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General News (6005)

Business mogul, Dr. Papa Kwesi Nduom has referred to April as the most difficult month for him and his family-the Nduoms. The presidential candidate in the 2016 presidential election expressed the feeling on his facebook wall Monday, April 24, 2017. This is coming after fire gutted some offices of the Groupe Nduom on Saturday in Accra.   Below is Dr. Nduom’s full post Tons of Gratitude, with a Heavy Heart. As far as my faith will take me, I give thanks to God. This has been one of the most difficult months for me as an entrepreneur ever and for my family. Still we stand ready to keep moving on, positively. We owe our ability to do this to many, many well-wishers from near and far who encourage us and support our enterprises. I am thankful for our loyal customers and business partners who have gone beyond their personal interests to stand by us no matter what. We have an amazing team of management and staff. The teamwork they have demonstrated to ensure that the Regency Hotel fire challenge is overcome quickly has been wonderful to observe. They are living the Spiritual Guidance we teach all our employees: 2 Timothy 1:7 “For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.” Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” I am grateful to government officials, friends, politicians from all political parties, religious leaders, business men and women and others for their encouragement and concerns. I have a heavy heart because though accidents do happen, this fire should not have caused so much damage and destruction. We have a lot to do to reform our state institutions and attitude to working with urgency when we are confronted with problems. First Digital TV is back on air and ATV and BTA are broadcasting. The affected GN Bank and Gold Coast Fund Management branches will be open today for business next door. Our customers’ funds and data are safe. Our disaster recovery procedures have worked well. We are awake to the need to continuously take preventive measures to protect life and property. Our Groupe Nduom spirit is well and alive. I am grateful for the prayers, good wishes and encouragement.   God bless all of us.
Country Director for the Hunger Project Ghana, Mr. Samuel Afrane says there are about 1.2 million Ghanaians who are food insecured. According to him, the number struggle each day to feed themselves and their children nutritious meal. Ghana he explained, should not be a country to record such a huge number of people suffering from food insecurity. Agriculture he indicated has not been given the needed attention and farmers, have also been left to their faith with no form of assistance to help them gather more food into our food basket. The eradication of hunger he noted is a challenging task that requires a lot of reforms and modernization of the sector-where farmers would be given the needed assistance to grow more food. Food insecurity or hunger he said, cause suffering and poor health and also slows progress in the area of development and education.   In 2015 the global community adopted the 17 Global Goals for Sustainable Development to improve people’s lives by 2030. Goal 2 – Zero Hunger – pledges to end hunger, achieve food security, improve nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture, and is the priority of the World Food Programme.   Mr. Samuel Afrane said at least every individual should eat a three square meal a day; however, some do not have anything to eat or do not have a nutritious meal to eat. He said, if Ghana is to make any meaningful change in the lives of citizens, efforts must be directed at agriculture with policies that will help farmers improve upon production, achieve food security, and profitability. Mr. Samuel Afrane stressed that Ghana is making use of only 11,000 hectares out of 500,000 available land for irrigation. He added, Ghana is not prepared should hunger strike the country. ‘’We have the potential for a buffer stock but we have refused to do it and should hunger strike, we will be faced with serious challenges…We import rice, maize and that is a serious challenge we need to address. Ghana is food insecured,’’ he said. On the ‘Planting for Food and Jobs’ project he suggested that, government should look at the whole food value chain. The project will succeed if well executed, Mr. Samuel Afrane speaking to Kwame Tutu stated. ‘’The challenges confronting the agricultural sector will be no more if the ‘Planting for Food and Jobs’ is well managed…We should also focus on the agriculture practice including agric extension officers. We should resource them so they assist the farmers. We can also focus on storage, transport, processing, packaging and marketing of agricultural produce, so farmers will make enough profits.’’   The Hunger Project is a global, non-profit, strategic organization committed to the sustainable end of world hunger.   The  mission of Hunger Project is to end hunger and poverty with sustainable, grassroots, women-centered strategies and advocating for their widespread adoption in countries throughout the world. Thier  programs can be found in more than 16,000 communities throughout Africa, South Asia and Latin America are based on an innovative, holistic approach, which empowers women and men living in rural villages to become the agents of their own development and make sustainable progress in overcoming hunger and poverty.   Their programs are premised on these pillars or elements: Empowering women as key change agents; Mobilizing communities for self-reliant action and  Fostering effective partnerships with local government.  
