A member of the Ghana Institute of Freight Forwarders and a lecturer at Kaaf University College, John Adu Jack has dragged the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) to court over the implementation of the Cargo Tracking Note Policy. The Cargo Tracking Network Policy seeks to allow shipments to Ghana including transit Cargo and shipping exporters and forwarders at various ports of loading globally to obtain validated CTN number to help track the right content of consignment to avoid undervaluation at the ports. The policy from a statement issued by the GRA is expected to kick-start today [Monday]. The plaintiff among other things praying the court: 1. Declare that the introduction and implementation of the policy is illegal, unconstitutional and a breach of the provisions of the said trade facilitation. 2. Perpetual injunction to restrain the defendant (GRA , Commissioner and CTN Ghana Ltd ) assignees etc from introducing and implementing the CTN in its current state. Meanwhile, the GRA has issued a statement announcing the full take off of the policy from October 15. Below is the full statement: IMPLEMENTATION OF CTN This is to serve notice that the implementation of the Cargo Tracking Note (CTN) policy begins in earnest on Monday, 15th October 2018. The intervention is to provide greater scrutiny of our major imports for both valuation and security management purposes. From Monday, 15th October, 2018 importers whose imports, from records, exceed thirty-six (36) Twenty Foot Equivalent Units (TEUs)per year will be required to obtain a CTN Number in the country of export. This means, any importer who imports less than 36 TEUs per year is exempt from CTN compliance. Further, businesses that import more than 36 TEUs per year but can demonstrate that the nature of their imports and their turnovers make them small importers will also be exempt. These exemptions are to ensure that our small and medium scale importers, mostly petty traders, our market women and men, small distributors, and other small to medium businesses are free from the requirements of this intervention. Government will monitor closely the implementation of this important customs management tool with a view to learning the needed lessons and adjusting the scope and mechanics of the policy to achieve both the valuation and security enhancement objectives of the intervention. We thank all stakeholders for their cooperation as Ghana Customs prepares towards the rollout of this national exercise. Commissioner-General
Chairman for Government’s Assurances Committee, Mr Yaw Frimpong Addo, has explained that, the $1 million per constituency policy was not meant to go directly to the constituencies.
The chair indicated that, there’ve been misconceptions about the special initiatives ministry and the distribution of the $1 million per-constituency.
He explained that the $1 million per constituency has been used for projects in the various constituencies and was not meant to go directly to the beneficiaries.
He said, the various projects were initiated based needs assessment done by the various development authorities.
Former President John Dramani at his Upper East regional campaign tour expressed shock over a claim by the Akufo-Addo government that the 2017 allocation of the one million dollars per constituency per year expired with the budget of December 2017.
Minister for Special Initiatives, Mavis Hawa Koomson, has said the money technically expired with the budget in 2017 as the structure needed to implement the programme was not available.
She was reacting to a question by Member of Parliament for Mion, Mohammed Abdul-Aziz, when government would release the Cedi equivalent of one million dollars to every constituency.
But Mr Mahama is wondering how a million dollars per constituency meant for the development as promised by the New Patriotic Party (NPP) in the 2016 elections could expire.
He asked “have you ever seen one million dollars expiring?”, adding that “I am aware that rice has expiry date, oil has expiry date and other commodities but one million dollars has no expiry date”.
However, Mr Yaw Frimpong Addo has said there are ongoing projects, which are being funded through the $1 million per constituency.
The Manso Adobea said, ‘’the money is for projects. We have established the development authorities and these development authorities will facilitate the projects the constituencies selected. So the money is not coming to the constituencies direct.’’
He said, the ministry has initiated projects across the country and so we [Committee] ‘’need to go round and see if these projects are on the ground.
Reacting to his colleague, the MP for Ho West, Mr Emmanuel Bedzra Kwasi said, the money was initially planned to go directly to the various constituencies but that plan failed and development authorities were formed to facilitate the distribution of the money for the various projects.
The development authorities he noted are mandated to facilitate the projects when it has been accepted. But the initial understanding is not what we are witnessing today.
Meanwhile, the Government Assurances committee is set to embark on a verification visit to some four-sector ministries to inspect ongoing projects under these ministries.
Chairman of the committee, Mr Yaw Frimpong Addo told Rainbow Radio 87.5Fm that, it is their core mandate to inspect projects promised by government.
The ministries involved are education, energy, special initiatives and railways, he said.
The deputy-ranking member commenting on the decision by the committee said, it would afford them an opportunity to track government’s flagship projects to see if the projects were being done.
Residents at Nsakina and other adjourning communities in the Ablekuma municipal assembly have staged a demonstration in protest against the poor nature of their roads.
The residents set the roads ablaze by burning lorry tyres on Monday, October 15, 2018.
Workers, students and commuters were unable to move to their various locations because the demonstrators blocked all the major routes in the area.
Rainbow Radio gathered that, vehicles could commute in or out of the centre of the demonstration.
