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Oct 19, 2018
Pressure group, Alliance for Accountable Governance (AFAG) has admonished politicians to cut what they termed ‘cycle of madness’ and complete project6s by previous governments. Leadership of the AFAG in a statement called for an end to the situation where politicians abandon projects by their predecessors and stressed to the need for us to put all political considerations aside and put the interest of the country first. ‘’It is time for one government to show maturity and stop this cycle of madness for the sake of Ghanaians. Governments cannot continue to profess commitment to the nation whilst continuing on this course of waste.’’ The Ghana Beyond Aid agenda AFAG suggested would not be achieve if we continue on this path. ‘’AFAG understands that in our toxic political environment, continuation of projects by previous governments has low political underbelly. It is time to bring this culture to an end. We cannot build a Ghana Beyond Aid if we continue on this course. It is time for the government to take that step,’’ the statement added. AFAG used the statement to urge President Akufo-Addo and his Vice, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia to change the narrative and complete all projects started by the former administration. Read Below the full statement: CUT THE CYCLE OF MADNESS: COMPLETE PROJECTS For decades, it had been the lustful acts of previous governments to discontinue projects of previous governments to go waste and continue with new ones to the detriment of the nation. No single party is innocent of this act of mindless neglect. AFAG is worried about the financial cost of these neglects to the nation. In some cases, key infrastructures such as hospitals, roads, and school buildings are neglected. It is time for one government to show maturity and stop this cycle of madness for the sake of Ghanaians. Governments cannot continue to profess commitment to the nation whilst continuing on this course of waste. AFAG understands that in our toxic political environment, continuation of projects by previous governments has low political underbelly. It is time to bring this culture to an end. We cannot build a Ghana Beyond Aid if we continue on this course. It is time for the government to take that step. AFAG therefore urges the Akufo-Addo/Bawumia government to complete all projects started by the previous administration to protect the public purse and provides from the nation. It is time to put the interest of the nation first; above all political considerations and complete all projects started by the previous administration. This call notwithstanding, AFAG urges the government to vet all such projects to ensure value for money; adherence to quality control and dubious cost overruns. Ghana Beyond Aid is achievable. We can only achieve so not through huge policy moves and lofty rhetorics but through a change of mind and culture. AFAG urges the Akuffo-Addo/ Bawumia government to show the way. AFAG has no doubt that the government would respond to this call and take the necessary actions to complete all outstanding projects. Ghana first. Signed AFAG LEADERSHIP
Oct 19, 2018
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has announced that, cabinet will soon approve a blueprint that will to help improve our oil reserves and production. According to him, in seeking to increase Ghana’s oil reserves and improve on oil and gas production, Cabinet is expected to soon approve a ‘Blueprint and Roadmap for Accelerated Oil and Gas Exploration and Development’, which is based on a new strategy of aggressive exploration. “The strategy seeks to build synergies with the domestic downstream petroleum sector; to increase Ghanaian participation in the oil industry; and to accelerate the pace of institutional capacity development to manage our oil and gas resources efficiently,” President Akufo-Addo said. Re-emphasizing that the oil and gas industry, which is international in nature, requires the enforcement of stringent international standards in all aspects of the value chain, the President demanded that any person or company aspiring to participate in the industry must be cognisant of these requirements. “Government will, on its part, continue to prioritize the development of skills of our youth and the Ghanaian entrepreneur through the AOGC programme, so they can meet international standards, and, thereby, become more competitive in the industry. My hope is that more Ghanaian companies will participate in the bidding process,” he said. The President commended the Minister for Energy, John Peter Amewu, and his predecessor, Boakye Agyarko, and their teams for working assiduously to make this important process operational, as provided in the Petroleum (Exploration and Production) Act 2016 (Act 919). Speaking at the launch of the “Ghana Oil and Gas Licensing Round 2018”, which is going to permit the allocation of new petroleum rights, on Monday, 15th October, 2018, President Akufo-Addo noted that the 2016 manifesto of the New Patriotic Party pledged to “improve transparency in the management of our oil and gas resources”. “It is, thus, an honour for me to be able, today, to implement this important commitment by launching this maiden bidding round”, the President said President Akufo-Addo indicated, with that the last oil discovery, and the last exploration well drilled in 2014, it has meant that the pace of oil exploration has slowed considerably in the country. “Given that production is taking place at a faster rate than reserves are being added, we need to reverse this state of affairs immediately, especially in today’s oil market environment, where crude oil prices are in the US$70 – US$80 per barrel range,” he said. The President continued, “With the resolution of the maritime boundary dispute with Cote d’Ivoire, and the prevailing, transparent regime for allocating petroleum rights, many opportunities now exist for us to reverse the slow pace of oil exploration.” The President has also directed the Ministries of Energy, Finance and Environment, Science Technology and Innovation to draft and present to Parliament regulations on dealing with the adverse effects of the efforts at discovering oil in the Voltaian basis. Additionally, the regulations, he said, should also address onshore oil and gas development and revenue distribution, respectively, to address proactively any potential contestations that may arise in these communities in the course of time, as these will also help minimize the risks of future investments in the area, and further help improve Ghana’s investment climate. To accelerate further exploration activity, President Akufo-Addo has charged the Ministry of Energy to review critically existing operations in the industry, with the view to determining oil fields that are sub-optimal. The review also covers Petroleum Agreements that are dormant. “The Ministry of Energy will engage with the operators, after the review, on the adoption of best methods for increasing oil recovery rate. For Petroleum Agreements that are dormant, the Ministry will encourage the operators to consider inviting stronger partners to join them or risk the termination of these Petroleum Agreements, should they persist in failing to meet their minimum work obligations,” President Akufo-Addo stressed.
