undertaken by BOST to evacuate the product, ascertain the quality on the remaining quantity of the product, determine if the product can be corrected and if not determine the alternative uses of the product and review the transaction in its entirety,” he added.
The Senior Pastor of the Ofankor branch of Peace Chapel, Peter Moses Arko has prayed to God to touch the heart of some unknown thieves who stole the sanctuary’s set of instruments, a couple of days ago. Speaking to Nyankonton Mu Nsem on Rainbow Radio 87.5Fm, the pastor said, he does not wish the thieves doom but prays they have a change of heart and accept Christ, as their Lord and personal saviour. ‘’I do not wish doom for whoever that stole the instruments from the Church will cost us but instead, I ask God to touch their hearts so they repent and keep away from such deeds.’’   The man of God said there was nothing else he could say but will only pray for the thieves adding, ‘’ I don’t believe they know Christ because if they do, they would not have stolen from a church. As Christians we are told to bless those who curse us and that is what I have done. I pray they will have a change of heart.’’
Ghana Minister in charge of Zongo and Inner Cities Mr Boniface Abubakar Saddique, has outlined his vision in an interview with Nyankonton Mu Nsem. According to him, the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo created the Ministry to handle Zongo affairs, under the name, Inner City and Zongo Development. The Ministry he explained is mandated to undertake some special programmes including; infrastructure and sanitation enhancement; economic empowerment, social development, cultural promotion and security and crime control. The Minister noted,  one of the critical areas of concern for the social cohesion in the country was the developments taking place in the inner cities and the zongos, hence the need for its establishment. He said, infrastructure in these communities are poor and government will take steps to improve upon them through the Ministry. He said, the money that will be allocated for the Ministry will not be used for on social and traditional engagements.   The president in the view of the Minister deserves commendation for establishing the Ministry since development over years had been discriminatory with residents in the Zongo communities neglected.
Ghana narrowly escaped an otherwise required downgrade to Tier 3 Watch List country for Trafficking in Persons Report which would have restricted the country from United States of America (USA) assistance.   This is largely because the Government of Ghana, last year, devoted sufficient resources to a written plan of action which, if implemented, would constitute significant efforts to meet the minimum standards.   As a result, Ghana was granted a waiver from an otherwise required downgrade to Tier 3.   However, Ghana could be subject to an automatic downgrade to Tier 3 Watch List country for Trafficking in Persons Report in 2018. If Ghana is downgraded to Tier 3, it will become subject to restrictions on US assistance.   100,000 Ghanaians in modern-day slavery   More than 100,000 men, women, and children in Ghana are suffering in modern-day slavery. $150 billion human trafficking industry worldwide Human trafficking is a $150 billion industry and every country — including Ghana and including the United Statesmust do everything possible to stop this human trade.”   The US Department of State’s 2017 Trafficking in Persons Report ranked Ghana as a Tier 2 Watch List country.   Yesterday, US Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, released the 2017 Trafficking in Persons Report in Washington, under the theme ‘Enhancing Criminal Accountability and Addressing Challenges in Prosecution Efforts’.   The 2017 TIP Report includes narratives for 187 countries and territories, including the United States.   The goal of the report is to stimulate action and create partnerships around the world in the fight against modern slavery.   It explained that the Trafficking Victims Protection Act provides for a waiver to remain on the Tier 2 Watch List for a third consecutive year if the government develops a national plan of action to combat human trafficking and dedicates sufficient resources for its implementation that, when implemented, would constitute significant efforts to meet the minimum standards.   “Because the Government of Ghana devoted sufficient resources to a written plan of action that, if implemented, would constitute significant efforts to meet the minimum standards, Ghana was granted a waiver from an otherwise required downgrade to Tier 3”, it added.   The TIP report’s recommendations for Ghana comprise nine goals and objectives. It includes increasing the number of traffickers held accountable for their crimes by providing sufficient support for the police, immigration service and attorney general’s office to investigate and prosecute trafficking offences.   In addition, increasing government support for comprehensive trauma-informed care and reintegration services for children in government-operated shelters, including child sex trafficking victims was required.   Ghana is expected to implement the national plan of action against trafficking with dedicated resources, including funding and implementation of the human trafficking fund.   Commenting on the report, U.S. Ambassador to Ghana, Robert Jackson, said “the Government of Ghana has taken initial steps this year to protect Ghanaian men, women and children from being enslaved”.   