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Buhari Authenticates June 12 As Nigeria’s Democracy Day
June 7, 2018 | 0 Comments
…Immotalises MKO Abiola, Gani‎ Fawehinmi, and Kingibe
By Olayinka Ajayi
The belated but signification recognition of Abiola's 1993 victory by Buhari is a boon to Nigeria's democracy

The belated but signification recognition of Abiola’s 1993 victory by Buhari is a boon to Nigeria’s democracy

In a statement signed by President Buhari, winner of the presumed freeest election in Nigeria Late MKO Abiola is honoured with  a post-humously honoured with the nation’s highest award, Grand Commander of the Federal Republic, GCFR conferred on all Presidents/Heads of State.

President Buhari further added that late human rights lawyer, Chief Gani Fawehinmi will also be awarded the country’s second highest award of the Grand Commander of the Niger, GCON in honour of his role towards actualising the June 12 presidential election. Abiola’s running mate, Ambassador Babagana Kingibe will also get a GCON award.

According to the President: “For the past 18 years, Nigerians have been celebrating May 29th, as Democracy Day. That was the date when for the second time in our history, an elected civilian administration took over from a military government. The first time this happened was on October 1st, 1979.”

“But in the view of Nigerians, as shared by this Administration, June 12th, 1993, was far more symbolic of Democracy in the Nigerian context than May 29th or even the October 1st. Late Chief Gani Fawehinmi,SAN”

“June 12th, 1993 was the day when Nigerians in millions expressed their democratic will in what was undisputedly the freest, fairest and most peaceful elections since our Independence. The fact that the outcome of that election was not upheld by the then Military Government does not distract from the democratic credentials of that process.”

“Accordingly, after due consultations, the Federal Government has decided that henceforth, June 12th will be celebrated as Democracy Day. Therefore, Government has decided to award post-humously the highest honour of the land, GCFR, to late Chief MKO Abiola, the presumed winner of the June 12th, 1993 cancelled elections. His running mate as Vice President, Ambassador Baba Gana Kingibe, is also to be invested with a GCON. Furthermore, the tireless fighter for human rights and the actualisation of the June 12th election and indeed for Democracy in general, the late Chief Gani Fawehinmi, SAN, is to be awarded a GCON posthumously.”

“The commemoration and investiture will take place on Tuesday, June 12, 2018, a date which in future years will replace May 29th as a National Public Holiday in celebration of Nigeria Democracy Day.” Buhari stated.

The announcement was received with much excitement across the country yesterday from friends and family of the late Abiola.

This has brought the significance of June 12 — Hafsat His daughter,

Hafsat Abiola-Costello, said: ‘’This has just validated the victory of my father. He didn’t just fight for democracy alone; he fought for Nigeria. May 29 was never the Democracy Day; it’s June 12. And President Buhari has just shown that he is an honourable man. This development has brought to life the significance of June 12.”

Buhari has proved himself to be inclined of the desires of Nigerians –, Abike Dabiri-

Erewa said that President Buhari has shown himself to be inclined to the desires of Nigerians and has done the right thing.

We’ve waited for this—Mohammed Fawehinmi

It is a welcome development. This is what we have been waiting for over the years. Good Nigerians have made several calls for Chief M K O Abiola to be recognised as a Nigerian President. For this government to have done this, it is a welcome gesture. It is a good news that M K O Abiola is going to be awarded GCFR  honour and Babagana Kingibe to be awarded  GCON, It is clear that Abiola was elected the president of this country, the mere fact that he was not sworn in does not mean he was not elected. This has vindicated Abiola.

A welcome development, but… — Adebanjo Reacting, Afenifere leader, Chief Ayo

Adebanjo said: “It is a welcome development. We have always told them that, (and) he now realises this. We have told them that without June 12 there is no Democracy Day. June 12 is Democracy Day, but May 29 is Civilian Day. I want to urge him to restructure Nigeria because all he is doing are palliatives.

Belated, but welcome—Falae

Also reacting, a former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF, Chief Olu Falae described the decision as “belated but welcome.

Right thinking Democrat should support it—Babatope A former Minister of Transport,

Chief Ebenezer Babatope, said: ‘’That is very good. It is a positive development, and every right-thinking democrat should support that. The timing may be wrong, but it is a good development that should be hailed.

Though it came a bit late — Senator Jonathan Zwingina,

Director-General of Abiola’s Hope 93 Campaign Organisation, said: I commend the declaration even though it came a bit late, but better late than never.

It’s commendable—Balarabe Musa

A former governor of Kaduna State, Alhaji Balarabe Musa commended the President’s action said recognising June 12 as a Democracy Day, is proper. In the context of Nigeria, June 12 signifies Democracy Day in the first place because it was a day that Nigerians set aside their differences and united the country for progress.