Oct 19, 2018
The Duchess of Sussex is pregnant and is due to give birth next spring, Kensington Palace has revealed. The announcement came as Meghan, 37, and Prince Harry, 34, arrived in Sydney on Monday ahead of a 16-day tour of Australia and New Zealand. Kensington Palace said the couple, who got married in Windsor five months ago, were "delighted to be able to share this happy news with the public". Their baby will be seventh in line to the throne. The Queen and other senior royals were told about the pregnancy on Friday, when members of the Royal Family gathered in Windsor for Princess Eugenie's wedding. Meghan - who has had her 12 week scan - attended the wedding with Prince Harry, wearing a long, dark blue coat, which sparked speculation she could be expecting. That speculation intensified when she was seen clutching two large folders in front of her stomach as she arrived in Sydney for the tour, which will also take in Fiji and Tonga. It is their first official royal tour since their wedding, which also took place at St George's Chapel, Windsor. Their first engagement is on Tuesday, when crowds of wellwishers are expected to congratulate the couple. The duke and duchess follow in the footsteps of Prince Harry's parents - Prince Charles and Diana, Princess of Wales - whose first royal tour was to Australia and New Zealand. Their baby will be a first cousin of Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis - but will not be a prince or princess themselves unless the Queen steps in ahead of the birth. Royal biographer Robert Hardman said the children will be lord and lady "like the children of any other duke", because Prince Harry is not in the direct line of succession. The Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh, the Prince of Wales, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, the Duchess of Cornwall are all said to be "delighted" for the couple after learning of the pregnancy at Friday's wedding.
Oct 19, 2018
The Duchess of Sussex is pregnant and is due to give birth next spring, Kensington Palace has revealed. The announcement came as Meghan, 37, and Prince Harry, 34, arrived in Sydney on Monday ahead of a 16-day tour of Australia and New Zealand. Kensington Palace said the couple, who got married in Windsor five months ago, were "delighted to be able to share this happy news with the public". Their baby will be seventh in line to the throne. The Queen and other senior royals were told about the pregnancy on Friday, when members of the Royal Family gathered in Windsor for Princess Eugenie's wedding. Meghan - who has had her 12 week scan - attended the wedding with Prince Harry, wearing a long, dark blue coat, which sparked speculation she could be expecting. That speculation intensified when she was seen clutching two large folders in front of her stomach as she arrived in Sydney for the tour, which will also take in Fiji and Tonga. It is their first official royal tour since their wedding, which also took place at St George's Chapel, Windsor. Their first engagement is on Tuesday, when crowds of wellwishers are expected to congratulate the couple. The duke and duchess follow in the footsteps of Prince Harry's parents - Prince Charles and Diana, Princess of Wales - whose first royal tour was to Australia and New Zealand. Their baby will be a first cousin of Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis - but will not be a prince or princess themselves unless the Queen steps in ahead of the birth. Royal biographer Robert Hardman said the children will be lord and lady "like the children of any other duke", because Prince Harry is not in the direct line of succession. The Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh, the Prince of Wales, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, the Duchess of Cornwall are all said to be "delighted" for the couple after learning of the pregnancy at Friday's wedding.
