Sunday, January 31, 2016

Former General Secretary of the Convention People’s Party (CPP), Ivor Kobina Greenstreet, pulled a major surprise over the weekend when he beat three others, including favourite Samia Yaaba Nkrumah, to become the party’s flagbearer for the 2016 general election.

He has been elevated from the General Secretary position to presidential candidate. With his election, he will have to contend with the New Patriotic Party’s (NPP’s) Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and the incumbent National Democratic Congress’ (NDC’s) John Mahama in the November elections.

Ivor polled an overwhelming 1,288 votes, representing 64.7 percent of the 2,006 total votes cast, while Samia had 579, representing 29 percent, followed by new face Joseph Agyapong and Bright Akwetey, who together polled less than 10% with 83 and 42 votes respectively at a congress held at the Trade Fair Site, La in Accra.

Samia has since been crying foul, claiming Greenstreet bribed his way through to be elected to the position by doling out cash ranging between GH¢200 and GH¢500.

United Front
Moments after being declared winner, Mr Greenstreet, a lawyer by profession, indicated his preparedness to work with his three other contenders to ensure a united front, going into the 2016 general election.

“We will emerge united. There are going to be no divisions and I will do everything in my power… Samia Nkrumah is my sister, Bright is my brother, Joe Agyapong is also my brother; we will work together and you will hear from us in our discussions with our colleagues about our theme for our campaign because in CPP we work as a team,” were his exact words.

He continued, “I am merely a flagbearer and when you hold a flag, you are holding it for a group of people, which is the party. I will honour my commitment to work with them for the best movement of the party CPP.”

He appealed to his colleagues, “Let us all come together; let us all take away our ego and our pride because we are here to serve not ourselves but Ghanaians.”

Going forward, he said, the CPP would serve as a vehicle for frustrated Ghanaians who are tired of the “bogus and empty promises” of the Mahama-led National Democratic Congress administration.

Vote Buying

Despite earlier caution by the party’s National Chairman, Professor Edmund Delle, against unfounded allegations and character assassination by the aspirants, Samia Yaaba Nkrumah, immediate past Chairperson of the CPP and daughter of Ghana’s first president, told journalists that Mr Ivor Greenstreet engaged in vote buying.

“I’m obviously not happy with the results, but I accept them. The fact of the matter is that every delegate was paid GH¢200 and GH¢500 actually, amongst many other things. So, it was down to money and of course, we cannot be happy about that,” she alleged.

CPP leading member Professor Agyemang Badu Akosa also believes delegates voted for money. Prof Akosa, who tipped Samia to win with more than 80 percent of votes, expressed his disappointment with the delegates after the results were declared.
He said it was sad that delegates decided to sell their votes.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

The Convention People’s Party (CPP) goes to polls today to elect a flagbearer to lead the Nkrumahist party to the 2016 general election scheduled for November 7.

The National Delegates’ Congress, which is scheduled to take place at the Trade Fair Site in La, Accra, would see 2,600 delegates from all 275 constituencies across the country in attendance.

Four persons are gunning for the topmost position, including immediate past party Chairperson Samia Yaaba Nkrumah and former General Secretary Ivor Kobina Greenstreet.

Others are Lawyer Bright Akwetey and new entrant Joseph Agyapong, a businessman.

But the contest is seen as a straight fight between Samia and Ivor Greenstreet, even though the two others are equally confident of pulling surprises.

Even though a live television debate organised for the four to sell their messages to the delegates did not end up with a clear winner, it proved to be an interesting event since it offered them an opportunity to market themselves.

Samia, who is basking in her father’s glory, said when given the opportunity to lead the country, she would finish Dr Kwame Nkrumah’s (her late father’s) unaccomplished seven-year development plan for Ghana and adapt it to the current situation.

She however suffers the disadvantage of being considered a not-too-successful chairperson when she presided over the party. Samia is also seen as a divisive leader and has been accused of pushing Dr Nduom out of the party.

Mr Greenstreet is positioning himself as a unifier, asking delegates to vote for him because he would galvanise and energise all the talents in the party with greater charisma. He prides himself with the assertion of some delegates that he has a “clean heart and loyal to the rank and file; he also has very deep knowledge of issues of governance, economy and the welfarist philosophy of the CPP.”
Mr Akwetey, an ardent Nkrumahist who is aspiring to lead the CPP as a presidential candidate for the third time, says “watching the CPP, once the touchstone of political power in Ghana and institutional machinery that laid the foundation for the prosecution of the progressive agenda of our nation, sink to such depths of virtual dormancy has provoked me to liberate the priceless heritage.”  He pledged to fight corruption in the country with an iron fist.

On his part, new face Joseph Agyapong said the country needs to build systems, including a national database, for the sustainable development of the country. His campaign of injecting resources into the party, coupled with the display of cars and logistics, is indeed boosting his chances.

Delegates say they would support whoever is given the mandate to lead the party after the presidential primaries.


Whoever wins today’s contest would be burdened with the task of forming a formidable CPP to match the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the National Democratic Congress (NDC) in the 2016 elections.

Police Readiness
More than 500 police personnel have been dispatched by the Accra Regional Police Command to provide security at the CPP congress.

The personnel, according to Commissioner of Police (COP) Dr George Akuffu Dampare, Regional Police Commander, would make sure that the election is held smoothly without any disturbances whatsoever.

By Nii Ogbamey Tetteh & Linda Tenyah-Ayettey

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Price of sachet water is expected to go up from GH20p to GH30p starting from February 1.

Consumers would pay GH¢5 per bag of sachet drinking water, which was currently being sold on the market at GH¢3.

According to the National Association of Sachet and Packaged Water Producers (NASPWP), the increment was as a result of the outrageous tariff increases by the Public Utilities and Regulatory Commission (PURC) in December last year.

The PURC in December last year increased electricity and water tariffs by 59.2% and 67.2% respectively, while a 27 percent tax was slapped on petroleum products by government.

Magnus Nunoo, President of NASPWP, speaking to journalists in Accra yesterday, said the current cost of production for sachet water had been increased by 195 percent from GH¢3.8 to GH¢11.21 per cubic meter while bottled water had also been increased by 400 percent from GH¢10.07 to GH¢50.76.

Commercial rates moved from GH¢3.8 to GH¢ 8.36, representing 120 percent. Industrial rate increased from GH¢3.8 to GH¢10.07, representing 165 percent.

He called on PURC to come out with reduced and fair charges for all commercial and industrial users – be it sachet water, bottled water, soft drink producers.

