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Showing posts from March, 2018

How Ghana Can Respond To Natural Disasters

The occurrence of natural disasters globally in recent years has attracted the attention of environmental watchers, Geologists, Scientists and Researchers. The last time Ghana encountered a devastating natural disaster was in 1939. It was an earthquake in Accra which claimed 17 lives with hundreds of people injured. After this dreadful and tragic incident, 79 years on, Ghana has recorded some natural disasters. Reference could be made to the May 9 disaster at the Accra Sport Stadium which claimed more than 120 lives with several sustaining various degrees of injury. We also remember the Melcom Disaster at Achimota, the twin disaster of fire and flood at the Kwame Nkrumah Circle in Accra, The gas explosion at Atomic junction and a couple of earth tremors, the major one occurring in 1997. During all these natural disasters, the response readiness of key stakeholders and agencies mandated to ensure the safety of the people, protection and preservation of life and property were tried and …

Commemoration of World Water Day

The earth is made up of about 70 percent water. Out of this 96 percent is held by oceans, meaning all but four percent of our water is saline. Water resources like streams, rivers, lakes and groundwater, provide people with water they need everyday to live. According to the UN, 2.1 billion people have safe drinking water at home, of these 844 million do not have access to drinking water service, including 263 million people who travel for more than 30 minutes per trip to collect water. Also 150 million still drink from untreated water sources such as rivers, lakes and streams, which is a serious health risk. Unclean water according to the World Health Organisation, WHO kills one million babies in their first month of life from preventable deaths, across the world. These staggering figures show how vital water is to life. It is against this background that the UN in 1993 designated 22 of March every year to draw attention to the importance of protecting water sources and for government…

The Insolvency Of UNIBANK And The Way Forward

News of the insolvency of Unibank and the subsequent appointment of KPMG, an international accounting firm as the official administrator is worrying and shocking. The Bank of Ghana yesterday (March 20) broke the news of incapacitation of Unibank which it said had among other things persistently maintained a capital adequacy ratio below zero or negative 24%. This, according to the Central Bank contravenes section 29 of Act 930 which requires a minimum capital adequacy ratio of 10%. The insolvency of Unibank raises fundamental issues about the strength of our commercial banks. Less than six months ago this country woke up to the collapse of two banks, UT and Capital banks and it is yet to fully come to terms with the loss. Presently with Unibank, we are told that for close to two years its oxygen came from the Central Bank. What we do know is that if banks face liquidity shortages or worst, it would have major impact on savings, business and consumers. Severe banking crisis invariably a…

Annual Hajj By Moslem Pilgrims And Government's Support

Hajj is an annual Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca, the holiest city for Muslims, and a mandatory religious duty for Muslims. It must be carried out at least once in the lifetime of all adult Muslims who are physically and financially capable of undertaking that journey. It is one of the five pillars of Islam. The issue at hand is with government subsidizing Hajj fares for prospective pilgrims as was announced by the Chairman of the Hajj Board, Sheik I.C Quaye at the official launch of the 2018 Hajj season in Accra. He said the fare for this year's (2018) Hajj pilgrimage is GH¢15,000, an equivalent of $3,450. According to him, the actual fare is GH¢19,500 but government has absorbed GH¢4,500 of the cost to enable more pilgrims to perform the Hajj.

The Vice President, Dr Alhaji Mahammudu Bawumia also confirmed government’s decision not to increase the fare for the 2018 pilgrimage to Mecca at a forum in Kumasi in the Ashanti Region. According to him, government has decided to maintain the…

Expulsion Of 23 Russian Diplomats From Britain And Its Implications

Great Britain has ordered 23 Russian diplomats in its country to leave within one week following a chemical attack on a former Russian double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia. The British Prime Minister, Theresa May gave the order in the British House of Commons. The two were found unconscious in Salisbury, England as victims of an apparent poisoning which has so far been identified by the security agencies as nerve agent known as Novichok. It is said to be among a group of chemical weapons of extreme potency and not common. Police Sergeant Nick Bailey who was at the scene of the incident also got severely injured and was admitted to a hospital and said to be in critical condition. The expulsion by the British government appears to be the gravest in international diplomacy since the Second World War and has brought the relationship between the two countries to its lowest ebb. The attack has received global condemnation with some describing it as barbaric and an appalling ac…

The ‘Ghana Beyond Aid’ Concept

In recent times, following President Akufo-Addo’s commitment to the ‘Ghana Beyond Aid’ project, many people have expressed views regarding the issue as to whether it is attainable. From the explanation given by the President, Ghana Beyond Aid simply means being able to maximise all available resources to address the needs of the country to a point where Ghana is able to cater for its people without a cup in hand for aid. The country ought to pursue an agenda geared towards prosperity, dignity and self-respect. The abundant natural resources as well as quality human resource base, including intellectual and professional capability, call for better management to make Ghana Beyond aid a reality. If this is the case then, the project is a long term vision. This calls for conscientisation of the people regarding the concept and working towards its realisation aimed at making the country better for all. National transformation is a process, not an event, but a deliberate and purposeful agen…

