The President of the Republic, Nana Addo-Dankwa Akufo Addo, has been honoured with the Akan title “OseadeɛyƆ”, by the leadership and members of the Adanwomase Kente Weavers and Sellers Association.
The honour was conferred on the President for fulfilling some of the key programmes and policies promised in the run-up to the 2016 presidential and parliamentary elections.
The event took place at a brief ceremony on Tuesday, 3rd April, 2018, when a delegation of Chiefs and Elders of Adanwomase, and the leadership and members of Adanwomase Kente Weavers Association called on him at the Jubilee House, in Accra.
Conferring the honour, the spokesperson of the delegation said “the Adanwomase Kente Weavers and Sellers Association are here today to present a specially woven Kente cloth, which we call ‘OseadeɛyƆ Akufo-Addo’, in honour of the three major political campaign promises fulfilled, namely the Free Senior High School policy, the restoration of teaching and nursing trainee allowances, and for establishing the Office of the Special Prosecutor.”
Touching on the Free Senior High School Policy, the spokesperson of the delegation noted that said “this flagship educational policy has brought huge relief to parents, guardians and students across the country. We have the conviction that the policy will go a long way to ensure that students will have broader access to quality education which will guarantee for them, a better and more secured future.”
The delegation also expressed gratitude to the President for not reneging on his promise to restore the allowances for teaching and nursing trainees.
Continuing, he said the office of the Special Prosecutor will ensure that corruption and its allied effects, which have plagued the development of the country, will be mitigated considerably, and expressed hope that the 1-District-1-Factory policy, and the 1-Village-1-Dam project will soon be implemented.
“These will help provide jobs for the teeming youth who have been rendered jobless over the years,” he explained.
President Akufo-Addo was grateful for the honour done him, and commended the Kente Weaving Industry in Ghana for its contribution to our national culture and identity.
He assured the delegation of government’s commitment towards ensuring that, by the end of the four year mandate, all other promises will duly implemented.
National Democratic Congress (NDC) MP for Bolgatanga Central, Isaac Adongo, is calling for Data Bank to be withdrawn as transactions advisor for the Finance Ministry.
The legislator in a write stated that Data Bank which is a ‘’baby’’ of the Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta puts him a conflict of interest situation.
He said ‘’It is disgusting to note that Databank, which is the baby of the current Finance Minister, Mr Ken Ofori-Atta, is now a book runner at the Bank of Ghana (BoG). This technically makes Databank Transactions Advisor to the Ministry of Finance for the issuance of bonds and government securities on behalf of Government of Ghana. It is instructive to note that the presence of Databank in the Transactions Advisor team puts up the Minister for Finance in a potential conflict of interest situation.’’
Read Below his full write up
Hon Isaac Adongo writes:
DATABANK MUST BE WITHDRAWN AS TRANSACTIONS ADVISOR (TA) TO THE MINISTRY OF FINANCE.
On 26th March 2018, the government raised GH¢1.58 billion by issuing a three-year bond at a coupon rate of 16.5%.
Contained in the issuance summary that was sent to investors was the list of institutions selected as Joint Book runners and Deal-Team for the Government of Ghana and the Bank of Ghana.
Surprisingly, among the institutions in that list was Databank , which has apparently replaced Strategic African Securities (SAS) as a book runner.
It is disgusting to note that Databank, which is the baby of the current Finance Minister, Mr Ken Ofori-Atta, is now a book runner at the Bank of Ghana (BoG).
This technically makes Databank Transactions Advisor to the Ministry of Finance for the issuance of bonds and government securities on behalf of Government of Ghana.
It is instructive to note that the presence of Databank in the Transactions Advisor team puts up the Minister for Finance in a potential conflict of interest situation.
In the past, Barclays Bank Ghana, Standard Chartered Bank Ghana and SAS used to be the book runners. It is, therefore, interesting how SAS got removed from the list and replaced by Databank, given the relationship between the Finance Minister and Databank.
This must be of concern to industry watchers, especially given the things that unfolded at the Ministry of Finance with regards to public bond issuance since the assumption into office of Mr Ofori-Atta.
It is also quiet intriguing that at a time Unibank Ghana Limited is allegedly being slowly poisoned for some strange reasons, Databank is being propped up and nourished for growth.
Further, the combination of Fidelity Bank and Databank as book runners looks a bit lethal, given their association to recent events regarding bonds.
One can easily recall that Fidelity Bank was a Transactions Advisor in the recently issued Energy Bond, which was largely a failure. That bond issuance yielded only GH¢1.2billion cash and a debt swap of GH¢3.5 billion.
