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The Freight Forwarders Association of Ghana has reiterated the need for government to review the taxes charged at country’s ports. They are demanding an overhaul of the revenue collection systems at the various ports in the country. Technical member of the association, Kweku Otchere Darko in an interview said, the development is affecting their businesses. He told Rainbow Radio’s Kwame Tutu that attempts to reduce the taxes over the years have been unsuccessful. There are a number of taxes charged at the ports currently one of them is the Common External Tariff which was enacted in 2016, it repealed the Harmonized System and Customs Tariff Schedule 2012, there is also import duties which range between 0 and 35 percent depending on the nature of item imported. Others are VAT and NHIL of 17.5 percent and special import levy among others. He stressed, the taxes must be reduced to ease the burden they are currently facing as well as achieve tax compliance. He said, although the president established a committee to engage importers, the implementation and report are gathering dust. Freight Forwards in August this year laid down their tools to protest against the implementation of the Cargo Tracking Notes (CTN) system at the ports. The action they said was necessitated by the government’s failure to heed concerns on the policy, which impedes trade facilitation. The CTN requires importers to provide real time information on all consignments to Ghana to a global monitoring platform. Mr Otchere Darko maintained the CTN is an illegality and although government pledge to bear the cost, it has redirected shippers and freight forwarders to bear the cost. Government has backtracked on its decision to absorb the cost of the cargo tracking note (CTN) when the implementation of the module starts on October 15, 2018. This, however, means that shippers or importers are now to pay for fees or charges applicable to the CTN module contrary to an initial pledge by the government to absorb the cost. Meanwhile, importers, led by a Joint Business Consultative Forum (JBCF), have petitioned President Akufo-Addo expressing their displeasure at the proposed date for the implementation. “We appeal to the President to consider the difficulties and confusion that the implementation of the CTN will bring to bear on the business community,” the petition stated. The petition further said, CTN as a module could never be implemented at the country’s borders where goods were not packed in containers but were carried by vehicles and most of the time by head potters without manifest or bill of laden. “The CTN by this is, therefore, targeted at a section of the importing community who uses the mainstream sea ports and this is definitely not fair-trade. “We are very much aware also in this regard that over 50 per cent of imported goods into the country are exempted from the payment of duties and taxes. We are by this making it clear that there is no fairness with the whole tax system, since it is only the few compliant ones that are shouldering the tax burden. “We in the business community hereby state that such a porous system should not be imposed and, therefore, advise the government not to consider its implementation,”
The third-strongest storm in recorded history to hit the mainland US has battered north-west Florida, flooding beach towns and snapping trees. Hurricane Michael made landfall on Wednesday afternoon as a category four storm with 155mph (250km/h) winds in the state's Panhandle region. Two people, including a child, were killed by falling trees, officials say. Michael was downgraded to a tropical storm as it weakened over Georgia on its way to the Carolinas. Storm-surge warnings are in place between Panama City Beach and Keaton Beach in Florida, and between Ocracoke Inlet and Duck in North Carolina, the US National Hurricane Center says. There are fears for people who ignored evacuation warnings in some of the areas now flooded. Hundreds of thousands of homes and businesses were left without electricity in Florida, Alabama and Georgia. Florida officials said a man was killed when he was crushed by a tree in Gadsden County while a child died when a tree fell on a home in Seminole County, Georgia, CBS news reports. Michael earlier reportedly killed at least 13 people as it passed through Central America: six in Honduras, four in Nicaragua and three in El Salvador. How powerful was Michael when it hit? Michael made landfall near Mexico Beach, Florida, at around 14:00 (18:00 GMT) on Wednesday. Only the unnamed Labor Day hurricane, which hit Florida in 1935, and Hurricane Camille, which struck Mississippi in 1969, made landfall with greater intensity. The Labor Day storm's barometric pressure (the lower the