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Nana Akufo Addo dismiss Korle Bu CEO, five others
June 7, 2018 | 0 Comments

By Papisdaff Abdullah

President Akufo Addo

President Akufo Addo

President of the Republic of Ghana, Nana Addo Danqua Akufo Addo has dismissed Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital Dr. Felix Anyaa and five others.

Dr. Anyaa was supposedly not approved by the Public Services Commission after he interviewed for the job.

The dismissal comes in the wake of the seeming wave of dismissals of Chief Executives of state agencies by President Akufo-Addo.

Already, the Managing Director of the Bulk Oil and Storage Transport (BOST) Alfred Obeng Boateng, CEO of the Ghana Export Promotion Authority Gifty Klenam, her two deputies and the MD of the Ghana Ports and Harbour Authority Paul Ansah have all been sacked in a action by the President on the same day.

The move is seen as part of efforts by President Akufo Addo to rid government agencies of what seems to be a cycle of boardroom wrangling between chief executives of state agencies and their boards.

 

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Ghana Card finally takes off
June 7, 2018 | 0 Comments

By Papisdaff Abdullah

Prof.Ken Attafuah

Prof.Ken Attafuah

After several postponements and missed deadlines, Ghana’s National Identity card exercise has finally taken off with over 500 Ghanaians obtaining their Ghana Card from the countries National Identification Authority, (NIA).

The Executive Director of the NIA, Professor Ken Agyemang Attafuah said the pilot phase of the issuance of the new national ID card is going on smoothly since it started at the seat of the Presidency, Jubilee House.

Over 100 Ghanaians working at the Jubilee House have secured their cards after they were taken through the process by officials of the NIA.

Addressing the media after taking the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, through the process, Prof. Attafuah said over 500 new digital Ghana cards have been issued while several others are still going through the procedure to have their cards.

In a conversation with Prof. Attafuah, President Akufo-Addo said Ghanaians are relieved to know that the process has finally started.

The exercise which was scheduled to take off last week Monday failed to commence for the third time after officials of NIA failed to show up.

The NIA later blamed a “technical hitch” for their failure to get people registered for the new Ghana card.

The Ghana Card will replace the sectoral identity cards in circulation and become the only card to be used in transactions where identification is required as provided by law.

Among other things, it will enable other stakeholders to run their applications on the national identity card.

The roll-out strategy, according to the NIA would be published in detail for everyone to have the opportunity to see where he or she would have to register.

But in the meantime, the NIA has explained that it was undertaking the exercise on regional basis and that after the registration of staff at the Presidency, Parliament, Judicial Service and the security agencies, it would move into the community starting with Greater Accra where it will use three months for the exercise.

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Sell cocaine if there is hardship in Ghana – Minister tells traders
June 7, 2018 | 0 Comments

By Papisdaff Abdullah

Ashanti Regional Minister, Simon Osei-Mensah

Ashanti Regional Minister, Simon Osei-Mensah

A minister in the President Akufo Addo led government has asked petty traders in his region complaining about the hardship in the country to start selling cocaine if they can’t withstand it. The President’s representative in the Ashanti of Ghana, Simon Osei Mensah says, traders in the Kumasi metropolis are using the hardship in the country as an excuse to break the laws and trade at unauthorized places.

He added that traders refusing to move from unauthorized places in the metropolis will be forcefully ejected. Mr. Osei Mensah said he won’t allow the indiscipline of traders to hamper the development of Ashanti region.

Speaking at an event to re-launch the Keep Kumasi Clean and Green project, the Minister said “the indiscipline is too much. I want to use this opportunity to caution traders who are defying orders to vacate from the pavements around the Suame Roundabout. We have previously told them to relocate in a peaceful manner, but if they refuse to relocate, we will eject them forcefully.

“Those traders who are also selling on the footbridge at the CBD must also vacate because the footbridge is not a place for trading activities. We are not interested in collapsing anybody’s business. When we eject them, they will start saying they voted for us to come into power. We have been voted to bring development and not to encourage lawlessness and indiscipline.”

The unhappy minister added “When we start enforcing the laws, people will be complaining of hardship. If there is hardship, then I will ask that you stop the business and go and sell cocaine for a living.”

The Minister’s comments come after Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly (KMA) recently asked all traders selling on pavements and unauthorized places to relocate to designated markets.

But some of the traders have defied the orders and are back on the pavements to trade.

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Ghanaians demand Nyantakyi’s resignation
June 7, 2018 | 0 Comments

By Papisdaff Abdullah

Kwesi Nyantakyi, Ghana Football Association President

Kwesi Nyantakyi, Ghana Football Association President

Majority of Ghanaians who thronged the Accra International Conference Centre to view the investigative piece on Ghana Football are calling for the immediate resignation of the President of the Ghana Football Association, Kwasi Nyantakyi.