What this effectively meant was that, after the Transaction Advisors failed to raise the needed funds, they just exchanged loan papers with bond papers. But surprisingly yet expectantly, the state spent GH¢177 million for this funny transaction.
Also, the CHRAJ report on the $2.25 billion bond reveals that even ahead of the BoG issuance instructions, selected investors had prior information on the transaction. This is a huge indictment on the book runners, which included Fidelity Bank.
It is again curious to note that Stanbic Bank Ghana Limited were the custodians of the controversial Franklin Templeton (FT), which ended up as the biggest beneficiary of the deal.
This trend paints a picture and leads one to conclude that institutions that are able to play ball are being conglomerated by the Ministry of Finance, headed by Mr Ofori-Atta, to pass the ball around, all in the benefit of individuals, not the state. It lends credence to growing disquiet in the financial sector that family and friends is having a better part of government-related businesses, not track record, competence and clout.
As a citizen and a representative of the people of Bolgatanga Central, I am still trying to understand what exactly the Mr Ofori-Atta seeks to achieve by drawing family and friends into the financial sector of Ghana.
Beyond serving his personal interest by giving him a greater grip on power and resources, this nepotism looks glaringly dangerous for the economy. As far as I am concerned, it is risky, uneconomical and a reckless adventure that is being woven to serve an individual, not the national interest.
This calls for the attention and anguish of all well-meaning Ghanaians to help disarm this empire and create a level playing field for all businesses and entrepreneurs rather than a privilege few that are related to the Finance Minister either by family or interest.
Lest we forget, sitting on the Board of the Bank of Ghana, which regulates the financial sector, is a former senior partner at Databank (Mr. Keli Gadzekpo) and close pal of Mr Ofori-Atta.
Hon Isaac Adongo,
Individuals without Tax Identification Number (TIN), effective today [Tuesday] April 3, 2018 will not be allowed to acquire Driver’s License, open a bank account, transact business with government, the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), has warned.
At a press briefing, Commissioner General for the GRA, Emmanuel Kofi Nti warned that institutions mandated to check the TIN must do so before transacting businesses with the public.
According to him, “One cannot transact business with these institutions if one does not have the TIN. One cannot clear goods from the ports, register land documents with the Lands Commission, obtain a Tax Clearance certificate from the GRA, open a bank account, register your company, and obtain payments for jobs or contracts done for government.’’
The GRA said the TIN, is aimed at uniquely identifying potential tax payers to broaden the tax base.
He stressed that without the TIN, a person cannot file a case at the courts, bid for contracts from government agencies, conduct business with any ministry, departments, agencies, metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies.
This he noted will help increase the number of people currently issued with TIN— which is 1,090,338 people.
The GRA he revealed have held stakeholder meetings on the issue.
“These institutions have been requested to modify their forms to include a field for the provision of TIN. Consequently, GRA expects the institutions mentioned above to demand for the TIN of their clients before transacting business with them”.
The Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) has partnered the Pharmacy Council in the bid to curb the abuse of tramadol.
Chief Executive Officer (CEO) for FDA, Mrs Delese Mimi Darko, has indicated in an interview that the authority is partnering with the Pharmacy Council to boost their surveillance.
“We are collaborating with the Pharmacy council because they are responsible for the practice of pharmacy and also with the health facilities regulatory agency which also registers pharmacies and chemicals and licensed medicines sellers. We are forming a task team in the next few days. They are doing what they are doing but we think that we should actually come together and move out wider within the regions.”
She also revealed that the team will also “visit chemical shops because they [chemical shops] would be obtaining some [of the product] legally, some as well may be obtained at places that we are not aware of.”
Tramadol (brand name: Ultram) is an opioid analgesic (painkiller). It is prescribed to treat moderate to moderately severe pain and is considered a safer alternative to other narcotic analgesics like hydrocodone (Vicodin, Lortab) and methadone.
Two people said to have masterminded last Sunday’s attack on the Asunafo South Member of Parliament, Eric Opoku, and three others have been arrested by the police.
Kwabena Acheampong and Yaw Boakye, have been arrested by the Brong Ahafo Regional Police command as key suspects in the attack.
The Brong-Ahafo Regional Police Public Relations Officer, Chief Inspector Augustine Kingsley Oppong who confirmed the arrest said the two suspects have since been transferred from Sankore to Sunyani for further investigations.
Mr Eric Opoku, the MP for Asunafo South was attacked Sunday dawn at his residence at Sankore in the Brong-Ahafo Region.