He urged government to remain vigilant and to fully implement the new national plan of action against trafficking, adding “when funded as promised, Ghana will be better able to prevent and prosecute trafficking and provide support services for victims of trafficking in Ghana”.   According to him, unless Ghanaians work with law enforcement and the courts to bring traffickers to justice, they would continue to commit these horrific crimes.   “This isn’t about what the United States wants Ghana to do. It’s about Ghanaian men, women and children who are suffering because traffickers are allowed to violate Ghana’s laws and morality,” he said.   The U.S. government is funding several programs in Ghana to address trafficking and child labour.   In June 2015, President Mahama and the then Ambassador, Gene Cretz, signed the Child Protection Compact (CPC) Partnership.   The CPC Partnership is a jointly developed, multi-year plan aimed at bolstering current efforts of the government of Ghana and Ghanaian civil society to address child sex trafficking and forced child labour within Ghana. The partnership awarded $5 million in U.S. foreign assistance to the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and NGO Free the Slaves to combat forced child labour and child sex trafficking in the Volta, Central, and Greater Accra regions.   Most recently, the CPC Partnership funded training for judges on adjudicating trafficking in persons’ cases.   In addition, the U.S. Department of Labour’s Mobilising Community Action and Promoting Opportunities for Youth in Ghana’s Cocoa-Growing Communities (MOCA) project is providing $4.5 million to empower 40 cocoa-growing communities in the Ashanti and Western Regions to design and implement Community Action Plans (CAPs) to address child labour at the community level.   Additional USDOL projects include $1.5 million to assess the prevalence of child labor in the cocoa sectors of Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana; $3 million to assess the effectiveness of interventions in these sectors; and $5 million to develop and implement strategies to reduce child labor and improve working conditions in artisanal and small-scale gold mining.   USAID Ghana’s Sustainable Fisheries Management Project, a $24 million project aimed at rebuilding marine fisheries stocks and catches through adoption of responsible fishing practices, also includes deliberate steps towards reducing child labor and trafficking in the Central Region of Ghana.   “More than 100,000 men, women, and children in Ghana are suffering in modern-day slavery,” added Ambassador Jackson.     “These victims have hopes and dreams and they deserve better than to be enslaved in brothels or sold into slavery on Lake Volta for as little as the price of a bottle of schnapps. Human trafficking is a $150 billion industry and every country including Ghana and including the United States — must do everything possible to stop this human trade”. Credit: The Finder
The African Centre for Energy Policy (ACEP), is still insisting that, Bulk Oil Storage and Transportation Company (BOST) there is an off-spec product on the market and that the response from the institution should be treated with contempt. In a statement issued by ACEP, it said there must be an independent investigation launched by the government into the matter.   “The government should conduct a full-scale investigation into the sale of the off-spec product to establish the validity or otherwise of the transaction and provide sanctions to those found to have misconducted themselves. The Head of BOST should step aside immediately to allow the independent enquiry to occur unimpeded,’’ the statement said.   But reacting to allegations levelled against BOST and its managing director over the sale of the an off-spec product on to the Ghanaian market, BOST said not even a litre of the off-spec product was on the market and that the allegations of ACEP were false.   “Some of the product sold to the off-taker now reside in the tank farm of Zupoil Ltd. at Tema which has been verified as at June 27, 2017. A joint team of NPA officials, Representative from Consumer Protection Agency, National Security and the Media have inspected the off- spec product so far lifted from BOST depot and is confirmed intact and secured in their yard contrary to the allegations that the product is being sold on the market,” the statement said. Speaking to Rainbow Radio 87.5Fm, a senior policy analyst at ACEP Juan Sackey, said they’ve seen the statement but will describe it as an unfortunate one. She quizzed why BOST will sell the contaminated petroleum product to an unlicensed company. She further indicated that, the situation is a serious one and should be dealt with properly. When asked if ACEP conducted an investigation before issuing their statement, she answered in the affirmative stressing, we conducted an investigation and we also received report from individuals that they went to the pump to purchase a petroleum product which nearly broke down their engine. She said, the best solution to the situation should be a full scale investigation to establish the truth.      Meanwhile, BOST has explained that the contamination of the about 5million litres of fuel occurred on January 18, 2017 and that it happened as a result of accidental mixture of petrol and diesel.   According to BOST, this happened before the current Managing Director, Mr. Alfred Obeng Boateng took over from his predecessor on January 23, 2017.   It said the staff involved in the accidental mixture were sanctioned appropriately.  
