Member of Parliament for Ahafo Ano and Member of the Select Committee on Education, Hon. Kwesi Adusei has lauded government's decision to take-over Ghana University College but he believes there should be a broad stakeholder discussion before such a decision is reached.
Government has initiated steps for the smooth takeover of the Ghana Technology (Telecom) University College (GTUC) from Vodafone Ghana Limited.
The process forms part of the transfer of assets under the GoG/Vodafone/Ghana Telecom Re-Engagement Agreement signed in 2012.
In view of this, the Ministry of Education accordingly constituted a working committee to concretise and finalise the transfer.
Government in a statement noted the take-over will ensure that fees for programmes after the takeover would become more affordable and regulated consistent with policies guiding Ghanaian public tertiary institutions.
Speaking in an interview with Nyankonton Mu Nsem, the legislator said the decision is laudable and should be commended by Ghanaians.
He argues that the state owned institutions are by far offering the very best of tertiary education compared to any other institution in the country.
He explained, two major factors needs to be considered to conclude whether or not government is capable of managing the telecom university as a public institution.
He said the strength and resources of the state owned tertiary institutions are unparalleled hence it makes it more convincing for Ghanaians to support the initiative but called for a broader stakeholder consultation.
Hon. Kwesi Adusei added, irrespective of the challenges confronting the educational sector, government will handle the telecom university better.
He added, he expects the working committee set up to handle the process to come up with a commendable report.
Meanwhile the working committee has held two initial meetings and has developed a road map with timelines to guide the efficient and effective performance of their mandate.
The Attorney General-Department is currently considering a Draft Bill to give effect to the transfer process.
Government expects to complete the takeover process for the commencement of the 2016/2017 academic year in September.
''It is the view of Government that the transformation of the GTUC as a Public Tertiary Institution would further transform the institution into a niched world class centre of excellence,'' portion of a statement from the Education Ministry read.
The working committee is made up of representatives from the Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Education, Attorney-General’s Department, National Council for Tertiary Education, National Accreditation Board, Ghana Technology University College and Vodafone Ghana Limited.
The Ashanti Regional branch of the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) and pro-pressure group Let My Vote Count Alliance (LMVCA) will on April 6, 2016 hold a mammoth demonstration dubbed 'YEN NPENE' against what they described as delay tactics by the Electoral Commission in implementing the recommendations by the five member panel who sat on the voters' register forum.
The two groups are accusing the EC of sidelining the recommendation of their own panel to do their own bidding.
Speaking in an interview with Nyankonton Mu Nsem, convener for LMVCA David Asante, said the EC is sanctioning for chaos in the upcoming election if they fail to validate the register to correct the anomalies on the face of the current register.
According to him, validation is the only way to clean the register and give it credibility for the conduct of the November election.
He chastised the EC for choosing to embark on a voter exhibition exercise when they were recommended to validate the document.
He said, the register is not fit for the purpose of an election since its bloated with over 600, 000 ghost names.
David Asante indicated, they are rising up to tell the whole world that the EC is behaving like an ostrich failing to listen to the voice of wisdom in cleaning the voters register.
EC he added must do what is right to ensure a free, fair and credible elections.
''The EC’s posture and timetable makes it clear that it does not intend to carry out the validation exercise for registered voters, despite being encouraged to do so by its own Panel of Experts, and even by the Supreme Court.''
Plans to partially reopen Brussels airport on Friday evening have been halted amid a strike by airport police over security concerns.
The Zaventem facility has been closed since a twin suicide bomb attack on the departures hall on 22 March.
The SLFP police union told the BBC that security measures put in place for the reopening were insufficient.
So-called Islamic State (IS) said it carried out bombings of the airport and metro system that killed 32 people.
Vincent Gilles, the president of the SLFP, the largest police union in Belgium, said: "We are on strike because of what happened on 22 March - we cannot continue as if this day has not happened.
"The police feel the security measures put in place by the airport company are insufficient for those who work and use the airport."
