Vice President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, has said Government is determined to co-operate with companies and countries interested in providing high quality infrastructure in the country, especially in the areas of construction and manufacturing.
He said as part of the Government’s industrialisation plan, it was more than willing to allow those companies to set up and operate in the country.
Vice President Bawumia said this when a delegation led by Mr Suematsu Shinsuke, Japanese Minister of State for Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT), paid a working visit on him at the Flagstaff House in Accra.
Mr Shinsuke was in the country for the Ghana-Japan High Quality Infrastructure Conference organised by the Japan-Africa Infrastructure Development Association in collaboration with the Government of Ghana, the Association of Building and Civil Engineering Contractors of Ghana, the Association of Road Contractors and the Progressive Road Contractors Association.
The conference provided a platform for information exchange and opinion sharing on infrastructure needs and business development activities in Africa between member companies.
Twenty-six representatives of Japanese companies engaged in construction, consulting, engineering and manufacturing, trading, finance and insurance attended the conference.
Addressing the delegation comprising businessmen and industrialists, Dr Bawumia expressed Government’s desire to have a relationship with the international community driven by mutual trade.
He recalled the long-standing relationship between Ghana and Japan, and thus, called for even greater ties between the two countries.
“The bond between Ghana and Japan goes a long way and it is an unbreakable bond. Mention can be made of the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research which was established in 1979 as a gift from the Japanese government in memory of Dr Hideyo Noguchi to Ghana. The Institute has maintained the high quality and ethical standards in the conduct of research,” he noted.
The Vice President also recognised the contribution of Japan to Ghana’s development over the years, and expressed government’s appreciation to the Japanese government for resumption of the grant of highly concessional loans after a 15-year break.
He thanked Japanese government for the assistance it has provided to the country in the areas of infrastructure and health and cited the provision of Community-based Heath Planning Services (CHPS) compounds, the construction of a new bridge on the Volta Lake to make movement between the Eastern and Volta regions easier, as well as supporting the countries within the Gulf of Guinea with maritime assistance.
“I am confident that the Ghana-Japan Parliamentary League would deepen the co-operation between our two countries.” he stressed.
For his part, Mr Shinsuke congratulated the Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s led government on its electoral victory in the 2016 polls and assured Japanese government’s readiness to deepen ties with Ghana and assist the Government to achieve its objectives.
Mr Shinsuke was accompanied to the Flagstaff House by his deputy Kaibori Yasuaki, Counsellor for Global Strategies at the MILT; Mori Takehiro, President of Japan-Africa Infrastructure Development Association; Miyamoto Yoichi, Japan Ambassador to Ghana; Yoshimura Kaoru and Ghana’s Ambassador to Japan, Mr Parker Allotey.
Heads of various companies including Fujita Corporation, Sakai Heavy Industries Ltd, Nihon Sekkei Inc, Shimizu Corporation, Taisei Corporation, Sojitz Corporation, Toa Corporation, JGC Corporation, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu LLC and Nippon Koei Co., Ltd were also in attendance.
The Minister of Monitoring and Evaluation, Dr. Anthony Akoto Osei is off to Kuala Lumpur,Malaysia for a training workshop.
According to J. K. Owusu-Boakye, his Special Assistant, the training ‘’will avail participating ministers from around the globe to share useful ideas and would impact positively on the governance systems of countries, for example, Ghana whose ministry is a new one.’’
The Special Assistant who wrote on the Minister’s official Facebook page said: ‘’The Minister has embarked on a two week working holidays to immense in M&E international training Workshop in Kuala Lumpur,Malaysia.
The training workshop will avail participating ministers from around the globe to share useful ideas and would impact positively on the governance systems of countries, for example,Ghana whose ministry is a new one.
The Hon. Minister will come home more confident and upbeat about the manning of the new ministry in Ghana. It will be recalled that his functions will be to monitor costs of projects by govt ,their timeous completion and ensuring value for money( vfm).’’
The new Ministry created by President Akufo-Addo is to consolidate government’s activities by ensuring appointees live up to set targets and culminate in the overall growth agenda.