A Deputy General Secretary of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Koku Anyidoho has taken a swipe at Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia describing him as someone who lacks understanding of governance.   The fierce critic of Dr. Bawumia said, it should not be surprising if he keeps slamming Dr. Bawumia who failed to provide concrete evidence over his bloated register allegations in the 2016 electioneering year.   According to him, the Vice President has no shame and has also not stopped lying and deceiving Ghanaians with his lies. Speaking to Kwame Tutu on Rainbow Radio 87.5Fm, he further lambasted the Vice President for ‘’breaking the law and holding a meeting to tout their so-called 103 achievements.   ‘’Bawumia should get serious. Governance is a serious business. It is not a tea party, it is not for jokers and it is not for liars. It was not surprising for the Minority to refer to him [Bawumia] as a comical character and a liar because the lies are too much.’’ The launch of operations by Air France he added, was facilitated under the erstwhile NDC administration hence touting that as an achievement of the NPP was unfortunate. ‘’Air France launched their operations in Ghana because of the upgrade of the Kotoka International Airport…So why should Bawumia tout that as achievement? How do you tout that as an achievement,’’ he quizzed further.   The grant which the current government is using to implement the flagship agriculture policy he stressed was received under the erstwhile NDC administration.
Dakura Adams, constituency secretary for the National Democratic Congress (NDC) in the Walewale constituency has confirmed to Rainbow Radio 87.5Fm that, the Council of Elders in the area for the ruling NPP summoned their communication team before the police command because they criticize the Vice President, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia.Speaking to Kwame Tutu, Dakura Adams said ''we went on air on Wednesday April, 19 2017 on a local radio station Eagle FM between the hours of  8pm-9pm. It was  a paid-for. We discussed three things; one was to thank our people for voting for  us; to appeal to the ruling government to continue with the uncompleted projects and three-to critic the 100 days achievements which they thought  was harsh; but to us, it was a genuine criticism. Their achievements were not accurate.He explained, the police told us that, tension was rising because of our utterances. But we defended our position. We did not insult anybody. We only criticized their so-called achievements and we gave examples to that effect. “Our communicators  said nothing wrong but only pointed the inaccuracies in the Vice President’s presentation on the achievements of the Nana Addo-led administration. This was what we said and they didn't  take it kindly.''He added, ''this is not the first that people have gone on air to criticize... In the last election, that was what happened. We did not insult but the former president,  John Dramani Mahama was insulted left, right and centre, calling him incompetent. All their communicators were calling him incompetent, calling him Mahama Bole...But we didn't do that because we think insulting will not solve the problem...The police commander was listening but did not summon anybody but now that we are criticizing the Vice President, we have been summoned.''He described the incident as unusual adding, ''we are now having a Banana Republic in Walewale where nobody have the right to even mention Bawumia's name. That is our problem. If you just mention the name alone, people will say you have insulted him...''
The Public Accounts Committee of Parliament would hold public hearings from next Tuesday to Friday to consider financial infractions of the Bank of Ghana, Food and Drugs Authority and other agencies. Dr James Klutse Avedzi, the Chairman of the committee said four reports of the Auditor General would be considered during the sitting. These are; the Bank of Ghana’s foreign exchange transaction and receipts and payments for the first half year and second half year of 2015, performance reports on disposal of government vehicles by the Ministry of Food and Agriculture and the Ministry of Health and performance report on drug use in Ghana by the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) Dr Avedzi made the announcement during the opening of a capacity building workshop organised by the GIZ in Koforidua for members of the Parliamentary Press Corps of Ghana. The hearings would be the first of the current parliament after the New Patriotic  Party (NPP) government assumed office. Dr Avedzi, who is also the Deputy Minority Leader explained that the “two reports will be [discussed] during this public hearing starting from Tuesday… We‘ll also look at performance reports on disposal of government vehicles by the Ministry of Food and Agriculture and the Ministry of Health. “And lastly we will be taking the performance report on drug use in Ghana by the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA).” On the implementation of the recommendations by the Audit General’s in its reports on dealing with the infractions, Dr Avedzi stated that Parliament has no prosecutorial powers, however, would rely on the Audit Committee that replaced the Audit Report Implementation Committee to ensure that the necessary recommendations were carried out. Nana Marfo Amaniampong, the Deputy Ranking Member of the PAC, appealed to stakeholders to bring corruption and malfeasance under control in the same way the current illegal mining issue is being fought. He was hopeful that the workshop would enhance the capacity of the press corps in the discharge of their duties. “A lot of people in Ghana got a lot of insight into the work of parliament through the Public Accounts Committee and you are the conduit through which they get these briefings because your reportage in the electronic and print media would enable them to keep abreast with the performance of this important committee.” “So for you to be with us in this place, we are very grateful to you. What we will employ you to do is to really imbibe whatever our consultants are going to tell us so that whatever you give us out there anytime we come for sitting will be nothing but the whole story so that confusions after reportage would be nipped in the bud,” he said. Nana Agyemang Birikorang, the Dean of the Parliamentary Press corps, pleaded with leadership of the committee to make copies of the Auditor General’s reports readily available to the media to enable them report factually.     Source: GNA 
Accra will be the cleanest city at the end of my tenure, President Nana Akufo-Addo has assured. The president made the pledge in Accra on Sunday at a durbar organised by the Ngleshie Alata Traditional Area at Jamestown in honour of the President and his wife. The president said, his government has a plan to rid the city of filth and further pledged his commitment to ensure the proper management of waste in the capital. “The commitment I want to make, and for all of us to make, is that by the end of my term in office, Accra will be the cleanest city on the entire African continent. That is the commitment I am making,” he added.   President Akufo-Addo at the ceremony was enstooled as a chief and was given the stool name Nii Kwaku Ablade Okogyeaman I to wit “Royal Warrior; One who fights to redeem his people.”