“The tariffs our members received when their December bills came this month are remarkably different from the 67 percent that the whole world was made to believe. The progressive rate system must be made to work in order to determine final bills that companies have to pay rather than the seeming subsidy offered to some industries,” Mr Nunoo said.

He added that the new prices were arrived at based on the assumption that the PURC would heed their call to adjust water rates to a standard commercial rate of GH¢10.7 in order to avoid another price change.

Encourage Alcohol Production

Mr Nunoo disclosed that recent hike in water tariff would lead to an increase in alcohol consumption.

He noted that while NASPWP was being charged GH¢51 for the production of bottled water, alcoholic beverage producers were being charged GH¢10, indicating that the profitability of the players were at variance.

“If one takes a bottle of beer of say one litre and a bottle of water for two products, and the two different companies have Ghana Water Company as supplier of waster for the two products, why should the PURC allow Ghana Water Company to charge the company that produces water 5 times as much as the alcohol producing company? In terms of pricing and profitability of the two products, the price of water comes no where near that of beer or any of the hard liquors which is over 95 percent water,” Mr Nunoo noted.

He stated that “if the PURC is showing such bias, what moral lessons are we teaching our youth?”
The CPP presidential aspirants in a debate at TV Africa
Presidential aspirants of the Convention Peoples Party (CPP) have condemned the Mahama-led government for engaging the International Monetary Fund (IMF) with the aim of trying to revive the ailing economy.

The three-year IMF bail-out is expected to come with stringent conditions such as job cuts in the public service in order to reduce the wage bill as well as a cap on the amount of loans Ghana can contract with the public debt now hovering around GH¢65billion (almost 60 per cent of GDP ratio).

Speaking at the maiden edition of the debate organized for presidential aspirants of the CPP at the TV Africa studios in Accra on Tuesday, Samia Nkrumah, one of four  of the presidential aspirants stated that by accepting the conditions imposed by the IMF, it was clear that the current government did not believe in the dignity of Ghanaians.

Samia Nkrumah is in the race with Ivor Greenstreet, former General Secretary of the CPP; Bright Akwetey and Joseph Agyapong. One of them would be given the mandate to lead the party in the 2016 elections at the CPP presidential primaries on Saturday.

“It is very clear to all of us that the conditions imposed by the IMF are simply not working. The system has failed completely and it is very obvious that if you had a government that believed in the dignity of the people, there is no way you are going to accept these conditions,” Samia said.

She said government should be able to stand up to the stringent conditions attached to the lMF bail-out just like the CPP did in the 60’s.

“I want to see the day when we are confident enough to be able to say no or to say enough is enough when certain proposals are brought to us. Give the CPP a second chance to run this country and you will see the difference. We are able to say no, not because we are stubborn or rigid but because we have our own economic plan that can cater for the needs of the people of Ghana. What we need is our economic independence. Fellow Ghanaians, this is what we have to do and this is what we have to do soon and with a sense of urgency before things get very difficult,” she added.

Ivor Greenstreet disclosed that due to the mismanagement of the economy and resources, government had no choice than to go to the IMF “cup in hand as beggar to go and borrow to try and take us out of a situation that we ourselves have caused.”

Joe Agyapong wondered why the current government kept running back to the IMF and agreeing on conditions that were clearly not helping our economy.

“We have come to know that taking money from the IMF is not helping this nation; it is rather destroying this nation by the day.  A lot of people are unemployed because of this IMF conditions. We cannot keep doing this everyday,” Mr Agyapong noted.

However, Bright Akwetey called for the criminalization of galamsey and the creation of state-owned industries to help drive away the IMF.

“We need to stop exporting our raw materials like gold and our oil and add more value to it before we export. If we want to wean Ghana off the IMF prescription, we need to take control of our economy and be self-reliant. We need to control employment to generate taxes. If we do not localize control over our resources, we will live to regret it,” Mr Akwetey said.

Fight Against Corruption

Mr Akwetey, who is aspiring for the third time (after 2008 and 2012) to lead the CPP as presidential candidate, said if CPP was given the nod, he would fight corruption with an iron fist with the help of the anti-corruption institutions in the country.

“I would also fight corruption with an iron fist. In fighting corruption, I would go back to the anti-corruption institutions. The previously called Serious Fraud Office, now EOCO has been emasculated by not being provided enough facilities, opportunities and the funding to carry out their work,” he said.

He argued that the creation of the Ghana Youth Employment and Entrepreneurial Development Agency (GYEEDA) and Savannah Accelerated Development Authority (SADA) among others were palliatives which do not solve the alarming unemployment rate.

The event, which was moderated by Prof. Kwame Kakari, brought together a host of CPP faithful to support the aspirants.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Contrary to the approved 59.2 percent increase in electricity tariff by the Public Utilities and Regulatory Commission (PURC), consumers have been slapped with a 75 percent increase.

This is due to a directive by the PURC to Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) to charge additional costs.

A group calling itself Pre-paid Demonstrators has threatened to hit the streets if the ECG does not resolve the technical challenges that have resulted in the undue charges.

In December 2015, PURC announced increases in utility tariffs, with 59.2 percent increase for electricity and 67.2 percent for water. But since then, some consumers have complained that their electricity credits run out rashly.

The group, in a statement sighted by Nii Ogbamey Tetteh, blamed the situation on “unpardonable and unrealistic” technical challenges.

“Consumers with the pre-paid meters are currently experiencing difficult times with many being cheated as we may put it. The situation has been blamed on technical challenges which for us is unpardonable and unrealistic because we strongly believe that while authorities announce increment in utility, it should take steps to enhance the delivery and quality of services rendered to Ghanaians,” the statement signed by Kwabena Berima, Public Relations Officer (PRO) for the group said.

Pre-paid Demonstrators called on ECG to withhold the increment of electricity tariff until the technical challenge was rectified.

“We also wish to call for the refund of monies consumers may have lost in view of the so-called technical challenge. We will soon hit the streets to protest against this burden on us. Any well-meaning Ghanaian affected by this should support this laudable initiative to demand accountability, equity and quality of services from our providers.”

Exorbitant charges

Consumers are paying extra 5 percent for a streetlight levy and another 5 percent increase for the national electrification charge. Furthermore, consumers pay a regular monthly service fee ranging from GH¢6.33 to about GH¢60 depending on the quantum of consumption and user classification.
This simply means if for instance a consumer buys GH¢20 worth of power, which initially could last averagely for about two weeks for a regular household, it may now take less than a week.

Meanwhile, John Jinapor, Deputy Minister of Power, has admitted that some deductions were wrong and that the ECG would rectify the problem.