Dr Osei is an Economist and a Banker by profession. He attained his PhD (Economics) at the Howard University, USA in 1987. Dr Osei was the Special Advisor to the Minister of Finance and Economic Planning from 2001 to 2003 and a Research Fellow at the Centre for Policy Analysis (CEPA), Accra for six (6) years. He was also a Special Adviser at the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning between 2001- 2005. He then moved on to become Deputy Finance Minister and Member of Parliament in the erstwhile Former President John Agyekum Kufuor administration from 2005- 2008.
Constituency Women Organisers of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) in the Northern Region have released a statement cautioning the Northern Regional Chairman of the party, Bugri Naabu, to stop peddling lies against the Gender Minister, Madam Otiko Djaba.
They have also refuted claims by the fire brand politician that the Minister came to the region to outdoor the new coordinator for the School Feeding Programme.
"The Gender Minister was in the region to represent the first Lady Mrs. Rebecca Akuffo Addo on the celebration of International Midwives day, the being the national women organizer of NPP Madam Otiko Afisah Djaba decided to meet her women organizers," they said.
"We want to state categorically clear that the meeting was only for Minister to thank her women for working very hard to achieve a resounding victory and moreover to assure us of her commitment to see to the welfare of the women," they added.
The regional chairman for the NPP in the Northern region, Bugri Naabu on Friday led a group of angry women to disrupt a meeting organized by the Gender Minister, Otiko Djaba.
According to him, the meeting was illegal and that, the Minister failed to inform him and other regional executives.
The president he fumed cannot come to the region without informing the executives.
The Minister according to reports, organized the meeting to introduce to the crowd, the new coordinator for the school feeding programme in the region.
""Even the President cannot come to the region without informing the regional chairman and his executives for his intention of coming to the region,” he said.
The Minister sensing danger, called armed policemen and personnel from the military to maintain law and order.
Below is the full statement
6TH MAY 2017
PRESS STATEMENT FROM NPP CONSTITUENCY WOMEN ORGANIZERS NORTHERN REGION
Stop The lies Or Else ....: Northern Women Tell's Bugri Naabu.
The Constituency Women Organizers of the Northern Region has described as lies being peddled by the Northern Regional Chairman of NPP Bugri Naabu.
The Gender Minister was in the region to represent the first Lady Mrs. Rebecca Akuffo Addo on the celebration of International Midwives day,being the national women organizer of NPP Madam Otiko Afisah Djaba decided to meet her women organizers.
We want to state categorically clear that the meeting was only for the the minister to thank her women for working very hard to achieve a resounding victory and moreover to assure us of her commitment to see to the welfare of the women.
We want to clear the air on the purported lies in the news by the regional chairman that the minister came to introduce school feeding coordinators to them.
We are solidly behind our Gender Minister and therefore we will not agreed with any individual who will undermine and disrespect her.
The general public is therefore informed that the meeting was a successful one.
Deputy National Women Org Npp
Deputy Northern Region Women Org Npp
Tamale Central Women Org Npp
The Minister for Chieftaincy and Religious Affiars, Kofi Dzamesi has reiterated government's commitment to addressing concerns of fisherfolks along the coast.
In his address at the 2017 Aboakyir Festival in Winneba in the Central Region, the Minister indicated that the current administration will roll out a strategic program to address their concerns which include the cost and availability of premix fuel.
He said, “very soon the ministry of fisheries will be coming to visit your communities to address all the problems associated with fishing in this community. Especially having to do with premix distribution in this area. The president has this community at heart and that all the promises made during our campaign which has been captured in our manifesto, I am very happy to inform you that all will come off successfully.’’
Energy Media Group (EMG) has announced plans to introduce the first ever Ghana Energy Awards in December to recognise contributions of oil industry players in growing the national economy.
The Media Group made the announcement when its leadership called on management of the Chamber of Bulk Oil Distribution Companies (CBOD) to present a copy of its quarterly energy magazine and to notify the bulk oil distributor about activities leading up to the upcoming event.
Mr Senyo Hosi, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Chamber, said the award was very important to shape the industry and go a long way to strengthen and encourage players in the field to live up to expectations.
"We are solemnly behind you and pledge our full support," he said.
He, however, advised that: "The award must be legitimate to be accepted by all stakeholders; let the industry players be part of the award and let them feel they own it."
Mr Henry Teinor, Energy Media Group CEO, said the award was long overdue- "our main concern is not about making profits but the Ghana Energy Award is to recognize the efforts of the industry players.”
