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The governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) has taken a swipe at former President John Dramani Mahama over his ‘’incorruptible’’ claim. The NPP in a statement signed by Acting General Secretary, John Boadu, described Mr Mahama as someone who ate and drank corruption when he was in power. The statement was in response to a statement issued by special aide to Mr Mahama refuting the allegations leveled against the former leader of diverting an amount of $13 million meant for development project into his personal account. But Joyce Mogtari described as false the allegations and described Mr Mahama as an incorruptible person. But the NPP has laughed off the claims insisting Mahama was a corrupt person considering the number of allegations including SADA, GYEEDA, SUBAH among others. “The NPP is utterly shocked at these claims being made by the Former President, who for all intents and purposes, ought to have risen above such pettiness and recklessness, having had the rare opportunity to occupy the highest political office in the country,” the party stated. The statement further added, “On their second claim about Mahama, rather than Akufo-Addo, being incorruptible, we find this as perhaps, the biggest joke of the century that will see every Ghanaian laughing. Need we remind them of how synonymous the name, John Mahama had become with corruption? Need we remind them that John Mahama superintended over the worst corrupt regime in the history of this country, where on daily basis, Ghanaians were greeted with one form of corruption scandal or another?” The statement added, "need we remind them of the GYEEDAs, the SADAs, the SUBAs, the Amajaros, the Smarttys, the Brazil World Cup scandals, the Woyomes, the Isofotons, the Watervilles, the Fortives, the Kanazoes [where Mahama accepted a "bride" of a Ford Expedition from a Burkinabe contractor]? Need we remind John Mahama of the uncountable corruption scandals, most of which he personally supervised during his tenure? Need we remind John Mahama that one of the reasons for his unprecedented electoral humiliation at the 2016 polls was because of his personal involvement in a lot of these corruption scandals?" Read Below the full statement: NPP REPLIES FORMER PRESIDENT JOHN MAHAMA OVER HIS CLAIM OF INCORRUPTIBILITY AND UNPROVOKED ATTACK ON THE PERSON OF HIS EXCELLENCY PRESIDENT AKUFO-ADDO The attention of the NPP has been drawn to a statement purportedly emanating from the Office of Former President John Mahama and said to be a response to a petition filed by some four citizens of Ghana at the Office of the Special Prosecutor to investigate the Former President for alleged diversion of $13 million meant for the development of the Western Region by the E.O group of company as part of their corporate social responsibilities. In the former President's response to this petition, as contained in a Press Statement signed by his Special Aide, Joyce Bawah Mogtari, it was claimed that "the said petition is another orchestrated but failed attempt by the NPP government to divert attention from the numerous corruption scandals suffocating it". Their Statement further alleges that "Former President John Mahama, unlike President Nana Akufo-Addo, is incorruptible". The NPP is utterly shocked at these claims being made by the Former President, who for all intents and purposes, ought to have risen above such pettiness and recklessness, having had the rare opportunity to occupy the highest political office in the country. Even though the party would ordinarily not respond to such pettiness, we are nonetheless minded to do so because of the reverence we accord the office of a Former President. First of all, the party has absolutely no knowledge about the said petition nor has it instructed anyone to file same on its behalf. But, as a party that believes in good governance and holds unwavering commitment to the fight against corruption, we would, on any day, encourage citizens to, in exercise of their civic rights, report cases of wrongdoing and alleged corruption to the appropriate statutory bodies for proper investigations. This is what President Akufo-Addo and the NPP have always stood for and we have no apologies. On their second claim about Mahama, rather than Akufo-Addo, being incorruptible, we find this as perhaps, the biggest joke of the century that will see every Ghanaian laughing. Need we remind them of how synonymous the name, John Mahama had become with corruption? Need we remind them that John Mahama superintended over the worst corrupt regime in the history of this country, where on daily basis, Ghanaians were greeted with one form of corruption scandal or another? Need we remind them of the GYEEDAs, the SADAs, the SUBAs, the Amajaros, the Smarttys, the Brazil World Cup scandals, the Woyomes, the Isofotons, the Watervilles, the Fortives, the Kanazoes [where Mahama accepted a "bride" of a Ford Expedition from a Burkinabe contractor]? Need we remind John Mahama of the uncountable corruption scandals, most of which he personally supervised during his tenure? Need we remind John Mahama that one of the reasons for his unprecedented electoral humiliation at the 2016 polls was because of his personal