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21  Forum / The Buzz Central / Rex Omar Endorses NDC on: 6-08-2012 04:51PM
With barely four months to Ghana’s general elections on December 7, respected Ghanaian musician Rex Omar has endorsed the candidature of John Dramani Mahama, who would be contesting the presidential polls on the ticket of the National Democratic Congress (NDC).

Rex Omar is an executive member of the Musicians Union of Ghana (MUSIGA) and he put it on record last Saturday that after a careful consideration of the presidential candidates of the various political parties, President John Mahama was the only person who had demonstrated commitment to championing the cause of the country’s creative arts industry and therefore appealed to him. Rex Omar however did not explain how John Mahama had demonstrated commitment to the arts industry.

The seasoned musician was speaking on Peace FM’s Entertainment Review and his comments drew mixed reactions from listeners who called into the live programme to either condemn or support his endorsement of John Mahama. Rex Omar, however, seemed not to be bothered by the condemnation from those who called to disagree with him. “I have said it and I am not doing politics but if people think I am doing politics, they are wrong.

But even if I am doing politics, am I not a Ghanaian and don’t I have the right? Rex added in his concluding comments. Rex’s comments was in relation to a complaint by actor Fred Amugi that most of the showbiz personalities who entered into politics and subsequently got into government positions often did absolutely nothing to help the creative arts industry they belonged to.
22  Forum / The Buzz Central / Stevie Wonder Files For Divorce on: 6-08-2012 04:48PM
Stevie Wonder is ending his 10-year marriage to Kai Millard Morris.The singer filed for divorce under his given name, Stevland Morris, his rep confirms to CNN.

“As this is a private and personal matter, he asks that the public and the media kindly respect the privacy of Kai, his children and family at this time,” the rep said.

Wonder and his fashion designer ex, who famously dressed Michelle Obama in 2009, have two sons together. According to TMZ, Wonder has asked for joint custody of the boys.

This will be the “Superstition” singer’s second divorce. He split with Motown songstress Syreeta Wright in 1972.
23  Forum / The Buzz Central / Popular Actress Pregnant For Metro TV Man on: 6-08-2012 04:46PM
Popular Ghanaian actress Vicky, according to exclusive information reaching News-One is pregnant.

Even though Vicky is yet to confirm or deny the report, sources said she was a few months pregnant and the man responsible for her pregnancy was Ignatius Annor, a news anchor on Metro TV.

It is unclear how long the two had dated but News One gathered they were currently putting finishing touches to marriage plans slated for the end of this year.

Both Vicky and Ignatius have remained tight-lipped over the subject but as the saying goes, ‘pregnancy cannot be hidden’ and after the child is born, the father has no choice but to show up and name his baby.

Vicky is a popular Ghanaian actress from the Volta Region. She joined Ghana’s growing movie industry seven years ago in Abdul Salam’s movie, ‘Mummy’s Daughter.
24  Forum / Politics / I'm Not A Homosexual - VEEP Designate on: 6-08-2012 04:41PM
Vice Presidential nominee, Mr. Paa Kwesi Amissah Arthur has broken his silence for the first time over the controversial issue of whether he is gay, by strongly refuting the allegations

The nominee, rubbished the allegation during his appearance before the Parliamentary Appointments Committee on Monday, saying he is straight, married with children and has no peculiar sexual preference for men.

Member of Parliament for Bekwai Joe Osei Owusu brought up the issue during the vetting of the former Governor of the BoG and asked if the nominee cared to comment.

There have been some publications in the media about the sexual preference of Mr Amissah-Arthur shortly after he was nominated as vice president with some alleging he is a homosexual.

The false claims which started circulating this year, died down subsequently, but strangely resurfaced a few days after President John Mahama nominated him as his vice president.

But in a strident manner, the former BoG Governor put paid to the speculations when he stated in his denial that his lawyers are keenly following up on the matter.

"It's one of the difficulties (of the job)...a number of people think since I’m the boss and I have access to government vault, I can just dip my hands into government purse. They think I have access to unlimited resources and when they come to me I should give them money."

