Browsing Tag

December

News Sports

GFA maintain Otto Addo as head coach; Boateng, Dramani and Hughton also stay at post

The Ghana Football Association (GFA) have confirmed the re-appointment of Otto Addo as the head coach of the Black Stars ahead of the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers.

Just the like the technical team for the 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifier playoff against Nigeria, Addo will be assisted by George Boateng, Mas-Ud Didi Dramani while Chris Hughton will continue to work as the technical advisor for the team.

The four coaches, who played a key role to Ghana securing qualification to the global showpiece will stay on the technical team of the Black Stars as they prepare for the AFCON qualifiers as well as the World Cup to be staged in Qatar.

According to the Ghana FA, the decision to maintain the four comes after various engagements with all relevant stakeholders as well as the Ministry of Youth and Sports.

Addo, Boateng, Dramani and Hughton will stay on as the technical team until December 2022. 

They are expected to name their squad in the coming days for the qualifiers against Madagascar and Central African Republic. 

News

NDDC revokes contracts, orders contractors to refund monies

 

The Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) has announced that it has revoked contracts awarded before December 31, 2019, where the contractors didn’t move to the site.

 

Dr Ibitoye Abosede, NDDC’s Director of Corporate Affairs, made the announcement in a statement on Sunday.

 

Abosede directed the affected contractors to refund the monies to the commission’s account with the CBN.

 

The statement read in part, “Consequently, all affected contractors are advised to note that all monies earlier received by way of mobilisation for any of the projects are to be promptly refunded.

 

“The contractors are to refund the monies to the commission’s account with the CBN.

 

“This is to bring to the notice of all contractors engaged by the NDDC, as well as stakeholders and the general public, the implementation of the forensic audit report.

 

“The cancellation is also in line with the terms of the contracts for the award of the said projects.”

 

This is coming less than a week after operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, arrested Nsima Ekere, a former Managing Director of the NDDC, for alleged diversion of funds to the tune of N47 billion through registered contractors of the agency.

News Sports

Five key moments that won Man City the Premier League

Manchester City are champions of England for a fourth time in five years after holding off Liverpool in a titanic tussle for the Premier League title.

City’s failure to land a natural striker to replace Sergio Aguero cast doubt on their title credentials as Liverpool and Chelsea strengthened their squads with eyes on the crown.

Pep Guardiola’s men again proved to be well-suited to the marathon grind of a 38-game season, but needed to summon the spirit of champions to seal the deal on the final day.

Trailing 2-0 to Aston Villa with 14 minutes remaining, City needed to score three times to avoid a trophyless season and pulled it off thanks to Ilkay Gundogan’s double either side of Rodri’s strike.

SuperSport.com looks at five defining moments that swung the title race City’s way:

CHELSEA PUT IN THEIR PLACE

Chelsea had City’s number towards the end of last season, beating them three times in three different competitions, culminating in lifting the Champions League in Porto.

The Blues were expected to carry that momentum into a title challenge and started the season strongly.

City were three points behind Chelsea and Liverpool when they travelled to Stamford Bridge in early September having dropped points in two of their first five games.

However, Guardiola’s men laid down a marker with a dominant display that deserved a more comprehensive result than their 1-0 victory.

The same day, Liverpool were held 3-3 at Brentford to nullify the impact of City’s slow start.

WINTER WINS

Fans were back in the stands all season but coronavirus still had a major impact as outbreaks among squads led to mass postponements in the winter months.

City were one of the few clubs to escape without a single match being rearranged and produced a 12-game winning run between November and February that took the title race away from the chasing pack.

Rodri’s 92nd-minute winner at Arsenal in an early kick-off on January 1 amid a packed schedule was the stuff that champions are made of.

But there was plenty of the exhilarating football Guardiola’s sides are synonymous with too as Leeds were dispatched 7-0, Leicester hit for six and Newcastle and Norwich thrashed 4-0.

LIVERPOOL PAY PENALTY AT LEICESTER

As City motored through the festive period, Liverpool’s title bid came off the rails.

Jurgen Klopp’s men have lost just three of 62 games all season that kept their bid for an unprecedented quadruple alive into the final week of the campaign.

However, one of them came in the most unlikely circumstances at Leicester on December 28.

The postponement of Liverpool’s Boxing Day game with Leeds had given Klopp’s men a rare six-day rest amid the busiest time of the English football calendar.

Leicester, by contrast, had lost 6-3 at City only 48 hours previously and were severely weakened by injuries and Covid cases.

Mohamed Salah missed a Premier League penalty for the first time in four years before Ademola Lookman gave Leicester an unlikely 1-0 win.

Draws at Tottenham and Chelsea either side of Liverpool’s trip to the King Power allowed City to move 12 points ahead on New Year’s Day.

‘TITLE DECIDER’ STALEMATE SUITS CITY

Liverpool’s stunning form in 2022 gave Klopp’s men the chance to leapfrog City when the top two faced off at the Etihad in early April.

But City maintained a one-point lead at the top after a thrilling 2-2 draw.

Guardiola bemoaned his side had left the Reds “alive” after missing the best chances to win the game.

However, ultimately it proved to be a vital point in retaining the title.

NO HAMMER BLOW

Liverpool’s first dropped points at Anfield since October in a 1-1 draw with Tottenham allowed City to extend their lead to three points going into the final two games of the season.

But they twice nearly threw it away by falling behind 2-0 to both West Ham and Aston Villa.

Jarrod Bowen punished an injury-decimated City defence scoring twice for the Hammers before Jack Grealish and Vladimir Coufal’s own goal did enough to salvage a point and keep the destiny of the title in their own hands.

City did not learn their lesson as Villa also counter-attacked to good effect to take a 2-0 lead at the Etihad on Sunday.

This time Gundogan was the hero off the bench to spark scenes reminiscent of Aguero’s 93rd minute title winner to start City’s era of dominance 10 years ago.

News Sports

I’ve been following him – Cafu names best right-back in the world

Brazil legend, Cafu, has named Liverpool’s Trent Alexander-Arnold as one of the best right-backs in the world presently.

Cafu said he has been following Alexander-Arnold for the past few seasons and his progress over the last few years has been amazing.

Alexander-Arnold was handed his senior debut for Liverpool by Jurgen Klopp in December 2016.

The England international has since established himself as a key player for the Reds, making 224 appearances across all competitions.

The 23-year-old has been in fine form for Liverpool this season, helping the side’s quadruple push with his contributions.

Alexander-Arnold has scored two goals and provided 19 assists from 45 matches in all competitions for Liverpool this term.

“I have been following Alexander-Arnold and the campaign he has had at Liverpool. His progress over the last few years has been amazing and for sure is one of the best right-backs in the world,” Cafu, a former AC Milan defender, told BBC Sport.

“He is young, strong and has developed hugely considering his age. He also has a lot of experience and I see a lot of similarities between him and myself.”

“We both had a will and commitment to attack, to go forward and have the boldness to shoot and to put the crosses in. The diagonal movements he makes on the pitch are also similar to what I was making as a player.”