The President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has urged all political actors in Zambia to submerge their individual and partisan preferences for the common good in the development of the country.   According to President Akufo-Addo, developments in Zambia, and the political tension that characterized the last election, where the margin of victory for the winner was some 100,000 votes, have left many worried, because Zambia is one of democracy’s success stories on the continent.   His visit to Zambia, however, the President stated, is “not come here to pass judgement, neither have I come here to find out who is right or who is wrong.”   President Akufo-Addo indicated that “I have come here to say that, as political actors, whether in government or in opposition, we should prove to the world that we respect the rule of law and are willing and able to submerge our individual and partisan preferences for the common good in the development of our countries.”   He continued, “We should demonstrate that it is not the ambitions of Mr. A or Mr. B, neither is it the fortunes of party X or party Y, which we seek to advance. The stability and progress of Zambia, and, indeed, of all our countries, and the enhancement of our democracies should be the paramount consideration that must guide every action of Zambians and all of us Africans in our respective countries.”   President Akufo-Addo was speaking at a State Banquet held in his honour by the President of the Republic of Zambia, His Excellency Edgar Lungu, on Tuesday, June 27, 2017, when he made this known.   Pensions for retired Ghanaian teachers   Whilst thanking the people and successive governments of Zambia for the hospitality extended to Ghanaians resident there over the years, President Akufo-Addo raised for the consideration of the relevant authorities a matter which has been outstanding for some time. “This involves the longstanding issue of the non-payment of pension monies due a group of retired Ghanaian teachers, who have contributed towards educating a large segment of the Zambian society.   It is time that this issue was satisfactorily resolved, and my information is that, happily, positive efforts are now being made towards that end. Let the end come soon”, he added.   Strong partnership between Zambia and Ghana   It was the hope of President Akufo-Addo that Ghana and Zambia continually search for ways to co-operate during his and the tenure of office of President Edgar Lungu.   “I have no doubt that, together, we can forge a new, strong partnership for cooperation between our two nations for the mutual benefit of our two peoples,” he added.   President Akufo-Addo reiterated his persuasion that Africa is breeding a new generation of leaders “who are committed to governing their peoples according to the rule of law, respect for individual liberties and human rights, and the principles of democratic accountability.”   These leaders, he stressed, “are looking past commodities to position their countries in the global marketplace at the high end of the value chain; leaders who are determined to free their peoples from a mindset of dependence, aid, charity and hand-outs; leaders who are bent on mobilizing Africa’s own immeasurable resources to resolve Africa’s problems; leaders who recognise the connectedness of their peoples and economies to those of their neighbours.”     This generation of African leaders, according to President Akufo-Addo, must not fail the longsuffering African masses, noting that “they must help bring dignity and prosperity to our continent and its peoples.”
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