A former national coordinator at the National Disaster Management Organization (NADMO), Joseph Yamin, is alleging that some members of the ruling New Patriotic Party’s (NPPs) Loyal Ladies- a volunteer group under the Youth Wing of the elephant family, have promised to join the unity walk being organised by the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC,) in the Ashanti region tomorrow [Saturday].
Speaking about preparations made for the walk, Mr. Yamin said, residents in the region are disappointed in the NPP and have regretted voting for President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.
According to him, the Loyal Ladies confronted the NDC in the region, expressed their interest in the walk in order to send a signal to the ruling government that, they are will join the walk.
Some of the regions covered by the Unity Walk so far included the Brong Ahafo, Western, Greater Accra, Eastern, and Central regions.
Mr. Joseph Yamin referred to the walk as ‘’the disappointed voters of Ashanti Walk. This is because the participants are those who voted against Mahama and voting for Nana Addo. Residents in Kumasi are yearning to see Mahama and apologise for the wrong they have done against him. The residents are complaining that they have sold their coloured televisions for black and white. They feel the current administration has rejected them and in order to correct the wrong, they want to show the NPP that they are fed up.’’
Former President John Dramani Mahama and other senior officials of the NDC are expected to participate in the walk tomorrow.
A former Deputy Youth and Sports Minister under the erstwhile National Democratic Congress (NDC), Joseph Yamin, has revealed on Rainbow Radio 87.5Fm that, he was called to the priesthood in the year in 1993.
The politician who also served as a deputy NADMO coordinator said, he has been in the ministry and graduated in 2017 as a reverend minister.
The politician also disclosed further that, he does not own nor manage his own church but he is a recognized member of the Presbyterian Church.
Mr. Yamin said he cannot combine the administration of a church and politics.
‘’I have been ordained as a minister and do practice as regulated by law. I completed child evangelism course in 1993. I have been practicing since 1993 and was ordained in 2017 as a minister. I am known politically although I am a man of God. ’’ He added.
A former CEO at the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA), Mr. Sylvester Mensah, has outlined some challenges confronting the scheme and how we can address them.
The man who managed the NHIA for a period of six years under the previous National Democratic Congress (NDC), said, the ''issues are technical and political''.
He noted that we turn to place more emphasis on the political solutions and leaving the technical solutions whereas the technical solutions are what will help sustain the scheme.
The former legislator for the Dadekotopon constituency in the Greater Accra Region from 1997 to 2001 explained, Ghana has helped other countries in their quest to establish health insurance schemes and in establishing such schemes, ‘’you first have to determine how much money you have into the future. How much money are you ready to make available to the health insurance in the medium to long term? Give yourself a five year period; how much money year on year are you ready to provide? On the basis of that, you develop your basket of health benefits you want to pay for.’’
Mr. Mensah said, ‘’for the five years, you know that this amount will be increasing by 10 per cent on annual basis; these are the conditions that the health insurance scheme intend to cater for. So there will be no major hiccups and cockups as you move into that period, after which there must be a review.
‘’But here we are, we begun with one of the most generous packages the world over, huge benefit package without recourse to the funding arrangement and so, the health insurance has kept panting from year to year, struggling to meet the huge basket of benefits and that has been the challenge.
The cost of managing the scheme outweigh the inflows and so there is always a funding gap…This is the reality on the ground''.
The solution to the challenges he touted was the restructuring which started under his watch and recommendation was made to government to consider ‘’the need for restructuring and getting experts both locally and internationally to support in restructuring the scheme.’’
‘’It isn’t that we didn’t know exactly what to do but there was the need to develop some level of consensus and also bring individuals who had talent, who had experience, who are respected within the health insurance industry globally, in order to effectively provide some recommendations that could be respected, and serve as serious political dialogue in restructuring the scheme.’’