number, the stronger the storm) was 892 millibars and Camille's was 900, while Michael blew in with 919Michael was so powerful as it swept into Florida that it remained a hurricane as it moved further inland. Its rapid intensification caught many by surprise, although the storm later weakened. Unusually warm waters in the Gulf of Mexico turbo-charged the storm from a tropical depression on Sunday. Only on Tuesday it was a category two hurricane but by Wednesday morning it had reached borderline category five, the highest level. How badly was Florida hit? More than 370,000 people in Florida were ordered to evacuate but officials believe many ignored the warning. The coastal city of Apalachicola reported a storm surge of nearly 8ft (2.5m). "There are so many downed power lines and trees that it's almost impossible to get through the city," local mayor Van Johnson was quoted as saying by Reuters news agency. Images from Mexico Beach show many homes submerged in water, and there was severe damage to buildings in the state's Panama City area. "We are catching some hell," Timothy Thomas, who rode out the storm with his wife in their home in Panama City, told the Associated Press news agency. Federal Emergency Management Agency Director Brock Long said at the White House that he was especially concerned about buildings constructed before 2001, and not able to withstand such high winds. "We just hope those structures can hold up," President Donald Trump responded. "And if not, that they're not in those structures." States of emergency have been declared in all or parts of Florida, Alabama, Georgia and North Carolina. Schools and state offices in the area are to remain shut this week and Florida has activated 3,500 National Guard troops. What happens next? As of early Thursday morning local time, the storm winds had dropped to 60mph, the NHC said. It warned that communities in north-west Florida and North Carolina faced the threat of life-threatening flooding as rising water moved inland from the coast. The Carolinas are still recovering from the floods of Hurricane Florence. Source: BBC
The Deputy National Organizer of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), Joshua Hamidu, has said he would have accosted Vice President Dr. Bawumia and demanded for refund off the money used by his delegation at the UN Geneva conference. He was reacting to the delegation that accompanied Dr. Bawumia to UN conference in Geneva. He believes the vice president despite being an economist lacks the expertise and skills to manage his office and messing up on daily basis. Ghana seems to have chalked a rather negative record feat at the United Nations Assembly after presenting a twenty two-man delegation led by Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia to the world body’s Trade and Development Conference in Geneva, Switzerland. While other member countries presented an average of five participants, representatives of Ghana lined up delegates including Protocol, Official Cameraman, Official Photographer, Valet and Chief Security Officer as well as several officials at the Office of the Vice President. Reacting to the story, the aspiring National Organizer in the upcoming national delegates conference of NDC described the second gentleman of the land as wicked, insensitive, incompetent and a blockhead. Speaking to Kwame Tutu on Rainbow Radio 87.5Fm he said, the vice president is lucky I have not been elected as national organizer. I would met him at the airport upon arriving from the Geneva conference and demanded for the money he wasted on the 22-man delegation to Geneva. Mr Akamba when cautioned be circumspect in his comments stressed, ‘’he is lucky I have not been elected as national organizer, I would have met him at the airport, held him tight and ask him to refund the money he wasted at the conference. I would have held him and until I am shot dead , I will not leave him.’’ According to him, the vice president and his delegation are wasting our resources whereas students at the Tempane Senior School are being bitten by bed bugs. He has promised to match the ruling government boot for boot and give it sleepless nights should he be elected as national organizer. According to him, what he did at Tempane Senior School was less. He said, ‘’I fear nothing. I have seen worse things in life except the grave. I don’t know how life in the grave looks like but I fear nothing and until I go into my grave, I will fear nothing. What I did at Tempane was less.’’ ‘’I swear by God, he is lucky I am not the national organizer, I would have held him and asked him to count the money and give back to Ghana. I would have done the same thing to the president,’’ he said. ‘’You don’t have an idea of what people are going through in this country,’’ he noted.
