The Public Procurement Authority (PPA) has awarded a contract of Ghc33,768,560.00 to KPMG to audit the Social Security and National Investment Trust (SSNIT).
The contract, which was awarded and signed on February 2, 2018, had estimated contract completion of September 17, 2018.
The contract, which was awarded through a restricted tender was to provide consultancy services on value for money audit, located at RSS Developers Limited and Trust F-Line Properties Limited-LOT 2, the official website of the PPA captured.
Social media users have expressed shock at this. Some have questioned why such an amount of money would be given a private entity when there is a state institution that could have done the job.
Others also expressed worry over the issue due to the ‘’peanut’’ paid pensioners’.
A social media user wrote on his wall: Yet the pensioner is paid a peanut at the end of the month. You award a contract of Ghc33,768,560.00 to KPMG to audit SSNIT? Lord have mercy.
The President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, says the lives of the Ghanaians are intimately linked with the francophone world, and Ghana’s membership of La Francophonie should serve as a big boost to addressing some of the country’s mutual concerns.
With French set to become one of the world's most commonly spoken languages, and with French speakers rising to over 700 million, of which 80% will be in Africa, President Akufo-Addo noted that the lives of Ghanaians, therefore, are intimately linked with the Francophone world.
“As a country bordered to the north, east and west by French speaking countries, and to the south by the Gulf of Guinea, Ghana recognises the strategic importance of her immediate neighbours, to whom we are bound by profound ties of blood, geography and history, and, indeed, of all French speaking countries, to the development of our country,” he said.
President Akufo-Addo made this known on Friday, 12th October, 2018, when he delivered a speech at the 17th La Francophonie Summit, being held in Erevan, Armenia.
Addressing the Summit in French, the President noted that during his time as Minister for Foreign Affairs in the government of His Excellency John Agyekum Kufuor, he was privileged, on 28th September, 2006, to lead the Ghanaian delegation to the 11th Francophonie Summit in Bucharest, which resulted in Ghana becoming an Associate Member of La Francophonie, without first having to be made an Observer Member.
“Ghana, an anglophone nation, is only one of a handful of countries that enjoy membership of both the Commonwealth and La Francophonie, and we value this situation very much,” he said.
President Akufo-Addo continued, “That is why we are determined to strengthen the bonds of friendship and co-operation with la Francophonie, by transitioning from an Associate Member to a Full Member.”
Ghana, a strong, functioning democracy, the President stressed, shares the aims and values of La Francophonie, adding that Ghana looks forward to playing a significant role in the realization of these values.
“Our goal is to live, one day, in a bilingual Ghana, i.e. English and French, together with our own indigenous languages. We have already begun to work towards this. On 15th May, 2018, I authorized the signature of a language pact with La Francophonie, towards helping to make this a reality,” he said.
Additionally, President Akufo-Addo indicated that his government has introduced a bilingual classroom project at the basic education level, where certain subjects are taught in both English and French, and the study of French is being made compulsory at the basic level of Ghana’s educational system.
With 84 members making up La Francophonie, the President noted that an increase in trade and investment co-operation amongst member countries should be deeply promoted and encouraged.
“History tells us that this is the best route to general progress and prosperity. With the help of digital technology, we can then accelerate economic growth, create the much-needed jobs for our youth, and take advantage of the vast potential of Africa’s young population,” he added.
The 21st century, with the aid of science and technology, President Akufo-Addo said, offers humankind, despite the greed of a few, the prospects, for the first time in human history, of building a world civilisation of prosperity in freedom for all the peoples of the world, where all citizens live in dignity and security.
“I am an unrepentant optimist, and I am confident that we can work together to build such a new world, with member states of La Francophonie taking the lead,” the President said.
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Mental Health Authority, Dr. Akwasi Osei, has strongly opposed the legalization of marijuana popularly known as ‘wee’.
He argues the type of wee used in Ghana is highly dangerous compared to the ones abroad.
According to him, 30 percent of the cases at the outpatient department in our mental hospitals are also a result of abuse of drugs including marijuana.
Ten (10) percent of patients admitted at the psychiatric hospital he noted are persons who have abused marijuana and other hard drugs.
He was speaking to Kwame Tutu on Rainbow Radio 87.5Fm on the renewed call by some individuals to have marijuana legalized.
In his view, if we should legalize wee in Ghana, we will not be able to manage the crisis that may face the nation.
Ghana he lamented may record 70 percent of drug related mental illnesses should marijuana be legalized as suggested by some advocates.
Although he admitted there are benefits derived from marijuana, people abuse the drug, he added.
He reiterated that, Ghana may reach a point where 70 percent of mental health cases recorded in the country may be as a result of abuse of marijuana, and so I am against its legalization.
Countries like Uruguay, the United Kingdom and the United States of America have legalize marijuana for its great value to the socio-economic fabric of these countries, Ghana still sees it as an illegal product which when caught, one could face a jail term of 10 years or more.
