No individual is allowed to lift oil at the Ghana’s Bulk Oil Storage and Transportation Company (BOST), Energy Minister, Mr. Boakye Agyarko has announced.
The Minister told Parliamentarians that the move will in the interim help to prevent the supply of contaminated fuel onto the Market following the BOST scandal where some 5 million liters of the contaminated fuel, was wrongly sold to Movenpinna Energy and Zup Oil, sparking fears that they might have been sold to unsuspecting consumers.
Mr. Agyarko said “One of the interim measures is that no longer will individuals be allowed to lift contaminated products out of BOST.’’
He added, “We also noted that as soon as products were lifted out of BOST, you lost control of its track. As an interim measure, it is only BOST with its BVRs that can lift products to designated end-use consumers under the care and control of BOST. No longer are private companies allowed to lift products to unknown destinations. This became obvious during the preliminary investigation conducted by FDA itself whose preliminary results were released to the public. So we are taking the obvious which can remediate some of these deficiencies and shortfalls.’’
Meanwhile, oil dealers who fail to comply with guidelines and regulations set out by the National Petroleum Authority (NPA) will now be arraigned before court and if found guilty, slapped with a 15,000 penalty unit fine or serve a five-year jail term.
“Mr. Speaker, the National Petroleum Authority is drafting regulations to cover oil and petroleum products supply and quality control which will be enforced when accented into law. Any petroleum service provider that is not compliant will upon summary conviction, be fined a penalty of up to 15,000 units or imprisoned up to five years or both and may have their licenses also withdrawn”, Energy Minister, Boakye Agyarko revealed.
Zimbabwe must act quickly to dig its economy out of a hole and access international financial aid, the International Monetary Fund has warned.
Government spending and foreign debt are too high and it needs structural reform, Zimbabwe mission chief Gene Leon told Reuters news agency.
The country’s incoming leader Emmerson Mnangagwa has pledged to grow the economy and provide “jobs, jobs, jobs”.
The once-thriving economy is now seen as a regional basket case.
“The economic situation in Zimbabwe remains very difficult,” Mr Leon told Reuters.
He said high government spending should be reined in and Zimbabwe should address the large international debt it has defaulted on.
“Immediate action is critical to reduce the deficit to a sustainable level, accelerate structural reforms, and re-engage with the international community to access much needed financial support,” Mr Leon said.
Robert Mugabe, who led Zimbabwe for 37 years, stepped down earlier this week under pressure from the military and his own Zanu-PF party.
His policies, including disastrous land reforms and printing too much money, are blamed for the calamitous state of Zimbabwe’s economy.
On Thursday, Zimbabwe’s main opposition called for deep-rooted political reform to dismantle the repressive apparatus that sustained Mr Mugabe’s regime.
The Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) said it was cautiously optimistic that a Mnangagwa presidency would not “mimic and replicate the evil, corrupt, decadent and incompetent Mugabe regime”, reported AFP news agency.
It is unclear whether Zanu-PF will govern alone ahead of scheduled elections next year, or whether a coalition government of national unity that includes opposition groups will be formed.
Zimbabwe’s economy is half the size it was at the turn of the millennium.
Zimbabwe has not had a currency of its own since 2009, when the old Zimbabwean dollar buckled under hyperinflation – which is said to have reached 231 million per cent, worse even than the notorious levels in Germany following World War One.
Cash shortages mean Zimbabweans can often be seen queuing at banks. Economists say Zimbabwe needs a cash injection, but it has been barred from borrowing internationally since it began defaulting on its debt in 1999.
Some residents of the country’s capital, Harare, say they have already seen an improvement in their daily lives since the army came into the streets and Mr Mugabe was forced from office.
One benefit, they say, is the absence of police road blocks on the streets where officers demanded bribes from those travelling around.
“There used to be so many police roadblocks, with the driver having to pay $1 or $2 (75p-£1.50)” Spiwe Azvigumi, 31, an unemployed mother of three, told AFP.