He says metal detectors, body scanners and x-ray machines should be set up to screen people before they are allowed into terminals.
The authorities have so far rejected this, arguing that such checks would create new queues outside the buildings, leading to fresh security risks.
In an earlier statement, the airport's operators had said a partial reopening would be possible on Friday evening, after a temporary check-in system had been tested and made ready.
However, it said the departures area, which was severely damaged by the bomb attacks, would only operate at 20% of normal capacity, receiving only 800 departing passengers per hour.
The operator said on Friday this could not now go ahead because of the strike. Belgian media said the government was still considering the possibility of a reopening.
Defence Minister Steven Vandeput said: "We must find a balance between economic needs and security needs."
The airport operator's chief executive, Arnaud Feist, said earlier this week that the airport would take months to reopen fully.
In an earlier open letter to authorities published by Belgian broadcaster VRT (in Dutch), police had said they had sent "strong daily signals regarding the overall security at the airport".
They also alleged that too many airport employees had criminal backgrounds.
Police are still searching for the third man who took part in the airport attacks. The man, pictured on CCTV wearing a hat, was said to have fled the scene without detonating his explosive device.
The two airport bombers who died have been named as Najim Laachraoui and Ibrahim el-Bakraoui.
Bakraoui's brother, Khalid el-Bakraoui, blew himself up at Maelbeek metro station.
Police later found a computer in which Ibrahim el-Bakraoui left a final message.
The BBC has learned that the same computer contained plans and photos of Prime Minister Charles Michel's office and home.
Also on Friday, an Italian court approved the extradition of Djamal Eddine Ouali, an Algerian national accused of forging identity documents for those involved in the Brussels bombings and in the Paris attacks that killed 130 people in November.
Mr Ouali, 40, was arrested last weekend in the southern Italian city of Salerno. The court said he would be sent to Belgium within 10 says. His lawyer said he would appeal.
Political analyst and lecturer at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) Mohammed Abass says it will be extremely difficult to take the report by the Economic Intelligence Unit (EIU) serious because they do not have a good track record with similar predictions.
EIU in a latest report has predicted victory for the opposition New Patriotic Party in the upcoming November 7, elections because they is little time for the Mahama led administration to transform the crippling economy which the NPP will capitalise on.
However, Mohammed Abass argues that, because predictions by the firm in the last two elections failed to materialised, it will be difficult for Ghanaians to take it serious.
But the analyst was quick to add that, although their predictions failed to take effect in the past, the current report should not be seen as uncredible.
He explained that opinions collated for political science purposes are not a true reflection of situations.
Mohammed Abass noted, reports and opinions usually collected are subjected to scientific proof and most importantly it should be credible and represent true situations.
He said although the EIU has predicted victory for the NPP, that may not necessarily be the situation because from now to the election, a lot of things may change as Ghanaians countdown to November, 7.
Political science he stressed is not exact because respondents usually engaged by firms to conduct their surveys are not truthful.
In his view, it will be prudent to conduct such surveys every month to truly reflect the potential winner of the upcoming elections just like is done in other parts of the globe.
He cautioned the NPP not to fall the report because it may be deceptive.
Deputy General Secretary of the governing National Democratic Congress (NDC) Koku Anyidoho has asked Ghanaians to treat with contempt claims that presidential candidate of the opposition NPP will be third time lucky at the presidential polls just like the late President Mills because the former attorney general has no message for Ghanaians.
According to him, the late Prof. Mills had a message for Ghanaians and that was what won him the 2008 general elections and not luck as some claim.
Koku Anyidoho speaking in an interview with Kwame Tutu said Professor Mills did not win the election with ''Try me and see'' campaign like what Nana Addo is doing rather he [late Mills] came out with a comprehensive plan; investing into schools, creating a sound economy, governing in an open, honest and transparent manner and creating jobs.
He added that the late president promised to build a better Ghana and that is what won him the mandate to rule as president until his sudden demise.
