Government has given financial clearance for more than 145,000 jobs as part of efforts to create more economic opportunities for citizens. Information Minister Designate Kojo Oppong-Nkrumah who announced this in Accra said government will continue to deepen its job creation initiatives in the Private and Public Sector.
“As we have consistently said, the first priority of this government has been to revive the Ghanaian economy and return it to a stable footing from the crisis of 2016. To this end we have spent the first one and half restoring the macro stability a fact to which now all economic observers attest” Oppong-Nkrumah told Journalists at a news briefing.
Giving a breakdown of the figures, the Information Minister Designate said 24,033 of the jobs are health workers, 9500 are educational workers and 4,000 represent Police recruits. The rest are 3,527 representing Security Personnel, 2,700 Agricultural extension workers, 1,049 Local government workers and 20,000 afforestation workers.
Update on NABCO
100,000 of the jobs given clearance are NABCO trainees. Oppong-Nkrumah said government was creating jobs across the private and public sectors and across all 254 districts through Nation Builders’ Corps (NABCO).
“Currently over 90,000 beneficiaries have already accepted their postings and we are expecting the 10,000 remaining beneficiaries to complete their acceptance within the next week” he said.
President Akufo-Addo is expected to commission the trainees to start work before the end of October.
The Minister added that all the over 145,000 beneficiaries are expected to be at post before the end of this year.
Oppong-Nkrumah said even though 145,000 is a significant number, the extent of the unemployment challenge created within the last eight years means that more people are still looking for jobs and government will continue with actions aimed at providing opportunities for them as government continue to improve economic conditions and government finances.
Former President Jerry John Rawlings is not pleased with the documentary on the murder of some three judges-produced by the Multimedia Group Limited.
The former President in a series of tweets on Tuesday, questioned the rationale behind the documentary titled, Who Killed the Judges'.
The documentary by the media group took viewers down memory lane on how three judges and a military officer were killed in 1982.
Mr Rawlings believes the issues should not be turned into a “political-media circus.”
Mr Rawlings said persons who were found to have killed the judges were punished severely as compared to the murder of the late Yaa Na.
He described the killings as “an unfortunate tragedy”, and went ahead to state that the “hard, swift justice done to perpetrators” of the judges murder with “the organized assault and killings of the Yaa Naa and his 39 elders, for which those perpetrators are yet to see justice.”
“That is the fundamental difference - one group of four saw justice, the other group of close to 40 did not and has not!”
He stressed that the killings of the Ya Na, Yakubu Andani II, then king of Dagbon in March 2002 and 39 others during the administration of John Agyekum Kufuor have not been punished.
According to him, while a section of politicians point to the killings of the judges and the Major and paint some in society as murderers, the same people are happy to jump at the next opportunity to flag his name when he says something that rubs off them positively.
“We have rehashed and recooked history to make innocent people look murderous. And in the next breath using the same name to endorse yourselves because Rawlings has said he is cultured (compared to his predecessors). This is vicious and callous political opportunism.
“We cannot reduce the harm and pain caused families and the whole country by turning this matter into a political-media circus,” he posited.
According to the documentary, On 30 June 1982, the three judges – Justices Kwadwo Adjei Agyepong, Poku Sarkodie and Mrs. Cecelia Koranteng-Addow, and a retired Major in the Ghana Armed Forces, were abducted and branded “enemies of the revolution” under the Provisional National Defence Council (PNDC) led by Mr Rawlings.
Lance Corporal Amedeka, Tony Tekpor and Dzandu, all soldiers, had taken their captives to the Bondase military firing range and executed them. The murderers carried along a gallon of petrol with which they set fire to the bodies to destroy all evidence.
But it rained that night, so the bodies did not burn as they murderers had wanted.
Following a public outcry, the PNDC set up the Special Investigation Board (SIB) headed by former Chief Justice Mr. Justice Azu Crabbe to unravel the mystery.
It turned out that all the three judges were sitting reviewing cases brought to them by aggrieved citizens in connection with the treatment meted out to them by the Armed Forces Revolutionary Council junta led by Mr Rawlings after the 4 June 1979 coup.
The army officer, Major Sam Acquah, was the head of administration at GIHOC who had signed letters that led to the dismissal of some agitating workers, including a PNDC member Joachim Amartey Kwei. Their services were terminated after they invaded Parliament House and destroyed property.
The SIB established that the abduction and murder was a plot hatched with the connivance of members of the PNDC. The Board found that the plot was master-minded by Capt. Kojo Tsikata, PNDC Member in charge of National Security. The PNDC rejected that aspect of the report and let Capt. Tsikata and four others off the hook for lack of evidence.
