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Rainbow Radio - Items filtered by date: Tuesday, 15 May 2018
Four separate Agreements between the government of Ghana and the governments of the Czech Republic , the Kingdom of Morocco, the Republic of Mauritius and the Republic of Singapore respectively, for the Avoidance of Double Taxation and the Prevention of Fiscal Evasion with respect to Taxes on Income and on Capital Gains were laid before Parliament today on behalf of the Minister of Finance Mr Ken Ofori Atta. Speaking to journalists after adjournment of sitting today, the Minority Ranking Member on Finance Hon Cassiel Ato Forson said the Minority will thoroughly scrutinize the four agreements laid before the house. He questioned why Ghana will go into such an agreement and challenged government to come clean on the benefits that Ghanaian businesses will get in return. Mr. Forson said government is impressing on parliament to approve the double taxation but before the approval, we have to know the details and assess the benefits for Ghana. Mr Forson said DTAs were for mutual benefits, but indicated that on the face of the current DTAs, they did not offer any benefits for Ghana.
Published in General News
Funerals were held on Tuesday in Gaza for 58 Palestinians reported killed on Monday when Israeli troops opened fire during protests, in the deadliest day of violence there since a war in 2014. Another death was reported on Tuesday - a 51-year-old man - but calm mostly prevailed as the dead were buried. Israel has faced international condemnation over the deaths, from the UN, UK, France, Russia and others. Israel has defended its actions, and the US has voiced its support. Monday's violence came as the US inaugurated its first embassy in Jerusalem, a controversial step by the Trump administration that broke with decades of US policy and incensed Palestinians. Palestinians claim East Jerusalem as the capital of a future Palestinian state. Many see the US move as backing Israeli control over the whole of the city, which Israel regards as its indivisible capital. Donald Trump's decision to relocate the embassy, announced in December, fuelled anger in Islamist-ruled Gaza, which is economically impoverished and under an Israeli and Egyptian blockade. Israel and Egypt say it is for their self-defence. For seven weeks, protesters have gathered on the Gaza side of the border with Israel, with scores of deaths over that period before the violence ratcheted this week. Among the dead on Monday were eight children under the age of 16, including a baby of eight months, Layila al-Ghandour, according to the Hamas-run health ministry. At least 2,700 were reported injured. No Israelis were reported killed or injured. Many of the dead and wounded in Gaza were hit by sniper-fire, the health ministry said. Israeli troops opened fire as protesters pushed towards the border fence that separates the Gaza Strip from Israel. Israel said its soldiers fired only at "targets of terrorist activity". UN human rights spokesman Rupert Colville told reporters in Geneva on Tuesday that Israel's use of force was "not acceptable". "The mere fact of approaching a fence is not a lethal, life-threatening act, so that does not warrant being shot," he said. "It seems that anyone is liable to be shot dead," he added, stressing that international law makes it clear that "lethal force may only be used as a measure of last, not first, resort." Source: BBC
Published in General News
Funerals were held on Tuesday in Gaza for 58 Palestinians reported killed on Monday when Israeli troops opened fire during protests, in the deadliest day of violence there since a war in 2014. Another death was reported on Tuesday - a 51-year-old man - but calm mostly prevailed as the dead were buried. Israel has faced international condemnation over the deaths, from the UN, UK, France, Russia and others. Israel has defended its actions, and the US has voiced its support. Monday's violence came as the US inaugurated its first embassy in Jerusalem, a controversial step by the Trump administration that broke with decades of US policy and incensed Palestinians. Palestinians claim East Jerusalem as the capital of a future Palestinian state. Many see the US move as backing Israeli control over the whole of the city, which Israel regards as its indivisible capital. Donald Trump's decision to relocate the embassy, announced in December, fuelled anger in Islamist-ruled Gaza, which is economically impoverished and under an Israeli and Egyptian blockade. Israel and Egypt say it is for their self-defence. For seven weeks, protesters have gathered on the Gaza side of the border with Israel, with scores of deaths over that period before the violence ratcheted this week. Among the dead on Monday were eight children under the age of 16, including a baby of eight months, Layila al-Ghandour, according to the Hamas-run health ministry. At least 2,700 were reported injured. No Israelis were reported killed or injured. Many of the dead and wounded in Gaza were hit by sniper-fire, the health ministry said. Israeli troops opened fire as protesters pushed towards the border fence that separates the Gaza Strip from Israel. Israel said its soldiers fired only at "targets of terrorist activity". UN human rights spokesman Rupert Colville told reporters in Geneva on Tuesday that Israel's use of force was "not acceptable". "The mere fact of approaching a fence is not a lethal, life-threatening act, so that does not warrant being shot," he said. "It seems that anyone is liable to be shot dead," he added, stressing that international law makes it clear that "lethal force may only be used as a measure of last, not first, resort." Source: BBC
