The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) on Tuesday, 25th April, 2017 begun its sitting considering the Auditor-General’s report on foreign exchange receipts and payments of Bank of Ghana for the half year ended 31st December, 2015.
Chair of PAC James Klutse Avedzi who is the Member of Parliament for Ketu North, reminded the Governor of the Central Bank that, the committee in conducting its work, has the powers and privileges of the High Court or Justice of the High Court at trial.
‘’This include the power to; 1. Invite witnesses and examine them on oath, affirmation and or otherwise; 2. Compel witnesses to produce documents that are likely to provide information on its deliberations and 3. To supine a witness to appear before it,’’ he added.
The Deputy Minority Leader said the Auditor-General in exercising its mandate under the 1992 constitution, conducted an audit into the forex exchange receipts and payment of Bank of Ghana for the half year ended 30th June and 31st December, 2015. This report was laid before Parliament and referred to the PAC for examine and report…The committee seeks to examine these two reports of the Auditor General.’’
The committee he stressed is not embarking on a witch hunting. It is not a witch hunting exercise; our mission is to ascertain the truth in the issues raised by the Auditor General in its report.
Peddling of falsehood or deliberate misinformation could have legal consequences, he warned.
Other members of PAC in the seventh parliament are MP for Lambussie/Karni, Edward Kaale-Ewola Dery, who is the vice chairman; MP for Keta, Richard Quashigah; MP for Karaga, Alhassan Dandawa; MP for Ningo-Prampram, Samuel Nartey George; MP for Builsa South, Dr Clement Apaak; MP for Aowin, Mathias Ntow; MP for Kumbungu, Ras Mubarak; MP for Komenda/Edina/Eguafo/Abrem, Samuel Atta-Mills and MP for Ejura/Sekyedumase, Mohammed Bawah Braimah for the minority.
The rest are MP for Bibiani/Anhwiaso/Bekwai,Kingsley Aboagye-Gyedu, who is the ranking member; MP for Afigya Kwabre North, Nana Amaniampong Marfo, who is the deputy ranking member; MP for Atwima Nwabiagya North, Benito Owusu-Bio; MP for Bunkpurugu, Solomon Namliit Boar; MP for Fanteakwa South, Kofi Okyere-Agyekum; MP for Mpohor, Alex Kofi Agyekum.
Others are MP for Dormaa East, William Sabi; MP for New Juaben North, Kwasi Boateng Adjei; MP for Nanton, Mohammed Hardi Tufeiru; MP for Kade, Kwabena Ohemeng-Tinyase; MP for Lower West Akim, Eyiah Kyei Baffour; MP for Nhyiaeso, Kennedy Kwasi Kankam; MP for Afigya Sekyere East, Mavis Boadu-Nkansah; MP for Gomoa West, Alex Kwodwo Kom Abban and MP for Effutu, Alex Afenyo-Markin.
The Ghana Highway Authority has announced a partial closure of Apenkwa Bridge on the N1 Highway to vehicular traffic and the traveling public.
A statement issued the Ghana Highway Authority said, the closure is to allow for emergency repair works on the bridge for a period of twenty-five (25) days.
Works on the bridge will start on Monday, 24TH April, 2017 at 10am to Thursday, 18th May, 2017, the statement said.
‘’Motorists from Tetteh Quarshie going to Achimota, Tesano and Accra are advised to use the slip road at the right hand side of Dimples Interchange or use slip road at Abofu.
‘’Motorists from Tetteh Quarshie heading to Lapaz, Mallam Interchange or Kasoa will be diverted onto the East Bound Lane of the N.1 Highway (I.E From Mallam to Tetteh Quarshie Bound).
Motorists from Circle going to Achimota, Ofankor or Nsawam, will be diverted to reduced their speed when approaching the work zone area,’’ the statement explained.
‘’Motorists and pedestrians are therefore advised to adhere to directional and safety signs that will be placed at appropriate sections. Any inconvenience caused is deeply regretted the statement concluded.
The Coalition of Unemployed Bonded Diploma Nurses will be marching to the Flagstaff House if they are not given clearance to work in the various health institutions nationwide.
The members gave the hint when they granted interview to Nyankonton Mu Nsem’s Nhyiraba Kwabena Essilfie when he went to the Ministry of Health-where the nurses have picketed.
According to the nurses, they will carry out their threat if their concerns are not addressed.
They have also slammed the Minister for claiming that, they are not government trained nurses.
‘’We are trained government nurses. We trained at the various training schools across the country,’’ one of the nurses said.
The nurses slept at the premises of the Health Ministry on Monday in protest against what they term, undue delays in their posting.
Fast rising Nana CallBack originally known as Kenneth Osei Owusu has released another single tilted ‘Showers of Blessing’.
The talented rapper has been in the game since 2000 and was part of defunct music group, Mframa.
The musician is now doing his solo project and have four singles to his credit which are, ‘Wakyino, Ohene Kesie’, ‘Y3simu Akye’ and ‘Showers of Blessing’ which I'm currently promoting, he told rainbowradioonline.com.
Nana Callback is a Ghanaian who hails from the Eastern region, Kibi to be precise.
He is now working with KB Production and DannyFii Abrantie of Rainbow Radio is his manager
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) for Minerals Commission, Dr. Tony Aubynn has reiterated that, mining in Ghana would be reserved for only the licensed individuals and companies.
Media campaign in the fight against illegal mining popularly referred to as galamsey, has intensified with the clergy and other civil society groups joining.
He said government will ensure that individuals will not have the opportunity to mine where they are not given permission especially those who do so in water bodies.
