A local governance expert Ing. Amon Kotey, has slammed the idea for the formation of four new regions.
Speaking to Nyankonton Mu Nsem on Rainbow Radio 87.5fm, he said the reasons for the establishment of the new regions are illogical.
The Council of State has, unanimously, informed the President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, that there is a substantial demand for the creation of new regions, after studying the petitions for the creation of new regions which were forwarded to the Council.
The Council has therefore, advised President Akufo-Addo to appoint a Commission of Enquiry “to inquire into the need and to make recommendations on all the factors involved in the creation of the new regions.”
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo had said that the creation of the new regions the process includes a referendum that requires at least 80 percent of residents in the affected region to approve of the split.
He noted that the regions that were to see the split include the Northern Region, Western Region, Volta Region and the Brong-Ahafo Region.
The principal arguments for this demand are accelerated development and administration efficiency.
However, the local governance expert is of the view that, development can be done without necessarily creating new regions.
Decentralization or bringing local governance to people, has a laid down procedure and we must find out reasons why we are unable to do so adding, there some regions bigger than the other and so if we say we want to develop and bring governance closer to people, then we should as well divide other regions.
He admonished government to reconsider its decision of creating new regions and rather redirect its attention to deprived communities within existing regions, and give them a face-lift.
The country he said is bedeviled with serious challenges and the creation of new regions should not be a priority of government.
Former President John Rawlings has fired back at Dr. Valerie Sawyer, a former Deputy Chief of Staff for attacking him.
The former president says Dr. Sawyer is intimated by his [Rawlings’] integrity hence her outburst.
The former Deputy Chief of Staff, criticized the founder of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) over what she described as demonizing comments he made against the current leadership of the NDC.
In an article, she accused Mr. Rawlings of “still flogging a dead horse” although they are in opposition.
“They say he booms … I say he buzzes … like an agitated mosquito … looking for his next victim. Again, he heads for other Heads of State … describing their governance as riddled with corruption. Is he trying to say that his reign was unblemished or that his twin brother’s (President Akufo-Addo) reign is unsullied? Really? Who born dog … in fact … who born monkey?”
“JJ oooo JJ … the great Papa JJ … the one and only Junior Jesus … the great saint who never does wrong … you are still flogging a dead horse … the NDC is in opposition in case you have not noticed, while a living raging bull is moving around with reckless abandon destroying everything it finds in its path including the assets and citizens of this nation,” Dr. Sawyer said in her write up..
Responding to the attacks on the sidelines of the 2nd edition of Accra Dialogue said, “NDC is at a crossroads between those with integrity and those without. Those who lack it feel threatened by those of us who have the influence of integrity and that is what is frightening them. None of all these calls against us will hold. I mean it’s false, they know it but they have to propagate it.”
Deputy Director of Communications for the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Kwaku Boahen has described President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and his appointees as swindlers.
The NDC communicator who appeared as a guest on Frontline on Rainbow Radio 87.5Fm, told host Kwame Tutu that, the NPP has failed woefully in addressing the economic hardship of citizens.
Mr. Boahen said it does not surprise him because the NPP as a party, is noted for deceiving people for power but when they assume office, they fail to deliver on their mandate.
He said, nothing seems to be working under the current administration led by President Nana Akufo-Addo.
In the view of Mr. Boahen, it will be unfortunate for anyone to say that it is too early to assess the performance of the NPP.
Ghanaians are disappointed in the NPP, they have realized that the government cannot be trusted, he said.
He took his gun on Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia who is referred to as the finest economist for failing woefully in his capacity.
The recent comment by the Vice President that no government can develop a country without borrowing was hypocritical.
The president he added enjoys traveling and living luxuriously when Ghanaians are suffering.
Meanwhile, Saka Salia, a communications team member of the ruling NPP believes the government has done perfectly well over the past seven months despite the challenges and rot left by the previous NDC government.
The first year of the NPP he said will be to restructure and maintain a stable or robust economy.
Former President Mahama he said, used three years to lay their so-called foundation but the NPP will within a year set the pace for economic transformation.
Spokesperson for the validated customers of DKM Microfinance Company, Mr. Mahama has disclosed that 80 percent of the victims have received their deposits.
According to him, customers who had investments below GHc10,000 received all their monies while those with investment above GHc10,000 received GHc 10,000 with negotiation ongoing to pay the rest later.
Speaking on Rainbow Radio 87.5Fm, he disputed the Informer Newspaper report that, DKM customers were disappointed in the new government because they have not received their monies.
Mahama said the official liquidator is still doing its job and will release every customer’s deposits.
