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Two Brothers Drown In Black Volta

Two children believed to be biological brothers on Tuesday afternoon drowned in the Black Volta River at Daboya in the North Gonja District of the Northern region.

The boys aged 4 and 8 got drowned while attempting to retrieve a gallon being washed away by the strong waves of the water.

The lifeless bodies of the boys were retrieved on Tuesday evening by a local search party and have since been buried on the shores of the river in accordance with local traditions.

According to eyewitnesses, the children went to the riverside to wash their clothes. The younger attempted to fetch water with a gallon but the waves swept it away.

In an attempt to retrieve the gallon, he drowned and his senior brother who rushed to his rescue also drowned in the process.

The District Chief Executive for North Gonja confirmed the incident to Graphic Online and said the bodies were buried in accordance with tradition, explaining that it was abominable to bury persons who drowned in the cemetery or homes.

 

Source: Graphic.com

I Have Good Connections At The Presidency; No One Can Touch Me – Lebanese Galamseyer Brags (VIDEO)

The government has made giant strides in the fight against galamsey after the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the Akufo-Addo administration launched a full-scale attack on the menace.

Spearheaded by the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, John Peter Amewu, his outfit has shut down several illegal mining concessions leaving destroyed machinery in their wake.

In a video intercepted by GhanaWeb however, a Lebanese national, Mr. Yahaya, claiming to be of Ghanaian descent, is seen and heard bragging to an undercover investigative journalist under the guise of a local concessioner that he has strong ties at the seat of government, and as a result, should be granted concessions in an area to mine.

Determined to be sure of how deep the Lebanese man’s connections are, he warned him of the activities of the Environmental Protection Agency in quelling undertakings of illegal miners in the country. But the Lebanese just shrugged and urged the ‘concessioner’ to simply give him the EPA boss’ number and everything would be alright.

“…for this one I don’t have any problem, you get me, nobody can touch me…. Just give me the boss’ number and don’t worry… I will let them come to the flag house (Jubilee House). As for connections, I have… I have very good connections, nobody can disturb me,” he stressed rather confidently.

Mr. Yahaya further noted that he was in partnership with Aisha Huang, an alleged suspect who was earlier accused of being the leader of some Chinese galamseyers in the country.

The Lebanese national also hinted that the boss of the Operation Vanguard, a taskforce set up to enforce government’s campaign against illegal mining activities in the country, was his friend and as a result would be able to gain his permission to carry out his galamsey activities.

Having liaised with the chiefs and other traditional leaders in the various galamsey flashpoints, government has been able to minimize drastically, the activities of illegal miners, or so it seems.

Although the fight against the menace is not entirely over, government appears to have given a major blow to the illegal miners following an indefinite ban on all small-scale mining activities across the country.

With this recent development however, many will begin to doubt whether the fight against the galamsey menace will be won at all.

 

 

Source: Ghanaweb

Market Women Bare Teeth At KMA Boss

Some traders at Nana Afia Kobi Ampem Market in Kumasi, commonly referred to as ‘Abenkyi Market,’ have petitioned five bodies to bring the Chief Executive of the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly (KMA), Mr Osei Assibey Antwi to order before things get out of hand.

The organisations and individual petitioned were Asantehemaa, Ministry of the Local Government and Rural Development, Ashanti Regional Minister, National Security and the Bureau National Investigations.

At a news conference, Janet Boamah, an executive member of the traders’ association accused Mr Assibey of not doing much to improve the market named after the late Asantehemaa, Nana Afi Kobi Serwaa Ampem II, who happened to be the biological mother of the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II.

They appealed to the petitioned bodies to act immediately to prevent the collapse of the market.

According to them, the refusal by the KMA boss to give ears to their grievances after several letters to solve the debilitating problems at the market amounted to gross disrespect to the people.

They mentioned insanitary condition, poor lightening system, removal of Western Region drivers from the market to the Adehyie and Acheamfuor markets among others as some challenges facing the market.

