Saturday, April 30, 2016

Nchumuru Chiefs Angry With Prez Mahama


The chiefs and people of Bejamse in the Nchumuru area are seething with rage over alleged attempts by government and President Mahama to undermine the authority of the chief of the area, Nana Obrimpong Kanya II.

This follows veiled attempts by government to elevate the Chief of Chunke, Nana Kwame Bonja, who happens to be a divisional chief over and above Obrimpong Kanya II, who is the paramount chief of the Bejamse Nchumuru Traditional Area.

That was during the recent commissioning of the Nchumuru Senior High School (SHS) by President Mahama.

In a statement issued under his hand, Obrimpong Kanya, who could not conceal his rage and frustration, said “it’s with heaps of anger, disappointment and regret that I write in loud protest to the gross show of conscious disrespect, and intention to undermine my traditional sovereignty, authority and cultural competence by HE President Mahama, the Regional Minister, Hon Helen Ntoso, the MP, Hon John Majisi, the DCE, Solomon Kuyon and other government functionaries at the event to commission a new block for Nchumuru SHS which I struggled to establish in the late 1980s to early 1990s in collaboration with the Church of Pentecost.”

Reason

According to him, “The political insolence and scheme to front or portray the divisional Chief of Chunke (Borai No. 2), Nana Kwame Bonja as the Omanhene of Bejamse Nchumuru Traditional Area which occurred at the function to commission a new block for SHS where he presented the welcome address is traditionally unacceptable and abominable with irresistible temptation to heighten the feud and disunity among the Nchumurus.”

.
The speech, he said, was not representative of the Bejamse Traditional Area.

“President John Mahama, Regional Minister, the MP, the District Chief Executive and others are aware of my status as the Omanhene of the area but consciously decided to disregard authority with impunity,” he noted.

He said “the DCE, who continually showed insolence to my land and traditional authority, honoured an invitation with the event planning committee upon summons to my palace last Saturday and explained that things went that way on the advice of the Regional Minister for the reason that I’m a long-standing loyalist of the NPP with the impetus to chastise or embarrass President Mahama and his government after probably a line or paragraph of praise as happened in some districts visited especially following the refusal to show my prepared welcome address and rejection of a suggested one which I found contaminated with factual inaccuracies, terrible grammar, exaggerations and stated projects outside Nchumuru land.”

He described as unfortunate and unwarranted the reason given for the gaffe, insisting that “President John Mahama ought to be guided especially having known and visited here many times from his days as MP with his friend and university mate who is now the Gyaasehene, Nana Okoeseoko known in private life as Hon Francis Yaw Osei Sarfo, former MP for Krachi West who together with Nana Kwasi Omankomonte II, Nana Kwasi Dangnafogyi II, Nana Kwadjo Obuemang and Mr Abraham Amoah, the Chairman of Nchumuru Youth Association visited and discussed developmental issues on creating the new district. The same entourage again returned to show appreciation to government and we were received by Professor Kofi Awoonor.”

Caveat

Obrimpong Kanya further said that “the Regional Minister whose orientation is no different from that of Nana Mprah Besemuna III is henceforth by this statement and until further notice not to be seen in Nchumuru District for any purpose apart from passing through to her constituency/district which is unavoidable.”

He therefore warned that “if this choice of political expediency and gross disregard for traditional sovereignty, authority and cohesion continues or repeated, volcano could erupt as a consequence thereof.”


By Ghana Leaks Blog


Pupils Of Mataheko School Cluster Get Sponsorship From Airtel Ghana


Over forty students and five teachers from the Ablekuma 02 Circuit Schools were among participants who got the opportunity to participate in TEDxAccra held on Saturday 23rd April at the National Theatre. 

The pupils who are beneficiaries of Airtel’s Evolve with STEM initiative were sponsored by the Smartphone Network to attend and learn from the great ideas and experiences shared at the event.

Speaking to Airtel’s decision to sponsor the children to TEDxAccra, Richard Ahiagble, Airtel Ghana’s Head of Corporate Communications said “as one of the most distinguished platforms for sharing breakthrough ideas, we wanted to give our young friends from the Mataheko school cluster an exposure to the transformation they can cause if they put their minds to it and challenge themselves.

At Airtel Ghana, we believe in creating the environment for people to fully realise their potential – especially young people. It was such a delight to see how they were fully engaged throughout the session as they listened to speaker after speaker”.

He continued “The objective of the Evolve with STEM initiative is to inspire hope and transform the mindset of young people towards the study of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). STEM is empowering and instills problem solving skills in young people.

Since the launch of this initiative pupils from the beneficiary schools have benefitted from monthly mentorship sessions with key personalities including our Managing Director Lucy Quist, actress and TV personality, Joselyn Dumas and STEM advocate and Entrepreneur – Ethel Coffie. We have also been supported by partners such as the Exploratory and Ghana Robotics Academy Foundation to make STEM as practical as possible. These efforts are yielding positive results and we are excited about the impact we making with Evolve with STEM”.

Mr. Offei Dodoo, an ICT teacher who attended the event with the students expressed his gratitude to Airtel and the organisers of TEDxAccra for a great event. He said “the talks were very educative, passion-filled and life-changing. The theme, Rethinking, was indeed a very thought-provoking one. It was also great having the students around, the event has broadened their perspective and positively imparted their outlook.”

Some female students under Airtel’s Evolve with STEM initiative also attended the maiden edition of Microsoft’s DigiGirlz Day on 16th April, organized by Microsoft Ghana in collaboration with Airtel Ghana. They interacted with key female personalities such as media entrepreneur, TV & Radio host Anita Erskine, Founder of Nandi Mobile – Anne Amuzu and Founder of Levers in Heels – Larissa Bowen-Dodoo and Managing Director of Airtel, Lucy Quist. Aside the mentoring sessions with these personalities, the young participants were taught basic coding and computer programming in.

Airtel’s Evolve with STEM initiative, since launch in December 2015 has imparted more than 1,000 pupils and inspired hundreds of individuals and companies into action to launch initiatives focused on STEM.


By Ghana Leaks Blog


COCOBOD Breaks Away From ICU, GAWU


Workers of the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) have announced that the company has broken away from its mother union, the Industrial and Commercial Workers Union(ICU ). According to the workers, all efforts aimed at uniting the two groups over some labour related issues have proved futile.

Speaking at a press conference in Accra, the Chairman of the Supreme Consultative Council of the COCOBOD, Alhaji Idriss Alhassan stated that the ICU and the General Agricultural Workers Union ( GAWU) have not protect the welfare of COCOBOD workers.

“Some time ago we negotiated for a 30 percent salary increment with our management and because of the role ICU and GAWU played, they rather went and asked our management if they can pay the increment and pressed on them not to agree”, he said.

He added that COCOBOD workers also pushed for allowance at a point in time to improve the welfare of workers, but the ICU fought against the decision stating that there is no justification for the allowance.

“Can you imagine this, we are explaining to our superiors why we need allowances to improve our lives and the ICU and GAWU rather fight against us that we don’t deserve it”, he said.

Stating further some disagreements, Alhaji Alhassan stated that “what broke the camel’s back is their effort to privatize a strategic company like the Cocoa Marketing Company”.

He maintained that the actions of the union have clearly indicate that it is not interested in the improvement of the welfare of COCOBOD workers, hence the decision to break away.

“We are breaking away, the constitution guarantees freedom of association. The ICU itself broke away from the TUC to form the ICU. Nobody can force us to join an association we do not want to belong to… we are now the Cocoa Industry Workers Union”, he announced.

Even though the matter is in court, Alhaji Alhassan explained that the right to form an association is enshrined in the constitution and cannot be taken away. “In any case, that is not the substantive matter now.

The court has not barred us from forming an association. It is our constitutional right”, he said. He stated that the new union has over 2,000 members of COCOBOD workers and its associate companies.

According to him, the mass endorsement of the new union is an indication that COCOBOD workers have passed a vote of no confidence in the ICU and GAWU. Reacting to the allegations in an interview with Citi Business News, the General Secretary of the ICU, Mr. Solomon Kotei stated that COCOBOD workers could not sustain their argument on why COCOBOD should give them the 30 percent salary increment.

He explained that salary negotiations go through a long process that ensures fairness and accountability; hence the ICU couldn’t have influenced the decision not to grant the workers their demand.

“They couldn’t sustain their demand. At the Supreme Consultative Council we asked them a fundamental question. When you bring a proposal for salary increment we query you, can management pay such increment,” he said, adding that the workers couldn’t provide any cogent answers.

Touching on the allowance, Mr. Kotei stated that the workers couldn’t justify what type of allowance needed and the need for such payments. He explained that allowances are paid to aid workers in specific areas of their work, but the workers were unable to show how the allowances they were demanding would impact their operations. On the decision to privatize the Cocoa marketing Company, Mr. Kotei stated that the move was a parliamentary decision, debated and agreed by the legislature.


By Ghana Leaks Blog


Ensure Credible Polls - TUC To EC


Organised Labour has charged the Electoral Commission of Ghana (EC) to ensure that the November 7 polls are free and credible.

Speaking at a forum on the presidential and parliamentary polls in Accra Thursday April 28, the Secretary General of the Trades Union Congress (TUC), Kofi Asamoah, said a poorly organised election would have dire consequences for workers in the country.

He said due to the crucial nature of this year’s elections, the EC must assure all Ghanaians that they are up to the task.

Mr Asamoah expressed the need for a transparent process to ensure a fair outcome, so post-election violence in countries such as Cote d’Ivoire and Kenya, some years ago, would not be replicated in Ghana.

According to him, when there is chaos, “you will have to move all your properties and find somewhere to hide, and that is not what we want”.

