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General News (7978)

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has given an assurance that government will reduce electricity tariffs in 2018 as it has been captured in the yet to be presented budget statement to be president by the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori Atta on Wednesday November 15, 2017.  The president, who was speaking at the Association of Ghanaian Industries Awards (AGI) dinner on Saturday night, was grateful for the work done by his appointees to ensure reliable power supply to Ghanaian citizens and businesses since his tenure commenced.     “I’m glad that businesses are no longer burdened by the erratic power supply that wrecked our nation in recent years. Dumsor, thank God, appears now to be the thing of an unlamented past. Another of the stars of the government, the Energy Minister, Boakye Agyarko, is to be commended for the sterling work he’s been doing so far on this matter,” the President said.   “Furthermore, the government is moving to set in motion the process for the review of electricity tariffs and in the budget to be read by the brilliant Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta on Wednesday, I’m sure we will hear some good news in this regard.”
Female gospel musician, Emelia Arthur has charged Ghanaians to continue patronizing made in Ghana goods to help boost the local economy. The musician, who was appointed a Tourism Ambassador under the previous administration believes that, if Ghanaians continue to patronize made in Ghana goods, it will help create more jobs for the unemployed youth. According to her, we must continue to eat our own food, wear our own Ghana made shoes, dresses and other products. She also admonished producers and manufacturers of made in Ghana goods, to add value to their products and advertise their products so Ghanaians will patronize it. The musician who is set to organize a mobile exhibition on Monday November 13, 2017 to exhibit only made in Ghana goods, said the public are now patronizing our own after constant public education and awareness. The tour dubbed "made in Ghana mobile exhibition" will see various Ghanaian producers displaying their products on a moving van through some principal business centres in Accra for promotion. The campaign ambassador, who would be on the van, will stop intermittently at vantage points to interact with prospective and potential consumers and explain to them the need to patronise locally made products as the Christmas approaches. The tour will be climaxed on November 18, 2017, with a “made in Ghana dinner”  at the Osu Castle to honour some industry players who have worked around the clock to ensure that Ghanaian products are accepted by all.    
The budget presentation scheduled for November 15, 2017 will be hinged largely on jobs, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has said.     Speaking to residents in Ga Mashie during his tour of the Greater Accra region, the president said the budget will give meaning to his government’s industrialization agenda which primarily focuses on the creation of jobs.   “Next week, the Finance Minister will present the budget to Parliament and it will focus on job creation. The Finance Minister is a magician; he finds resources at places you never expect him to find.”   The ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) campaigned largely on job creation in the year 2016. The president who was then candidate for the NPP promised to expand and formalize the economy and also create jobs for especially the youth.    Nana Akufo-Addo in 2016 said, his government, should he wins this year’s elections, will put in place a “systematic, focused effort to restructure the Ghanaian economy – to take it out from just being a raw material producing economy, to an economy that is based on value addition, industrial activity and wealth creation.”
The Police Hospital has announced a mass burial for some 120 unknown and unclaimed bodies as part of routine measures to decongest the police hospital mortuary, a statement from the facility has said.   The statement has also advised the general public to contact the pathology department of the police hospital for identification of persons who might have not been seen for some time now as part of the search to avert being added to those earmarked for mass burial.   The public have 21 days of this announcement, the statement concluded.