They said insecurity at the market had exposed the traders to criminals who constantly attack and rob them of colossal sums of money.

“We are of the strongest belief that the KMA boss does not have the interest and the stability of Nana Kobi Serwaa Ampem at heart,” they stated in the petition.

Reacting to the allegations in a radio interview, the Public Relations Officer of the KMA, Mr Godwin Okumah Nyame refuted the allegations and said the assembly was in the process of making the market a vibrant business centre.

 

Source: Daily Heritage

6 Armed Robbers Jailed 118 Years

Six armed robbers, including an 18-year-old hairdresser, have been sentenced to a total of 118 years’ imprisonment by the Kumasi Circuit Court for attacking a fuel station in Kumasi and bolting with GH¢11, 200.

The convicts — Kate Appiah (hairdresser), Emmanuel Ampabeng, 34; Kofi Gyima, 32; Kofi Nti, 30; Kwadwo Owusu, 30, and Richard Kwabena Kyere, 28 — were slapped with the jail terms after they were convicted on two counts of conspiracy to rob and robbery.

On May 12, 2016, the robbers, wielding guns, attacked the Petroland Fuel Station at Nkoranza in Kumasi, subjected one of the attendants to severe beatings and tied the security man on duty before taking a safe containing GH¢11,200 and a car battery.

It was also established that it was the same robbery gang that attacked a cement shop at Asenua, also in Kumasi, on May 25, 2016, making away with a safe containing GH¢6,583 and also causing harm to the security man on duty.

Sentences

The court slapped Gyima, Nti and Owusu with a 25-year jail terms each, while Ampabeng and Kyere will each serve 20 years in prison.

Kate Appiah was given three years on the basis that she was a young offender.

The court, presided over by Mrs Mary Nsenkyire, ordered her to serve her sentence in a juvenile correctional centre.

All the accused persons had pleaded not guilty to the charges levelled against them, but the court ruled that the prosecution proved its case beyond reasonable doubt.

In delivering her judgement, Mrs Nsenkyire said the sentences were to serve as a deterrent to armed robbers who had decided to create insecurity in Kumasi and the country as whole.

She described the method adopted by the robbers to perpetrate their scheme as “disturbing”.

Facts

According to the facts of the case, as presented to the court by Chief Inspector Hannah Acheampong, the convicts were arrested at their hideouts at Kromoase in Kumasi on June 24, 2016 after a thorough investigation by the Ashanti Regional Police Command, in collaboration with the Accra Regional Command.

She said the robbers had, for some time, been terrorising residents of Kumasi and were responsible for a wide range of criminal activities in the metropolis.

A search conducted on them revealed that they were in possession of three cars — a Ford, a Toyota Corolla and a black BMW — believed to have been used for their operations.

The police also retrieved from a nearby bush three safe boxes.

 

Source: Graphic Online

Samira Bawumia: We Need To Fight Child Trafficking

Second Lady, Samira Bawumia has condemned the trafficking of children and has called on all to fight against ‘this menace’.

In a post on her instagram platform, she said “no child should be subjected to the harrowing conditions of child trafficking. We need to fight this canker until every child gets justice and is free”.

According to her, “it has never been easy for anyone who has stood against injustice” therefore it is important for all to “collaborate to bring to an end, this menace”.

“Together, we can end child trafficking” she added

 

Source: Peacefmonline.com

ECG concession: ACEP worried over delays following BXC suit

The Africa Center for Energy Policy (ACEP), has said Ghana may miss the deadline for the completion of the concession agreement for the takeover of the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG).

This is after a disqualified concessionaire in the bid, BXC Consortium, sued the Millennium Development Authority (MIDA) over perceived unfairness.

Though BXC is not seeking to place an injunction on the takeover of ECG by Meralco Consortium, a company led by Manila Electricity Company from the Philippines, the hearing of the case may force a halt in the process.

Speaking to Citi News, Executive Director of ACEP, Ben Boakye, remarked that “if the injunction is granted, it could jeopardize the timing of this concession arrangement. Mind you, we have up until September to conclude the process.”