Seasoned journalist Kwesi Pratt, radio Presenters like Abeiku Santana and Blakk Rasta among others have all called on the Government of Ghana to take a second look at marijuana.
To Kwesi Pratt, Ghana will import wee in 20 years' time if it is not legalized saying "we've seen that it’s useful in the drug market. It is good for hair creams. It is good for body creams and so forth. Why are we not legalizing it? But we’re still using the Police to arrest wee farmers when the real criminals go scot free".
But the renowned psychiatrist, Dr. Osei says the advocacy is needless and should be disregarded.
Last year, a large review from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine assessed more than 10,000 scientific studies on the medical benefits and adverse effects of marijuana.
In June 2018, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the use of a medication containing cannabidiol (CBD) to treat two rare, severe, and specific types of epilepsy — called Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome — that are difficult to control with other types of medication. This CBD-based drug is known as Epidiolex.
In 2017, Ghana was ranked as the leading user of Marijuana in Africa and third in the world according to latest United Nations (UN) reports on the use of the illicit drugs in the world.
The UN world report on drug use also revealed that about 22 percent of Ghanaians of School going age are engaged in drug abuse a situation she described as worrying.
The global rise in the number of cannabis (in all forms) users to appear to have increased by roughly 16 per cent in the decade ending 2016, which the report says is in line with the increase in the world population.
192 million people across the globe admitted to using the drug at least once in the past year.
A global estimate by UNODC, based on available data from 130 countries, suggests that in 2016 13.8 million young people (mostly students) aged 15–16 years used cannabis at least once over the previous 12 months, equivalent to 5.6 per cent of the population in this age range.
The availability of medical cannabis and the legalization of cannabis for recreational use in many jurisdictions in North America, the report notes may have contributed to the 27 percent decline in the seizure of cannabis herb globally, which was 4,386 tons in 2016.
Of the 8,607 tons of drugs seized in 2016, cannabis in all its forms contributed 6,313 tons representing 73.35 per cent of all drugs seized in the year under review. Pharmaceutical
Special aide to Professor Edmund Delle, Selasi Kossi-Ackon, has denied reports of his boss declaring his intension to contest the 2020 presidential slot for the Convention People’s Party (CPP).
In a telephone interview with rainbowradioonline.com from Addis Ababa where he is currently, the aide said, ‘’I can say on authority that Professor Delle has not declared his intension to contest’’.
The Daily Heritage newspaper in its Friday’s October 12, 2018 edition published a story with headline, ‘’Edmund Delle to contest 2020 Prez election.’’
According to the paper, the current national chairman of the Nkrumahist party has declared his intention to contest when nominations are opened..
The paper said, the CPP chair was looking forward to rebrand the party to make it attractive to wrestle power form the two major political parties i.e. the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) and main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC).
But in an exclusive interview, the aide said some newspapers in the past-fabricated similar stories when his boss had not declared to contest.
‘’We have denied this in the past and we still deny it because Professor Delle does not have the intension to contest as presidential candidate.’’
He said, ‘’as and when the decision is made, we will let you know.’’
Professor Edmund Delle would have to do a lot of consultation before he even decide to stand as presidential candidate for the CPP. As it is now, me being his aide; I speak on authority that we don’t have that intension,’’ he added.
‘’Any publication on this is false, is wrong and they are just exaggerating,’’ he added.
He concluded by saying, ‘’I am repeating this is not true; when such decision is made, we will let you know. But as at now it is not true and we have no intension.’’
The Minority in Parliament has described as false claims made by President Akufo-Addo that his administration saved the country $7 billion after it renegotiated power deals signed by the Mahama Administration.
Minority Spokesperson on Energy, Adams Mutawakilu says the claims by the president are untrue and has therefore challenged the president to provide evidence to buttress his claims.
Speaking at the Financial Times Africa Summit in London last week, the president said his government reviewed 24 power purchase agreements, which has led to some savings for the country.
The president in his address, said, “…In addition, a review of 24 power purchase agreements, which has led to the termination of 11 power deals and the rescheduling of 8 others, has enabled us to save the government treasury about $7 billion in excess capacity charges over a 13-year contract period.’’
The president further indicated that his administration through diligence issued 7-year and 10-year cedi-denominated bonds, totalling GH¢4.7 billion, which have allowed the state to pay half of the energy debt it took over from the previous administration.
But the Minority reacting to the president at a press conference said, “They know the sub-region, Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger, Togo, will prefer to take power from Ghana and you can only provide power to them if you have excess capacity… That is why president Mahama invested heavily in the installed capacity.
“..So if president Nana Akufo-Addo comes and says he has renegotiated eight and cancelled 11, the first question is for him to make public the 11 cancelled power purchasing agreement and the eight that has been rescheduled so that Ghanaians including civil society organisation and the minority in Parliament will have the opportunity to scrutinize it.
“You can’t be talking about savings without talking about the potential benefits. If we exploit this market and can put this power into use by exporting it I believe we will earn more.