The Vice Chancellor of the University of Ghana, Professor Ebenezer Oduro Owusu, has entreated parliament to approve the revised school fees for public universities. Speaking at the 2018 University Of Ghana Alumni Lecture, the Vice Chancellor said the university was facing challenges with regards to funding due to the inability of parliament to pass the approved revised school fees for tertiary institutions. “I want to use this opportunity to appeal to Parliament to do something about the fees. This is important for us. We have to ask how we are managing our tertiary institutions. As we speak University of Ghana has a budget deficit of GHc30 million. So we will appeal to you, Mr. Speaker, to use your good offices to speed up the approval of fees for tertiary institutions,” Prof. Oduro Owusu appealed. The Fees and Charges Act 2009 (Act 793), which was amended by a legislative instrument (LI2228), 2016 seeks to safeguard the public against arbitrary and haphazard charges and levying of students by universities. In 2017, the University Students Association of Ghana (USAG) called on all students of public tertiary institutions not to pay their recently increased fees for the 2017/2018 academic year until Parliament approves the increase. President of USAG Emmanuel Kwarteng Frimpong said, “Until Parliament goes through the fees, gives the breakdown and approves for students, we should withhold payment, just in fulfillment of the constitutional provisions (Fees and Charges Act 793).’’
Former President John Mahama has expressed strong optimism of victory 2020 for the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC). The former president and aspiring presidential candidate indicated that the performance of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) has been abysmal. In his view, the failure of the NPP to deliver on their major campaign promises and the economic challenges Ghanaians are going through would make the challenges of the NDC brighter. “We have a good chance to win 2020 elections because of the method in which the NPP came into power. They used a lot of sweet words, they promised heaven and I don’t think they thought through the promises because some of the promises were weird and absurd”. Addressing delegates of the NDC in the Boga East Constituency in the Upper East Region as part of his nationwide campaign tour he said, “When we were in power, small and medium industries were setup in the districts, but One District One Factory sounds nice to the ear, but not only that, One Village One Dam and we say what kind of dam?, the reality comes, they dig dugouts. Under GSOP we dug dugouts across most districts of the country.” “The worst one is $1m per each constituency and Bolga East was expecting $2m but for 2017 and 2018 no constituency has received such monies. My worry is that, it shakes the fate of Ghanaians in our democracy, it makes Ghanaians believe that politicians are just lairs and will not fulfill their promises”.
The Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) has supported Craftsmen Ghana, a group of medical students at the University of Ghana Medical School with 25 colour coded waste bins to advance an initiative to practice waste segregation in the school. The presentation was made at a short ceremony at the University of Ghana Medical School at the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital last Friday, and was graced by the Provost of the College of Health Sciences at UG, Reverend Professor Patrick Ferdinand K. Ayeh-Kumi, The Head of Sanitation Directorate at the Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resource, Mr. Anthony Mensah, Sustainability Advisor of AMA, Mr. Desmond Appiah and students of UG Medical School. According to the leader of Craftsmen Ghana, Theodore Amegashie, the idea to segregate waste from source was to divert waste from landfill sites into recycling, adding that, the initiative would be piloted in ‘Block D’, one of the school’s hostels and later scaled up to other parts of the hospital with support from AMA. Segregating waste from source, he said, was an environmentally safe alternative for land filling with the tendency to protect the environment from dangerous fumes from compaction, and degradation of structural integrity of lands used as landfill sites. Mr. Desmond Appiah, the Sustainability Advisor of AMA, who presented the bins on behalf of the Assembly, commended the students for their step to practice waste segregation and promised them of AMA’s unending support to ensure its successful implementation. He indicated that over the years, the AMA has taken steps to reduce the quantum of waste that goes to land fill sites, stressing that “the Assembly recognises attitudinal change as a means to ensure a clean Accra so any initiative that will support the agenda of reducing the quantum of waste going to landfill sites and that can encourage people to recycle, will be supported by the Assembly because waste is money.” Mr. Appiah recalled that the AMA has distributed over 1,000 colour coded waste bins under the Waste Segregation Program for Basic and Senior High Schools rolled out last year, to create a culture of waste management by separating plastic waste from organic waste in order to make waste a resource and subsequently reduce the amount of waste for landfill sites. The Head of Sanitation Directorate at the Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resource, Mr. Anthony Mensah in a remark said the Ministry was working towards shifting from land filling to waste recycling and commended AMA for initiating waste segregation, which the university of Ghana medical school has adopted.