BXC was deemed to have one or more conflicts of interest situations, hence its disqualification from the bidding process.

The Coordinator of the BXC consortium in the ECG takeover, Daniel Azu, however, insisted that MiDA’s reasons for disqualification were completely flawed and baseless as evidence emerging suggests that it was done to favour Meralco Consortium.

Ben Boakye, who described the turn of events as disappointing, believes the takeover may suffer some timing challenges due to the legal action.

“It is quite disappointing the turn of events. Why did it happen and could it not have been averted from the beginning with a company that has gone through pre-qualification?” he questioned.

BXC’s contract with ECG 

BXC Ghana Limited is a Chinese company registered in Ghana and a subsidiary of Xiaocheng Electronic Technology Stock Co. Ltd.

The company is engaged in the business of manufacturing and deploying highly efficient pre-payment metering systems and management of power supply across the world.

BXC Consortium was established in Ghana in 2010.  It has over the years trained and used Ghanaians to implement major projects in Ghana.

In September 2011, BXC Consortium and the ECG signed an agreement for 10 years, where BXC was expected to engage in System Loss Reduction in the Teshie and Bortianor areas; the commercial aim of which was to share proportional losses recovered by the project, while technically improving the infrastructure and deploying more modern systems of power distribution management.

Selection of Meralco

The Meralco Consortium was said to have had the highest combined technical and financial score and was therefore designated as the preferred bidder.

The company has a distribution network which covers a third of the Philippines and serves a customer population in excess of six million. It will be recalled that CH Group recently pulled out of the list of bidders leaving BXC Company Limited and Meralco Consortium.

Negotiations were expected to soon commence finalizing all the agreements related to the implementation of the ECG PSP Transaction.

Per the compact, the Millennium Challenge Corporation is expected to inject about 418 million dollars into ECG, whiles Meralco will invest about 500 million dollars.

By: Kojo Agyeman/citinewsroom.com/Ghana

Goil pursues MMT, others over GH¢12m debt

Oil marketing company, Goil, is hopeful that it will be able to recover the estimated 12 million cedis owed it by state transport company, Metro Mass Transport (MMT), by the end of the year.

It follows what the company says is its plan to recover its debts and invest the proceeds into its business from this year [2018] onwards.

Goil says the reduction in margins on sale of fuel coupled with delayed payments of debts such as the 12 million cedis owed it by the Metro Mass Transport (MMT) Company; means there is the need to reduce the impact on the financial strength.

The Managing Director of Goil, Patrick Akorli maintains that all other recoveries should be completed by the end of the year.

Mr. Akorli’s comment was in response to a question on the impact of the prevailing market price increases and how it is affecting the profit margin of Goil, at the company’s Annual General Meeting on April 25, 2018.

“If the prices of fuel are to be going up, as shareholders of GOIL we will be happy of this situation and also because our margins are increasing, but that will affect the whole economy too. This will also affect us indirectly. We are hopeful that very soon things will change and our margins will grow.”

“It is not only Goil whose margins are not increasing it applies to all other OMCs. But the company is working to outdo others within the market,” he explained.

Citi Business News understands that the MMT’s indebtedness have largely been associated with the refueling of cars at bulk supply stations which the government and management of the transport company have failed to pay for.

The development has been the case for some time now and it is reported to have affected the bottom-line of the OMC.

Goil records 39 million cedis profits

The financial statement presented to shareholders at the AGM showed that in 2017, Goil as a company recorded a profit after tax of GH¢39,335,000; compared to the GH¢35,256,000 recorded in 2016.

But the Group, recorded a profit after tax of GH¢65,089,000 cedis in 2017 up from the GH¢53,648,000 it recorded in 2016.

By: Pius Amihere Eduku/citibusinessnews.com/Ghana

Gov’t to establish research fund for Universities – Nana Addo

President Akufo Addo has announced that the government will establish a new initiative which will see the establishment of a research fund for academic and development purposes.

