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The Minister of Food and Agriculture Dr. Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto has given the assurance that, the recent armyworm infestation across the country will not affect the ‘Planting for and Jobs’ initiative. According to the Minister, there are adequate measures in place to ensure that the programme succeeds despite the infestation.   He was speaking during an inspection tour of some farmlands in the Eastern Region where he reminded of the initial fears that followed the news of the infestation.   “The threat that I feared was a challenge to the Planting for Food and Jobs programme in this incidence of armyworms [infestation]. But far as I am concerned it is abated. We just have to focus on the maintenance of the farms under the Planting for Food and Jobs programmes to get the maximum yields and improve production.”   The Minister expressed his satisfaction with some of the preventive measures being put in place, under the guidance of extension officers, on some of the farms he had visited.   Countries such as Nigeria, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Kenya and Ghana among others have had over hundred hectares of farms invaded by armyworms.    
President Nana Akufo-Addo   has reiterated that his administration will revive the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) despite the challenges confronting it. Addressing the Ghanaian Community resident in Dakar, as part of his 3-day visit to Senegal, the president said, the former president Kufour introduced made it possible for everybody to have minimum access to healthcare, collapsed under former president Mahama. The NPP prior to the election, accused the governing National Democratic Congress of mismanaging the scheme which was introduced under the erstwhile Kufuor administration to eliminate the cash-and-carry system at the time. The president indicated that it was necessary for government to find the money to revive the collapsed NHIS. Ghana he stressed will not go back to ‘cash and carry’ and carry.’ “The NHIS was collapsing because it owed so much to the providers, and a lot of the providers were insisting on ‘cash and carry’. We don’t want to go back to ‘cash and carry’. We have begun to claw back the arrears and began now to pay the service providers. So in the months ahead of us, we are going to see the full recovery of the NHIS,” he assured.    
 The Judicial Service Staff Association of Ghana (JUSSAG) has urged the Chief Justice nominee, Justice Sophia Akuffo to prioritise skills development of judicial staff across the country.   This will improve upon their efficiency, President of JUSSAG, Alex Nartey has noted. “The judicial service has been able to do much in terms of staff training and retraining and development. We are looking forward to this being looked at immediately. Sometimes we look at it in terms of cost and shy away from it.’’   He said, “Some of the courts are in a deplorable state. It appears that most of the flashy buildings that the Judiciary has are in Accra and Kumasi. We also operate on the ground at the district level and we need to extend this infrastructure development to all the courts. It is an urgent area we are looking to.”   President Akufo-Addo confirmed Supreme Court Judge, Justice Sophia Akuffo as Ghana’s next Chief Justice. President Nana Akufo-Addo told the media at a news conference at the Flagstaff House Friday, that he considers Justice Sophia as the best person to lead the judiciary at this time in history. “I have known Justice Sophia Akuffo well, for over forty years...she was my first junior in practice...[and] she impressed me considerably with her hard work, her capacity for detailed research, her independence of mind and spirit, her honesty and integrity, her deep-seated respect for the rule of law,” he said. The President is enjoined by Article 144(1) of the 1992 Constitution to appoint a replacement for the CJ position in consultation with the Council of State and with the prior approval of Parliament. The constitutional process will be concluded after Parliament’s Appointments Committee is done with the vetting of the nominee for subsequent approval by the plenary session.   President Akufo-Addo will then swear her in after Parliament sends its report about the approval of the nominee.
The maiden edition of Rainbow Radio’s ‘ENAPA’ (Mother’s Day) event came off colourfully over the weekend at Charleston Hotel.   Over 300 nominations were received from participants and they were one after the other, allowed to share their stories and why their mothers deserved to be celebrated.   The number was pruned down to 10 finalists after careful selection and were allowed to share their stories about their mothers and why they should be celebrated on Rainbow Radio 87.5Fm. Listeners were allowed to vote either YES or NO for a nominee.   At the end, five lucky winners were chosen and rewarded with prizes from our proud sponsors.   The ultimate winner was given a weekend stay at Charleston Hotel, a luxurious and affordable hotel located at TESANO, Accra.   The event was sponsored by Geisha Soap, O last Aaa Ma; Onga-Mothers Helping Hand; Charleston Hotel; Fruits and Vegies, Global Alternative Herbal Centre, Diamond Classic Décor, The Hunger Project and Juligen Enterprise.   The top five winners were Felicia Amoah who emerged as the overall winner and on top of her package, she was awarded a cash prize of GHc1,000; Elizabeth Dei Djane, Gladys Akpabli, Aunty Mansah, Janet Mpiamane and Augusta Amenyo.