The remaining four of the nine suspects were jailed. When on 19 June 1983, there was a jail-break at the Nsawam Medium Prisons and the Ussher Fort Prisons, L/Cpl Amedeka escaped from captivity and has since not been seen. But his three accomplices, Tony Tekpor, Dzandu and Hekli, as well as ex-PNDC Members Amartey Kwei, were executed by firing squad.
South Africa's finance minister Nhlanhla Nene has quit after admitting meeting members of the Gupta family, who have been accused of corruption.
President Cyril Ramaphosa said he accepted the resignation "in the interests of good governance".
The Guptas have been accused of working with former President Jacob Zuma to secure government contracts and determine cabinet appointments.
Both the Guptas and Mr Zuma deny the allegations.
Mr Nene has been replaced by former central bank chief Tito Mboweni. This is the fifth change of finance minister since 2014.
Last week, Mr Nene told a judge-led inquiry into the alleged influence of the Guptas, known as the Zondo commission, about meetings that he had previously denied.
There is no suggestion that he had done anything illegal in meeting the businessmen during his stint as deputy finance minister and finance minister in Mr Zuma's government, but he has been under intense political pressure to step down since making the admission.
Mr Zuma sacked him as finance minister in 2015, but he was reappointed by the current president in February.
Rumours of his intended resignation on Monday led to a fall in the value of South Africa's currency, the rand, but it has since recovered its value.
What was so controversial about the meetings?
Mr Nene met the Guptas at their businesses and home at least six times between 2009 and 2014.
On the face of it a finance minister talking to top business people may seem normal, but the Guptas have been accused of using meetings, in their residence in a posh suburb of Johannesburg, to influence political decisions.
Former Deputy Finance Minister Mcebisi Jonas has told the Zondo commission that in 2015 he had been offered 600m rand ($41m; £32m) if he accepted the post of finance minister at a meeting at the Johannesburg mansion. The Guptas denied the allegation.
After revealing the details of his own meetings, Mr Nene issued a public apology saying: "I am human too, I do make mistakes, including those of poor judgement."
Is this a blow to Mr Ramaphosa?
Mr Ramaphosa, who became president in February, brought Mr Nene back into the cabinet in order to restore confidence in the reputation of the country's economic management.
It had received a battering under Mr Zuma's presidency.
In his speech accepting the resignation, Mr Ramaphosa said that Mr Nene had "defended the cause of proper financial management and clean governance".
But he had accepted the resignation because Mr Nene feared his testimony "detracted from the important task of serving the people of South Africa as we work to re-establish public trust in government", Mr Ramaphosa said.
Who are the Guptas?
The Gupta family relocated to South Africa from India in 1993 and began to build up a business empire with interests in mining, air travel, energy, technology and media.
Using its wealth, the family was accused of wielding enormous political and economic influence under the presidency of Mr Zuma in what is known in South Africa as "state capture".
Who are the Guptas?
Both Mr Zuma and the Gupta family have denied wrongdoing but the corruption allegations added to a sense of South Africa's decline under his presidency.
He resigned as president in February and people hoped Mr Ramaphosa could repair the damage.
According to South African media, some of the Guptas now live in Dubai.
Mr Ramaphosa's government signed an extradition treaty with the United Arab Emirates in September.
This fuelled speculation that South Africa may try to have them extradited once investigations into alleged corruption are concluded.
Information Minister-designate, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, has clarified that, the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP), did not promised to construct a factory each in each district of the country.
Addressing the press today [Tuesday], the minister-designate said the NPP promised to partner with the private sector towards achieving the one-district-one-factory policy.
He disclosed 18 factories have received accreditation and plans are under way to set up 50 more by the end of this year.
Making reference to the party’s manifesto (Page 43) the legislator said, people have misconstrued their promise because the NPP promised that, ‘’in collaboration with the private sector, the NPP will implement the one-district-one-factory initiative.’’
’’Sometimes we come across people who make the argument that, the NPP said, it will build factories all of these districts but our manifesto commitment is clear.’’
He added, ‘’for the avoidance of doubt, it must be stated that government has not said that it will or the state will build these factories on its own; we have insisted consistently that we will facilitate the work of the private sector in building these factories.’’
‘’Eighteen factories have been accredited so far, an addition 50 are expected to be accredited before the end of the end of this year and this will bring to almost 70 the one-district-one-factory project before the end of year 2018,’’ he posited.