Ghanaian lawyer, Professor Stephen Kwaku Asare has appealed to President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo not to sign into law the recently passed late Major Mahama Fund. According to the law professor,  the Act “cannot withstand constitutional scrutiny” in its current form because it is goes contrary to the principles of the supreme law of Ghana. In a post on his official facebook page the lawyer said: “…You [President Akufo-Addo] should return it to Parliament for it to be replaced by a comprehensive Bill that provides timely, predictable and easy to access benefits to the families of ALL SECURITY PERSONNEL who pay the ultimate price while serving the nation.’’ He further described the bill as discriminatory and  advised President Akufo-Addo not to assent to it. He opined that  it is a cardinal principle of the rule of law that laws must apply to broad categories of people and must not single out individuals or groups for special treatment. The power of parliament to “isolate people for rewards, punishment or different treatment,” he said, is dangerous and must not be countenanced in in Ghana, stating, “We must not traverse that path”. “Even though the Bill is well intentioned, it sets a very bad precedent; it treats equally situated persons differently; it creates bitterness for families in similar situations who are hardly recognized; and it affects the collective morale of service personnel,” he observed. Prof. Asare has thus urged President Akufo-Addo to be firm in this matter by reiterating his commitment to the rule of law, which abhors discrimination. The bill was introduced in Parliament Tuesday, October 24 in fulfilment of President Nana Akufo-Addo's promise to the family of Major  Mahama, a military officer lynched by a mob in Denkyira-Obuasi now New Oboase.   The late Major Mahama was murdered in May 2017 after residents of the Central Region town allegedly mistook him for an armed robber.    
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has said former President John Agyekum Kufour laid a solid foundation for the late Atta Mills and former President John Dramani but the latter failed to do same. In an address to residents in Ga Mashie, the president reiterated his claims that the former administration left nothing in the coffers for them to work with.   He indicated that Mr. Kufour’s competency and honesty, gave Ghana more resources and money which helped the Mills administration to embark on a number of projects. ‘’Atta Mills was only lucky because he inherited power from Kufour who left enough resources unlike my time.’’   In my case, I didn’t meet any money, the government coffers was completely empty, no single dime was left, so I’m picking up, trying to gather resources with which we can little by little, develop the nation and grow the economy,’’ he added.
A Deputy Minister of Education, Barbara Asher Ayisi has said the implementation of the free senior high school, was not introduced to collapse private secondary schools as speculated by stakeholders in that sector. The Deputy Minister was speaking in an interview with Rainbow Radio’s Francis Armah Frimpong, after the legislator delivered a statement at the annual conference of heads of private secondary schools. The Deputy Minister allayed the fears of private school owners and stated further that, the implementation is a partnership between the Ministry of Education and the private secondary schools. She also assured the private heads of government’s commitment to provide opportunities for the sector. Government will continue to partner the private sector and ensure that Ghanaian youth get better and quality education. The Deputy Minister bemoaned the overcrowding in some private schools and went on to say that, some of the schools operate with the aim of making more money and not necessarily provide quality education for students in their schools. The free senior high school was  launched by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo- Addo some few months ago. At the launch the president said government has decided to use the proceeds from the country’s natural resources to help educate the population to drive our economic transformation, stressing that instead of the revenues from the country’s mineral and oil resources ending up in the hands of a few people, the most equitable and progressive way of using these revenues is to educate and empower the population to strengthen the nation.   “In so doing, we would be on the way to achieving UN Sustainable Development Goal no. 4, which calls for inclusive and equitable education, and the promotion of lifelong opportunities for all. As co-Chair of the Advocacy Group of Eminent Persons of the SDGs, their implementation is a matter of the highest public priority for me,” the President added.
The Eastern regional best maize farmer for the year 2015/2016, Mr. Daniel Asomani, popularly called Castro, has appealed to government to provide better markets for maize farmers. He said, just as the cocoa industry is having an enviable market, the same should be provided for maize farmers since it will help the state gain more revenue. Mr. Asomani also bemoaned the huge importation of maize from other countries when farmers in Ghana are producing same in Ghana. Ghanaians he noted are being encouraged to go into farming yet we are importing the same produce from other countries. This will discourage farmers, and deprive them the more, he lamented. If we do not stop doing this, and maize farmers don’t get a market for their produce or sell their produce, they will incur cost and may not be able to go into farming in subsequent seasons. He stressed the need for government to purchase maize produced in Ghana and stop importing same from other countries because such produce may have been kept for over 10 years in warehouses.   Maize is one of the most important staple food crop grown in Ghana that meets the nutritional needs of both humans and livestock. It is a rich source of energy, vitamins and some amount of protein.  