Music News

Ed Sheeran and wife Cherry Seaborn secretly welcome another baby girl

Ed Sheeran announced via Instagram Thursday that he and wife Cherry Seaborn secretly welcomed their second child.Getty/ Instagram

Ed Sheeran is a #GirlDad twice over.

The “Bad Habits” singer, 31, announced on Instagram Thursday that he and his wife, Cherry Seaborn, secretly welcomed another baby girl.

The couple are already parents to 1-year-old daughter Lyra Antarctica.

Sheeran shared a photo of a pair of adorable white booties on a brown blanket and captioned it nonchalantly, “Want to let you all know we’ve had another beautiful baby girl.”

He added, “We are both so in love with her, and over the moon to be a family of 4 x.”

It is unclear when Sheeran and Seaborn’s second child was born.

Lyra Antarctica was born in September 2020, and Sheeran captioned a photo of navy and gray baby socks to make that announcement.

Ed Sheeran and wife Cherry Seaborn secretly welcome another baby girl
Sheeran shared this pic of his baby’s socks to announce he had another child.
teddysphotos/Instagram

He captioned the pic at the time, “Ello! A quick message from me as I have some personal news that I wanted to share with you… Last week, with the help of an amazing delivery team, Cherry gave birth to our beautiful and healthy daughter – Lyra Antarctica Seaborn Sheeran.”

The “Thinking Out Loud” singer added, “We are completely in love with her. Both mum and baby are doing amazing and we are on cloud nine over here.”

Sheeran and Seaborn, also 31, began dating in 2015. They tied the knot in January 2019.

Ed Sheeran and wife Cherry Seaborn secretly welcome another baby girl
Sheeran and Seaborn were childhood friends and former classmates.
Getty Images

The romantic crooner has reportedly written a lot of songs about his now-wife, including hits like “Perfect” and “Shape of You.”

In December 2019, Seaborn even starred in his music video for “Put It All On Me.”

News

Lagos airport shut temporarily, flights diverted over mangled corpse on runway

 

The international wing of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos, was temporarily shut in the early hours of Thursday after the mangled body of a dead man was found on Runway 18R of the nation’s flagship airport.

 

The identity of the corpse could not be ascertained as of press time. Also, it could not be established whether the dead man was knocked down by an aircraft taking off or landing on the runway.

 

However, airport officials told our correspondent that the runway was temporarily shut down while a team of officials from the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria and the Nigeria Police Force evacuated the corpse from the runway.

 

During the temporary shutdown of the runway, international flights were prevented from landing and taking off from the airport’s international terminal.

 

Among the flights that could not land due to the shutdown was an Ethiopian Airlines flight 3907, a Boeing 77F aircraft with registration number ETAVN, which was coming from Lome, Togo to Lagos, Nigeria.

 

The flight was later diverted back to Lome after holding for a while.

 

Airport officials said the corpse was suddenly found on Runway 18R during a routine runway inspection by FAAN personnel.

 

The officials were said to have reported a corpse on the runway around the cargo area.

 

The spokesperson for FAAN, Mrs. Faithful Avokerie Hope-Ivbaz, could not immediately confirm the incident, saying she had yet to be briefed on the development.

 

Also, the Police Public Relations Officer, Airport Command, Mr Olayinka Ojelade, said he had yet to get the requited signal on the incident.

 

He promised to get back. As of the time of filing this report, he had yet to do so. However, a top police official at the MMIA confirmed the development.

 

He said the command was called upon in the early hours of Thursday to evacuate the corpse from Runway 18R.

 

According to him, the police are still investigating the identity of the dead man and how he got to the security area of the international airport.

 

However, an aviation security expert and former Military Commandant of the MMIA, Group Captain John Ojikutu,retd, said there was a need to investigate how the unidentified man found his way into the sensitive area of the airport, describing the incident as a major security breach.

 

According to him, the perimeter fence of the MMIA is not a security fence, adding that this has exposed the airport to various security breaches.

 

Ojikutu said, “The authorities need to investigate how the man got to the airport. Nobody can say much now; but he may have been knocked down by the wingspan or undercarriage of a jumbo jet but it is too early to say anything like that now.  But we need to examine the issue of houses that have been built too close to the Lagos airport. The rule says no building should be situated less than six metres to the airport structure or fence. However, we have seen cases of people crossing the runway before.

 

“The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority and FAAN need to investigate this to ascertain what really happened. They need to find out the flights that landed before that incident. The current airport perimeter fence is not a security fence and we need to do something about it.”

 

Meanwhile, there have been a couple of airport security breaches in recent times.

 

A mishap was averted at the airside of the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Lagos some months ago when a speeding vehicle had a near collision with a Dana Air plane taxiing to take off on Runway 18L of the airport.

 

The unfortunate incident, which happened on December 21, 2021, occurred barely one week after a landing Max Air jet almost rammed into a malfunctioning car being tested on  Runway 18L.

 

Also, there was pandemonium at the airside of the Lagos airport on December 27, 2019 when an unidentified man found his way into the airside mysteriously and mounted a moving Air Peace plane.

 

The man was later arrested by security operatives who were notified by the pilot of a private jet coming behind the Air Peace plane.

 

The incident happened barely six months after a man found his way into the Lagos airport and climbed a Port Harcourt-bound Azman Airlines plane.

 

The man, believed to be mentally ill, was later identified as Usman Adamu from the Republic of Niger.

 

The Police said the Nigerien could not speak or understand English Language.

 

The authorities said then that investigation was still ongoing to ascertain how Adamu gained access to the restricted area at the airport.

Entertainment News

I’m considering vasectomy – Nick Cannon

 

Nick Cannon has revealed that he is considering getting a vasectomy after welcoming eight children with 5 different women.

 

The 41-year-old, who is expecting his ninth child with girlfriend Brie Tiesi said this to E! News’ Daily Pop.

 

According to him, although he’s blessed with the gifts of children and finds solace in them, he’s not looking to populate the earth.

 

Nick Cannon said: “I already went and got my vasectomy consultation. I am not looking to populate the earth completely, but I’m definitely looking forward to taking care and loving all the children that I currently have.”

 

When asked if he really wanted to have so many children or it’s just a coincidence, he said: “I don’t know if I would have designed it this way, but it’s one of those things when you’re blessed with the gifts of children and as we all know, I have been through so much, I find solace, I find peace and purpose in my children, so I’m not out here looking.”

 

Recall that Cannon had a son named Zen, with Alyssa Scott, but he sadly died in December 2021 at 5 months from brain cancer.

Entertainment News

I’m considering vasectomy – Nick Cannon

 

Nick Cannon has revealed that he is considering getting a vasectomy after welcoming eight children with 5 different women.

 

The 41-year-old, who is expecting his ninth child with girlfriend Brie Tiesi said this to E! News’ Daily Pop.

 

According to him, although he’s blessed with the gifts of children and finds solace in them, he’s not looking to populate the earth.

 

Nick Cannon said: “I already went and got my vasectomy consultation. I am not looking to populate the earth completely, but I’m definitely looking forward to taking care and loving all the children that I currently have.”

