A non-governmental organization, Women and Children Empowerment (WACE) has admonished Ghanaians to avoid discrimination and sexual abuse against women.
Speaking at a two-day workshop organized at Takoradi Royal Hotel, Executive Member of WACE, Mr. Augustine Sakyi, said the organization have targeted tackling the issue of discrimination against women.
He advocated for gender equality and the eradication of discrimination against women at all levels.
He also spoke against sexual harassment, abuse of women and the habit of assigning some job opportunities which women could equally be good at to men.
He said the famous adage ‘what a men can do, women can do better', still prevails hence the need for Ghanaians to appreciate women and not discriminate against them.
The organization encouraged parents, traditional leaders, stakeholders invited to the event, to educate their children, subjects and residents on the dangers on discrimination.
Ranking member on the Foreign Affairs Committee of Parliament and MP for North Tongu, Saamuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, has posited that the president has lost touch with reality because he feels comfortable cruising in the flagstaff house.
The legislator said after listening to the president deliver his second state of the nation address, he can confidently say, the president did not actually know what is happening in the country or does not have an answer to the numerous problems in the country.
‘’The president needs to step out of the flagstaff house and talk to ordinary Ghanaians. He needs to listen to what trotro drivers, workers are saying. They are saying that the living condition in Ghana is unbearable.’’
The economic achievements touted by the president he noted do not connect with the realities on the ground.
‘’All those your numbers; your macroeconomic statistics as compared to the reality, there is a disconnect. It doesn’t reflect. The Vice President told us in the first 100 days that, he had arrested the depreciation of the cedi and handed the key to the IGP. The IGP would have to be to telling us where the keys are because we all know the cedi is still depreciating against the dollar,’’ he said.
President Nana Akufo-Addo on Thursday delivered his state of the nation address before parliament.
In his delivery, the president said his administration has been able to revive the economy and resolve the mess created by the previous NDC.
“I conveyed my dismay at the full extent of the economic mess, in which our nation was mired. We had inherited an economy that was in distress, choked by debt, and with macroeconomic fundamentals in disarray.”
“I am glad to be able to report that the Economic Management Team, under the stellar leadership of the strong, brilliant economist, Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia, has risen to the challenge, and the hard work is beginning to show positive results,” the President said.
He indicated further that his government has reduced taxes, brought down inflation and interest rates, increased economic growth rate from the alarming 3.6% at December 2016, to 7.9% in the government’s first year, with indications that it will be even better in 2018.
“We have increased our international reserves, maintained relative exchange rate stability, reduced the debt to GDP ratio and the rate of debt accumulation, we have paid almost half of arrears inherited, and, crucially, we are current on obligations to statutory funds,” he stated.
The President continued, “I am also pleased to report that the 3-year IMF-supported Extended Credit Facility Programme, begun in 2015, comes to an end this year. The relatively good macroeconomic performance in 2017 will strongly support our successful completion of the IMF programme. We are determined to put in place measures to ensure irreversibility, and sustain macroeconomic stability, so that we will have no reason to seek again the assistance of that powerful global body.”
The President of the Republic, Nana AddoDankwa Akufo-Addo, says government has an obligation to treat the Auditor-General’s Report seriously, and to work to retrieve illegally acquired monies from those who would impoverish the Ghanaian people.
Delivering his Message on the State of the Nation, on Thursday, 8th February, 2018, President Akufo-Addo noted that year in, year out, the nation’s Auditor-General produces a report on the country’s public finances, which is often full of grand cases of corruption in our public services.
“The Auditor-General’s Report on MDA liabilities as at 31st December, 2016, makes truly alarming reading. I make reference to the fact that a staggering amount of GH¢5.4 billion has been identified as constituting fictitious claims. In the course of this address, Mr Speaker, the House has heard me struggle to identify a source of funding to build our roads,” the President said.
He continued, “Every day, we hear reports on our radios and televisions of dilapidated classrooms, and children who sit on floors at school. Just think of the difference that GH¢5.4 billion would make to the nation’s finances. That would certainly be enough to build and furnish hundreds of classrooms, and construct the Eastern Corridor roads. Every citizen is affected by acts of corruption, and we should all work to tackle them.”
To this end, President Akufo-Addo noted that the role of OccupyGhana, in increasing awareness of the importance of the work of the Auditor-General, should be recognised.