He added: “I have had classmates from Primary school who've come looking for jobs. I've had friends from Secondary school looking for money. And there's one particularly who has asked for money which i've refused because i've some concern about his lifestyle. This is what has led to these things. I'll just make one general comment, it is not true. It's absolutely not true.... I have not seen this gentleman for 40 something years. I saw him once for about 2minutes when he came to my house to ask for some money and i gave him...I'm saying that since i left Mfantsipim, I have seen him once for about five minutes...My children were the ones who first drew my attention to the fact that we never lived in a house with a garage. We lived at Ayido flats at Legon and those of you who know Ayido flats you’d know that there is no garage there," Mr. Amissah-Arthur emphasized.

“In our second house too we did not have a garage so it’s absolutely not true to say that I had an affair in a garage, is not true....We have also never had house boys, it’s been house girls throughout, a series of them... I take it as part of the problems of the office that if people have wasted the resources that have been inherited and are therefore going through difficulties and think that by putting out this claim, somebody will pay them to keep quiet, i've refused to have anything to do with it. I'll not pay one pesewa to anybody who claims anything, and i've no doubt that this thing will blow over,” the Vice-Presidential nominee stressed.
25  Forum / Politics / Kwesi Amissah-Arthur And Wife on: 6-08-2012 04:39PM
Mr Kwesi Bekoe Amissah-Arthur, the Governor of the Bank of Ghana who was been nominated Vice President, on Monday faced grilling by the Appointments Committee of Parliament for over three hours to prove his competence to take the position.

Committee members bombarded the economist with questions on the falling value of the cedi, corruption, the general economic situation, nationality, political credentials and managerial skills.

Mr Amissah-Arthur was appointed by the late President John Evans Atta Mills as Governor of the Bank of Ghana on the October 1, 2009 to replace Dr Paul Acquah who had retired. Prior to his appointment as Governor of the Central Bank, he worked as a private consultant/economist.

Mr Amissah-Arthur had worked at the Institute of Statistical, Social and Economic Research (ISSER), where he was a research assistant from 1974 to 1975. He was PNDC Deputy Secretary for the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning and was the Deputy Minister of Finance and Economic Planning from 1993 to 2000.

As PNDC Deputy Secretary of the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning (February 1986 to March 1993), he was a member of the Economic Management Team that designed and implemented the Economic Recovery Programme.

Mr Amissah-Arthur had direct responsibility for the preparation of the annual Public Investment Programme, the management of the national budget as well as management of bilateral and multilateral assistance to the country.

After leaving public office in 1997, Mr Amissah-Arthur worked on a number of consultancy assignments.

As Senior Economist for the Sigma One Corporation, Ghana from 1998 to 2000 he helped design and implement the “Ghana Policy Dialogue Project”, a USAID-funded project that provided advisory services to the Government of Ghana and the “Trade and Investment Reform Project”, which aimed to enhance Ghana’s export competitiveness.

In 2001 and 2002, he was hired on an assignment on behalf of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark.

Mr Amissah-Arthur co-authored a review of Ghana’s public financial management system, titled: “Guidance Note: Financial Integration into Relevant Ghanaian Structures” a report which has been used as a training manual for new employees into the Finance Ministry.

He was among the team of technocrats who managed Ghana’s structural adjustment programme since 1980 that helped in reviving the collapsing Ghanaian economy.

Mr Amissah-Arthur had also served as a Consultant for the World Bank, trained the staff of The Department of State for Agriculture of the Gambia in 1997 in initiating a review of the World Bank-funded Medium-term Expenditure Programme.

He was the consultant at all stages of the Netherlands’ Government- funded Technical/Vocational Education project for Ghana’s Ministry of Education in association with TNW Export BV of Waalwijk, Netherlands).

Mr Amissah-Arthur has also served on a number of Boards and Committees including the Boards of the Bank of Ghana, Ghana Commercial Bank, Ghana National Petroleum Corporation, Ghana National Procurement Agency, Ghana Supply Commission, and the Academic Board and Finance Committee of the University of Ghana.

He was born in Cape Coast on April 29, 1951, had his General Certificate of Education "O " Level at the Mfantsipim School in Cape Coast from 1964 to 1971.

He proceeded to the University of Ghana, where he was awarded Bachelor of Science and Masters of Science in Economics in 1974 and 1980. He was also a lecturer at the Anambra State College of Education, Awka Anambra State, Nigeria.

He is married with two children.
26  Forum / The Buzz Central / I Club With My Husband’s Consent - Actress Oge Okoye on: 6-08-2012 04:31PM
Nollywood actress Oge Okoye’s clubbing attitude gained some media reviews and spotlight over claims that her husband endorsed it.

