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Apeatse explosion: Show responsibility by going to the aid of victims – Chairano told

A former CEO of the Minerals Commission, Dr Tony Aubynn, has asked Chairano Mines to as a matter of urgency go to the aid of residents of Apeatse.

His statement follows the explosion of a vehicle that was transporting mining explosives to the community on Thursday, January 20, 2022.

It has emerged that Chairano Mines was the entity that requested for the explosives which couldn’t reach its destination due to the accident.

Speaking on Newsfile on Saturday, Dr Aubynn opined that the company could as part of its Cooperate Social Responsibility go to the aid of the community with relief items.

“If I were Chairano, I wouldn’t wait for a fine to be hefty or less. I’ll actually boldly come to the support of the community knowing very well that they are the entity that was requesting the explosives to be transported.

“Purely, even on moral grounds, and on Cooperate Social Responsibility grounds, if I were Chairano or if I were to advise them, I’ll ask them to show responsibility immediately and take it from them,” he said.

On Thursday, an explosion of a vehicle carrying mining explosives left Apeatse, a mining community in the Western Region in ruins.

The incident claimed about 13 lives and have rendered many homeless.

The accident is said to have occurred after a tricycle collided with the vehicle carrying the mining explosives.

Residents are calling on all sundry to come to their aid with relief items to help restore their livelihoods.

News

Investor concerns about Ghana are being exaggerated – John Kumah

The Deputy Minister of Finance, John Kumah has said the concerns raised by investors over Ghana’s ability to stabilise its debts have been exaggerated.

International ratings agency, Fitch, has downgraded Ghana’s Long-Term Foreign-Currency Issuer Default Rating (IDR) to ‘B-‘ from ‘B’ with a negative outlook.

The downgrade of Ghana’s IDRs and Negative Outlook reflect the sovereign’s loss of access to international capital markets in the second-half of 2021, following a pandemic-related [COVID-19] surge in government debt.

Fitch in a report said “this comes in the context of uncertainty about the government’s ability to stabilise debt and against a backdrop of tightening global financing conditions. In our view, Ghana’s ability to deliver on planned fiscal consolidation efforts could be hindered by the heavier reliance on domestic debt issuance with higher interest costs, in the context of an already exceptionally high-interest expenditure to revenue ratio.”

But speaking on JoyNews’ Newsfile, Mr John Kumah said Ghana has been unfairly treated.

“We sincerely believe that the concerns are being exaggerated and that Ghana particularly in this instance is being unfairly downgraded especially if the basis of the downgrade or concerns being raised is about the budget.

Let us understand that this economy recovering from Covid-19 last year, has grown on an average of 5.2 per cent.”

He explained that the economy has grown over time and the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) has been able to raise more than its target.

“If you check the first-quarter growth from 2021, it was 3.3 per cent. Then we did 3.9 per cent. In the third quarter, Ghana grew by 6 per cent. We don’t have the fourth quarter yet but we all know that due to the Christmas festivity, the fourth quarter will be the highest.

So if you take the average of the three quarters there is 5.2 per cent. The growth rate target for 2021 was 5 per cent. So if you are doing 5.2 per cent, it means you are doing well. Our budget deficit for last year was 9.4 per cent which I think we did 9.5 per cent, slightly above it.

If you look at our revenue targets, GRA was given a target of GH¢57 billion, they ended up collecting about GH¢57.3 billion. So it is an economy that is growing above 5 per cent, meeting its revenue target. “

The Deputy Finance Minister, therefore, said “we don’t see the basis for such an exaggerated concern.”

According to Mr Kumah, the misunderstanding may be as a result of the impasse on government’s E-levy Bill in Parliament that seeks to widen the country’s net tax.

“Except to say that it is because of the E-levy impasse in Parliament, because of the nature of Parliamentary strength which is equal. So they are not sure about how our revenue targets are going to go in 2022, otherwise, we don’t see the very basis and the fears.”

Meanwhile, the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta has said that the Electronic Transaction Levy (e-Levy) Bill will be resubmitted when Parliament reconvenes on January 25, 2021.

Entertainment News

Wizkid, Davido inspire each other to ‘go harder’, says singer CDQ

 

Nigerian singer, Yusuf Sodiq, popularly known as CDQ, has expressed joy over the viral video that showed Wizkid and Davido hugging each other at a club.