“As working people, when there is peace, we can go about our work. Even our pay that we are not satisfied with, if there is war, you can’t find anybody to sit down with to negotiate or talk about increase in pay,” Mr Asamoah added.

Other groups and members of civil society organisations also attended the programme.


By Ghana Leaks Blog


Allow Eligible Students To Register GES


The Management of Ghana Education Service (GES) has asked heads of second-cycle institutions to allow eligible students to visit their preferred polling stations in order to have their names registered as voters.

A statement by the GES, signed by the Head of Public Relations Unit, Reverend Jonathan Bettey asked heads of schools to take notes on all students, especially boarders, as they leave the school premises to participate in the ongoing limited voter registration by the Electoral Commission.

“Management entreats students, teachers and members of the public to comport themselves well during this critical national exercise,” the statement said.

All who have turned 18 years and above or older but who have not been able to register as voters in the past can do so from April 28 to May 8, 2016, during which time the EC estimates that 1.2 million voters would be registered.


By Ghana Leaks Blog


Jacob Zuma Should Face Corruption Charges Judge


South Africa’s President Zuma should face corruption charges over a 1999 arms deal, the High Court has ruled. The charges were dropped just weeks before the 2009 election which led to Jacob Zuma becoming president. Ruling on the case brought by the opposition Democratic Alliance, the judge said the decision to drop the charges was “irrational”.

The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) now has to determine if it wants to reinstate the charges. Mr Zuma always denied the allegations which are linked to the government arms deal worth billions of dollars. Last week, a judge-led commission of inquiry found no evidence of corruption or fraud by any government officials at the time.

“Today is a great victory for the rule of law and ultimately we believe that Jacob Zuma must face prosecution and this judgement certainly affirms the view that we’ve always held,” Democratic Alliance leader Mmusi Maimane said after the ruling. “I congratulate my colleagues who’ve worked exceptionally hard on this case; it’s been a long battle.” This may be the latest in a series of legal blows to President Jacob Zuma but it is not yet time to celebrate for the opposition DA, which brought the case.

The NPA will have to choose if it wants to reinstate the charges. As the judge ruled the NPA’s prosecution of this case has been heavily politicised – and it is not clear whether it will want to take on the president. Mr Zuma, 74, may be under increasing pressure from opposition parties to step down but he is not going without a fight.

In spite of the knock to his public image, he still has a place in the hearts of many in South Africa. The ruling ANC secured a huge victory in the 2014 election – many of the votes coming from rural South Africa where these court battles have little influence and Mr Zuma knows that. An opposition attempt to impeach him earlier this month failed because they simply do not have the numbers. The president would take note only if voters rose up against him – local elections later this year will be the real indication of whether any ground has shifted. But until then, he and the ANC see these court battles as attempts by a few to force him from power undemocratically.

It was dubbed the “spy tapes” case after the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) dropped the charges in 2009. The authority said new phone-tap evidence suggested political interference in the investigation. ‘Mr Zuma should face the charges’ South Africa’s governing African National Congress (ANC) said the High Court’s ruling did not deal with the merits of any allegations against the president.

“The ANC has consistently supported the legal maxim that justice delayed is justice denied. This matter has dragged on for close to a decade and the ANC is pleased therefore that it now appears closer to resolution, seven years since the NPA decision,” it said in a statement. What are the spy tapes? . In 2009, NPA chief prosecutor Mokotedi Mpshe received phone-tap evidence from Mr Zuma’s lawyers . He said the recordings suggested political interference in the investigation

The recordings were of conversations that Leonard McCarthy, a former head of an elite unit fighting organised crime, had with several people about the timing of the case against Mr Zuma .

In 2014, the opposition DA won a court battle to access the sealed recordings and make them public . After listening to the recordings, the DA legal team believed there was nothing that warranted the charges being dropped .A High Court ruling in April 2016 says the 2009 decision was irrational and Mr Zuma should face charges. Judge Aubrey Ledwaba said Mr Mpshe had “found himself under pressure” when he decided to discontinue the prosecution and “consequently made an irrational decision”.

“Considering the situation in which he found himself, Mr Mpshe ignored the importance of the oath of office which commanded him to act independently and without fear and favour. “It is thus our view that the envisaged prosecution against Mr Zuma was not tainted by the allegations against Mr McCarthy. “Mr Zuma should face the charges as outlined in the indictment.” This is the latest legal setback for the South African president. Last month, South Africa’s highest court found that he had breached the constitution by failing to repay public money used to upgrade his private home.

It backed an earlier ruling by an anti-corruption body that said $23m (£15m) of public money had been improperly spent on Mr Zuma’s rural home in Nkandla in KwaZulu-Natal province. Controversial arms deal: What you need to know 1999: largest-ever post-apartheid arms deal announced with contracts totalling 30bn rand ($5bn; £2.5bn) to modernise national defence force . Deal involved companies from Germany, Italy, Sweden, the UK, France and South Africa . Allegations of bribery over deal dogged governments of President Jacob Zuma and predecessor Thabo Mbeki .

Mr Zuma’s former financial adviser Schabir Shaik convicted in 2005 for corruption over deal. Found guilty of trying to solicit bribe from Thint, local subsidiary of French arms firm Thales, on behalf of Mr Zuma – then deputy president. Released on parole on health grounds after serving just over two years . Another official, Tony Yengeni, chairman of parliament’s defence committee at time of deal and ANC chief whip, convicted of fraud in 2003. Also freed on parole after serving five months of four-year sentence . April 2016: commission of inquiry into deal found no further evidence of corruption or fraud. 


By Ghana Leaks Blog


We Will Bear Cost Of ROPAA Implementation - PAM


A leading member of UK-based non-political movement, Progressive Alliance Movement (PAM), Mr. Kofi Koranteng has posited that the group is ready to ‘bear’ the cost when the Representation of the People’s Amendment Act (ROPAA), Act 699, is implemented by the Electoral Commission (EC).

ROPAA permits Ghanaians living abroad to register and vote in elections held in Ghana.

However, the Electoral Commission (EC) have failed to implement it since it was passed into law, citing financial constraints.

But Mr. Kofi Koranteng, whose group has sued the EC at the Accra High Court- praying the court to cause the EC to immediately implement ROPAA- said the excuse by the electioneering body is neither here nor there.

Speaking in an exclusive interview with Kwame Tutu on frontline on Rainbow Radio from his UK base, Mr. Koranteng noted that they are not expecting the EC to bear the full cost of the exercise because they (PAM) are willing to contribute financially to assist the Commission in the full implementation of the exercise.

He argued that the excuse by the EC is flawed since they have failed to tell Ghanaians how much it will cost to implement ROPAA.

According to him, the EC could get donor help from bodies that have contributed towards Ghana’s elections in the past.

Mr. Kofi Koranteng said bodies across the globe who believe in democratic rule will not hesitate to contribute in implementing ROPAA.

He charged the EC to take the brave step in implementing ROPAA because it is their constitutional mandate to provide the instrument that ensures that Ghanaians abroad are able to cast their vote.

“You (EC) cannot ignore that,” it is your mandate to ensure that we (Ghanaians abroad) are not disenfranchised in the upcoming elections.

According to him, it is a violation of their rights as Ghanaians abroad to register and vote per Article 42 of the constitution of the Republic of Ghana which states: “Every citizen of Ghana of eighteen years of age or above and of sound mind has the right to vote and is entitled to be registered as a voter for the purposes of public elections and referenda.”

He further cited some international conventions to buttress their human rights position - Article(s) 13 of the African Commission on Human and People’s Rights; 25 of the International Covenant on Civil Rights; 21 of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights; Protocol 1 of the European Convention which Ghana has signed- makes it a violation of their rights to vote irrespective of their political parties to make the process more credible, free, fair and transparent.

Mr. Kofi Koranteng emphasized that their suit is to improve the process of Ghana’s democracy to support Ghanaians abroad participate in the decision-making process to support the country develop.

“Our group is not a political party…It consist of members from the various political divide…Our focus is to ensure that we contribute to solving Ghana’s challenges. We are tired of complain(s) from family members that, things are hard and that the economy is in crisis. We want to support solve that problem by participating in the voting process. We are hopeful that the judges in their wisdom will grant us our request.”


By Ghana Leaks Blog


Kumasi Power Consumers Threaten Showdown With ECG


Customers of the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) in Kumasi are planning to vent their spleen on officials of the company after weeks of erratic power supply leading to the destruction of gadgets and stalling businesses.

Many customers interrupted radio programmes in Kumasi Thursday to register their displeasure and served ample notice of attacks with the ECG also planning to increase security presence at their facilities across the region.

Power supply has worsened in the region in recent weeks and against the backdrop of a biting heat, many customers have been spending the night outside their bedrooms while risking robbery attacks.

But the ECG said it could not be blamed for the ‘dumping’ and has directed the concerns to its transmitting companies especially GRIDCO.

The regional PRO of ECG, Erasmus K. Baidoo, said the company was unaware of the recent load shedding and the crisis has hit them with a surprise.

Subsequently, the regional office is organizing a Customer Complaint Day on Saturday to deal with the issue and present the bare facts to customers.

It will also deal with issues concerning acquisition of metres, tariff applications and energy consumption among others.

A cross section of consumers told the Daily Graphic in interviews that the recent power outages were worse than the previous dumsor regime where people knew their off periods and therefore could plan their lives.

With the new situation, power could go off anytime and it is even worse at night. Consumers say their social lives have been interrupted and that they cannot watch their favourite European football matches.


By Ghana Leaks Blog


Mobile Web Ghana To Empower Young Ghanaians In Mobile Technology And Entrepreneurship


Mobile Web Ghana, a leader in mobile technology and entrepreneurship training, has introduced special courses in mobile app development and entrepreneurship to assist young Ghanaians who want to establish their independent businesses or advance their knowledge in the use of mobile technology.