All corruption allegations investigated
With the Preamble to the Constitution of the Republic enjoining all Ghanaians to uphold the principles of Freedom and Justice, Probity and Accountability, and in furtherance of this, the President noted that he has made it publicly known that anyone, who has information about acts of corruption by any of his appointees, should bring it forward, and should be prepared to back it up with evidence, for he will have it investigated.
“So far, every single alleged act of corruption levelled against any of my appointees has been investigated by independent bodies, and, in some cases, by Parliament itself, and the findings made public,” the President said.
He added all the allegations against the Minister-Designate for Energy at his parliamentary confirmation hearings; to that against the CEO of BOST; to those against the two deputy Chiefs of Staff; to the conflict of interest allegations against the Minister for Finance; and, most recently, to the claims of extortion against the Trade and Industry Minister, have been investigated, and no evidence has been adduced to suggest any act of corruption, conflict of interest or wrongdoing.
“It appears, however, that some are determined to stick to their politically-motivated view that there has been corruption. This, surely, is not helpful. It is important to note that, in my first year of office, despite having a clear parliamentary majority, two separate bi-partisan probes in Parliament have been established to inquire into allegations of corruption, as against zero in recent years, notwithstanding the persistent calls by the then Minority over several allegations,” he said.
President Akufo-Addo, in quoting from the Minister for Information, Mustapha Abdul-Hamid, stated that “no matter how long a log stays under water, it will never become a crocodile.”
Election of MMDCEs
On the proposed creation of new regions, President Akufo-Addo expressed satisfaction with the conduct of the constitutionally-mandated processes so far, and stressing that “I believe this exercise will be a success, especially as it is being undertaken with scrupulous adherence to the teachings of the Constitution in this sensitive area.”
Touching on another ambitious decentralisation exercise, which is the direct election of Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives on a partisan basis, President Akufo-Addo noted that “it is a firm manifesto commitment of the New Patriotic Party”, to which he remains committed.
He noted that his discussions with the nation’s political leaders, including the former Presidents of the Republic, convince him that it is a step that must be taken.
“The constitutional impediment to this, in Article 55 of the Constitution, an entrenched clause, must, therefore, be removed. To ensure the judicious use of the country’s resources, I propose that the constitutional processes for a Referendum should be initiated in such a manner that the holding of the Referendum will take place at the same time as next year’s District Assembly elections,” he said.
He continued, “If successful, the outcome of the Referendum will mean that the current set of MMDCEs will be the last batch of Chief Executives to be appointed under the current system. I have no doubt that the resourceful Minister for Local Government and Rural Development, HajiaAlimaMahama, MP for NaleriguGambaga, will be able to shepherd this process to a positive conclusion.”
The Minister of Health, Kwaku Agyemang Manu, has noted that, although Ghana places great importance on nutrition, the input into the training curriculum of our training institutions has been nominal.
The Minister, was of the belief that, a curriculum should be based on a policy that positions nutrition as a cross cutting developmental issue that will address all known nutritional concerns and challenges comprehensively.
Mr. Manu made the call in a speech read on his behalf at the opening ceremony of a two-day validation workshop on the ‘Revised Curricula and Training Modules in Nutrition for Health Schools, Universities, and Teaching Programmes for Agronomist across Africa.
The Minister said the policy would provide guidance in determining the content of any nutrition training curricular that may be developed.
Nutrition he opined, encompasses undernutrition particularly in children less than five years of age, micro-nutrient deficiencies among women and children, sub-optimal infant and young child feeding and increasing rate of obesity and nutrition related non-communicable diseases.
He also touched on the area of nutrition he felt has been ignored has to do with relationship between malnutrition and food security, food safety, hygiene and sanitation.
‘’We can have all the nutrition knowledge we deserve, we can have all the best strategies but if the food is not there, there is little the nutrition officer could do, if the food is not handled properly, it could be contaminated and bring about infections that could compound the nutrition problem,’’ Director-in-charge of administration at the Ministry, Adam Adaklugu, who read the speech on the Minister’s behalf said.
He said a wide range of nutrition specific interventions are currently available for implementation and various interventions are ongoing in countries across the sub-region.
''It is not only integrated training for nutrition officers we need but we also need appropriately trained complementary professionals that may work with the nutrition experts on the field, so as to ensure such professionals work as teams on the field.''
