The President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, on Monday, April 3, 2017, swore in Dr. Ernest Kwamina Yedu Addison as the new Governor of the Bank of Ghana, after consultation with the Council of State.
At a brief ceremony at the Presidency, which had the Vice President of the Republic, Alhaji Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia; Chief of Staff, Akosua Frema Osei Opare; Senior Minister, Hon. Yaw Osafo Maafo; Minister for Monitoring and Evaluation, Hon. Anthony Akoto Osei; and Secretary to the President, Nana Bediatuo Asante; all in attendance, President Akufo-Addo noted that the new Governor had joined the ship of state in very difficult circumstances.
“There is a big burden on us to revive the Ghanaian economy and put it on the path of growth and prosperity. I don’t have to tell you the significance of your role in that process. It is absolutely vital, and you, more than anybody else, will give confidence to the markets that Ghana is on the right path,” the President said.
President Akufo-Addo expressed his confidence in the ability of Dr. Addison, stressing that “I am grateful that I have the opportunity to appoint you to this Office. I have no doubt that it is one you will discharge with credit to yourself and to the people of Ghana.”
The President indicated further that he is very much aware of the independence granted to the Central Bank by the laws of the country, “but, nevertheless, if there is transparency and co-operation, we should be able to work together to achieve our main goal, which is to create the conditions for the growth of our economy.”
Describing the role of the Governor as “an arduous task”, President Akufo-Addo reaffirmed his confidence in the abilities of Dr. Addison, wishing him “Godspeed and the very best of luck in your new role.”
On his part, Dr. Ernest Addison thanked the President for the confidence reposed in him, through his appointment as Governor of the Bank of Ghana.
“I am hoping that I will be able to contribute my best to position the Bank of Ghana to play that role that it is required to play, in terms of ensuring the stability of the macroeconomic and financial environment.
The issue of stability is of great concern to Ghanaians – stability, not only in the exchange rate, but stability in prices generally – as well as creating the low interest regime which will support your private sector vision of creating jobs, ensuring high growth and reducing poverty,” he said.
He assured the President that, notwithstanding the challenges that confront the Ghanaian economy, “they are not insurmountable, and I know that with the leadership of the Vice President, in charge of the Economic Management Team, we will make an impact.”
Dr. Addison reiterated his commitment to keeping the President informed frequently, regarding to issues bordering on the economy, especially on the monetary policy aspect, adding that “we shall not disappoint you”.
Road transport fares have been increased by 115 percent, a statement from the Road Transport Operators has said.
The increment takes effect Thursday April 6, 2017.
According to the statement, the increment is line with the Administrative Instrument on public fares.
The statement said, ‘’the road transport operators have reviewed the prices of various elements that go into running of commercial transport services and have increased road transport fares by 15%.’’
The increment the statement further indicated, cover the following transport operators; Intra-City (Trotro); Inter-City (Long Distance) and Taxi Cabs.
‘’Members are kindly requested to comply with the new fees and post the fare list at their loading terminals so as to avoid any confrontation with travelling public,’’ the statement said.
It concluded by requesting commuters to co-operate with the successful implementation of the new fares.’’
A private legal practitioner, lawyer Elikplim L. Agbemava, has filled a writ at the Supreme Court seeking clarification on some of the benefits enjoyed by Article 71 office holders as well as other public servants in that category.
The lawyer in his writ wants presidential staffers who benefit from salaries, allowances, and privileges almost like an Article 71 office holders, to be stripped off such gratuities claiming it “is inconsistent with Article 71 and therefore unconstitutional.”
The lawyer in his reliefs wants to to also find out why Article 71 office holders as well as Members of Parliament, are exempted from contributing to the Tier 1 basic national social security scheme operated and managed by the social security and national insurance trust. He said such an act is “contrary to the National Pensions Act, 2008 as amended, and Article 71 of the 1992 Constitution.”
The lawyer added, because MPs enjoy ex-gratia from the state, it does not encourage them to contribute to the social security scheme. “A declaration that on a true and proper interpretation of Articles 17, 98 (1), and 71 of the 1992 constitution the approval by the President (on the recommendation of the Committee set up under Article 71) for the enjoyment of retiring benefits or awards by Member of Parliament on the basis of a model that does not oblige Members of Parliament to contribute to any pension insurance scheme, during their years of service in Parliament before drawing on public funds for the payment of their pension is discriminatory against all other public sector workers employees in Ghana, unfair, unconscionable and contrary to Article 17 of the constitution and therefore unconstitutional,” Mr. Agbemava stated in his writ. The lawyer in his reliefs is also seeking “a declaration that on true and proper interpretation of Articles 98(1), 95 (6), 44 (2) and (3), 155 (1), 68 (4), 194 (5), 187 (14), 199, 203 (3)(c), 208 (3) (c), 233 (1) and 71 of the 1992 constitution, gratuity and pension is payable under the 1992 constitution after a full and final retirement of a public servant from public service and not intermittently while he/she is still in public service.”