 

When asked if he really wanted to have so many children or it’s just a coincidence, he said: “I don’t know if I would have designed it this way, but it’s one of those things when you’re blessed with the gifts of children and as we all know, I have been through so much, I find solace, I find peace and purpose in my children, so I’m not out here looking.”

 

Recall that Cannon had a son named Zen, with Alyssa Scott, but he sadly died in December 2021 at 5 months from brain cancer.

News

UFOs: Few answers at rare US Congressional hearing

The first public congressional hearing into UFO sightings in the US in over 50 years ended with few answers about the unexplained phenomenon.

Two top military officials tasked with probing the sightings said that most can ultimately be identified.

But they said a number of events have defied all attempts at explanation.

The sightings recorded by the military include 11 “near-misses” with US aircraft.

Some Unexplained Aerial Phenomena (UAPs) – as the military terms UFOs – seem to have been moving without any discernible means of propulsion.

What happened at the hearing?

During the hearing at the House Intelligence Counterterrorism, Counterintelligence, and Counterproliferation Subcommittee, top Pentagon intelligence official Ronald Moultrie said that through “rigorous” analysis, most – but not all – UAPs can be identified.

“Any object we encounter can likely be isolated, characterised, identified and, if necessary, mitigated,” Mr Moultrie said.

A small number of incidents, however, still have no explanation. In one such incident in 2004, fighter pilots operating from an aircraft carrier in the Pacific encountered an object that seemed to have descended tens of thousands of feet before stopping and hovering.

In another incident, shown publicly for the first time on Tuesday, an object can be seen on camera flying past a US Navy fighter jet. The object remains unexplained.

“There are a small handful [of events] in which there are flight characteristics or signature management that we can’t explain with the data we have available,” said Scott Bray, the deputy director of naval intelligence. “Those are obviously the ones that are of most interest to us.”

Mr Bray also sought to dispel the notion that UAPs might be extraterrestrial aliens, noting that no organic or inorganic material or unexplainable wreckage has ever been recovered, and no attempts have been made at communicating with the objects.

“We have detected no eliminations within the UAP task force that…would suggest it’s anything non-terrestrial in origin,” he said.

A national security threat?

Lawmakers at the hearing expressed concern that any unexplained aerial phenomenon might be a threat to national security.

Rick Crawford, an Arkansas Republican, said that a failure to identify potential threats was “tantamount to intelligence failure that we certainly want to avoid”.

“It’s not about finding alien spacecraft,” he added.

In the cases of objects with unexplainable propulsion, Mr Bray said that the US is “not aware” of any potential adversaries with such technologies.

Following the public hearing, the committee closed its doors for a private classified session with lawmakers.

US Deputy Director of Naval Intelligence Scott Bray explains a video of an unidentified aerial phenomena
Image caption,US Deputy Director of Naval Intelligence Scott Bray shows a video of a UAP

How did we get here?

Public fascination with flying saucers, glowing lights and otherworldly aircrafts has been ongoing for generations.

The last public hearings into the issue began in 1966, when Republican congressman – and future president – Gerald Ford convened a pair of hearings to discuss a UFO sightings following one in Michigan that was observed by over 40 people, including a dozen policemen.

The Air Force officials attributed the incident to “swamp gas”, leadi

The Air Force officials attributed the incident to “swamp gas”, leading Ford to deride their description as “flippant” .

In 1969, an Air Force investigation into UFOs called Project Blue Book closed after determining that no flying object had ever been confirmed or deemed a threat to US national security.

Blast forward to 2017, when US media reported on the Pentagon’s secretive efforts to probe testimony from pilots and other US military members who had reported seeing strange objects in the sky.

The reports included footage of the UFOs, and descriptions of how they seemed to fly in unexpected ways, including hovering in place during high winds and changing elevation rapidly.

Pilots described seeing them on an almost “daily basis” outside military bases, and one whistleblower described how UAPs had interfered with US nuclear weapons facilities, even forcing some offline.

In 2020, a Covid relief bill signed by Donald Trump included a provision requiring US intelligence agencies to deliver an unclassified report on UAPs within 180 days.

In June 2021, the US Director of National Intelligence released a report saying it had no explanation for dozens of unidentified flying objects related to 144 incidents dating back to 2004. Only one could be easily explained as a deflating balloon, while the others were labelled “largely inconclusive”.

“Most of the UAP reported probably do represent physical objects,” the report stated, adding that 80 of them were detected on multiple advanced military sensors and radar systems.

The June 2021 report failed to reach any conclusive answers in regards to what the objects are, or how they function. It called for expanded investigation and better data collection, given the stigma government workers may have against their describing unexplained encounters.

Last December, Democrats succeeded in including a stronger disclosure requirement in the annual National Defense Authorization Act signed by Joe Biden.

The law requires the military to establish a permanent office on UAP research – now called the Airborne Object Identification and Management Synchronization Group.

News

Nana Benyin: On the Achimota Forest Reserve lands and related matters

The entire area of land known generally as Achimota lands was compulsorily acquired by the Gold Coast colonial government by certificates of title dated December 16, 1921, and May 17, 1927, under the Public Lands Ordinance of 1876 for the establishment of the Prince of Wales College (now Achimota School).

The land was acquired from the Owoo Family of Osu and compensation of £4000 was paid in connection therewith.

A section of the land was constituted into a forest reserve to provide among others, a buffer between the college and the city of Accra, and also to provide cheap fuelwood for the college. That is what is currently known as Achimota Forest Reserve, and comprised a much larger expanse than we have currently.

The current size of the forest reserve is approximately 360 hectares after it lost a sizeable swathe of 135 hectares of its original size to various projects including the establishment of the Greenhill campus (GIMPA).

By petitions dated August 14, 2006, and September 25, 2007, respectively and addressed to the President of the Republic, the Owoo family (pre-acquisition owners) prayed for the release of unused portions of the acquired land back to them.

By a letter dated September 11, 2013, the government through the Forestry Commission, approved the request of the Owoo Family’s repeated petitions and agreed to grant them a leasehold interest of 99 years in the peripheral areas of the forest amounting to 118 acres.

the government also has intentions of developing portions of the area into an ecotourism/green park through a public-private partnership.

Due to the zoning of the area as a forest reserve, the released portions cannot be used for purposes not in line with the zoning. This caused the Owoo family to apply for a rezoning of the area to make it suitable for the intended development purposes of its grantees.

The current notice is not a sale of Achimota forest reserve lands but rather, a notice that the area is no longer zoned as a Forest Reserve.

The actual “sale” if it is proper to refer to it as such, was done by the government as far back as September 2013 when government released parts of the land to the Owoo Family. What has been done now is only consequent upon the said release.

Before we jump on issues and sensationalise them, it is prudent that we take a minute to seek some minimum information. Government has not done anything wrong or untoward. At least not this government.

My ten cents!

News

Full text: Government committed to protecting Achimota Forest – Lands Minister

Following the publication of the Forests (Cessation of Forest Reserve) Instrument, 2022 (E.I 144), there have been reports circulating in some sessions of the media that the Achimota Forest Reserve has been sold.