We reported that Oge had said that she got the consent of her husband before she made the move. “When asked what her take was on married women who frequent night clubs, the talented mother of two replied: I can’t speak for anyone else but myself.

I am a married woman and I do go to the clubs but it’s always with my husband’s consent,” she was quoted. Oge has been described as a damsel and a screen diva who has an in-depth knowledge of her craft.

Her ability to interpret her roles with so much dexterity and poise has placed her among the best actresses in Nigeria. Call her a style icon and you would be stating the obvious.

Earlier media reports said the talented thespian was named a UN peace ambassador. Under this title, Oge will propagate national and world peace through her actions and words and stop her alleged quarrel with Ini Edo.

As a UN Ambassador, Oge will be joining hands with other ambassadors- home and abroad- in making the world a more peaceful place to live in by getting involved in aid-giving programmes in areas of unrest.
27  Forum / Sports / Black Satellites Beat Rtu In A Friendly on: 6-08-2012 04:28PM
The Black Satellites stepped up preparations for the return leg of the African Youth qualifier against Uganda with a 2-1 win over Real Tamale United in a friendly on Sunday.

Eleven Wise striker Emmanuel Inkoom got both goals for the country’s Under-20 team at the Tamale Sports stadium.

The former world champios are desperate to overturn a 3-1 deficit suffered in the first leg encounter against the Hippos last week.

Head coach Maxwell Konadu is cracking under pressure to ensure the country does not fail to qualify for another tournament after the team performed abysmally at the last championship under Orlando Wellignton in 2011.

The team has being decimated with the departure of three key players for the fixture.

Latvian-based duo Patrick Twumasi and Baffour Gyewu have being recalled by their club FK Spartaks Jurmala while Frank Sarfo Gyamfi has also left for pre-season training with his new South African club Maritzburg.

The winner of the tie will play either Morocco or Gabon in the final qualifying round in a two-legged tie in September and October with the final taken place in Algeria 2013.
28  Forum / Politics / Rawlings Was Right! on: 6-08-2012 04:25PM
An outspoken member of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) in the Binduri constituency, Stephen Atubiga says Victor Smith’s comments on the selection of Paa Kwesi Amissah-Arthur as vice presidential nominee has vindicated former President Jerry John Rawlings’ conduct.

Former President Rawlings, in one of his several outbursts, indicated that many selfish and greedy people advised former President Atta Mills, stressing that they do not have the welfare of the President or the country at heart.

Somehow these persons managed to insulate former President Mills from the truth while they continued to grab whatever their hands could reach, he said.

According to him, Victor Smith was not the right person to comment on the nomination of the former Governor of the Bank of Ghana since he had enjoyed so much under this government.

“Victor Smith was an ambassador and due to his interest in Abuakwa North parliamentary seat he was made the Eastern Regional Minister so that he could gain the favour of the people of the region and the constituency ahead of the election in December 2012. What more does he want.

I will not be surprised if I am told that Victor Smith was among some persons around the former president who frustrated John Mahama and undermined his authority as the then Vice President.”

According to him, “If Amissah-Arthur has a good message on how to develop the economy of the nation, it doesn’t matter whether he is known within the NDC or not discerning Ghanaians will vote for the NDC to enable him to implement his plans.”

Stephen Atubiga advised President John Mahama to be mindful of some personalities, especially those drove away sincere and dedicated people like former President Rawlings and Martin Amidu due to their parochial interests.

“Ghanaians deserve better so even if a technocrat who has not contributed to a party is selected to lead, let us all rally behind that person to succeed for the good of Ghana. People like Victor Smith must be ignored.”
29  Forum / Sports / Kevin-Prince Boateng: Milan Leadership Will Be An Honour on: 6-08-2012 04:23PM
Kevin-Prince Boateng admits it would be ‘an honour for me’ to become a leader of Milan, but ‘I will not change my way of being’, before admitting the preseason preparations have been tough.

The Ghanaian is currently on tour with the Rossoneri in the United States of America and was approached by the Times magazine about the possibility of taking over the leadership role, after seeing many players depart in the summer.

“I didn’t say I wanted to be a leader, I am who I am, some like me others not,” the straight-forward talking midfielder divulged.

“If someone from outside; the president, the coach or the players, tells me that I must be their leader, then it is an honor for me, but I will not change my way of being.