The attackers, believed to be sympathisers of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) as alleged by Mr Eric Opoku, also attacked and injured three other persons, all members of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) that same night.
They also vandalized vehicles in the MP’s compound, making it a second time a similar incident has happened in the MP's house.
According to the Brong Ahafo Regional Police PRO, they would not be looking out for the "political colours" of the suspects but would deal with them in accordance with the law.
He said they will be charging them with robbery if investigations complete since one of the victim's money was forcefully taken away.
Lawyer for the Deputy General Secretary of opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), Victor Kojoga Adawudu has reiterated that his client has not been charged with treason contrary to media reports.
He was speaking to journalists after his client, Koku Anyidoho reported at the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) few days after he was granted police enquiry bail following his alleged treasonable comments.
“As at now he is being investigated for treason. He has not been charged. They are investigating to see [whether] that offense that they have seen, the investigation will support it. If they investigate and they have compelling evidence then they will now charge us, that’s the procedure,” he said.
Lawyer Adawudu explained further that he said when one is arrested his or her statement is taken, followed by an investigation, after the investigation, if the police got any evidence then they will charge the suspect with offense that the facts will support.
“So, that’s what they [police] are doing now. So we have not been charged, just that they are investigating us,” he noted.
A former Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister in the Mahama administration, Emmanuel Bombande, has said has rubbished a comparison made by Editor-in-Chief of the New Crusading Guide newspaper, Abdul-Malik Kweku Baako Jnr, of the 2015 and 2018 military deals signed between Ghana and United States.
The former appointee says the comparison by the renowned journalist amounts to “comparing apples to oranges”, since according to; the two arrangements are totally different.
Mr. Baako contributing on Joy Newsfile political show on Saturday suggested that former President John Dramani Mahama, gave approval for Ghana to be used as base for a U.S. military operation that was to protect “U.S. citizens and facilities in the sub-region”.
However, the former deputy minister has responding saying “Part of our problem in Ghana is that we completely misplace such a discussion because of the eagerness and the rush to try to defend what is indefensible by comparing it with what has been a previous arrangement”.
He told Accra based Class Fm that, “The letter in question that Kweku Baako read, all the more points to the reason why quite a number of Ghanaians are frustrated about the current enhanced security agreement.
“And let me quickly explain what I mean: First of all, nobody has said that in the past, there were no security arrangements, so, to continuously talk about former security arrangements does not even begin to appreciate the issues that we are dealing with. And second, which is more important, the letter that Kweku Baako read on Newsfile is time-specific; it specifies which equipment can be used, when they can be brought in, when they can leave, which is completely different from what we are dealing with today”.
According to him, the 2015 deal cannot be used as justification for the 2018 deal which the Minority in parliament, pressure groups and civil society organisations, have kicked against with reason that it gives U.S. military forces unfettered access to Ghana’s security installations and also infringes the sovereignty of the West African country.
Mr Bombande added, “does not talk about unfettered access, it does not talk about an arrangement that is not clear, [it does not talk] of an exit clause in which you do not know when it will end, it does not talk about having officials of the military forces of the United States driving without licences or not being prosecuted if they find themselves on the other side of Ghanaian laws”.
“All those issues that take away the pride of the Ghanaian and makes the Ghanaian not to have a comparative, equal and mutually respecting part of the bargain, is what people are frustrated about,” he said, stressing: “In other words, an arrangement in which Ghana and the United States are mutually respecting each other as partners, is what makes a partnership in the context of your discussion to be appreciated and not an arrangement in which the Ghanaian is completely way down and the U.S. is way up. … So, you cannot compare apples and oranges. …You should discuss 2015 as an agreement and 2018 as an agreement, look at the 2018 agreement, compare it to the 2015 agreement, and find out: in which of these agreements did the Ghanaian lose that pride, that sense of being a proud African to be in a mutual partnership with the United States”.
He concluded, “for all its purview in terms of how you look at the 2015 agreement, in the five-week timeframe, there was an arrangement for a specific and particular military operation that the United States was requesting and after that five-week arrangement, it would expire … but more importantly, it was an arrangement based on regional consultation to address a specific need in the region and to that extent, the friendly relationship, in terms of the diplomatic notes, is a gesture of Ghana, as a friendly nation, for those five-week period that would allow the operation to address the specific need.