Koku Anyidoho's comments follows a report by the Economic Intelligence Unit (EIU) that the presidential candidate of NPP Nana Addo will be third time lucky just like the late President Mills come November 7, when Ghanaians goes to the polls.
He posited, Nana Addo is only desperate to become president without any comprehensive message to transform for Ghanaians hence he will fore the third time lose the election.
John Evans Atta Mills was declared the winner of Presidential Election in 2008 in a keenly contested race between him and his close contender, Nana Akufo Addo.
The late Professor who was then the leader of main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), obtained 4,521,032 votes, representing 50.23 per cent, of the valid votes cast while Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, presidential candidate of the then ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) got 4,480,446 votes, representing 49.77 per cent.
The Deputy General Secretary of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) Koku Anyidoho is happy the Economic Intelligence Unit (EIU) has come out to reveal the between 2017 and 2020 there is going to be areal economic growth.
He noted that, President Mahama has taken tough decisions that will save the economy 2017.
A portion of the report by EIU read : ''Whichever party wins in 2016 is expected to preside over an improving economic situation and this will bolster their support in 2020, making re-election the most likely outcome.''
Koku Anyidoho said as a political party the EIU report vindicate the position of the ruling NDC who have undertaken very tough decisions to ensure sound and improved economy in 2017 as predicted by the firm.
He said this when responding to the report brought out by the EIU which was predicting win for the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and its flagbearer, Nana Addo Dankwah Akuffo-Addo.
One of Accra's most luxurious night club's, Vienna City near the Kwame Nkrumah Circle was razed down by fire Thursday evening.
The fire which started around 8 pm destroyed the entire entertainment centre, Nyankonton Mu Nsem's Daniel Asuku reported.
Fire Fighters had a though time before confining the fire within the premises of the plush facility from spreading to other facilities including the Shell Filing Station and the Cal Bank.
Vienna City is right opposite the Goil Filing Station which caught fire claiming over 200 lives in what was described as Ghana's worst fire disaster on June 3rd last year.
Daniel Asuku said workers at the facility attempted putting off a pocket of fire which started within the plush entertainment centre but their efforts was fruitless due to the unavailability of a fire extinguisher.
The fire service had to break into some portions of the building to get to the seat of fire because the rout to the facility was not favourable, Daniel Asuku quoted the Greater Accra Regional Chief Fire Officer, Ebenezer Simpson.
Although the cause of fire is immediately unknown, an eyewitness who spoke with our reporter claim that an electrical fault could have triggered the fire.
Meanwhile the Chief Fire Officer denied claims that fire fighters arrived at the scene late.
Vienna City Ltd is an entertainment and hospitality company whose business includes hotels, bars, casinos, restaurants and night clubs.
They have other branches Kumasi and Takoradi.
The Eastern Regional branch of the governing National Democratic Congress (NDC) has described as discriminatory and partisan the ban of their two regional officers in the persons of Bismark Tawiah Boateng, Chairman and Apau Haruna Owiredu, Youth Organiser from entering the palace of the Overlord of Akyem State by the Kyebi Executive Council.
The Kyebi Executive Council banned the two officers from entering the 'Ofori Panyin Fie' over what they described as disrespectful conduct against the person of His Majesty Okyehene over the past the three years.
A statement issued and signed by General secretary of the party in the region, Mark Oliver Kevor said ''We find such a conduct “unfatherly” on the part of the Akyem Abuakwahene considering the fact that, he is the President of the Eastern Regional House of Chiefs.''
The statement added the ban is becoming popular of the Akyem Abuakwahene since this is not the first time its happening rather ''this is the third (3rd) time the Akyem Abuakwahene has refused NDC party Officers into his palace,'' the statement noted.
According to the NDC, the discriminatory act is not good for Ghana's democracy hence the Okyehene should rescind his decision since it will be sending wrong signal to the paramouncies in the region to equally discriminate against political parties.