“If you think I may be the leader, then I shall be. Milan is different of course, many players have left and many have come, we must see who will come to help us win the Scudetto.”

After seeing eight players depart in the summer, Boateng admits that the preseason has been tough, but they are getting into the rhythm after beating Honduras side, Olimpia, 3-0 on Saturday.

“The preparation is always a tough time,” continued Boa, “because when the holidays arrive, you stop thinking about football and you just want to relax.

“The first week is always the hardest, because you have to think back to football. The first week is very difficult for the head and also physically, but afterwards everything returns to normal.”
30  Forum / Naijapals Base (Metro life) / 87 Chinese Miners Shot Dead By Armed Robbers on: 6-08-2012 04:20PM
The Ghana-China Friendship Union (GCFU) has called for an immediate government intervention in the frequent attacks on Chinese small-scale miners doing legitimate business in the nation’s mining industry.

According to the GCFU, over 87 Chinese small-scale miners have so far been shot dead by armed robbers at their remote mining sites, adding that this has justified Chinese mining firms' policy to arm their nationals with licensed weapons for self-defence.

The union warned against repercussion on Ghana and China’s bilateral relations, and therefore called for mutual understanding between the Chinese miners and the mining communities where they operate.

In a statement issued in Accra yesterday and signed by the union’s social policy co-ordinator, Haruna Nsiah, it regretted that some faceless groupings have been behind attempts to undermine the cordial relations that exist between the Chinese business class and the Ghana government, which dates as far back as 1960.

“Whilst GCFU over the years has worked hard with the Ghana-China Business Chamber of Commerce (GCBCC) to protect Ghanaian business interest and trade in China and that of the Chinese in Ghana, there are other interested and disguised persons undermining the mining sector,” he lamented.

“Last year, the GCFU attended all the business sessions held in China by the GCBCC to promote Chinese business interest in Ghana and advocated for the immediate amelioration of visa and other challenges confronting Ghanaian traders and businessmen to and in China. Whilst this advocacy is ongoing in the best interest of the Ghanaian businessmen, the reverse is true for Chinese businessmen doing legal transactions in Ghana's mining sector,” the statement said.

The statement denied reports in a cross-section of the Ghanaian media that some small-scale Chinese mining firms have been exploiting Ghanaians and treating them like slaves.

“Chinese men, like their Ghanaian counterparts, work hand-in-hand and do not remain masters as opposed to some other companies in the mining industry where by virtue of one's skin such persons become controlling and superior to the Ghanaian,” it explained.

It said that “the fact remains that many small-scale mining companies owned by Ghanaians use Chinese equipment and technology. It is this factor coupled with the low cost of Chinese labour that even in the most remote and uninhabitable terrains in the country, Chinese workmen find themselves working for Ghanaian owners.”

It maintained that the Ghana-China Business Chamber of Commerce (GCBCC) has since 2005 worked tirelessly to boost the mining industry by importing equipment from China to support the skilled labour.
“These combined efforts have been in futility as the locations of such industries are no longer attractive to identified Ghanaian skilled labour and in such difficult circumstances the GCBCC has resolved to promote the use of cheaper alternatives such as employing low cost Chinese skilled labour by Ghanaian business men,” the statement stated.

“As a developing nation in need of less expensive technologies as its drive for rapid economic development, it is sad to note how we are struggling with the reality that Chinese technology remains the most affordable."
31  Forum / Naijapals Base (Metro life) / Cells Escapee Jailed Again on: 6-08-2012 04:17PM
One of the five cells inmates who escaped from the Tema Community Two Police Station has been re-arrested and handed a three-year jail sentence in hard labour at the Nsawam Prisons.

A police sergeant stationed at Community ‘2’, Kennedy Boateng, re-arrested the escapee, Richard Kwabena Opoku, 25, on July 23 at the Community ‘5’ traffic light, where he spotted the absconder in the front of a trotro.

On June 18 this year, Richard Opoku – together with four other inmates at the Community ‘2’ police cells; namely Oluwa Femi and Aguna Uche Jude, both Nigerians, and Prosper Dzanyikpor and Emmanuel Korley, both Ghanaians – reportedly broke the air vent at the cells and escaped from custody.

The Tema Circuit Court ‘A,’ presided over by His Lordship Brew Plunge, sentenced Richard Opoku on July 25 after he pleaded guilty to escaping from lawful custody.