The Very Rev. Fr. ACP George Arthur, has posited that, politicians are dictating the pace of the Police Service whereas, officers are deviating from their motto-‘’Service with Integrity to Service without Integrity.’’ Delivering the sermon at the induction service of Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mr. David Asante-Apeatu, at the Police Church in Accra, he said, recruitment into the service ‘’is a mystery to citizens. Protocol plays a major role…’’ He lamented over indiscipline in the service and challenged the IGP to do his best and win the trust of Ghanaians. According to him, a sizable number of police trainees were dismissed from the training schools with a simple reason that, they did not meet the required certification. ‘’At the very early days of your administration, a sizable number of police trainees were dismissed from the training schools with a simple that, they do meet the required qualification. What should Ghanaians expect under your tenure of office as IGP,’’ he quizzed further. The IGP he indicated is coming at a time when lawlessness, vigilantism, student riots and galamsey has taken over the country. “You have come at a time when the galamsey and Delta Force occupy the front pages of almost all print media of the country and topics for discussion. Your 'IGPship' has come at a time when police stations are being vandalised and officers being brutalised by members of the public. Your 'IGPship' has come at a time when Politicians continuously tarnish the reputation n dignity of others for no reason your 'IGPship' has come at a time when some tribal and ethnic conflicts has erupted in some parts of the country, your 'IGPship' has come at a time when some university students are staging riots; at a time when university students and school children are alleged to have committed suicide.” He advised him not to please anyone since he will fail. He also admonished to work hard so he can leave an indelible mark on the walls of the police service. “You will live an indelible mark if you pay attention to the following: the maintenance of peace in our nation, the welfare and discipline of Police Officers, enlistment of Police trainees, stream lining the policy of promotion of men and women of the Service” “As the IGP, you are accountable first and foremost to God, secondly to this nation and thirdly to officers of the Ghana Police Service. This calls for firmness and fairness. You will fail if you came to please any human being instead of pleasing God who chose you and appointed you”.     “Objective and fair decisions are always a worry to the crooked mind. Leadership begins with us first and I urge you to be firm about your goals and flexible about your methods.”
Former President John Dramani Mahama HAS commiserated with the owners of the Coconut Grove Regency Hotel in Accra – after some offices within the hotel’s compound were consumed by fire. The former President who took to his facebook wall said: “Yesterday’s fire at Coconut Grove Regency Hotel is a major loss to our hospitality industry. My thoughts are with Dr and Mrs Nduom and workers of Groupe Nduom.” The fire destroyed properties worth thousands of Ghana cedis including the Amansan Television Studios and four commercial offices of Groupe. The fire outbreak was caused by an air conditioning unit, management of the three-star hotel said in a statement.   The statement said: ‘’Somewhere between 5.00 and 5.30pm this afternoon, staff of Amansan Television (ATV) noticed fire burning apparently from the direction of an air conditioning unit in their studio. When alarm, was raised, everyone ran to safety and an urgent call was made to the Ghana Fire Service to come and help put out the fire. Two fire tenders came soon followed by three more. It has become apparent after about an hour and a half, that the Fire Service personnel have not been able to contain the fire at the studio. Now the fire has spread to other offices on the same block as the ATV studio. The ATV studio and four commercial offices of Groupe Nduom are on the same block. It is important to note that the Regency Hotel and its restaurant, guest rooms and conference facilities are intact and were not touched by the fire.   We will keep the public informed with further developments as they occur.’’