Fans of Wizkid and Davido have been at loggerheads as they claim that both stars were involved in a feud.

The new viral video allayed fears of fans as it portrayed that both singers were on good terms.

Reacting to the video, CDQ revealed how Davido and Wizkid had met him individually to discuss the other.

CDQ noted that Wizkid and Davido love and inspire each other to go harder in their musical journeys.

He wrote, “I just woke up now to a video of Wizkid and David hugging each other finally. Awon osinwin eniyan meji (Two crazy people.)

“After I have suffered for years trying to balance the relationship between both. Wizkid would say, ‘Your brother is hosting a show, won’t you support him?

“Davido would say, ‘Tell your brother to bring a jam, let us work’. Then I knew these two low key love each other and been inspiring each other to go harder.

“Today, I feel like the happiest person on earth and I feel like buying cows to just throw a big party.

“Now please you both should give us that collaboration that the world has been waiting for in 2022.

“The song arrangement should be 4 x 4 bars each between Wizkid and Davido till the end of the song. Let Burna Boy sing the hook and let’s put Nigeria number 1 in the world.”

Like CDQ, fans have been clamouring for a song that’d feature Wizkid, Davido, and Burna Boy, especially after the viral video circulated the internet on Saturday morning.

News Sports

Champions League: Chelsea players know UEFA will ban them – Tuchel

 

Chelsea manager, Thomas Tuchel, has admitted that players yet to receive COVID-19 vaccination are ready for the “consequences”, with UEFA set to ban them from the away leg of their Champions League tie at Lille.

 

The Blues face the Ligue 1 champions at Stamford Bridge on February 22 with the return leg on March 16.

 

But France has hardened its COVID rules, stipulating that all professional athletes competing in the country must be vaccinated.

 

“They [the players] are aware of it.

 

“And at some point, everybody who is not vaccinated will face some consequences. Does that make it wrong that they are not?

 

“I’m not so sure about it. I simply don’t know, I took my decision for myself. For us isolated as a club, isolated as a football team, there can be huge consequences.

 

“For example, if players are not allowed to travel to France, this can create problems for us in not being able to use key players.

 

“We are aware of it. It is a constant noise, a constant sound,” Tuchel said ahead of Sunday’s Premier League clash against Tottenham.

News

Nnamdi Kanu denies drawing Biafra map, blames IPOB’s detractors

 

The National leader of the outlawed indigenous people of Biafra, IPOB, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu on Friday berated detractors accusing him of drawing a map of Biafran land.

 

The leader of the group, Kanu cautioned detractors to desist from misinforming and deceiving the general public.

 

He gave the warning in a statement signed by Emma Powerful and made available to journalists in Abakaliki, Ebonyi State capital.

 

The statement reads in parts: “Our attention has been drawn to the blackmail being sponsored by our detractors that IPOB has drawn the Biafra map. We, therefore, want to debunk such fallacious narrative. We did not draw any Biafra map.

 

“We understand that some people in the coastal region of Biafra are misinformed and deceived with false information that IPOB, Nnamdi Kanu and Igbo have drawn the map of Biafra. It is false and intended to set us against ourselves. The issue of the Biafra map should not generate any heat because we know ourselves.

 

“Igbo people never conquered any tribe in the old Eastern region because our fathers saw themselves as one family, and today IPOB and Nnamdi KANU have towed the peaceful steps and accommodating spirits of our fathers. Being part of BIAFRA will never be by coercion but a voluntary matter through referendum.

 

“Any tribe or ethnicity who doesn’t want to be part of Biafra will never be forced to do so. Such tribes are free to go on their own but you must conduct a referendum for your people to decide their fate on the agitation for Biafra.

 

“We can attest that Igbo people never fought against any tribe in olden days because Igbo believe in (Onyeaghala Nwanne ya and Ibiri Kamu biri) (live and let live). Again Ijaw tribe and other tribes in the old Eastern region including Mid Western region are Igbo brothers and sisters today, tomorrow and forever.

 

“Igbo are not going to force anybody or tribe to join the fight for Biafra freedom. Let every tribe try what they can to wake up for their freedom because freedom is good and remains the best for all of us.

 

“No tribe in the old Eastern region and Western region should allow themselves to be deceived because Nnamdi KANU and IPOB did not draw any map for Biafra. Instead, we are staking our precious lives for all and it is the sacrifice we ought to pay for the realization of our freedom and independence.

