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Three more officials of the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) have been interdicted for their roles leading to the $72-million software scandal. They are the Manager of its data management unit, Mr Joseph Appiah-Mensah; the Head of Networks, Mr Erasmus Acheampong Mensah and Harold Brookman-Amissah, who was in charge of the team that migrated data from the legacy system into Operational Business Suite (OBS). Mr Appiah-Mensah’s interdiction letter which was contained in a memorandum dated September 15, 2017 and signed by the Deputy Director General in charge of Finance and Administration, Mrs Joyce Wereko-Ampim, a copy of which is available to the Daily Graphic, said: “Management has decided to interdict you pending the final conclusion of the investigations into the allegations of impropriety levelled against you in the implementation of the OBS Project which you were the Project Manager. “You will be put on half basic salary without any allowances during the period of the interdiction. “You are directed to make yourself available to EOCO officials and cooperate fully with them during the investigations,” the internal memo noted. The two other interdicted officials are also being investigated by the Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO) in connection with the same issue. Academic credentials The academic certificates of 2,465 workers of the SSNIT are being verified by the trust as part of moves to cleanse the system of possible fake certificate holders. The exercise comes against the backdrop of the revelation that the dismissed Head of the Management Information Systems (MIS) of the trust, ‘Dr’ Caleb Afaglo, used fake certificates to gain employment with SSNIT in 2015. The Director-General of SSNIT, Dr John Ofori-Tenkorang, recently told the Daily Graphic that management gave the directive to the Human Resource Department two weeks ago as part of moves to cleanse the system of possible culprits. “It is a policy of SSNIT for all certificates to be verified, but, somehow, Afaglo’s slipped through. We, therefore, need to make sure similar incidents do not occur in the future,” he said in an interview in Accra last Thursday. Software scandal The SSNIT has been hit by a $72 million software scandal, leading to ‘Dr’ Afaglo’s dismissal after the Trust and the EOCO realised that he had used fake degrees to gain employment. ‘Dr’ Afaglo was dismissed on August 30, 2017 after a committee set up to investigate his conduct in accordance with the rules and regulations of the Trust recommended his dismissal. A statement issued by the acting Corporate Affairs Manager of SSNIT, Ms Victoria Abaidoo, said: “The evidence made available to the trust indicates that the university degrees presented by ‘Dr’ Afaglo to secure his employment with the trust are fake”. It indicated that ‘Dr’ Afaglo, who was then on interdiction, “has been relieved of his post with immediate effect”. According to EOCO, its investigations revealed that ‘Dr’ Afaglo did not have a doctorate degree as he had claimed; neither did he have a master’s degree nor a first degree. ‘Dr’ Afaglo was employed by SSNIT in 2015 after the trust had completed phases one and two of its OBS. Source: Graphic Online
A Deputy General Secretary of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), Koku Anyidoho has thrown salvos at President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo for implementing his ‘’populist’’ free senior school policy. According to him, the free SHS promised by the NPP is not free because parents are buying chop boxes, trunks, brooms, soaps, sponge, toiletries and other items for their wards admitted in the various public schools. In the view of Koku Anyidoho, the policy would have been totally free if the current administration had provided all other items the beneficiaries needed for school. ‘’They say it is free education. Is the trunk free? Is the chop box free? Is the mattress free? Is the blanket free? Is the bed sheet free? Are the toiletries free? Where is the free education,’’ he quizzed further. ‘’where is the free education? Parents are buying chop boxes, trunks and other items and so where is the free education? Speaking to Kwame Tutu on Rainbow Radio 875Fm, the fierce critic of Nana Addo said, families are going through trauma because the NPP promised to implement the policy to cover all students however, after winning power they have resolved to allow only fresh students benefit. The government he lamented is frustrating head teachers and treating them as zombies. The administration he said has forced the various schools to admit beneficiaries as day students to cut cost. He said, ‘’you have forced students to rent hostels when we have boarding facilities. This is nothing from witchcraft and a populist agenda…Who forced you to implement the free SHS? If you cannot implement the SHS, then don’t do it.’’ He slammed government for intimidating head teachers who are making demands for PTA levies. ‘’Because of Akufo-Addo’s populist free SHS, they have placed an embargo on PTA dues’’