The Investigative piece, titled Number 12 was put together by controversial journalist Anas Aremeyaw Anas and his Tiger Eye PI team.

The video captures several Ghanaian FA officials including the FA President and referees engaging in corrupt activities.

Some Ghanaians who spoke to panafricanvisions.com said the FA president must step aside to allow a new person takeover the affairs of the FA.

“He must go, he cannot still be the FA president from what we have seen…he must resign,” one of the viewer’s said.

Another one said “Nyantakyi must be sacked by FIFA or resign to save himself from disgrace.”

In the video, Mr. Nyantakyi had a grand plan of ruling Ghana with money. Mr Nyantakyi in a meeting with undercover agents who posed as investors, disclosed how from small beginnings, he and his investor friends could ‘take over’ Ghana with their money

“You can start with something small in your own discretion, then when you get the contract; the big big contract, we can go back and give them more money, then we will take over the whole country,” Mr. Nyantakyi told the ‘investors’ in the video released by Anas Aremeyaw Anas.

Prior to today’s upcoming screening, a four-minute clip from the one-hour, thirty minutes documentary was shown to the President, Nana Akufo-Addo by Anas.

Subsequently, the Presidency revealed at a press conference that the clip shows GFA President, Kwesi Nyantakyi, using the offices of the President Nana Addo Danquah Akufo-Addo and his Vice, Mahamudu Bawumia, to extort money from people.

The President urged the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of the Ghana Police Service to invite Mr Nyantakyi for questioning.

Mr Nyantakyi subsequently handed himself to police to assist with investigations after a charge of defrauding by false pretense was leveled against him.

There has been a longstanding perception that Mr Nyantakyi’s stay in office, which has spanned at least 13 years, is the cause of setbacks with Ghana’s football.

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‘From Ramaphoria to Ramaphobia’?- Cyril Ramaphosa’s first 100 Days in Office
June 5, 2018 | 0 Comments

By Prince Kurupati

South Africans have high expectations, but will Cyril Ramaphosa deliver?

South Africans have high expectations, but will Cyril Ramaphosa deliver?

 

When Cyril Ramaphosa ascended to power a day after Valentine’s this year, a huge wave of euphoria engulfed the entire country of South Africa. However, only a 100 days down the lane, the huge wave of euphoria is slowly waning and the once touted ‘Ramaphoria’ seems to be turning into ‘Ramaphobia’.

Ramaphosa’s ascendency to power was greeted with massive joy by almost all South Africans especially the ordinary South African. However, though still popular, signs of discontent are starting to show among the various groups that once held him as the ‘saviour’. Ordinary South Africans who viewed Ramaphosa’s ascendency to power as a relief following years of economic stagnation and unemployment are fast losing hope as the status quo is showing no signs of changing anytime soon.

While Ramaphosa may no longer be as popular as he was 100 Days ago, his presidency thus can best be described as a mixed bag – there are a lot of positives suggesting the future is bright while at the same time there are worrying signs suggesting the change many people have been waiting for, for so long may take a little longer than anticipated. In not so long a piece, the following showcases Ramaphosa’s first 100 Days in office.

Injected confidence in an economy that was desperate for confidence

In any economic setup, confidence is such a crucial factor for success. While confidence had totally deserted South Africa owing to the many allegations and accusations of corruption levelled upon South Africa’s the then president, Jacob Zuma, many actors in the economic sphere in the country were devoid of confidence in the government administration. This lack of confidence transcended beyond borders to outside investors who were afraid of putting their capital in an economy that could ‘crumble’ at any time. However, the mere change of face of the president was enough to convince economic actors and investors that the country was now on the right path. The fact the Rand rallied over 4 percent in the aftermath of Ramaphosa’s inauguration underlies this.

State enterprises’ reforms

One of the main focus areas for Ramaphosa, as he took power, was reforming state enterprises. Most of South Africa’s state enterprises’ boards during Jacob Zuma’s last days in office were labelled as cronies of Jacob Zuma. These boards were said to have been ‘captured’. As such, there was a need to sanitise the state enterprises’ boards. Ramaphosa took swift action in sanitising the boards of most state enterprises by removing and replacing the boards. Boards of state enterprises such as Eskom (power generation), South African Express (national airline), the South Africa Revenue Service and Denel (aerospace and defence) were replaced.

Putting the right people in the right places

One of the key responsibilities of a president is to identify the right people for the right positions. Ramaphosa thus far has shown that he is competent in this regard as his appointments have got things moving. Pravin Gordhan who was appointed as the public enterprise’s minister spearheaded the state enterprises’ reforms, Nhlanhla Nene has overseen the rise of the Rand and injected a new lease of life at South Africa’s treasury while Lindiwe Sisulu has already started coordinating for important world summits to be held in South Africa.