Although the Minister made reference to page 43 of the party’s manifesto, the policy direction on the policy was captured on page 31 which states as follows: ‘’ FLAGSHIP INDUSTRIAL DEVELOPMENT INITIATIVES a. “One District One Factory Initiative”: In collaboration with the private sector, the NPP will implement the “One District, One Factory” Initiative. This District Industrialization Programme will ensure an even, spatial spread of industries. b. Strategic Anchor Initiatives: Government will partner private local and foreign investors to develop large scale strategic anchor industries to serve as growth poles for the economy, especially in petrochemicals, pharmaceuticals, iron and steel, cement, aluminium, salt, vehicle assembly, manufacture of heavy machinery, equipment and machine parts, agro-processing, garments and textiles, assembly of electronics and light machinery. c. Industrial Sub-contracting Exchange: Through a concerted, collaborative and collective effort, the NPP will enforce local content provisions by developing efficient and competitive local supplier networks for the goods and services that industry needs and that can realistically be sourced locally. To facilitate this, the NPP will develop a National Industrial Sub-contracting Exchange to link SMEs with large scale enterprises.
President Akufo-Addo in 2016 told Ghanaians the party identified over 300 projects across the 216 districts of the country that will bring to fruition the ‘1-District-1-Factory’ policy.
Nana Akufo-Addo during his tour of the Central Region had indicated that as part of plans to industrialise and transform the Ghanaian economy, his government plans to help establish a factory in each of the 216 districts across the country if he comes to power.
According to him, the setting up of these factories across the country will, not only, commence the rapid industrialization of Ghana’s economy, but also, will result in the creation of hundreds of thousands of jobs needed by the masses of unemployed Ghanaian youth.
Former Black stars player and Asante Kotoko legend, Sunday Ibrahim has accused the FA and government officials of failing to approve a policy that could have taken care of national heroes after their retirement from football.
He made this statement after his fellow colleague Malik Jabir resigned from his job as the national under 23 head coach attributing his reason to poor working conditions and non payment of his salary for three and a half years.
In an interview with Rainbow Sports’ Nhyiraba Kwabena Asirifi, the ex footballer said, they have tried for over four years to persuade government and the FA to take care of national heroes after their retirement from football. But all have proved futile.
The retired football said ex footballers are not interested in allowing their children to follow their footsteps.
Ghana has a lot of talent but our leaders are not helping to develop these young and upcoming ones.
When asked whether Ghana has a future the 1970 CAF champions league winner said, how can I encourage someone to play football when did not get anything from it.
During our time we played out of passion and for the fame but today’s footballer plays for the money. When you go to the local clubs camp u can find out the players have not been paid for three to four months and our style of management is not favourable to our players.
By: Isaac Mortey
The decision by government to contract a Singaporean Architect to reduce congestion and restructure the landscape of the national capital, Accra has been described as illegal by the Minority in Parliament.
According to the Minority on Roads and Transport, Kwame Agboza, believes the government should have opened the processes for competitive bidding.
However, Mr. Agbodza said the processes government has deployed in embarking on the project is problematic.
“Under which procurement act did he hire the gentleman? If the person is not qualified to practice in this country how come he hired him? The Senior Minister is acting contrary to the laws of this country. You cannot hire someone on behalf of the state and now try to regularize his employment to say that he is going to appoint the local firm that the person works with.”
Senior Minister Yaw Osafo Maafo announced this week government has engaged a Singaporean Architect to help the country redevelop Accra.
According to the senior minister, government is undertaking a process to remodel the capital to improve the quality of life and general economic growth.
But the Minority says the decision by government to engage Dr. Liu Thai-Ker, is an illegality adding: “I am saying that this singular act by the Senior Minister is an illegality and must be stopped by everybody. It is not right. It is illegal. I am calling on all professionals in this country; Ghana Institute of Planners, Ghana Institute of Engineers, Ghana Institute of Architects to get on board. This is not political. This is just allowing the Senior Minister to break the law, do not allow it. Open the thing up for competition. Let the Singaporean join and let us have a level playing field.”
International Relations expert and lecturer at the Kings University College, Professor Agyenim Boateng, has said, President Nana Akufo-Addo’s frequent travels has increased beyond his predecessors.
The lecturer said, although previous leaders have also travelled, that of President Akufo-Addo has become frequent and a drain on the state resources.
Comparing former presidents Kufour, late Mills and John Dramani Mahama he said, these former leaders travelled but it was on at a minimal rate. However, Nana Addo’s record so far surpasses that of his predecessors.
He was speaking to Kwame Tutu on Rainbow Radio 87.5Fm and said, ‘’Nana Addo is travelling frequently. When you compare the records, you will come a conclusion that, Nana Addo has travelled more than his predecessors.’’
Professor Boateng who has worked with the United Nations, lamented the cost these travels have on our finances especially the number of appointees who accompany the president on his travels.