Published in General News
A market survey conducted by Rainbow Radio 87.5Fm has revealed that there is no shortage of maize but rather hike in maize prices. Our reporters visited some major markets in the capital to assess the situation. Reporting from the Kaneshie Market, Casablanca Nyamiwaa said, the prices of maize has shot up but there is no shortage as reported by the Poultry Farmers. According to her, some traders who she spoke to disputed the shortage but complained of the attack on farms by fall army worms. Madam Lydia Fowaa Quaye, the queen mother for the market said, ‘’the prices for maize has shot up. We are currently buying a bag at a price between GHc180-GHc190 from source. There is no shortage but the fall army worms that attacked some farms, destroyed the maize. The price is not stable.’’ From the Agbogbloshie Market, Nhyiraba Kwabena Asirifi confirmed that, although there was maize available for purchase, the price has increased. The traders he noted are saying the farmers have increased the bag of maize from source with a bag selling at GHc200. The traders he added have to travel to Tumu before they are able to get maize to buy and as the time of reporting, a trader who had spent more than three weeks in search of maize was offloading. The trader speaking to him said, due to the fall army worms, maize farms were destroyed. There is no shortage as reported but there is hike in prices. The situation was not different at the Dome Market and Daniel Asuku reported that, there was maize available for purchase but selling more than before. Queen mother for maize sellers at the market who refused to mention her name complained about the increase in prices at source. She said, the prices at source are exorbitant and as traders, we cannot afford to buy with the little we have. At the Mallata Market Simon Goza reported the same scenario from all the other markets. The prices at source he said have shot up from GHc170 to GHc230 and retail prices were between GHc240-GHc250. The ‘olonka’ is also selling between GHc5-GHc6. ‘’There is no shortage as reported but it is the prices that have shot up. This is something that occurs every three years,’’ a trader posited. Deputy Minister of agric, George Oduro alluded to the same position by the traders. He was however, lambasted by the Poultry Farmers.
Published in Business
The Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Interbank Payment and Settlement Systems (GHIPSS), Archie Hesse has revealed that the company took a loan of 4.5 million dollars from the Bank of Ghana to implement the mobile money interoperability project. Speaking in an interview with Accra based Citi Fm he said the Central Bank gave the funds to the GHIPSS with the expectation that the company will meet some benchmarks in the next five years to enable them to pay back the loan. “I know there has been a lot of a talk about the cost of the mobile money interoperability project but the Central Bank owns it 100%, and we have a range of deliverables to meet which includes mobile money. As a result, we spoke to our parent company the Central Bank, and they gave a loan of 4.5 million to solve up the capability of our system to meet this particular demand,” he added. Vice President recently launched the mobile money interoperability. The service allows direct and seamless transfer of funds from one mobile money wallet to another mobile money wallet across networks. The service will also enable mobile money users to transfer funds directly from their wallets to any bank account, debit or pull funds from their accounts and credit their wallets and also have users transfer funds from their wallet to any e-zwich card. The cost for the project has become a tango with the current government accusing the past administration of plotting to use the project to create, loot and share. Deputy Communications Minister, George Andah is claiming that the previous National Democratic Congress (NDC) wanted to use the mobile money interoperability project as an avenue for create, loot and share. The ‘’non-negotiable’’ project he sated was going to cost tax payers an amount of $1.2 billion which would have gone to the supplier. In an interview with Kwame Tutu on Rainbow Radio 87.5Fm, he said after assuming office, the Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, realized that, the process was a create , loot and share for some individuals. Mr. Andah said the current administration had no other option than to go through the right channel to cancel the contract and in cancelling the contract, what we have come out with is mobile money interoperability which will cost the nation an amount of $4.5 million and so the difference is that, the contract that they signed was for $1.2 billion and we have signed same for $4.5 million. ‘’We are happy that the NDC was out of power and the NPP assumed office to save Ghana from the create, loot and share. We have saved Ghana a lot of money. The figure represents the entire solution […] this is a government that listens, this is a government that wants to ensure that we have A Ghana beyond aid,’’ he said. When asked if there was a competitive bidding, he answered saying, it went through the right procurement process.