The Official Liquidator of DKM Microfinance Company, the Registrar General’s Department has paid 80 percent of validated customers. Those who had investments between GHc 1-GHc10,000 received all their monies, he stressed.
He told Kwame Tutu that, the propaganda and political points the paper wants to achieve, was nothing far from mischief and as the official spokesperson for DKM customers, he will confidently express satisfaction at the work done by the official liquidator.
Thousands of customers of DKM Microfinance Company lost their investments running into millions of cedis after the central bank in 2015 suspended the operations of DKM for violating the banking Act.
Though the central bank subsequently lifted the ban on the company’s operations, DKM was unable to pay its customers their locked up cash.
The Bank of Ghana confiscated the assets of the company and appointed the Registrar General’s Department to commence liquidation process to refund customers of the company.
Meanwhile, Andy Kankam who is the Editor-In-Chief of the Informer Newspaper, has expressed disappoint in Mr. Mahama the spokesperson for the customers, for peddling falsehood about the state of customers who have their monies locked up.
The Editor-In-Chief of the Informer News Paper, Andy Kankam, has taken a swipe at the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP,) for playing ‘Hide and Seek’ with DKM customers.
Speaking in an interview with Kwame Tutu on Rainbow Radio 87.5Fm, Andy Kankam said, it is becoming increasingly clear that politicians in their quest to win political power and to wind wink voters, make fanciful and Utopian promises.
He said politicians make admirable but impracticable promises just to win power.
Andy Kankam said, the current NPP administration in 2016 capitalized on the microfinance scam that hit the country and lambasted former President John Dramani Mahama for the challenge and went further to promise to retrieve the money.
‘’The NPP communicators campaigned on it that former President Mahama’s incompetence caused the problem and even said he was the owner of the company. Aside that, President Akufo-Addo went to Nkoranza and promised to retrieve the money for the depositors who had their money locked up. Nana Addo told them that all he needed was their vote so he will retrieve the money for them, but seven (7) months down the line, what is happening?
President Nana Addo in 2016 assured defrauded customers of some microfinance companies in the Brong Ahafo Region that he will retrieve all monies they lost if he elected.
Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo who was then presidential candidate gave the promise during his interaction with the chiefs and people of Busunya in the Nkoranza North constituency, to end his 5-day tour of the Region.
DKM Microfinance Company and four others, namely Little Drops Financial Services, God is Love Fun Club, Jaster Motors and Investment Limited and Care for Humanity Fun Club, which turned out to be Ponzi schemes, took deposits from clients, paid huge unsustainable interests on the deposits and later bolted with clients' investments when the companies became insolvent.
It is believed that some customers died out of frustration while some have become completely bankrupt, living as paupers.
''Efforts were made by the previous government to pay the depositors but Nana Addo capitalized on that and won the polls after promising to retrieve the money and so why are they now playing hide and seek with the affected victims,'' he said.
Andy Kankam noted that Ghanaian voters are now sophisticated and wild awake and will not waste time in voting out any government that fail on their promises.
Meanwhile, the spokesperson for DKM customers, Mr. Mahama denied that nothing has been done. He said, 80 percent of customers whose deposits ranged between GHc1-10,000 have received their deposits.
According to him, only 20 percent of depositors have not received their deposits whereas those who deposits are above GHc10,000 had their deposits reviewed and would be paid.
Minister of State in charge of Agriculture, Dr. Gyeile Nurah, has underscored the need for the local poultry and livestock farming sector to be boosted.
According to him, the move will not only create employment but lead to self sufficiency in meat production.
He made the remarks when he delivered the key note address at the official launch of the ‘Poultry and Livestock Barbecue Festival’, slated for October this year.
Ghana he lamented ‘’is deficient in meeting the meat requirements. Currently, we consume an average of 225,000 metric tons of meat annually and interestingly, the country produces only 30 percent of the requirement.’’
The import on annual basis is about $200 million and meat intake in Ghana, is one of the lowest in the world adding, Ghana’s per capital intake is from 12-14kg whiles the FAOs recommendations is 39kg.
The demand for livestock products he noted has been estimated to double by 2020, meaning, there is a large gap for meat products making a strong case for the livestock and poultry sectors.
He commended organizers of the event and assured them of the Ministry’s support stating that, the Ministry will encourage people to invest in the meat production industry.
He charged stakeholders to identify value added activities that will support the necessary investments in production and processing.
The establishment of meat processing plants and barbecue festivals he opined provide opportunities for value addition.
‘’The producers of barbecues should think of themselves as members of the food chain that process and market products to consumers,’’ he said.
Livestock and poultry producers should also produce table ready meat instead of raw meat, he said.
On his part, Dr. David Edjah, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Polive Consultancy, organizers of the festival said, it will be an annual event that will create bigger and better market for the poultry and livestock industry.