“The system was configured to rise from the 1st of every month but they informed me that the tariff adjustment took effect on the 15th so it calibrated as if it was charging customers on the 1st. I have asked them to work on their systems and to rectify that so that we do not have a repeat of that problem,” he said.

From the information ECG gave to me, they have a prepayment meter customer base of 531,014. Out of that, they have credited back to about 333,902 so they are in the process of rectifying that, the deputy minister added.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Dr. Mohammed Amin Adam
Dr. Mohammed Amin Adam, Executive Director of African Center for Energy Policy (ACEP), says with the implementation of the deregulated policy, the fortnight adjustment of prices of petroleum products is no longer necessary.

Speaking to Nii Ogbamey Tetteh in an interview, the ACEP boss stated that with abolition of the fortnight fuel price adjustment, the decline or rise in crude oil prices would reflect immediately on the domestic market.

“This is why ACEP called for daily adjustment of prices because if we have deregulation, why do you have the fortnight window? It is no longer necessary. If international prices of fuel products fall today, we must see it reflecting in the domestic prices of petrol and diesel and not to wait until two weeks, otherwise consumers will not benefit from the decline in international prices,” Dr. Adam said.

He added that Ghanaians should have seen a reduction in domestic prices of petroleum products with the recent drop of crude oil prices on the international market.

“But because of government’s reliance of the fortnight fuel price adjustment, if there would be any reduction at all, it would take two weeks to reflect at the pumps.”

The price of crude oil on the international market as at yesterday was $27 per barrel, but consumers in Ghana are paying more at the pumps due to the heavily imposed taxes and levies by government.

“You should know that the prices of petroleum in Ghana are adjusted fortnightly. So if you have a reduction in fuel prices today or even in the petroleum product price today international petroleum product prices today, you will not see a reduction in domestic price until the window for price adjustment is triggered and new prices are expected to be brought out by the BDCs and OMCs,” he noted.

He stated that the recent increases in petroleum prices domestically were due to the imposition of taxes and levies.

“Indeed, at the time the increases were announced, crude oil prices, as well as international price of petroleum products were declining. So we should have seen a decline in domestic prices of petroleum products.”

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Leslie Dwight Mensah, an economist at the Institute of Fiscal Service (IFS), says government should reduce the prices of petroleum products if the current decline in the price of crude oil on the international market persists for a week or two.

The price of crude oil on the international market dropped to $25 per barrel yesterday but consumers in Ghana are paying more at the pumps.

According to him, the last time domestic prices of petroleum products were increased, crude oil was below $30 a barrel on the international market.

“If this situation persists for another week or two, then it is probable we would see a reduction at the pumps on the Ghanaian market.

The last time the domestic prices were set, crude oil was below $30 so once the price has fallen below $30, since that time, then the decline between the period of the last increase and now should reflect very soon in the decline in domestic pump prices,” Mr Mensah told Nii Ogbamey Tetteh in an interview.

He said the introduction of the energy sector levy, among others in recent times, had caused a drastic increase in the prices of petroleum products instead of consumers witnessing a fall in pump prices.

“That levy substituted the reduction that we would have seen at the pumps. So whereas there is a decline in the world market price and we should be witnessing a fall in pump prices, we have seen an increase which is rather unfair to the consumer,” he added.

He continued: “The upward adjustment in petrol prices came about because of the energy sector levy, and we have not seen the benefit of the decline of crude in the world market because Ghanaian consumers were due some reduction but then the government came in with the tax or a levy.

“The decrease that we, consumers, should have been granted has been captured by the government through that energy sector levy and their justification is that they have debts to pay in the energy sector. My view is that that is unfair to the Ghanaian consumer,” he said.

He said that with the Western sanctions on Iran lifted allowing Tehran to resume oil exports, the price of crude oil on the international market would reduce further.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Richard Odame
Private Universities Students’ Association of Ghana (PUSAG) has decried President Mahama’s directive to the Ministry of Health to consider graduate nurses from public institutions before their counterparts from the private institutions.

According to the leadership of PUSAG, government’s decision to employ graduate nurses only from the public institution would not help address the unemployment situation in the country.

Richard Odame, National President of PUSAG, in a statement, called on President Mahama to grant graduate nurses from both public and private institutions equal opportunities to be absorbed into the system.

“The advent and existence of private institutions in the country have contributed meaningfully to improving the literacy rate while breeding captains of both the private and public sectors of the country. It has also reduced the burden on government’s low infrastructure resources to provide quality education for the numerous students who complete senior high schools yearly with good grades. At this point, quality will be paramount in decision-making and would fuel decisions of who to admit into job schemes,” Mr Odame said.

President Mahama, speaking on how government would address joblessness during the recent press briefing, stated emphatically that the situation was as a result of the Ministry considering graduate nurses from private institutions first and relegating the interest of their counterparts from the public institutions to the background.

““We want to respectfully bring to the attention of the President and the government the need to reconsider the intention of his statement,” Mr Odame said.

He disclosed that almost all the private universities and institutions operate under public institution through affiliations.

“Why then should the case be that student nurses and the entire general graduates from public institutions be given priority over their contemporary counterparts in private institutions. This clearly means that students from private institutions are also products of the public institutions so by default equal opportunities should be granted,” he noted.
Nana Yaw Osei-Darkwa
Nana Yaw Osei-Darkwa, founding president of Youth Icons Ghana and a non-violence activist, says the ongoing debate over the two Guantanamo Bay detainees who are being held in Ghana should be limited strictly to security and not religion.

According to him, the religious twist to the debate by various stakeholders and political commentators is a threat to the peace and stability of the country.

The John Mahama-led administration recently brokered a deal with the Obama administration to house two ex-detainees from the dreaded Guantanamo Bay military facility for a period of two years.

Three major Christian groups — the Ghana Catholic Bishops’ Conference (GCGC), the Christian Council of Ghana (CCG) and the Ghana Pentecostal and Charismatic Council (GPCC)—and other civil society groups have called on government to return the ex-convicts to where they came from.

Mr Osei-Darkwa stated that government needed to appreciate the various concerns raised by Ghanaians about the two suspected Al-Qaeda detainees who were being held in the country.

He said it was legitimate for citizens to express fear over the two detainees due to the terrorism link.

No Religious Comments
Mr Osei-Darkwa mentioned that religious leaders should stay away from making further public comments on the debate and resort to closed-door consultations so that their comments wouldn’t be twisted or misconstrued to heighten tension between religious groups.