According to Corporal Joseph Barabu, the Tema Regional Police public relations officer (PRO), Richard is also facing a charge of attempted murder, the charge on which he was being held in custody.

Corporal Barabu commended Sergeant Boateng for ensuring justice. He entreated the general public to call the police on MTN/Vodafone crime fighters’ short code 18555 with any information on the other four runaways.
32  Forum / Politics / Dan Botwe Inaugurates New Classroom Block on: 6-08-2012 04:14PM
Mr Dan Botwe, Member of Parliament (MP) for Okere, has inaugurated a three- unit classroom block with computer laboratory he constructed for the Bethel Presbyterian Junior High School at Adukrom at the cost of GHC 38, 000.

The provision of the facility was in response to a request made by authorities of the school and the church to the MP last year when he paid a working visit to the educational institution.

Mr Botwe said he was determined to help create the right environment in all schools within the constituency for effective academic work.

He said education played a pivotal in socio-economic development, adding that the fight against poverty, ignorance and disease could only be won through effective education.

Mr Botwe pledged to supply the school with 10 computers and accessories to equip the laboratory and to help the school to acquire furniture and exercise books.

The MP said he would initiate scholarship to brilliant but needy children to help them complete their education.

Mr Botwe also launched a programme dubbed “Get Okere Reading,” which aimed at encouraging school children in the area to cultivate the habit of reading. He appealed to parents to supply their children with their basic needs.

Mr Joseph Appiah Koranteng, Headteacher of the school, commended the MP for his development to education in the area.
33  Forum / Naijapals Base (Metro life) / Magic Fails Magician on: 6-08-2012 04:12PM
A 25-year-old magician at Twifo Praso in the Twifo-Hemang-Lower-Denkyira (THLD) District of the Central Region, Emmanuel Boampong aka Dr Asomdwe, met his untimely death last Friday when his magical powers failed him.

Boampong, also a herbalist in the area, was alleged to have been testing his magical powers by piercing his left hand with a knife to see if it would hurt him, but his powers unfortunately failed him, leading to his premature death.

He had been giving spiritual protection to those who performed with knives and cutlasses and was in his room testing the potency of his powers when the mishap occurred.

Briefing DAILY GUIDE over the weekend, the District Police Commander of THLD, DSP Nii Ofori Annan said Boampong was found in a pool of blood in his room when neighbours realized he was still in his room after 9:00am on Friday, August 3, 2012.

According to information available to the police, the magician always woke up early, a situation which compelled his co-tenants in the house to force the door open to see whether he was in the room; and lo and behold, they found him in a pool of blood with a knife piercing his left hand.

DSP Annan stated that his outfit had information on that fateful day that the herbalist was dead in his room, following which he dispatched his men to the scene.

The Police Commander noted that the deceased might have been drank heavily, the night before he embarked on the venture, which made him bleed profusely, leading to his death.

He added that upon a search in his room, they found cutlasses, candles, anointing oil, talisman, and one live cartridge among other items.

DSP Annan hinted that the body of Boampong had since been deposited at the Twifo Praso Government Hospital morgue for autopsy.

Residents of the area who spoke to DAILY GUIDE wondered why he was killed by the same powers that had been given to others to perform, while others claimed he might have offended the spirits, hence his death.
34  Forum / Naijapals Base (Metro life) / 2,500 Male Condoms Distributed At Akwambo Festival on: 6-08-2012 04:05PM
As part of efforts to prevent the spread of AID/HIV and occurrences of unwanted pregnancies, more than 2,500 male condoms were distributed free of charge to adults at the annual Akwambo festival at Agona Abodom at the weekend.

Del International Hospital in Accra led Mrs Albert Doe, its Chief Executive Officer, also screened 100 people for Hepatitis B and Blood pressure.

Nana Nyakoah Abronomah I, Nkosuohemaa of Agona Abodom, who disclosed these to the Ghana News Agency at Agona Abodam, said though health institutions and stakeholders were educating the public on sexually transmitted diseases, there was the need for practical measures to solve the problem.

Nana Abornomah appealed to parents to invest in the education of their children, particularly the girl-child.Nana Guard Asomaning, Tufuhene of Abodom, said the Akwambo Planning Committee was soliciting funds for the development of the area .