Oct 19, 2018
The renowned marriage and relations coach in Ghana; Opanyin Kwadwo Kyere, has admonished Ghanaians not to allow politicians to divide us. He was speaking at a five-day life conference organized by Lather Rain Assemblies of God Church under the theme ‘’Living in peace with People’’. According to Opanyin Kwadwo, it is unwise to see great citizens of this country fighting each other all in the name of politics. He said, politicians of this country will always try to deceive and influence us but we should not give them the chance to divide us for their selfish interest. Opanyin Kwadwo Kyere indicated that, it does not matter the situations we will find ourselves; it does not matter whether we are rich or poor, we should learn to love and understand each other and we will still be the great people of this great country. He ended by calling on all religious leaders of Ghana to preach peace and unity to encourage Ghanaians to love one another. By: Stephen Thompson (Intern, Rainbow Radio)
Oct 19, 2018
The President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, says his administration is using the country’s oil revenues to create assets, and not waste it on consumption and the accumulation of debt. According to President Akufo-Addo, “we are investing revenues from oil in one of the most ambitious social programmes of our country’s history, i.e. the Free Senior High School policy. In the 2018 budget, GH¢455.9 million of petroleum revenues was allocated to the Free SHS programme.” The President stressed that “Free SHS is ensuring that our oil revenues are being equitably distributed to our people, and not ending up in the pockets of a few. The most important resource of any nation is its people.” He continued, “Investing in our children and in the future of our country is the most appropriate investment any Government can make, and we are fully committed to continuing on this path.” President Akufo-Addo made this known on Monday, 15th October, 2018, when he launched the oil and gas licensing round 2018, at the Kempinksi Hotel, Accra. Addressing the gathering, the President noted that the countries that have benefited immensely from their oil and gas resources, are those that implemented policies to accelerate value addition activities in their economies, through the development of forward and backward linkages, and by investing oil revenues in strategic social and economic programmes. President Akufo-Addo stressed that his government is following suit, adding that “if we are to sustain and broaden the scope of our social interventions that rely on petroleum revenues, we must consciously work to increase crude oil production.” That is why, in furtherance of petroleum exploration activities, the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) is also making great progress in its efforts to discovering oil and gas deposits onshore in the Voltaian basin. Again, in seeking to increase Ghana’s oil reserves and improve on oil and gas production, Cabinet is expected to soon approve a ‘Blueprint and Roadmap for Accelerated Oil and Gas Exploration and Development’, which is based on a new strategy of aggressive exploration. “The strategy seeks to build synergies with the domestic downstream petroleum sector; to increase Ghanaian content and Ghanaian participation in the oil industry; and to accelerate the pace of institutional capacity development to manage our oil and gas resources efficiently,” President Akufo-Addo said. Achievements in oil sector With Ghana having discovered oil and gas deposits some eleven years ago, as a result of the bold and farsighted policies of the Kufuor-led NPP government, President Akufo-Addo noted that the current NPP Government, under his leadership, has chalked a number of successes in Ghana’s upstream petroleum sector, since January 2017. They include the establishment of a petroleum register, launched earlier this year to allow the public access petroleum agreements, licences, permits and authorisations, with the view of enhancing transparency in the management of the petroleum upstream sector. Government, he added, has launched the Accelerated Oil and Gas Capacity (AOGC) Programme, which is empowering local firms to play progressively active roles in the oil and gas value chain through capacity development, and financing and partnership support. Laws such as the Petroleum Exploration and Production (Data Management) Regulations 2017, LI 2257, the Petroleum Exploration and Production (Health, Safety and Environment) Regulations 2017, LI 2258, and the General Petroleum Regulations, he said, have also been passed. President Akufo-Addo added that his government finalised “the interconnection between the National Gas Transmission System and the West African Gas Pipeline system”, and has also ensured “a 17% reduction of the delivered price of domestic gas from $8.8 to $7.29 per mmbtu, in line with Government’s strategy to position the gas industry as a leading contributor to value added industrialization in Ghana.” Next
Oct 19, 2018
The President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, says Ghana is ready for business, and has urged investors from the United Kingdom, and, indeed, from around the world, to take advantage of the growing business-friendly climate in the country and invest. According to President Akufo-Addo, since since assuming the reins of office last year, his first order of business has been the implementation of economic policies to promote a business-friendly environment. “This Government believes that growing the economy the right way, with a level playing field, is the best option for our country’s future, and that is what we are trying to do,” he said. Delivering the keynote address at the UK-Ghana Investment Summit, on Monday, 14th October, 2018, at the Kempinski Hotel, Accra, President Akufo-Addo noted that, within 21 months, his administration has worked hard to put the Ghanaian economy back on track. A growth rate of 8.5% in 2017, the attainment of single digit inflation, a relatively stable currency despite the challenges of a strong dollar, reduction of lending rates, and the implementation of