The timeline for registration by the National Identification Authority (NIA) is likely to be extended.
The NIA was set to begin registration of Ghanaians onto its database and issue instant cards but the exercise is likely to start in 2018 due to delay in amending portions of the bill backing the project.
The National Identity Register (Amendment) Bill, 2017, was passed by parliament last week under a ‘certificate of urgency.’
The Legislative Instrument (L.I.) is expected to be laid in Parliament in the course of next week, to allow for 21 sitting days for the LI to mature to effectively bring the new law into existence.
Commenting on the matter, Executive Secretary of the National Identification Authority, Prof Ken Attafuah, said “Parliament is a master of its own procedures –it can sit on Saturday or Sunday. Parliament is determined, you could tell from the tenure of the debate in the House that Parliament is unanimous and united in its understanding and expectation that this National Identification system project is critical for the development of this country, and that the amendments ought to pass. It is however a matter of procedure that A must happen before B.”
“Once that happens, I have every reasonable basis to expect that Parliament in its wisdom may find it necessary to meet on such days as to ensure that this amendment that we are seeking to the form is passed in time to enable us roll out before the end of this year. If that does not happen, worst case scenario, early January or mid-January 2018, we will roll out. But this is the only thing we are waiting for – the amendment to the form,” he noted.
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo was the first to receive his national card in September this year.
The Ghana Card is a national identity card that is issued by the Ghanaian authorities to Ghanaian citizens – both resident and non-resident, and legally and permanently resident foreign nationals. It is proof of identity, citizenship and residence of the holder. The current version is in ID1 format and biometric.
The Ghana Card contains second and third level security features by the NIA (National Identification Authority): On the photo a micro-holographic reflecting stamp is placed. The back contains the machine readable zone. Themicrochip, inside the card contains biometric data such as fingerprints of the holder, the image, signature, etc. The data can be extracted from the chip with wireless RFID technology. The ID card serves as a travel document for national travel. The validity of the card is 10 years and is compulsory for citizens over 16.
The Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) has seized 524,191 capsules, and 3,001 vials of Tramadol over the past eleven months.
Vial is a small glass or plastic vessel or bottle, often used to store medication in the form of liquids, powder or capsules.
The FDA said about 85 per cent of the seized drugs were manufactured in India whilst 13.5 per cent had no manufacturer details on them.
Mrs Olivia A. Boateng, Head of Tobacco and Substance Abuse Department of the FDA, made this known at a six-day training programme in Pharmaceutical Crime, Intelligence Gathering and Investigations in Accra.
She said the drugs were seized following swoops carried out by the FDA and other security agencies in three markets in Northern, Volta and Western Regions.
Mrs. Boateng said whilst some of the drugs had expired, others were not registered by the FDA, and many others had efficacy level above the FDA’s stipulated requirement.
She said over 40 million pills of counterfeited Tramadol were seized at the Port of Cotonou in Benin in 2015.
She said the FDA was collaborating with the Pharmacy Council to restrict prescription, sale and distribution of Tramadol in the country.
Mrs. Boateng said the FDA was also strengthening its ability to undertake follow-up inspection, to monitor the distribution records of manufacturers and importers of codeine-containing syrups and Tramadol in the country.
Mrs Boateng cited lack of funds, inadequate staff and logistics, as well as unauthorized points of entry as some of the challenges facing the FDA.
Despite these challenges, she said the FDA would continue to step up public education on the dangers of the abuse of Tramadol which could lead to deaths.
Tramadol is a synthetic narcotic pain reliever, and it is usually prescribed to patients suffering from moderate to severe pain.However, its abuse has raised concerns among regulatory bodies such as the FDA, hence the effort to confiscate them.Abuse of Tramadol could result in erectile dysfunction, infertility, brain damage among others.
The President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has indicated that, as part of the educational reforms being undertaken by his government, he has directed the Ministry of Education, and the Ministry responsible for Science and Technology to draw up programmes to strengthen and upscale the study of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) right from the basic level.
According to President Akufo-Addo, it is the aim of his government to enroll more science students in the country’s educational system, “so as to achieve our initial target of 60% science students in our technical institutions.”
Additionally, the President indicated that his government has drawn up very elaborate programmes and strategies to strengthen Technical, Vocational, Education and Training (TVET) at all levels of the educational system.
“It is my conviction that TVET is one of the main strategic policies of government aimed at the development of Ghanaian human resources. The major objective of TVET is to prepare people for the job market so that they can be productive and be of use to themselves, their families and society at large,” he added.
President Akufo-Addo made this known on Saturday, 18th November, 2017, when he delivered a speech at the 20th convocation and graduation ceremonies of the All Nations University College, in Koforidua, in the Eastern Region.
Reiterating his commitment to increasing the funding for research and development (R&D), the President noted that in the short to medium term, one per cent of GDP will be devoted to that.
“Eventually, this will be raised to 2.5% of GDP in the long term. R&D funds will be made available for all research activities in both public and private educational and research institutions. It will take some time, but I am convinced that eventually Ghana will reap the expected benefits of the policies that have been put in place to transform education,” the President said.