The general public is entreated to disregard these reports as they are false, baseless and non-factual. Indeed, what the propagators of these messages have refused to add is that E.I. 144 was published together with the Forests (Achimota Firewood Plantation Forest Reserve) (Amendment) Instrument, 2022 (E.I. 154).

What EI 144 does is to make the peripheral portions of the Forest Reserve, which had already been granted to the Owoo Family in September 2013, portions of which have already been developed, cease to be a Forest Reserve, to ensure a development that is consistent with the area of the Forest Reserve.

Further, E.I. 154, on the other hand, states emphatically, that the area of the forest shall remain a Forest Reserve. Both instruments contain adequate provisions that seek to protect the ecological integrity of the Forest Reserve.

The facts leading to the publication of these two instruments are as follows:

  • In 1921, the Government of the then Gold Coast, by a Certificate of Title dated 16th December 1921, made under the Public Lands Ordinance, 1876, acquired from the Owoo Family the parcel of land on which the Achimota School is situated.
  • Subsequently, by another Certificate of Title dated 17th May, 1927, the Government acquired from the same Family another tract of land measuring approximately four hundred and seventy-nine (479) hectares as an extension to the Achimota School. Although there are receipts indicating payment of compensation for the 1921 acquisition, there are no records of payment of compensation for the 1927 acquisition.
  • By an Order 31 of 1930, dated July 17, 1930, the Government, pursuant to its power under the Forests Act, 1927, (Cap 157), constituted the land acquired in 1927, as a Forest Reserve for the purposes of Fuel Wood Plantation for Achimota School.
  • Following several encroachments on the Forest Reserve, the pre-acquisition owners, the Owoo Family, in 2007, submitted a petition to the then President, H.E. John Agyekum Kufuor, for the release of the portion of the Forest Reserve adjoining the Tema motorway. After consultations between the Office of President and the relevant bodies, it was recommended that that portion of the Forest Reserve be released to the Owoo Family. This culminated in an Agreement dated 24th November, 2008 between the Government, acting by the then Ministry of Lands, Forestry and Mines, and the Owoo Family for the grant of a lease over ninety (90) acres of the land to the Owoo Family for a term of ninety-nine (99) years. The Lease agreement was however not executed as agreed.
  • In 2011, the Owoo Family, submitted another petition to the then Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, Hon. Mike Hammah, for the grant of portions of the Forest Reserve. The Minister constituted a committee, chaired by the then Chairman of the then Chief Executive Officer of the Forestry Commission, Mr. Samuel Afari Dartey, to inquire into the legitimacy of the request and its impact on the Forest Reserve.
  • The Committee after its investigations concluded that the request of the Owoo Family was legitimate.
  • The Minister then, sought executive approval to implement the recommendations of the Committee.  
  • On 5th September, 2013, the then President of the Republic, H.E. John Dramani Mahama, gave Executive Approval for the conversion of the Forest Reserve into an Ecotourism Park, and to release the peripheral portions of the Forest Reserve to the Owoo Family, in accordance with the recommendations of the Committee.
  • Pursuant to the said Executive Approval, the Forestry Commission, acting on behalf of the then President, H.E. John Dramani Mahama, three (3) leases executed in September 2013, granted these portions of the Forest Reserve to the Owoo Family for a term of ninety-nine (99) years. The Family then registered the land in its name and granted sub-leases to other private developers with the consent of the Forestry Commission. However, because the land remained a Forest Reserve, by virtue of Order 31 of 1930, the lessees and sub-lessees could not develop the land, although they had obtained all the necessary permits.
  • Pursuant to the same Executive Approval, the Forestry Commission, acting on behalf of the then President of the Republic, H.E. John Dramani Mahama, entered into an agreement with Aikan Capital, a limited liability company for the development of core area of the Forest into an Ecotourism Park. The Commission also executed a lease agreement with the company in February 2016, by which 227.84 hectares of the Forest Reserve was leased to the company to undertake the planned development.
  • The Owoo Family and their grantees, in a bid to develop the peripheral portions of the land which had already been granted to them, continued to petition Government to release of the peripheral portions as a Forest Reserve. Government, after assessing the entire situation, and based on the advice of the Forestry Commission, that the ecological integrity of the Forest Reserve will not be compromised by the Release, decided to release the peripheral portions of the land from the Forest Reserve.
  • This led to the publication of the two instruments, the Forests (Cessation of Forest Reserve) Instrument, 2022 (E.I 144), and the Forests (Achimota Firewood Plantation Forest Reserve) (Amendment) Instrument, 2022 (E.I. 154). The first makes the peripheral portions of the Forest Reserve, which had already been granted to the Owoo Family in 2013, with portions developed, cease to be a Forest Reserve. The second, amends the area of the land that should continue as Forest Reserve.
  • However, as part of measures to ensure that the area of the Forest is not compromised, both Instruments contain provisions that restrict the nature of the development that can take place on the land. Under E.I. 144 for example, before any development can take place on the peripheral portions of the Forest that has ceased to be a Forest Reserve,
  • Land Use and Spatial Authority shall prepare a Master Plan for the development of the area, taking into consideration the ecological integrity of the remaining portions of the Forest Reserve.
  • The Master Plan must be approved by the Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, acting on the advice of the Forestry Commission;
  • No development can take place without the express approval of the Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, taking into consideration the ecological integrity of the Forest.

The Achimota Forest remains an integral part of Government’s plan for the protection of our forest cover, and our agenda for aggressive afforestation and reforestation. Government, through the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources, will continue to protect the Achimota Forest and prevent it from being further encroached. Government is also committed to ensuring that whatever that happens on the peripheral portions of the land, does not affect the ecological integrity of the Forest.

News

Full text: Government committed to protecting Achimota Forest – Lands Minister

Following the publication of the Forests (Cessation of Forest Reserve) Instrument, 2022 (E.I 144), there have been reports circulating in some sessions of the media that the Achimota Forest Reserve has been sold.

The general public is entreated to disregard these reports as they are false, baseless and non-factual. Indeed, what the propagators of these messages have refused to add is that E.I. 144 was published together with the Forests (Achimota Firewood Plantation Forest Reserve) (Amendment) Instrument, 2022 (E.I. 154).

What EI 144 does is to make the peripheral portions of the Forest Reserve, which had already been granted to the Owoo Family in September 2013, portions of which have already been developed, cease to be a Forest Reserve, to ensure a development that is consistent with the area of the Forest Reserve.

Further, E.I. 154, on the other hand, states emphatically, that the area of the forest shall remain a Forest Reserve. Both instruments contain adequate provisions that seek to protect the ecological integrity of the Forest Reserve.