“Why should we try to set ourselves against each other because we accepted two strangers into our fold? Government commentators must appreciate the apprehension of Ghanaians and find very creative ways of helping to address the legitimate fears of the people of Ghana because the word terrorism anywhere in the world sparks fear. Happenings in Nigeria, France, Kenya, USA, among several other nations of the world in 2015 with regard to terrorists’ attacks serve as a legitimate basis for the fear of the citizens,” he said.

He charged all political leaders and their communicators to exercise the highest sense of responsibility in their pronouncements because the country is too tensed for reckless and irresponsible comments.

“I am very worried about the way things are going regarding the introduction of a dangerous twist of religion to the debate. I am particularly worried because the discussions as far as I am concerned must be restricted purely within the remit of security and nothing else,” Mr Osei-Darkwa noted.

Nana Osei-Darkwa disclosed that Ghana is a beautiful country where people of different faiths, tribes, traditions and cultures have co-existed for decades to the admiration of the world.

“We must not let the debate over two Guantanamo detainees lead to the dangerous abyss of setting one religion against the other. Do you know that in other jurisdictions a Christian can not enter the mosque let alone visit the National Chief Imam? I am a staunch and avowed Christian but have on countless occasions had one-on-one discussions with the National Chief Imam who is a great man with a warm heart of compassion who accepts all,” he noted.

He continued: “The shape of the world today does not permit us the luxury of soft-mindedness. A nation or civilisation that continues to produce soft-minded men and women purchases its own spiritual death on an instalment plan.”

He also advised the media to be very circumspect in their reportage on the issue.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

(from right) Dr. Dey presenting the items to a representative of the New life orphanage
Dr Dzifa Dey, a Physician Specialist & Rheumatologist and Lecturer at the School of Medicine and Dentistry, University of Ghana Medical School, says five out of every Ghanaian get diagnosed with Autoimmune Disease (AD)  on weekly basis.

According to her, the condition which makes the immune system to attack other internal organs until they are totally destroyed has become a worldwide concern.

Speaking to Nii Ogbamey Tetteh at a New Year party organised by ‘The Rheumatology Initiative’ (TRI Ghana) to celebrate with people living with ADs and   the children of New Life Orphanage in Accra, Dr Dey, who is also the Director of TRI Ghana, said the term ‘Autoimmune Disease’ (AD) refers to a varied group of illnesses that involve the immune system attacking specific organs in the body.

“Research shows that autoimmune diseases are on the increase worldwide. Almost every week, we have about five people with lupus –another form of AD- on admission in Ghana. It is becoming more common and we are yet to find out whether it has to do with the environment or we are diagnosing it more because we are more aware of it. You can never be sure until a lot of studies or research have gone into it,” Dr Dey stated.

She added that there are a group of conditions that are referred to as autoimmune condition but in all of the ADs, the underlying problem is that the body’s immune system becomes misdirected and attacks the very organs it is designed to protect.

Dr Dey also noted that autoimmune diseases are not curable but can be managed with medication and proper lifestyle.

“You need constant monitoring and constant treatment to make sure that all your organs are not affected. But once it affects your brain and kidney, it becomes difficult to manage. You will need very strong drugs that we call neurosuppressants to try and suppress the immune system. But the condition can be life-threatening if you leave it untreated,” she warned.

Some of the patients living with the disease told the paper that though they could not go about their usual day-to-day activities like they used to, proper medication and counselling from TRI Ghana had helped them to live an almost normal life.

The Rheumatology Initiative   (TRI Ghana) is a non-profit organisation dedicated to providing education, advocacy and research into autoimmune rheumatic conditions in Ghana and Africa.

“Our basic aim is to try and reassure patients, educate them enough about this condition so that they can be accepting of the treatment and management, and encourage them to live healthy lifestyles,” she said.

Dr Dey, on behalf of TRI Ghana, also donated bags of rice, stationery and toiletries worth thousands of Ghana Cedis to New Life Orphanage.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Haris Broumidis
Haris Broumidis, Chief Executive of Vodafone Ghana, has predicted a growth in revenue driven by money transfer and payments using a handset and Machine-2-Machine (M2M) services to take the telecommunication industry to the next level across the country this year.

According to Mr Broumidis, 2016 would open doors and avenues for further consolidation of the gains made in the telecommunications industry.

“At Vodafone, we would continue to focus on new ways of providing unmatched customer experience. We see Vodafone Cash and M2M as two platforms that will become game-changers for us,” the Vodafone Ghana boss said.

He added that the telecommunications industry was expected to see heightened competition this year, following the deployment of LTE and the constant striving for high revenue yields and subscriber increases by telecom companies.

“These notwithstanding, prevalent issues such as regulatory interventions, the tax regime, aggressive competition and a tough economic environment still remain. Mobile money and M2M are, however, set to be the two key elements that will dictate the pace in the industry this year. Vodafone Ghana recently launched “Vodafone Cash”, its version of the famous M-Pesa platform that has transformed the economies of East Africa. The product is expected to bridge the huge gap between the banked and unbanked across the country,” Mr Broumidis said.

In a related development, Vodafone is of the view that across the rest of the world, the concept of unified communications will take center stage this year.

According to a statement published in its 2015/2016 Annual report, consumer and enterprise customers in most developed economies are yearning for a unified approach where fixed, mobile and TV services, will all be bundled together for access everywhere.

The statement added that traditional revenue sources – mobile voice and texts – have reached maturity, hence the demand for data will shoot up in 2016, driven by rising smartphone and tablet penetration and usage, as well as improvements in mobile network capability.

From left: Dr Ishmael Ackah, Mohammed Amin Adam and Benjamin Boakye
Consumers who would be paying an amount of GH¢1 billion annually in three to four years to settle debts accumulated over the years in the country’s power sector.

Mohammed Amin Adam, Executive Director of ACEP, who disclosed this recently at a press conference in Accra, said “Apart from paying high electricity tariffs, it is unfair for consumers to be asked to also pay debts accumulated from the inefficiencies of Volta River Authority (VRA) and Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG), as well as government’s neglect of its responsibility to the utilities through petroleum levies.”

He continued: “We also know that the balance sheets of the utilities are not good due to a number of factors, the central factor being the huge indebtedness of the utilities. In spite of this dilemma, it is our considered opinion that this levy will provide sustainable resources for addressing the energy sector investment challenges and thereby help end the crises we have in our power sector.”

In 2015, he said government, under the Ghana Millennium Challenge Compact II, confirmed the payment of its debts to ECG over a period but refused to make provision for the payments in the 2016 Budget.

“Without providing for these payments in the 2016 Budget, we are not surprised that government is now considering repayment of the debt through this new levy.”