“With the police off the roads, crime is actually down – they were so corrupt and now we are living free.”
First ever Giti Tire Professional Golf Open Championship started early hours today at Ceebrity golf course at Sakumono in Accra.
Fifty three Professional Golfers are competing for honors with twelve seniors and forty one regular players making a total of a hundred and six (106) golfers on the course seeking to win cash prizes and trophies at the end of the championship.
During the official tee off Thursday morning, President of Ghana Professional Golfers Association, Mr Anthony Kwame Mintah, remarked that the entire PGA was grateful to Giti Tire Eighty Thousand Ghana Cedis (GHS 80,000) package for the first edition of the Gire Tire Open.
He also congratulated the pros for their professionalism and turning up on time for the game and wished them good luck.
The representative of the sponsor, Giti Tire, said Ghanaians should patronize their products which is the only way they can also be in business and give back to society as part of their corporate social responsibility.
Captain of the host club, Mr Mark Peverett thanked Giti Tire and the PGA for hosting the Championship
He added, the course has been setup to challenge the pros but was fair for all.
An amount of USD 50 million is needed for the completion of phase 1, and the development of the phase 2 of the University of Ghana Medical Centre, the Health Minister, Kwaku Agyemang Manu has said.
Addressing journalists at the Information Ministry’s meet the press session said “Plans are underway to operationalize the University of Ghana Medical Center after the completion of Phase 1, which is still not completed. Efforts are underway to complete phase one for operationalization.’’
He announced that ‘’A cabinet memo has been submitted to cabinet for consideration to procure $50m for completion of Phase I, and development of Phase 2, which will consist of neurology, pediatrics surgery unit, VIP maternity care with assisted reproductive technology center, IVF and day care surgery, facility for cardio and open heart surgery, additional surgery for medical training, robotics center, commercial out-patient pharmacy, provision of substation to boost power supply and staff housing, 32 bedroom apartments. That is likely to begin and be the first base for health tourism in Ghana.’’
The Medical Director for the Ankaful Psychiatric Hospital’s Director, Dr. Eugene Dordoye, has apologized to the agitating nurses who have demanded for his removal from office.
The aggrieved nurses started a sit-down strike today [Thursday] after their demand for his removal was not approved by the Health Minister, Kwaku Agyemang Manu.
Dr. Dordoye in a four-page letter appealed to the nurses to forgive him for his style of leadership.
“I apologize unreservedly to all staff of Ankaful psychiatric hospital who have been hurt by my approach, the CEO, MHA [Mental Health Authority], Central Regional Minister, Health Minister and all others affected and I will surely improve and manage the change better than I have done in the past going forward.”
The letter also indicated that the nurses may not have felt okay with his new reforms at the facility hence their agitation.
He said, the nurses “are not happy about the new systems to improve quality mental health care such as weekly subscribers meetings.”
According to him, per the reforms, “Physicians Assistants and Nurse Practitioners were acting as doctors formerly and I requested they work per their job description.”
“These and many other measures I took to improve quality of work, which has improved mental healthcare measured by significantly increased IGF and decreased mortality and morbidity but has courted hatred from me by bringing these changes.”
As part of efforts to foil potential threats of terrorism in the country, the Ministry for National Security is set to roll out an exercise under the name, “Exercise Home Shield”.
According to Ministry, the exercise would be in collaboration with other state security agencies.
Director of Counter-terrorism at the Ministry, COP George Asiamah, said threats posed by terrorism require proactive state measures hence the exercise.
He said “some regional, global trends and recent incidents in the neighbouring states gives serious cause for concern,” although Ghana has not experienced same.
He added, “These threats and trends have necessitated for a holistic approach to preventing acts of terrorism. Terrorist acts culminate in crisis situations requiring a multi-agency response including strategies beyond conventional warfare to make us combat ready and ever prepared to combat terrorist threats. To this end therefore, we are going to embark on a security exercise coded Exercise Home Shield.”
