<![CDATA[GhanaWeb News - Latest Ghana News]]>Sun, 28 May 2017 11:30:27 -0100Weebly<![CDATA[Parliament to probe bribery claim at Ghana Standard Authority]]>Wed, 24 May 2017 21:31:31 GMThttp://ghanaweb-news.com/1/post/2017/05/parliament-to-probe-bribery-claim-at-ghana-standard-authority.html Source: myjoyonline. com - Parliament’s Trade, Industry and Tourism Committee says it will investigate the bribery allegations against a former Director-General of the Ghana Standards Authority.

The Committee said it will interrogate the relevant people in connection with the $1.2 million kickback allegedly received by Dr George Crentsil from a contractor.
Committee Chairman, Daniel Nii Kwartei Titus-Glover told Adom FM Wednesday, he will summon the committee members when Parliament reconvenes.

“Nothing can stop the current committee from going into the issue…as the Chairman I need to meet with my members and we will study the report,” he said.

The former GSA Director-General has been cited by an investigative report intercepted by Joy News as having taken a $1.2 million bribe from a construction company, Lemet Construction.

The company was awarded a contract to construct a new block of the Standards Authority Training School at a cost of GHS15 million.

Although the report did not state why the money was given out, it said Dr Crentsil admitted receiving some money.

He is said to have received the money in two tranches, $1 million on one occasion and $200,000 on another occasion.

The report is said to have been submitted by the GSA Board of Directors to then Trade Minister, Dr Ekwow Spio-Gabrah on his last day in office.

The new Trade Minister, Alan Kyerematen has directed a forensic audit into the allegation.

In a letter addressed to the Senior Minister, Mr Yaw Osafo Maafo, the Trade Minister wants the activities of GSA under the leadership of Dr Crentsil to be probed.

Mr Titus-Glover said Parliament’s decision to investigate the matter will complement what the government is doing.

He said the Trade Committee will meet when the House reconvenes on either May 30 or June 11, 2017.

“If possible we can ask for a copy of the report to study it [and] we will invite whoever is involved for clarification,” he said.

<![CDATA[Fetish Priestess busted for recruiting prostitutes]]>Wed, 24 May 2017 21:20:42 GMThttp://ghanaweb-news.com/1/post/2017/05/fetish-priestess-busted-for-recruiting-prostitutes.html Source: kasapafmonline. com - The Suame Divisoinal Police Command has arrested a fetish priestess Nana Ama Serwaa alias Asuobena Komfo at Barekese in the Atwima Nwabiagya North of the Ashanti region for recruiting young girls within and outside the region to her house to engage in illicit sex trade.
The Ashanti Regional Police Commander DCOP Ken Yeboah briefing the media said a search conducted on the suspect’s seventeen (17) bedroom apartments led to the retrieval of a quantity of used and unused condoms, fake traditional medicine license bearing Nana Ama Serwaa’s name.

According to him, upon interrogation, the suspect mentioned one Christopher Owusu, 25 years as the person who issued her with the fake license.

His premises were searched and a quantity of capsules and plastic containers containing creams with the inscription REBEC VANICURE and REBEC MAN Capsules were retrieved.

He admitted to have issued Nana Ama Serwaa with fake license.

Nana Ama Serwaa operates her business without licence under the Traditional Medicine Practice Act 2000 (Act 575).

<![CDATA[Re-arrest Delta Force 8 now - PPP]]>Wed, 24 May 2017 20:58:30 GMThttp://ghanaweb-news.com/1/post/2017/05/re-arrest-delta-force-8-now-ppp.html Source: todaygh. com - Progressive People’s Party (PPP) has charged the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) to immediately re-arrest the eight members of the political vigilante group affiliated to the party, Delta Force, who were freed by a Kumasi Circuit Court, describing the release as a “disrespect of justice.”

<![CDATA[$6m Military Cemetery cost reviewed]]>Wed, 24 May 2017 19:56:33 GMThttp://ghanaweb-news.com/1/post/2017/05/6m-military-cemetery-cost-reviewed.html Source: kasapafmonline. com - The Ministy of Defence, has successfully reviewed the cost of a $6 million Military Cemetery at Burma Camp to $ 4.5million.

The agreement, according to the Deputy Minister of Defence, Maj.Rtd Derrick Oduro was reached with the contractors of the project on Monday.
The contractors of had initially decided to use asphalt for the walkway but the Ministry convinced them to use concrete which reduced the total cost.