Mr Samuel Kweku Obodai, Member of Parliament (MP) for Agona West pledged to release 10,000 Ghana Cedis from his MP’s Common Fund for expansion works at Agona Abodom Health Center, to ensure quality health delivery.

He appealed to the people to stop politics of insults and threats that could affect development of the area.
35  Forum / The Buzz Central / Mikki Osei Berko To Take Over "Ofie Kwanso" On Adom FM on: 6-08-2012 03:53PM
Information reaching the media indicates that, ace broadcaster and former presenter of Radio Gold, Mikki Osei Berko known in media circles as Master Richard will soon occupy the hot seat of Tema based Adom FM’s Ofie Kwanso to compete Abeiku Santana on his Okwanso joojoo.

Kojo Preko, the Programs Manager of the station confirmed the information in an exclusive interview with and explained the decision for Mikki he said “it is management’s decision based on the brand, the person’s style and talent and the person’s ability to get more audience within the shortest possible time and judging from the fact that Mikki has been in the system for so long, he best fits the position.”

He indicated that, there would be some changes in the station’s drive time to make it more entertaining and attractive for listeners, hence the introduction of Mickey as the host.

“There is not going to be co-hosts like there used to and except the aseda which is a segment on the show, the program will now be more of social issues and a phone-in segment for listeners to call and discuss topical issues. We are also going to amalgamate other interesting segments to spice it up. The new time will be between 3:00pm and 6:00pm but will be preceded by the worship from 2:00 – 3:00pm.” He explained.

He accepted the fact that the show has gone through so many criticisms concerning the changes in presenters over and over again but said it was because the right person had been positioned to present the program. “It is true the program has gone through a lot of mills but it is because we’ve not gotten a refined and an improved program. If you get the same results after doing the same thing for a long time, it means you have to change what you do to get a different result.” Kojo explained.

Although Kojo did not state any reason, the transition from the current host, Jerry Justice to the incoming Mikki Osei Berko Master Richard he said will be effected just after the burial and funeral rites of the late President, Prof. J. E. A. Mills who’s sad event occurred on the 24th of July and threw the whole nation into mourning.

Adom FM’s Ofie Kwanso is one of the most listened to drive time programs here in the capital and after Abeku Santana was allegedly shown the exit from the program, many have said it has lost its taste and flavor and station authorities have since been struggling to get a presenter who will mark Abeiku “Boot to Boot” at his current station Okay FM.

From the last few years that Dr Abeiku Santana left the station, there has been other Doctors like Dr Prekese and Dr Asanka taking up the mantle. There have also been Kofi Asare Brako a.k.a Abatee, Eddy Kay and the current host Jerry Justice to try their hands to know whether they will be able to meet the demands of the famous tracker which is used to assess the performance of all on-air personalities working under the Multimedia umbrella.

The questions on the lips of many is whether Mikki will be able to make any difference when Dr Prekese did all he can and was accepted by a greater number of drive-time listeners but was thrown down by Multimedia’s “heavy weight champion”, Tracker.

Mikki Osei needs no introduction as he has made a lot of name in broadcasting in the early days of radio in Ghana when he was presenting on Radio Gold. He earned the name Master Richard when he stared in a popular TV series in the early 2000 called “Taxi Driver”.

He later moved to the UK and was operating Kente Radio which is an internet radio but has currently come back to his mother land to stay for good.

As to whether he will still run his Kente Radio here in Ghana or merge with Adom FM, we promise to put our ears close to the ground for more.
36  Forum / Naijapals Base (Metro life) / Pipelines For National Gas Project Arrives on: 6-08-2012 12:22PM
The Ghana Gas Company has taken delivery of about 3,271 pipelines from China for the National Gas Project at the Takoradi Port.

Dr Joe Oteng-Adjei, Minister of Energy, Dr Kwesi Botchwey, Chairman of the Board of the Ghana Gas Company, Dr George Adjah Spia-Yankey, Chief Executive Officer of the company and the Western Regional Minister, Mr. Paul Evans Aidoo, inspected the consignment on MV Amber Halo.

Another consignment of about 3,271 is due to arrive soon.

The team later inspected a camp for the storage of about 1,268 of the pipelines at Mampong near Takoradi and speaking to the media, Dr Obeng-Adjei said most of the equipment for the project have arrived and the laying of the pipes would soon begin.

He urged the contractors, Sinopec International Petroleum of China, to endeavour to execute quality work within the stipulated budget and on schedule adding that, work done must meet international standards and for that quality must not be overlooked in the quest to meet the deadline.

