Information Minister, Dr Mustapha Hamid says the statement on the ban on foreign travels issued and was basically to reinforce, institutionalise and upgrade a verbal directive on minimal travel the President had issued to ministers when they assumed office.
According to the minister, the statement was also intended to extend the directive to all key actors of the government machinery.
He was speaking to Graphic following the temporal ban placed on foreign travels for Ministers, Deputy Ministers, MMDCEs and all heads of Government institution.
The ban which was issued and signed by Chief of Staff, Frema Opare said "Guidelines in respect of future foreign travels, aimed at minimising disruption to government's domestic work, will be communicated to you shortly."
Meanwhile, the Foreign Affairs Minister, Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey has been exempted from the ban.
"The Minister for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration is, however, exempted from this temporary ban on foreign travels."
The President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has indicated that neither he nor his government has any interest in preventing genuine citizens from being issued with identity cards, in the ongoing National Identification Authority (NIA) registration process.
According to President Akufo-Addo, it should not be in anybody’s interest that the identity of the Ghanaian is bastardized, adding that “it should not be in the long-term interest of anybody that we enlist as Ghanaians people whose loyalty to our nation is limited to access to our free healthcare system.”
The President noted that his oath of office enshrines that he upholds the law and protects the institutions from being undermined.
“I do not think that there are more credible, basic, documentary requirements for establishing nationality or citizenship than a birth certificate or a passport. An appropriate, acceptable mechanism has been provided in the law to verify the claims of those who have neither,” he added.
President Akufo-Addo made this known on Saturday, 23rd June, 2018, when he delivered the commencement speech at the 2018 graduation ceremony of the Ashesi University.
Expressing his hope that the registration exercise to provide all citizens with a national identity card would have received the enthusiastic support of all Ghanaians, after years of wilful stagnation and neglect, the President noted that the project has become embroiled, once again, in another of those full-scale manufactured storms deliberately engineered to slow down progress in Government tries to do.
With many arguing that the possession of a voter’s ID card should qualify one to be issued a national identity card, even though that view was never canvassed during the parliamentary consideration of this matter, the President posited that it is a well-known fact that many non-Ghanaians are in possession of voter’s cards that they obtained by offering NHIS cards as proof of identity.
This is why, the President stated that, the Supreme Court handed down a ruling that the NHIS card should not be used as a form of identification to register for a voter’s ID card.
Recounting the contributions made by some members of the Minority in Parliament, when the National Identity Register (Amendment) Bill came before them in the House, the President was
The Ranking Member on the Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Select Committee in Parliament, Hon. Inusah Fuseini, MP for Tamale Central, is quoted as having stated that “There is no controversy in the amendments. It seeks to expand the field of information that would be required, and bring the information up to date with modern trends.”
He was supported in this by the NDC MP for Banda, Hon. Ahmed Ibrahim, who said: “Mr. Speaker, from the day of the birth of Jesus Christ, registration and census were done. Therefore, it is very pathetic that, as a country, we do not know who a Ghanaian is… Mr. Speaker, if there is something as a country that Ghanaians should come together and support, I believe this Bill is one of them.”
The NDC MP for Ellembelle, Hon. Emmanuel Armah-Kofi Buah, the former Minister for Petroleum under the Mahama government, in his contribution, further stated “The amendment Bill is long overdue, and very critical for our country. The issue of who a Ghanaian is, is very critical in this country, especially because of the issues we face.”
According to President Akufo-Addo, “these are samples of the sentiments that allowed the House to accept, unanimously, i.e. without dissent, the Report of the Committee”, which stated, amongst others: “The Committee also noted that the Bill seeks to do away with the use of voters’ identity cards, drivers’ license and baptismal certificates as proof of citizenship. It, however maintains the use of birth certificates and passports. It further introduces residence permits and other documents evidencing acquired citizenship. Officials of the NIA informed the Committee that the changes are consistent with the decision of the Supreme Court in Abu Ramadan v Attorney-General delivered in May, 2016.”
The language of de-nationalisation made by former President Mahama, or threats of civil war made by NDC General Secretary, Johnson Asiedu Nketia, the President stressed are extremely unfortunate, and can be fittingly described as base forms of self-serving demagoguery.