 

“We are staking all we have for this freedom project, without Igbo tribe being in the forefront of this struggle the struggle would have been a thing of the past and we must continue until freedom is totally achieved” the group stated.

News Sports

2022 World Cup play-offs: Nigeria set to discover opponents as draw holds today

 

The draw for the final round of the 2022 World Cup Qualifiers Africa section will take place today (Saturday).

 

Nigeria is in the hat, after they finished top of Group C in the second round to qualify.

 

The playoffs will see the Super Eagles and nine other group winners face each other in a two-legged knockout tie.

 

The five winners will fly Africa’s flag in Qatar later this year.

 

The highest-ranked teams by FIFA will be seeded and placed in the same pot. They will also play their first legs away from home.

 

Nigeria is one of the top five ranked teams on the continent and will play their first leg away from home.

 

Seeded Teams: Senegal, Algeria, Tunisia, Morocco, Nigeria.

 

Unseeded teams: Cameroon, Ghana, Egypt, DR Congo, Mali.

News

Rate of borrowing reduced by government due to challenges at external market – Seth Terkper

Former Finance Minister, Seth Terkper has said government has reduced its rate of borrowing at the external market due to challenges it may face in receiving loans.

According to Mr Terpker, the trust that Ghana will be able to pay back loans it goes for is being lost as a result of the country’s inability to cater for previous loans.

This he said, led Bloomberg to warn government that it is moving deeper into distressed territory as investors judge that re-financing debt in the Eurobond market won’t be an option when the Federal Reserve hikes rates and budget targets remain elusive.

Speaking on JoyNews’ Newsfile on Saturday, Mr Terkper explained: “You are borrowing. Is your market able to give you the money you need? Your market is small. If you look at the budget, the financing system, you will see that the rate at which we are borrowing, government itself has lowered it. So the government is anticipating that it will have difficulty going to the external market.

Bloomberg is warning us that apart from the difficulty you have now, we all know that we are using all our tax revenue to basically pay compensation, the interest on previous loans. What this means is that the loan we borrowed previously, we are borrowing to refinance.”

He added: “Because our situation was deteriorating, that is how the markets interpret it, they think that you have difficulty in paying.”

For him, this solidifies why “government did not go to the market for the extra 2billon last year. We were supposed to borrow 5 billion.”

Mr Terkper cited the Zero-coupon bond Ghana took to explain further. According to him, although the move was described as “innovative,” the “cost was expensive.”

“For 500 million of which we were to receive, we received only 350 million upfront. Which means we gave away 150 million,” he said.

A zero-coupon bond, also known as an accrual bond, is a debt security that does not pay interest but instead trades at a deep discount, rendering a profit at maturity, when the bond is redeemed for its full face value.

His comment comes after International ratings agency, Fitch, downgraded Ghana’s Long-Term Foreign-Currency Issuer Default Rating (IDR) to ‘B-‘ from ‘B’ with a negative outlook.

Fitch in a report said “this comes in the context of uncertainty about the government’s ability to stabilise debt and against a backdrop of tightening global financing conditions. In our view, Ghana’s ability to deliver on planned fiscal consolidation efforts could be hindered by the heavier reliance on domestic debt issuance with higher interest costs, in the context of an already exceptionally high-interest expenditure to revenue ratio.”

The practical mechanics of a zero-coupon bond

Assuming Ghana issues a $500 million zero-coupon bond at a discounted rate of 20% ($100 million) Ghana will receive $400 million in cash today but pay back $500 million when the bond matures in 4 years.

In the interim, however, Ghana will not pay any interest over the 4 years. This means government can use the money it would have used to pay interest over the next 4 years for something else. In the case of Ghana for this bond, government has indicated the intention of using the proceeds to refinance more expensive domestic debt attracting 19% interest.

So Ghana is borrowing at no interest and using the proceeds to pay existing debt with higher/expensive interest rates.

News

Fire guts newly built LAMATA terminal in Ajah

 

The new Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (LAMATA) terminal in Ajah has been consumed by fire.

 

The cause of Saturday morning inferno is yet to be ascertained. Videos on social media show thick smoke blowing through the roof.

 

The state government intervened swiftly by mobilizing the Fire Service Unit to the scene after emergency calls.

