The Member of Parliament for Tamale Central Hon. Inusah Fuseini has insisted that President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo is a lame duck.
The legislator says the president is currently rendering an in effective style of leadership despite knowing him as someone who was strict and determined at whatever he does.
He also chided the appointments by the president and the ''unfair transfer of civil servants on the basis that they are in bed with the previous administration.''
This he stressed is an ineffective form of leadership adding, the president is a a lame duck who does not deliver on his own promises.
The former Lands and Natural Resources Minister challenged the president to walk the talk of fighting corruption and not to compare his record to his predecessors.
Inusah Fuseini said Ghanaians will use the standards president Akufo-Addo set for himself and the commitment he made to fighting corruption to judge him and not the standards of his immediate predecessor John Mahama and the others before him.
He made the comments on Rainbow Radio’s Frontline Friday while contributing to the allegations of corruption levelled against some government appointees.
He said there is a perception out there that the president would not be able to crack the whip on corruption.
He said, Nana Addo is being ineffectual in the fight against corruption. I am not seeing any commitment in the fight against corruption.
‘’I know the president very well. I was fortunate to have met him during my private practice. He is an intelligent old man. I also know that he appears to be a man with determination but after becoming a president, he has turned into a lame duck,’’ he said.
On his part, Hon. Oppong Kusi former MP for Ofoase Ayirebi disputed suggestions that the president is a lame duck and stressed the point that, he [Nana Addo] is a competent and efficient leader has shown enough commitment in the fight against corruption.
According to him, corruption is hanging over Ghana like a cloud. Corruption in his view is deep rooted in every sphere of our lives as Ghanaians.
The presdient he empahsied with deal with corruption eceptionally.
The president will not tolerate any act of corruption under his administration like former Presdient John Dramani Mahama.
The Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA) has indicated that the stakeholder engagements on the implementation of the paperless port system was not vigorous, inadequate and failed to meet the expectation of those involved.
An executive member of GUTA Mr. Benjamin Yeboah speaking in an interview with Kwame Tutu on Rainbow Radio 87.5Fm said, the training session organized for hundreds of clearing agents, terminal operators and exporters in Tema was not enough hence the implementation should be halted until all the stakeholders gain enough understanding of the process.
He insisted that GUTA and other stakeholders are not satisfied with the training and explanation.
According to him, they would be grateful if the implementation is suspended and the training is extended to get everyone on the same page with the paperless system.
In May 2017, the Vice President, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia gave three directives at a port efficiency conference he organised to improve trade in the country.
The directives included the removal of all customs barriers on the country’s transit corridor, a joint inspection by all regulatory agencies at the ports and a hundred percent paperless transactions at the ports. “Effective 1st September the ports of Ghana are going 100 percent paperless. Customs take notice GPHA take notice” The Vice President pronounced.
He followed up with an official road map of the paperless process flow to guide the operators and agencies in the port clearance chain.
Ahead of the implementation of the directives, the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority, GCNet, West Blue Consulting, customs division of the Ghana Revenue Authority, the Ghana Shippers Authority, the Ghana National Chamber of Commerce and a host of other stakeholder institutions including the freight forwarding associations embarked on several engagements with importers and freight forwarders to educate them on what they need to expect and changes that have been made on their systems.
IT systems reliability and sustenance
The Information Technology Systems providers for the paperless processes who are mainly West Blue Consulting Limited and Ghana Community Network Services (GCNet) expressed satisfaction with the successful take-off of the Vice President’s paperless Port Directive.
The IT Systems providers said with the new electronic systems of clearing import goods at the Port, Compliant Traders are to benefit from with their goods cleared hours within the new established KPIs.
All Green/Compliant transactions as passed by the Risk Engine, will process their customs Release, Port Request for Delivery Allowed, Port and Terminal Payments, Way Bill, Loading and existing within 4hours.
The paperless Port Reform rewards Importers and Agents who present genuine and legible supporting documents before the arrival of the vessel or flight, in line with the existing Pre Arrival Assessment Reporting Process.
All illegitimate freight forwarders or clearing agents are also being urged to register with recognized and registered clearing or freight forwarding agency in order to harness the full benefit of an automated clearing procedures at the Ports.
An Accra court judge Naa Adolley Azu, presiding over the application for mandamus filed by Indian businessman Ashok Kumar Sivaram, who is fighting an illegal deportation suit, a temporary residence/work permit, has chided state Attorney Ms. Jasmine Armah for misconduct in court today [Friday.
The judge expressed her displeasure at the lawyer for laughing and giggling when court was in session although she was notified several times to desist from doing so.
The judge who took strong exception at the lawyer’s behavior, asked her to stop laughing at the turn events and apologize for her actions.