According to the President, this new initiative will be remarkably different from the Book and Research allowances University lectures currently enjoy.

Speaking at a special congregation ceremony at the University of Professional Studies, Accra (UPSA), Nana Akufo Addo said the government is committed to research which inures to the benefit of the country hence his administration’s resolve to establish such a fund.

“Government is committing itself to the establishment of a research fund for the sole purpose of funding relevant and sector-specific research work in our institutions of higher learning. This is an addition to the book and research allowance,” Akufo-Addo said.

It is unclear if the president’s announcement is the same as one promised by the Minister for Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, Professor Frimpong Boateng in December 2017.

While speaking at a technology exhibition of the Kristo Asafo Church in Accra, Professor Frimpong Boateng assured that the government was putting in a lot of effort to develop research in the country.

He said the government would allocate 1% of the country’s GDP for the purpose.

Currently, the country’s GDP is estimated to be $45.5 billion.

Meanwhile, President Akufo-Addo while speaking at the special congregation to confer honorary doctorate degrees on the Founder of UPSA, Nana Opoku Ampomah and CAF President, Ahmad Ahmad, President Akufo-Addo has announced that government will soon rename the University of Professional Studies, Accra (UPSA) after Mr. Nana Opoku Ampomah, thus the school will be known as the Nana Opoku Ampomah University for Professional Studies.

By: Jonas Nyabor/citinewsroom.com/Ghana

Ghana’s debt hits distress levels – 3 years in a row

Ghana has maintained its status as a high-risk, debt-distress country after first making it onto the infamous list of countries whose debt burdens had reached alarming levels in 2015.

In separate reports released in March and April, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) confirmed that the country was in a high risk of debt distress and now required aggressive strategies to slow down the debt growth and ease repayment constraints before they combine with other ailing fiscal indices to cripple the economy further.

By remaining on the list of high-risk distress countries, Ghana is now part of 18 other low-income countries (LICs) in Africa, where debt sustainability analyses (DSAs) by the IMF and the World Bank show protracted breach of debt or debt service thresholds.

This means that the country is now one step short of slipping into the danger zone — debt distress, which comprises countries already experiencing difficulties in servicing their debt and whose debt service indicators are in significant or sustained breach of thresholds.

It also means that the country’s risk of default is now high, a Professor of Economics and Head of the Economics Department at the University of Ghana, Legon, Prof. Peter Quartey, said in an interview.

“We should be concerned because when you have that risk, the interest you pay when you want to raise additional funding increases.

“It means we are a risky borrower and investors will factor in this risk element in determining our interest rates,” he added.

Soaring debt service cost

The DSA is based on a framework that was co-developed by the Bretton Wood institutions about a decade ago to serve as a guide in assessing the debt of LICs worldwide.

As of March this year, the results of the analyses showed that six countries were in debt distress, 25 were at high risk of debt distress, 27 were at moderate risk and 13 were at low risk of debt distress.

While admitting that various factors could push a country into the high risk debt distress category, an Economist and Senior Research Fellow at the Institute for Fiscal Policy (IFS), Dr Said Boakye, said in a separate interview that the amount of a country’s total revenues and grants used to service its debt was a key indicator.

“What the results of the DSA means is that the country is in danger of debt distress in spite of the assurances and if you look at how much of our revenue goes into debt service expenditures, you will realise it is very huge,” he pointed out.

After ending 2000 at 72 per cent, the ratio of debt service cost to total revenue and grants declined drastically to 17.9 per cent in 2006, thanks to landmark debt forgiveness programme under the IMF and the World Bank’s HIPC and MDRI programmes, which helped to stabilise.

Since then, it has remained on the upward trajectory, peaking at 23 per cent in 2010 before easing to 17.9 per cent in 2011 when commercial oil production spiked national revenue to record levels.

In 2016, the ratio was 45.7 per cent but declined modestly to 44.5 per cent last year. This meant that of every GHȻ1 collected in revenues and grants, more than 44 pesewas was used to service debt.