"It’s also to bring together stakeholders in the energy industry to deliberate on issues affecting the sector."
Despite steady progress in the Ghanaian oil sector, its future prospects are mixed. The low oil price environment is one obvious challenge.
Others include a maritime border dispute with Côte d'Ivoire to the west, unfavourable drilling results to the east and policy uncertainty driven by the approach of elections.
Longer-term issues also abound, including how to boost local participation and what role oil should play in boosting the wider economy.
There have been a number of technical challenges holding back Ghana's oil production in recent times, but these have slowly been lifted and production is set to ramp up further in the coming years.
Remedial works at the Jubilee field - so far Ghana's sole producing field - lifted production above 100,000 barrels/day (b/d) in the first half of 2015.
Output from the Tweneboa-Enyenra-Ntomme field was slated to commence in 2016 or 2017 with capacity of around 80,000 b/d, and the Sankofa field could add around 50,000 b/d during 2017.
Islamist militants of the Boko Haram group have released 82 schoolgirls from a group of 276 they abducted in north-eastern Nigeria three years ago, the president’s office says.
They were handed over in exchange for Boko Haram suspects after negotiations.
The girls will be received by President Muhammadu Buhari in Abuja on Sunday, a statement said.
The abduction of the so-called “Chibok girls” triggered a global outcry and sparked a huge social media campaign.
Before the latest release, about 195 of the girls were still missing.
The number of Boko Haram suspects released by authorities remains undisclosed.
The 82 schoolgirls are now in the custody of the Nigerian army and were brought by road convoy from a remote area to a military base in Banki near the border with Cameroon, reports the BBC’s Stephanie Hegarty from Lagos.
Our reporter says that many families in Chibok will be rejoicing at this latest news, but more than 100 of the girls taken have yet to be returned.
Christian pastor Enoch Mark, whose two daughters were among those kidnapped, told Agence France-Presse: “This is good news to us.
We have been waiting for this day. We hope the remaining girls will soon be released.” It was unclear whether his daughters had been freed.
A statement from a spokesman for President Buhari said he was deeply grateful to “security agencies, the military, the Government of Switzerland, the International Committee of the Red Cross, and local and international NGOs” for playing a role in the operation.
‘Two blindfolded men in convoy’- The BBC’s Stephanie Hegarty reports from Lagos
Information about the release began trickling out on Saturday afternoon.
A soldier contacted the BBC to say that more than 80 Chibok girls were being held in an army base near the Cameroon border.
At the same time an official working for an international agency, who assisted with the release, said that several armoured vehicles left Maiduguri – the city at the centre of the Boko Haram insurgency – in a convoy to travel into the “forest” to meet the girls.
He said there were two blindfolded men in the convoy.
The president’s office said that the girls were released in exchange for some Boko Haram suspects held by the authorities – but we haven’t been told how many.
After the Government Girls Secondary School in Chibok, Borno state, was raided in April 2014, more than 50 girls quickly escaped and Boko Haram then freed another 21 last October, after negotiations with the Red Cross.
The campaign for the return of the girls drew the support of then US First Lady Michelle Obama and many Hollywood stars.
Last month, President Buhari said the government remained “in constant touch through negotiations, through local intelligence to secure the release of the remaining girls and other abducted persons unharmed”.
Many of the Chibok girls were Christian, but were encouraged to convert to Islam and to marry their kidnappers during their time in captivity.
Boko Haram has kidnapped thousands of other people during its eight-year insurgency aimed at creating an Islamic caliphate in north-eastern Nigeria.
More than 30,000 others have been killed, the government says, and hundreds of thousands have been forced to flee from their homes.
Rev. Azigiza Jnr has been honoured with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Rush Ghana DJ Awards which took place at the Silver Star towers, Airport city on Saturday.
It was a special award for his contribution to the DJ profession in Africa.
According to the spokesperson for the award, Daddy Bosco, they are honouring Azigiza for his contribution to ‘deejaying’ in Ghana.
“For those who are quite old, they would remember the great work Azigiza did when he was at Joy FM. He was the hottest DJ at that time and we deem it fit to honour him”, Daddy Bosco said.
Azigiza Jnr started his showbiz career as a dancer and took part in the Embassy Double-Do dancing contest in 1989 but unfortunately, he did not win. Disappointed, he decided to give up dancing but was advised by ace arts doyen Kwasi Kyei Darkwa (KKD), to try other showbiz avenues.