Focusing on youth empowerment

When he ascended to power, Ramaphosa quickly identified the youth as a group that needed immediate help. This rightly so considering the growing youth unemployment rate in the country. In efforts to empower the youth, Ramaphosa launched the Youth Employment Service in order to create more employment for South Africa’s youth; unemployed youths will be placed in paid internships in state enterprises and also the private sector. In his own capacity, Ramaphosa also pledged to donate half of his salary to the Nelson Mandela Thuma Mina Fund which helps empower youth from impoverished backgrounds.

Making himself approachable

In as much as Zuma’s actions were vilified towards his last days in power, he was still approachable and adored even by the fiercest of critics. Zuma’s down to earth and open personality aptly made him a people’s president, something that prompted then opposition Democratic Alliance (DA) leader Helen Zille to state that Zuma is “affable, humble and approachable” and that the “personal tone of the presidency is open and friendly”. Cyril Ramaphosa, a rather laid back and reserve guy had to fill Zuma’s boots in all its facets thus had to find a way to make himself approachable too; so far he has succeeded largely due to his #Tummymustfall walks. Ramaphosa’ ‘send me’ rhetoric has also made him a people’s favourite. Ramaphosa also showed that he is a people’s president when he cut short his trip to the United Kingdom to come and manage the rising tensions surrounding the removal of Supra Mahumapelo.

Pushed through a new minimum wage

Ramaphosa moved swiftly to address one of the key areas that the country was found wanting in recent times. According to a report from CNBC, “South Africa is one of the most unequal societies in the world. According to the World Bank, the poorest 20 percent of South Africans consume less than 3 percent of the country’s total expenditure. Meanwhile, the wealthiest 20 percent account for 65 percent.” In order to address this challenge, Ramaphosa approved Parliament’s decision to set the new minimum wage at 3,500 Rand (around $277).

Land expropriation without compensation proving to be a difficult issue to manage

The land expropriation without compensation was always going to be difficult for any president to handle let alone Ramaphosa. As the issue was raised by his own party, it was a given that Ramaphosa would agree with the view. In his own words, Ramaphosa said: “We are determined that expropriation without compensation should be implemented in a way that increases agricultural production, improves food security and ensures that the land is returned to those from whom it was taken under colonialism and apartheid.” While his position is clear with regards to the issue, Ramaphosa has not backed it with any action thus far. However, at one stage or another, actions not just words will be expected from the president. How he deals with it will prove whether he is a success or not. At this stage, no conclusion can be reached.

Rising taxes and food prices making Ramaphosa unpopular

For the first time in 25 years, South Africa’s VAT increased. According to the Huffington Post SA, “There’s a big gap between the revenue that was budgeted to be collected by government and what was actually collected,” this is in relation to the 2017 fiscal year; however, the same has been happening in recent years too. The gap had been rising gradually year by year and the decision was taken to manage and curtail the rising gap by increasing VAT. While helping the government to balance its books, the decision has had a terrible effect on South Africans especially the poor.  Poor South Africans are having to pay more for clothing, medical and even some foodstuffs that are not zero-rated.

In all, Ramaphosa’s first 100 days in office have been alright if popular citizen surveys are anything to go by but he has faced some tough issues especially the land expropriation without compensation issue; however, much is expected in future rather than now, therefore, he has ample time of solidifying his position in the party in preparation for the 2019 presidential elections.

 

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Ghana:Mining giants fined $2.7m over Ahafo mine disaster
June 5, 2018 | 0 Comments

By Papisdaff Abdullah

Ghana’s Lands and Natural Resources Ministry has imposed a $2.7 million fine on DRA limited, Consar and Newmont Ghana Gold limited over the recent Ahafo Mines disaster that claimed six lives.

DRA limited, the company under whose supervision Consar Limited was working is to bare $2 million of the fine in addition to a series of recommendations by the committee tasked to look into the Newmont Ahafo Mines disaster in April this year.

Newmont Ghana is expected to pay $500, 000 while Consar Ghana Limited is to pay an additional fine of US$200,000.

The fatal accident that occurred at the Newmont Ahafo Mine at Kenyasi No 2 in the Brong Ahafo region on Saturday, April 7, 2018 claimed the lives of six workers.

The deceased were identified as Kwadwo Asare, Gideon Amankwaa, Kojo Bismarch, Ben Brako, Agyei Wale and Ebenezer Sarfo.

They were workers of Consar Company Limited, a sub-contracting firm which had been contracted to construct a reclaim tunnel roof at the Ahafo Mill Expansion Project.