 

The Lagos State Transport Management Authority (LASTMA) confirmed the inferno had been put out.

 

“The earlier reported fire incident at LAMATA newly constructed shelter at Ajah is put off now. Normalcy has been restored”, it tweeted.

News

2023: Ex Zamfara governor, Yarima declares intention to run for president

 

The first executive Governor of Zamfara State, Ahmad Rufai Sani also known as Yarima has made a formal declaration of his intent to join the 2023 presidential race.

 

The former governor who spoke during a BBC Hausa Service program “Gane Mani Hanya” in Gusau, the state capital said, since President Buhari is ending his second term, he would continue to pursue his presidential ambition.

 

“If God spares my life, by 2023 I would go into the contest for the post of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria ” Yarima said.

 

“In 2007 I made similar attempts but the Arewa Consultative Forum and other respected elders of the North pleaded with me and other contenders to step down for Muhammadu Buhari and I agreed”

 

“I made a vow that once Muhammadu Buhari was aspiring for the position of the President, I will not contest with him. In 2019 election, people asked me to contest I said unless Muhammadu Buhari would not be contesting for the second term I will contest”

 

“Now that he has been elected as President twice and his tenure is ending up in 2023, I decided to make a public pronouncement that I am contesting for the post of the President come 2023”

 

Responding to why he is interested in becoming the president of Nigeria Yarima said, “I served as Governor of Zamfara for eight years, I was in the Senate for twelve years so with the experiences I have gathered, I understand that Nigeria is suffering from two main problems, poverty and illiteracy.

 

“If government can come up with policies to enhance agriculture and livestock production, support small – scale entrepreneurship and everyone is empowered to do one business or the other, the issue of insecurity and other socio-economic issues crises affecting Nigerians will be addressed”.

 

On why, he chose to aspire for the position of president when he knows Buhari came from the North and from same geo -political zone with him, Yarima said “both the constitution of the APC and that of Nigeria does not provide room for zoning”

 

“If there is room for zoning and the post of the presidency is not zoned to someone’s geographical zone, it would be an act of madness for the same person to aspire for the post. The emphasis on both constitutions is “Nigerian regardless of the zone he came from”

 

“There is no zoning in APC constitution and even in the PDP constitution and if you insist on zoning, are you going to compel someone whose presidency is not zoned to his own geopolitical area to vote for someone he dislikes?” he asked?

 

Entertainment News

Celebrity breakups made me question my readiness for marriage – Actor Stan Nze

 

Nollywood actor, Stan Nze, has revealed that celebrity breakups made him questioned his readiness for marriage.

 

The 32-year-old revealed this in an interview with media personality, Ebuka Obi-Uchendu, in Rubbin’ Minds show, which aired on Sunday.

 

The Rattlesnake star had married a fellow Nollywood star, Blessing Obasi, aged 42, in September 2021, a period that witnessed breakups and marriage crises involving celebrities like Tonto Dikeh, 2Baba, etc.

 

According to the actor, he had planned to keep his marriage under wraps till his honeymoon.

 

He said, “I’ve always wanted my family to be private. My marriage was to be under wraps until my honeymoon but my wife insisted we post a photo so we control any coming narrative. We’d been together for 3 and a half years,” he said.

 

 “I want my marriage to work. A week before my marriage, I left social media. There was a lot of news on Instagram. Partners were fighting each other. I was literally palpitating, asking myself if I was ready for marriage.

 

“These were people I felt they were really in love, some even having dated for seven years. It was important that I married someone in the entertainment industry, whether radio, film, or movies. It’s a delicate industry.”

 

News

Benue Youths hail Gov Ortom over recent update on security, anti-grazing law

The Benue Youth Forum, BYF has lauded Governor Samuel Ortom over his recent comments on amended Open Grazing Prohibition and Ranches Establishment Law, 2017.

It was gathered that the governor, during an interview with Arise TV on Friday, said the law which was recently amended with stiffer penalties has recorded successes in the battle against insecurity in the state.

According to the new law, owners of animals impounded within the state will pay the fines of N50,000, N10,000, N5,000 and N1,000, respectively, per cow, sheep, goat and bird or poultry for violating the law as amended.

Reacting to Ortom’s interview, the Benue Youths, in a statement issued and made available to newsmen on Saturday by its president, Terrence Kuanum, said the governor was right in all his exposition during the interview.