Minister of Defence Dominic Nitiwul last week ordered for an immediate investigation into the cost of the contract awarded two years ago.

According to him, the figure was outrageous and hence called for a review of the cost element so that it could be slashed down.

The cemetery is being constructed as an alternative to the Osu Military cemetery which currently has a very limited graveyard space.

<![CDATA[British High Commission throws out MP’s request for withdrawal of visa fraud allegation]]>Wed, 24 May 2017 18:56:03 GMThttp://ghanaweb-news.com/1/post/2017/05/british-high-commission-throws-out-mps-request-for-withdrawal-of-visa-fraud-allegation.html “The British High Commissioner is of the opinion that your client’s failure to report for nearly four years the continued illegal residence in the United Kingdom of your daughter, a person whose visit he had sponsored, does at the very least raise very serious questions.”
Source: myjoyonline. com - The British High Commission has rejected a request by the former Asunafo South Member of Parliament, George Boakye, for a withdrawal of visa fraud allegations against him.

Lawyers for the High Commission insist Mr Boakye is actually guilty of the allegations, throwing out the MP’s demand.
Lawyers for the MP had written to the High Commission demanding a retraction of the claim which was contained in a letter to the Speaker of Parliament, Prof Mike Ocquaye.

The letter from the British High Commission to the Speaker dated January 31, 2017 listed MP for Bia East Richard Acheampong, MP for Asutifi North Joseph Benhazin Dahah, MP for Ahafo Ano South West Johnson Kwaku Adu, and former MP for Asunafo South George Boakye as persons who had previously engaged in visa fraud.

George Boakye in a letter to the commission on April 27, demanded a retraction of the claim.

But the commissioner Jon Benjamin in a letter dated May 4 justified the allegation insisting Mr. Boakye had admitted his daughter who he sponsored to visit the UK overstayed her visa.

Lawyers for Mr. Boakye in a counter letter four days later wrote: “we will like you to tell us where in the application of my client he acted fraudulently or which action of his constituted the fraud. You have imputed criminality on my client which is a serious matter and can damage his fortunes as a politician and aspiring MP.”

The High Commissioner did not respond to this directly but rather instructed the High Commission’s lawyers, A&A Law Consult, to write to Mr. Boakye last Friday, May 19.

The lawyers again justified the claim of fraud saying: “The British High Commissioner is of the opinion that your client’s failure to report for nearly four years the continued illegal residence in the United Kingdom of your daughter, a person whose visit he had sponsored, does at the very least raise very serious questions.”

However, Lawyer for Mr. Boakye, Kwabena Asare Atuah, says his client is keen on clearing his name in the matter.

Meanwhile, Joy News understands no progress has been made as far as investigations by Parliament into the issue are concerned.

The Parliamentary Service Board was expected to meet over the issue last month but that did not happen.

Further action is expected when the house resumes sitting on May 30, 2017.

<![CDATA[IMF - Ghana is seeking better terms for its debt-support program]]>Wed, 24 May 2017 18:49:13 GMThttp://ghanaweb-news.com/1/post/2017/05/may-24th-2017.html April 2015 after lower prices for Ghana’s gold and oil exports, caused debt to balloon and the currency to weaken.
Source: myjoyonline. com - Ghana is seeking better terms for its debt-support program with the International Monetary Fund as the parties discuss an extension of the agreement beyond an April 2018 deadline, according to a person familiar with the matter.
The government will agree to extend the deal in return for a bigger credit facility, said the person, who asked not to be named because the information isn’t public. West Africa’s second-biggest economy will take longer than planned to meet the objective of the program, the Washington-based lender said May 19.

Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta didn’t answer calls seeking comment. A spokesman for the IMF didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment by phone and email.

The IMF is reviewing progress on its $918 million extended credit-facility program that it agreed with Ghana in April 2015 after lower prices for the nation’s gold and oil exports caused debt to balloon and the currency to weaken. The government consented to fiscal and monetary reforms, including narrowing the budget deficit that exceeded 10 percent of gross domestic product from 2012 to 2014.

Last year, the fiscal deficit measured 8.7 percent of GDP against an initial target of 5.3 percent after the new government of President Nana Akufo-Addo, who won a December vote against former President John Mahama, discovered $1.6 billion in previously unknown expenses.

<![CDATA[$7m Elmina Fish Processing Plant opens]]>Wed, 24 May 2017 18:38:26 GMThttp://ghanaweb-news.com/1/post/2017/05/7m-elmina-fish-processing-plant-opens.html Source: starrfmonline. com - Government has inaugurated the Elmina Processing Plant in Elmina in the Central region.