“But that is not the arrangement in 2018, and keep in mind that we have a collective approach as West Africans through ECOWAS, to any security arrangement, so, if we create any situation in which there’s any period that does not clearly demonstrate the exit of this arrangement, how do we then sit with our neighbours and our colleagues in the sub-region of West Africa and explain the arrangement that we went into, should that now begin to undermine the collective and regional security arrangement under ECOWAS.”
A mother of three has narrated how she has managed to care for her last born who is an autistic child.
Madam Rosemond, a caterer told Kwame Tutu on Rainbow Radio 87.5Fm that, she gave birth to THREE healthy and strong children age 19, 9 and 6 years respectively.
She said all the three children were healthy until at 2-3 years, the last born started developing signs of autism.
According to her, it got to a point where the last born started showing signs that made it difficult for him to be controlled.
‘’He started counting from one to six. He loved signing and rhymes. But between the ages of 2-3 years, he started showing these signs. I did not know what was happening to him. He started losing his speech and flipping his fingers. I did not have an insight into what was happening to him. He is very energetic and handsome,’’ she stated.
Madam Rosemond said his son is just like any normal child but ''I was hopeful my son would be okay. But after the speech regression, I went to the hospital to seek medical care. I was told my son was suffering from autism. I was ignorant of what it was and that is why I have decided to join the advocacy to raise awareness on autism when I got to know what it was.’’
She called for more education on autism to help more children suffering from autism to have a new life.
She was optimistic that children with extreme autistic symptoms would be healed if given the needed care and attention.
Parents who have autistic children she noted should not abandon their children but give them support and love them since it also forms part of the healing process, she emphasized.
Autism, or autism spectrum disorder, refers to a range of conditions characterized by challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviors, speech and nonverbal communication, as well as by unique strengths and differences
Autism’s most-obvious signs tend to appear between 2 and 3 years of age. In some cases, it can be diagnosed as early as 18 months.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates autism’s prevalence as 1 in 68 children in the United States. This includes 1 in 42 boys and 1 in 189 girls.
An estimated 50,000 teens with autism become adults – and lose school-based autism services – each year.
Around one third of people with autism remain nonverbal.
Around one third of people with autism have an intellectual disability.
Certain medical and mental health issues frequently accompany autism. They include gastrointestinal (GI) disorders, seizures, sleep disturbances, attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), anxiety and phobias.
By: rainbowradioonline.com with additional files from autismspeaks.org
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has eulogized the late Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, describing her as a fearless and remarkable woman.
The late Winnie Madikizela-Mandela was an apartheid fighter and former South African first lady and wife of Late Mandela.
She died at the age of 81. Ghana’s president in a Facebook post wrote: “I’m deeply saddened by the news of the death of Winnie Mandela. Her name will echo down the ages, and will forever be remembered as a freedom fighter and a fearless and remarkable woman. Rest in perfect peace “Mama Wetu.” You’ve earned it.”
‘Mother of the Nation’
Mrs. Madikizela-Mandela was born in 1936 in the Eastern Cape – then known as Transkei.
She was a trained social worker when she met her future husband in the 1950s. They went on to have two daughters together.
They were married for a total of 38 years, although for almost three decades of that time they were separated due to Mr. Mandela’s long imprisonment.
To her supporters, she became known affectionately as “Mother of the Nation.”
The Brong Ahafo regional chairman for the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), Mr. Opoku Atuahene, has called on government to ensure that Ghanaians are safe, secured and sound under their watch.
Speaking to host of Frontline, Kwame Tutu, on Rainbow Radio 87.5Fm, Mr. Atuahene described the attack on the NDC MP for Asunafo South as disheartening and undemocratic.
The regional chair who believes the attack was needless and unwarranted underscored the need for the suspects to be arrested and prosecuted.
For him, the NPP should put its feet down and bring an end to the lawlessness and impunity because we have gone past that stage where people attack their political opponents.
There are some individuals in the NPP who are against the attack but they are unable to voice out because of politics, he added.
He also disputed claims that the NDC failed to crack the whip on members who engaged in lawlessness during their tenure stressing that, the past government allowed the law to work.
He also alleged that, the attack was orchestrated to intimidate the MP so he will give up his seat in 2020 but we will not be intimidated in any shape of form. We will also call on the clergy who attacked Mahama to come out and condemn these attacks and lawlessness,'' he stated.
Some unidentified thugs allegedly assaulted the National Democratic Congress (NDC) Member of Parliament for the Asunafo South Constituency in the Brong Ahafo Region, Eric Opoku.
The thugs according to the police also vandalized some of his properties and vehicles.
The armed men are also reported to have inflicted machete wounds on three other persons believed to be sympathizers of the NDC.