These courses are geared towards assisting interested participants to understand the use of technology to improve productivity in their lives and businesses. Geared towards equipping Ghanaians with the requisite skills to create their own future in mobile technology, the courses will focus on making participants gain their independence through technology.

Enrollment into these courses are currently open to the general public and it comprises courses for both beginners as well as intermediaries. Participants are not strictly required to hold any qualification prior to enrolment but should possess the zeal to use mobile technology to solve local problems.

“Technology and entrepreneurship are key in solving the unemployment issues in Ghana,” said Florence Toffa, Director of Mobile Web Ghana. “We are rolling out these courses to support graduates, entrepreneurs, and people with interests in establishing their own businesses,” Florence added. “Participants will find new ways of economically empowering themselves through these courses,” Florence said.

This is not the first time Mobile Web Ghana is providing similar trainings to Ghanaians, as it has built the lives of many young Ghanaians who participated in previous sessions. These courses promises to bring together people from diverse groups and industries, to participate in these new modules. They will be tutored and mentored by experts with several years of experience in various fields.

Mobile Web Ghana, also recently equipped Ghanaian entrepreneurs and businesses with free profit making training in collaboration with US based Cava Consulting. Previous participants in Mobile Web Ghana’s courses, have benefitted from the rigorous modules and have mostly established businesses of their own. All interested participants have to do call them on 0302 505824 or 0272191951, to get more details about how to enroll. Courses are open to students, web developers, students, entrepreneurs, government employees or civil servants, journalists, technology enthusiasts and individuals with the passion to change the world through mobile technology.


By Ghana Leaks Blog


FPSO Mills Mooring Completed


Tullow Oil plc has said the mooring of Ghana’s second FPSO has been done.

FPSO Prof. John Evans Atta Mills sailed from Singapore on 23 January and arrived in Ghanaian waters on 2 March. It will be used for production in the TEN fields.

The TEN Project, according to Tullow’s recent operational update, is making “excellent progress and remains within budget and on schedule with first oil expected between July and August 2016.”

The project is now over 90 per cent complete and during the first-quarter of 2016, a number of significant milestones have been achieved, Tullow reported.

Following the successful mooring of the FPSO, the vessel is now being connected to the subsea infrastructure via the risers and umbilicals and the commissioning of these systems is under way.

Six of the eleven pre-drilled wells are now completed, with the seventh completion under way.

The overall subsea installation campaign, comprising approximately 35,000 tonnes of equipment, has also reached over 90 per cent completion.

Given the mid-year start-up and ramp-up in the second half, Tullow said it estimates that TEN average annualised production in 2016 will be around 23,000 bopd gross (net: 11,000 bopd) as previously guided.

Below are the details of the latest operational update by Tullow:

This statement is issued in advance of the Group’s Annual General Meeting which is being held at Tullow Oil plc, Building 9 Chiswick Park at 12pm today. The Group will announce its Trading Statement and Operational Update on 30 June 2016. Half year results will be announced on 27 July 2016.

HIGHLIGHTS

• Group working interest production for the first-quarter averaged 59,200 bopd for West Africa and 6,500 boepd for Europe. This was marginally below expectations due to the need to implement new Jubilee off-take procedures at the end of March following damage to the Jubilee FPSO turret bearing.

• New Jubilee off-take procedures being implemented with off-take and production to resume in the next few days. Group production guidance will be re-issued once new operating arrangements have stabilised. No material impact on future Group cash flow is currently expected due to continued production and appropriate insurance policies in place.

• The TEN Project is now over 90 per cent complete and first oil remains on target for July/August 2016.

• East Africa Governments agreed to develop resources in Uganda and Kenya with separate export pipelines.

• Ongoing assessment of recently completed South Lokichar appraisal programme in Kenya indicates potential to increase recoverable resources up to 750 million barrels with further exploration potential supporting an upside of 1 billion barrels.

• Working hydrocarbon system discovered with the Cheptuket-1 exploration well in Kenya’s Kerio Valley Basin.

• Routine six-monthly Reserve Based Lending redetermination process completed. Debt capacity of $3.5 billion secured.

• Revolving Corporate Facility extended by 12 months to April 2018, with an initial committed amount of $800 million as of April 2017. An accordion feature has been agreed with Lenders for an additional amount of $200 million.

• End of April net debt estimated to be c.$4.5 billion and unutilised debt capacity and free cash of c.$1.3 billion. Capex guidance for full year 2016 revised down by c.$0.1 billion to c.$1.0 billion with further savings expected.

AIDAN HEAVEY, CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, TULLOW OIL PLC, COMMENTED TODAY:

“It has been a very busy commence to the year for Tullow. In West Africa, we have made excellent progress with the TEN Project which remains on time and on budget while a highly experienced project team are dealing with the turret issues on the Jubilee field FPSO. Following the decision of the Kenyan and Ugandan Presidents to develop standalone export pipelines, we now have much greater clarity and certainty around oil production in both countries. In Kenya, our appraisal campaign has also been very successful with ongoing assessment indicating increased resource estimates. Finally, I am very pleased to announce the completion of our RBL re-determination and the extension of our RCF. This demonstrates the continued strong help of our lending banks and is an critical sign of confidence in Tullow’s excellent asset portfolio.”
OPERATIONS UPDATE

WEST AFRICA (INCLUDING EUROPE PRODUCTION)

Working interest oil production in West Africa averaged 59,200 bopd for the first quarter 2016. The Group’s portfolio of non-operated assets continued to perform well over the period with production in line with expectations. Jubilee production was below expectations due to increased downtime associated with the implementation of revised operating procedures following a problem being identified with the FPSO turret bearing. In light of this issue, full-year 2016 average working interest production is likely to be below current guidance of 73-80,000 bopd and updated guidance will be provided when the new operating procedures have been fully implemented and stabilised. However, Tullow does not currently expect this issue to have a material impact on future cash flow, due to the imminent resumption of production and appropriate insurance policies in place.

A technical investigation of the Jubilee FPSO turret bearing has confirmed that it is no longer able to rotate as originally designed leading to new operating procedures being implemented. These include the vessel being put on "heading control" which requires the use of tugs to minimise vessel rotation and revised offtake procedures, including the use of a dynamically-positioned shuttle tanker and a storage tanker. Revised operating procedures are being implemented at the Jubilee field with new equipment and approvals in place. Sea water injection resumed on 23 April 2016 and offtake is expected to re-commence in the next few days with production to follow shortly thereafter. These activities and the two week planned maintenance shutdown have impacted gross production from the Jubilee field which averaged 80,300 bopd (28,500 bopd net), for the first quarter 2016.

A project team has been established to review the root cause of the problem and decide the optimum design of the permanent solution of the Jubilee turret issue. A decision on the solution is expected in the next few months. Tullow has a comprehensive package of insurances in place, including Hull and Machinery insurance, procured on behalf of the Joint Venture which covers relevant operating and capital costs associated with damage to the FPSO, and Business Interruption insurance which covers consequent loss of production and revenue. Claims under both policies have been notified to our insurers.

The TEN Project is making excellent progress and remains within budget and on schedule with first oil expected between July and August 2016. The project is now over 90 per cent complete and during the first quarter of 2016 a number of significant milestones have been achieved. The FPSO Prof. John Atta Mills sailed from Singapore on 23 January and arrived in Ghanaian waters on 2 March. The FPSO mooring operations are complete, the vessel is now being connected to the subsea infrastructure via the risers and umbilicals and the commissioning of these systems is under way. Six of the eleven pre-drilled wells are now completed, with the seventh completion under way. The overall subsea installation campaign, comprising approximately 35,000 tonnes of equipment, has also reached over 90 per cent completion. Given the mid-year start-up and ramp-up in the second half, Tullow estimates that TEN average annualised production in 2016 will be around 23,000 bopd gross (net: 11,000 bopd) as previously guided.

In Europe, average working interest gas production for the first quarter 2016 is in line with expectations at 6,500 boepd with the Group’s portfolio of non-operated assets performing well.

EAST AFRICA

In Kenya, the result from the basin opening Cheptuket-1 well in the Kerio Valley Basin was announced in March. The well encountered fine oil shows, seen in cuttings and rotary sidewall cores, across an interval of over 700 metres and post-well analysis is still in progress. Following this encouraging basin opening well and the successful Etom-2 result in the South Lokichar Basin in December 2015, further exploration activities are being evaluated.

At a meeting between various East African Governments in Kampala on 23 April 2016, it was agreed that Uganda and Kenya would develop separate, standalone export pipelines for their oil resources. Tullow welcomes the clarity and certainty that this decision brings. In Uganda, Tullow will now work with the Government of Uganda and our partners on the development of these significant resources through a Uganda-Tanzania pipeline. In Kenya, the Group continues to examine the data from its recently concluded appraisal campaign and our initial assessment indicates recoverable resources of up to 750 million barrels of oil in the South Lokichar Basin. The Group continues to review options for re-starting the exploration campaign in this basin to de-risk the overall upside potential of 1 billion barrels. Tullow will now work with the Government of Kenya and our partners on a range of options for the independent development of these resources including early production using existing infrastructure which would provide valuable reservoir data ahead of a full field development with an export pipeline.

NEW VENTURES

In Norway, drilling of the Wisting Central 2 long reach horizontal well in the Barents Sea was completed in early April and successfully explored and appraised the Wisting South & Wisting West segments of the field and included a production test in the Stø formation. The well was drilled approximately 5 kilometres south-west of the Wisting discovery well. The well encountered an oil column of 22 metres in a 1,402 metres horizontal section with 1,250 metres of net light oil pay. A constrained production test was carried out with a flow rate of approximately 5,000 boepd demonstrating excellent reservoir properties and valuable development potential. The well results are expected to provide an increase of in-place volumes. The next operated well planned in Norway is on the Rome prospect in PL776, which is expected to start in July 2016.