Reduction In Electricity Tariffs

The downward review of electricity tariffs came as a surprise to many consumers because such reviews are usually characterised by upward adjustments. This is because many a time, when the PURC announces review of tariffs, it goes up, rather than coming down.
According to the PURC, residential customers are to enjoy 17.5% reduction, non-residential 30%, special load customers 25%, while the mines are also to enjoy 10% reduction. The percentage reduction is an improvement of what was announced by President Akufo-Addo in January, this year. The objective for the tariff review includes ensuring efficient and equitable tariffs, making them relevant to the current socio-economic development, and also ensuring that business moves on as expected. In announcing the review, the PURC was guided by consumer and investor interests, economic development, revenue requirements, natural gas prices, renegotiation of power agreements, as well as, prudent and efficient costs of the operation of the utilit…

Feud In Parliament Between The Speaker And The Minority

All is not well with Ghana's democracy as Parliament which is one of the three arms of government is constantly under siege with the Minority having either to walk out or embark on a silent protest. The last time this occurred was on Wednesday March 7 when the Minority National Democratic Congress (NDC) embarked on a sit down strike. Several times the Minority has had a cause to accuse the Speaker, Rev. Professor Mike Aaron Ocquaye of being bias against them. The latest in the fracas between the two started when the Minority leader Haruna Iddrisu rose up with the intent of catching the eye of the Speaker to make an intervention during a presentation to the House by the Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Kennedy Ohene Nyarko. The Minority leader was however ignored by the Speaker paving the way for the Deputy Agric Minister to conclude his presentation with the Speaker giving the floor to the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Shirley Ayorkor Botchway to make a stat…

Concerns Raised On 2018 Independence Day Awards

Thirty selected students from the 10 regions of the country were on Tuesday, March 6, presented with the President’s Independence Day Awards for academic excellence in the 2017, BECE. The students performed better than their peers in their final basic education examination. It is unfortunate there was controversy from the Northern Region following a petition brought against a female student, which resulted in the withholding of the award. This is where many have raised concern about how transparent the selection is even though the Regional Director has explained the circumstances that led to the choice of the eventual awardee Abubakari Hanifa. Indeed, to avoid future occurrences of such unfortunate situation to ensure the credibility and acceptability of the awardees and based purely on merit, one would not hesitate but agree with the Director General of the GES, Professor Kwasi Opoku Amankwa, to consider handing over the selection of the awardees to the West African Examination Counc…

Helping Security Agencies To Fight Armed Robberies In Ghana

One key point made by President Akufo-Addo in his address during the Independence Anniversary parade was that armed robbery in the country is unacceptable. Indeed, guaranteed security is an issue that cannot be compromised under any circumstances. Without security, national development cannot thrive as expected and socio-economic progress would almost come to a standstill. The robberies that have taken place in various places in Accra and Tema are quite worrying.

These and a few others ought to be dealt with without delay. This explains why the President has made it clear that government would do all it can to equip the police to deal with the problem. It is also for this reason that the Police Administration has carried out a reshuffle in line with the exigencies of effective management and operational control of the Service. Other security measures taken by Government include the deployment of heavy military and police presence in major cities across the country. These measures have …

Commentary On The Struggle For Independence

The history of Ghana's struggle towards independence and its final attachment will not be complete if the role of students in Colleges and Secondary Schools then, is not properly and justifiably recounted and placed in their proper perspective. The arrest of the Big Six and their subsequent detention having instigated the riots which culminated in the 28th February crossroad shooting incident and the looting of European shops led to a protest march by some students in secondary schools in Cape Coast. On the 15th of March 1948 the students undertook a protest march in Cape Coast in solidarity with detained United Gold Coast Convention (U.G.C.C) executives resulting in the expulsion of 150 students from St. Augustine College and Mfantsipim School. This was as a result of the Quashie - Idun commission which was charged to investigate and come out with a report on the students’ unrest. Among other things they recommended the revocation of the appointment of four teachers, three from S…

The late Professor Francis Allotey

The late Professor Francis Kofi Ampenyin Allotey, while on earth, established himself as a great mathematician and scientist. He had a truly distinguished academic career that was admired by people the world over. He held a number of leadership positions in many organisations within and outside the country. In Ghana, was in charge of Ghana Atomic Energy Commission, the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, the Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Mathematical Association of Ghana and the Ghana Institute of Physics. He also played a great role in the establishment of the University of Energy and Natural Resources in the Brong Ahafo Region.

Professor Allotey rose through the ranks of a Lecturer to become the first Ghanaian full Professor in Mathematics in 1973 at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi. Later on, he became the Pro-vice Chancellor of the University in 1978. Within a few years he had become a widely known figure the world over. His fame …

Performance of Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources

It is often said that a journey of a thousand miles begins with only one step. The above adage one can conveniently argue gave birth to the establishment of the Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources by the President Nana Akufo- Addo in February last year to give meaning to the collective effort of Ghanaians to rid the country of filth. The establishment of the Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources to many Ghanaians was not surprising looking at the level of filth in the country.

Specifically the Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources is to formulate comprehensive national policies in the area of sanitation and water sub sectors for effective performance and delivery to Ghanaians. Almost one year down the line since its establishment, it is important to take a step back and see how far the Ministry has gone, its prospects and challenges and the way forward. It must however be acknowledged that as a new Ministry it is still in the process of establishing the various structu…