The residents say the roads are so bad that bike riders often fall off the bikes. There is also difficulty in accessing the health facility at neighbouring Oduman, due the nature of the roads.
The residents who were agitated stressed on the need for authorities to repair the poor roads in order to enhance their life.
The poor nature of the roads they lamented is having negative effects on their businesses.
Traditional leaders have supported the demonstration but the police have expressed shock.
The Amasaman District Police Commander, Sup. Fred Asare Mensah said the police were not informed about the intended protest.
Meanwhile, information gathered has it that nine persons have been arrested.
Lawyer Kwame Agyapong, lead counsel for Member of Parliament for Assin Central, Kennedy Agyapong, has expressed his displeasure at what he described as unfair reportage on the p[art of journalist in the ongoing case between his client and investigative journalist, Anas Aremeyaw Anas.
In an interview with Kwame Tutu on Rainbow Radio 87.5Fm, the lawyer said, Anas Aremeyaw Anas’ suit was fraught with errors and as counsel for the legislator, he drew the attention of the court on the matter because the Supreme Court had ruled on the matter on the need for plaintiffs to provide proper address when they sue someone.
He indicated that they had to go to court through a motion to set aside the suit brought before their client due to the errors on the face of the suit.
He indicated the counsel for Anas opposed their motion to asked the court to set aside the motion.
At Thursday's sitting, the court directed Anas to furnish Mr Agyapong with a more detailed address in 10 days as the current address provided is not sufficient.
The Court noted that Anas uses North Labone Crescent while Kweku Baako, who also lives there, describes it as North Labone Estates in a writ he filed in the Supreme Court.
The private legal practitioner further explained that, made a request before the court for him to be allowed to know the person who had sued him.
He said, my client told the court wearing of a mask and the concealment of Anas's identity breached his constitutional rights under article 33 of the Constitution.
But the judge responded by indicating that he would not touch on the matter because if does, he would be delving into the substantive matter.
He further revealed after the court ordered the plaintiff to make corrections on the address, the judge wanted to award a cost to his client but he declined.
According to him, the reports that came out were untrue and did not represent what the court said and were orchestrated by persons who dislike his client.
He admonished journalists to be accurate.
He also stated that the writ by Anas is technically not in existence due to the directive from to court.
Retired Supreme Court judge, Justice William Atuguba, has said, Ghana will develop better we are today if citizens fear God and eschew evil.
He was speaking at the closing ceremony of the Ahamadiyya Muslim Mission’s peace conference at Kemspiski Hotel in Accra yesterday [Sunday].
According to the retired judge, the personality of the Amir exudes peace and fear of the Lord Most High and these are the only important things that propel any human community forward.’’
He commended leaders for organizing the conference in Ghana and further congratulated the Islamic community for always being at peace with all other religious faiths.’’
‘’I am most grateful to the Muslim leaders of this country who have helped to sustain the peace of this country at all times. I am very proud of them and I hope others will emulate their example, their cohesion, their adherence to the supremacy of Allah above all other considerations.''
He believes if Ghanaians are able to adhere to the divine supremacy of Allah, fear him, in all our undertakings- including politics, business, including social activities, this country could reach the heights for which Allah purposed it.’’
On his part, the keynote speaker, His Excellency Sir Dr. Iftikhar Ahmed Ayaz Obe, called for justice to accompany peace.
According to him, the concept of justice in Islam is to give more than you get, adding, ‘’and not only that but is to also give even if don’t get justice back.’’
He made reference to the Quran and emphasized that, Islam teaches Muslims to give justice to even their enemies.
He commended the organizers for the peace conference and maintained the conference will help promote peace not only in Ghana but the entire African continent.
The Islamic leader said, citizens are looking forward to a point where they could have access to social justice, a corruption free society, and unity.
The Trades Union Congress (TUC), has disagreed with President Akufo-Addo’s claim that, the national cathedral is a top priority among priorities of government.
The TUC in a statement indicated that, while Christians may be in the majority in Ghana, Christianity is not the national religion and cannot be placed above the rest of religions in the country.
TUC is therefore appealing to the president to shelve the idea.
“We would like to appeal to President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to shelve this plan otherwise we will invite all Ghanaians to join us to campaign vehemently against this misplaced priority and to protect the national purse.
“Our workplaces, our schools, colleges and universities, and all places of worship across the country would be more effective rallying points for strengthening unity among Ghanaians than a national cathedral located in Accra which can be accessed only by the privileged class in society. Moreover, we should encourage more inter-marriages among ethnic groups in the country and facilitate the learning of multiple languages as a means of strengthening unity among all the ethnic groups in Ghana.”
The TUC’s statement is coming after the president justified decision to build the cathedral.
The statement which was signed by TUC’s Secretary General, Dr. Yaa Baah, lamented the lack of clean water for some Ghanaians, chronic malnutrition affecting some citizens among other challenges that need immediate attention.