He got into disc jockeying and, in no time, he won his mettle in the DJ realm, especially in 1991 when he won the Best West African DJ at a contest held in Togo. He won another in 1993, when he emerged the Best African DJ.
Azigiza Jnr. was resident DJ for most of the big nightclubs in Accra, like Miracle Mirage, the Golden Egg and Glenns. He also hosted Joy FM’s Joy Beach Jam, Guinness Music for Your Dancing Feet, on GTV, Video Vibes and the Azigiza Show.
The President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has reiterated the commitment of his government to establishing the Infrastructure for Poverty Eradication Programme (IPEP) – the vehicle which will ensure that each of the 275 constituencies receives the equivalent of $1 million per year for infrastructural development.
According to President Akufo-Addo, this Fund will be administered by three (3) development authorities, namely, the Coastal Belt Development Authority, the Middle Belt Development Authority and the Northern Development Authority.
The Bill for the establishment of these Authorities, the President revealed, will be laid before Parliament when the House reconvenes later this month.
President Akufo-Addo made this known on Saturday, May 6, 2017, at a meeting with the Ghanaian community resident in Cote d’Ivoire, as part of the activities he is undertaking in his 3-day official visit to that country.
“This year’s budget contains the money for the 1 million per year per constituency policy, the financial provision has been made. However, because my government and I are accountable to the Ghanaian people, we want to be diligent in everything we do. I do not want a repetition of the scandals that rocked SADA (Savannah Accelerated Development Authority) to befall my government and the three development authorities we want to establish,” the President said.
He continued, “So, I will plead with you and the Ghanaian people, who are eagerly awaiting the commencement of this policy, to exercise a little patience as we seek to do the correct thing. It might even be the case that, once the bill is laid before Parliament, some may even suggest improvements to the bill. But, at least, we have made provision in this year’s budget for this policy to begin.”
Touching on his broad vision for the country, he told the audience gathered at the packed theatre in Treichville, a suburb of Abidjan, that his vision is hinged on modernising Ghanaian agriculture to enhance its productivity; a clear industrial policy, and rationalising the financial sector so that it supports growth in agriculture, and growth in manufacturing and industry.
It is for this reason, he told the gathering, that on April 19, 2017, he launched the programme for “Planting for Food and Jobs”, at Goaso, in the Brong Ahafo Region.
This programme, he stressed, is the basis of the answer to the twin-problem of the migration of youth to city centres in search of non-existent jobs, as well as an end to the disgraceful spectacle of Ghana importing food stuffs from neighbouring countries.
With a looming shortage of agricultural extension officers in Ghana in the next two to three years, largely as a result of the then Mahama administration’s decision not to employ any of the 3,200 graduates from the country’s 5 Colleges of Agriculture between 2011 and 2015, President Akufo-Addo told the gathering that that his government has, in the last 3 months, employed 1,200 of these graduates.
He assured further that “in 2018, we will employ 2,000 more extension officers, with the solemn pledge of employing more graduates from our Colleges of Agriculture in the subsequent years.”
On the economic front, President Akufo-Addo noted that his government has introduced measures to stimulate growth of the private sector. Amongst others, a monetary policy that will stabilise the currency and reduce significantly the cost of borrowing, in addition to a raft of tax cuts, he said, have been put in place to bring relief to businesses, with the aim of lowering the cost of doing business and shifting the focus of our economy from taxation to production.
This process of economic transformation, the President stressed, has to go along with ensuring that the most basic elements of social justice are met.
“To this end, we want to make quality basic education, i.e. education from kindergarten through to secondary school, accessible to all of Ghana’s children. Beginning with the intake from the 2017/2018 academic year, parents will no longer bear the cost of taking their children to secondary school. Free SHS is coming from September 2017,” he added, to a rapturous response from the packed auditorium.
President Akufo-Addo also assured the Ghanaian community in Cote d’Ivoire of his government’s commitment of engaging with the Electoral Commission to ensuring the full implementation of the Representation of the People’s Amendment Law (ROPAL), to enable them exercise their franchise in local elections.
“There are many countries in West Africa and around the world that do allow their citizens overseas to vote. I cannot understand why, in Ghana, we do not allow that to happen,” he said.