The event such will be connecting them to associations like Ghana Chefs Association and others.
The festival is also intended to break the gap between research, academia and stakeholders so that research findings will be readily available.
The event will also help link poultry and livestock farmers to government’s planting for and jobs campaign.
The event is in collaboration with the Poultry Farmers Association and the National Farmers and Fishermen Association of Ghana.
He said, we will encourage stakeholders to support the event to make it a success.
Polive Consultancy he said is a marketing, advertising and a media firm registered under the Registrar General.
The event was also used to launch the Women in Poultry , Greater Accra Chapter.
Senior Minister, Mr. Yaw Osafo-Maafo has said agricultural transformation is key to government’s transformational agenda.
Government he said will continue to provide conducive investment environment and support to farmers.
The distribution of agricultural machinery at subsidized prices to farmers, the recent fifty (50) percent fertilizer and seed subsidy and provision of inputs on credit under the ‘Planting for Food and Jobs’ to farmers for production of maize, rice, sorghum, soya bean and vegetables he said remains part of the expanded programmes of government.
The one-district-one-factory project will see to the construction of warehouses in many districts and which will further foster agro-processing are all aimed at encouraging our farmers to increase production and productivity in the agricultural sector, he said.
He made the remarks at the official launch of the 33rd National Farmers Day Celebration.
The economy of Ghana he said depends on the success of agriculture. According to him, it is a shame that when one goes through the annual budget, the allocation to support agriculture has not been the best.
The Senior Minister said if we want to develop as a country, we have to prioritize agriculture.
Government of Ghana he added has recognized the importance of agriculture and will give much attention to it.
He stressed, it is a must because government of Ghana must ensure the country is self sufficient when it comes to food.
Food security he noted remains the number one priority to every nation and in promoting industrialization, agriculture must play a key role.
Governments’ agenda for development he said, was premised on four thematic areas namely; Macroeconomic stability and debt sustainability, Infrastructure Development, Accelerated Industrial Development and Agricultural Transformation.
The farmers day celebration he said, is undergoing some remodeling to reflect and showcase better contributions of farmers fisher folks as well as developments in the agriculture sector in general.
A committee of technical experts from relevant national organizations has been tasked to remodel the celebration.
The theme for this year’s celebration is ‘’Farming for Food and Jobs’’.
The Ministry for Health and that of Education have been admonished to ensure that sign language becomes an examinable course in the health and teacher training institutes.
This call was made by a group of young people from five (5) Regions in Ghana; the Northern, Ashanti, Greater Accra, Brong Ahafo and Upper East Regions, who participated in the maiden edition of the Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights conference held in Tamale from the 9th to the 13th of August, 2017 for young people between the ages of 15 and 25.
The conference with the theme “Promoting Peaceful Environment for Enhanced Sexual and Reproductive Health Education and Service for Young People”, was organized by NORSAAC; an NGO based in the Northern Region, in collaboration with government agencies like National Youth Authority, Ghana Health Service and Ghana Education Service and other civil society organizations; Youth Empowerment for Life, and Global Platform Ghana-ActionAid. It was funded by RFSU, OXFAM, SIMAVI, Plan International Ghana.
The young people deliberated on the policy environment, the practice of service delivery for young people, reproductive health needs, among others and seek to draw the attention of the government to the many problems they identified.
The young people also suggested some youth friendly solutions to the problems they identified.
Below is the full write-up of the communiqué presented at the closing ceremony of the conference.
COMMINIQUE ISSUED AT THE END OF 5- DAYS CONFERENCE ON SEXUAL AND REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH RIGHTS FOR YOUTH IN GHANA, HELD ON AUGUST 9TH -13TH, 2017 AT TAMALE GIRLS SENIOR HIGH SCHOOL (PAGNAA) IN TAMALE
We young people from five Regions in Ghana; Northern, Greater Accra, Ashanti, Brong Ahafo and Upper East Regions have mobilized each other to the number of 217 within the ages of 15 to 25 years for five days conference on our sexual and reproductive health needs. This conference was organized by NORSAAC in collaboration with government agencies like National Youth Authority, Ghana Health Service and Ghana Education Service and other civil society organizations; Youth Empowerment for Life, and Global Platform Ghana-ActionAid. It was funded by RFSU, OXFAM, SIMAVI, Plan International Ghana and held at Tamale Girls Senior High School (Pagnaa) in Tamale from 9th -13th August 2017. This conference dubbed NORGHA 2017 focused on; comprehensive sexuality education, comprehensive abortion care, Family planning services, youth friendly services and youth literacy in Ghana. The theme for the conference was “Promoting peaceful Environment for enhanced Sexual and Reproductive Health Education and service for young people”. The conference among others aimed at creating a safe space for youth to critically reflect on policy gaps, reflect on youth friendly solutions and to engage service providers on the desired change for enhanced youth friendly services.