They were on the site when the structure collapsed and trapped them.

Four others, Musa Sulemana, Seth Kwame, Daniel Dzitor and one other person who got injured during the accident were treated and discharged at the SOS Clinic of the mine.

Below is the full statement

PRESS STATEMENT BY HON. MINISTER FOR LANDS & NATURAL RESOURCES ON ENQUIRY REPORT ON MULTIPLE FATALITY ACCIDENT AT NEWMONT AHAFO MILL EXPANSION (A.M.E.) PROJECT ON 7TH APRIL 2018

On 7th April 2018, in compliance with Regulation 26 of Minerals and Mining (Health Safety and Technical Regulations, 2012 (L.I. 2182), Management of Newmont Ghana Gold Limited (Newmont or NGGL) Ahafo Mine, reported an accident which resulted in multiple fatalities (six dead) and various degrees of injuries to four other workers of Consar Limited.

Consar is a contractor working under the supervision of DRA Ghana Limited, an Engineering, Procurement, Construction and Management (EPCM) agent of NGGL, constructing a Reclaim Tunnel as part of the Ahafo Mill Expansion (AME) Project. The employees were reportedly involved in pouring a mixture of concrete at the Reclaim Tunnel when the two-level formwork structure at the west end of the Reclaim Tunnel failed, fatally injuring six men and injuring four others.

On the Sunday 8th April, 2018 the Hon. Minister led a team of Ministry and Mineral Commission officials to visit the accident site at the Ahafo mine in order to ascertain on firsthand the cause and the circumstances leading to the accident. The Hon. Minister and the team also visited the deceased families to commiserate with them as well as the injured.

INVESTIGATIONS
Pursuant to Regulation 16(1)(c) of L.I. 2182, the Hon. Minister constituted an investigation team under the auspices of the Inspectorate Division of the Minerals Commission to conduct an enquiry into the causes and circumstances leading to the accident.

FINDINGS
On 18th May 2018, a copy of the Report of the investigation Team was presented/submitted to the Ministry of Lands & Natural Resources. The investigations which took almost five weeks came up with several findings which bordered on design, operational and managerial failures leading to the fatalities and casualties. The Ministry has been reliably informed that NGGL has already deployed resources to support the injured and the families of the deceased victims.

RECOMMENDATIONS
The investigations team has come out with the following recommendations:

-Newmont Ghana Gold Limited Ahafo Mine shall suspend DRA Ghana Limited from all their activities at NGGL Ahafo Mine for failure to ensure the absolute health, safety and security of their contractor employees and therefore in branch of Regulation 553, LI 2182 of 2012.

-DRA Ghana Limited shall be dismissed from undertaking any construction project management on any mining site in Ghana for their blunt disregard for safety.

III. DRA Ghana Limited shall be fined US$10,000 for operating at the Ahafo site without Mining Services Operation Permit (breach of Regulation 8(4 and 5) LI 2182 of 2012) and for each day that the Company had operated without the Mining Services Operating Permit, an additional fine of US$200 shall be imposed.

-Newmont Ghana Gold Limited shall also be fined US$10,000 for failure to ensure that DRA Ghana Limited obtains a Mining Services Operating Permit prior to commencing operations at the Ahafo Site (breach of Regulation 8(4 and 5) LI 2182 of 2012) and for each day that the Company had operated without the Mine Support Operating Permit, an additional fine of US$200 shall be imposed.

-Newmont Ghana Gold Limited for failure to ensure the safety of contractor employees working at the Ahafo Mine Site shall pay the fatally wounded and the injured employees the appropriate workmen compensation. In addition, the fatally wounded employees should be compensated for their traumatic death, loss of their life and jettisoning of their livelihood.

-NGGL shall be fined US$10,000 for breach of Regulation 23(1), L.I. 2182 of 2012).

VII. Mr. Osei Owusu Adansi (Supervisor of Consar Ltd.) shall be dismissed from working as a supervisor at the A.M.E. Project site, for not ensuring the safety of his workmen (breaches of Regulations 550 and 553, L.I. 2182 of 2012).

VIII. In the event of a major spill of concrete mixture during pouring, Consar Limited shall ensure that pouring of concrete mixture into formworks shall be halted, and a report should be made to the Project Managers for assessment and decision making.

-There shall be no work underneath any erected formworks during the pouring of concrete mixtures. Work can only take place after the concrete mixture had been certified to be cured by a competent person.

-Consar Limited in continuing their work shall develop and implement controls to prevent workers from working beneath suspended load across the entire site with immediate effect.

The designs and construction of all formworks at the A.M.E. Project shall be reviewed immediately to take into consideration the horizontal forces on the haunch/chamfer at the edges of slabs.