Ghana is to benefit from a National Food Packaging Centre being proposed by the ‘Improving Food Packaging for Small Medium Agro-Enterprises (SAME’s) in Sub-Saharan Africa Project.’ The centre, when established would provide technical support including training, assistance in supply, designing, labelling and support to meet regulatory standards and also serve as a means of technology transfer from industrialised countries to Sub-Saharan African countries. The project, a collaborative effort of the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), the International Trade Centre and I.M.A s.p.a is to address the challenges of poor packaging. Ms Stephanie Gallatova, the Agro-Industry and Infrastructure Officer, FAO, said it played a crucial role in preserving food quality and safety and in facilitating distribution and marketing of food products. She said in Ghana, just like most sub-Saharan African countries, had the problem of poor packaging hence the failure of locally manufactured food products to establish themselves in the global market and also compete favourably with imported products She said there was a strong and growing demand for processed and packaged products in sub-Saharan Africa and the region had a big and growing potential market population projected to double from 1.2 billion in 2015 to 2.4 billion by 2050. She said the SAME’s have a critical role to play in the ongoing transformation of the agri-food chain due to their significant contribution to income, employment and growth of the national economy. Mr Djibril Drame, a Resource Person at the launch of the project said it was aimed at providing guidance to food chain actors, government and private sector on appropriate food packaging systems including food packaging, materials, equipment and an enabling policy and regulatory framework. The initial phase of the project would assess the packaging needs and priorities of SAME’s and the feasibility of establishing National Packaging Centres. He said the evidence gathered from these studies would inform the design of the regional project on the development of the food packaging sector in sub-Saharan Africa. Mr Papa Bartels, the Director, Value Chain and Logistics, Ministry of Trade and Industry said government was rolling out a National Packaging Policy and logistics strategy to guide the sector. He said with the policy and the strategy, it would address capacity building, legal and regulatory regimes, financing and taxes and quality and safety issues. He said his outfit was committed to the project and was ready to support in its implementation process to improve the food packaging sector.   Source: GNA 
The Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mr David Asante Apeatu, was on Sunday April 23, 2017 inducted into office at a ceremony held at the Ghana Police Church in Accra. Conducting the rite of induction, ACP Rev. George Arthur, led the IGP to affirm his trust in God in the discharge of his duty and bore the consequences of his actions and omissions. The reverend minister reminded the IGP that his position is not one to serve his personal interest but one given him to serve humanity to uplift the image and integrity of the service. In his sermon, he said, the IGP is taking over his role at a time when the issue of vigilantism, galamsey, lawlessness, tribalism, and student riots have taken over the state. He said, ''there are a lot of assignments ahead of you. The IGP is the highest security authority of Ghana. Every leader should be a shepherd to his or her followers. A shepherd seeks for the welfare, protection, safety and the growth of his sheep.’’  He urged the IGP to treat all men with decency and respect in order to earn their trust and also be transparent and honest in his ways. The IGP he stressed, will leave an indelible mark if he pay attention to the following; ‘’ the maintenance of peace in our dear nation Ghana; the welfare and discipline of police officers, enlistment of police trainees; streamlining the policies of promotion of officers and men of the service.’’ He added, ‘’the alleged selective promotions of officers on the basis of politics, on the basis of tribal favouritism breeds unnecessary jealousy, enmity, disunity in the police service and other spheres of the economy. Such ungodly and unethical practice, set the fertile ground for revenge and retaliation when there is change of political power in the community. Favouritism of any kind is a torn in the flesh of democracy and human dignity. Favouritism always negates and covers the truth…Truth and justice are the two main pillars of peace and development…Make friends and not enemies during your tenure of office …As the IGP, you are accountable first to God. Secondly to this nation of ours and thirdly to officers of Ghana Police Service. This call for firmness and fairness. You will fail if you aim to please any human being instead of pleasing God, who chose and appointed you,’’ he emphasied. On his part, Mr. Asante Apeatu pledged to serve Ghanaians with dignity and respect. He further pledged to discharge his duties and will not disappoint the trust impose in him by the President, Nana Akufo-Addo. In attendance were the Minister of Interior, Ambrose Dery, Justice and Attorney General, Gloria Akuffo, Executive Director, National Identification Authority (NHIA), Prof. Ken Attefah and other senior officials of government.   Others were senior police officers, members of the Police Board, traditional leaders, Members of Parliament, retired police officers and the clergy.
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