‘’Currently, over six million Ghanaians do not have access to clean water; one out of every four Ghanaian children is affected by chronic malnutrition; anemia affects 66 percent of young children and 42 percent of women of childbearing age; only 15 percent of urban residents and 6 percent of rural residents have access to sanitation facilities; a very significant number of households lacks access to toilet facilities and so open defecation is quite common; there is only one doctor for 8000 Ghanaians compared to World Health Organisation (WHO) standard of one doctor for 5000 people (in some regions, there is only one doctor for over 50,000 residents); many children are dying needlessly from malaria and other preventable diseases; the amount of money available for healthcare for Ghanaians under the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) is just about GH
The UK can still make progress in Brexit talks despite serious unresolved issues, Downing Street has said.
Talks between Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab and EU negotiator Michel Barnier faltered on Sunday over the so-called Irish "backstop", which could see the UK remaining in the customs union.
BBC political editor Laura Kuenssberg said no further talks were planned before Wednesday's EU leaders summit.
But Number 10 said the government was still "committed to making progress".
BBC Brussels correspondent Adam Fleming said Wednesday's meeting would be dominated by the unresolved issues in the divorce process, rather than focusing on the future relationship.
He added that meant Brexit talks "might not be wrapped up in November, as the UK would like".
This week's summit comes as domestic political pressure on Mrs May increases amid threats of potential cabinet resignations.
And Labour's shadow Brexit secretary Keir Starmer has heaped further pressure on Mrs May, calling for her government to publish its plan for the backstop.
Mr Starmer said any proposal needed full scrutiny from MPs before an agreement could be struck with the rest of the EU at the Brussels summit.
A Number 10 source said the prime minister had made sure Parliament was regularly updated on the talks.
Former Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said the backstop idea should be jettisoned altogether.
Writing in the Daily Telegraph, Mr Johnson said that "in presuming to change the constitutional arrangements of the United Kingdom, the EU is treating us with naked contempt".
Meanwhile, Ireland's ambassador to the UK, Adrian O'Neill, said Sunday's events in Brussels were a "setback" and could increase the prospect of a no-deal Brexit.
He told BBC Radio 4's Westminster Hour that time was "running out", adding: "Preparations for all eventualities are ramping up quite significantly."
The issue of the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, which will become the UK's border with the EU, is one of the last remaining obstacles to achieving a divorce deal with Brussels.
Wrangling is continuing over the nature of a "backstop" to keep the border open if a wider UK-EU trade arrangement cannot resolve it.
The EU's version, which would see just Northern Ireland remain aligned with Brussels' rules, has been called unacceptable by Mrs May and her Democratic Unionist allies.
The prime minister's counter-proposal is for a temporary customs arrangement for the whole UK, but Tory Brexiteers fear this becoming an open-ended position that would prevent free trade deals with countries around the world.
In a letter to Mrs May, Scottish Secretary David Mundell and Scots Tory leader Ruth Davidson said they would not accept Northern Ireland being treated differently than the rest of the UK in any Brexit deal.
It follows reports that other top ministers have been considering their positions over the weekend ahead of a meeting of the cabinet on Tuesday at which ministers could be asked to give their consent to any agreement.
Writing in the Sunday Times, former Brexit secretary David Davis urged ministers to "exert their collective authority" and reject the plans at a cabinet meeting on Tuesday.
The febrile atmosphere in the Tory ranks has seen Mr Davis emerge as a potential successor to Mrs May.
Tory MP Nadine Dorries publicly suggested he could be the leader to deliver the kind of Brexit sought by Eurosceptics.
Ms Dorries said installing Mr Davis as interim leader "may be the only way to deliver Brexit and FTA [free trade agreement]".
The first vice chairman for the National Democratic Congress (NDC) in the Bortianor Nglehshie Amanfrom, Mr Nene Tetteh Agbo Shaibu, has disclosed to Rainbow Radio’s Nana Yaw Asare that, they lost the parliamentary seat to NPP in 2016 due to disunity among the old party executives.
According to the first vice chairman, the new executives elected for NDC in Bortianor Ngleshie Amanfrom constituency, will unite the grass root and resource them so they work hard for NDC’s victory in 2020.
He emphatically stated that, NPP government has totally disappointed the people of Bortianor Ngleshie Amanfrom constituency and Ghana as well.
He said, ‘’we are aware our defeat was as a result of disunity and some unacceptable behaviours on the part of the old executives and some party members. This caused the party to lose the seat to Habib Saad. We want to snatch the seat back form the NPP and so the new executive will unite the party and grass root so we win the 2020 polls. We will resource them and give them hope in order for them to help us win the polls in 2020.’’
The NPP lied to Ghanaians in order for them to win power. T5hey have disappointed us. They have not done anything significant in the constituency. Any edifice you will see in the constituency was done by former President John Dramani Mahama,’’ he added.