He urged government to audit and publish the true state of the debts of the utilities, the legislative instrument providing a sunset clause to determine the exact period over which the debts would be paid and also abolish the levy as soon as the debt is completely paid so that it does not become like the unending TOR Debt Recovery Levy.

Dr Adam therefore cautioned government to ensure that the revenue to be generated from the Power Generation & Infrastructure Support Levy on Petroleum Products would be used to address the crisis.


Tuesday, January 12, 2016

DOII Timothy Osafo-Affum
The Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS) says there was a reduction in fire outbreaks in the first two weeks of January 2016 compared to the same period last year.

According to DOII Timothy Osafo-Affum, acting Public Relations Officer for GNFS, the reduction was as a result of on-going fire safety campaigns across the country.

DOII Osafo-Affum, who was speaking to the media yesterday, said in fire prevention, protection and precautionary measures were crucial.

“It is heart-warming to note that our previous and current efforts are steadily yielding dividends, a comparative analysis of major fire outbreaks shows that there has been a radical reduction in the first two weeks of January 2016 as compared to January 2015,” he stated.

He added that from January 1-10 this year, the Greater Accra region recorded 51 fire outbreaks, which represented a drastic reduction over that of 2015.

DOII Osafo-Affum said trend analysis of fire outbreaks showed that the months of November and February each year was the peak period for fire outbreaks.
“The recent fire outbreaks at the Kumasi Central Market, Kumasi Kayayei, Tuobodom Senior High School, among others, have raised public concerns about fire safety in the country. Fire safety is therefore a shared responsibility of all stakeholders and the general public; so if we want to see an end to these preventable fires, then the public has a bigger role to play. This is because they are closer to the ‘flash-spots’ across the country than the fire personnel,” he added.

The Acting PRO disclosed that the Harmattan season reduces the temperature of all combustible materials making them burn at a certain temperature.

“The GNFS has consistently been up to the task, honest market women and men, the clergy and traditional leaders can bear us witness. To the best of our professional capabilities and resource-availability, we have always executed proactive strategies to forestall fire outbreaks in Ghana. Apart from forming taskforce and training 500 Fire Volunteers to augment the existing ones to patrol and monitor areas deemed to be fire-prone, we intensified our fire safety education and awareness in churches, mosques, market-places, lorry parks and rural communities in order to ensure effective and efficient control fire,” he said.

DOII Osafo-Affum urged the general public to report any recalcitrant individual, who consciously or unconsciously causes fire outbreaks.

“Bushfire Prevention Law (PNDC LAW 226) is to be strictly enforced. We are therefore urging the general public to volunteer information that will lead to the arrest and prosecution of anyone whose actions or inactions will result in bushfires.”

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Uncontrollable fire on Friday swept through a large portion of the Achimota Forest, destroying a major part of the reserve.

When Nii Ogbamey Tetteh visited the scene, major parts of the forest had been razed down with smoke still emanating from some tree stumps.

A vast area of the forest close to the Abelemkpe roundabout, towards the Greater Accra Regional Forestry Commission office, had been lost to the fire which according to an eyewitness started around 11:45am.

Another eyewitness told the paper that attempts by some workers of the Forestry Commission, together with the police and other volunteers, to bring the fire under control while they awaited the Fire Service team to get to the scene proved futile due to the high harmattan winds.

The Fire Service personnel from the Abelemkpe fire station were said to have fought the raging fire for close to an hour before extinguishing it.

Though the cause of the fire was not immediately known, Edith Ansah, the Greater Accra Regional Manager of the Forestry Commission, said she suspected that the fire was ignited by wee smokers who were smoking in the forest.
“I suspect that the wee smokers went in there to do their own thing but failed to completely put out their flames.  Last year around this time, the same thing happened and we had parts of the forest burnt as well,” Madam Ansah told Nii Ogbamey Tetteh in an interview.

“My reason is that from what we saw, the fire started right in the middle of the forest or let’s say right within the forest. But if it started outside, I would have said a passer-by had thrown away a cigarette stump which had caused it,” she added.

“Though we patrol the forest a lot, these smokers lurk around till my patrol team go for lunch or break and as soon as they leave, the boys go in there to do their own thing,” she said.

She urged Ghanaians to be very careful in handling fire close to bushes or forest areas in this dry season to avert fire destroying the country’s forest and game reserves.

Within the past 62 hours, Ghana has recorded several fire outbreaks and it is feared that more incidents could occur during this severe harmattan period if precautionary measures are not put in place.

Friday, January 8, 2016

(from left) Dr Ishmael Ackah, Mr Adam and Benjamin Boakye
The African Center for Energy Policy (ACEP) has accused government of overburdening Ghanaians by imposing many taxes on petroleum products.

According to Mohammed Amin Adam, Executive Director of ACEP, the imposition of the 17.5 percent Special Petroleum Tax (SPT) on some selected petroleum products amounts to double taxation.

Speaking to the media yesterday in Accra, Mr Adam estimated that based on volumes of petroleum consumption (petrol, diesel and LPG) in 2015, the new levies would generate an incremental revenue of GH¢3.2 billion annually.

“All the levies and taxes imposed on the products are also taxed in the Special Petroleum Tax, which is Tax on Tax, because the SPT is a tax on the ex-pump price which already contains all these levies and taxes.”

He added that instead of paying ex-pump prices based on the levies and taxes like the TOR Debt Recovery Levy,Power Generation and Infrastructure Support Levy, among others, consumers were made to pay ex-pump prices based on the levies and taxes in addition to the SPT, which was already contained in the ex-pump price.

“We estimate that the double taxation alone would cost the consumer GH¢675 million annually on petrol, diesel and LPG,” he noted.

Special Petroleum Tax (SPT), which was introduced on selected petroleum products in 2014, generated GH¢183,438,611.54 in its first year and GH¢748,545,275.65 in the first half of 2015.

The ACEP boss urged government to revise the trend to bring relief to Ghanaians.

Levies on petroleum product prices

ACEP said there had been different versions of relative impact of the levies on the ex-pump price of petroleum products.

It continued that its analysis on the contrary showed that the effects of the levies on ex-pump prices were much greater and punitive. “We estimate that the levies had led to an increase in the ex-pump price of petrol per litre by 33 percent, 40 percent on diesel per litre and 22 per litre on LPG per kilogram.

“Also with the current levies, the tax component in proportion to the ex-pump prices of petrol and diesel are 41 percent and 42 percent respectively. The IMF shows that average tax share in ex-pump prices of petrol and diesel in developing countries ranges between 22 percent and 30 percent. Therefore, the share of taxes in the petroleum prices in Ghana is one of the highest in the developing world.