The facts leading to the publication of these two instruments are as follows:

  • In 1921, the Government of the then Gold Coast, by a Certificate of Title dated 16th December 1921, made under the Public Lands Ordinance, 1876, acquired from the Owoo Family the parcel of land on which the Achimota School is situated.
  • Subsequently, by another Certificate of Title dated 17th May, 1927, the Government acquired from the same Family another tract of land measuring approximately four hundred and seventy-nine (479) hectares as an extension to the Achimota School. Although there are receipts indicating payment of compensation for the 1921 acquisition, there are no records of payment of compensation for the 1927 acquisition.
  • By an Order 31 of 1930, dated July 17, 1930, the Government, pursuant to its power under the Forests Act, 1927, (Cap 157), constituted the land acquired in 1927, as a Forest Reserve for the purposes of Fuel Wood Plantation for Achimota School.
  • Following several encroachments on the Forest Reserve, the pre-acquisition owners, the Owoo Family, in 2007, submitted a petition to the then President, H.E. John Agyekum Kufuor, for the release of the portion of the Forest Reserve adjoining the Tema motorway. After consultations between the Office of President and the relevant bodies, it was recommended that that portion of the Forest Reserve be released to the Owoo Family. This culminated in an Agreement dated 24th November, 2008 between the Government, acting by the then Ministry of Lands, Forestry and Mines, and the Owoo Family for the grant of a lease over ninety (90) acres of the land to the Owoo Family for a term of ninety-nine (99) years. The Lease agreement was however not executed as agreed.
  • In 2011, the Owoo Family, submitted another petition to the then Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, Hon. Mike Hammah, for the grant of portions of the Forest Reserve. The Minister constituted a committee, chaired by the then Chairman of the then Chief Executive Officer of the Forestry Commission, Mr. Samuel Afari Dartey, to inquire into the legitimacy of the request and its impact on the Forest Reserve.
  • The Committee after its investigations concluded that the request of the Owoo Family was legitimate.
  • The Minister then, sought executive approval to implement the recommendations of the Committee.  
  • On 5th September, 2013, the then President of the Republic, H.E. John Dramani Mahama, gave Executive Approval for the conversion of the Forest Reserve into an Ecotourism Park, and to release the peripheral portions of the Forest Reserve to the Owoo Family, in accordance with the recommendations of the Committee.
  • Pursuant to the said Executive Approval, the Forestry Commission, acting on behalf of the then President, H.E. John Dramani Mahama, three (3) leases executed in September 2013, granted these portions of the Forest Reserve to the Owoo Family for a term of ninety-nine (99) years. The Family then registered the land in its name and granted sub-leases to other private developers with the consent of the Forestry Commission. However, because the land remained a Forest Reserve, by virtue of Order 31 of 1930, the lessees and sub-lessees could not develop the land, although they had obtained all the necessary permits.
  • Pursuant to the same Executive Approval, the Forestry Commission, acting on behalf of the then President of the Republic, H.E. John Dramani Mahama, entered into an agreement with Aikan Capital, a limited liability company for the development of core area of the Forest into an Ecotourism Park. The Commission also executed a lease agreement with the company in February 2016, by which 227.84 hectares of the Forest Reserve was leased to the company to undertake the planned development.
  • The Owoo Family and their grantees, in a bid to develop the peripheral portions of the land which had already been granted to them, continued to petition Government to release of the peripheral portions as a Forest Reserve. Government, after assessing the entire situation, and based on the advice of the Forestry Commission, that the ecological integrity of the Forest Reserve will not be compromised by the Release, decided to release the peripheral portions of the land from the Forest Reserve.
  • This led to the publication of the two instruments, the Forests (Cessation of Forest Reserve) Instrument, 2022 (E.I 144), and the Forests (Achimota Firewood Plantation Forest Reserve) (Amendment) Instrument, 2022 (E.I. 154). The first makes the peripheral portions of the Forest Reserve, which had already been granted to the Owoo Family in 2013, with portions developed, cease to be a Forest Reserve. The second, amends the area of the land that should continue as Forest Reserve.
  • However, as part of measures to ensure that the area of the Forest is not compromised, both Instruments contain provisions that restrict the nature of the development that can take place on the land. Under E.I. 144 for example, before any development can take place on the peripheral portions of the Forest that has ceased to be a Forest Reserve,
  • Land Use and Spatial Authority shall prepare a Master Plan for the development of the area, taking into consideration the ecological integrity of the remaining portions of the Forest Reserve.
  • The Master Plan must be approved by the Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, acting on the advice of the Forestry Commission;
  • No development can take place without the express approval of the Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, taking into consideration the ecological integrity of the Forest.

The Achimota Forest remains an integral part of Government’s plan for the protection of our forest cover, and our agenda for aggressive afforestation and reforestation. Government, through the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources, will continue to protect the Achimota Forest and prevent it from being further encroached. Government is also committed to ensuring that whatever that happens on the peripheral portions of the land, does not affect the ecological integrity of the Forest.

Music News

Mr Eazi announces Detty Rave for December 2022

Afropop superstar and African music business entrepreneur Mr Eazi is reviving his celebrated Detty Rave event series in a major way in 2022, with a tour of Ghana’s universities leading up to the much-anticipated return of the main Detty Rave in December. 

The Road to Detty Rave tour takes place this Summer between July 31 and August 31.

University of Cape Coast; Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST); the University of Ghana (Legon) are the confirmed three, while a fourth university will be selected following the results of an online poll.

Each event will be hosted by Mr Eazi, with performances from surprise guests, airing on live TV across Africa. 

Fans wishing to sign up to be alerted when tickets for each event go on sale can do so by signing up.

Since its inception in 2017, Detty Rave has been a major draw of West Africa’s #DettyDecember calendar, bringing an all-star cast of international performers to Accra including Rick Ross, Koffee, Giggs, Afro B, Kranium, King Promise, Simi, Busiswa and KiDI, alongside sets from Africa’s top DJs.

Covid 19 forced Mr Eazi to put the event on ice following 2019’s Rick Ross-headlined edition but, with demand for outdoor entertainment at an all-time high, he’s bringing the event back with the theme, “Da Funk.” 

“Ever since I coined the term that has become synonymous with December enjoyment in West Africa, #DettyDecember, Detty Rave has been an event that everyone counts down to,” Mr Eazi said.

“It’s become a pilgrimage. It’s always been fun curating the experience and bringing people all over the world to rave in Ghana, so it’s beautiful to be bringing back this year after two whole years apart.” 

Detty Rave is organised and presented by emPawa Live, the live music division of emPawa Africa, Mr Eazi’s African music investment vehicle and label services company. 

While Eazi promises A-list guests at each edition of the tour and the main Detty Rave in December, he’s returning the event to its roots by keeping the list of performers under wraps. 

Stay tuned for The Road to Detty Rave tour dates and information about this year’s Detty Rave.

News

Frightening picture for power sector; generating capacities inadequate; ‘dumsor’ looms – Report

The existing generating capacities will not be adequate to serve the projected demand with 18% reserve margin for any of the planning years, the 2022 Electricity Supply Plan for Ghana has revealed.

According to the report, an estimated amount of $872.8 will be required to purchase Natural Gas to run the thermal plants (a monthly average of $72.74) in 2022 alone.

This include provision for Light Cycle Oil (LCO), diesel and Heavy Fuel Oil (HFO) during the gas outage period which will lead to a total of $988 million required for fuel purchase in 2022.

The report identified that electricity demand in the coming years will far outstrip that of supply if adequate investments are not done.