In Jamaica, a 2D seismic survey has been completed over the 32,056 sq km Walton Morant licence. The results of the survey are currently being analysed to delineate potential plays in shallow water. In February 2016, Tullow farmed down a 35% working interest in Block 15 in Uruguay to Statoil with government approval expected shortly.

FINANCIAL UPDATE

Tullow and its lending banks have completed the routine six-monthly Reserve Based Lending (RBL) redetermination process and agreed a twelve month extension to the maturity of the corporate facility. Tullow secured available debt capacity of US$3.5 billion under the RBL and Tullow’s lending banks also agreed a further amendment to the financial covenant on the RBL and the Corporate Facility. The first amortisation of the RBL is scheduled in October 2016, when commitments will reduce to $3.25bn. The Corporate Facility has been extended to April 2018. The current commitments in April 2017 are $800 million and an accordion feature has been agreed with Lenders for an additional amount of $200 million.

These successful banking outcomes demonstrate the continued help of the Group’s lending banks during this period of low oil prices and the high quality of Tullow’s asset portfolio.

The business remains well funded and at the end of April 2016, net debt is estimated at approximately $4.5 billion and unutilised debt capacity and free cash at approximately $1.3 billion.

The Group’s 2016 forecast capital expenditure has been reduced from $1.1 billion to $1.0 billion following the identification of savings across the portfolio with further reductions expected.


By Ghana Leaks Blog


150,000 Boarding SHS Students To Benefit From Progressively Free Education Policy


150 000 boarding Senior High School students from deprived backgrounds will from next academic year benefit from the progressively free secondary education policy rolled out by the Mahama Administration. A total of 60 million cedis has already been allocated in the 2016 budget for implementation.

The policy which is currently benefiting day students will also be expanded from ten (10) recurrent fee items to twelve (12) next academic year. So far over 320,000 day students are beneficiaries.

This was disclosed by President John Mahama when he commissioned another Community Day Senior High School at Derma in the Tano South District of the Brong Ahafo Region.

The President also noted that over 3.6 million textbooks covering core subjects, Maths, English, Social Studies and Integrated Science are being published for distribution to students. Besides, about 137,216 teachers guide will also be available to enhance their work.

Mr Mahama spoke extensively about the opportunities being created by the schools expansion project announced another Community Day SHS would be commissioned at Abease in the Pru District of the Brong Ahafo Region on Wednesday. Giving statistics about access he said of the 111 secondary schools in the region, 47 are private and 64 are public schools with total enrollment of about 80,000. He however said available statistics indicate about 90,000 potential students are not in SHS for lack of access.

He hoped the new community day SHS and the expansion projects in existing senior high schools will create opportunities for them.

The Derma Community Day SHS with an enrollment of 243 replaces a dilapidated six-unit block. The new facility therefore can accommodate over 1,200 more students from Derma and neighbouring communities.

The President commended the Chief of Derma and other progressive traditional leaders for allocating land for the project. He said the 40 acre land donated by the Dermahene gives room for additional facilities which will include an administration block, accommodation and other offices.

The President is expected to commission another completed Community Day Senior High School at Abease in the Pru District.

The “Accounting to the People Tour” has taken the President to the Western, Eastern and Volta Regions already. While in Brong Ahafo, the President will visit Techimentia within the same District to commission a Polyclinic, and also pay a courtesy call on Nana Dadiesoabahene.

On Wednesday the President is expected to make whistle stops at the Techiman, Brekum and Sunyani markets where he will interact with traders and drivers. He will also pay a courtesy call on the Nkoranzahene and later inspect the ongoing Kyeremaasu-Gambia No.2 road.


By Ghana Leaks Blog


Menace Of Money Laundering Increasing


The Financial Intelligence Centre says the menace of Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing (ML/TF) has increased in proportion, putting at risk global financial systems in recent years.

Mr Samuel T. Essel, the Chief Executive Officer of the Centre, said, criminals had concealed their illicit proceeds by investing in legitimate businesses through a number of schemes in the banks, other financial institutions, businesses and professions.

Mr Essel who was addressing a National Risk Assessment (NRA) Workshop on Ghana, in Accra, said in some cases, lack of knowledge of the law or willful blindness resulted in one institution castigating the other to the extent that “sometimes even sacrificing institutions, at the altar of human rights”.

     “What is even more worrisome is that, instead of competent authorities developing the necessary synergies to combat transnational crime, there are reported cases of trust deficit, which rather disrupt the defined courses of law enforcement, thereby, rendering nugatory, the desired effectiveness,” he said.

      He said criminals took advantage of the situation and operated with impunity, a situation, which could result in criminals taking over State power if not checked.

Ghana is the first country in West Africa to complete the NRA, which intends to provide guidance on the conduct of identifying and assessing the ML/TF threats and the vulnerabilities of a country at the national level.

The NRA is also to decide the level of vulnerability of the economic and financial sectors to ML/TF; choose and understand the weaknesses in the legal framework, by considering the criminal and administrative justice systems and the existing preventive measures.

Additionally, the NRA prescribes the best ways to promote and judiciously allocate resources for the prevention, investigation and prosecution of ML/TF offences.

Mr Essel said the successful implementation of the NRA, would ensure a synergy among policy and decision makers on the issue; foster inter-agency collaboration; identify sectors that needed most help and prioritised in resource allocation.

It would also identify the training needs of stakeholders, and identify the lacuna and vulnerabilities in the laws and institutions to provide remedies, he added.

Mrs Mona Quartey, a Deputy Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, said the workshop was timely giving the terrorism threat across the world.

She said the threat posed by the criminals was not directed to only one country and called for the two nations to collaborate effectively to combat the menace.

She expressed the hope that the workshop would provide the Government with additional ammunition to combat the threat of ML/FT.

Ms Cari Votava, a Senior Financial Sector Specialist at the Financial and Private Sector Development at the World Bank, congratulated the Inter Ministerial Committee members for their dedication.

She said the World Bank recognised Ghana’s role to combat ML/FT in the Sub -Region and expressed the hope that the final reports for all countries would be made public for others to learn from.

She also urged the Committee to modify the Action Plan to make its implementation easier.

Mr Basharu Farouk, the Head of Nigeria’s delegation at the workshop, and a member of the NRA, commended Ghana for the invitation, saying it would support them gain enough skills and experience to assist the work back home.

He said it was a unique opportunity for Nigeria because they were at the edge of consolidating the country’s NRA report and the participation would enhance the assessment process.

He, therefore, congratulated Ghana for being the first West African country to complete the assessment.


By Ghana Leaks Blog


Walk Your Talk - Former Namibian Prez Tells African Leaders


His Excellency Hifikepunye Pohamba Lucas a former Namibian President has charged African leaders to translate the lofty pronouncement that has been made over the years into practical actions for Africa integration.

He stated that the numerous integrated protocols signed by African states must be brought to light and should not be allowed to gather dust in the offices of bureaucrats noting that it is crucial that African leaders implement solutions that are feasible in solving African problems.

The former president delivering a lecture at the fourth edition of the African Leadership lecture at the University for Development Studies (UDS) asked political leaders to provide the necessary political will and mobilize resources for the implementation of programmes and at the same time crack the proverbial whip so that all those responsible for the implementations of treaties should do what must be done.

“To successfully integrate Africa, each country will need a sound and democratic government in place”, he stated.

Speaking on free trade barriers, the former Namibian President said Africa should not be only the path for exporting of raw materials but also value addition using indigenous knowledge and the productivity of the people.

Africa integration he said should promote inward looking investments and facilitate the acquisition and application of appropriate technologies.

His Excellency Pohamba Lucas called for the need for African made products to be marketed widely in the continent and perfect the available technology and as well as expand the few assembling plants to allow them to produce on mass for the market.


By Ghana Leaks Blog


Daily Post Begs Ex-CRIG Boss


Lawyers of pro-National Democratic Congress (NDC) newspaper, Daily Post, have requested for an out-of-court settlement in relation to a libel suit brought against the newspaper.

The plaintiff, Dr. Franklin Manu Amoah, former Executive Director of the Cocoa Research Institution of Ghana (CRIG), Tafo, had dragged the newspaper to the high court following a series of defamatory publications against him.

According to the plaintiff who was a former advisor to the Cocobod Chief Executive, the said publications carried in the May 15 to June 16, 2014 editions of the paper, were among other things, actuated by malice, intended to disparaged him and to create disaffection for him in the eyes of Ghanaians and the international community.

Reliefs

Citing Giraffe Publications, publishers of Daily Post and Michael Dokosi, its editor, as first and second defendants respectively, Dr. Amoah is demanding general and aggravated damages, including exemplary damages for the offensive publications.

Emmanuel Darkwa, lawyer for Dr. Amoah, also want an order directed at the defendants to retract the entire libelous and defamatory publication as well as a perpetual injunction restraining the defendants from publishing similar words against him.

Humble Pie

However, before the case was moved, the defendants were on their knees pleading for the purported offence to the settle out of court.

Lawyer for the defendants told the court, presided over by Justice Benasko Essah, that the erring defendants had requested for an out-of-court settlement.

The trial judge accordingly allowed the parties to go for settlement and subsequently enter a consent judgment based on the agreements reached by the parties.

The terms of settlement as agreed upon by the parties dated March 13, 2016 stated, “First and second defendants agree not to repeat the words complained of and particularized in the statement of claim regarding the stories.

It said the defendants had also agreed to publish an apology and retract the portion of the stories in disputes in two front page editions of the paper.