He appealed to communities in areas where the pipelines would be laid to be cooperative and not to create tensions and fan conflicts with people working on the project.

Dr Botchway said the local content of the project would be upheld whether or not there is a Local Content Law. He said impression has been created that locals would be sidelined in the labour force for the project but this is not the case.

Dr Botchway said local people have been engaged for the project and experts would only be brought from outside when it is lacking in the country.

Dr Spia-Yankey said it was the wish of the President that the project became a reality and the Ghana Gas Company was doing everything to make it happen. He said government would pay adequate compensation to those whose crops and properties would be destroyed by the project.
37  Forum / Naijapals Base (Metro life) / Dollar Scarcity Hits Tamale on: 6-08-2012 12:20PM
The rush for US dollars by residents in the Tamale Metropolis following the continuous depreciation of the cedi against other major currencies has resulted in the shortage of the currency in the region.

The Ghana Cedi has in the past months lost more than 20 per cent in value against the US dollar owing to high corporate demand for the latter. As a result of the development, one can only buy dollars at unapproved places at throat-cutting rates.

As at the close of business last Friday, the dollar was being exchanged for between GH¢2.20 and GH¢2.50 on the black market, and people could not obtain more than $300.

Most local, national and international banks operating in the Northern region were unwilling to trade their dollars for Ghana Cedis claiming they had no cash.

The Trades Union Congress (TUC) believes that the halt in the free fall of the cedi would require a fundamental shift in policy and attitude, particularly among the monetary authorities.

The Bank of Ghana (BoG) explained that the situation was transitory as a result of the increasing demand by businesses for the dollar to pay for goods and services procured.

But the Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA) has attributed the sharp depreciation of the cedi against major currencies to illegal activities by foreigners in the retail sector.

According to GUTA, the high demand for the dollar to meet huge imports by non-Ghanaians involved in the retail trade results in scarcity, pushing the exchange rate high.

In 2008, a trader paid GH¢1.00 for $1.00, but in April 2012, the same trader has to pay between GH¢1.74 and GH¢2 for $1.00 as they embarked on a trip to Dubai.

Year-on-year decline in the value of the Ghana cedi against the US dollar registered 74 per cent over a three-year period. Between 2010 and 2011, the cedi depreciated by 18.5 per cent against the US dollar.
38  Forum / Naijapals Base (Metro life) / “I am The Greatest Loser Of President Mills' Death”- Pupil on: 6-08-2012 12:16PM
For close to 10 minutes, Master Richard Tsigri of the Adaklu-Waya E.P. Primary School, was lost for words and wept when he stepped out to recount to a gathering of mourners how the late President John Evans Atta Mills gave him GHC2,000 on one occasion for his upkeep.

The 12 -year old class five-pupil also narrated, in tears, how the late President promised to sponsor his education when he visited the area in June 2011 and heard that he had lost his mother in a flood.

Dressed in red top and green trousers, Master Tsigri wept uncontrollably occasionally asking who his next benefactor was going to be, having lost his father earlier.

Master Tsigri’s story drew tears from among the gathering of Chiefs and people as some of them wiped their faces with their handkerchiefs and cloths.

When Togbe Lablulu Tegbeza V of Adaklu-Waya, pleaded for State support for the boy, Mr Michael Adzaho, District Chief Executive of Agortime-Ziope, said he had taken note of Master Tsigri’s situation.

Mr Adzaho said the people of Adaklu must forever remember the late President for honouring his promise to create the Adaklu District.

He appealed to the people to pray for the Government under the leadership of President John Dramani Mahama and be peaceful and united for the rapid development of the area.

Mr Francis Segbefia, assemblyman for the area, suggested that one of the buildings at the Adaklu District be named after the late President Mills.

The people earlier marched through the town amidst drumming and singing of dirges.
39  Forum / Naijapals Base (Metro life) / Ivorians & Malians Rejoice While Ghanaian Consumers Are Left In The Dark on: 6-08-2012 12:13PM
Bloomberg announced on Wednesday that the Ivory Coast suspended taxes on imported rice in a bid to prevent consumer prices from rising, while neighboring Mali extended a similar subsidy.

In the meantime Ghanaian consumers are left in the dark and reeling under an oppressive cost of living as the Government show no sign of budging.