The statement reads, “The Governor was right when he said the Open Grazing Prohibition and Ranches Establishment Law of Benue State has been successfully enforced with great achievements recorded. It is true as the Governor stated that the spate of armed Fulani herdsmen attacks has reduced with only a few cases of violations of the law still being witnessed in the border communities.

“It is absolutely correct that President Muhammadu Buhari is not ready to solve security issues in the country, otherwise why would he be insisting on reopening cattle routes when the three regions in the country have banned open grazing? It is a clandestine support from him to the altracious killings by the armed Fulani herdsmen”.

According to the group, Ortom spoke the minds of the majority of Nigerians particularly the Benue people when he said that the day President Buhari decides to end the attacks on innocent people by suspected herdsmen, the menace would become a thing of the past.

The group urged President Muhammadu Buhari “to come down from his high ego horse and listen to critical stakeholders like Governor Ortom who have been offering viable solutions for fixing security, economy and other critical issues to move the country forward.

“Lastly, we urge the Buhari administration and its agents to focus on their mandate of providing leadership to alleviate the suffering of the people and desist from vilifying and castigating true nationalists and patriots like Governor Samuel Ortom.

“The President’s poor handling of the economy has made Nigerians poor and hungry, with a high rate of unemployment and a staggering debt profile. Nothing is working and we citizens of this country cannot wait for the expiration of an insensitive administration of the Buhari led Federal Government before we raise our voices”.

News

Apeatse explosion: Interdicting Chief Inspector of Mines a knee-jerk reaction – Government told

A Mining Engineer, Theophilus Dzimegah, has criticised government over the interdiction of the Chief of Mines following the explosion which occurred at Apeatse on Thursday.

According to him, such a decision at a time when preliminary investigations into the accident are yet to be completed is a knee-jerk reaction.

“We shouldn’t have interdicted the Chief Inspector of Mines at this stage. We are yet to even have a preliminary report so it will mean that we’re jumping too quick,” he said.

The Lands Minister, Samuel Abdulai Jinapor, on Friday, January 21, 2022, instructed the CEO of the Minerals Commission, Martin Kwaku Ayisi, to interdict the Chief Inspector of Mines with immediate effect over the explosion at Apeatse in the Western Region.

In a press statement issued by the Lands Ministry, the Minister explained that “Pursuant to Regulation 2 of the Minerals and Mining (Explosives) Regulations, 2012, (LI 2177), the Chief Inspector of Mines is the chief inspector of explosives, and is responsible for the supervision of the manufacture, storage, transportation, and use of explosives for mining and mine support services.”

Therefore, Richard Kofi Adjei has been interdicted pending investigations.

Mr Jinapor, however, clarified on Newsfile that the interdiction is not to fault him for any wrongdoing.

He explained that to ensure a credible investigation, Maxam Company, and Mr Richard Kofi Adjei had to be withdrawn as both parties are at the center of investigations.

But Mr Dzimegah believes the interdiction should not have happened in the first place.

“We need to look at the incident and circumstances that led to it critically and patiently [before any decision is taken]. The action of the Minister was a bit quick and a knee-jerk reaction. We have been told that there was a collision with another vehicle. Why is the CEO of DVLA not being asked to step aside or the Minister of Roads and Transport not involved?

“If we are just saying that the explosive truck for which the Chief Inspector of Mines has responsibility for its transport is being introduced, what of the other truck that collided with it. So I think that it’s a knee-jerk reaction,” he said.

An explosion of a vehicle carrying mining explosives has left Apeatse, a mining community in the Western Region in ruins.

The incidents which occurred on Thursday claimed about 13 lives and have rendered many homeless.

The accident is said to have occurred after a tricycle collided with the vehicle carrying the mining explosives.

Residents are calling on all sundry to come to their aid with relief items to help restore their livelihoods.

News Sports

Eguavoen named best coach of AFCON group stage

 

Austin Eguavoen, Super Eagles interim head coach, has been named as the best manager of the group stage at the ongoing Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) in Cameroon.

 

Eguavoen was announced as the winner of the prize in a tweet posted on the Twitter page of AFCON on Friday.

The 56-year-old has overseen the impressive resurgence of the Eagles since he replaced Gernot Rohr in December 2021.

Despite restrained preparation for AFCON due to the restriction imposed by the Omicron variant of coronavirus, Eguavoen’s Eagles picked up all nine maximum points from the group stage of the competition.