“I am confident that the good sense of the Ghanaian people, and the vigilance of the law enforcement agencies will, together, be sufficient to defeat any ill-conceived, destructive adventure for achieving narrow, parochial, partisan ends. The lust for power should not cloud one’s sense of judgement. To call yourself a Ghanaian means you must be a responsible citizen,” the President added.
The 2018 African Journalists for Economic Opportunities (AJEOT) training has successfully come to an end.
The two-day intensive training was organized by the Institute for Liberty and Policy Innovation (ILAPI) in partnership with Network for A Free Society, Atlas Network and Language of Liberty Institute at Koforidua in the Eastern region (June 22-25, 2018).
The training offered the participating journalists and prolific writers to learn the tools for advocacy and economic principles of classical liberalism to help shape public policy discourse, and question the status quo for a free and prosperous society.
It was also aimed at helping the journalists help create a sustainably prosperous society so all men can democratically have life, liberty and pursue of happiness.
Powerful speakers from across the world took participants through topics including, ''Introduction to Classical Liberalism'' which was treated by Thomas Adedayo-Nigeria; ''Geopolitics'', Vincente Camara-Switzerland; ''Identifying Tools for Economic Journalism'', Tom Palmer-United States.
Other speakers were Ebenezer Nii Tackie who spoke on ‘Understanding the Liberal Framework within the Realms of Public Policy Formulation; and Abdul-Rahman Dogbatey Sarpong who spoke on Media Entrepreneurship and Evans Badu Boampong, Vice President, ILAPI spoke about Media Censorship in Africa.
Professor Brian Baugus spoke via Skype on Two Ideologies in One Country where he posited that, corruption and illegal systems were the two major problems delaying the development of Africa.
The rest were Bright Nkyi and economist who spoke on ‘Government and Inflation and GDP-How Real is it; Internet Freedom-Belinda Odek-Kenya; Dr. Steve Davies Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA-UK) who argued that, subsidies by governments was a bad leadership approach to solving problems and also emphasied the need for African leaders to make it possible for citizens to own property in order to reduce conflicts.
Evans Kissi an agric expert, touched on Economics Disconnection between resource management and economic prosperity whiles Mr Isaac Annan Yalley spoke about the Banking Economy and the reasons why banks fail.
In his view, it will be more efficient if banks concentrate on delivering on quality services with fewer branches instead of focusing on opening more branches.
IMANI Africa President, Franklin Cudjoe, admonished journalists to be brutal in their reportage, identify the gaps in policy and use their mediums to expose corruption.
Corruption he posited is a canker that is executed through projects and contracts and citing the Kelni GVG as an example, he described the contract as a ‘’grand theft’’ being used to rob the limited resources of the state.
The event was climaxed with an awards night where some journalists and groups received prizes.
The best participants went to Rashid Obodai Provencal-Ghana who also won the business pitch competition organized for participants and Dayo Pelumi from Nigeria also won the best participant.
Stephen Bernard an Investigative journalist and Roderick Asante a journalist with Groupe Ndoum (GN) TV received medals for two major stories they pursued after the 2017 AJEO.
Stephen Bernard went undercover to expose a police officer who abused a civilian. He subsequently reported the case at PIPS despite threats on his life.
HAYEK Group won Day 2 Assignment presentation on: ‘Identify a policy area, and determine policy gaps. Using liberal principles, suggest five ways to help government create a free society.
Closing the training, President of ILAPI, Peter Bismark Kwofie admonished the journalists to use the skills they have acquired to change the narratives and pursue an agenda that will help society.
Participants were drawn from Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria and Switzerland.
The 2019 AJEOT is slated for June 27-30. Application will be opened from February to April 2019.
As Journalists are known to be the 4th arm of government with the voice for the voiceless in our democratic society, it's imperative to understand policies and how they are formulated for implementations to achieve its intents. Market competition and efficient function of the government to provide security from violence have taken millions of people from poverty.
Economic freedom is a determinant for human development and the respect for individual rights is the essential precondition for a prosperous world. This could only be made possible when government is limited to its primary function and policies are formulated to enhance economic competition.
AJEOT is a residential certification course for journalists and writers in Africa and beyond with university professors and heads of think tanks across the globe as the facilitators. Graduates are task to exhibit professionalism in their quest to enhance and help integrate liberty and its economic principles into journalism and public policies for prosperous society. The Blockchain revolution won't be left out.