She subsequently apologized and stated that, her laughter was not directed at the judge nor was it her intension to disrespect the court.
Meanwhile, the court will hear the application for mandamus on September 18, 2017.
Application for mandamus
In his application, which named Mr. Takyi and Mr. Dery as respondents, the businessman is praying for the restoration of his residence and work permit, which was cancelled by the GIS following his deportation on June 1, 2017, on the basis that his deportation was quashed by the High Court on July 31, 2017.
He is also praying for an order restraining the two, their agents, servants or anyone acting on their authority from “making any attempt to deport him from Ghana’’ or “harassing him until his application is determined’’.
Mr. Sivaram claimed that the GIS had refused to accept the money he paid as the requisite fee for his application for visa on arrival, which he claimed was “a deliberate attempt to decline his application.’’
He therefore wants the court to declare the purported action by the GIS as “unfair, unreasonable and not supported by law’’ and order for the GIS to accept the money and process his application for visa on arrival.
Former President John Dramani Mahama has asserted that patriotism, which in the past was a dominant trait among Ghanaians has become deficient in recent times.
He made the remarks at a lecture to open the National Democratic Congress’ Institute of Social Democracy at the party’s headquarters in Accra on Friday.
In the view of the former president, people now think about their families first and relegate national issues that require patriotism to the background.
“…Nationalism and patriotism have become very deficient in Ghana today. Absolutely nobody thinks about the country first; we all think about ourselves first, our families second, our parties third, maybe, our communities fourth and Ghana comes a distant fifth or sixth or even tenth.’’
He also disputed claims that the Institute was set up to brainwash people adding, “Contrary to widespread perception, institutes like this are not institutes for indoctrinating people. The perception in the First Republic was that the ideological institutes were set up to brainwash and to become ideologically robust of the governing party. But this is not the case.”
According to him, the school will serve as a source of knowledge not only to party cadres, but for people who share the same ideology “to gain ideas of leadership, nationalism and patriotism.”
“If you look at the curriculum of the ideological institute, it contains programmes of leadership, how to lead in a community, it contains programmes of party activism, it also contain programmes of community self-help, it contains programmes of nationalism, patriotism – how to be patriotic to your country,” he added.
An High Court in Accra will on September 18 hear an application for mandamus filed by Mr Sivaram, who was deported from the country on June 1, 2017.
In his application, which named Mr Takyi and Mr Dery as respondents, the businessman is praying for the restoration of his residence and work permit, which was cancelled by the GIS following his deportation on June 1, 2017, on the basis that his deportation was quashed by the High Court on July 31, 2017.
He is also praying for an order restraining Mr Takyi and Mr Dery, their agents, servants or anyone acting on their authority from “making any attempt to deport him from Ghana’’ or “harassing him until his application is determined’’.
Mr Sivaram claimed that the GIS had refused to accept the money he paid as the requisite fee for his application for visa on arrival which he claimed was “a deliberate attempt to decline his application’’.
The court presided over by Mrs Justice Naa Adoley Addo last week ordered the Ghana Immigration Service (GIS) to give the applicant a temporal resdient permit to allow him a legal status until the determination of the case.
On the day she said that the country had an obligation to provide protection for genuine businessmen who may have their investments in the Ghana.
“I want the applicant to acquire some legal status until the application for mandamus was heard else we will be sending signals to people that aliens are not being treated on humanitarian grounds,” she had said.
However, appearing in court today, Ms Jasmine Armah an Attorney from the Attorney General’s said who represented the respondents said, the GIS there was nothing like a temporary visa hence their failure to issue it.
They also told the court that they had issued the businessman a passport retention slip, which gives him a legal stay in the country while they deal with his application for a permanent visa.
However, lawyer for the Indian businessman refuted the submission by the respondents and argued that his client applied for a permanent visa.
She explained that the GIS gives foreigners’ permit ranging from six months to five years and the applicant paid an amount of $500USD for a six month temporal permit.
The presiding judge, Naa Adoley Azu, after hearing the submissions of both parties, said she erred in striking out an application for an abridgement of time at the last hearing.
She also expressed her disappointment and displeasure at what she described as ‘’giggling’’ on the part of Ms Jamine Armah when the court was still in session.
Angered by that she ordered her to apologise and cautioned her to treat the case with all seriousness.
According to the judge the case pending is not a funny one because a foreigner businessman has sued the state over his deportation.
Senior Minister Yaw Osafo Maafo has given an indication that owners of broken down vehicles will continue to pay for the cost of towing their vehicles.
According to the Minister, there will be no attempt to reinvent the wheel as towing services will be provided to those who need it by recognized and registered towing companies.