Dr. Amoah had also agreed to relinquish and waive all his claims as well as his reliefs against the defendants.

The plaintiff, who holds a Phd degree in plant Physiology, worked at Cocobod for over 30 years until he retired in August last year.

While at CRIG he served in various positions, including head of CRIG substation in Bole, head of Agronomy Division, Deputy Executive Director and Executive Director.

He had once been the President of Ghana Science Association as well as a resource person for some universities and research institutes.


By Ghana Leaks Blog


Mahama Dodges DKM


DESPITE THE HIGH expectations from aggrieved customers of the defunct DKM micro finance and other equally scam companies in the Brong Ahafo Region that President John Mahama will comment on the way forward as to the stages reached so far to reimburse them for their locked up funds, the president on the second day of his three days ‘Accounting To the People Tour’ of the Brong Ahafo Region, have still not said anything about the issue.

On the second day of the tour which took him to Nkoranza where most victims of DKM reside, the president had still not said anything to the surprise of the people.

Rather, the Omanhene of Nkoranza Traditional Area, Okatakyie Agyeman Kudom IV promised the president 95 per cent of the votes of his people come the November General Elections.

In an address to welcome the president to his palace, the Omanhene thanked the president for sending a helicopter to fly him (chief) to hospital to treat him of a sickness; contrary to expectations that he (Omanhene) would raise the issue of his people’s agitation for the refund of their money.

Okatakyie Agyeman Kudom was full of praise for the president for bringing development to Nkoranza saying that since Nkrumah’s regime, no government in the history of this country has brought development projects to Nkoranza as compared with President Mahama.

The Omanhene gave President Mahama a white ram, which he said, signifies victory in the upcoming elections. The chief said those who doubt what President Mahama did for the people of the area should go and check the projects; water, electricity, roads and school buildings.

Replying, the president thanked the Omanhene and his people for the fine reception they gave him and especially for giving him a wife who he is taking fine care of. This drew applause from people at the palace.

The president later cut a tape to commission a two-storey administration block at Nkoranza Technical High School. He, as usual, urged youngsters who have turned 18 years to go and register when the voters register is opened for limited registration.


By Ghana Leaks Blog


Policeman Earning Plaudits After Defying The Rain To Direct Traffic In Madina


A Police officer in Madina in Accra is winning plaudits from Ghanaians online, after he was photographed directing traffic in the driving rain in Accra.

A torrential downpour hit parts of the capital Thursday afternoon, and as usual, it’s difficult to see traffic officers on duty during such a time; but this officer braved the elements to do his job.

A user uploaded the photos online, praising the officer for the sacrifice he was making. Several commenter’s on the post echoed those sentiments, praising the officer and bemoaning the fact that there are few officers willing to do that.

It’s more a reflection of the broken state of things in Ghana than anything else, what with broken down traffic lights and an institutionalised laissez-faire approach towards public sector jobs- but this officer deserves kudos for doing what few are willing to do.


By Ghana Leaks Blog


Friday, April 29, 2016

Nigerian Female Artist To Present Painting To Obama


Ifeoma Mary Ejiogu is a Nigerian artist known for her painting works of world leaders. One of her major works, a group portrait of American presidents from George Washington to Barack Obama, is currently being promoted to the world with the aim of making an official presentation to President Obama at the White House.

The artwork, titled: The Legacy of our Time, is a 88 x 66 inches (colossal size) oil on canvas painting was completed in 2014, by the art historian and mother of five, from Abuja, Nigeria.

She is determined to present the work which she describes as her artistic impression, and passion to highlight the unique political system being practiced in the USA.

In a press release, the artist stated that the showcase of leaders create a placard of exemplary political history for exultation, which is intended to improve the political culture of other nations.

The graduate of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, who is currently in the United States, is making efforts to gain official recognition of her work by the White House, with the aim of securing its protection as well as strategic placement for public views.


By Ghana Leaks Blog


Woman Arraigned Before Court For Pouring Hot Groundnut Soup On Waitress


Kpone District Police Command has arraigned a 33-year-old woman, Madam Charlotte Teye, who horribly poured hot groundnut soup on her waitress at Kpone for court for causing harm.

Madam Teye, a chop bar operator at Kpone in the Greater Accra Region, victimised her waitress, Madam Rita Anim, 21, and her daughter, Lawrencia Kontoh, 2, by pouring hot groundnut soup on them.

Rita Anim, a waitress domiciling in Kpone Industrial Area, popularly known as B5 in Kpone Katamanso district, told Today that for some time now she has not been in fine terms with her madam.

“This morning, April 26, 2016 at about 11: 45 A.M., I saw my madam wearing my slippers and when I asked her politely to give it to me, she asked me to look for hers which I did,” she said.

She later told me, “you wait, you will see!”

According to her, although she did not take her threat seriously, she knew she was up to something.

And true to her madam’s threat, she said, she fetched soup which was on fire and when she was unaware she poured it on her whilst carrying her one year-old girl.

“Look at all my body, my face and the face of this innocent little girl,” she lamented.


By Ghana Leaks Blog


Otumfuo Petitioned Over Underdevelopment


THE DEPLORABLE state of under-development in Asumegya Asantemanso, a community in the Bekwai Municipality of the Ashanti Region, has compelled its opinion leaders to petition the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, to support resolve a protracted chieftaincy issue responsible for the area’s lack of progress.

Members of the agrarian community say socio-cultural systems and infrastructural development will be restored to support improve their living conditions if a substantive paramount chief has been enstooled to rally the people.

Asumegya Asantemanso, a historic traditional area in the Asante culture, has been without a paramount chief, since the death of Nana Oduro Nimapau II, 13 years ago. Kingmakers have failed to replace him.

A petition dated April 25, 2016, signed by Nana Adu Abankro Agyeman, a senior stool elder on behalf of the people of Asumegya and sent to the Asantehene with copies to the Krontihene and Gyaasehene of the traditional area, blamed the situation on the kingmakers’ inability to unite.

Not only has the absence of the paramount chief is said to have denied Asumegya of its representation when Otumfuo Osei Tutu II sits in state but also stalled development and weakened internal security.

Considering the prevailing circumstances, the petition pleaded with the Asantehene to accept a royal from the Aduana clan who the people recently publicly picked to be their new paramount chief to end the years of their leadership crisis.

The people seized Okyere Yaw Ntrama, a mining engineer, carried him shoulder-high through the principal streets of the town and declared him their new chief amidst drumming and dancing during a post-independence anniversary of school children on March 15, 2016.

This was after Okyere Yaw Ntrama had reportedly donated computers and money as his personal contribution towards the educational development of the area at the event.

He is said to be a royal of the Aduana clan of the community and an offspring of the early chiefs and queens of Asumegya state reckoning from the ancestry of the first queen mother, Nana Samanto.


By Ghana Leaks Blog


Nana Addo Consoles Kenpong


New Patriotic Party’s (NPP) presidential candidate, Nana Addo Danquah Akufo-Addo, is the latest statesman to sympathise with Kennedy Agyapong (Kenpong), former Asante Kotoko Board member, after losing his mother.

In his address at his Nima residence when the businessman called on him yesterday, Nana Akufo-Addo promised Kenpong to do all he can to be present at his mother’s funeral. He said, “Sorry, have my sympathy, I will do all I can to be present, if am not able to make it, you will definitely hear from me because you have been a very loyal friend.”

Kenpong therefore thanked Nana Addo for assuring him of his help when it’s time for him to give his mother a befitting burial in May.

Mr. Kennedy Agyapong was led by head of family, Samuel Opoku Gyimah and other family members, who as custom demands, presented a bottle of schnapps and an invitation card to Nana.  Also present at the gathering was John Boadu, NPP acting General Secretary, and Sharatu Baby Atta, Nana’s personal secretary.

The deceased, Janet Yaa Biamah, left behind nine children and a husband, Jacob Agyapong.


By Ghana Leaks Blog


COCOBOD Workers Defend Opuni . . . Debunk Negative Claims By ICU, GAWU


Workers of the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD), have jumped to the defense of their Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Dr. Stephen Kwabena Opuni, following accusations by two labour unions that, they (the workers) are being asked to leave their parent unions and force to join a new one.

They have served notice that, they would not barge on their quest to form a new union for the welfare of their members as plans are far advanced to register the new body, Cocoa Industry Workers Union (CIWU) either by close of day today or early next week.

The two labour unions, General Agricultural Workers Union (GAWU) and the Industrial and Commercial Union (ICU) few days ago, organized a press conference, accusing leaders of the various groups within the cocoa sector on their decision to break away, after various attempts to get them not to break away failed.

Many have said the press conference was to blackmail COCOBOD. The board with its large number of workers paying levies to the GAWU and other workers’ organizations, is a goldmine for many unions. Indeed, many have questioned the benefits for joining such unions whose main priority is only for Public Relations gimmicks.

At a press conference to react to the numerous accusation leveled against leadership of Cocobod workers and Dr. Opuni, chairman of Supreme Council, Alhaji Idris Hassan, said the two unions cannot “force themselves” on them and that their decision cannot be curtailed by anyone.

He said “we have times and seasons and the way I see it, is finito” implying he and his colleagues were not rejoining GAWU and ICU.
Workers from the six groups within the sector, drawn from the regions were present at the press conference to help their leaders, yesterday.

“There have been serious improvements in the welfare of workers of the cocoa industry sector. We the workers are the ones to rise up against Opuni for others to assist us remove him. “Opuni has not done anything to warrant change. The workers are getting their due, government is getting it due and cocoa farmers are getting theirs so why must we rise against him”?

Even before the new union is registered, Alhaji Hassan, said over 3, 000 workers from the various divisions, including the Cocoa Research Institute (CRI) and senior staff members, have already filled the forms to join the union after given out the forms for only eight days.