The US$7.48m project, according to the minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development, Elizabeth Afoley Quaye, is intended to bring lasting relieve to the fishing communities in the area.
She indicated that government is indeed committed to improving the fishing business so that the fisher folks can have improved livelihood.

“To strengthen the capacity of our fishermen, the government has designed a number of developmental projects for the fishing sector; notably, the development of fishing harbours, cold storage facilities and landing sites, the Anomabo Fisheries College, the Turnkey Fish Processing Plant which have been programmed for implementation. The government will continue with these development projects that will enhance development of the sector,” she stated.

The facility, she explained, will not only assist the fishermen will blocks, storage facilities and ready market for their fishing activities, but will ultimately create jobs for the people in the area.

A lot of people, she added, will be employed to work at the factory thereby bringing about an improvement in their living conditions.

“These projects signify the relentless effort of the government to improve on the wellbeing of the fishing communities by creating the enabling environment that will create jobs and wealth for themselves, their children and dependents in particular and for others in general,” she stated.

She added that the plant is meant to add value to the fishing business in the Central region.

The plant has facilities for descaling, gutting, filleting and packaging of fish. It also has a blast freezer, cold storage with capacity of 100metric tons, ice block plant, a waste processing component for producing fish and animal feed, a canteen, a crèche,” she added .

The facility, the minister added will also help boost animal husbandry as fish waste will be converted to feed for the animals.

Raphael Spectrum Company Limited will manage the facility on behalf of the government

<![CDATA[Ministry of Agric complicit in subsidized fertilizer smuggling - Minister]]>Wed, 24 May 2017 18:28:13 GMThttp://ghanaweb-news.com/1/post/2017/05/ministry-of-agric-complicit-in-subsidized-fertilizer-smuggling-minister.html Source: 3news. com - Some Agric officers are conniving with fertilizer agents under the government’s fertilizer subsidy programme to smuggle large quantities of the chemicals outside the country, Deputy Upper West Regional Minister Amidu Chinia Ishahaku has revealed. 
The practice, which he said the Ministry of Agriculture is complicit in, has deprived the poor beneficiary farmers access to fertilizers. 

“…These people are not doing it alone, it’s not only a problem of the agents, the ministry of agriculture is complicit in this particular issue” the deputy minister claimed. 

He cited an instance where one of the fertilizer companies supplied 4,700 bags of subsidized fertilizer to an agent in Tumu but the agent claimed he he only received 600 bags from the company. 

Speaking at a two-day agriculture policy learning and sharing fair in Wa, the minister assured farmers he would pursue the matter to the fullest. 

The fair was organised by Africa Lead and Business and Development Consultancy Centre and it was on the theme: “Quality agricultural services, key to smallholder farmers poverty reduction in Ghana”. 

Mr Ishahaku observed that some people in authority are taking advantage of the government’s fertilizer subsidy programme to smuggle Ghanaian fertilizers to the detriment of the poor farmer. 

He cautioned all actors involved in such illegal practice to desist or be dealt with by the law when caught. 

“Government’s intention of agricultural subsidy is to reduce the cost of production for the ordinary people who are poor. Now these agents will take these fertilizers from the company and then bring it and tell you after one or two days that the fertilizer is finished, and then they will hoard it and later sell at open market prizes” he stated. 

“I have to make a very strong case, you cannot allow our people to suffer when government is making efforts to help them because when an agent brings fertilizer which is subsidized and he’s supposed to sell, every single bag of fertilizer must be captured by the District Agric Officer” he said. 

“I just checked one of the fertilizer companies and they have released 4,700 bags of atava (fertilizer) to a particular agent but the agent has insisted he was only given 600 bags which means that 4,100 bags are missing. 

Only 600 bags of subsidized fertilizer have been sold to famers and this person is only trying to either smuggle it to Burkina or hoard it and sell at open market prizes, but eventually will get documents from ministry of agriculture to cover and get his money, can we develop our country this way?” he added. 

Only 3 districts out of the 11 in the Upper West Region do not share border with Burkina Faso. They include Wa Municipal, Wa East and Daffiama -Bussie-Issa District which makes it more challenging in fighting smuggling in the Upper West Region. 

Tractor services 

“In my own area (Tumu), I am told the tractor owners have met and decided to take GHC107 right from GHC80 cedis last year which means that as we make efforts to reduce cost of production, other costs are increased therefore, it negates the efforts we are making” he stated. 