 

He has been praised by many of the footballers in the squad for bestowing upon them newly-fangled freedom and credited for adding a breath of fresh air to the team.

 

Eguavoen had, however, noted that Rohr should also be credited for the team’s improved performance because the Franco-German assembled “98 percent” of the squad.

 

The Super Eagles are billed to face Tunisia in the Round of 16 on Sunday.

 

In other categories of awards, Cameroon’s Vincent Aboubakar was named the best player in the group stage for scoring five goals.

 

Egypt’s Mohamed El Shenawy was handed the gong for the safest pair of hands throughout the group stage for conceding just one goal in three games.

 

Guinea’s Ilaix Moriba was named the best young player of the group stage. The 19-year-old FC Barcelona youth product was instrumental for Guinea as they finished second in Group B.

News

Rumoured bomb blast at Al-Qalam University in Katsina fake

The management of Al-Qalam University, Katsina has dispelled trending reports on social media that the Institution’s campus was bombed on Friday.

The disclaimer was made in a press statement issued by the Head of Public Affairs of the university, Atiku A. Atiku.

Atiku described the purported bomb blast trending on social media as “unfortunate, unfounded, fake and misleading.”

He called on “the general public to disregard the fake information, assuring that the University is completely safe.”

On what actually transpired, Atiku said, “the tyre of a moving truck along Dutsinma Road busted around 8.30pm but mischief makers capitalized on the incident to say that there was a bomb blast inside the University.”

Atiku, however, noted that efforts are ongoing to fish out the source of the purported rumour which threw the campus and its environment into confusion.

News

2 suspected kidnappers killed, 2 victims rescued in Adamawa

Operatives of the Adamawa State Police Command and local hunters have killed two suspected kidnappers in a gun duel in Ganye, a town and local government area about 145 kilometers south of Yola, the state capital.

The combined operatives rescued two people the suspects allegedly abducted.

The police operatives attached to the Ganye Police Division in Ganye LGA and the hunters also recovered two fabricated rifles, chains, padlocks, charms and N72,000 cash from the suspects.

Spokesman of the Command, DSP Suleiman Nguroje, specified in a statement on Saturday that the security operatives rescued 60-year-old Abdullahi Buba, and 20-year-old Halima Ishaku of Sulti luga Ibi village, Sugu district, Ganye LGA.

The police spokesman said the two were abducted on the 19th of this month.

“The operation was carried out on the 21st January, 2022, at Shiga da Niya Hill situated at a remote side of Gangtum village in Ganye LGA,” he stated.

He added that the joint efforts of operatives succeeded in disconnecting the criminal network linking part of Gangtum District and Ganye.

“The breakthrough followed cases bordering on kidnapping, armed robbery, cattle rustling, unlawful possession of firearms, among others,” he explained.

He said the state Commissioner of Police, Mohammed Ahmed Barde, who commended the Ganye DPO and his men and hunters for their gallant performance, directed other DPOs to rout out all criminals from their respective areas of jurisdiction.

News

Ghana records remarkable improvement in timber exports – Samuel Abu Jinapor

Ghana has in the last three years recorded significant improvement in the quantity of timber exported and revenue generated from the domestic timber market.

Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, Mr Samuel Abu Jinapor, who made this known said Ghana had as of October 2021, exported some 248,657.909 cubic meters of timber worth over €133,000,000.00 to the international market.

The domestic trade in timber wood species also accounted for about 392,117.75 cubic meters.

Between the years 2019 and 2020, a total of 526,613.29 cubic meters of timber were exported to the international timber market.

The volume was worth over €266,000,000.00, whilst the domestic market accounted for 678,406.90 cubic meters within the same time frame.

Mr Jinapor said although the data showed much improvement in the timber sector, Ghana had the capacity and ability to do more.

He was speaking to journalists after launching two cutting-edge digital application platforms for the Forestry Commission at Akyawkrom in the Ejisu Municipality in the Ashanti Region.

The platforms were the E-Property Mark Registration/Renewal System and the Ghana Electronic Wood Tracking System.

Mr Jinapor said the Ministry had recently commissioned a study aimed at revamping the timber industry to help position the nation to take its rightful place on the international timber market.

He pointed out that lack of modern and appropriate technology had been a major challenge affecting Ghana’s performance on the international timber market.