“This is a simulation exercise to mimic real life professional scenarios for an objective assessment of capabilities of counter-terrorism response agencies. In a nutshell, it is a form of rehearsal to sharpen our capabilities to respond to terrorist attacks and to recover from it,” he noted.
Hopes that the 44 crew of a missing Argentine submarine might still be alive have been dashed after the navy said an event consistent with an explosion had been detected.
The "abnormal, singular, short, violent, non-nuclear event" was recorded in the south Atlantic by a nuclear test watchdog last week.
Relatives of the missing crew reacted with grief and anger at the news.
It follows a US report of a loud noise in the same area.
The ARA San Juan disappeared last Wednesday. More than a dozen countries including the US, Russia and the UK have sent assistance.
Where is the latest information from?
It was provided to the Argentine navy on Thursday by the Vienna-based Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO), Capt Balbi said.
In a statement, the CTBTO said two of its hydro-acoustic stations had detected a signal from an "underwater impulsive event".
On Wednesday the navy received a US report of a "hydro-acoustic anomaly" detected hours after the submarine went missing.
Capt Balbi said the suspected explosion took place near the submarine's last known location.
The navy only knew the location of the suspected explosion, not its cause, he said, and search efforts would be concentrated in the area.
How have relatives reacted?
News of the suspected explosion was broken to family members gathered at the Mar del Plata navy base shortly before Capt Balbi spoke to journalists.
Some remonstrated angrily with the navy spokesman, reports said, while others collapsed in tears.
Relatives accused the navy of lying to them and of raising false hopes. Others pointed the finger at the government, saying lack of investment and corruption in the armed forces had made the submarine unsafe.
One man whose brother was on board the ARA San Juan was quoted by Clarin newspaper [in Spanish] as shouting: "They killed my brother, the bastards. They killed my brother because they take them out to sail with wire."
The Minority in Parliament has expressed disgust at the Speaker of Parliament, Prof. Mike Oquaye for his decision not to recognize the leadership of the Minority who had wanted to bring to the notice of the House a pertinent issue regarding the Legislative Instruments on the creation of new District Assemblies that were laid on the floor on November 16, 2017.
Reporting proceedings from Parliament, our correspondent Naa Darkuah Dodoo said the Second Deputy Minority Whip and MP for Banda, Hon. Ahmed Ibrahim, had stood on his feet prior to the commencement of the debate on the 2018 Budget and Economic Policy statement of the government, hoping to catch the attention of the Speaker to enable him to present his case but he was not given the opportunity to present his case.
She added that the Minority started shouting on top of the voices and banged their tables.
The situation she said provoked the Majority and had sitting suspended.
The legislator after sitting resumed was allowed to present his case and in presenting his case he called on the Speaker to order the Minister for Local Government and Rural Development to withdraw all the Legislative Instruments for the creation of new District Assemblies.
To buttress his case he quoted Article 11(7) of the Constitution and Order 75 of the Standing Orders of the House to support his claim.
Article 11 (7) of the Constitution states that “Any Order, Rule or Regulation made by a person or authority under a power conferred by this Constitution or any other law shall –
(a) Be laid before Parliament
(b) Be published in the Gazette on the day it is laid before Parliament; and
(c) Come into force at the expiration of twenty-one sitting days after being so laid unless Parliament, before the expiration of the twenty-one sitting days, annuls the Order, Rule or Regulation by the votes of not less than two-thirds of all the members of Parliament.
Order 75 (1) states that “As soon as sufficient copies of a Paper for distribution to Members have been received in the Office of the Clerk notice of the presentation of that Paper may be placed on the Order Paper, and as soon as Mr. Speaker announces “Papers for Presentation”, the Paper shall be deemed to have been laid on the Table.
“Rt. Hon. Speaker, these Papers were laid on November 16, 2017. Today is 23rd. The Legislative Instruments are in connection to the new districts that are being created. I followed up to the Mails Room. I was told that the Papers were brought to Parliament and there was a problem with the typos and so they’ve been carried back to go and do the corrections before they bring them. Rt. Hon Speaker, once the Papers have been laid, and they have taken back … They are Legislative Instruments; the days are counting. Once they’ve been sent back for corrections, I think it will be proper and appropriate for the Papers to be withdrawn because the Supreme Court ruling says that once Legislative Instruments have been laid, Parliament shall have no other power to make corrections on them. So, I was just drawing your attention on this,” he explained.