The benefit package in Ghana he asserted ‘’is too generous. There is the need to rationale the benefit package. In pure terms, there is the need to reduce the benefit package because the benefit package is too huge. It cannot be sustained. Government doesn’t have the money to cater for the package that we have…We have a very generous exemption regime. All those who are 70 years and above are exempted from paying premium, all pregnant women are exempted from paying premium, all 18 years and below are exempted from paying premium, the poor are exempted from paying premium, the differently abled are exempted from paying premium and so you have a host of exemptions. We need to inject equity into the scheme,’’ he suggested.
He believes there are those who are capable of paying and those who are not capable of paying.
‘’…the blanket exemptions has outlived its usefulness. There is the need to inject equity and equity requires under the circumstances that, those who are capable of paying must be made to pay.’’
Using the analogy of a pregnant woman (expectant mother) who drives in a Mercedes X-Class to the hospital, he said, such a woman should not be exempted because she can afford to pay for her premium.
‘’If the idea was to meet the millennium development goals, we’ve gone beyond that now. This is time to rationalize the scheme, we need to reduce the exemption regime, and we need to reduce the benefit package. We need to define what prime healthcare is.’’
The health insurance he emphasized must succeed and will give his support without seeking for financial benefits.
‘’I have a passion for it and it is one thing that I would want to succeed. I wouldn’t want to be on radio criticizing the health insurance scheme… I would rather want to make contributions that would help improve the scheme. I think that, we have a good management in place, I think they have their hands well on the ball, I think what the challenge is, is that political leadership is weak and politicians are playing politics with it. And at the end of the day, management of the scheme, will be seen as the bad guys and may take the fall… That should not happen. We must hold government responsible and accountable, and in doing so, we need to hold the president and the finance minister jointly responsible for the sustenance of the health insurance scheme,’’ he concluded.
The Vice President of the Republic, H.E. Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, has called for major reforms in pension administration in Ghana.
Dr Bawumia is particularly worried about the growing pensions bill for non-contributors, who continue to draw larger amounts from the Consolidated Fund than those who have contributed during their working life due to the various pension schemes in operation.
He is therefore calling on stakeholders to see to the full implementation of the National Pensions Act, (Act 766, 2008) which mandates the unification and harmonisation of pension schemes in Ghana in order to ensure equity in pension payments.
According to Vice President Bawumia, “Prudent management of our pension resources is imperative and unification seems inevitable if we are committed to creating prosperity and equal opportunity for all. The continuing existence of non-contributory schemes contradicts the provisions of Act 766 which call for unification. Unchecked, the proliferation of different pension schemes will only add to the current challenges which unfortunately have kept out a large segment of the population, including farmers from any form of pension entitlement. This must change to ensure social equity”.
Vice President Bawumia made the call when he addressed participants at a high level stakeholder meeting on Unification of Pension Schemes in the Public Sector in Accra on Wednesday 25th April, 2018. The meeting is being attended by major stakeholders in the management and administration of pensions in Ghana, including officials of the National Pensions Regulatory Authority (NPRA), Trades Union Congress, Controller and Accountant General’s Department, Bank of Ghana and the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning.
Citing figures to buttress his point, Vice President Bawumia indicated that the growing gap between pensioners under the contributory and their non-contributory counterparts was unacceptable, and urged policymakers and administrators to ensure there is equity.
“We see that the average pension benefits under the contributory scheme is less than that of a non-contributory scheme. In 2016, a pensioner under the contributory scheme received on average GHS 127 monthly less than the pensioner under the non-contributory scheme. The gap widened to GHS 222 in 2017. The prediction is that the gap will widen over time.
“As policymakers and public administrators, we are faced with a basic benefit and fairness question: How can those who make no direct contribution to their retirement earn more in pension benefits than those who make direct contributions to their retirement through payroll deductions? There is good reason why more people under non-contributory schemes are tempted to opt for early retirement. They are better off in retirement than the average worker.”
He warned of the dangers of maintaining the status quo, arguing that the rising pensions bill was not sustainable.
“Future governments should not have to resort to borrowing with its accompanying interest costs to pay pension benefits to retirees. Any government that resorts to this kind of borrowing cannot build a resilient economy.”
The Private Health Providers Association is insisting that, members have not been paid their arrears as stated by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.