Victoria Hammah was corrupt just like the other corrupt officials under former president John Dramani Mahama, Lord Hammah has stated. The NDC activist who is related to the former deputy communication minister who was sacked over her claims that she would stay in politics until she earned $1m (£600,000), shredded her sister and maintained that she was carried away by her position. Victoria Hammah was caught on tape making the alleged claims, and on the recording she appears to suggest money is central to political power in Ghana. It is reported she said: “If you have money then you can control people.” Lord Hammah was responding to a question from Kwabena Agyapong-sit-in host on Rainbow Radio’s morning show Frontline; whether he is morally fit to slam former president Mahama over his style of leadership since her sister was part of that government. The NDC member has been slamming Mr. Mahama and described him as a failure and a corrupt leader. Some party stalwarts have slammed back asking him to remain calm since his sister was part of the failure he is complaining of. However, Lord Hammah says he will not keep mute and in mincing no words, he said, his sister was corrupt just like the other officials but her corruption was the least, he added.   ‘’The conduct of my sister had no connection to me. Her appointment showed the kind of people they are. She was one of them…She was corrupt just like the other officials including Dzifa Attivor and the rest. She was the least corrupt but she was one of them. There is nothing common between me and Victoria Hammah. The only common thing between us is that, we are siblings and support the NDC. They appointed her because she shared in their values.'' 
An activist of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), Lord Hammah says he does not support those calling for the return of former president John Dramani Mahama as presidential candidate in 2020. In his view, those rooting for the return of the former president are individuals who benefited from appointments under the Mahama led administration. According to him, their position does not represent the grass root people. Mr. Mahama he suggested will get less than what he garnered in the 2016 presidential polls hence the NDC should elect a new candidate, with a new vision which will win the trust of the people. ‘’Former president Mahama will be a bad choice for the NDC in 2020. Those calling for his return are being delusional. They do not have the facts on the ground. I am an organizer and a cadre and I can confidently state that former president Mahama will be a bad choice for the party.’’ Lord Hammah said if the NDC will move forward, then members must resist the attempt by some members to impose Mr. Mahama on them. Some senior members of the NDC including former Ambassador to the UK, Victor Smith said the former president will be the best choice for the NDC if they want to win 2020.   “If NDC wants to win 2020, there is no better candidate than John Mahama. If we want to just try 2020, then we can afford to put forth a new candidate so if he doesn’t win, he can be advertised for the future. But if we want 2020 , what we need to do is to present him [John Mahama].” “Mahama did so well in delivering the deliverables in terms of development of our country. However in terms of our own party, there was the bickering, there was the anger in our party which cost us. If we want to win elections we should put John, but correct the mistakes. If we [the NDC] want to be the ones in the driving seat in 2020, our best bet is the one we put out there already. He [Mahama] did so well but there were some hiccups and that probably led to us losing the elections.” But Lord Hammah rubbished the call stressing that, Mahama will be a bad choice for NDC in 2020. ''It will not be a mistake if NDC chose Mahama for 2020, it will be a suicide,'' he concluded.    
The Consumer Protection Agency (CPA) has threatened a demonstration in 21 days should government refuse to address issues of unfair treatment meted out to Ghanaians at the various embassies. Speaking to Kwabena Agyapong sit-in host of Frontline on Rainbow Radio 87.5fm, Executive Director of CPA, Kofi Capito was of the view that huge visa fees charged Ghanaians  must be be refunded to them if they are refused Visas by the embassies. According to him, the treatment meted out to Ghanaians by some of the embassies including  the American Embassy, Canadian High Commission as well as the British High Commission is an infringement on the rights of individuals and must be condemned. Government must immediately address the issue within the twenty one days to avoid a protest by them. ” To my fellow Ghanaians, if you don’t hear anything proper from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, I am urging Ghanaians please, you should demonstrate peacefully, to let them know that in Ghana they cannot infringe upon our rights.  So this is where I am pleading with Ghanaians.’’    “The CPA is giving the foreign ministry twenty one days to at least respond to the letter given to them. As to what they are doing for us Ghanaians to know that our government is working on our behalf.”  
The Member of Parliament for Builsa South and former presidential staffer under the Mahama led administration; Dr. Clement Apaak has asserted that the  statement from the Ministry of Information on the discontinuation of the Delta Force case was a damage control. A Kumasi Circuit Court struck out the case against the eight persons who aided the escape of the 13 Delta Force members arrested for assaulting the security coordinator of the Ashanti Region. Presiding judge, Patricia Amponsah freed the accused persons, following the Attorney General’s claim that it has no evidence to prosecute. But it later emerged that the decision to discontinue the case was taken without recourse even to the Director of Public Prosecution and may amount to a breach of internal procedures on matters of this nature,’’ the statement from the Ministry said. However, Dr. Clement Apaak says the statement was to repair the damage the situation has caused government. He described the release of the eight Delta Force members as the saddest day in Ghana’s justice system. According to him, this confirms that the NPP endorses lawlessness, injustice and impunity. He has therefore associated himself with the call by the Minority for the eight to be re-arrested and re-arraigned before court. Dr. Apaak said, this case cannot be compared to the Montie 3 because they [Delta Force] members stormed and disrupted court proceedings and set some members who were standing trial free. Addressing a News conference Wednesday Minority Leader Haruna Iddrisu accused the Attorney General Gloria Akuffo of bowing to partisan pressure to put up a weak case leading to the release of the eight. “The decision by the Attorney General is confirmation of the claim by a leading member of the New Patriotic Party at the time of the lawless action by Delta forces that the culprits will be set free and are they are indeed set free through the state intervention and the Attorney General filing the nolle prosequi .We are of the view that the government is bowing to partisan pressures at the cost of justice delivery in the country.   “We demand, therefore, that the cancerous discretion that has just been exercised will be reversed immediately.”