But the Majority Leader Osei Kyei Menssah Bonsu on his part said said he finds it very difficult to believe why the 2nd Deputy Minority Whip will seek for information regarding the Legislative Instruments from officers at the Mails Room when the Table Office and the Clerk of Parliament is there. Nonetheless, he said the issue raised will be considered when the House adjourns sitting.
“This Honourable House comes with an agenda for the day. And we will want to be very careful about anything that interrupts the agenda of the day.
“In any respectable company, when you attend Board Meetings, they have an agenda and they go by the agenda. They also have other matters. So, if you have any other matter, you raise it at the end of the agenda. The matter under reference was not listed to be dealt with today. It is something that has already happened in this House. You don’t refer to them in the manner that clearly interrupts the agenda we have set for ourselves today. You realize that when it is past two, even though I have the right to simply adjourn the House as per our own rules, I nevertheless, ask Leader if there are something to raise. At the time like this, it is quite appropriate to raise a matter that has not been listed and which is not appropriately before the House and then something can be done about it. I will not want us to simply rise in a manner that will bring about surprises,’’ the Speaker stated.
The President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, is advocating for stronger trading and investment relations with Denmark, following a 3-day official visit to the country by the Queen of Denmark, Her Majesty Margrethe II.
According to President Akufo-Addo, there is a long history between Ghana and Denmark, dating as far back as the 17th century, evidenced, for example, in one of the greatest assets of the nation bearing a Danish name, i.e. the Christiansborg Castle, which, until recently, was the seat of Government.
He indicated further that “we are looking forward to develop those relations, and we hope your visit will help cement a new relation between our two countries.”
President Akufo-Addo made this known on Thursday, 23rd November, 2017, when he held bilateral talks with Her Majesty Margrethe II, Queen of Denmark, at the Presidency.
With Queen Margrethe II being the first Danish Monarch to visit Ghana, President Akufo-Addo reiterated the commitment of his government towards moving the country to a point beyond aid, by developing good trading and investment relations with Ghana’s partners.
“Increasingly, the focus of Ghanaian policy is to accentuate economic partnership between our partners, to ensure that businessmen can get together and invest in our country, and Ghanaian businessmen, if they can, also invest in [countries like] Denmark,” the President said.
Accompanied by a large business delegation from Denmark, President Akufo-Addo stressed that he was “looking forward to the meetings between the Danish and Ghanaian business delegations”, explaining that it would serve as “a good basis for furthering and deepening the trade and investment relations between us.”
The President continued, “Denmark has been a solid ally, friend and partner of Ghana. There are so many areas of our national life which have been affected by the generosity of the Danish people, and the co-operation development area encompasses many areas.”
This support, the President indicated, “is a support we treasure and value”, and assured Queen Margrethe II that it “has been put to good use.”
Secretary General for the Ghana Para Powerlifting Association, Peter Adjei has called for support the association to ensure they work effectively and efficiently.
He says the association needs an office because if you are an association with a centralized office, it gives you more credence, integrity and respect.
Speaking to Rainbow Radio’s Worlanyo Wallce, he said with the office, the association can manage the affairs of athletes and engage with them on regular basis.
He also revealed to him that the association is looking forward to five regional associations after the April 2018 Commonwealth games.
‘’We want to nationalize the sports and we do not want to sit only in Accra since the athletes do not only live in Accra. We also want to recruit the youngsters between the ages of 14 and 22. This is to ensure that, they will get serious training so in 4 years time, they will perform better and win laurels for the country,’’ he said.
Mr. Adjei said despite the challenges of the association, he is not discouraged and will continue to work hard to make the association better.
He called on corporate Ghana to support the association to achieve it set goals.