“The Ghana power system recorded a coincident peak demand of 3,246.0 MW in 2021. This occurred on December 8, 2021. The 2021 peak represents an increase of 156.0 megawatt (MW) over the 2020 peak of 3,089.5 MW (growth of 5.0%)”, it said.

Also, “the total energy consumed, including losses, was 21,466.27 GWh representing a 8.87% increase over the 2020 consumption of 19,716.59 GWh.”

In terms of the demand outlook, the Ghana system peak demand is projected to increase from 3,987 MW in 2023 to 5,172 MW in 2027.

Therefore, additional capacity is needed to augment the existing generating facilities and the enlisted committed generation projects from years 2023 to 2027 to continue to meet projected demand with adequate reserve margin as required for reliability.

The additional generation capacity will be needed from 2023. Specifically, 184 MW, 187 MW, 114 MW and 337 MW additional generation capacity will be needed in 2023, 2024, 2026, and 2027, respectively.

Creation of new Generation Enclaves

Analysis conducted confirms the recommendation made in the Electricity Supply Plans of previous years for the establishment of two new generation enclaves at Kumasi in the Ashanti region and between Kasoa and Winneba in the Central region.

Ghana may import electricity in 2022 due to power shortages

Ghana may import electricity as a result of short-term capacity shortages caused by faults or fuel supply contingencies, the report disclosed.

“The initial plan was no import of power till the end of the year. However, inadvertent energy exchanges on tie-lines could result from transient flows.”

Recommendation

The results of analyses of the supply/demand outlook for the medium term (2023 – 2027) indicate that existing generating capacity will not be adequate to serve projected demand with the required 18% reserve margin for any of the planning years in the medium term.

The timely completion of the 400 MW Bridge Power project as scheduled is therefore needed to barely have adequate generation up to 2024.

It also said for 2025 and beyond, there is a need to initiate a competitive least cost procurement of some additional generation capacity (51 MW in 2025 and 392 MW in 2026) in order to continue to adequately meet the Ghana power system demand with the required 18% reserve.

Due to the growing electricity demand in Ghana, there is also an urgent need to make arrangements to increase gas supply volumes for more Thermal generation, the report stated.
“It is also very important to make necessary investments towards an improved gas supply reliability owing to the increasing dependency on natural gas for power generation”, it added.

News Sports

EPL: Arsenal top-4 finish suffers huge setback

Arsenal’s hopes of finishing in the Premier League top four were dealt a huge blow as they were well beaten by Newcastle at St James’ Park.

Mikel Arteta’s side needed a win to move above Tottenham into fourth and put them in the driving seat to secure a Champions League spot heading into the final weekend of the season.

But they were second best throughout and fell behind early in the second half when Ben White turned the ball into his own net under pressure from Callum Wilson, who was making his first start since 27 December.

Bruno Guimaraes, who has become a cult hero since joining Newcastle at the start of this year, then rounded off the impressive win when he drove into the net as Arsenal struggled to clear.

Arsenal offered next to nothing, with Martin Dubravka only really tested once, with a 25-yard Mohamed Elneny shot in the second half.

Indeed, Newcastle could have won by more with Wilson coming so close to capping a dream return from injury with a stunning long-range effort that dropped just wide of the goal.

The result, which also confirmed Chelsea’s finish in the top four, means Arsenal must beat Everton in their final game of the season on Sunday (16:00 BST) and hope Tottenham lose at relegated Norwich.

Newcastle, meanwhile, round off a season that provides encouragement for the future with a trip to Burnley.

Arsenal needed a big performance if they were to give their fans hope of finishing in the top four, particuarly after they were well beaten by their fierce rivals Tottenham in last Thursday’s north London derby.

Unfortunately, Arteta’s side wilted when it mattered most as they were outplayed by Newcastle.

The Gunners were poor throughout the first half as they repeatedly gave the ball away and were having to repel a stream of Newcastle attacks while struggling to build their own opportunities.

They managed to get to get to half-time level but did not heed the warning signs and fell behind just before the hour mark.

Wilson had been a menace throughout as he showed no signs of rustiness on his return to the first team. It was no surprise he was involved in the opener as White turned the ball into his own net as he attempted to prevent the Newcastle forward from getting a shot off.

Arteta was unable to hide his frustrations with the officiating against Spurs – a match in which his team conceded a penalty and had defender Rob Holding sent off – but he can have no complaints here as they were undone by a side who simply showed more hunger and quality.

News

Frightening picture for power sector; generating capacities inadequate; ‘dumsor’ looms – Report

The existing generating capacities will not be adequate to serve the projected demand with 18% reserve margin for any of the planning years, the 2022 Electricity Supply Plan for Ghana has revealed.

According to the report, an estimated amount of $872.8 will be required to purchase Natural Gas to run the thermal plants (a monthly average of $72.74) in 2022 alone.

This include provision for Light Cycle Oil (LCO), diesel and Heavy Fuel Oil (HFO) during the gas outage period which will lead to a total of $988 million required for fuel purchase in 2022.

The report identified that electricity demand in the coming years will far outstrip that of supply if adequate investments are not done.

“The Ghana power system recorded a coincident peak demand of 3,246.0 MW in 2021. This occurred on December 8, 2021. The 2021 peak represents an increase of 156.0 megawatt (MW) over the 2020 peak of 3,089.5 MW (growth of 5.0%)”, it said.

Also, “the total energy consumed, including losses, was 21,466.27 GWh representing a 8.87% increase over the 2020 consumption of 19,716.59 GWh.”

In terms of the demand outlook, the Ghana system peak demand is projected to increase from 3,987 MW in 2023 to 5,172 MW in 2027.

Therefore, additional capacity is needed to augment the existing generating facilities and the enlisted committed generation projects from years 2023 to 2027 to continue to meet projected demand with adequate reserve margin as required for reliability.

The additional generation capacity will be needed from 2023. Specifically, 184 MW, 187 MW, 114 MW and 337 MW additional generation capacity will be needed in 2023, 2024, 2026, and 2027, respectively.

Creation of new Generation Enclaves

Analysis conducted confirms the recommendation made in the Electricity Supply Plans of previous years for the establishment of two new generation enclaves at Kumasi in the Ashanti region and between Kasoa and Winneba in the Central region.

Ghana may import electricity in 2022 due to power shortages

Ghana may import electricity as a result of short-term capacity shortages caused by faults or fuel supply contingencies, the report disclosed.

“The initial plan was no import of power till the end of the year. However, inadvertent energy exchanges on tie-lines could result from transient flows.”

Recommendation

The results of analyses of the supply/demand outlook for the medium term (2023 – 2027) indicate that existing generating capacity will not be adequate to serve projected demand with the required 18% reserve margin for any of the planning years in the medium term.

The timely completion of the 400 MW Bridge Power project as scheduled is therefore needed to barely have adequate generation up to 2024.

It also said for 2025 and beyond, there is a need to initiate a competitive least cost procurement of some additional generation capacity (51 MW in 2025 and 392 MW in 2026) in order to continue to adequately meet the Ghana power system demand with the required 18% reserve.

Due to the growing electricity demand in Ghana, there is also an urgent need to make arrangements to increase gas supply volumes for more Thermal generation, the report stated.
“It is also very important to make necessary investments towards an improved gas supply reliability owing to the increasing dependency on natural gas for power generation”, it added.