Samuel Donkor Boakye, the Public Relations Officer (PRO,) for the Association told Nyankonton Mu Nsem on Rainbow Radio 87.5Fm that, ‘’we have not received any payment. We only heard that an allocation has been made but we have not received any payment. If the payment is on the way coming, I don’t know but as I speak with you, we have not been paid’’
When asked if the Association has spoken with members to find out if they have received any payment, he said, ‘’we have not received any payment. Those in the Eastern region have not received any penny as announced.’’
He however confirmed that, providers in the Central, Volta and Greater Accra regions have received arrears from January 2016-October 2016. But those in the Eastern, Ashanti and Northern part of Ghana have not been paid. We do not understand why they have not paid us. We are struggling and so we will soon initiate some activities to demand for our arrears.’’
He was emphatic that, the president may have allocated the money for the arrears to be paid but the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA), is discriminating against some providers when it comes to the payment.
Nana Addo delivering the keynote speech at the London School of Economics' Africa Summit, on the theme 'Africa at Work; Educated, Employed and Empowered' over the weekend said he has paid GH¢1 billion out of the GH¢1.2 billion debt inherited from the previous government.
He said "of the GH¢1.2 billion debt we inherited, the equivalent of $300 million, we have paid, in the last 15 months, GH¢1 billion, the equivalent of $250 million."
He added that payments to service providers, since his government took office in January 2017, are current.
The Coalition of Textile Workers have said, piracy of their works by foreigners especially the Chinese has reached a pandemic stage.
The Coalition staged a demonstration today [Friday] to press home their demand for authorities to resolve the challenges confronting the textile industries.
Assistant Secretary for the Coalition, Mr. Meshach, mentioned that, the textile industry is facing lots of challenges at the moment with the imitation of designs being the serious of all.
He said, ‘’piracy has become pandemic and we have been engaging government and management for a solution and for more than a year, we have not heard anything. All we are saying is that, we want them to stop the piracy. They should not copy our designs and logos[...] They should make their own own designs and come and compete with us but should not steal our designs.’’
He lamented that, the cost of production in the country is very high and the textile companies employ creative minds at a high cost to generate designs for the fabrics.
On the request for them to move to the borders to check the infiltration he said, we are not trained professionals to check such activities hence the need for government to allow our taskforce to move into the markets, seize the imported fake fabrics so we can get to the sources.
He said, it was disheartening to observe that designs of textile companies are imitated by foreign companies.
He warned that, the Coalition will continue to demonstrate until the issues raised are resolved.
The Coalition was made up of ATL, GTP, and Printex.
Government in August 2010 introduced a task force to rid the markets off pirated goods.
Since then, over 10,000 pirated Ghanaian textiles have been seized and destroyed.
The Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) is investigating a viral video circulating on social media, suggesting that there is infiltration of plastic fish on Ghanaian markets, a statement has indicated.
The statement said: “The FDA had earlier received similar complaints of some fish after which investigations conducted indicated that they were genuine fish and NOT PLASTIC.
“The ‘plastic nature’ of the said investigated fish is noted to be a characteristic of the fish,” the FDA explained the earlier claim.
The public was also cautioned against the circulation of wild allegations that may create fear and panic.
“The FDA however wishes to advise the general public to always verify with the FDA before going ahead to (re)circulate such information since many of such information have turned out to be false after investigation; they rather create public fear and panic.
“The general public can always forward their concerns with respect to FDA’s mandate through the following numbers and social media platforms: HOTLINES :— 0299802932, 0299802933 WHATSAPP: – 0206973065 TOLL FREE NUMBER:- 08001511000 SMS SHORTCODE: – 4015 FACEBOOK: – Food and Drugs Authority-GH,” the statement concluded.
A man believed to be in his late forties has poured acid on his wife at Adukrom a suburb of Bibiani in the western region.
The sad incident took place in the late hours of Thursday evening after an argument between the couple.
The husband whose name was only given as Yaw Kyremeh, went into the room and came out holding a container which he emptied on his unsuspecting wife, Oforiwaa.
The two have been living together for the past four years but have been having some sort of misunderstanding which neighbors believe could be the reason behind the incident.