Leader and Founder of Reigning Power Gospel Church International Bishop Dr. Samuel Sarpon-Kwakwa has lauded President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo for the implantation of the free senior high school. The man of God says the implementation has not only benefited parents but parents and churches that provide resources for the education of members who are unable to pay for their fees at the secondary level. Speaking in an interview with Nyankonton Mu Nsem on Rainbow Radio 87.5Fm, the man of God said, in the past some associate pastors working under him as well as other members come to him to seek for financial support to enroll their wards in school however, none of these persons have come to him to make such demands again. He said, some of the members come to ask for the money to be given to them as loans but do not pay back when the time is due ‘’and I cannot also ask them to pay back. The implementation of the free SHS has really relived us a lot and I want Ghanaians to appreciate the president for fulfilling his campaign promise. He disputed suggestions that he has benefitted financially from the current administration hence his praise singing insisting that, the policy is a good one and will go a long way to help a lot of parents who are unable to afford secondary education for their qualified wards. President Nana Akufo-Addo on September 12 launched its flagship education policy. At a ceremony at the West Africa Senior High School, President Akufo-Addo noted that he made the Free SHS pledge “because I know that knowledge and talent are not for the rich and privileged alone, and that free education widens the gates of opportunities to every child, especially those whose talents are arrested because of poverty.” President Akufo-Addo noted that the countries that have made rapid progress around the world put education at the heart of their development, referencing the transition to publicly funded high school education by the United States in the mid nineteenth century. “It must have been a daunting prospect at the time – paying for the education of so many children, for such an extended period of time out of limited public resources, transferring a potential workforce away from immediate productivity for an investment like schooling. But the experiment paid off,” the President said. He continued, “America set herself up for 20th century success, creating a workforce fit for rapid economic development, which has inspired the emergence of the most powerful economy so far known to human history. Indeed, other nations, who began their lives as independent states at the same time as we did, like Singapore, Malaysia and Korea, have emulated a similar model and have also achieved great economic success. In fact, in their case, they followed Japan’s excellent example.”
After steadily declining for over a decade, global hunger is on the rise again, affecting 815 million people in 2016, or 11 per cent of the global population, says a new edition of the annual United Nations report. The report dubbed "The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World 2017", which was made available to the Ghana News Agency by Paul Garwood of the World Health Organisation (WHO) said at the same time, multiple forms of malnutrition are threatening the health of millions worldwide. It said the increase – 38 million more people than the previous year – was largely due to the proliferation of violent conflicts and climate-related shocks; and some 155 million children aged under five were stunted (too short for their age). The report said while 52 million suffer from wasting, meaning their weight is too low for their height; an estimated 41 million children were now overweight. It said anaemia among women and adult obesity are also a cause for concern. The report said these trends were a consequence not only of conflict and climate change but also of sweeping changes in dietary habits as well as economic slowdowns. The report is the first UN global assessment on food security and nutrition to be released following the adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which aims to end hunger and all forms of malnutrition by 2030 as a top international policy priority. It singles out conflict – increasingly compounded by climate change – as one of the key drivers behind the resurgence of hunger and many forms of malnutrition. "Over the past decade, conflicts have risen dramatically in number and become more complex and intractable in nature," the heads of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) the World Food Programme (WFP) and the WHO said in their joint foreword to the report. They stressed that some of the highest proportions of food-insecure and malnourished children in