According to Bloomberg, Ivory Coast scrapped import tariffs on rice for three months, a measure that will cost the government 7 billion CFA francs ($13 million). The people of the Ivory Coast consumes 1.6 million metric tons a year, while it produces only 600,000 tons.

This ratio of import dependency is very similar to Ghana’s dependency ratio of 70%.

It was also announced that Mali extended a subsidy on import taxes for the staple food by two weeks until Aug. 20, according to an announcement by Commerce Minister Ahmadou Toure.

Food Security Ghana (FSG) has been following the rice saga in Ghana for a number of years and has been reporting extensively on the issue.

Concerns about Ghana’s food security policy started emerging when the government re-introduced a 20% import levy on rice and other basic foodstuffs in 2009 after the previous government abolished the levy amidst the 2007 - 2008 food crisis to support consumers.

The re-introduction was motivated based on the grounds that the food crisis was over and because it was necessary to protect local production in Ghana’s quest to become self sufficient.

Both these arguments were shown as unsubstantiated and indeed somewhat deceitful.

In the same month that the import levies were re-introduced the World Bank warned the world that a new food crisis was emerging, an announcement that rubbished the budget speech statement that the food crisis was over.

The argument that the import levies were essential to protect local rice producers has also been rubbished by many analysts. Ghana’s 70% dependence on rice imports was proved to be a result of low quality, low productivity, and underinvestment in both agricultural support and agricultural research by the Ghanaian government.

The reintroduction of the import levies only resulted in creating a huge gap between import duties in the Ivory Coast of 12.5% compared to the 37% in Ghana. This led to massive smuggling of rice on the Western border of Ghana with resultant huge losses to the state and further headaches for local producers.

Import duties and levies is a policy tool that must be used in the best interest of both consumers and producers. When a country is 100% self sufficient high import duties of up to 70% as in India can easily be justified. This, however, does not hold for a country such as Ghana that is 70% dependent on imports.

At a stage when the Indian government realised that local production was going to result in a shortfall it scrapped its 70% import duties in order to protect its consumers from inflated import prices of rice.

MOFA (Ministry of Food and Agriculture) under the leadership of Mr. Kwesi Ahwoi and backed by the late President Mills has been dogged in its quest for self sufficiency of rice supply in Ghana.

This has resulted in various broken promises about changes in the import ratio and the levels of self sufficiency, and expectations are that Ghana will still be 70% dependent on rice imports by the close of this year.

FSG has repeatedly advocated that self sufficiency and food security are two totally different issues. This was eventually accepted and recognised by the government.

The plight of the majority of Ghanaians who are in a battle for survival has further been given a devastating blow due to the massive weakening of the Ghanaian cedi to the US Dollar. In the past year the cedi slipped from a low of 1.5138 to a high of 1.9715. This depreciation has had devastating impacts on the cost of living for Ghanaians.

With general elections looming in Ghana and major turmoil within party ranks of the ruling NDC (National Democratic Congress), worsened by the untimely death of President John Evans Atta Mills, Ghanaians will be looking with great interest what the government’s next move is after the caring gestures by its West African neighbours.
40  Forum / Naijapals Base (Metro life) / Former President John Agyekum Kufuor Back Home on: 6-08-2012 12:12PM
Former President John Agyekum Kufuor returned home Friday night after a three-day visit to Pretoria, South Africa, at the invitation of Dr Clarice Nkosazona Dlamini - Zuma, newly elected Chairperson of the African Union Commission (AUC).

A statement issued by his office and signed by Mr Frank Agyekum, spokesperson of the Former President said the meeting discussed ways of strengthening African solidarity and revitalising the spirit of Pan Africanism.

Former President Kufuor, was among six members of the African Forum, an

Association of former African heads of state, who conferred with

Dr Dlamini-Zuma.

The meeting also discussed the adoption of a new roadmap for the reconstruction and development of the continent.

The group was later received in audience by South African President Jacob Zuma at his Presidential residence at Mahlamba Ndlopfu in Pretoria.

The other former heads of state who attended the meeting were Joaquim

Chissano of Mozambique and Chairperson of the African Forum, Elson Bakili Muluzi of Malawi, Ali Hassan Mwinyi of Tanzania, Kenneth Kaunda of Zambia, Karl Auguste Offman of Mauritius and Pedro Verona Rodrigues Pires of Cape Verde Island.
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