Having deliberated on the policy environment and the practice of service delivery for young people reproductive health needs, we draw the attention of his Excellency the President of Ghana through the Northern Regional Minister, Honorable Salifu Saeed on the following issues;
• There is inadequate monitoring, evaluation and supervision of infrastructures available to provide services for young people
• Inability of health providers to understand the health needs of the physically challenged especially the death and dumb due to language barriers
• Teachers skills on comprehensive sexuality education have not been recognized as a relevant course at the teacher training institutions resulting in the low knowledge, skills and information of teachers on Comprehensive Sexuality Education. Coupled with this, current subjects of the Ghana Education Service curriculum have little content on comprehensive sexuality education thus limiting students’ awareness of their bodies.
• In many cases, teachers found as culprit of sexual harassment are not disciplined by relevant authorities. Consequently, the rate of teenage pregnancy, child marriages, rape, defilement is still rampant in many schools. Yet the Domestic Violence and Victim Support Unit is not available in all districts and are not well resource to responds to cases of violence.
• Non-functional counseling units in the various schools contributes greatly to the effects of sexual and reproductive health issues that students are bedeviled with.
• There is still a significant number of unfriendly health care service providers who push young people away from health centers leaving us vulnerable to peer misguidance. Yet nothing is done to health care providers who deny young people services or are not friendly to them when they visit health centers.
• Unavailability of some essential family planning commodities in the country. This is coupled with inadequate capacity building for health personnel to administer the services to clients at the health centers due to funding challenges.
• Most youth friendly centers are just structures without adequate personnel and materials to deliver the required services.
• Safe abortion services are unaffordable hence increasing the rate of risky and unsafe abortions.
• Students do not have access to libraries to improve their reading and literacy skills. Many schools do not also have infrastructure that promotes teaching and learning.
We do acknowledge that young people lack the interest to push for the effective implementation of appropriate policies that will reduce these issues, but we believe in the power of democracy where the chosen leaders must deliver the required services of the citizens.
Honorable Minister, it was not so long ago when you were young. We are sure you faced similar issues as we are facing today. Does it need to continue? And for how long do the young people of Ghana need to face these issues?
We therefore demand that;
1. Parliament must make or amend policies to ensure conformity in the definition of youth as well as guidelines and protocols that ministries use in providing services to young people in Ghana.
2. The Ministry of Health must be directed to ensure that the construction plan for every health facility must include a youth friendly center and should be equipped with essential equipment, personnel and materials for effective service provision to young people.
3. The patient charter must be made visible at all health facilities and health personnel should be well educated on the charter by the Ministry of health.
4. Policy restriction on the category of health personnel who should provide certain health services can be reduced with effective rationalization of health personnel at health facilities, especially at youth centers. In addition, referral systems of cases should be effective among health institutions
5. The Ministry of Education must ensure that Parent-teacher Associations and School Management Committee must be effective. Heads of Schools must be accordingly directed to use Parent-Teacher Association to educate and encourage parents to speak and allow education on sexuality for children.
6. There must be defined refresher trainees for all health service providers on service provision for young people.
7. The Ministry for Health and that of Education must be directed to ensure that sign language becomes an examinable course in both health personnel and teacher training institutes.
8. Comprehensive Sexuality Education must be incorporated into the curriculum for both teacher trainees and students. This must include continual review of the relevance of textbooks as well as replacement of outmoded text books.
9. All districts must have at least one functional public library with computers, internet connectivity and a professional staff.
10. Voluntary peer educators on Comprehensive Sexuality Education should be part of the counseling units in schools.
11. Teachers who sexually harass students must face the full vigor of the law devoid of any political, institutional or religious barriers.
12. The Domestic Violence and Victim Support Unit must be well established in all districts and resourced to carry out its mandate.
13. Family planning is an essential need for all families and must therefore be absorbed by the National Health Insurance Scheme.
Honorable Minister, we look forward to working with you and your team on the above demands.
Signed on behalf of the 217-young people in the NORGHA 2017 conference;
DATE NAME REGION SIGNATURE
12th August, 2017 Abubakari Fadila Northern
12th August, 2017 Edu Evans Greater Accra
12th August, 2017 Cynthia Sonbodon Kamirta Ashanti
12th August, 2017 Agyei Kwadjo Shadrach Brong Ahafo
12th August, 2017 Rashida Dauda Upper East
By: Prince Tamakloe