the world are now concentrated in conflict zones. "This has set off alarm bells we cannot afford to ignore: we will not end hunger and all forms of malnutrition by 2030 unless we address all the factors that undermine food security and nutrition. Securing peaceful and inclusive societies is a necessary condition to that end," they said. "Famine struck in parts of South Sudan for several months in early 2017, and there is a high risk that it could reoccur there as well as it appeared in other conflict-affected places, namely northeast Nigeria, Somalia and Yemen," they noted. The report said, however, even in regions that are more peaceful, droughts or floods linked in part to the El Niño weather phenomenon, as well as the global economic slowdown, had also seen food security and nutrition deteriorate, they said. The report said the overall number of hungry people in the world is 815 million. The breakdown include in Asia: 520 million, in Africa: 243 million, in Latin America and the Caribbean: 42 million. This is the first time that UNICEF and WHO join FAO, IFAD and WFP in preparing The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World report. This change reflects the SDG agenda’s broader view on hunger and all forms of malnutrition. The UN Decade of Action on Nutrition, established by the General Assembly, is lending focus to this effort by motivating governments to set goals and invest in measures to address the multiple dimensions of malnutrition. The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World 2017 has been re-geared for the SDG era and includes enhanced metrics for quantifying and assessing hunger, including two indicators on food insecurity and six indicators on nutrition. Source: GNA
The Campaign Manager for the New Patriotic Party (NPP) in the 2016 elections, Mr. Peter Mac Manu will be an observer at Germany’s general elections slated for September 24, a statement from the Democratic Union of Africa (DUA) has said. Mr. Mac Manu who is the honorary Chairman DUA will be joining the Election Observer Mission of the International Democratic Union (IDU). The statement said, “Hon Peter Mac Manu will observe some of the rallies and also have firsthand experience on how the Germans’ conduct their political rallies in recent times. Further, Mr. Mac Manu would have the opportunity to tour some polling stations across some of the 299 voting districts to observe voting conduct in Munich voting district,” a statement from the DUA said. ‘’Hon Peter Mac Manu will observe some of the rallies and also have firsthand experience on how the Germans’ conduct their political rallies in recent times. Further, Mr. Mac Manu would have the opportunity to tour some polling stations across some of the 299 voting districts to observe voting conduct in Munich voting district. Final results of the German elections are expected to be announced by midnight of Sunday, 24th September 2017. The party or the coalition bloc that win the most seats in the Bundestag will have the mandate to form government,’’ the statement added. Find below the full statement MAC MANU TO OBSERVE GERMAN 2017 GENERAL ELECTION Peter Mac Manu, Honorary Chairman of the Democratic Union of Africa (DUA), an affiliate of the International Democratic Union (IDU), joins, the Election Observer Mission of IDU to witness the Germany’s elections to the Bundestag scheduled for Sunday, 24th September 2017. Mr. Mac Manu is also former National Chairman of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and its 2016 National Campaign Manager for Ghana’s Presidential/ Parliamentary elections. Chancellor Dr. Angela Merkel is seeking re-election for the 4th time leading the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and the CSU in a coalition with Martin Schulz of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) as her main opponent. Other parties include the Free Democratic Party (FDP) and the left’s Alternative for German (AfD) which is led by Sahra Wagenknecht and Dietmar Bartsch. The elections are taking place in all the 299 voting districts across the country. The German’s electoral architecture is transparent and analog – voters are only allowed to vote with pen and paper and not with digital voting machines. All counting takes place by hand in the 70,000 or so voting locations and counting is open to the public. Hon Peter Mac Manu will observe some of the rallies and also have firsthand experience on how the Germans’ conduct their political rallies in recent times. Further, Mr. Mac Manu would have the opportunity to tour some polling stations across some of the 299 voting districts to observe voting conduct in Munich voting district. Final results of the German elections are expected to be announced by midnight of Sunday, 24th September 2017. The party or the coalition bloc that win the most seats in the Bundestag will have the mandate to form government. It is our hope that lessons learnt from the observation will help shape a