Some A Deputy National Organizer of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) Mahdi Gibril says it was very unfortunate for Murtala Mohammed to make comments that, Muntaka Mohammed confirmed to the party’s leadership a bribe was indeed given.
The Minority Chip had denied the allegation and swore by the Quran that, there was no bribe given to him to share among the Minority members on the Appointments Committee.
The Joe Ghartey led Committee after concluding its investigation concluded that the Bawku Central MP, Mahama Ayariga was in contempt of Parliament and recommended he apologise.
However, he rendered what some have described a conditional apology.
Meanwhile, in the wake of the unending debate, a former Deputy Trade and Industry Minister under the erstwhile Mahama government, has hinted that, Muntaka Mohammed confirmed to the party’s leadership that, a bribe was given hence, finds it worrying how the issue is being treated by the NDC.
“It simply doesn’t make sense. What interest do you have to please somebody who is engaged in wrong? Whose interest will it serve and that there should be a political gerrymandering to impose leaders because people have an agenda either in 2016 or 2020? Let’s get serious because that won’t work,” he lamented.
He added “there isn’t any division and this is not an attempt to undermine the leadership of the Minority. It is to expose the NPP and the very people who are engaged in corrupt acts who have accused us of corruption throughout.”
But commenting on his [Murtala’s] claims, Mahdi Gibril has questioned which member of the executive or executives met with the Minority and confirmation given on the allegation.
According to him, he was extremely disappointed and asked if he [Murtala] spoke on behalf of the national executive.
‘’The party NDC knows better than the only Murtala that we know. The party is bigger and does things based on our structures. We don’t do things just on radio.’’
He said, Murtala is only speaking on radio. This is not the position of the party.’’
When asked if he will not confirm or deny Murtala’s statements he had this to say: ‘’Murtala’s statement will not make me answer to his statement. What we [party] have said was that, Parliament was investigating the matter and we would state our position after they have presented their report. We will meet and look at what to do and see the way forward.’’
He said, ‘’if Murtala feels we are giving up somebody, why has he not come to the party. The NDC party does not rush in taking a decision.’’
Again when asked if Mahama Ayariga is going to be vindicated if the dust finally settles on the saga he responded saying, ‘’let’s get there and when we get there, everybody will know the truth.’’,
On whether Mahama Ayariga should apologise to Parliament, he said: ‘’that is a Parliamentary procedure and so let us get to that bridge. Apologising to something does not mean that thing is untrue or false.’’
The NDC he stressed do not have a problem on this saga rather, it is the current government led by President Nana Akufo-Addo who failed to deal with the issue holistically.
‘’Nana Addo should have waited for the investigation to conclude before confirming him as the Energy Minister. Someone who claims to be an anti-corruption campaigner, would have waited for the minister to finish with the investigation but failing to do that, raises serious issues.’’
Some heavily built men numbering about 20 and believed to be associated with ruling New Patriotic Party’s (NPPs) Invincible Forces, have reportedly besieged the offices of the Eastern Regional National Health Insurance Scheme, and forcibly locked the office of the Regional Manager.
According to them, they cannot work with the Regional Manager who they claim is an outsider and not a member of the party.
The Eastern Regional Police Public Relations Officer, ASP Ebenezer Tetteh, confirming the story said: “They came in, entered the office of the new scheme manager for the region, who has been appointed, and took the keys to the office and locked up the offices.”
Meanwhile, the President, Nana Akufo-Addo has hinted that, Ghana will not be lawless under his watch.
He gave the assurance when he paid a courtesy call on the Asantehene Otumfour Osei Tutu II as part of his three-day, thank your tour.
He specifically made reference to the recent attack on his nominee as the security coordinator for the Regional Security Council, Daniel Adjei by Delta Force, a vigilante group associated to the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP).
He described the incident as unfortunate and noted, efforts are underway to ensure that the offenders are punished.
“It will not be under my watch that people will take the law into their own hands, neither will it be under my watch that the laws of our land will not be enforced. That will never happen. The law will work without fear or favour.’’