‘’ Just like the Minister [Lands and Natural Resources] had said, we will not allow individuals or companies to mine without a license especially those mining in water bodies. It is illegal to mine in a water body…Government is putting in the needed investment to allocate lands for licensed miners. We have employed researchers to help us in that regard,’’ he stated.
He commended the effort of the media in the campaign against galamsey stressing, illegal mining is a threat to lives and our environment.
‘’I will commend the media for the efforts. Illegal mining is dangerous to humanity and I think we should all join the fight to save what we have left.’’
The fight against galamsey is not a nine day wonder adding, ‘’the response has been positive.’’
He told the host that the campaign is premised on these pillars ; enforcement, use of technology and policies; and alternative livelihoods.
‘’We are not only using the police or army to combat illegal mining but we also have enforcement, the use of technology and policies; alternative livelihoods including a tree planting exercise at the areas affected by illegal mining,'' he said.
Nana Kofi Darko II, Chief of Ani-Amoa-ete near Wassa Akropong in the Western region says the negative effect of illegal mining is gradually sending the region particularly his area, into a ditch.
Speaking to Kwame Tutu on Rainbow Radio 87.5Fm, he charged government to do all possible to stop galamsey once and for all.
Ghana will import water in the next five years because of illegal mining activities, he warned.
He slammed chiefs in the region for ‘’sleeping’’ on their responsibilities as traditional rulers and allowing illegal miners especially Chinese nationals, to destroy our natural reserves through galamsey.
‘’I will not be bothered if illegal miners operate in their own homes or far from our water bodies but operating in our water bodies is something I cannot watch happen. Galamsey has ruined our lives and if we do not stop it, it will be too late. I have fought against galamsey in my area but people insult and attack me because they think I am troublesome.’’
According to him, 90 percent of the gold mined in the affected areas, is flown to China with only 10 percent left for the indegenes.
Nana Kofi D arko II further slammed successive governments for failing to crack the whip on galamsey.
Foreigners including Indians, and Arabians are now renting excavators to illegal miners, he alleged.
In his view, government should provide an alternative for the miners who will give up the illegal activity.
Meanwhile, the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, John Peter Amewu has said government will engage all illegal miners in a tree planting project.
According to him, this could serve as an alternative source of livelihood for the illegal miners who have been ordered to cease their activities.
“For those who want to be engaged in the mining activities, they will be absorbed into the MMIP. With the reclamation across this country, it is estimated that about 1.5% of the earth surface has been degraded as a result of this activity. That alone is going to provide jobs for the communities that want to re-engage in reclamation and planting of trees. The MMIP is an attempt to absorb all factory hands engaged in illegal activities to be absorbed back within a period of 5 years where exploration activities will be done in areas that are prospective and these factory hands will be brought here to mine,” he said.
Former Member of Parliament (MP) for Ablekuma South, Fritz Baffour, has bemoaned comments targeted at people living in Kumasi following the opening of the Kumasi City Mall.Social media has been flooded with numerous trolls aimed at people in the Ashanti region after the region welcome its first mall.But the former Information Minister says he is “scandalised at the unnecessary and unseemly brouhaha that has arisen because of the unkind joshing by wannabe comedians on social media aimed at Ashantis on the occasion of the commissioning of a new shopping mall in Kumasi”.He said most comedy turns consist of poking fun at real or imagined stereotypes of human situations “but that can woefully fail to be funny when there is a hint of malice afore thought, which I think is the case with those sallying forth”.He said narrow-minded individuals guilty of the act rather “need a little exposure” to the wonderful things in the region which makes it unique. For him, Kumasi is at par with the capital when it comes to several developmental issues.“I grew up in Kumasi and treasure the city and its people. There is so much to be proud of, in this pearl of a city. The ebullience, confidence and hospitality of its indigenes are something worth bragging about. Yes, every language has its shibboleths but that shouldn't detract from the cultural richness and uniqueness of Asante Twi and how its speakers express themselves in other languages. I must say that there is nothing rustic about Kumasi life. It is as urbane and cosmopolitan as any I have been to worldwide and I have visited a few,” the ex-lawmaker wrote on his Facebook wall on Sunday, April 23.
The Coalition of Short Changed Teachers formerly Coalition of Unpaid Teachers are up in arms against their mother bodies, including the National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT).
According to the group, the various teacher unions including NAGRAT has failed to represent their interest and fight on their behalf.
President of the group, Eric Effah Darko speaking to Kwame Tutu on Rainbow Radio 87.5Fm said, the various teacher unions refused to represent them because they were not members and did not pay dues.
However, they started deducting from our salaries, monthly dues and so we went back to them to put pressure on government to pay our arrears but they have not done it and we suspect they have connived with government to short change us, he said.
He explained, the Nana Addo led administration made a pledge to pay all outstanding arrears of teachers after the previous administration paid only four months out of the three years owned them.
He said, we want the teacher unions to be serious and represent our interest. They are not doing what they were mandated to do. They deduct our dues every month meanwhile they do not want to represent our interest. We are always fighting for our salaries and yet government is seeking to have quality education in the sector. How can teachers be part of that course when they have not received their salaries?''
Some teachers he lamented have committed suicide with others going through financial hardship.
Meanwhile, David Opoku Acheampong, General Secretary of GNAT has slammed the group describing their claims as false and unfortunate.
He revealed that the union fought on behalf of some of the affected teachers but the group which was formerly called Coalition of Unpaid Teachers decided to negotiate with government without the knowledge of the mother unions.''If they have decided to negotiate with government without informing us, why should they blame us today,'' he quizzed.