Below is the full statement by the NDC
NATIONAL DEMOCRATIC CONGRESS EASTERN REGIONAL SECRETARIAT
Ban of two NDC Regional Officers Partisan and Discriminatory
The Eastern Regional Executive Committee of the ruling National Democratic Congress is surprised of a decision by the Akyem Abuakwahene, Osagyefo Amoatia Ofori Panyin II and his traditional council to ban two of our Regional Officers in the persons of Messrs Bismark Tawiah Boateng and Haruna Apaw Wiredu from stepping foot in the Ofori Panyin fie (palace).
We find the decision as unfortunate and vague since no instance of such “gross disrespect” leading to this decision was given.
It is worth mentioning that once the Akyem Abuakwahene or any other person makes any statement or expresses his opinion that obviously has political undertones, we in the NDC as a political party have our God given right to respond appropriately in a respectful manner and that is exactly what we have always sought to do.
This matter has become worth discussing because it is becoming too popular of the Akyem Abuakwahene.
This is the third (3rd) time the Akyem Abuakwahene has refused NDC party Officers into his palace.
The first instance was during the era of Ambassador Victor E. Smith as Eastern Regional Minister when the Akyem Abuakwahene verbally told the former not to come to the Ofori Panyin palace with NDC party officers.
As if that was not enough, the Abuakwahene again verbally cautioned Hon. Helen Adwoa Ntoso as the Eastern Regional Minister not to step foot in his palace in the company of NDC party officials.
The latest of this discriminatory act is the letter the Akyem Abuakwahene and his traditional council wrote to the current Regional Minister, Hon. Mavis Ama Frimpong which was leaked to the Daily Guide cautioning her not to come to the Ofori Panyin palace in the company of Messrs Bismark Tawiah Boateng and Haruna Apaw Wiredu, the Regional Chairman and Regional Youth Organizer of our party respectively.
This we find very discriminatory since other political parties have unrestricted access to the Akyem Abuakwahene and his palace.
We find such a conduct “unfatherly” on the part of the Akyem Abuakwahene considering the fact that, he is the President of the Eastern Regional House of Chiefs.
This act of his is sending a very wrong signal to the other ten (10) paramouncies in the region that they could also discriminate as to which political party they should welcome and engage.
This development is obviously not healthy for our democracy and coexistence.
The NDC as a political party in the Eastern Region respects the chieftancy institution in the region and has a very cordial relationship with all the paramountcies, a situation which has led to spurring monumental developments in the region of which Osagyefo is a witness to.
We are by this release, calling on the Akyem Abuakwahene, Osagyefo Amoatia Ofori Panyin II to rescind this decision of his and treat all subjects and political parties equally.
The National Democratic Congress will continue to constructively engage all shades of opinion in the region on matters of national development.
Long Live Ghana! Long Live the Eastern Region!! Long Live President John Dramani Mahama!!!
Eastern Regional Secretary, NDC
31 March, 2016
Some aggrieved youth of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) in the Nkwanta South constituency of the Volta region have locked the party's office over delays in approving a DCE for the area.
They have given party executives and the regional minister, two weeks ultimatum to ensure that the DCE nominee is confirmed.
They also blamed the Regional Minister, Helen Ntoso over the undue delay in confirming the DCE for the area.
The Nkwanta South district is yet to have a substantive DCE since November 2014, following the gruesome murder of the then DCE, Peter Kojo Kenyenso.
Alfred Okanya who was appointed by President Mahama in November last year is still waiting for his nomination to be confirmed by the assembly members.
According to the aggrieved youth who were clad in red apparel, the undue delay is retarding the development of the district.
Speaking with rainbowradioonline.com, a branch executive and spokesperson for the aggrieved youth Alidu Musah Surak, said several letters sent to the regional and national secretariats to ensure the confirmation of the DCE-nominee yielded no result.
An Italian workshop supervisor has provoked anger at a company in a Free Zone Enclave in the Western Region after chaining one of his subordinates to a container in the hot sun as punishment for failing to complete a task assigned him.