policies such as the paperless port system, e-business registration system, and the mobile interoperability system, which are helping to formalise the Ghanaian economy, lowering the cost of doing business and cutting down excessive bureaucracy, are examples of some of the steps being taken to revive the Ghanaian economy. In addition to these, he noted that a number of taxes, which were strangling businesses and business owners, have either been abolished or reduced. “Utility tariffs, i.e. of electricity and water, have also seen significant reductions, with businesses and industry enjoying electricity tariff reductions of as high as 30%, and 10% reduction in water tariffs,” he stressed. All these are being done, President Akufo-Addo said, is because “there is a government in place that believes in the primacy of the private sector, and is working to enhance the prospects of a win-win environment for both private sector and country; an environment where companies cannot just survive, but actually thrive.” With global car manufacturing giants, Volkswagen of Germany and Sinotruk of China; energy giants, ExxonMobil of the United States of America and Noway’s Aker Energy, as well as tech giant, Google, signalling their intentions of establishing bases in Ghana, President Akufo-Addo noted that “it is an exciting time to be in Ghana and to do business in the country.” To the business delegation from the UK, the President commended government’s flagship policies of “One District, One Factory”, “One Village, One Dam”, and the programme for “Planting for Food and Jobs”, to them. He indicated also a number of projects in water, health, housing, road and rail infrastructure, transport, industry, manufacturing, agriculture, petroleum and gas, the exploitation of our mineral wealth of bauxite, iron ore and gold, renewable energy and ICT growth, for which government is seeking private sector investments. “Irrespective of where you decide to investment, Government has instituted a number of incentives for the investor, depending on the nature of the activity, or the location of the investment. This is to ensure that your investment succeeds,” he said. Some of these incentives include exemption from payment of import duty for plant and machinery; 25 per cent tax rebate for companies located in regional capitals; and 50 per cent tax rebate for companies investing outside regional capitals in the regions. Additionally, the President stated that zero percent corporate tax for ten (10) years, and, thereafter, 8 per cent for companies in the Free Zones enclave; full repatriation of dividends and profits; transfer of funds to service foreign loans; and laws against arbitrary confiscation of companies or investments, are examples of some of the incentives available. “I assure you that your investments will be safe and protected, not because I have said so, but, more importantly, because Ghana is a country governed in accordance with the rule of law, where the separation of powers, with an independent judiciary to engender accountable governance, is real,” he added. With some expressing anxieties about Ghana looking eastward to China for investments to the neglect of the West, President Akufo-Addo reiterated that “we believe it is the constant duty of government to get the most competitive deal for Ghana. I just want to emphasize that my government is giving equal access to all investors to compete freely and fairly in the Ghanaian economy, irrespective of where they come from.” Ghana, the President added, “is ready for business. Join us. Be part of this new, exciting and profitable phase.”
Oct 19, 2018
Former host of late afternoon political talk show [Pampaso] on defunct Accra-based Montie Fm, Salifu Maase popularly called Mugabe has sent the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) to the cleaners for failing to heed to his call when he warned them of an intension by the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP), to rig the 2016 polls. The loudmouth broadcast journalist slammed the NDC for not putting in place proper structures to prevent the NPP from allegedly rigging the 2016 presidential race. Mugabe, who has made a return to radio after nearly two years of being quiet disclosed on his new political show on Radio XYZ that, he warned the NDC to be vigilant because the NPP had imported a machine to enable them rig the polls that saw former President John Dramani Mahama lose. He went on to state that, it would be difficult for the NDC to provide a collated results if they were asked to do so in order to be declared winners. The host on Monday October 15, 2018 on his ‘Inside Politics’ show said, ‘’I warned the NDC over a plot by the NPP to rig the elections. I told the NDC the NPP had imported a rigging machine but they kept quiet. Till date, if the NDC were asked to provide the results to be declared winners, they will not be able to do so. Government in power at that time; what a shame? People squandered campaign cash just like that.’’ The electorate division of the NDC last week revealed its budget for the collation of results was not approved. The body aslo had to rely on a manual system to collate its results because the electronic system crashed. Acting Director of Elections, Mr Bede A. Ziedeng, said, ’What happened, however was that during the 2016 elections, there was an attempt to establish a new infrastructure for the collation of results from the polling stations. But this was completely outside the directorate and the elections directorate was not involved in its management. Unfortunately, it was this infrastructure which crashed soon after it was deployed and therefore failed to provide any results for the party.’’ This he added was alluded to in the Kwesi Botchway report. The party had to fall back on the election directorate to collate the results manually. He was however quick to add that, ‘’if the system put in place outside the national election directorate of the NDC had survived, it would also have been the first time in history of election collation that, such a system would have been used.’’
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