Some eyewitnesses who spoke toNyankonton Mu Nsem on Rainbow Radio 87.5Fm disclosed that, Mrs. Oforiwaa who sells coal in the area returned home late from work yesterday which caused her husband’s fury and that ended in the fight.
Poor Oforiwaa sustained serious injuries around her genitals and limbs. She is currently at the Bibiani government hospital receiving treatment.
By: Adnan Osman
‘’Ghanaians are tired of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP). Ghanaians want change. Ghanaians believe that the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) is the answer,’’ to the challenges confronting them, Mr. Sylvester Mensah, has posited.
He made the remarks in an interview with Kwame Tutu on Frontline on Rainbow Radio 87.5Fm.
The reasons for this statement was that, it has been observed that at first, about 90% voted blindly for political parties. But upon a critical look and political dynamics, Ghanaians are now looking at parties with good manifestoes, their platform, the one who leads the party and also what the party has to offer.
The finance expert said, in 2016, majority of Ghanaians voted blindly for the NPP but they have now realized that, the NPP is ''super incompetent''.
He asserted, Ghanaians have decided already and come 2020, they will vote the NPP out of office and vote in the NDC led by him.
‘’The political dynamics in this country is changing today…Our electorates are currently looking at their individuals contesting, they are looking at the hope you are providing, your vison for the country and that is what the electorates are looking at. Our electorates are also getting interested in who and who are managing the political parties. The ground is shifting very fast,’’ he suggested.
He said, no political party is guaranteed eight years and Ghanaians have decided to vote the NPP out of office in 2020.
‘’It is important that we redefine our political strategies as individuals and political parties. It is important that we re-focus on what the electorates considers useful and necessary. We need to really understand what their expectations are and re-focus. The NDC would be winning the 2020 elections. No political party is guaranteed 8 years, we could see clearly that, Ghanaians have taken a decision even though early in the day that, the NPP deserves just one term and in 2020, the NDC is coming into power.’’
A former Chief Executive Officer (CEO) for the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA), Sylvester Mensah, has promised to abolish the rent law should he assume the role as president of Ghana.
The Fellow of the Institute of Business Consulting-UK, who served on a number of public and private boards in Ghana told Kwame Tutu, in an interview on Rainbow Radio 87.5Fm that, he will make sure that rent advance of one, two and three years is frustrated in Ghana.
According to him, he will ensure that what pertains in civilized environments-where you pay one month advance and then rent is paid on monthly basis is restored. This is a social protection issue to,’’ he added.
He lamented that the youth in Ghana are frustrated due to unemployment and economic hardship.
‘’Our youth are getting impoverished, our young graduates are leaving school entering the world of business, the world of work with frustration and we need to address that difficulty.’’
He wondered why young people have to struggle to search for money in order to rent in such bizarre circumstances.
‘’How do you leave school as a young graduate, start work, leave your home, trying to get a place of your own and you need to pay two years advance?
He stressed, ‘’our rent laws would have to be reviewed. We need to ensure that, we discourage and frustrate our landlords from taking two to three years advance which is impoverishing homes, moving a number of homes and individuals into bankruptcy, into poverty; this is a critical issue this country must take seriously and address,’’ he added.
Meanwhile, government is putting up a new bill to regulate the housing sector.
The bill, which will be laid before Parliament soon if approved, will make tenants pay between one month to a year’s rent advance instead of the initial six-months in the existing rent law.
Tenants are expected to pay one to six months per the current laws governing the renting space, ACT 1963 but Mr. Mensah says he total scrap the law and adopt a monthly per policy.
According to a 2014 report by the Rent Control and Housing Studies, 75% of Ghanaians are spending at least half of their monthly income on housing alone. However, expects say it is not advisable to spend over 30% of take-home pay on housing. City dwellers are the most likely to fall into this trap.
In the city of Accra, the average rent an accommodation seeker is likely to pay for a single room hovers around GHC 150.while a self-contained chamber-and-hall is between GHC300 and GHC1200 depending on the location of the facility.