“The technological infrastructure for accessing the international market and attracting the requisite investment demand a level of sophistication that yesterday’s systems and norms can no longer respond to.

We must, therefore, innovate constantly, and keep pace with the technological advancements necessary to access the international market.”

According to the Minister, the Ministry and its agencies had intensified efforts aimed at implementing an aggressive digitization agenda, adding that the efforts were yielding desired results.

They included the Minerals Commission online processing applications for mineral rights, and the tracking of all earth-moving equipment and machines used for mining to be able to determine, in real time, the location of this equipment and ensure they were used in a manner consistent with the mining laws.

The Lands Commission, on its part, has moved some of its services, including searches online, making it possible to conduct a search from the comfort of one’s home.

The Commission is also implementing a digitization programme to digitize all of its records, to help facilitate effective and efficient land administration.

Mr Jinapor said these initiatives if well implemented would improve the performance efficiency of all the agencies for the benefit of the players in the sector and called for support to achieve these goals.

News

Interdicting Chief of Mines, suspending Maxam Company’s license prove no wrongdoing – Lands Minister

The Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Samuel Abu Jinapor, has noted that interdicting the Chief of Mines and suspending the license of Maxam Company ahead of the investigation into the Apeatse explosion does not indicate the parties are responsible for the incident.

The Lands Minister earlier instructed the CEO of the Minerals Commission, Martin Kwaku Ayisi, to interdict the Chief Inspector of Mines, Richard Kofi Adjei.

Mr Abu Jinapor again directed that the Mineral’s Commission boss suspends its registration of Maxam Company Limited.

Providing the rationale behind his directive on JoyNews’ Newsfile, Mr Jinapor explained that to ensure a credible investigation, Maxam Company and Mr Richard Kofi Adjei had to step aside as both parties are at the centre of the exercise.

“It is just proper for the investigation and for the internal investigations of the Mineral Commission that the Chief Inspector steps aside in order for these investigations to be one that will be credible.

If you look at the law, the one who is directly responsible, if he (Kofi Adjei) is at post, I don’t know how credible the investigations will be. So it is just the right thing to do. Then you have this company which is at the centre of this situation. You don’t preclude the company from continuing its business of manufacturing and transporting explosives.”

According to Mr Jinapor, his directive does not assert that Mr Kofi Adjei and Maxam Company are to blame for the unfortunate incident that occurred at Apeatse on Thursday.

“Let me point out that this directive of mine by no means suggest that the Chief Inspector is guilty of any wrongdoing or is culpable. That should not be the conclusion to be drawn.

Interacting with host, Samson Lardy Anyenini, Mr Jinapor further revealed that the protocols of Maxam Company have not been perused yet and to ensure a similar incident involving the company does not recur, its operation must be suspended so as not to drag the image of government in the mud.

“We have not had the opportunity to interrogate their protocols yet and to conclude the investigation. God forbid, if we wake up tomorrow and we are told transportation of explosives by this same company in another part of the country has resulted in a similar tragic event, what will that tell of the managers of the country?

That will tell a very bad story of us and smack of bad judgment so I think that in the interim, while the investigations are ongoing, it is proper this company is precluded from the business that has resulted in this tragic incident. These are the fundamental reasoning that precipitated this action.”

In a press statement sighted by JoyNews, the Lands Minister explained his directive was pursuant to Regulation 2 of the Minerals and Mining (Explosives) Regulations, 2012, (LI 2177).

Per the regulation, “the Chief Inspector of Mines is the chief inspector of explosives, and is responsible for the supervision of the manufacture, storage, transportation, and use of explosives for mining and mine support services.”

Therefore, the Chief Inspector of Mines had to be interdicted pending investigations.

Apeatse explosion

On Thursday, January 20, about 500 houses were destroyed after an explosion at Apeatse between Bogoso and Bawdie in the Western Region.

Videos circulating on social media showed the Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS) officials conveying what looked like bodies out of the rubble.

Preliminary investigations conducted by the Police revealed that a vehicle loaded with mining explosive moving from Tarkwa to Chirano mines collided with a motorcycle resulting in the explosion.

The Police stated that the rider of the motorcycle from the opposite direction rode under the vehicle at around 1:25 pm on Thursday.

According to the Police, due to the impact of the crash, the motorcycle caught fire and ignited the explosives on the DAF van. The DAF vehicle thus burst into flames.