Published in Business
The Speaker of Parliament, Rt. Hon. Professor Mike Oquaye has admonished legislators to avail themselves for the smooth running of the House as they have resumed from recess. Welcoming parliamentarians for the first sitting of the second meeting of Parliament, the Speaker commended parliamentarians for their hard work but challenged them to work harder. The Speaker also said he was expecting the members to be punctual and also improve upon the familiarity that exists between members. He charged them to eschew unpalatable debates and respect each other. Commenting on the menace of illegal mining popularly known as galamsey, he urged members to join the fight because it has reached a critical level. He promised to make sure the work of MPs becomes easy during the second sitting ‘’Honourable members, I assure you once more of my preparedness and that of leadership to make your work easy during this meeting.’’ He urged the Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs committees to make the reports on the Right to Information Bill (RTI) as quickly as possible. Majority Leader Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu, asked members to be more consultative and share information and not take anything from the House to the media because ''it doesn’t help to develop parliament itself.'' For the House to develop and deepen parliamentary practice, he urged members to work as a team. He complained about truancy on the part of members who are fond of perusing personal interest outside the House. This is the second session of the seventh Parliament of the fourth Republic of Ghana.
Published in General News
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MOH AND PARTNERS SIGN AIDE MEMOIRE

The Ministry of Health and Development Partners in the Health sector have signed an Aide Memoire (a memorandum summarizing the items of an agreement) today, to address issues of quality healthcare and equity in providing healthcare sector. The Aide Memoire was signed after a health summit to review the performance of activities for the previous year. The summit was attended by the Ministry and its agencies from the national, regional and district levels other ministries, departments and agencies, the academia and development partners. Signing on behalf of the Ministry, Kwaku Agyemang Manu, Minister for Health, said the aide memoire reflects all key discussions and conclusions arrived at the meeting and feel satisfied with provisions contained in it. The timing of the aide memoire signing however, does not align very well with our budget cycle and therefore poses challenges for us when it comes to implementing the recommendations.’’ Government he indicated intends to pursue measures that will improve staff productivity by reducing programmatic inefficiencies, tackle inequities in staff distribution and improve our financing arrangements to ensure optimal benefit from our investments.’’ He gave the assurance that government will implement the recommendations contained in the aide memoire. ‘’The Ministry will work with all stakeholders to ensure the successful implementation of the supply chain master plan, ensure data quality and provide leadership in the implementation of appropriate interventions that will ensure the attainment of Universal Health Coverage in Ghana.’’ He encouraged the partners to continue to work with Ghana so they can jointly implement all the recommendations. On his part, Development Partner Sector Lead, Mr. Niyi Ojuolape, said the signing indicates that, the partners have defined the areas they wish to work with and ensure the implementation. He said by the memoire, we are looking at a situation where the rate of maternal mortality would be reduced. We are also looking at the rate at which children are dying especially new born children so that it will come down…’’ He described the memoire as comprehensive and the partners are looking forward to a situation where Ghanaians will have access to quality healthcare over the next one year. He also touted the current process in drafting the memoire as better than previous years adding, ‘’we are improving every year and we believe that in the next one year, things will get better.’’ On challenges he bemoaned the lack of adequate resources because some are pulling out hence the need for government to find innovative ways to generate more resources for the implantation. Some Development Partners at the summit included the European Union (EU), United Nations Fund for Population Activities (UNFPA), Embassy of Japan and the World Bank.