involvement in a lot of these corruption scandals? It is pretty obvious from the foregoing that, Joyce Bawah Mogtari only sought to ridicule Former President Mahama by suggesting in the statement that he is incorruptible. How can somebody who eats and drinks corruption be said to be incorruptible? Certainly, this, cannot even be told the marines. We encourage the Office of the Former President to rather respond directly to the serious allegations made against him in the said petition and not engage in these red-herrings and unprovoked attacks. President Akufo-Addo, on the other hand, has, all his life, both in private and in public service, never been accused or alleged to have been involved in any act of corruption. He is by far, the only politician in our recent history to have boldly said that, "I, Nana Akufo-Addo, am not corrupt; I have never been corrupt and I shall demand same of all my appointees". And indeed, for all the corruption allegations levelled against his appointees by surrogates of the NDC, President Akufo-Addo had ensured that they were all thoroughly investigated notwithstanding their frivolity. That is a mark of an incorruptible leader which we never saw in John Mahama, who would rather offer promotion to such appointees to reassigning them to the Office of the President to help advance their corrupt enterprises. Ghana has certainly moved on and we cannot afford to go through the corrupt Mahama experience any more. Forward, we move. Thank you. JOHN BOADU General Secretary (Ag)
An OccupyGhana member, Nana Sarpong Agyemang-Badu has called on the government to make a wakeup call on the emergency response services of the country by suggesting a command center. He said the command center will pick data of every hospital in the country on the number of beds every hospital have, either occupied or not occupied on regular basis 3 times daily. This will help hospitals alert citizens on the availability of beds in hospitals before visiting them and taking emergency cases he added. This will save time, energy and most importantly, save lives of citizens from the “no bed syndrome” after the death of the 70year old man who was rejected by six hospitals over lack of beds two weeks ago. He also suggested the introduction of new emergency numbers or codes which should be short and simple to call as compared to lengthy landline and phone numbers given by the police. These numbers should be able to reach all emergency services such as the police, fire services and ambulance services. He suggested some hospitals should be assigned only for emergency cases so as to know where emergency cases should be sent for early treatment. These hospitals should have well trained educative health care professionals that will handle basic emergency cases and healthcare. “Laws should also be enacted to prevent doctors and nurses from turning away patients with emergency cases with the excuses of no beds available. It is only the administrators who have the authority to do so” he quoted. He also called on government to strengthen the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) to be able to cover emergency cases. He concluded by appealing to government to purchase more ambulances for emergency cases. He was speaking on Nyankonton Mu Nsem on Rainbow Radio 87.5Fm. By: Nicholas Nii Nai Ollenu (Intern, Rainbow Radio)
The First Lady, Mrs Rebecca Akufo-Addo has underscored the need for Ghana to achieve the Sustainable Development Goal 3- which seeks to reduce maternal deaths to less than 70 per 100, 000 births. Maternal and infant health she noted are of great concern to her because it has become so critical that, they have become a measure for development. The First Lady says although Ghana is recording less maternal and infant deaths, we should be quick and to also concede that, we need to do better. In the view of the First Lady, Ghana can do so through pragmatic and results oriented measures which will allow us achieve the Goal 3 sooner than later. Mrs. Akufo-Addo who was speaking at the commissioning and handing over of the renovated and refurbished Bawjiase Health center by the Rebecca foundation, the donation includes hospital bed, wheelchairs, incubator and equipment which will enable the Health Center work effectively in the district. She also advised women to take their antenatal serious during their pregnancy period to avoid challenges during their delivery. She went on to advise nurses to work as professionals and with passion to help reduce maternal and infant deaths in the country and her aim for this foundation is to help provide good and quality health care for the people of Ghana. The goal of President Akufo-Addo she explained is provide better health care for citizens through internal resources hence his aim to see a Ghana beyond aid. On his part, the Member of Parliament for Awutu Senya West, Mr Nenyi George Andah, on behalf of the district expressed gratitude to the First Lady and the Rebecca Foundation for the support. He also urged the constituents to have hope in the ruling government since they have started delivering most of their campaign promises and as member of Parliament, he will make sure he will fulfill his campaign promises he made to the people of Awutu Senya West.