XII. Provisions shall be made in all designs and construction of formworks for diagonal or cross and horizontal bracings for all Projects on the Mine.

XIII. Newmont shall immediately review all organograms to ensure that The General Manager has oversight responsibilities over all projects pursuant to Regulation 40 and 55, LI. 2182 of 2012. For this breach NGGL shall be fined US$10,000.

XIV. Further, NGGL shall ensure that Functional Managers have control and oversight responsibilities over the operational activities of all Projects on the Mine.

-NGGL shall immediately review its organizational structure to be consistent with operational responsibilities of the statutorily appointed managers to remedy the breach of the requirements under Regulation 35, LI. 2182 of 2012. For this breach NGGL shall be fined US$10,000.

XVI. General Manager of NGGL, Ahafo Mine shall ensure absolute responsibility of all the activities of Contractors over the life of the A.M.E. Project.

XVII. There shall be a civil supervisor and Safety Officer always present at the site during all operations by all contractors.

XVIII. All props shall be aligned vertically and braced appropriately during all such installations of formwork and supports.

XIX. All formworks designed by a Certified Engineer shall be inspected ad proved by same after installation.

-All Job Hazard Analysis (JHA) of all activities at the A.M.E. Project shall specify responsible and accountable persons for each task.

XXI. Consar Limited shall provide logbooks on site to record instructions, activities etc.

XXII. Consar Limited shall provide details of their Emergency Response Plans to the Inspectorate Division of the Minerals Commission by May 30, 2018. Consar Limited shall be fined US$10,000 each for failure to have site specific emergency response plan.

XXIII. NGGL shall be fined US$10,000 for not ensuring that DRA Ghana Limited and Consar Limited had emergency response plan.

XXIV. Newmont shall review its emergency Reponses Plan to include construction related scenarios by May 30, 2018.

XXV. Consar Limited shall immediately ensure that risk assessment completed for the tasks have adequate controls.

XXVI. All concrete mixing trucks for Consar Limited shall have waybills in them.

XXVII. Consar Limited shall ensure careful supervision and continuous inspection of formwork during erection, concrete placement, and removal of formwork.

XXVIII. Consar Limited shall remove the deformed formwork and iron rods and fix new ones before the concrete slab is recast.

XXIX. All the conveyor support structure, equipment and chutes which had been installed prior to pouring the concrete mixture, shall be removed to enable the appropriate supports to be erected prior to recasting the slab.

XXX. NGGL shall ensure that all agents and contractors working at the Ahafo Mine site identify, label and communicate exclusive zones to workers each day prior to commencement of task.

XXXI. NGGL shall ensure that all contractors on the Mine have Mine Support Services Operating Permits.

XXXII. Henceforth there shall be counterpart Ghanaian Consulting Engineers and Architects for all Engineering, Procurement, Construction and Management activities at all mine sites in fulfillment of Local Content requirements.

DIRECTIVES FROM THE HON. MINISTER ON THE OUTCOME OF THE INVESTIGATIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS MADE

Upon receipt of the report, DRA submitted a petition in response in a bid to absolve itself. However, following a review of the said petition, the Hon. Minister has subsequently directed the Minerals Commission to implement to the letter all the recommendations made by the investigation team. Indeed, above recommendations notwithstanding, and without any prejudice to any further action required by law and/or as recommended by the Investigation Report, The Hon. Minister as per the Minerals and Mining Act 2006, Act 703 Section 5(1) hereby directs as follows:

  1. For their contribution to the accident and save the implementation of item (i) and (ii) of the recommendations above by the Government of Ghana i.e. suspension and /or revocation of operating licence:
    a. DRA Ghana Limited is to pay an additional fine of US$2 million;
    b. NGGL is to pay an additional fine of US$500,000; and
    c. Consar Ghana Limited is to pay an additional fine of US$200,000.
  1. DRA should open a fully functioning local office in Ghana which is manned by a resident Managing Director within two weeks upon receipt of this report.In general, safety of workers at all mine sites in Ghana is of paramount interest to government. To this end, all operators on all mines sites in Ghana are also reminded that they are to comply with all laws, regulations and terms of their licences without fail. Failure to do so would come with sanctions which could include withdrawal of their licences as well as other punitive penalties.All operators at all mine sites in Ghana are therefore to take note of these directives and strictly comply with them forthwith.Signed
    Hon. Minister
    For Lands & Natural Resources
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I don’t criticise Akufo-Addo because of NDC lies- Rawlings
June 5, 2018 | 0 Comments

By Papisdaff Abdullah

Ghana’s Former President John Jerry Rawlings says the constant lies being peddled by some members of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) about his family makes it difficult for him to criticize President Akufo Addo led administration.