Congratulations on satellite launch
In congratulating the University on the occasion of their 20th Convocation and Graduation Ceremonies, President added that “I come here today with a sense of pride in view of your recent achievement in launching GhanaSat-I into space. Indeed, your achievement has put Ghana on the map of nations that are venturing into space.”
With the African Union about to set up a Space Agency for the whole of Africa, President Akufo-Addo revealed that he has directed the Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation to express strongly Ghana’s readiness to host the Agency, and mobilise support to that end.
“Clearly I was motivated to take that decision partly as a result of your recent successful launch of GhanaSat-1,” he said.
Whilst admitting that operating a private university in this part of the world is not an easy task, President Akufo-Addo told authorities of the All Nations University College, and other private universities that government has taken measures to lessen the burden on them.
“The abolishment of the 25% corporate income tax for private universities, and the reduction in power tariffs for educational institutions, including private ones, are some of the measures government has undertaken,” he said.
It was the hope of President Akufo-Addo that, “with these reliefs, private universities will plow their profits into the development of educational infrastructure and improve teaching and learning.”Science
The President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, says to ensure that products of the country’s schools become useful and valuable citizens of our nation, the virtues of hard work and discipline must be instilled in Ghana’s school-going children.
To guarantee this, the President noted that, “it is essential that key players in the education sector, school authorities, teaching staff, and students, are all determined, disciplined and hardworking.”
Delivering his address at the 80th Anniversary of the Abuakwa State College, on the theme “Providing Quality Education through Discipline and Hard Work for Academic Excellence”, president Akufo-Addo stated that “it is clear that the provision of quality, accessible education is the fastest and most effective way to changing the fortunes of our country, and joining the group of developed nations.”
Stressing that Nana Ofori Atta 1, the man through whose vision ABUSCO was founded, could not have established the school without hard work and discipline, the President noted that the supervision of teaching and learning, checks on absenteeism of both teachers and students, and the development of innovative and practical strategies to supervise and monitor effectively school activities, must be undertaken by the authorities of Abuakwa State College.
“Authorities at ABUSCO have the obvious duty to uphold discipline. It is their responsibility, and they must not hold back, but should be firm and reasonable in the process,” he added.
Additionally, the President noted that the commitment of teachers to the attainment of quality education at any level is critical, stating that teacher absenteeism is one of the factors that lead to students recording not too encouraging results in the West African Senior Secondary Certificate Education examinations.
He, thus, urged Heads of institutions to root out the canker of absenteeism, stressing that “our teachers must bear in mind that they are role models to students, and they set the bar for excellence, and must, therefore, project excellence to their students. Discipline and academic excellence go hand- in-hand, so our teachers should not compromise on the rules and regulations of the School.”
President Akufo-Addo stated that his government recognises that a well-trained, confident and contented teacher is at the heart of the delivery of quality education.
To this end, he stressed that the views of teachers will be sought on education policy, innovation and implementation.
“Their professional development and needs will be treated with respect, and we shall ensure that teachers’ salaries and allowances are paid regularly and on time. My administration will also concentrate on the provision of incentives that will motivate teachers, and reward their hard work in the classroom,” he assured.
To the students of ABUSCO, President Akufo-Addo urged them to be minded by the fact that that indiscipline undermines academic work and progress, adding that self-discipline and the effective use of their time are some of the key ingredients to their success.
“A disciplined student is focused and hardworking, and always seeks to challenge himself or herself beyond mediocrity. I, thus, urge all of you to abide by the rules and regulations of the School, and set the highest standard of discipline to enable you complete your education successfully,” he said.
The President continued, “You have been brought here by your parents and guardians to be trained to become useful, dignified and responsible citizens in the country. Do not disappoint them, study hard and refrain from anything that can hinder your prospects of a bright future. But also enjoy and make the best use of your recreation and leisure time. The society demands well-rounded individuals.”
President Akufo-Addo assured ABUSCO and all other senior high schools across the country of his government’s determination to deliver quality education.
“We intend to ensure that the challenges of logistics and infrastructure, associated with the introduction of the Free SHS policy, are satisfactorily addressed. The policy is here to stay. An education that will produce dedicated, disciplined and responsible students, who will be eager and willing to participate in developing our beloved Ghana, and to become her patriotic future citizens and leaders, remains our objective,” he added.
Zimbabwe’s ruling party has sacked President Robert Mugabe as its leader. Zanu-PF has appointed ex-vice-president Emmerson Mnangagwa, who had been fired by Mr Mugabe two weeks ago. The sacking of Mr Mnangagwa had prompted an extraordinary chain of events as the military intervened to block Mr Mugabe, 93, from installing his wife Grace in his place. Tens of thousands of Zimbabweans attended street protests on Saturday to demonstrate against the Mugabes. Mr Mugabe is set to meet military leaders on Sunday and a motorcade has been seen leaving his private residence. The head of the influential War Veterans Association, Chris Mutsvangwa, told Reuters news agency that the party was also starting the process of removing Mr Mugabe as the president of the country. Reuters also reports that First Lady Grace Mugabe has been expelled from th
e party altogether. BBC correspondent Andrew Harding, at the meeting, tweeted a video of people dancing after the decision to remove Mr Mugabe was taken.