‘’The nutritional training curriculum should be informed by an all encompassing policy aimed at addressing our nutritional concerns in a cost effective and sustainable way using locally available nutritional substitute,’’ he added.
He urged stakeholders to look beyond aid in the funding and investments in the area because the interventions may not survive if donor support dies out.
On his part, the Deputy Director General for the West Africa Health Organization (WAHO), Dr. Laurent A. Assogba, decried the high prevalence rate of malnutrition, which is a major public health concern.
The existing data review globally he said shows a high prevalence of stunting, while the average reduction rate is put at 5% to reach the targets by 2025 as set by the World Health Organization (WHO).
Malnutrition he lamented ‘’is contributing to more than 33% of child deaths,’’ adding ‘’malnourished children are exposed to diseases and have a higher risk of death than others.’’
Dr. Assogba, touching on the workshop said. it became necessary for institutions and individuals to be strengthened in order to optimize and sustain nutrition interventions.
The purpose of the meeting will be to discuss the content of the curricula and modules. It addition, it will serve as a framework for adopting the proposed documents and identifying implementation options, he concluded.
‘’The acute accommodation problems that face our Armed Forces must be, and are now being tackled,’’ President Akufo-Addo has said.
According to him, resolving the accommodation challenge confronting the Armed Forces should be our priority.
‘’ We know that it is in all our interests, that those charged with ensuring our security, and who put their lives on the line for our safety, are able to concentrate on their jobs without distractions like inadequate and inappropriate housing. It is vital that all of us give maximum support to the noble and brave men and women of our security services, involved in Operation Calm Life, Operation Vanguard, and Operation Cow Leg, aimed at guaranteeing the safety of our people, the integrity of our environment, and the peace of our nation,’’ he added.
He said ‘’In much the same way, we are beginning to address the problems of our Armed Forces. I am happy to report that work has started on the Barracks Regeneration Programme.
He was however quick to add that, the housing deficit was not limited to our security services, it is a nationwide problem that is caused mostly by the intolerable pressure on land prices.
‘’This has put affordable housing out of the reach of most people. We have begun the difficult process of making housing affordable for Ghanaians. Government, last year, abolished the 5% VAT/NHIL on real estate sales, and continues to create a conducive environment that is reducing interest rates on mortgage loans. Discussions are also on-going between the Pensions Regulatory Authority and the Banks to underwrite an effective mortgage system. This will facilitate access to housing for the ordinary budget. Government will also continue to create the enabling environment that will promote private sector investment in cheaper housing for the people,’’ he concluded.
The President of the Republic of Ghana, H.E Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo says government has initiated the process to rehabilitate the kraals and ranches that were abandoned under former President Kufour, to help manage the nomadic herdsmen and residents of Agogo menace.
Delivering his second state of the nation address, the president said ‘’…I am aware that the entire nation is extremely anxious and perturbed by the activities of the migrant, nomadic herdsmen in the country. We are rehabilitating the kraals or ranches that were abandoned after the Kufuor-led NPP government left office in 2009.’’
After rehabilitation, ‘’they [ranches] will become operational shortly to provide secure, grazing places for cattle. At the same time, efforts are also being intensified to find an ECOWAS-wide solution to an issue, which goes beyond the boundaries of our country, and is affecting the entire West African region.’’
Lawlessness, impunity and instability he warned would not be entertained under his leadership.
He said ‘’…we shall not allow miscreants of any sort to terrorize our population; and I promise that there will be no hiding place for criminals. I am certain that the interventions we are introducing will boost morale in the service, and I urge the House and all citizens to support the police to deliver the service we deserve. The formidable Minister for the Interior, Hon. Ambrose Dery, MP for Nandom, needs our effective co-operation to carry out his all-important functions.’’
President Nana Akufo-Addo has hinted of government’s preparedness to retool the police to enable the service combat crime.
The president said in the medium to long term, his administration ‘’will purchase drones and helicopters to assist the police combat violent and environmental crime. The crime laboratories will be modernised, and properly equipped to provide the necessary support.’’
He also announced that, ‘’The police intelligence unit will also be strengthened. The perennial problems associated with police accommodation will be tackled, and a compensation package introduced to cover officers in their line of duty.’’
The safety and security of Ghanaians he told Parliament in his state of the nation address was paramount and would do everything possible to protect citizens.