News

We have no money to cook for the children – School Feeding Caterers Association

The School Feeding Caterers Association has said that with immediate effect, provision of meals to the beneficiaries has stopped, due to the lack of funds.

According to the aggrieved caterers, government has failed to increase the grants allocated to them to run the programme.

The caterers want the feeding fee increased from the current 97 pesewas per pupil to 3 cedis.

Speaking in an interview with Ayisha Ibrahim on News Desk on Monday, the President of the Caterers Association, Juliana Cudjoe voiced her frustrations and called on government to speedily address the problem.

“We are not pushing the government. We are just pleading with the government to increase our money. That’s all”, she stated.

As of now, the Association is holding itself in readiness to meet with government to address its concerns.

But responding to why the Association has refused to cook for the pupils, pending the outcome of the meeting, Juliana Cudjoe said, “Most of the caterers don’t have money, and today, we’re going to meet them at the Secretariat. So whatever comes from there, we will let you know. We don’t have a choice”.

She added, “the prices of items have been increased, so when we are paid, we use the balance to offset our arrears. Then we’re left with nothing to cook. Today we have nothing to do, we have nothing to cook. We don’t have money. So we are going to meet them. It is not that we are punishing the kids. We don’t have money”.

Reacting to these concerns, the Public Relations Officer of the School Feeding Secretariat, Siibi Alpha expressed surprise at the development.

“This has come to us as a shock. Because we knew that, at least they’ll go and cook all along. So if they’re telling us that, that’s their stance that they’ll not go and cook, Management will also take a decision on what to do next in terms of at least trying to convince them to rescind their decision, and then trying to put contingency measures to also avert the [situation]”, he said.

Earlier, Chairperson of the Association, Juliana Cudjoe, told JoyNews that they are making huge losses from cooking hot meals for the children with the current amount paid as grant.

According to her, they have literally been doing magic to sustain their businesses.

“We are not going to cook until we hear something from them. We need our payment, and we want an increment too. So, we will not cook on Monday”, she said.

Meanwhile, the School Feeding Secretariat has promised to look into their concerns and has invited the leadership of the Association to a meeting on Monday.

“They have made their demands. So, the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection and the School Feeding Management will develop a comprehensive statement on that”.

This new development comes after the Management of the Ghana School Feeding Programme (GSFP) announced last week that the resumption of cooking services in all beneficiary schools will begin on May 16.

A notice issued on May 9, added that the caterers would be paid the third term of the 2021 academic year and other arrears in due course.

Addressing Parliament on March 2, 2022, the caretaker Gender Minister, Cecilia Abena Dapaah, announced the suspension of the Programme to allow debts owed to caterers to be cleared.

“Mr. Speaker, currently the expansion of the programme is on hold. However, we are clearing all arrears of caterers and putting measures to ensure effective and efficient service delivery to all beneficiary schools and the caterers.

We are also putting in place a management information system to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of the system. We shall surely inform this august House when we are ready to expand the programme to cover additional schools”, she said.

In December last year, the Minister assured that arrears owed the Ghana School Feeding Programme (GSFP) caterers would soon be settled.

She noted that all the necessary data and figures had been worked on and submitted to the Controller and Accountant General for the release of funds to pay the caterers.

Mrs. Dapaah said this when answering questions at the Ministry of Gender’s turn at the Meet the Press series in Accra on December 5, 2021.

“When it comes to the School Feeding payment – we have the last lot of arrears to pay. However, we know the figure we’ve put in, and it’s at the Controller … so we hope to get it very soon,” she noted.

News

Krobo District customers given up to 5 years to defray their debt-ECG

The Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) has extended grace period for customers in the Krobo District of the Tema region, from two to five years, to settle their debt for power consumed between 2018 and 2021.   

“ECG management has decided to ring-fence the debt from 2014 to 2017. After recent engagement which also involved national security and others, the 2018-2021 debt has been rescheduled from two years to five years,” General Manager of the Tema region, Ing. Emmanuel Akinie, disclosed this at a stakeholder meeting at Odumase-Krobo in the Eastern region.

This was part of sensitisation exercise on the introduction of prepaid meters in the district.   

As of December last year, the 2014-2017 debt was estimated at about ¢70 million.  

Following the extension, customers are expected to visit ECG offices for debt schedule arrangement as the prepaid meter installation programme is rolled out. 

Krobo District customers given up to 5 years to defray their debt-ECG

Installation of the smart meters could help avert a repeat of hostility that characterised the relationship between the company and some communities.

These communities rejected bills issued them on grounds of being estimated bills, wrongful overbilling, lack of meter reading cards and other issues.

To amplify these concerns, groups such as Kloma Hengme, Kloma Gbi, United Krobo Foundation and Concerned Krobo Youth led a number of protests between 2017 and 2019 which resulted in casualties and destruction of property.

ECG on the other hand had admitted anomalies with its metering system after migrating from Customer Billing Information System (CBIS) to Customer Management System (CMS) across its operational areas between 2015 and 2016.

Tariff increment aside the new billing software issues is believed to have generated hike in bills but the challenges were subsequently addressed.

At the stakeholder meeting, Ing. Akinie indicated 25 prepaid meters had been installed as of May 4th, 2022 with customers having no hitches purchasing credit.

On the misconception about prepaid meters, the power distributor, however maintained it’s a policy that has been implemented in the last two decades.  

About 3000 post-paid meters have so far been captured in the first phase of the pre-installation survey. 

 Ruhiya Fuseini and Yusif Adamu leading the prepaid education team explained how the smart meter; Clou which comes in single and three-phase works.

The meter does not require customers to use their prepaid card to purchase power.

Krobo District customers given up to 5 years to defray their debt-ECG

Ruhiya Fuseini said one only needs the meter number and consequently buy prepaid credit at any vending station or ECG office after which it would reflect on the meter.

According to her, it allows users to manage power consumption.

Chair for the occasion, Nene Asada Ahor, who is the Public Relations Officer for Manya Krobo Traditional Council was happy the meeting was taking place to find lasting solutions to issues residents have with ECG’s operations.   

Representative from the Ministry of National Security, Col. Timothy Ba-Taa Banah reiterated the need to have lasting solutions to issues instead of repeated meetings trying to solve same, and therefore charged residents to embrace peace.  

‘We support the process being rolled out and would continuously monitor to ensure good faith on the part of ECG and beneficiaries of the process,” he assured.

Senior Manager, Consumer Complaints and Data Analysis of Public Utilities  Regulatory Commission,  Leon Acquaye reminded participants of the neutral role of the Commission  in protecting  interest of utility providers and consumers.

He urged consumers to clear their debt to help ECG reinvest the money to improve service delivery in the area.

Participants asked question relating to acquisition of new meters aside the replacement programme, accumulated bills, free electricity and other concerns.

The Tema Regional General Manager for ECG, advised them to visit the company’s office in the district to discuss their special needs.

Assemblyman for Kpong Ahudzo, Raymond Gborson, asked for more community engagement before field teams try installing prepaid meters to avoid tension.