Delivering a durbar to commemorate the 39th anniversary of the June 4 revolution in Accra, Mr. Rawlings said he finds it difficult to believe some of the scandals that are being reported about the Akufo-Addo led government because of the lies that are regularly peddled about him and his wife.

“Some of the little ones are so vicious with their mouths…the kind of sins and nasty evil things that they do but turn around and insult people like Martin Amidu, like my wife, like myself and I wonder if that is my wife they are talking about, I wonder if that is me.

“When you say I don’t criticise Nana Addo or the things he does, to be quite honest I don’t know what to believe or to disbelieve because I know some of the things our people say about Martin Amidu, my wife and myself are false,” the military dictator said.

The former president has been a harsh critic of the party he founded under the late President John Evans Atta Mills and later President John Mahama.

But majority of his party members have accused him for treating the current government with kid gloves despite the many scandals that have rocked the NPP administration in less than 2 years in power.

Background of the June 4 revolution

The revolution sparked when the then military government of the  Supreme military Council (SMC II) of General F K. Akuffo put then flight Lieutenant Jerry John Rawlings on public trial for attempting to overthrow the government on May 15th 1979. This happened because Rawlings was a junior soldier in the Ghanaian Army who with other soldiers were refused to be given their salaries.

Rawlings turned the trial against the government by accusing it of massive corruption and requesting that his fellow accused be set free as he was solely responsible for the mutiny. He was incarcerated. His diatribe resonated with the entire nation as there was massive suffering.

In the night of June 3rd 1979, junior military officers including Major Boakye Djan broke into the jail where Rawlings was being held and freed him, and ostensibly marched him to the national radio station to make an announcement. The first time the public heard from Rawlings was a now legendary statement that he Rawlings had been released by the junior officers and that he was under their command. He requested all soldiers to meet with them at the Nicholson Stadium in Burma Camp in Accra.

The entire nation went up in uproar. The soldiers rounded up senior military officers including three former heads of states, General F. K Akuffo, Ignatious Kutu Acheampong and Afrifa for trial. They were subsequently executed by firing squad.

 

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Ghana’s Psychiatric hospitals face imminent closure as DFID withdraws funding.
June 5, 2018 | 0 Comments

By Papisdaff Abdullah

The Chief Executive Officer of Ghana Mental Health Authority (GHA), Dr Akwasi Osei is warning of great calamity in the country’s mental health system in the event the Department for International Development (DFID) withdraws its support of the Authority.

The DFID’s support for the GHA and by extension the country ’s three psychiatric hospitals comes to an end June this year—a situation Dr Osei warned will cripple entire mental health delivery system.

“So, if this support comes to an end then we will really not have any money to fall on.  Indeed what DFID is saying is that if we have any monies left unspent we need to return it and again the programme that we have is such that we are not likely to have any monies left.

“So, if the month comes to an end and we do not have any monies to let us continue to survive…to exist we will be forced to shut down and that’s the stark reality,” he lamented.

As a result, he added the hospitals in the next few days will “be forced to decide that either they shut down, in other words, they will not be admitting anybody, or they go back fully into cash and carry”offloading the cost of care to the patients.

 

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Kelni GVG will spy on Ghanaians – Telecoms Chamber
June 5, 2018 | 0 Comments

By Papisdaff Abdullah

Ken Ashigbey

Ken Ashigbey

Telecommunications companies in the Ghana are rejecting the moves by Kelni GVG monitor them stating that it would spy on Ghanaians. According to the Telcos, the point where the National Communications Authority (NCA) wants Kelni GVG to connect for real time monitoring will breach the data of customers. Communications Minister Ursula Owusu-Ekuful last week warned that the Telcos will be severely dealt with if they refuse to cooperate with Kelni GVG.

The minister in a statement to Parliament indicated that two telcos are in the process of being connected. “I am happy to announce that Vodafone and Glo are in the process of being connected as we speak. The others are expected to be connected by the 11th of June. Any operator who fails to comply will be sanctioned.”

But CEO for the Telecoms Chamber Ken Ashigbey claims the ministry wants to perpetuate an illegality. “The current architecture that the NCA and their service providers are proposing do not comply with the laws. “The law also says that we must be sure that when we do that we don’t have access to the content so that there is no privacy breach…but unfortunately the architecture has the capability [to spy]. So what the telcos are saying is that, as we speak our data stands to be breached if we go with the current architecture.”

Policy think-tank IMANI Africa first sounded an alarm over the details of the deal and called for its immediate termination. Its president, Franklin Cudjoe, argued that the agreement mirrored the controversial agreements the state entered into with Subah Infosolutions and Afriwave Telcom Ltd in 2010 and 2016 respectively. He also raised the privacy concerns while questioning the credibility of Kelni GVG.