TOR Debt Recovery Levy

ACEP said it still maintained that consumers had overpaid the TOR debt, indicating that at the time the levy was instituted, the total debt stood at GH¢450 million. By 2009, it said the total debt had grown to GH¢900 million due to non-application of the revenues to service the debt, as well as interest accumulation.

“Our analysis shows that between 2009 and 2015, total collection from the levy is in excess of GH¢1.9 billion. This effectively amortizes the debt assuming an interest rate of 10 percent.

“We therefore find it difficult to comprehend why consumers should continue to pay this debt. Ostensibly, the TOR debt recovery levy has over the years been misapplied aided by the weak oversight of parliament.”

Price Stabilization & Recovery Levy

It mentioned: “The levy imposed on petrol is GH¢0.12 per liter, diesel is GH¢ 0.10 per liter and LPG is GH¢10 per kilogram. These levies translate into an increase in ex-pump price by 5 percent for petrol, 4 percent for diesel and 4 percent for LPG.  The levy to be collected is much more than required to stabilize prices and subsidize premix and residue fuel oil in this price era,” he noted.

However, Mr Amin commended government for abolishing the exploration levy, which ACEP had been campaigning against for the past two years.

The National Democratic Congress (NDC) has called for the arrest of Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, vice presidential candidate of the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP), for his recent exposé about the credibility of the voter register.

Speaking to the media yesterday at the NDC headquarters in Accra, the party’s General Secretary, Johnson Asiedu Nketia, rubbished Dr Bawumia’s presentation to the Electoral Commission (EC) concerning alleged registration of foreign nationals by the commission. He   described the claim as false and fabricated, for which he (Bawumia) should be arrested.

He insisted that the evidence presented by Dr Bawumia was “photoshoped” and   could only be allowed on social media and not serious institutions like the Supreme Court and the EC.

The NDC in recent times has turned its attack dogs on Dr Bawumia, trying to tarnish his reputation despite a series of predictions he made about the economy that came to pass.

Diplomats’ Frustration

At a retreat held at Royal Senchi, Akosombo last December, Ghanaian diplomats expressed dissatisfaction with the NDC party and government’s response to economic issues raised by Dr Bawumia.

According to them, the international community seemed to lap all the analysis made on media platforms by Dr Bawumia, an economist and running mate of Nana Akufo-Addo.

The diplomats therefore called for a means of taming his rising star.

 This might have informed the NDC leadership to make Dr Bawumia their target, making Asiedu Nketia to lash out at the NPP vice presidential candidate.

The NDC chief scribe stated, “The NDC condemns in no uncertain terms the fraudulent conduct and calls on the police to immediately investigate the matter. In particular, we are calling for the arrest of Dr Bawumia on the basis that he engaged in falsification and fabrication of public records to deceive public officials.

 “The reason why we are calling for the arrest of Mahamudu Bawumia is that, I am not a lawyer, but I have heard people say that if you fabricate public documents, if you falsify public documents with the intention of deceiving people, our laws should have a way of dealing with you.

“In the Supreme Court they printed fake pink sheets and tendered them in evidence; all that was done was that the Supreme Court rejected them. Nothing has happened afterwards.

“And they came to deceive the Electoral Commission again by printing fake Togolese register, put people’s pictures on the register and presented it as Togolese.

“How can a PhD [holder] who wants to be a vice president in this country sink that low?” he claimed.

Mr Asiedu Nketia, popularly called General Mosquito, alleged that   Dr Bawumia in 2013 falsified various documents and presented them to the Supreme Court during the election petition case. “The same man has falsified another document to the EC.

“It should not happen when you are presenting evidence to a constitutional body like the Supreme Court or the electoral body and you be let off the hook like that… otherwise our democracy will be in danger,” he said.

It would be recalled that Dr Bawumia, former Deputy Governor of the Bank of Ghana, last year made some stunning revelations about flaws in the voter register, providing impetus for various civil society groups to demand a replacement of the electoral roll.

Dr Bawumia’s disclosure about the presence of the names of about 80,000 Togolese on the register particularly ruffled various stakeholders.

EC’s Rejection

The NDC also endorsed the EC’s decision not to compile a new register ahead of the 2016 elections.

Mr Asiedu Nketia disclosed that EC’s rejection of the demand vindicates the NDC’s position on the subject.

NPP’s Response

The Acting General Secretary of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), John Boadu, in reaction to Mr Nketia’s utterances, rather called on the security agencies to start chasing President John Dramani Mahama.

John Boadu, reacting on Asempa FM’s ‘Ekosii Sen’ programme yesterday, said Asiedu Nketia should have rather called for the arrest of the president since “he is known for public deceit.”

“Why would Asiedu Nketia call for the arrest of Bawumia when there are bigger thieves that have stolen the country’s money walking around…has he forgotten of President Mahama and Alfred Agbesi Woyome?” he quizzed.

Prominent among what he described as the gross deceit of the public by President John Mahama was the promise to end the four-year power crisis (dumsor) which has crippled the country’s industrial sector.

“Did the president not promise at an IEA forum in 2012 of ending dumsor by 2013? What have we seen on that…nothing…so the president lied big time and must be arrested,” he charged.

Mr John Boadu further sought to know if businessman Alfred Agbesi Woyome had paid the fraudulent judgement debt he was asked by the court to refund into the state’s coffers.

“The year 2015 has ended so if he has not paid the money, then I believe the NDC could have done more service to the country by calling on the security agencies to pursue him to refund the money and that would have been a more prudent venture…,” he noted.

The Acting NPP General Secretary further said that the party had handed over the EC’s letter to its special committee that worked on the voter register and that they would expose the ‘hollow arguments’ of the EC in claiming that Ghana does not need a new voter register at a press conference the party would organize.

He however stated that he and the NPP were not surprised by the response of the EC to the NPP as “the EC, since time immemorial, has always kicked against ‘any ideas from the NPP.’”

Mr Boadu was astonished to see the NDC jubilating about the recommendations of the panel of five established by the EC to examine the calls for a new electoral roll since the panel members are not the ones to make a final decision on the way forward.

Obiri Boahen Fires

Deputy General Secretary of the NPP, Nana Obiri Boahen, also lambasted Asiedu Nketia, describing him as a “certified schizophrenia.”

A livid Nana Obiri Boahen explained that the actions and inactions of the NDC chief scribe were enough attestation that he was suffering from a ‘chronic brain disorder.’

He expressed shock at the conduct of the ruling party.