He said, “Today we will end up asking you to go and register the services you provide. Naturally, people will have some questions and we want to listen to your concerns if any because this policy which was supposed to start on July 1 has been stopped.’’
“There is the need to provide that service so we are asking those who have the capacity to provide the service to register through the appropriate ministry and provide the service to those who need it, and those who receive the services to pay for it.”
He also gave the assurance that government will the police administration on the lookout for broken down vehicles.
“We will ask the police to continue and if they need additional support in the interim, we are going to put in some support for them to get beefed up in terms of material so that they minimise the carnage arising out of disabled vehicles,” he assured.
Government recently scrapped the proposed mandatory towing policy and accompanying levy following public outcry.
Many young Africans drawn to extremist groups know “little to nothing” about religious texts and interpretations, a UN study has found.
The survey, the first of its kind in Africa, profiled nearly 500 voluntary recruits to militant groups including al-Shabab and Boko Haram.
Finding a job is “the most acute need at the time of joining a group,” the report finds.
It also points to government action as a “tipping point”.
Most of those surveyed reported unhappy childhoods and a lack of parental supervision.
Researchers from the UN Development Programme (UNDP) spoke to recruits in Kenya, Nigeria, Somalia, Sudan, Cameroon and Niger to compile the report.
Al-Shabab is based in Somalia but often stages attacks in Kenya, while Nigeria’s Boko Haram group has also spread to neighbouring Niger and Cameroon.
The researchers also interviewed people of similar backgrounds to those recruited, but who did not become radicalised.
Based on these sample groups, they say that receiving “at least six years of religious schooling [is] shown to reduce the likelihood of joining an extremist group by as much as 32%”.
Recruitment is “predominantly face-to-face” rather than online as outside Africa, and the report says that many recruits come from borderland areas that have “suffered generations of marginalisation”.
The killing or arrest of a family member or friend is a key trigger, according to the report, with over 70% of interviewees saying this or another form of government action was the “tipping point” before the final decision to join a militant group.
Intervention at a local level is the best way to prevent young people from being radicalised, the UNDP report authors say.
They suggest “community-led initiatives aimed at social cohesion” and “amplifying the voices of local religious leaders who advocate tolerance”.
“The messenger… is as important as the message,” says UNDP Africa Director Abdoulaye Mar Dieye.
“That trusted local voice is also essential to reducing the sense of marginalisation that can increase vulnerability to recruitment,” he adds.
The Ghana Education Service (GES) has once again extended the earlier the deadline for registration to the close of today [Friday].
According to the Ghana Education Service (GES), the extension is to allow some 40,000 Basic Education Certificate Graduates (BECE) graduates, who had challenges in securing places, to do so.
“The closing date that is supposed to be [Thursday] is being extended to [today] midnight so that we allow people who have not been able to access the website to do so before it is too late,” Reverend Jonathan Bettey, the Public Relations Officer of the GES told journalists.
He explained that people had problems assessing their website because of problems in keying in the website address and that “if you [make mistakes] there is no way you will be able to get the website correctly.”
Meanwhile, a deputy Minister of Education Dr. Yaw Adu-Twum has disclosed that the funds for the implementation of government’s flagship education policy—Free SHS—will be released to all schools by today [Friday].
“Your money will come to you. We have no reason to keep your money. We are making every effort….and we will not ask you to come for your cheques…we will send it to your banks. So don’t worry the money will hit your accounts,” assured Adu-Twum at the 55th National Conference of Conference of Heads of Assisted Secondary Schools in Ho Wednesday.
The President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, on Thursday, 7th September, 2017, inaugurated a 15-member Inter-Ministerial Committee for the implementation of the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
At the ceremony, which was also held to commemorate the President’s appointment as co-Chair of the Advocacy Group of Eminent Persons by UN Secretary General, António Guterres, President Akufo-Addo charged the Committee to discharge its duties efficiently, and ensure that Ghana becomes a shining example for the implementation of the SDGs.
The Committee, which is chaired by the Minister for Planning, Prof. Gyan Baffuor, has the Ministers for Trade and Industry; Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration; Finance; Food and Agriculture; Attorney General; Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation; Monitoring and Evaluation; Education; Health; Sanitation and Water Resources; Local Government and Rural Development; Gender, Children and Social Protection; Employment and Labour Relations; and Fisheries and Aquaculture as members.
According to President Akufo-Addo, the completion of the SDGs in 2030, presents this generation with the great opportunity to fight inequality on all fronts, wipe out extreme poverty, tackle the issues of climate change and reverse the degradation and unsustainable use of our environmental resources.
“This Agenda is an investment in our future – the future of our youth and that of our children. We are obliged to leave them with an enduring legacy of a richer, more stable, more secure and more peaceful world,” he added.