The Objective Media Forum is calling on the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to with immediate effect sack  Mr. Paul Avoka, the current Director of the Department of Community Development. The Forum among other allegations have accused the Director of running his office as ‘’one man’s’ property and also working on a UNICEF  project to his selfish interest, neglecting the core mandate assigned him.   According to the Forum, Mr. Avoka’s retirement age was due last year December 16, 2016  however, he’s has been handed an extension of two years and we [Objective Forum] believes will rather cause more harm than good.   They also alleged that, the Director brags of being an in-law to the current Minister of Local Government, Hajia Alima Mahama therefore, cannot be axed. The Forum further made reference to the Audit Service management letter on the audit of the accounts of the department for the period of January-December 2016 where they say the under the Director a total amount of GHc87,000 was allegedly disbursed on strategic planning workshop. However, the budget estimates, signed attendance list and official receipt from the hotel were not made available for audit examination.  The audit report according to them,  recommended to management to ensure that all expenditure details of the amount be made available for audit whereas the Director who was to proceed on compulsory leave on December 16, 2017 was still at post. The director who handled financial and administrative matters under the period with some others made some 465 staff contribute an amount of GHc300 each for the organization of an orientation. However, out of the total contribution of GHc139, 495.50, only GHc88, 492.00 was disbursed leaving a total contribution of GHc51,003.50 to be accounted, the Forum referred to the audit report.   Aside that, the audit also found out that the DCD did not establish Entity Tender Committee (ETC) to carry out its statutory mandate and per the recommendation of the Audit Service, the department was to take immediate steps to establish the Entity Tender Committee to ensure that all procurement activities are undertaken in accordance with Procurement Act, the Forum indicated. The Forum also referred to the failure of the director to comply with Section 30 of the Audit Service Act 2000 (Act 584) which calls for the DCD to constitute an ARIC to serve its intended purpose.   The Audit Service report according to the Forum has revealed that the director who failed to retire has received his monthly salary from January-July 2017 this year totaling an amount of GHc29,601.60 and a monthly net amount of GHc4,228.80. The Forum stressed. Mr. Avoka’s name should have gone off the payroll system automatically when he was sixty years but he continued to receive his salary every month.   The Object Media Forum is therefore calling on the president to with immediate effect relieve Dr. Paul Avoka of his post and possibly retrieve all the monthly salary paid him from his retirement month.
Former President John Dramani has reiterated his position on the call on him to consider running for 2020. The former President at a peace walk organized in Cape Coast few days ago, said his declaration to contest will distract the restructuring activities by the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC). He has released a statement to restate the same position after the ten (10) regional chairpersons issued to admonish the Mr. Mahama to consider representing the party in 2020 and also embark on a ‘Thank You Tour’. But the statement which was signed by Joyce Bawa Mogtari said: ‘’The former president further repeated his earlier call on all members of the NDC to focus on the ongoing restructuring and reorganization exercise while pledging his commitment and support for the process and the Party. He also advised the leadership of the party to continue to work towards establishing a level playing field during the upcoming internal party elections.’’         Below is the full statement:   The Office of HE John Dramani Mahama wishes to formally thank the Regional Chairpersons Caucus of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) for their fraternal visit on Thursday, November 09, 2017, and also appreciate the opportunity to discuss a number of issues. Given that the former president had always wanted to thank Ghanaians for their support and cooperation during his tenure as both Vice President and President of the Republic of Ghana, and as reiterated during the meeting he will discuss the timing of the requested Thank You Tour with the leadership of the Party. On the issue of considering the request of party colleagues and supporters to lead the NDC to the 2020 Elections, HE John Mahama’s position, as stated in Cape Coast, remains that it will be premature to announce his decision whether or not to contest, in view of the ongoing reorganization efforts of the Party. He Mahama, during the meeting also stressed the need for the leadership of the Party across the structures- Branch, Constituency, Regional and National- to work towards educating supporters on the ongoing Branch reorganization activities and use the opportunity to build up the support base of the Party in the communities. The former president further repeated his earlier call on all members of the NDC to focus on the ongoing restructuring and reorganization exercise while pledging his commitment and support for the process and the Party. He also advised the leadership of the party to continue to work towards establishing a level playing field during the upcoming internal party elections.      
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