He said “assuming without admitting that the allegation was true, calling for the prosecution of Dr Bawumia is the sole preserve of the EC and not the NDC.”

He fumed, “Is Asiedu Nketia now the spokesperson of the EC? But I’m not surprised because Asiedu Nketia is a certified schizophrenia patient.”
Ohemaa Mercy hugging a patron at the event
Ohemaa Mercy and a host of other Ghanaian gospel musicians on Christmas day thrilled worshippers to live ministrations at the seventh edition of Alabaster Praise Concert at the Assemblies of God (AG) Tema New Town branch.

The annual concert, organized by Divine Instruments (DI) of New Life Assemblies of God, is aimed at providing an ultimate worship experience for all Christians and an opportunity to win souls for Christ through music.

Guest artiste, Ohemaa Mercy; host choir, Divine Instruments; guest choir, Jewels of Praise and other ministers did not only minister the crowd’s favourites, but also interacted with the fans, making their performance very engaging.

Main act of the evening, Ohemaa Mercy, led the congregation through non-stop renditions of popular worship tunes. The songstress’ praise jam session saw the crowd holding up their mobile phones, singing out loud, jumping and dancing to her popular tunes like ‘Wo Fri Mo’, ‘Wo Beye Kese’ and others.

Commenting on the Alabaster Praise dream, President DI, Hannah Doughan, said the ministry came up with the concert as an avenue to reach out to the youth through music, worship, choreography and a host of voluntary social projects.
Ohemaa Mercy 

“Within six years, Divine Instruments has made inroads by bringing seasoned ministers like Cecilia Marfo, Joe Mettle, Diana Hopeson, former MUSIGA President, Francis Amo, Vine Praise, Gifty Osei, Jim Emmit Konadu, De Joe and the Levitical Order and others to lead hundreds of worshippers to the throne room of God during the concert.

A member of the planning committee and a music director of DI, Paa Kwesi Forson, entreated fans of the group to look forward to the eight edition of the concert in 2016, adding that the group has already hit the drawing board to prepare for the 2016 edition.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Obrafour is mournful on this Nature produced number. He has always been the one to hold his head and lament, but this song is the saddest I've ever felt him.

Why is it even possible, how is it even allowed, that as a man approaches the age of legacy, he's this broken? But Obrafour, who has nothing else to prove to us musically, still harbours such intense grief.

The issues he touches on, in this song, are neither surprising about him or to us, so here, it's not necessarily what he says, but how he says it:

It is for his rap we revere him; always clean and decent, deep and mature, specific and practical truth --but we respect him for his singing too; brief, pleasant and easily familiar. Some of his vocal deliveries, his hooks especially, have been highly successful here; Saa Okodiɛ no, Swedru Agona, Abena, Ohene. Now these are recent but of course he's had memorable choruses since "Pae Mu Ka."

Then again, you can't ignore what he says in the just can't! It directly affects you. Don't worry, I'm not interested in what or who you are, he's speaking directly to you, because it's about greed, and envy, and disregard for the truth, and apostles of evil, struggle and global strife, and as usual, dirty politics. And he's ruthless! He goes everywhere. Oh you think you're anointed so you can't be touched? Ooh he's got something special for you in verse 1. Let's take one or two of them, shall we:

"Nokwere ensaa yɛ, nipa na ɛmpɛ ne ka" , which translates as " truth still abounds, only, man refuses to speak it. "

" Onyame mmra na afei y'ato akwene na/ ya dane y'eni su nyansafuɔ na yee bu nipa"
 "Onyame ekyidifuɔ no po na ɛ ma ne yɛ ya/ efiri sɛ won nyinaa nyim sɛɛ daakyi wɔbebu akuntaa/  ɛnso twurɔsɛm no asɔfuɔ ashɛ no knicker"

Don't worry, I'll translate. The above lines refer to how we have discarded God's laws and have become wise in our own eyes and are swindling people, how it is the followers of God who are most surprising; that even though they are aware of a judgement, they ( "pastors") have changed the apparel of the word of God. In the same verse, he wonders why pastors are putting their abilities, oil and water up for sale, as God first gave them their gifts for free. He cites Peter in the Bible, saying that unlike contemporary pastors, he healed for free.

He also mentions something poignant: the words in the Bible  are definite, but interpretations differ, so depending on how good you can spin understanding, you'll be successful, which is why pastors would scold their members and call it a sermon.
Wahu Nyame Nipa?

His singing on Nkontompo is especially emotional, he's wailing, even. In the chorus, when he says "me werɛ aho", it makes you shake your head slowly. He doesn't have a very good voice, he's never had, but what he lacks in vocal space, he makes up for with raw, honest emotion...and on so many levels, emotional honesty is more important than vocal talent; Joseph Hill, Amakye Dede, Kanye West sometimes, and Sarkodie, on Mary.

"Ewiase bɛn po ni?"

Religion is service to a deity and and the obsession with odd ritual. Love is good intentions toward the one standing next to us. Menocchio says that it's more important to love one's neighbour than to love God. Deep down, we do not disagree with this, so that's it: love trumps religion.

Indeed it's the theme of every religion, it's the central message of every great leader or rabi who has ever treaded here, so religion is a love too. Even without bothering to research, I am certain that religion has the most influence on us. The biggest gatherings are crusades and the Hajj. The most widely read stuff are religious literature...but you already knew that, so let's progress the argument.

Let's be objective, all through history, religion too...the politics of its philosophy has, on its own, been responsible for some of the most monumental acts of hatred to the brain, heart, knees and toes. It's a shamefully wide range, from bloodshed to noise pollution.

His second verse is just as spirited. There are abbrasively truthful words on shameless corruption, pointless propaganda, the various versions of the truth, religious extremism, the love for money alone, how we stifle those who speak up  and how we've turned this country into hell all by ourselves. It's remarkable how he's stuffed all that in the space of one verse. Obrafour is a lyricist, and there's no debate there. Who else do you know that can sing, rap, preach, advise, talk about love and women, and still maintain a dignity and depth? Who else do you know who can do all this with proverbs and in Twi?

Obrafour is our ultimate social commentator. It is what we have come to know him for, and why we have grown to trust him. Periodically, he has had to remind us that it's in a chaos, and not a bliss, that we are so comfortable. It is in that way that he has constantly remained relevant to our community Imam or grandmother.
Our Imam is tired. Our grandmother is spent. 

The village old man has lost hope. For all of their adult lives, they've  been saying the same thing: "wise up, my child, wise up". And if you've said the same thing over and over, and all you see is scanty change, you too would be tired.Obrafour embodies these emotions in Nkontompo.