Gold trading company, Menzgold has been dragged to court by one of its customers. The customer, Reverend Joseph Appiah Odei, a resident of Tabora ibn Accra dragged the company and its Managing Director, Nana Appiah Mensah to court in relation to his GHc24, 000 investment. The man of God is claiming general damages for breach of contract and misrepresentation. He is also claiming interest on the total sum of Gh₡24,000, which he deposited, with Menzgold on April 20, 2018. His suit was filed on October 5, 2018 at the Accra High Court and in his writ he states that on April 20, 2018, he deposited 12 pounds of gold estimated at Gh₡24,000 for a period of 12 months and paid a non-refundable commission of Gh₡1200 to Menzgold. Meanwhile, a statement issued by the company says customers who wish to terminate their investment transaction will receive the full amount of their investment in 90 days if the ongoing misunderstanding with statutory institutions is resolved. “Should Menzgold succeed in reaching an amicable resolution with the authorities, customers wishing to continue trading with Menzgold are free to exercise the option of continuing to trade with us. Similarly customers wishing to terminate their business with Menzgold are free to do so and should be rest assured of their full payment in 90-days as stipulated…” a statement released by Menzgold, Monday said.
The Objective Media Forum, a non-political group has issued a statement to slam persons agitating against the extension of the Deputy Inspector General of Police’s contract. The forum in its statement said, the president extended the contract of Mr James Oppong-Boanuh in accordance with Article 119 Clause 4 of the 1992 constitution, which provides that: “Notwithstanding clause (1) of this article, a public officer, who has retired from the public service after attaining the age of 60 years, may, where the exigencies of the service require, be engaged for a limited period of not more than two years at a time but not exceeding five years in all and upon such other terms and conditions as the appointing authority shall determine.” The forum has therefore cautioned Ghanaians to desist from the partisan approach in discussing the matter and allow the appointed Deputy IGP to work. The statement described the Deputy IGP as a competent person who has gone through the ranks and garnered the needed experience for the job. President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has extended the contract of Deputy Inspector General of Police, COP James Oppong Boanuh by one year, MyNewsgh.com can exclusively report. The former Director-General in charge of Police Administration attained the mandatory retirement age on October 8, 2018 but was asked to stay on by virtue of the fact that his services were still needed by the police administration and the country. A letter dated October 4, 2018 and signed by the Nana Asante Bediatuo, Executive Secretary to the President on the contract extension read in part “With reference to your letter dated 17th September 2018, and a Memo dated October, 2018, from the Minister for the Interior on the subject matter above, I am pleased to inform you that the President of the Republic has granted you a one-year contract of service as Deputy Director-General of Police, effective 8th October 2018, to 7th October 2019. I take this opportunity to congratulate you once again. Kindly indicate your acceptance or otherwise of this appointment, within 14 days of receipt of this letter. Please accept the President’s best wishes” Read Below the full statement The Objective Media Forum has followed with keen interest the unfortunate attacks on the president following the extension of the contract of the Deputy Inspector General of Police (IGP), James Oppong-Boanuh. The reactions following his appointment and extension of contract by a year is not only reckless but a deliberate attempt to create unnecessary tension in the police administration. President Akufo-Addo is mandated by law to extend the contract of security officials and has not erred by this action he took. Per Article 199 Clause 4 of the 1992 Constitution as amended by Section 6 of the 1992 Constitution Act 527, 1996 (Amendment), the President has the prerogative to extend the service of a public officer on reaching the retirement age of 60 years. Clause 4 of the amended Act provides that: “Notwithstanding clause (1) of this article, a public officer, who has retired from the public service after attaining the age of 60 years, may, where the exigencies of the service require, be engaged for a limited period of not more than two years at a time but not exceeding five years in all and upon such other terms and conditions as the appointing authority shall determine.” We have to commend the appointment of the Deputy IGP because for years, we have not had any person appointed for the position. The Deputy IGP position, which is part of the Police Service Regulations under Constitutional Instrument (C.I.) 76, has been vacant for many years. Mr James Oppong-Boanuh is not qualified for the job but experienced. He has held over 134 positions out the 18 available in the police administration. He has enormous experience from police management and filed command, He has also worked with the United Nations/Peacekeeping Mission, Investigations and prosecutions. It was under his watch that the police headquarters saw reorganization by introducing the decentralization and giving each schedule officer a secretariat with its own staff including a staff officer. As Deputy Police Commissioner for AMIS in Darfur, he led the Advance Team to set up the police component of the mission from scratch and his team also drafted the CONOPS for the police component. These are but few of his achievements we wish highlight. His Masters in Human Rights, from the University of Winneba, B-Ghana School of Law, Bachelor of Arts among others makes a perfect candidate for the job. We wish to conclude that the Deputy IGP should be allowed to work without any hindrance.