President Nana Akufo-Addo is set to propose legislation to designate August 4 as Founders Day, a statement signed by the Director of Communications at the Presidency, Eugene Arhin has said. The statement said Dr. Nkrumah’s birthday would be marked as a memorial day. ” it is entirely appropriate that we commemorate him for that role, by designating his birthday as the permanent day of his remembrance.” “The President has, therefore, decided to propose legislation to Parliament to designate 4th August as FOUNDERS DAY, and 21st September as KWAME NKRUMAH MEMORIAL DAY, both of which will be observed as public holidays.” “…In the meantime, the President has issued an Executive Instrument to commemorate this year’s celebration of KWAME NKRUMAH MEMORIAL DAY as a public holiday,” the statement added. Below is the full statement It is unfortunate that, 60 years after independence, the history of the events leading to it continues to be embroiled in unnecessary controversy, due largely to partisan political considerations of the moment. It is clear that successive generations of Ghanaians made vital contributions to the liberation of our country from imperialism and colonialism. It is, therefore, fitting that we honour them, as those who contributed to the founding of our nation. The most appropriate way to honour them is to commemorate the day on which the two most significant events in our colonial political history, that led us to independence, occurred – 4th August. On that day, in 1897, the Aborigines Rights Protection Society (ARPS) was formed in Cape Coast. The Society did a great job to mobilise the chiefs and people to ward off the greedy hands of British imperialism to ensure that control of Ghanaian lands remained in Ghanaian hands. It represented the first monumental step towards the making of modern Ghana, enabling us to avoid the quagmire of land inheritance that our brothers and sisters in Southern and Eastern Africa continue to suffer, from the seizures of their lands by white minorities. In a deliberate act in the continuum of Ghanaian history, exactly fifty years later, on 4th August, 1947, at Saltpond, the great nationalists of the time gathered to inaugurate the United Gold Coast Convention (UGCC), the first truly nationalist party of the Gold Coast, to demand the independence of our nation from British rule, at a gathering which included “paramount chiefs, clergymen, lawyers, entrepreneurs, teachers, traders and men and women from all walks of life in the Gold Coast”, according to an eye witness. The inauguration set the ball rolling for our nation’s attainment of independence, and for the dramatic events, including the birth in 1949 of the Convention Peoples Party (CPP), that ushered us into freedom. That day, 4th August, is, thus, obviously the most appropriate day to signify our recognition and appreciation of the collective efforts of our forebears towards the founding of a free, independent Ghana. It is equally clear that the first leader of independent Ghana, and the nation’s 1st President, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, played an outstanding role in helping to bring to fruition the works of the earlier generations, and leading us to the promised land of national freedom and independence. It is entirely appropriate that we commemorate him for that role, by designating his birthday as the permanent day of his remembrance. The President has, therefore, decided to propose legislation to Parliament to designate 4th August as FOUNDERS DAY, and 21st September as KWAME NKRUMAH MEMORIAL DAY, both of which will be observed as public holidays. In the meantime, the President has issued an Executive Instrument to commemorate this year’s celebration of KWAME NKRUMAH MEMORIAL DAY as a public holiday. ……signed…… Eugene Arhin Director of Communications Office of the President Accra, 15th September, 2017.
The Member of Parliament for Pru East constituency Dr. Kwabena Donkor has challenged those mocking his call on the president to revoke Sammy Awuku’s appointment to chair the Youth Employment Authority (YEA), to make his Curriculum Vitae (CV) available. The legislator has raised objections with the appointment of Sammy Awuku as Board Chairman of the Youth Employment Authority (YEA). According to the former Power Minister, Sammy Awuku lacks the requisite experience required by law. The Minority Spokesperson on Employment, Social Welfare, and State Enterprise in an interview with Nyankonton Mu Nsem on Rainbow Radio 87.5Fm said, he does not dispute the competence of the Youth Organizer of the NPP however, he lacks the requisite skills and expertise to chair the board. He has therefore asked that the president revokes the appointment and reassign him or make him a board member. He stressed that if people are adamant and believes he [Awuku] qualifies, then they should make public his CV so we can all satisfy our curiosity.