The instrumentation is rich and complex. It tells a story too...a parallel story. The electric guitar for instance, shows us a facial expression of strain, pain, and the verge of giving up. The horns suggest a danger and the piano invokes sustained sadness. Indeed, one reason the song stands out is how deep horn and organ sounds are sustained, right from the beginning. It's dark and dangerous, profoundly gothic...and we instantly know something troubling is pending.

A lot of things are happening in the song, it's a picture of disaster, or the scene after a massacre which you can't look away from. It's a gorgeous and disturbing paradox: I have mentioned that the spine of the song is how some sounds are sustained, but at the same time, many of the sounds in the song are choppy and piercing. Like the message of the song, it's supposed to make you uncomfortable. It pulls at your skin and keeps you attentive.

It's a kind of homage to Da Hammer --the instrumentation. The horns and distinguished kicks especially, which are Hammer's trademark sound, seem to be mined from somewhere special unto the song...and influence is no sin so...

But Red Eye, or Nature (when he's  producing beats and not rapping hard and demented in Ga) too, has always been eccentric and warlike...more experimental too with other rhythms than Hammer would touch. From his early work with 2 Toff, the group he belongs to, to Kwaw Kesse, to Edem, he has constantly proven to be a strong and versatile hand. For 2 Toff, he worked on " Yɛ Na Bra", on which they featured Castro. Several years on, on "Meawezo" the song on which they announced their comeback after a long exile from Ghana's music industry, he rendered a parallel sound which was both modern and at the same time, invoked the nostalgia of  "Yɛ Na Bra".

Nature might have done way more for Kwaw Kesse's "Poppin" than we may be praising him for (if we are praising him at all), as all Kwaw did, really, was to give a fun chorus. Both reggae songs Nature did for Edem are infectious; "Make Money" and "Ghetto Arise" are testimony to the diversity of his talent.

Nature too, has been a fan of the trumpet, which, like I have said elsewhere, works excellently as warrior melody and death announcement. He's also remorseless with the guitar, and it's remarkable.

Truth is truth, and common sense lays around. It doesn't have to come from the high and mighty for it to be truer.

Obrafour is just a man, it's all he's been this whole time. He's faced the valleys of the shadows, he testifies in his song "My Praise", he's had public banters with fellow rappers and felt good about it, which is a bad example and might reduce drastically his moral leverage should he advise younger rappers to bury the hatchet. He's imperfect, but the "blameless" ones may have failed us. All we need to speak up to life and against it, is to be a man or woman, and that refers to you and me...Obrafour too.

"M'asɛm tia yi eko ma yɛn nyinaa"

He's a tired old man, but he's a special kind of tired and old. He's our favourite old man...tired or not.  It's not all he is though; he's anointing the up and coming ( Dues), he believes in God's protection over the helpless ( Aboa Onni Dua) and he's exploring love (Pimpinaa,Twe Ma Me). He's protesting against life, and embracing it all at once. It is well.

Nkontompo means lies, and it is an official single off Obrafour's latest album, Obrafoforo.

The writer can be reached @myershansen on twitter and at Also on

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Dr Adjei addressing the students during the tour
Richard Adjei, Chief Executive of Kasapreko Company Limited, says owing to the power crisis in the country, his outfit would switch to solar energy by the end of the year to run its facility effectively.

According to him, the switch to solar power is expected to cost the company about $ 5 million and it would provide more than 30 percent of power needed to run the state-of-the-art factory.

Mr Adjei disclosed this in an interview with Nii Ogbamey Tetteh when a group of 60 students from the Harvard University in the US visited the company’s head office off the Spintex Road.

He said the move was part of the company’s 2016 strategy to help tackle pollution.

“By the close of this year, we would have 16,000 meter cube solar panels that can power more than 30 percent of our facility. There are a lot of climate change issues that the world is facing and we want to help anti-pollution issues,” Mr Adjei stated.

He added that currently the company that has the capacity to produce over 110,000 bottles of beverages and water per hour, spends about GH¢150,000 every month on diesel to power their generators during power outage.

The students were taken on a tour of the new $70 million bottling plant, which was recently commissioned by President John Mahama to obtain first-hand information in the production of both alcoholic and non- beverages at Kasapreko.

Dina Pomeranz, an Assistant Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School and the leader of the team, said the team chose world-class brands like Kasapreko Company Limited based on the global presence of the company over the past 26 years.

She noted the 10-day tour of Ghana was part of efforts to teach the students how to do business internationally.

“The business potential in Ghana is huge, and it is very important for our students to learn how to do business in such a country.

 “We think it is very important that our students learn how to do business in a different cultural context. The goal of the visit is to open the eyes of the students to different markets around the world,” she noted.

Dr. Adjei, Group Chairman and Founder of the company, who led the students on the tour, disclosed that the company started with five workers in a garage at Nungua 27 years ago.

It has now grown into a multinational beverage company employing over 600 workers.

He urged the students to set high academic standards and adhere to them to achieve success in their chosen careers.

Dr. Adjei hinted that the company, which has made inroads in Nigeria and South Africa, would by the close of 2016 start exporting its products to the US.

Friday, January 1, 2016

General Secretary of the Ghana Rugby Football Union, Abdul Azziz, has expressed satisfaction over the level of player participation and spectatorship in the local rugby league.

According to him, there was high level of skills development on the part of players, which was helping to improve the standard of the game to attract more viewers.

“Gradually, we are improving. Last year we used to play on virtually empty fields but these days, people are beginning to patronize our games.”

He was speaking in an interview at the end of the first round of rugby league matches played at the Accra Stadium over the weekend.

Mr. Azziz however expressed worry over the lack of corporate and governmental support for the game, attributing it to the fact that rugby was new in Ghana, to many people.

“It takes time for people to pick up new sports. Everybody’s attention is on football but we cannot put all our eggs in one basket,” he said.

“We always fall on the president of the union (Herbert Mensah) who pays almost everything as far as this activity is concerned. We cannot allow the situation where the president has to be the financier for all activities of Rugby,” he added.

He therefore called on organizations and the government to give the game a facelift adding that the association was focused on identifying talented young people to be trained by competent coaches.

Mr. Azziz said the league, expected to resume on January 30, 2016, would continue with more games to be played locally as well as major events scheduled to take place in Lome, Togo.

By Nii Ogbamey Tetteh with support from Ernest Kofi Nutsugah

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I am a Creative Arts Writer who is also into Strategic Communications, Public Relations, Photography and IT consultancy. I am also Social media enthusiast and an alumni of the Ghana Institute of Journalism (GIJ).


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