As part of its mandate to help raise funds to improve mental health care delivery in Ghana, Friends of Mental Health (FMH), has donated assorted items to support three public mental health facilities in Ghana. The donation was done today [Wednesday] to mark the World Mental Day. Items donated include mattresses, cartons of washing powder, toothbrushes and cartons of toothpaste, toiletries, and disinfectants, medical supplies among others. The items according to FMH amounted to over GHc70, 000 and will be given to the Accra, Ankaful and Pantang Psychiatric Hospitals. Mental Health Ambassador and Board Member of FMH, Carla Zwennes, in her address said, one of the primary vision of the NGO, is to demystify stigmatisation associated with mental health in Ghana. Mental health she said is not only an economic problem but also a social problem hence the need for us to give it the needed attention. She encouraged ‘’big organizations to participate in the initiatives of FMH.’’ Deputy Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of FMH, Nana Amoako Wiredu Stephen, indicated that the NGO was established to help provide financial support for the enhancement of mental health care within the African Continent including Ghana and as part of its core values, they solicited for funds to purchase the items for the three hospitals. According to him, it would be important to make mental health care services available to people who need them in their communities. He also stressed on the need to provide patients of mental health clean drinking water, good supply of drugs, beds, food, laboratory equipment provision among others. The inability of government to pass the LI on mental health is making it difficult for the mental health authority to have the needed funds to work with, he decried. He expressed gratitude to Morrison and Associates, Chinese Chamber of Commerce and other donors who supported FMH. On his part, Mr Tang Hong from the Chinese Chamber of Commerce said, mental health issues should be given the needed support. He said, the Chamber of Commerce assisted FMH because it felt the initiative was laudable. Receiving the items on behalf of the three hospitals, Head of Public Relations at the Accra Psychiatric Hospital, Dr. Ama Boahen thanked FMH for the kind gesture. She assured FMH the items would be used for the purpose they were sent, ‘’we can assure you of that,’’ she added. FMH is an NGO dedicated to advocacy of mental health issues as well as improving mental health care delivery in Ghana and the African continent. About The Foundation The Friends of Mental Health NGO in conjunction with the Mental Health Authority is taking up the cause to raise funds from individuals and organizations to assist the Authority to resolve the dwindling concerns of the institution, to make the environment conducive enough for people to stay there for their treatment, and particularly to make mental health care services available to people who need them in their communities, such inputs will include the provision of clean drinking water, good supply of drugs, beds, food, laboratory equipment provision etc. We believe that the best way to unlock human potential is through the power of creative collaboration. That’s why we are building partnerships with businesses, NGOs, governments, and individuals everywhere to facilitate this project, to transform lives and communities from what they are today to what they can be tomorrow. Values We value collaboration and will actively seek partnerships within and across health, addiction and mental health arenas to strengthen our mutual impact. Accountability is a value demonstrated through careful stewardship, accounting and monitoring practices. Excellence is a value that comes to life with a focus on innovation, and evidence informed emerging trends and practice. We value the strength and skills of people and their capacity to recover and take charge of their lives. We demonstrate respect for all, including patients, families, caregivers, staff and stakeholders and encourage full participation of all those whose lives will benefit by our work. Empathy and compassion are fundamental values and are reflected in our relationship with others. Integrity is a value which underlies the work of the Foundation and its Board and staff. Mission Providing financial support for the enhancement of mental health care within the African Continent. Vision To be a catalyst that inspires & promotes positive change in the area of addiction & mental health.
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