Published in General News
Member of Parliament for Jaman North, Stevens Siaka is alleging that the previous Mahama led administration paid E-Block contractors for no work done. Appearing on Frontline on Rainbow Radio 87.5Fm, the legislator said, the current administration is struggling to pay the huge debt left by the previous administration. He said the loans contracted under the NDC for developmental projects were not paid and because of that, it has stalled the smooth running of some road projects. The former administration crippled the economy through their corrupt deals, he said. The E-blocks were part of the former government's Community Day Senior High School Project (CSHSP) which was proposed in 2012 to increase access to SHS and to decongest existing SHS. 200 new schools were to be built in underserved rural communities in the country. About 45 of the schools have been completed and commissioned by the President.
Published in General News
Deputy Communications Minister, George Andah is claiming that the previous National Democratic Congress (NDC) wanted to use the mobile money interoperability project as an avenue for create, loot and share. The ‘’non-negotiable’’ project he sated was going to cost tax payers an amount of $1.2 billion which would have gone to the supplier. In an interview with Kwame Tutu on Rainbow Radio 87.5Fm, he said after assuming office, the Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, realized that, the process was a create , loot and share for some individuals. Mr. Andah said the current administration had no other option than to go through the right channel to cancel the contract and in cancelling the contract, what we have come out with is mobile money interoperability which will cost the nation an amount of $4.5 million and so the difference is that, the contract that they signed was for $1.2 billion and we have signed same for $4.5 million. The Awutu Senya West constituency West MP added, the one signed under NPP is a central system and effective. ‘’We are happy that the NDC was out of power and the NPP assumed office to save Ghana from the create, loot and share. We have saved Ghana a lot of money. The figure represents the entire solution […] this is a government that listens, this is a government that wants to ensure that we have A Ghana beyond aid,’’ he said. When asked if there was a competitive bidding, he answered saying, it went through the right procurement process. The service allows direct and seamless transfer of funds from one mobile money wallet to another mobile money wallet across networks. The mobile money interoperability will also enable mobile money users to transfer funds directly from their wallets to any bank account, debit or pull funds from their accounts and credit their wallets and also have users transfer funds from their wallet to any e-zwich card.
Published in General News
Former deputy governor of the Central Bank Dr. Johnson Asiama, is expressing fear that, Ghana may soon be forced to pay judgement debt over the abrogation of the mobile money interoperability contract awarded to Sibton Switch under the previous NDC administration. Speaking in an exclusive interview with Kwame Tutu on Rainbow Radio 87.5Fm, the former deputy governor said, Ghana has currently being challenged at the international arbitration court. Dr. Asiama was of the view that, government should have found a reasonable way to abrogate the contract. The period for the contract was fifteen years but there was a provision for an extension for 10 years. ‘’You could still sit down with the company and look at the contract again if you had any issues because the project had barely started…Just about three months to the elections and so if you come to power and have issues with any part of it, you sit down with the company, you express your intention; you say, no let’s really look at this again or in extreme cases you even say how can we mutually abrogate this contract and then you engage in that conversation and reach an agreement. But if you don’t do that and just say it is over and I am walking away,’’ the company will sue and the tax payers money would be used to compensate the company. He has therefore advised government to engage the company so Ghana is not forced to use tax payers’ money to compensate them if their case at the arbitration court goes through. He explained, the Central Bank only allocated an administrative cost of GHc300, 000 and the company that won the bid out of the 3 considered was to use its own resources for the project. He said, the bank issued an RFP and there was nothing fishy about the contract. A selective tendering was done with four companies responding but one withdrew. Three companies were considered and the bid was scrutinized and the most responsive bid went to Sibton Switch because their bid met all the expectations of the project. According to him, he had to speak up because his integrity was at stake. ''When I was in office we followed due process, the right thing was done. There were no infractions. EOCO actually investigated that issue...That alone should be enough to clear me and my colleagues from any wrongdoing and I think we should be clear on that,'' he added.
Published in General News
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