He said, the new union, unlike GAWU and ICU, would focus primarily on the welfare of members and those workers, who fall under temporal, contract and casual categories, who presently are not allowed to join the two unions are going to be accepted into this new union and they are going to benefit from it.

As for the union, “it is a foregone conclusion” we are going to form it, he assured. He continued “I tell you, COCOBOD workers are satisfied as far as their welfare is concerned; the workers are fully behind us”.

He said, their decision to break away, “has nothing to do with the Chief Executive. Since Opuni came, our salary has been enhanced” Dr. Opuni came in when COCOBOD was going to the dogs, yes quote me. Why, they even have to put embargo on our allowances, promotions, call it what and I tell you there was going to be a strike action at COCOBOD, yes this is what he came to inherit”.

He continued “we did not expect him to be able to go through this process smoothly but he assured as and within three months, he lifted the embargo”.

Around 1985, Alhaji Hassan said, salaries of workers of COCOBOD were slashed by 25 percent “so is that smooth negotiations”, he questioned the two unions.

He said, in the past, salary negotiations last for over three months, but since Dr. Opuni was appointed in 2013, their discussion with him are very smooth and it takes not more than 30 minutes.

He said, the two unions, are against their breakaway, because they are going to lose members and most importantly money. During the ICU and GAWU press conference, the leadership of the two groups warned they would ensure that Dr. Opuni is changed.

Alahji saw this comment as very political, adding that labour unions, do not dabble in politics and rebuked them to desist from it saying, “I hate political prostitutes. It is said that workers should and must help governments that are worker-friendly and must resist governments that are not worker-friendly. And so how can you remove Opuni?”

Salaries, he added, have not only been doubled, but in some cases, tripled and this has helped some workers to purchase or build their own houses.

He outlined three reasons why they have decided to breakaway, as a painful attempt by ICU and GAWU to negotiate downwards their demand to have 30 percent salary increment during former CEO, Tony Fofie’s tenure, decision to negotiate without allowance, and lastly the move to re-organize and privatize Cocoa Marketing Company (CMC) in 2012 “when the sector is still the backbone of the economy”.

He pledged, “We are fully behind Opuni”.

The workers leader, revealed that in the past, government used to interfere in the affairs of the sector, but since Dr. Opuni took over, the practiced has stopped.

He mentioned some initiatives introduced by the current CEO and government such as the free fertilizer distribution, free seedlings, mass cocoa spraying exercise, construction of cocoa roads, and the building of flats for workers at Tema and Takoradi, amongst others.

On salary of Dr. Opuni which Solomon Quartey the ICU boss, had claimed has been increased by the CEO himself, Alhaji Hassan, who was once a vice chairman of the Trades Union Congress (TUC) suggested the information was erroneous as the CEO’s salary, is rather determined by the Finance Ministry, and this is done having in mind the viability of that enterprise.


By Ghana Leaks Blog


Catholic Bishops Disown Bonking Priest


General Secretary of the National Catholic Secretariat, Very Reverend Father Nicholas Afriyie, says it cannot in any way get involved in the case of a Cameroonian Catholic Priest resident in Ghana who is entangled in a paternity case.

According to him, the said Catholic Priest, Rev Father Yves -Lucien Evaga Njana, who has diplomatic immunity, does not work with the Ghana Catholic Bishops Conference.

He admits that the secretariat is fully aware of the case but was quick to add that the case falls completely out the jurisdiction of the Catholic Bishops Conference and therefore, they cannot make any interventions.

Speaking on steps to be taken to strip the accused priest of his immunity, Rev. Father Afriyie said that Ghana Catholic Bishops Conference would only intervene on the orders of a court.

“If the court calls on the conference to intervene, that is when the conference can intervene” he added.

He stated that the issue is a personal one and has nothing to do with the church.

“He is a priest but he has gone against the church and so anything that he does is a personal thing. It is not a public thing that the church should go and say we are defending you. No. He did it on his own personal accord and so, if anything at all, he has to defend himself,” he argued. 

However, Human rights lawyer, Mr Francis Xavier Sosu criticised the Ghana Catholic Bishops Conference for its deafening silence on the issue of the Cameroonian priest and diplomat who is alleged to have fathered a child but is refusing responsibility.

 According to the lawyer, the Catholic Bishops Conference owes it a moral duty to ensure that the priest at the centre of paternity allegations is subjected to the tenets of the law.

He observed that ever since the issue came to light, the once vocal Catholic Bishops Conference, which preaches uprightness in society, has suddenly gone into oblivion. 

This, according to him, smacks of unfairness and hypocrisy, especially when they have been vocal on other issues of national importance. 

 “The Catholic Bishops Conference must bow their heads in shame for not making any direct comment on the issue as at now,” he said.

Lawyer Sosu explained that the National Bishops Conference must be seen to attach the same importance to the protection of the vulnerable people in society as they do to other issues of national importance.

 He noted further that the child at the centre of the controversy has the right to a father and a name, and it behoves the Catholic Bishops Conference to ensure that the immunity of Rev Father Yves -Lucien Evaga Njana is waived, for him to be subjected to a paternity test to ascertain the father of the child.

An Accra Family Court has directed that the action that was brought against the Catholic priest be served on the Foreign Ministry through the Chief Protocol Office for them to apply to the Biblical Centre for Africa and Madagascar (BICAM), the organisation the priest works with, for his immunity to be waived so he can appear before the court.

Lawyer Sosu contends that the ball lies in the court of BICAM to waive the immunity of the priest so he face the law, and this, he posits, can be facilitated by the Catholic Bishops Conference.

 


By Ghana Leaks Blog


Happy Birthday Veep Amissah-Arthur


Happy Birthday to Kwesi Bekoe Amissah-Arthur, Vice President of the Republic of Ghana.

Vice President Kwesi Bekoe Amissah-Arthur, is 65 years today, Friday April 29.

The former governor of the Bank of Ghana was born at Cape Coast, the capital of the Central Region of Ghana.


By Ghana Leaks Blog


Mad Womans Baby Stolen


A newly born baby girl belonging to a mentally-derailed woman in the Sekondi Takoradi Metropolis has been reported stolen.

According to the Department of Social Welfare in the Sekondi Takoradi Metropolitan Area (STMA), all efforts to trace the individual who has taken custody of the baby have proven futile.

Madam Deborah Kwabea, head of the department, who disclosed this to Weekend Finder, said when news of the baby got to the department, she dispatched officers to the premises of Mrs Cudjoe Maternity Home, where the baby was reportedly taken to by some passersby, but, “unfortunately, when our officers went there, they were told the baby has not been brought to the home.”

“This means that something has happened somewhere. Currently, we are looking for people who would volunteer information so that we trace the whereabouts of the baby," she said.  

Paa Kwesi Simpson, a senior staff of Skyy Media Group, who first drew the attention of the department to the story, told Weekend Finder that he has a video recording to support find the people who took the baby.

For the second time in four years, the woman, known to be mentally-derailed, has given birth to a bouncy baby girl in Takoradi.

The woman, believed to be in her early 40s, became the centre of attraction as she was seen openly cuddling the baby and feeding her with dirty water from a nearby gutter.

As the crowd thickened, the woman quickly strapped the baby behind her back and hurried into the bushes nearby.

However, some members of the crowd pursued her, snatched the baby from her and took her to a nearby maternity home for proper care and attention.

The matter did not end there. Thanks to the efforts of one Nhyiraba Paa Kwesi Simpson, a senior staff of Skyy Media Group, the Social Welfare Department has indicated its willingness to take action towards providing adequate care for the baby, but at the time of going to press, it was not clear whether the Social Welfare Department had honoured its word or not.

Even though the baby appears to have been given a ‘home’, many residents around Effiakuma and Tanokrom, two popular suburbs, are still struggling to come to terms with the kind of man that actually impregnated the mentally-derailed woman.

Some residents explained that the woman has been residing around the bushy area off the main Takoradi-Effiakuma road, very close to Takoradi Technical Institute, for over four years now.

According to them, this is second time the same woman has given birth. On the first occasion, some people who are believed to be relatives of the woman came for the baby.

“This is disgusting. Our society is simply rotten,” said an astonished member of the crowd to sum up what could easily pass as the feelings of everybody who had witnessed it all.


By Ghana Leaks Blog


Our School Is Death Trap


Odikro of Miawani, a farming community in Suhum Kraboa District in the Eastern Region, Nana Yaw Darko, has expressed worry over the deplorable state of Miawani Primary School.

According to him, the classroom block of the only primary school at Miawani has become a death trap, which situation puts fear in teachers to accept posting to the school.

Speaking in an interview with Today, Odikro lamented how the only available teacher in the school, Mr. Emmanuel Adakpo, sometimes becomes tired hence report late to school.

“Currently, our school is built of mud; some sections of the building are on the verge of collapsing even though half of it had already collapsed which is very worrying… because it poses a lot of danger to the pupils. Then also there is nothing like text books and other learning materials, making learning very difficult.”

He complained about the lack of Junior High School (JHS) in the area.

He lauded Mr. Emmanuel Adakpo for being the only teacher who has been teaching the pupils in the school.

To this end, Nana Yaw Darko appealed to government to assist them.


By Ghana Leaks Blog


Abokobi DCE Clashes With Police, Queen Mother Over St Johns Squatters


The Queen mother of Asante Agona-Oyoko, Nana Afia Serwa Karikari, of Kumasi in the Ashante Region, is up in arms with the Municipal Chief Executive of the Abokobi Municipal Assembly, Hon John Kwao Sackey, for allegedly playing politics in executing his official duties, especially on matters affecting people living within his jurisdiction.