These appointees he noted are paid per diem and yet they depend on the state for their feeding.
According to him, “Much goes into the president’s numerous travelling and some of these travels don’t necessarily benefit the country.’’
Using the European countries as an example he said, world leaders from other countries send few delegations when they travel but African leaders don’t do that. They travel with more people and that is worrying.
Aspiring general secretary of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), Koku Anyidoho, says his campaign is going well and delegates are buying into his message.
Koku Anyidoho who is currently the deputy general secretary said, he was overwhelmed at the warm reception he received from delegates across the regions he has visited.
‘’Campaign is exciting. I enjoy meeting the delegates in their constituencies. The frankness, the openness and the engagement have been so exciting. I love every bit of it.’’
Mr Anyidoho is currently on a regional tour. He believes the delegates will on November 17, vote massively for a new order and a new era of change.
The former director of communications at the presidency during the era of late Mills, has promised to superintend over a strong NDC.
He has promised to champion a party first agenda that will ensure the supremacy of the umbrella family at all times.
He underscored the need for the party to be respected and protected at all times.
Koku Anyidoho wants to give power back to the party structures and respecting them to function to function effectively.
The era of sprinter groups he assured would be no more. He optimistic the NPP will win the 2020 polls to come and take over form the incompetent NPP and provide Ghanaians with better leadership.
Deputy National Organizer of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), Joshua Hamidu Akamba, has been charged with offensive conduct following a viral video, which captured him inciting students at Tempane senior high school against President Akufo-Addo.
According Mr Akamba, he was invited by the Tempane police after the video of him inciting the students against Nana Addo went viral.
He indicated that he has been granted bail after he was made to write his statement.
Mr Akamba has been slammed after he was seen in a video asking students if they would vote for the NPP in 2020 due the challenges they facing in the school.
The students who he spoke to had suffered bite from bed bugs and as part of his campaign tour, Mr Akamba went to the school where he quizzed if the students were going to vote for the NPP following what they had encountered in school.
Mr Joshua Akamba made the children show their bedbugs bite scars to the cameras, promising them their headache will be over by 2020. Asking them if they will vote for Akufo-Addo again after the bedbug bites, they all screamed “Nooooo!” He went to ask the students what they would do in 2020 when they get the opportunity to vote and urge them to vote massively against the NPP because the party has failed woefully.
Mr Akamba said his lawyer James Agalga who is also Member of Parliament for Builsa North and other party regional officers accompanied him to the station.
‘’I have been charged with offensive conduct. The police told me I have insulted President Akufo-Addo and the MP, Mr Joseph Kpemka. The MP asked his party officers to file a complaint against me at the police station.’’
Mr Akamba accused the MP of influencing the police to press charges against him.
He has however hinted of his plan to stage a one-man demonstration in protest against the plot to get him prosecuted.
He has also asked the MP to resign from his positions as deputy minister before he [Akamba] will cooperate with the police on the matter.
Meanwhile, Mr Akamba says he has received calls from NGOs and individuals who have pledged to help the school resolve the challenge.
US President Donald Trump has accepted the surprise resignation of UN Ambassador Nikki Haley.
He told reporters in the Oval Office she would be leaving the post at the end of the year after doing "an incredible job".
Joined by the former South Carolina governor in the Oval Office, he invited her to come back in a different role. "You can have your pick," he said.
She told him: "Thank you, Mr President. It has been an honour of a lifetime."
Mrs Haley told reporters that despite speculation, she was not planning to run for president in 2020.
She said she would be campaigning "this one", pointing to Mr Trump.
"I don't have anything set on where I'm going to go," Mrs Haley said.
"It's been eight years of intense time, and I'm a believer in term limits.
"I think you have to be selfless enough to know when you step aside and allow someone else do the job."
Mrs Haley's Twitter bio had already removed all reference to her role as UN ambassador even before her departure was confirmed.
Mr Trump said Mrs Haley - who was confirmed in the post shortly after his inauguration - had told him six months ago she wanted to take some time off.
The president said she "has been very special to me, she has done an incredible job, she is a fantastic person, very importantly, but she is also somebody that gets it".
"We've done a fantastic job together," he continued. "We've solved a lot of problems, and we're in the process of solving a lot of problems."
"Hopefully you'll be coming back at some point, right," Mr Trump said. "Maybe a different capacity, you can have your pick." Mrs Haley laughed.
Mr Trump also told reporters: "She's made it a very glamorous position."
He added that he would be naming her replacement in the next two to three weeks.
The president said "very good people" are interested in taking up her role.
Her exit comes after she served as the temporary president of the UN Security Council for one month.