The President revealed that Ghana has taken up the challenge of the SDGs, and has captured them in its co-ordinated programme for economic and social development policies, which, in accordance with the dictates of Article 36(5) of the Constitution of the Republic, will be presented to Parliament in its next session, starting in October.
Reiterating government’s commitment to “leaving no one behind”, the President stressed that “the programmes and policies that have been outlined in our co-ordinated programme are all hinged towards the realisation of the SDGs, both at the national and local levels.”
Whilst acknowledging that the realization of the SDGs will only be as good as how well they are financed, and how robustly results are tracked and measured, President Akufo-Addo noted that achieving the SDGs will require all the resources the country can muster.
“We must, therefore, be efficient and effective not only in mobilising resources, but also in eliminating pervasive revenue leakages, and addressing misallocation and misuse of public funds. Crucially, if we are to succeed in enhancing domestic financing of the SDGs, we must address the unacceptable leakage of resources in the form of wanton corruption,” he stressed.
In urging the need to look beyond the benevolence of others to finance implementation of the SDGs agenda, President Akufo-Addo was confident that Ghana, and, indeed, Africa, has the means to finance the implementation of the SDGs.
“We cannot achieve the SDGs with an aid-dependent mentality. This is the inspiration and the passion behind my vision of a Ghana Beyond Aid,” he added.
The President continued, “the SDGs are intended to be the boldest and loudest articulation of a collective ambition for development the world has ever seen. They have helped focus the world’s attention on a common agenda of development. We have a unique opportunity to transform our world, to protect this planet, and bring prosperity to all by diligently implementing the SDGs.”
Co-Chair of Advocates Group
Stressing the importance of his appointment as co-Chair of Advocacy Group of Eminent Persons for SDGs, which was announced on 11th April, 2017, by the Secretary General of the United Nations, António Guterres, President Akufo-Addo indicated that the appointment was not about him, but rather about Ghana as a mark of trust in her leaders.
“It is one which honours the Ghanaian people, and honours the achievements we chalked in the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals. Furthermore, it is positive acknowledgement of our welcome adherence to the rule of law and the principles of democratic accountability in the governance of our nation,” he added.
As co-Chair of the SDGs Advocates Group, the President stated that he is to work closely with fellow advocates to promote the SDGs, as part of an ambitious and transformative agenda of global development.
The SDG advocates are to: promote the universal character of the SDGs, including their commitment to leave no one behind; promote the engagement of new stakeholders in the implementation and financing of the SDGs; encourage partnerships with government, civil society and the private sector to share knowledge and resources; and raise awareness for the integrated nature of the SDGs.
Exton Cubic Mining Company Limited has asserted that the revocation of their license by government, will scare private investors away.
The company in a letter addressed to the Lands and Natural Resources Minister and signed by its Managing Director Augustus Amegashie said, ‘’ “your action in disrespecting the sanctity of signed agreements will deter the potential private investments needed to create more jobs.”
The letter said: ‘’We are by this letter expressing our disappointment at your decision, and state that the reasons for your action are not borne by the facts and the evidence on record. We believe that such unfair treatment meted out to an indigenous Ghanaian company runs against his Excellency President Akufo-Addo’s mantra of ‘I believe in Ghana.’’
“Your unilateral decision to ‘revoke’ or ‘invalidate’ the leases threaten to jeopardize the massive investments we have made in the bauxite project and also cause us to default our firm off-take agreements with our international partners. We wish to inform you, that our company intends to do all that is possible within the remit of the law to protect and realize its rights under the leases. Our lawyers have been instructed in this regard,” he added.
Government revoked the mining license given to Exton Cubic Group Limited to mine bauxite in the Nyinahin area of the Atwima Mponua District of Ashanti.
This was because the company failed to comply with all the necessary statutory regulations.
At a press conference in Accra on Monday, the Minister said the failure to obtain an environmental permit by the company, and also, an operational permit as well various statutory infractions, renders the license which was earlier issued, invalid and of no effect.
“Section 13, subsection 6 indicates an approved application shall lapse if the applicant fails to accept the offer in a form stated in subsection 4.
“There is no record of an acceptance of the offer of the mining lease in writing by the company as mandatorily prescribed by section 13, subsection 4 of the act.”
He added: “Act 703 sections 87 grants the minister the procedure for revoking of licence and what that law states is that if for any reason the minister is satisfied that the company has failed to abide by the terms and conditions of the licence or a requirement applicable to the licence then the minister has the right under the clause 87 to terminate.
“The infractions have been carefully analysed and it has been established that it falls short of the procedural mechanisms that allow grant of lease and so that calls for the [invalidation],” he said.Revocation of our mining licen