The queen mother believes because she was not a member of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC), her complaints and misgivings about how a definite lady had put up structures in an area demarcated as road, a result of which was causing damage to her house and that of others at the Saint John (CFC, formerly rocks street, opposite the paramount hotel) had been neglected since the MCE took over.

Nana said although it emerged that one of the Squatters, a definite Margaret Adu-Poku had allegedly forged documents to back ownership of the said land marked as road, reports and all attempts to get the MCE rectify the issue have proved futile.

Scouts from the property Fraud Unit of the Ghana Police Service in Accra (Headquarters), upon several complaints they received from several land owners in the area, invited Margaret Adu-Poku to provide documents covering the land she occupied; in order to ascertain whether they had been forged or otherwise, but she haS been playing hide- and- seek with them (police).

The Director General of Operations, J.A Naami, in a letter confirmed that “Nana Afia Serwa Karikari reported a case of trespass and forgery of other documents against Margaret Adu-Poku in respect of a parcel of land at CFC for in investigation, and during investigation Margaret Adu-Poku was asked to produce document but said had submitted them to the Abokobi Assembly following reports made by Nana Serwa Karikari”.

The police said the letter was “to confirm or otherwise whether Margaret Adu-Poku had given her documents to the Assembly, and also if she had permit to build on the said piece of land”.

But when this reporter contacted the MCE, he said it was not in his mandate to investigate the forged documents, and that it was up to the police to step up their game to execute their part in probing Margaret Adu-Poku.

“I don’t even understand the police, why should you write to us to provide documents when there is an element of forgery in the case, here we don’t even take original copy of documents, and if the woman said she brought us copies of her documents, they can still query her to bring them some as well, is it not up to them to investigate issues involving crime?”, he questioned.

 


By Ghana Leaks Blog


Mining Companies Must Uphold Safety Standards


Mining companies has been asked to make sure their operations conform to globally-accepted environmental safety standards.

They should additionally put premium on social responsibility to remove conflict between them and the people in communities, where they have been doing business.

Mr. Radford Sakyi, an official of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), made the call at a public hearing on the proposed Esaase Gold Project – a mining operation by Keegan Resources Ghana Limited (KRGL).

The forum brought together over 3,000 people from 24 communities in the Amansie West District, including Tetrem, Mpatuam, Aboabo-Tetekaso, Essuowin, Esaase, Akataniase, Bontese, Manso-Nkwanta, Suntreso and Manso-Abore.

It was organized by the EPA and the goal was to discuss ways of making the project a “win-win” for all stakeholders.

Keegan was granted the mining license to extract gold ore in the area in year 2011.

The District Chief Executive (DCE), Mr. Alex Kwame Bonsu, asked the company to give preference to hiring the local people for jobs they qualified to do.   

Mr. Kofi Boateng, Secretary to the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, reminded the company to abide by every agreement it had signed.

He also recommended to it to set up a fund to help the education of children in the mining area.


By Ghana Leaks Blog


Fifty Five (55) Year-Old Woman Delivers Invitro Baby At Lapaz Comm. Hospital


A 55-year-old woman on Tuesday delivered through an invitro fertilization (IVF) at the Lapaz Community Hospital in Accra.

The healthy looking baby boy, who was delivered at 14:15 hours through a caesarean section, weighted 3.0 kilogrammes.

He was born to a married couple who had been trying for years for a child without success.

Dr Robert Aryee, Senior Clinical Embryologist of the hospital, who led the team through the IVF process, said it took the medical team about eight weeks to get the mother of the baby pregnant after which she went through 38 weeks pregnancy before she delivered.

He said: “In this particular case, we had a situation of very low sperm count from the male partner. We had to take the woman’s egg out of her body, fertilise it with the man’s sperm to achieve an embryo, which was put back into the woman to form the pregnancy.”

Dr Aryee, who is also the Head of Invitro Fertilisation Department of the Hospital said the hospital had 60 other women, who were pregnant after going through the IVF, adding that, they include those with twins, triplets and quadruplets.

He said the hospital could also assist HIV positive couples to have babies without the children being infected with the disease.

“My advice to young couples is that once you stay together for six months and there is no pregnancy whiles using no contraceptive, you have to go for a check-up to find out where the problem is, for a solution,” he said.


By Ghana Leaks Blog


Colombia Legalizes Same-Sex Marriage


Colombia's constitutional court has given the go-ahead for gay couples to marry. The decision is a milestone in the traditionally Catholic country.

The court ruled in favor of gay marriage on Thursday in a widely expected decision.

"The judges affirmed by a majority that marriage between people of the same sex does not violate the constitutional order," judge Maria Victoria Calle said.

The ruling gives gay couples for the first time ever the ability to wed the same as heterosexual couples, although they were already allowed to form civil unions.

Earlier this month, the court rejected a justice's opinion that would have denied public notaries the right to recognize same-sex marriages, paving the way for Thursday's ruling.

Other Latin American countries that have legalized gay marriage include Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay.


By Ghana Leaks Blog


Grades Manipulation At UPSA


Grades manipulation scheme at the University of Professional Studies, Accra (UPSA), formerly Institute of Professional Studies (IPS), has been uncovered.

Documents available to Joy News reveal that 22 final year students of the school – who were supposed to graduate, last year – had their grades manipulated.

Ten out of the 22 have already confessed to partaking in the malpractice.

The students reportedly paid various sums of money ranging from GHC1, 500 to GHC4, 000 to have their poor exam grades changed.

Joy News followed the development and reported that the exam fraud was first detected by the Academic Affairs Director of the university.

He became suspicious of the grades of one of the average students in his class when he requested for a transcript.

The Academic Affairs Director reported the development to management and a committee set to investigate the development.

An external auditor was subsequently contracted to investigate the fraud.

The investigations conducted by the AKK Risk Management Consult into the scandal, fingered Deputy Director of the ITSD, Mr. Paul Danquah, in the fraud.

His password was apparently used to manipulate the grades.

Further investigations by the BNI into the scandal point to the involvement of a director of one of the departments, Edwin Ayernor.

A report released after the probe indicated that phone records of Edwin Ayernor showed that his services were solicited for the grade change.

Mr. Ayernor however denies knowledge.

“The BNI took my computer, documents and my phone. They have returned all these items to me so the question is if the BNI found something incriminating me on the phone why will they return it to me,” he said.

Counsel for the university, Fortunate Fio told Kwetey investigations are still ongoing and the culprits will be duly punished.

He said the grades of the 22 students have been reversed.

“I can safely say that our students. They were supposed to have graduated last year and most of them had papers to write so the grade change actually occurred in relation to those papers and we have reversed them.”

Former President of the Student Representative Council, Sam Chris Obodai, wants those complicit dismissed.

He said a reversal of the grades is not enough adding, “we are in a society where people deliberately do wrong things and even the bible says when you commit a sin deliberately, that is when you face the consequences.”


By Ghana Leaks Blog


We Dont Beg Here - Judge Tells Convict


A man believed to be his early 30’s told the Supreme Court that he had come to beg the Court to reduce his sentence.

Richard Nyarko had been sentenced to 35 years over robbery but had his sentence slashed by the Court of Appeal to 25 years.

Not satisfied with the reduction he proceeded to the Supreme Court saying his human rights had been trampled upon hence was seeking its inherent jurisdiction for breach of his rights.

According to the convict, the lower court should have considered the number of years he had spent in lawful custody before convicting him.

The sole Judge Mr Justice Yaw Appau told the ex-convict: “Here we don’t beg.”

Mr Appau after going through the processes filed by convict asked for the person who filed the document for him and the convict said it was his brother.

Judge: You have quoted laws in help of your case; will you be able to argue them out?

Nyarko: No my Lord.

Judge: Do you have a lawyer?

Nyarko:  No my lord.

The sole Judge was of the view that Nyarko should have appealed against his conviction and not to invoke the inherent jurisdiction of the court for breach of human rights.

Mr Samuel Atta Akyea, who was among the lawyers at the Supreme Court acted as a friend of the court and withdrew the processes filed.

 The court therefore struck out the processes as withdrawn adding Mr Atta Akyea should assist the ex-convict to put his house in order.

 Mrs Marina Appiah Opare, Principal State Attorney, represented the state.


By Ghana Leaks Blog


Donald Trump Mocked For Mispronouncing Tanzania


Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump mangled the name of the East African country of Tanzania in his foreign policy speech Wednesday.

The businessman-turned-presumptive presidential nominee pronounced the name Tan-ZAY-nia rather than the correct Tan-zuh-NIA. He also struggled to say "San Bernardino," in reference to the Southern California city where 14 people died in a December attack, fashioning it San Bern-OR-dino.

Trump spoke at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, D.C., in an address billed as major display of his foreign policy views following his sweep of five states' primary elections Tuesday night. He brought up Tanzania when talking about the 1998 terrorist bombing of the U.S. embassy, which killed more than 200 people.

Yet the bungled names prompted jokes all over Twitter. Even White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest couldn't resist mocking Trump in his daily press conference.

"Apparently the phonetics aren't included on the TelePrompter," Earnest quipped to laughter.


By Ghana Leaks Blog


Dont Kill Lydia Koala Supervisor Told Robbers


It has emerged that Gilbert Osabutey aka Obolo, a shop supervisor at the Koala Shopping Centre in Accra, allegedly warned the two persons who trailed and robbed Lydia Horsu, the marketing staff of the company, not to kill her.

According to the investigator, Detective Chief Inspector Edward Adjei Odame, the accused, who relayed information to the two suspected robbers – Stanley Obaliko aka Mohammed Sulemana and Oko Quarcoe – on phone, specifically warned them against any bloodshed.