“Ghanaians will have their data threatened if they allow this GVG company to play with their phone calls, chats, everything…with very strange characters behind it since all it has, for a security company of its pedigree, are stock photos,” he bemoaned.

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APC’s creation of toxic atmosphere and threat to life of the nPDP‎
June 5, 2018 | 0 Comments
By Alhaji Abubakar Kawu Baraje, CON,
President Muhammadu Buhari (Middle) with Senate President, Bukola Saraki (left) and Speaker, House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara (right)

President Muhammadu Buhari (Middle) with Senate President, Bukola Saraki (left) and Speaker, House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara (right)

Following the ongoing talks between members of the former NPDP, the APC and the Presidency in recent days,a team from the former nPDP led by Speaker of the House of Representatives, His Excellency Rt. Hon. Yakubu Dogara and four others, were to meet with the Vice President, His Excellency Prof Yemi Osinbajo.

 Alhaji Abubakar Kawu Baraje, CON,‎ in a statement said: ” we are truly and earnestly committed to achieving reconciliation, harmony, truce and cohesion in the APC as we approach the 2019 general elections, it is appears that the Presidency is not interested in the talks and that they may have been negotiating in bad faith.”

“We were alarmed that immediately after our meeting with the Vice President last week, the presidency misrepresented  what transpired at the meeting by trying to blackmail some of the principal actors involved in the discussions in a national daily.”

“Similarly, the leadership of the party (APC) went ahead to ratify  all the Congresses from ward, local governments, states and zonal  where many of our members have complaints, effectively presenting us with a fait accompli.

The persecution of our members using state security apparatus have continued unabated.

We recognize the powers of the Police to conduct criminal investigations but by rushing to the public with the issue even when they have unfettered access to the leadership of the National Assembly suggests an attempt to undermine, caricature and humiliate the institution of the legislature.‎”

“It appears that there is a fouled and toxic atmosphere and environment of intimidation and threat to life in which we now find ourselves which may no longer be conducive for members of the former nPDP to continue with the talks. Given the unfolding events in the last 24 hours,where the President of the Senate, His Excellency, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki and His Excellency, Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed, the Executive Governor of Kwara State , both of whom attended the meeting with the Vice President on Monday 28 May, 2018 ,have suddenly been accused of sponsoring armed robbery by the Police under the directives of the Presidency.”

“Similarly, on Saturday, June 2nd, 2018,  the Department of State of Services (DSS) also suddenly withdrew more than half of all the security details attached to the  presiding officers of the National Assembly under questionable circumstances.”

“The nPDP leadership has decided to  brief our members on the unfortunate development and get a fresh mandate if good faith returns to the discussions.”

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Pep Guardiola: Yaya Toure says Man City boss ‘often has problems with Africans’
June 5, 2018 | 0 Comments
Yaya Toure (left) started one league game during the 2017-2018 season

Yaya Toure (left) started one league game during the 2017-2018 season

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola “often has problems with Africans”, says ex-Blues midfielder Yaya Toure.

The Ivorian, who left City in May after eight years at the club, says he wants to “break the myth” about Guardiola, whom he describes as “jealous”.

“Maybe we Africans are not always treated by some in the same way as others,” said Toure in an interview with France Football.

Premier League champions City have declined to comment on Toure’s views.

Before his departure, the club named one of their training pitches after him and unveiled a mosaic of him at their training complex.

This summer they are set to sign France-born Algeria international Riyad Mahrez from Leicester City.

Toure, an Ivory Coast international, played for Guardiola at Barcelona for two seasons until he was sold to City in 2010 for £24m.

He won six major trophies in England but started just one Premier League game in City’s latest title-winning campaign – their final home fixture of the season against Brighton.

Prior to that game, Guardiola said: “Yaya came here at the start of the journey. Where we are now is because of what he has done.

“The Brighton game we will give him what he deserves, one of the most beautiful farewells a player can receive.”

Toure completed 86 minutes against Brighton, having featured for 142 minutes in the league prior to that this season.

He believes that was “not down to physics”, saying he sought data from the club’s trainers to compare himself to younger players.

Guardiola won six league titles as a player at Barcelona and has added a further seven as a manager during spells with the Catalan club, Bayern Munich and City.

Toure said: “I do not know why but I have the impression that he was jealous, he took me for a rival. As if I made him a little shade.

“He was cruel to me. I came to wonder if it was not because of my colour.

“I am not the first to talk about these differences in treatment. In Barca, some have also asked the question.

“When we realise he often has problems with Africans wherever he goes, I ask myself questions.

“I want to be the one who breaks the myth of Guardiola.”

Toure started 22 league games under Guardiola in the 2016-17 season, and says he was asked to stay for another year, but then used sparingly.

 *BBC
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