The National Democratic Congress (NDC) Member of Parliament for Ho West, Mr. Kwesi Bedrah is set to resign as legislator, rainbowradioonline.com has gathered. According to reports, his action is due to a protracted unresolved issue between him and some constituency executives of his party. The Minority Caucus according to information are trying to convince him to rescind his decision. Bedzrah is a Development planner, Architect and Quantity surveyor by profession. He was born on September 11, 1949 and hails from Bowiri-Anyinase in the Volta Region. He holds a Diploma in Education which he acquired at the University of Cape Coast in Ghana’s Central Region in 1980, an Ordinary Technician Diploma (OTD) from the Takoradi Polytechnic in 1988, an Advance Diploma in Quantity Surveying from Ellis School of Building Worcester, England in 1992, a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and Management from the University of Ghana, Legon in 2003 and a Master’s degree in Development Management from the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA) from 2010 to 2012.
Policy think tank, Institute of Liberty and Policy Innovation (ILAPI) has issued a document on the loss of revenue through gift tax. According ILAPI, Government lost GH 8.863 Billion via Gift Tax alone in 2017. ILAPI stated that, the think tank sampled 6200 people nationwide and asked them simple questions as to whether they have received gifts from loved ones who are not directly related to them. ‘’By interacting with our participants, we collected data for this study through face-toface interviews and open ended questionnaires which were given to all participants and collected after they have answered them. Several questions were asked but the two relevant for this study were 1. Are you aware of gift tax? And Have you ever paid gift tax on the gifts you receive? (YES or NO). Out of the categorization, religious leaders recorded a taxable gifts amounting to GH₵157,893,705.00 and evaded gift tax of GH₵ 23,684,055.75 About 2000 ‘Special People’ responded as whether they were aware of gift tax and in their responses, 302 answered YES representing 15%; 1442 answered NO representing 72% whereas 256 responded somehow representing 13%. On whether the respondents paid tax, only 20 out of the 2000 representing 1% answered YES. 95% representing a figure of 1890 said they never paid tax. Ninety (90) representing 5% said they somehow paid tax. ‘’The special people recorded taxable gifts of GH¢146,6 Apart from the persons who fall under the first two categories or group of persons, all the others are classified by this study as ordinary people. Regardless to their occupation, social or economic status, they are described by this study as ordinary people. Be it police, truck pusher, organizer of an association or party, president of a group, accountant what so ever, they are called by this study as ordinary people • The study interviewed 3000 Ordinary People.91,600 and evaded tax of GH¢22,003,740,’’ the document added. Out of the ‘Ordinary People’, 60 representing 2% said they paid tax whereas 2940 never paid gift tax representing 98%. ‘’The ordinary people received tax amounting to GH₵61,785,656.00 for which they did not honor the gift tax and evaded gift tax of GH₵9,267,848.40 • So, In 2017, Ghanaians exchanged taxable gifts amounting to GH₵366,370,961. As part of the gift amount, 15% were supposed to be paid as gift tax but the amount went off the government coffers unnoticed. So in 2017, government lost GH₵54,955,644.15 as gift tax revenue on 6200 Respondents of OUR survey.’’ The gender structure of the respondents is as follows: Male: 2352 and Female: 3848making a total of 6200 respondents. ‘’For just a year with only 6200 people not paying gift tax ,produced an amount of GH₵54,955,644.15,’’ the statement posited. According to ILAPI, ‘’ If 6200 people produced GH₵54,955,644.15, then 1,000,000 people will produce GH₵ 8,863,813,572.58 (GH₵8.863 Billion) using simple proportion. So with this analysis, ILAPI Ghana can say with authority that Ghana loses GH₵ 8,863,813,572.58 annually. Ghana’s government budgeted GH₵ 1.6 billion for free SHS for a year so if we divide GH₵ 8,863,813,572.58 by GH₵ 1.6 billion a year gives 5.5 years. So ILAPI want to tell Ghanaians that if we should all honor our gift tax obligation, the revenue from gift tax alone a year could finance free SHS for approximately 6 years without OIL MONEY. If the government is losing GH₵ 8,863,813,572.58 from gift tax revenue annually, then simple mathematics tells us that for every second, the government loses GH₵ 281.07’’. ILAPI is therefore making the following recommendations: Change of channel of payment; Building of trust by the government; Accessibility of gift tax return form; Proximity of tax offices and Avoidance of poor reception by tax officials.
The Mayor of Accra, Mohammed Adjei Sowah has said, the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) have enough measures in place to manage the perennial flooding in the capital especially the Odawna area. According to him, the perennial flooding has minimized due to the measures adopted by the assembly. He was reacting to the flooding in some parts of Accra including Taifa, Kaneshie, Adenta, Amasaman, and Adabraka Sahara after few hours of a heavy downpour Monday evening. He told the media after touring some affected areas that, ‘’the water was filled to the brim and there was a spill over. It is also because the sea level has also risen so the water could not also get into the sea. And for that matter, there was a gush back of the water into the city centre. That caused the flooding around the Adabraka Sahara.’’ The AMA boss had told the media Adabraka Sahara was not going to flood again due to the dredging done. However, the downpour on Monday flooded the area. Commenting on it, the AMA boss said, we put in all the measures that we could possibly do. But the panacea to the problem is to dredge the Korle lagoon because that is the main canal that carries the water into the sea. At the moment, it is filled with debris and silt. And so, its capacity to absorb water has been reduced drastically, and that is the main problem. We have done our part. His Excellency the president is also quite committed; we’ve managed to secure a world bank funding under the Greater Accra Resilient Integrated Project to deal with that matter.’’ Practically, the initiative is ongoing to guarantee Accra becomes more resilient to shocks and stresses such as fires, earthquakes, floods, disease outbreaks and infrastructure and building collapse that weaken the fabric of a city.
The Municipal Chief Executive of Adenta in the Greater Accra Region, Daniel Alexander Nii-Noi Adumuah, says he will soon seek a court order to demolish buildings on waterways to prevent the perennial flooding in his jurisdiction. The MCE in an interview with Accra based Citi FM said the demolishing exercise will prevent the flooding which has been a challenge for residents. “We will seek legal help and remove those buildings because all these buildings do not have any permit because nobody will allow them to build in such areas. So why are people building without permits, we need to bring a bit of discipline into our system if the whole society is supposed to benefit,” he said. He also stated that there will be drenching of key waterlogged areas to give water passage to prevent flooding with the onset of the rains. Parts of the capital including Kaneshie, Odwna, Adenta, Amasaman and others got flooded after few hours of thw downpour.