Both Prof. Quartey and Dr Boakye described this as alarming and explained why the country continued to remain on the high-risk, debt-distress category.

“It means that we use more of our revenue to service debt and that leaves little room for investments. So generally, we should be very much concerned about that tag of a high-risk, debt-distress country,” Prof. Quartey added.

Debt journey

Since 2015, when the country first migrated from the status of a moderate-risk, debt-distress country to the high-risk category, soaring debt levels, strong debt-servicing costs and weak institutional response to revenue generations and debt have ensured that the country remains in that category.

From a debt stock of GHȻ76.1 billion, equivalent to 67.1 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP) in 2014, the national debt burden rose to GHȻ100.2 billion (71.6 per cent of GDP) in 2015 before settling at GHȻ122.6 billion (73.3 per cent of GDP) in 2016.

Although the debt-to-GDP ratio declined to 69.8 per cent in 2017, the debt stock firmed up to GHȻ142.5 billion.

Notwithstanding the strong growth over the years, recent developments have revealed a modest decline in the pace of the growth.

In presenting the 2018 budget to Parliament in November last year, the Finance Minister, Mr Ken Ofori-Atta, said the annual average rate of debt accumulation “of 36 per cent over the last four years has declined over the last nine months to about 13.58 per cent”.

“While the government is actively managing the public debt to ensure sustainability through its liability management programme, which among others is aimed at reducing the refinancing risk and cost of borrowing, we do not expect this initiative to add to the public debt stock beyond the net financing requirement for the year,” he added.

 

Source: Graphic Business

First Lady calls for renewed commitment to beat malaria

The First Lady and Head of the Rebecca Foundation has called for a renewed drive in the battle against malaria.

Whilst applauding the efforts of all stakeholders and individuals in this age-long fight, Rebecca Akufo-Addo believes that a renewed and more vigorous approach in the fight against malaria is urgently required.

She said this at an event to mark this year’s World Malaria Day under the theme, “Ready to beat malaria” in Accra on Wednesday.

The event also witnessed her signing a memorandum on behalf of the Infanta Malaria Prevention Foundation.

It was co-hosted by the AspirX, Infanta Foundation and Merck around the localized theme, “How best to protect children and pregnant women from malaria infection.”

Delivering her remarks, the First Lady noted that “Ghana has made significant progress in controlling malaria, but there is still more to do. I envision a Ghana, where every child and every woman, is adequately protected or able to test, treat and recover quickly from malaria.

“My message is to call on every one of us in our individual capacities, to do whatever it takes to beat malaria for good.”

According to her, this is a shared vision which was recently shared by President Akufo-Addo recently at the just ended Malaria Summit in London, where he boldly declared that Ghana is ready to beat malaria.

She used the occasion to remind Ghanaians on some of the basic individual efforts such as sleeping under an insecticide-treated bed net, using a mosquito repellent and consulting a health worker when you or a family member has symptoms of malaria, to get tested and treated.

“When we do these, we are ready to beat malaria,” she added.

Mrs Akufo-Addo, also called for collective engagement by all, saying, “Whether you are an organisation or an individual, join us and take action this World Malaria Day. Declare you’re ready to beat malaria”.

“We must deepen our partnerships with our health partners, the private sector, civil society organizations, religious and traditional authorities and non-governmental organizations, to build effective systems, to provide accessible services for all.”

She was happy that the Ghana Health Service and partners are improving access to health care, by strengthening the existing Community Based Health System as much of the burden of disease in our country can be prevented, through the effective delivery of health services made possible through CHPS.

Noted for her commitment to the cause of women and children, Mrs Akufo-Addo said to address the high rates of severe under-nutrition and the high incidence of malaria in our population, relationships with Merck and AspirX, offers opportunities to invest in what we believe will make a difference in the lives of women and children.

The First Lady called for increased commitments, partnerships and sustained investments to improve coverage of proven interventions, which benefits women and children.

 

Source: myjoyonline

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