Chief Executive Officer and National Coordinator of Agricultural Advisory Services Network in Ghana who also provides tractor services to farmers in the Northern Region, Chief Ishahaku Jesiwuni said he is ready to negotiate with the tractor owners in the upper west Region to reduce their price for the poor farmers. 

He said tractor services in the Northern Region is GHC65 per acre saying the price of fuel is the same across board. 

“I will present how I make my money and they will understand, in some cases I plough on credit. This year I asked them to deposit GHC25. If you are doing 6 acres I ask you to pay for 3, the remaining 3 you will pay after harvest either cash or in kind with no interest, but we are making noise that we are reducing poverty but we are not ready to sacrifice and farmers too are their own enemies. Sometimes you sacrifice your tractor for them and they don’t want to pay even after harvest, so majority of my farmers are women famers they are very reliable and honest, they chase you after harvesting to pay, but the men will never pay until you chase them with your sags” he explained. 

Resource person, Madam Cecilia Adae, has challenged participants to understand all the policies on agric to demand for the fulfillment of what promise they made. 

“We have created a platform where we can link up on the net so that they will be able to exchange ideas, they will be able to share information, we are doing all these things to make sure that agriculture transforms in Ghana”.

<![CDATA[Ghana's Black Stars takes on Squirrels of Benin on Thursday]]>Wed, 24 May 2017 18:25:33 GMThttp://ghanaweb-news.com/1/post/2017/05/ghanas-black-stars-takes-on-squirrels-of-benin-on-thursday.html Source: mynewsgh. com - As part of preparations for the upcoming WAFU international tournament to be hosted here in Ghana, the local Black Stars team will on Thursday lock horns with their Beninoise counterparts in the Accra Sports Stadium.
The match will be a test game for players in the local Black Stars who will want to impress reappointed coach, Kwesi Appiah.

The team has been in camp since last week preparing adequately to make Ghana proud in the WAFU tournament and also qualifiers of next year’s CAF CHAN tournament.

<![CDATA[Learn from my mistakes; don’t buy tractors for farmers – Mahama to Akufo-Addo]]>Wed, 24 May 2017 18:23:41 GMThttp://ghanaweb-news.com/1/post/2017/05/learn-from-my-mistakes-dont-buy-tractors-for-farmers-mahama-to-akufo-addo.html Source: citifmonline. com - Former President John Dramani Mahama has admonished the current government not to buy tractors for farmers in the country, saying that was a major mistake his administration made. 
He explained that as part of efforts to boost agriculture, his administration bought tractors for farmers across the country but realized the equipment became dormant because the farmers couldn’t maintain them.

According to Mahama, most of the farmers that benefited from the tractors had no knowledge on how to keep the equipment running. 

Speaking at the African Development Bank meeting in India, John Mahama said in order to correct such mistakes, his government instead created the Farmer Service Centres to provide tractor services to farmers. 

“In the twilight of my administration in November 2016 I introduced the concept of Farmer Service Centres. And this was based on the experience I had that farmers do not need the tractors and the planters, what they need is the service of those equipment. In the past, what we’ve done thinking we were modernizing and mechanizing agriculture and I think that was a shot in the dark, it was a mistake and I hope the new government learns from our mistake.” 

He said “we found out that the farmers could not maintain the tractors. They don’t have knowledge on how to keep those tractors running and so in two or three years, brand new tractors we provided were all broken down and standing on stones.” 

Mr. Mahama explained that the Farmer Service Centres were equipped with mechanized farm equipment and a farmer in need of such service was only to register with the centre and make a request. 

“We need to introduce specialization and that’s why we came up with the Farmer Service Centres where the agricultural equipment’ –the planters, ploughs, harrows among others were placed and all the farmer needs to do is register and get the service. And the business of maintaining the equipment is completely that of the farmer centre.” 

Mr. Mahama further admonished the current government to make use of the centres in order not to repeat some of the mistakes his administration made. 

“And so that was the experience we learnt which we had started to implement. I hope the new government will continue with that project so that farmers will receive service as and when they need it,” he added. 

Planting for Food and jobs 

John Mahama’s advice comes on the back of the launch of the Planting for Food and Job by President Akufo-Addo. 

According to the government, the Planting for Food and Jobs which is being rolled out in all 216 districts across the country, involves the supply of farm resources such as high yielding and improved seedlings to participating farmers. 

The New Patriotic Party government also claimed that the Planting for Food and Jobs programme could create over 750,000 jobs.