Former Power Minister under erstwhile Mahama led administration; Kwabena Donkor has alleged that, the Philip Addison led committee that probed the contract signed under them was sponsored by the same firm.
Addressing a press conference, the former minister said, the company paid the hotel bills and plane tickets for the committee that probed the contract when they traveled outside Ghana.
‘’We want to ask; who paid for their tickets, who paid for their hotel accommodation? We have the evidence that Ameri energy paid for the hotel that they used, paid for their tickets.
“If you’re going to investigate someone, do they pay for your accommodation and host you? We are in a country of law, our side will not want to see an energy sector divided between NDC and NPP and therefore they should be candid with us,’’ he said.
He also debunked claims that the deal signed under the NDC was fraudulent.
The Pru East Member of Parliament also dared government to abrogate the contract and take legal action if the Philip Addison’s committee claims the deal was fraudulent.
The Addison committee charged to review, restructure and recommend areas of amendment of the Ameri power deal, has recommended that the deal be re-negotiated or abrogated on grounds of fraud, after it emerged that Ghana was made to pay 150 million dollars extra in commission to Africa & Middle East Resources Investment Group LLC (Ameri Energy) for the construction of the power plant.
Football administrator, Mr. Abbey Pobih, has suggested that, debate surrounding the coaching job or replacement for Avram Grant should seize with immediate effect.
The Black Stars are searching a replacement for the immediate past coach Avram Grant, but James Akwesi Appiah has become favourite among the short listed persons for the top job.
However, Mr. Pobih is of the view that, the ongoing debate is a ‘’concert party’’ as has charged the media to halt the discussions.
‘’I will advice that we should not waste time discussing the coaching recruitment process. It is a concert party and waste of time. Both the Ghana Football Association (GFA) and our politicians are joking with Ghanaians.’’
When asked why he made that comment, Mr. Pobih said, if politicians are not rooks, they will not be going about scouting for a coach for the Black Stars.
In his view, it looks as if the GFA and government have settled on Akwesi Appiah hence it is a waste of time for us to continue discussing the matter.
‘’It looks as if it has been decided by the GFA and government that they want Akwesi Appiah. So why waste time inviting people for interviews? That is why I am saying that it is a concert party.’'
Mr. Pobih said the focus should rather be why the Ministry of Youth and Sports had had 14 ministers reshuffled over the past years.
The development of football and winning of laurels for the national team, he noted would only be achieved if we discuss the politics affecting the development of football in Ghana.
The political influence in our coaching and management of the national team, he argued has stagnated our success.
The challenges confronting the national team including indiscipline, corruption if not solved, will not augur well for the team and even if Mourinho is appointed to coach the stars, we will go nowhere.
He said, ‘’until the cockroaches are cleared from the FA, we will not succeed. They have over stayed their purpose. They should be all sacked. We can do that. We have to implement the Brazil Commission’s report. We wasted money in setting up that committee yet, we have failed to implement the report. Are we serious as a country?
Mr. Pobih advised Akwesi Appiah to recall what he went through in the past and advice himself.
‘’The FA want to use Akwesi Appiah. If I am a friend and a brother, I will advise him to reject the job. But if he wants to take the job, he should sign an agreement with the FA to pay him in full the number of years they want him to manage the team and the payment should be quoted in dollars.’’
By: Nana Prempeh
Dr. Cadman Mills, bother to the late president John Evans Atta Mills has incurred the wrath of family of over his recent interview with Accra based Starr Fm about the late brother.
Dr. Cadman Mills among other comments said on Star Fm that, the late president never hailed from Ekumfi Otuam in the Central Region.
He said his brother, other siblings, his parents and their family are not natives of Otuam as speculated by a section of Ghanaians.
Dr Cadman Mills revealed that the purported family house in Otuam is not theirs and that their family house is in Cape Coast describing it as a ‘legend’ that Ghana’s late President hailed from Otuam.
‘There is this legend that former President Mills comes from Otuam, its probably true, I don’t know, but the first time I heard of this legend was when I was about 60 years old. I have lived that long without knowing that I had any links Otuam, I am telling you this. I did some research on it, and I was told that somewhere when he was filing his nomination papers, he put there that he hails from Otuam or something like that.