He said on January 9 at about 6am, Obolo came to work to await the arrival of Lydia who was to collect invoices (not money).

In the view of the case investigator, Lydia changed her mind not to pick any money from the shop but rather the invoices.

D/Ch/Insp. Odame noted that immediately Lydia left the shop, Obolo described the victim to his men, culminating in the attack.

The senior police officer, who was the fourth prosecution witness in the hearing of the case, stated that during his arrest, Michael Edoe Ahiataku, another accomplice, said it was Obolo who hatched the concept of robbing Koala.

Led in evidence by Chief Superintendent Duuti Tuaruka, D/Ch/Insp. Odame told the court presided over by Aboagye Tandoh, that during his arrest, Sulemana mentioned Edoe as the one who contracted them to rob the victim.

He said the accused person, upon their respective arrests, mentioned each other as their accomplices.

One Frederick Sedro Kwame aka Fred, a private security guard, is also in the dock with the four others over charges of conspiracy to rob and robbery.

Sitting continues on May 3.

Sulemana and Okoe are also standing trial for intentionally and unlawfully causing grievous harm to Lydia.

The five men reportedly trailed and robbed Lydia at about 8am on January 9, this year of her Nokia phone worth GH¢800, a black ladies’ bag valued at GH¢200, a Koala ID card, invoices and GH¢100.

Sulemana is facing an additional charge of possessing one automatic MAB foreign pistol No. PA151674189, six 9mm ammunition and five empty cartridges.

Sulemana and Okoe are also standing trial for intentionally and unlawfully causing grievous harm to Lydia.


By Ghana Leaks Blog


New York First Lady Receives Ghanaian Students


Wife of New York Mayor, Chirlane McGray has commended efforts by governments in developing nations to improve the lives of young people and position them ahead of imment challenges posed by the new world order.

First Lady McGray made the commendation when she granted audience to a visiting Ghanaian student delegation at Gracie Mansion, the official residence of the Mayor of New York.

The delegation were in the United States to participate in this year's Model United Nations Conference organised by Global Classrooms and the United Nations.

Ghana's participation in the annual event was under the auspices of the Life Link Friendship Schools Ghana, the US Embassy in Accra and the Ministry of Foregn Affairs.

Forty Seven (47) delegates, drawn from twelve (12) Junior High Schools in the country participated in the GCIMUN. The delegates were drawn from: SOS HGS, Queensland International, St. Peters Mission, Sap’s School, Al Rayan International, Cradle of Grace, Rosharon Montessori, Tema Parents International, North Ridge Lyceum, St. John Bosco, Aves Academy and Happy Kids School.

They joined about 1,500 other delegates from all over the world.

This year’s conference simulated the committees of the United Nations, discussing pertinent issues affecting the globe. Militarization of Space, Fight against Malnutrition, Rights of Indigenous People and Combating Child Labour amongst others were some of the issues discussed. Resolutions were passed accordingly to provide solutions to these problems.

Mrs McCray said as future leaders, everything must be done to prepare them for what she described as "daunting task ahead".

" And this is why I find your visit as well as your quest to seek more knowledge worthy", she told the delegation.

The delegation also paid courtesy call on Ghana's Permanent Representative to the the UN, Mrs Martha Pobee.

In an interview, Emmanuella Mensah, a participating delegate from Cradle of Grace School said“ meeting with other delegates from around the world has been exciting and educative, and interacting with diplomats and high profiled personalities, was a great inspiration”.

The delegation led by Mr. Ernest Gyimah –Danquah, Director of Life Link Friendship Schools, commented on the growing opportunities for young people to learn and expand their knowledge in international relations and encouraged parents to register their wards in such educative programs.

Model United Nations (MUN) is a simulation of the United Nations Organisation. Students gather in committees such as the General Assembly, Economic and Social Council, etc, to represent a particular member nation of the UN, and work towards finding diplomatic solutions to important issues that the world faces today.

Every year, Life Link Friendship Schools, organizes series of Model UN programs for Junior High School, High School and Tertiary to train future diplomats, teaching them about global issues, negotiation skills, leadership and crisis resolution.


By Ghana Leaks Blog


B/A 'ATTP' Tour...Abeaseman Gets New SHS, Community Now On Grid


For the first time in Ghana’s political history, Abeaseman, a deprived farming community in the Pru district of the Brong Ahafo region can now boast of two massive development projects. The town has been connected to the national grid and now has access to a new Community Day Senior High School.

The projects were jointly commissioned by President John Mahama on Wednesday as part of his ‘Accounting to the People Tour’ of the region.

The school which has a capacity to enroll 1,500 students will immediately absorb over four hundred students in the community. In a brief address, President John Mahama reiterated his resolve to expand infrastructure at the basic and secondary level to create opportunities for the youth to pursue quality education. He said the over 123 Community Day Senior High Schools currently under construction will create space for about 184,500 students over the next few decades.

I have been asked by many people why we have built such huge edifices to house secondary schools… From Independence to date, we have 567 government assisted secondary schools. There are over 200 privately run, currently, we are building 123 of the E-Blocks. That should give you the scope of the size of the intervention into secondary education. This probably will go on record as the single largest expansion of access to secondary education in the history of Ghana” President Mahama said.

 He added, “We have built them of such a size with an eye into the future. …After Independence, our total population was just a little over six million. After 59 years, we are about 26 million people. This means an additional 20million and so if we are building schools today, we should remember that by the year 2050, Ghana’s population is almost going to be 35 to 37 million and so we must build the schools with an eye to the future”.  

President Mahama tasked various district Assemblies where similar schools are being built to liaise with the Ghana Education Service, School Management Committees and Chiefs to provide additional facilities on the compound to enhance learning.

He announced the allocation of one bus to facilitate the movement of students and teachers. The President who ends his tour of the Brong Ahasfo region on Thursday also spoke about road projects underway to enhance the transportation of goods and services in the area.

The Abeasemanhene, Obrempong Pru Takyi II commended the President for honouring his promise to the people. He took a swipe at those who criticize chiefs endorsing the President saying the best way to show gratitude to a trustworthy leader is to give him what he described as ‘Thank You Vote”.

Obrempong Pru Takyi II who showered praises on the President later conferred the title ‘Oseadeayor’ John Dramani Mahama in recognition of his hard work.  The Chief appealed to the President to re-instate Dr Kwabena Donkor as Power Minister and also appealed for the provision of potable water for the community.

The Asbeaseman Community Day SHS is equipped with 24 classrooms, four science laboratories, two ICT libraries, eight offices for Heads of Departments, one huge main library and 16 places of convenience for both students and teachers.

President John Mahama will on Thursday inaugurate the Remodeled HCIM Block at the Sunyani Polytechnic. He will also make whistle stops and interact with Market Women and Drivers at Sunyani and Berekum markets and later inspect construction of Kyeremaasu - Gambia No. 2 Road. He is also expected to pay a courtesy call on the Nkoranzahene and later in the day inspect the ongoing Kyeremaasu-Gambia No.2 road project.

Present at the event were the Minister for Communications, Dr Omane Boamah, Minister for Education, Professor Jane Naana Opoku Agyemang and the NDC General Secretary, Johnson Asiedu Nketiah.


By Ghana Leaks Blog


Ghana Can No Longer Tolerate Open Defecation Barton-Odro


First Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Hon. Ebo Barton-Odro says Ghana can no longer tolerate open defecation under any excuse.

According to him, the country cannot win the fight against infectious diseases if it does not step up the pace to address problems associated with safe drinking water, sanitation, and basic health care.

He said Ghana has for the past years taken issues of sanitation and hygiene for granted, they have probably “done more to increase human life span than any kind of drug or surgery”.

“No innovation in the past 200 years has done more to save lives and improves health than the sanitation revolution triggered by the invention of the toilet. But it did not go far enough. It only reached one-third of the world and we cannot reduce poverty without solving water and sanitation problems. When Peru had a cholera outbreak in 1991, losses from tourism and agriculture revenue were three times greater than the total amount of money spent on sanitation in the previous decade. Without health, life is not life; it is only a state of languor and suffering,” he noted.

Hon. Barton-Odro made this observation at the ongoing two-day capacity building workshop organised by the Parliamentary Press Corps on the menace of open defecation. It is taking place at Cape Coast in the Central Region.

The event is under the theme “Open defecation – A menace in Ghana”. It is being sponsored by UNICEF.

Ghana placed second in the 2015 Cholera ranking in West Africa with 28,944 cases and 247 deaths.

The statistics, according to the First Deputy Speaker who is also the MP for Cape Coast North is worrying, stressing that it was about time to accelerate efforts at tackling the menace.

“When one hears the unwillingness to stop open defecation, it is worrying. This disposal of fecal matter through inappropriate ways leads to incidents of sanitation-related risks, including cholera, dysentery, which have socio-economic consequences on households, making them fall prey to cholera and other diseases.

“If countries such as Mali and Burkina Faso could surpass Ghana in terms of sanitation ranking, then Ghana needs to step up efforts to keep the country clean,” he added.

Chief of WASH, David Duncan says with the slow pace at which the country is addressing its sanitation challenges, it will take Ghana 500 years to be declared open defecation free nations.

Central Regional Minister, Kweku Ricket-Hagan says there is the need to quicken efforts at addressing sanitation challenges, stressing that it is a collective responsibility for all Ghanaians to ensure an open defecation free society.

The workshop brought together several groups and individuals for a collective debate around the issue of sanitation which is expected to bring in the necessary momentum to address the challenge of open defecation.


By Ghana Leaks Blog


Pageviews

Follow by Email

Translate

Blog Archive

 

Copyright © 2011 to Ghana Leaks Blog! Exclusive News From The Motherland. All rights resevered. GhanaLeaksBlog.com

Back To Top