The Suhum constituency organizer for the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), Yaw Seidu, aka Yahuza, has descended heavily on the Acting Director of Elections, Bede Ziedengt over a press he held yesterday [Thursday] over the collation of 2016 election results.
He described the press conference as needless, useless and unnecessary.
The time he posited was also wrong.
He described leaders of the party as persons lacking common sense due to the press conference held yesterday.
The presser he decried will further deepen already existing cracks in the party.
The election directorate of the party on Thursday held a press conference to dispel claims that it failed collate results for the party.
The directorate he explained depended on its manually form of collation because an electronic system which was being managed by an individual crashed even before it was deployed for use.
He indicated that, the infrastructure of the collation of results directly from the polling station in nation elections does not exist in the NDC, and so could not have been deployed in the collation of results of the 2016 elections.
‘’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.’’
’’We hope the question will not be asked, why did not have the electronic transmission system that would have enabled us collate directly from the polling stations to the national database. We prepared a budget for the directorate but we did not receive the necessary funding. We therefore were left with no other alternative but to work with the tools we had at our disposal.’’
‘’The attention of the elections directorate of the NDC has been drawn to some untruthful statements in some untruthful statements in some sections of the media to the effect that the elections directorate of the NDC headed by Mr Ofosu Ampofo, failed to collate the results of 2016 presidential elections. This view is palpably incorrect, and the directorate states categorically that the results were duly collated and compiled by members of the directorate and are available for verification at the party headquarters for those who care to know.’’
But reacting to the revelations, Yahuza slammed the leadership of the party and wondered why the opportunity was not used to attack the poor performance of ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP).
‘’Some of leaders behave as if they lack common sense. The press conference was senseless and unnecessary. It will not add any value to the party. It will rather provoke allegations and counter allegations from aggrieved party people. The Kwesi Botchway report admonished party supporters and leaders to burry the past but from this press conference, people are going to react. Some of our leaders took us for granted and will punish them in the upcoming internal polls. Campaigning will not make any difference, we’ve already made up our minds,’’ he said.
Management of Accra says the facility will resume full operations by Saturday. October 13, 2018, a statement has announced.
The statement was issued after parts of the facility had its ceiling fall off and injuring three shoppers on Thursday.
The statement also assured customers it would ensure their safety and security.
“Mall Management says it is hopeful that the entire mall will be operational by Saturday 13th October 2018”.
According to the statement, the facility’s benchmark for customer and public safety remains paramount and it would adopt every necessary step to safeguard these standards.
The statement from management said: ‘’The Management of Accra Mall today confirmed that a part of the ceiling in the Mall Square area collapsed this (Thursday) morning, resulting in the temporary closure of that section of the Mall.
Three persons, all them shoppers, were reported to have sustained minor injuries during the incident and have received medical treatment. All other sections of the shopping centre, such as the Food Court and all the shops on the Shoprite wing of the mall are now operational.
Mall authorities disclosed that an investigation has been ordered into the cause of the incident and that the public will be duly informed of the findings at the end of the investigation.
The incident occurred at about 11:53 am and all necessary contingency measures were taken to ensure customer and public safety, as a full technical team comprising Engineers, Architects, NADMO Operatives and officers of the Ghana Police Service have been working assiduously on site to clear up the affected section for public use as soon as possible.
Mall Management says it is hopeful that the entire mall will be operational by Saturday 13 October 2018 but reiterated that the facility’s benchmark for customer and public safety remains paramount and it would adopt every necessary step to safeguard these standards.
Former President John Mahama has rubbished claims that his administration diverted funds meant for the construction of the Pwalugu dam.
Addressing National Democratic Congress (NDC) delegates at Bongo in the Upper East region, the former president the funds for the project had not even been signed as of the time he left office.
“We started the design, we’ve been working with the World Bank and we were trying to get the African Development bank onboard before we left office. Then somebody goes and says they diverted the Pwalugu money. It is not true. Pwalugu did not reach the stage where the funds had been signed onto.”
“The money they are talking about is another dam in Juale, that is on the Oti River on the border between Ghana and Togo,” he added.
Mr Mahama further explained that funds for the project were reassigned due to some compensation issues they did not get funding for.
“The Brazilians were going to finance it, and they gave us $250 million and they said we should add $50 million. So the dam was to cost $300 million and it was a 50, 60 megawatts plant. But we realized that the water was going to spill over into Togo.”
And so we asked the Brazilians to work out the compensation for the spillover into Togo “and it came to more than $100 million.”
“So it came to almost four hundred and something million. So it was not looking feasible and Brazil said they were not going to add any additional money. So finally they agreed that you can apply the money to a different project, but it should be in the area where the dam was going to be so the people there would benefit. So it went back to Parliament and Parliament approved it and the money was re-assigned for the northern segment of the Eastern corridor road. And that is what was being built until NPP came and that one too has come to a standstill,” Mahama explained.
The project was to be constructed as part of measures to manage the perennial flood in the area.
Aside that, the project was to serve agricultural purposes and for the generation of cheap power for an industrial enclave in the Upper East Region