Togbe Afede XIV, Agbogbomefia of Asogli State, and President of the National House of Chiefs, has lauded government for implementing its flagship Free Senior High School Policy. He said “education is the most effective weapon against poverty” and that the policy formed the basis for the country’s development agenda. Togbe Afede was addressing a durbar in Ho to climax the 2017 Asogli Yam Festival, which was held under the theme: “the role of tradition and culture in governance and development”. The President of the National House of Chiefs also commended government for other initiatives such as the industrialization policy and the fight against corruption and environmental degradation. Togbe Afede, however lamented the dwindling role of chiefs in national development, and said measures were being put in place to ensure they “won back their nobility”. He called on chiefs to support Government’s policies and take advantage of them to develop their areas. Togbe Afede said poverty was not God’s design for mankind, and urged Government to liberate the private sector to transform the economy and create wealth for the citizenry. “We must do things differently. The same way will not help us. Biblical miracles are history now. God does not reward laziness and mediocrity, he rewards hardwork,” he said. Dr. Alhaji Mahamudu Bawumia, the Vice President, asked Asogli youth to take lessons from the Festival and rekindle communal spirit and patriotism. “Elders are the teachers of civic responsibility and must instill proper discipline and pride in the youth…that is how we shape the norms of society…this is how we make ourselves better,” he said. Dr. Bawumia said the Free SHS was just the start of many good things adding that the policy would benefit all. He said teacher trainee allowance would be restored this month, and that of nurses next month, and reiterated Government’s commitment to the construction of the Eastern Corridor road and the construction of a bridge on River Oti. Dr. Bawumia announced that Government would soon launch a digital address system to enhance commerce and governance. The festival attracted members of the diplomatic corps and local and foreign tourists. Source: GNA
National Youth Organizer of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), Sidii Abubakar says he would have been appointed as the Board Chairman for the Youth Employment Agency (YEA) should the party had won power. He was responding to claims held by party supporters that he has not distinguished himself like Sammy Awuku. Sidii Abubakar said the only major problem he had was to deliver victory for the party and if he had won victory for the NDC, he would have been appointed the board chair of YEA or more better appointments would have been given to him. He emphasized that the contention now ''is to congratulate Sammy Awuku and encourage him to serve all the youth of Ghana and not a a selected few.'' He admonished Sammy Awuku not to use his position to only give jobs to members of the NPP at the detriment of other Ghanaians. He asked him to serve the youth of this country adding, ‘’he [Sammy Awuku should use his office to serve the youth of this country and not only NPP members.’’ He also took the opportunity to commend President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo for appointing Sammy Awuku. According to him, the president deserves commendation for appointing a young person to serve on the board as chair of YEA. However, it is not the first time a youth in his [Awuku’s] caliber has been appointed because former President John Dramani Mahama appointed young persons including Okudzeto Ablakwa and Felix Kwakye Ofosu who exhibited exceptional leadership qualities in their various capacities. ‘’It was something President Nana Akufo-Addo emulated from former President John Dramani Mahama and the late President Mills.’’ He said, when Ablakwa was appointed, people lambasted him that he will fail however, he proved his critics wrong and has become a gem in Ghanaian politics whereas Felix Kwakye Ofosu distinguished himself when he was appointed to serve.
One of the Tourism Ambassadors appointed by the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture Kaakyire Kwame Appiah says he is unaware of his job description despite being appointed. Speaking to Agyemang Prempeh on GH Entertainment on Rainbow Radio 87.5Fm, the controversial musician said he was yet to receive his letter indicating his terms of reference. The Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture appointed him [Kaakyire] and Evangelist Diana Asamoah as tourism ambassadors. In a letter signed by the minister, Catherine Ablema Afeku, the two musicians have been asked to use their talents to promote sustainable tourism through music, arts, and culture. Information available indicates that the ambassadors including Daddy Lumba have also been asked to help promote Ghana's tourism. “I write to officially confirm your appointment as Tourism Ambassador for Ghana. "We at the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture look forward to a fruitful relationship that will promote Ghana’s Domestic and International Tourism through your efforts,” a section of the appointment letter sent to the musicians read. But when asked the specific duties he will play he said, I am not aware of the duties. I am yet to be assigned my responsibilities.
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