The alleged culprit, identified as Manilo Maggiorotto, did the unthinkable with the reason that whenever he assigned work to the victim, he abandoned his and found ways of helping others to do their work.
Therefore, the best way to prevent a recurrence was to chain him.
Seething with anger, employees of the multinational logistics company,Gateway Logistics Limited, operating as a Free Zone Company, have appealed to the Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations, the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection and the Ghana Trades Union Congress (TUC) to ensure that justice was done the victim.
They described what Maggiorotto did as a re-enactment of the days of slavery – a dehumanising act which, they said, sent shivers down their spine.
“He must be apprehended to face the laws of Ghana,” they said.
“This is a Free Zone Company. He is in Ghana as workshop supervisor, an expertise that could easily be procured in Ghana but they brought him here and he constantly looks down on us and treats us as if we are nothing,” they said.
When they were contacted the company, its management acknowledged the incident but declined to comment further as they were dealing with the issue.
How it happened
Describing the incident to the Daily Graphic, one of the workers said their supervisor, on the day of the incident, assigned two of the company’s workers to carry out a task and later reassigned one of them to a different task.To work as a team, the victim, whose name was given as Ibrahim Sanou, decided to help another employee so they could finish on time.
The source said when the Italian supervisor entered the yard, he realised that Sanou was not doing what he had asked him to do.“He, therefore, called him, verbally assaulted him and asked him to go and bring the chain from the container.
When Sanou returned, Maggiorotto put it around Sanou’s neck and locked it with a huge padlock. After that he dragged Sanou more than 100 metres to where he originally assigned him.”
“The sad part is that he hooked the end of the chain to a container in the sun and went back to his air-conditioned office, ” the source said.
The source said after Sanou had finished the work, the Italian asked one of the workers to go and unlock the chain so that the victim would go and carry out other tasks.
According to the workers, morale was currently down in the company and the victim, once jovial and energetic, was constantly depressed.
The workers were seeking justice and urged management of the company to ensure Maggiorotto left the workshop for his own safety.
That aside, he should apologise to the victim and appropriately compensate him.
When the Daily Graphic visited the company, the workers expressed the view that management was trying to influence the victim financially to say he was not interested in the case.
At the office of the General Transport, Petroleum and Chemical Workers Union (GTPCWU) of the TUC, the Regional Industrial Relations Officer, Mr Hanson Richard, said the issue had been reported to the union.
“We are aware management is talking to the victim to withdraw the case, but this is a national issue and it is wrong to dehumanise a national to that extent,” he said.
Mr. Richard said the union had explained the implications of any inducement to suppress the case and that the national union would take over the case.
“I will pursue the case to ensure that Sanou received justice after which they would demand the repatriation of Maggiorotto to serve as deterrent to others,” he said.
He said several meetings with the management of the company indicated that they were also taking up the issue and the GTPCWU would ensure the law was duly applied.
He recalled a recent case in Accra where a supervisor was reported to have slapped a worker with hot pizza and the locking of workers out without prior notice at various yards in Takoradi.
He urged expatriate workers to learn how to relate to their colleagues.
After several attempts to elicit the reaction of the company, the Managing Director, Mr William Moss, agreed to grant an interview March 23, 2016.
However, about 2:30 p.m, Mr Moss called to say he could no longer grant the interview without consulting the local union.
He expressed wonder as to what interest the newspaper had in the matter and ended the call.
Memo to workers
However, the Daily Graphic later intercepted a March 21 memo from the Managing Director notifying the employees that Mr Maggiorotto had relinquished his post and returned to Italy with his wife.
“I would like to thank Manlio for all his efforts over the past years in the face of considerable difficulties. He brought new levels of engineering experience and competence to the maintenance function and it was through his dynamism that the workshop at Bokro was created,” it said, adding that “He will be greatly missed”.
Source: Graphic Online