According to the Service, 190 casualties were recorded by the National Ambulance Service and allied agencies. Thirteen people have been confirmed dead.

About 36 people have been admitted to various hospitals and four out of the figure are in critical condition.

So far, 96 individuals have been discharged.

News Sports

BREAKING: AFCON 2021: Ghana FA fires coach, Rajevac over abysmal performance

 

Following Ghana’s unimpressive performance in the ongoing African Cup of Nations, (AFCON), the country’s Sports Ministry in an emergency meeting yesterday instructed the Ghana Football Association to sack its Serbian tactician, Milovan Rajevac, African Sports Today reported.

 

Despite the reluctance of the FA to fire Rajevac, the Ministry seems to have won the tussle on the future of the Serbian.

 

Rajevac in his first spell with the Black Stars led Ghana to the finals of the 2010 AFCON and the Quarter finals of the 2010 World Cup.

 

His second spell did not go as expected as Ghana exited the 2021 AFCON without a win, first of its kind in the history of the Black Stars.

 

It was gathered that the Ghana Football Association is expected to release a statement on the shocking development soon.

 

Details…

News

24-year-old KWASU student convicted for cybercrime, possession of fraudulent funds

Justice Adenike Akinpelu of the Kwara State High Court in Ilorin has sentenced a 24-year-old student of the State University, Malete, KWASU, Alonge Toyib Alao, to one-year imprisonment for cybercrimes and possession of fraudulent funds.

The Ilorin Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, arraigned Alonge before the court following the discovery of over N74m in his Fidelity bank account number 6323625884, reasonably suspected to be unlawfully obtained and thereby committing an offence contrary to Section 318A of the Penal Code Law and punishable under the same law.

The defendant pleaded guilty to the count charge against him.

Counsel to the EFCC, Rasheedat Alao, thereafter presented a prosecution witness, Kamaldeen Yahaya, also an operative of the agency to review the facts of the case.

According to count one charge against him, Alonge Toyib Alao, was said to have sometime in April 2020 and April 2021, in Ilorin, Kwara State, within the jurisdiction of the honourable court did knowingly have under his control N74m paid into his Fidelity bank account No. 6323625884 reasonably suspected to be unlawfully obtained and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 318A of the Penal Code law and punishable under the same law.

Yahaya, an operative of the agency, narrated in his evidence the circumstances that led to Alonge’s arrest, while items recovered from him including a Lexus 350 car, phone, Apple laptop and fraudulent messages printed from his email were presented and admitted in evidence.

The EFCC counsel urged the court to consider the testimonies of the sole prosecution witness, the guilty plea by the defendant and the exhibits tendered as well as the provisions of the law to pass judgment.

In her judgement, the trial judge sentenced Alonge to six months imprisonment on each of the two counts with N100,000 fine on each count.

She further ordered that all the items recovered from the convict at the point of arrest be forfeited to the Federal Government.

Entertainment News

‘I’ve suffered’ — Jaruma opens up after rumoured arrest

 

Jaruma, the sex therapist, has opened after reports emanated that she was arrested by the police in Abuja.

The therapist, in an Instagram video, made reference to her recent rift with Ned Nwoko, the Nigerian politician and businessman, and Regina Daniels, his actress wife.

 

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A post shared by The President’s Girlfriend (@jaruma_empire)

Regina had earlier called out Jaruma for claiming that she used one of her potions to keep Nwoko.

Jaruma had thereafter alleged non-delivery on an advertisement job for which she claimed to have paid Regina.

Nwoko subsequently denied involvement with Jaruma and her products, contrary to the claims by the therapist.

He also clarified that his marriage to Laila Charani, his Morrocan ex-wife, ended not as a result of Jaruma’s potion.

In her video, Jaruma suggested certain persons used their police influence to intimidate, arrest, and detain her.

 “I’ve suffered. I don’t understand how someone will abuse (insult) you. And then you abuse the person back. But they will now use the Nigerian police to bully, intimidate, and silence you,” the controversial sex therapist said.

“You take someone’s land or plantation. They complain. But you send the police to arrest and put the person in prison. I paid N10 million for a job that wasn’t done. I complained and my own landed.

“How many Nigerian youths do you want to put in prison? When people Google your name, only the list of Nigerian youths you’ve put in prison comes up. Who will now vote for you?”