The Executive Director for Social Impact Studies, Richard Kojo Elimah, says he does not fathom the reason why President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has hinted of plans to lift the ban on small scale mining. In the view of the development planner, the purpose for which the ban was placed has not been achieved and so it makes it difficult for him to point out why the announcement for the ban to be lifted. Mr. Elimah in an interview with Kwame Tutu, host of Frontline on Rainbow Radio 87.5Fm said, the major factor that led to the ban on small scale mining was on environment effects. The ban he noted was enforced to allow our polluted water bodies to take shape but as we speak, when you travel across these affected areas, the water bodies have not taken shape as expected. ‘’People were complaining about how polluted our major water bodies were due to galamsey. And so the ban was placed to allow the water bodies to take shape. But when you travel to these areas, you will realize that, we have not had any major change in the water quality. It hasn’t happen and so I don’t know why the ministry is satisfied and the plan to lift the ban,’’ he noted. Mr. Kojo Elimah stressed, ‘’per my view, the major reason for the ban; which is for the water quality to be restored-I don’t think we have been able to achieve that. This is because I have travelled over the past two weeks across the country; River Prah has not changed, River Ankobrah and the rest have all not changed, and so, if that is the major indicator of success, then I can safely say that the ban has not achieved any purpose.’’ He was however quick to add that, if the purpose was to sanitize the system and prevent illegal mining, then I can say some level of success has been achieved due to the use of the Operation Vanguard. He called on government to provide the details on the indicators informing the decision by authorities to lift the ban. Meanwhile, he says the lifting of the ban is long overdue, adding, it was an unfair practice because there were some individuals who were licensed and genuine to operate. The ban he added affected such persons due to the illegal activities of unlicensed miners. ‘’We should lift the ban so those who are licensed to operate,’’ he posited. Delivering the keynote address at the sensitisation workshop for traditional and religious leaders and stakeholders on the elimination of illegal mining in Ghana, held at the Accra International Conference Centre yesterday [Monday] President Akufo-Addo assured that, shortly, Government will put out a statement setting out a comprehensive roadmap, including the lifting of the ban on small-scale mining, to deal with, on a permanent basis, the grave threat of galamsey to the present and future health of Ghana. The comprehensive roadmap, according to the President, will involve the reclaiming and re-afforestation of mined-out areas; the restoration of impacted water bodies; and strict supervision of the processes of awarding mining licenses and associated permits. Additionally, the road map will incorporate the establishment of a mercury pollution abatement project; the implementation of alternative livelihood projects; systematic control of the engagement of excavators and changfans in mining areas; and continued formalisation and regulation of the small-scale mining sector.
Director of National Health Insurance Scheme, Dr Samuel Annor, has announced the introduction of a new app which would aid Ghanaians to be able to renew their NHIS cards with ease devoid of stress. Adding, he said this app can be easily accessible on mobile phones. This he said can assist all to know more about the scheme. “The grievances of patients and people who said they must go through stress to our district offices to renew their cards have been heard. We also went round our district offices to put together some challenges which have made it expedient for such an app to come on board. Therefore, management has put a lot of measures in place to put NHIS services on easy reach through our phones to Ghanaians”, he explained. Speaking to the media at an event organised yesterday [Monday], he said, all these innovations has been done ahead of the coming of the Ghana card. NHIS card after 5 years would be invalid. The new Ghana card would now be used for health care and other services, he stressed. He further said that they have already started their piloting in some constituencies. By: Priscilla Obeng Asantewaa (Intern, Rainbow Radio)
The Deputy National Chairman of NADMO Mr Abu Ramadan has confirmed on Rainbow Radio 87.5Fm that, his team have rescued quite a number of people who were affected by yesterday’s heavy downpour. He said his team were available to rescue citizens who were affected by the rains yesterday and assured citizens that they are still available doing their job to keep them safe. He indicated that NADMO have set up emergency respond teams and phone lines to ensure that their operations will limit the impact of the flood. He also encouraged citizens to stay safe because more rains are going to come to worsen the situations. He further cautioned citizens to stop littering around and desilt gutters because that is one of the main causes of the floods. The public can call this number in case of an emergency: 0202014040/0299350244 By: Nicholas Nii Nai Afful (Intern, Rainbow Radio)
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