He said ‘’…the safety and security of our people are at the heart of all that we do. Ghanaian citizens have a right to expect to go about their daily lives in an atmosphere of peace.’’
He added: ‘’A Ghanaian has a right to expect that those who break the law must be subjected to the sanctions laid down under the law. The police, the prosecution services and the judiciary owe it to all of us to make us feel and be safe. I do not need to repeat that crime wears no political colours, and I am certain that message has gone down to all.’’
The police he said will crack down very hard on all those who would disturb the peace of our nation. We will give the Police the resources they need to do their job.
‘’An initial amount of GH¢800 million is being made available to procure and supply, within the next six months, critical, modern policing equipment and gadgets to enhance the capacity of the police to enforce law and order, including one thousand (1,000) vehicles, motorbikes, and ammunition. The equipment is to facilitate visibility, mobility and improved responsiveness of the police to ensure a safe, secure and peaceful economic and social environment for Ghanaians to work and thrive. Already, the successful renegotiation of existing contracts has enabled us purchase, forthwith, 100 vehicles for the Police,’’ he announced.
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has waded into the 2016 Auditor-General’s report over a staggering GHc5.4billion identified as fictitious claims.
The president said the report on MDA liabilities as at 31st December 2016, makes alarming reading.
He noted every citizen is affected by acts of corruption, and we should work to tackle them.
Government has an obligation to treat the Auditor-General’s report seriously, and to work to retrieve illegally acquired monies from those who would impoverish us all.’’
He commended pressure group OccupyGhanaa for their role in the fight against corruption, he said.
‘’The role of OccupyGhana in increasing awareness of the importance of the work of the Auditor-General should be recognized.’’
He lamented over the reports on dilapidated classrooms, and children who sit on floors at school and wondered why we waste state resources through corrupt practices.
‘’Every day, we have reports on our radios and televisions of dilapidated classrooms, and children who sit on floors at school. Just think of the difference the GHc5.4billion would make to the nation’s fiancés. That would certainly be enough to build and furnish hundreds of classrooms, and construct the Eastern Corridor roads,’’ he added.
The Accra High Court has quashed the decision of the Minister of Lands and Natural Resource, Mr John Peter Amewu, to revoke the mining lease granted to Exton Cubic to explore bauxite at Nyinahin in the Ashanti Region.
According to the court, presided over by Mr Justice Kweku T. Ackah Boafo, the Minister acted unreasonably, unfairly and in a capricious manner when he revoked the mineral leases.
The Minister, the court held, should have given Exton Cubic the opportunity to be heard before revoking the leases.
“The first respondent (Minister) failed to give hearing to the applicant (Exton) which is a breach of natural justice” the presiding judge said.
The ruling by the court followed an application for certiorari filed by Exton Cubic seeking the court to quash the decision of Mr Amewu to revoke the mining leases on September 4, 2017
Exton Cubic Group Limited led by Ibrahim Mahama brother of former President John Mahama was controversially granted a long lease concession by the previous government on December 29, 2016 a few days for it to hand over power to the new government after its defeat at the polls.
The company moved heavy-duty machines into the forest near Nyinahin with intent to start exploratory activities, but was stopped by both the district and regional authorities after agitations by the youths in the area.
Mr Amewu on September 20, 2017 wrote a letter to the company revoking the mining leases.
The one-village-one-dam project starts full operation this year, President Nana Akufo-Addo has declared at his second state of the nation address delivered in Parliament today [Thursday].
The president described the policy as a simple, low-tech project, but these dams will make a big difference to all our lives and the livelihoods of our farmers,’’ he stated.
He told parliamentarians that, many of the little dams that had been abandoned have been rehabilitated and brought back into use.
‘’A deliberate and specific intervention to help farmers is paying off,’’ the president said.
Farmers in Ghana he indicated ‘’can see that the government is putting resources to back up the usual words. The 50% subsidy on fertilizer, and the increase in the provision of extension services, is making a great difference to the performance of Ghanaian agriculture.’’
The flagship agriculture policy, ‘Planting for Food and Jobs’ according the president has yielded positive results.
‘’Under the planting for food and jobs scheme, we are witnessing a fresh interest in farming. The success of the first year has encouraged us to increase the scope of the programme, and, this year, some half a million farmers would be signed on, up from the figure of two hundred thousand (200,00),’’ he said.