The Public Utilities Workers Union of TUC Ghana has reiterated that, per their records, the US Embassy in Ghana is not indebted to the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG). Speaking to Kwabena Agyapong sit in host on Rainbow Radio 87.5Fm, Lawyer Michael Adumatta Nyantakyi, General Secretary PUWU rubbished assertions that they have refused to bill the US Embassy. The US Embassy in a series of tweets said “the U.S. Embassy in Ghana has not refused to pay any electricity bills. We have been asking for official bills for embassy-managed facilities for more than 2 years so we can issue correct payments. The embassy has set aside funds for electricity, and we will continue to work with the ECG to get correct bills so we can pay.’’    But, Mr. Nyantakyi says the US Embassy is a reputable establishment which must show concern when they are not billed, however, we are reiterating the same fact that, the US Embassy get and pay their bills.’’ In an explanation, he said, the US Embassy have two major accounts with a monthly bill of GHc 700,000 and they have been receiving and paying their bills. He stressed that ‘’the US Embassy demands bills and ECG has provided the Embassy with bills to date, and the US Embassy does not owe ECG in terms of bills.’’ He revealed, the ECG changing their first software to the current one, it brought about some anomalies and some of the problems affected the group account of US Embassy and that is what they have been trying to solve with ECG. ''When ECG moved from the old software to the new one, everybody was complaining...the bills the US Embassy is contesting are not the former bills for which they have set money aside waiting for the reconciliation to pay, is just around that issue and not a constant running bills that they don't pay.That is not the situation. I am telling you on record, they have fully paid on their major account and its about GHc700,000 a month, they have fully paid as at the end of March 2017. The problem is with their group account and as they try to get some aspect corrected, even there,  they have paid the group account; apart from the one in dispute, they have paid up till February 2017.'' He further chided the Energy Minister, Boakye Agyarko for casting ECG in bad light. In his view, the Minister could have consulted the ECG before coming public with the issue.    According to him, the power provider is only being given a bad name so it is hanged later. ''ECG have challenges and those challenges are being rectified but it will be hypocritical to say that the challenges were caused by recklessness on the part of ECG.''       
  The Ministry of Health has removed Dr Thomas Anaba as the Medical Director of the newly refurbished Greater Accra Regional Hospital [Ridge Hospital] and consequently asked him to go back to the University of Development Studies (UDS) in Tamale, his original place of work before taking up the new post at Ridge.   But Dr Anaba thinks that his removal is not appropriate and has taken issues with it.   He argues he went through a competitive tender to secure his new appointment and cannot be transferred back to UDS since the conditions of service there is not same as that of the Ghana Health Service.   "If he [Minister] is able to arrange with UDS for same conditions of service, a vehicle for work, two security people in my house, fully furnished accommodation for me to move, to go and be a regional medical director of a regional hospital, then I don’t have a problem, but he didn’t do that, he says I should move with immediate effect, I didn’t come on secondment," Dr Anaba said in a radio interview on Accra based Okay FM Thursday morning.       He has subsequently written to the Minister of Health, Mr Kwaku Agyemang-Manu to rescind his decision.   He explained that the letter removing him dated May 10, 2017 which came from the Minister of Health had no reference number and his name was spelt wrongly as well.   “Dear Dr Anabah, following the planned restructuring of the Greater Accra Regional Hospital, you are by this letter relieved to your original place of work, University of Development Studies, Tamale. Kindly prepare to handover to a newly appointed Director soon.”   Dr Anaba's beef is that the Minister's letter did not even say "Thank you" and that after managing the hospital for more than a year, the Minister did not deem it fit to thank him   He added that he subsequently received another letter from the Director General asking him to refer to the Minister’s letter and hand over with immediate effect.”   According to Dr Anaba, there was no position like Medical Director in UDS so he cannot be transferred to UDS and the conditions of service in UDS is not same as what pertains in Ghana Health Service   Read also: Ridge Hospital opens to public   Dr Anaba who was appointed in February 2016 argued that his appointment was supposed to last till 2020 and had the option to re-apply.   "I saw an advert requesting for people to manage the Ridge Hospital and I applied", he said and added that as a consultant for the Ministry of Health since 2012, he was qualified for the job.   Prior to his appointment, Dr Anaba faced opposition from the staff of the hospital who objected his selection, citing incompetence and a breach in the selection process.   The staff of the hospital then wanted one, Dr Emmanuel Srofenyo to be appointed the medical director of the facility.   Source: Graphic
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