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Showing posts from May, 2019

Need for fair and just pension for workers

Revelations by President Akufo-Addo that the Minister of Employment and Labour Relations should liaise with the Social Security and National Insurance Trust, SSNIT, and the National Pensions Regulatory Authority, NPRA to bring finality to all outstanding pension related issues in the next three months is indeed music to the ears. President Akufo-Addo at the May Day parade this year assured workers that government will pay Nine hundred million Cedis arrears it owes SSNIT whiles the remaining ¢800 million would be settled next year. The question on the minds of most people is whether this payment includes interest. This is indeed most welcome especially to public sector workers who rely mainly on SSNIT for their livelihood after retirement. SNIT is a statutory Public Trust charged under the National Pensions Act 208, Act 766 with the administration of Ghana’s basic National Social Security Scheme. Its mandate is to cater for the first of the three tier Pension Scheme. The fact is that …

Ghana’s Drop In Reporter’s Without Borders Press Freedom Rankings And Suggestions

Once again Journalists the world over are celebrating Press Freedom Day. A day proclaimed by the UN General Assembly in December 1993, following the recommendations by UNESCO. Since then, journalists have used the occasion to highlight the fundamental principles of press freedom; assess the state of press freedom around the world; bringing to the fore the need to defend the media from attacks; and above all pay tribute to journalists who have lost their lives in the line of duty. Here in Ghana, the murder of Ahmed Suale raises a number of questions regarding the safety of journalists. On Wednesday, January 16, 2019, Ahmed Hussein Suale, a member of the Tiger Eye PI investigative team led by Anas Aremeyaw Anas, was shot and killed by unknown gunmen. This incident attracted local, regional and international attention and condemnation. Many including the UN have called on the Ghanaian authorities to promptly and thoroughly investigate the matter to bring the perpetrators to book. Indeed…

Controversy generated by comments of Yaw Osafo Marfo on Aisha Huang

A lot of heat has been generated following an attempt by Senior Minister, Yaw Osafo Marfo to explain the rationale for the deportation of alleged Chinese illegal miner Aisha Huang. Aisha was put before court for engaging in the illegal mining but the Attorney General filled a nolle prosequi and led to her deportation from the country. A participant in a recent town hall meeting in the United States wanted to know the government’s justification for letting go a woman caught for her involvement in illegal mining. Responding to the question, the Senior Minister said Ghana has great diplomatic relationship with China and intends to partner that country in key infrastructural projects citing the two billion Sinohydro deal. According to Mr. Osafo Marfo, putting that woman in jail is not going to solve Ghana’s economic problems. This statement offended some Ghanaians prompting calls for the resignation of the Senior Minister. Reacting to the issue of the involvement of some Chinese national…

National Chief Imam’s Visit To Christ The King Parish

History was made on Sunday the 21st of this month (April) when the National Chief Imam Shiekh Dr. Osuman Nuhu Sharubutu attended Mass at the Christ the King Parish in Accra ahead of his centenary birthday celebration on Tuesday. He and his entourage were welcomed by the Parish Priest, Rev. Father Andrew Campbell. The gesture by the Chief Imam is undoubtedly laudable as it cements the  peaceful co-existence between Muslims and Christians. Sheikh Sharubutu over the years has demonstrated beyond all reasonable doubts that he is a man of peace and one who believes in unity and peaceful co-existence of all religions. Even at a time a negative prophecy was given against him which resulted in some Muslim faithful attacking one of the branches of the man of God who gave the prophesy, the Chief Imam called them to order. The singular act of focusing the  celebration of his birthday to visiting churches to foster good relations between Muslims and Christians has been commended by most Ghanaian…

Asantehene’s 20th Anniversary on the Golden Stool

Some 20 years ago, the then Barima Kwaku Duah, who at the time was 49 years old, was enstooled in a colourful and extremely rich cultural event as the 16th Asantehene. Today, Ghanaians in particular and the entire world and are celebrating the Asantehene on his ascension onto the golden stool. He was traditionally named after one of the powerful and wise Asantehene. Hence, his stool name Otumfuo Osei Tutu II. Within months into his enstoolment, he laid out plans to bring dramatic change to what he inherited. His popular saying “in the olden days, kings led people for war but today, we have to lead the people for development” became so much popular and well acclaimed. Sooner than later, the entire nation witnessed the establishment of the Otumfuo Educational Fund to provide assistance and support, to brilliant but needy pupils and students. Today over 20,000 students at all levels of education around the country have benefitted from this enviable package, which has helped in changing …

Ghana’s Closed Fishing Season

The Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development has announced a one month closed fishing season starting from 15th May to 15th June for inshore and artisanal fleet generally referred to as canoes. The closed season is a month away, hence too early to assess whether our fisher folk would comply or not. It is also not clear whether this policy will be effectively enforced as it is not clear how the Ministry intends enforcing the ban. If the closed season becomes successful it will give credit to the Ministry for taking the right combination of policy decisions and urgent actions. An effective close season will help reverse the depletion of our fish stocks. The truth, however, is that the situation is more challenging than is being appreciated. It is true that the country’s fisheries governance is in dire stage and risks slipping into perpetual governance predicament. Last year’s abortive closed season was in August. One may ask what triggered the shift from August to May/June and…

Finding Lasting Solution To Ghana’s Perennial Water Flooding

After a period of heat and related harsh weather conditions experienced in some parts of the country in recent times, it should have been a sigh of relief for many with the onset of the rains. However, the rainy season in Ghana has recorded unfortunate developments in the past few years. It is sad when the rains leave in its trail’s bitter memories to humanity. One havoc caused by rains that will forever remain indelible in the minds of many Ghanaians is the June 3 disaster. What started like any normal rain but ended up in tragedy? Homes were brought down, businesses were also shattered in a deadly twin fire and flood disaster. Just last year a medical doctor also sadly lost her life in Teshie, a suburb of Accra in similar flood waters. Although we are not close to the peak of the rainy season this year, about five persons reportedly perished in last April 14 downpour. These are indications that we have not found permanent solutions to this ill omen associated with the onset of the …

Poor Sewage System in Parts of Tema

One major problem affecting residents and business owners in Tema is a poor sewer system in the metropolis. There have been countless calls on the Tema Metropolitan Assembly, TMA, to repair the sewer system without any concrete action. Tema was once the most beautiful city in West Africa with a well-structured area designed and constructed by the country’s first President, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah. The planners of Tema, were well aware of the potential health and sanitation hazards associated with its development and so they built a central sewerage system to manage the industrial and domestic waste without compromising the status of waterways in the metropolis. Unfortunately, the Metropolis is now leaving in its past glory. The problems of the Metropolis continue to increase from poor waste collection, poor sanitation, bad roads and more disgusting is the open exposure of raw faecal matter in homes, streets corners and markets. It is common on a normal day to see faecal matter flowing from…