‘…What is most scandalous is that perhaps Bola Ray believes former President Mills comes from Otuam. When he died, you knew that he had siblings, so they also must come from Otuam, at least ask us to lead you to the family in Otuam. Out of no where, I mean we Ghanaians can be very bold, people I don’t know from Adam, I never heard of become my family heads and my family. They even published pictures of the twins, President Mills and I. They invented a family for me. My family head ever since I was born, i was told is that we come from Cape Coast. I thought maybe it was political because nobody comes from Cape Coast. So that is why it was necessary for Prof Mills to do that, if he indeed he did that, to put another town Otuam, as his home town or where he hails from. The real family is in Cape Coast,’’ he told Starr Fm
But Nana Kojo Mensah a nephew to the late president has slammed Dr. Cadman Mills describing him as pathological liar.
The man who appeared furious also alleged that, Dr. Cadman Mills could have a hand in the death of his own brother.
‘’Dr. Cadman Mills is a pathological liar. I suspect he had a hand in his brother’s death. The reason why I made that allegation is that, we are all aware that the late president hails from Ekumfi Otuam…Why is he making such claims?
He hinted that the family had met and will soon summon him to answer some questions.
His comments he lamented, were unfortunate and unfounded adding, Dr. Cadman Mills is ignorant of his own root and history.
According to him, Dr. Cadman Mills does not visit his hometown and so, he has lost it when it comes to his own history.
He further slammed the National Democratic Congress (NDC) for deceiving the family and failing honour the late leader for his enormous contributions to the development of this country.
He said the family have been treated unfairly since the death of the late president.
The West African Examination Council (WAEC) has expressed strong optimism that, this year’s West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSE) examination will not leak like previous years.
Public Relations Officer (PRO), Madam Agnes Teye-Cudjoe says the laws would be applied should the exam leak.
“We have the WAEC law in place so if anybody is found culpable, the law will take over and the person will be prosecuted. If any member of staff is found culpable, we have sanctions that can be taken against the person.”
She said, some regulations WAEC had introduced, noting that, “supervisors and invigilators are not supposed to send mobile phones to the examination hall because we all know what mobile phones can be used for.”
She added: “We also have security details on the supervisor’s bags and we also have combination padlocks on them so that people cannot easily open these bags.’’
Some 289,207 candidates-both private and public are writing this year’s exams.
Europe is becoming the global hub for the hosting of child sexual abuse images and videos, suggests a report. The annual report by the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) found that 60% of worldwide abuse material was now in Europe – an increase of 19%. The Netherlands topped the list of European nations hosting the illegal content, said the IWF. Improved reporting and policing by ISPs in North America are believed to have driven the shift. “The situation is reversed from previous years,” said Susie Hargreaves, chief executive of the IWF. “Europe is now the biggest host of child sexual abuse imagery, rather than North America.” The IWF is the UK body that acts to find and remove abuse content from UK networks. Escalating demand In 2015, about 57% of the web pages containing abuse content could be found in North America, according to the IWF figures. In 2016, this had dropped to 37% with the majority now in Europe. The IWF report said about 34,212 web pages were found to be displaying abuse content in Europe – which also includes Russia and Turkey. Ms Hargreaves said the shift “could reflect the great work taking place by the US industry to tackle the problem” that had forced criminals to look elsewhere for hosts that would let them upload and share content. The change was a “remarkable indication” of the work being done by US ISPs to identify, remove and report the content, said John Shehan, vice-president of the exploited children division of the US National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC). American laws requiring ISPs to inform the authorities when images were found on their networks had driven a steep rise in reports to NCMEC, he said. In 2015, the number of reports it received topped 4.4 million and in 2016, 8.2 million, Already in 2017, said Mr Shehan, the organisation had received more than two million reports.
Many net firms have started to hunt out abuse images that are being uploaded and shared
This work was aided by the use of classification systems that produce a unique identifier, known as a hash, for each piece of content. This can then be used to see if any image or video being uploaded is known to depict abuse.
“The hashes dramatically help abuse victims by reducing the amount of re-victimisation that occurs when the images are recirculated and traded online,” he said.
Few European firms that rent servers or web space actively sought out images of abuse, he said, which could also help to explain the shift identified by the IWF.
Arda Gerkens, a Dutch MP who helps to oversee the nation’s anti-abuse hotline, said it too had seen an “overall” rise in the number of reports to ISPs about material both in 2016 and 2015.
But, said Ms Gerkens, there had been no change in European policy over the last 12 months that would account for the shift.
A spokeswoman for the UK’s National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) said work had to be done to tackle the “escalating demand” for abuse material and to find out what stops offenders viewing child sexual abuse images.
“We must never forget that there is a victim behind every child sexual abuse image,” she added. “Every time these horrific pictures are viewed a child is re-abused. Anyone who wilfully seeks out this material is complicit in fuelling this appalling industry.”