He pleaded with the company to resume operations at its former district office at Somanya which was relocated to Juapong, over security reasons.

Ing. Akinie assured that ECG will continue to engage all communities before installation begins and will return to Somanya in due course.

Gershon Amaglo from Kpong narrated how some residents threatened him for using his information centre to disseminate information on prepaid meters and suggested ECG works with United Krobo Foundation to get the residents along.

On the issue of threats, Col. Timothy Ba-Taa Banah, urged participants to always refer such cases to the police and charged Lower Manya and Yilo Krobo municipalities to avoid blame game and embrace peace for development.

Secretary of United Krobo Foundation, Joshua Evor, does not completely agree with such engagement as he suggests community engagements will help explain pros and cons of the new meter much better. For him, the people he represents are not ready for the prepaid meters.   

Meanwhile, the Tema Regional Public Relations Officer for ECG, Sakyiwaa Mensah described the processes ahead of the introduction of smart meters as successful with great support from security agencies. 

Traditional authorities, Municipal Chief Executives for Lower Manya and Yilo Krobo, Simon Tetteh and Eric Tetteh, assembly members, security agencies among other stakeholders were present for the engagement.

News

Strike not ending anytime soon – ASUU

 The Academic Staff Union of Universities and the Joint Action Committee of the Non-Academic Staff Union of Educational and Associated Institutions and Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities have said the Federal Government did not reach a strong agreement with them that can lead to calling off the industrial actions.

All the university unions in the country are presently on strike.

ASUU started its strike on February 14, 2022 and JAC commenced its own on April 14, 2022.

The unions embarked on industrial actions while demanding improved welfare packages, better working conditions and implementation of various labour agreements signed with the Federal Government between 2009 and 2020.

The national leaders of ASUU and JAC of SSANU and NASU, Prof Emmanuel Osodeke and Mr Mohammed Ibrahim, respectively told our correspondent that the Federal Government and all stakeholders in the education sector and religious leaders had a meeting with the four unions but no strong agreements were reached.

The Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige, was quoted in a report at the weekend as saying, “We had a cordial and fruitful discussion; we looked at the issues dispassionately and reached some agreements, to the satisfaction of everybody in attendance.”

But Osodeke said Ngige’s claim after the meeting that the unions would call off the ongoing strike this week was a political statement.

He said, “We are not aware that we are calling off the strike. We met but there was nothing concrete between us and the government. Like we said before, we do not want promises, we want actions, if they show action and implement all the issues, we will go to our members, but knowing their antecedents, we know they will not do anything.

“They promised us since December 2020 and it is going to a year and a half, they have not done anything. We are waiting for them.

“As far as we are concerned, only when they sign our agreements, accept UTAS, release EAA and revitalisation funds will we call the strikes off.”

Ibrahim added that the major progress he could point at during the meeting was the ordering of the National Information Technology Development Agency, by the presidency who was represented by the Chief of Staff to the President and Chairman of the meeting, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari, to subject the three payment solutions; Integrated Payroll and Personnel information system , University Transparency and Accountability Solution and University Peculiar Payroll Payment System, to integrity test and submit in three weeks.

“We are not talking about calling off strike now,” he said.

News

Twumasi has appointed a deputy director general, rendering me redundant at NSA – Deputy Director General, Bawa Majeed tells SIGA

A deputy Director General of the National Sports Authority(NSA), Abdul – Majeed Bawa has accused the Director General, Prof Peter Twumasi of undermining his office.

Bawa, who was appointed deputy to Sarfo Mensah (suspended for his role in the Number 12 documentary) by President Akufo Addo in February 2018, claims Twumasi has outstepped the structure of governance at the authority.

In a letter to the State Interest and Governance Authority (SIGA), in April 2022, with a copy delivered to the Ministry of Youth Sports, the Board of the authority, and the office of the Director General he noted that the NSA boss appointed a deputy, contrary to the regulations governing the appointment of individuals into state offices such as deputy director.

“…he has appointed a Deputy Director General without the knowledge of the Board, the sector Minister, or the Presidency,” a portion of the document leaked to the media with the received stamp from the office of the NSA boss noted.

In December 2019, Bawa in a letter of complaint to Prof Twumasi titled “undermining the office of the deputy director general,” noted that “In a corporate organisation such as the NSA, one would have thought you would sit down with your predecessor for a proper handing over and debriefing. Especially, that you were lucky to have your predecessor working under you. It appears you came to the office with a predetermined mindset,” he noted.

Twumasi has appointed a deputy director general, rendering me redundant at NSA - Deputy Director General, Bawa Majeed tells SIGA
Professor Twumasi, National Sports Authority

This official complaint is said to have gotten Prof Twumasi angry.

However, Bawa is said to have continued to draw the attention of his superiors over the actions of his Twumasi which led to a letter from the office of the Board Chairman in March 2022, stating that; “…the power to appoint a Director General and Deputy or Deputies are the preserve of the President of the Republic.”

It was a reminder of a directive in December 2021 to reverse his earlier appointment of Kwame Ampofi Jnr as a Deputy Director General in June 2021 which he’s yet to adhere to.

The appointment of Mr Ampofi Jnr has rendered Bawa redundant as “several programmes, stakeholder meetings have been and continue to be organised without my knowledge and participation. I have complained to him several times about the way he’s treating me, but his response has always been that, if I want to know what is happening, I can call for the files from his office and read.”

Majeed Bawa added that Prof Twumasi denied him an official vehicle for about a year despite his efforts with the previous board to procure two Toyota Hilux vehicles before his appointment, and not even his complaint to the then Board Chairman, Kojo Baah Agyemang could get him to change his mind.

One of the cars was later stolen in Kumasi during a President Cup match between Asante Kotoko and Hearts of Oak. Peter Twumasi told journalists that “armed robbers attacked the driver and made away with the vehicle.”

Twumasi has appointed a deputy director general, rendering me redundant at NSA - Deputy Director General, Bawa Majeed tells SIGA
Majeed Bawa was appointed Deputy Director General of the NSA in February 2018

The car is yet to be found after three years.
It appears he has an official car for usage now, but he feels his responsibilities have been taken away from him.

“Per the scheme of service at the NSA, the Deputy Director General is in charge of all administrative duties at the organisation. This responsibility has been taken away from me.

“…my conditions of service like his, has been breached severally yet he continues to enjoy his. However, since August last year, he has refused or failed to honour or refund same to me despite several memos and reminders of [the] service he enjoys and continues to enjoy.

“Since 2019, my official vehicle has neither [a] roadworthy certificate nor [an] insurance certificate,” he lamented.

Majeed Bawa becomes the second member of the NSA top hierarchy to file an official complaint against Prof Twumasi after Kwame Baah Mensa petitioned the Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO) in April to have him investigated.

Baah Mensa accused Prof Twumasi of directing each applicant to pay GHC 400 for a medical report from State Transport Corporation(STC) without approval from management.

It would be recalled that the NSA had approval from the Finance Ministry to employ 250 staff in October 2020. Over 21,000 people applied, and about 96 were interviewed. Less than 80 of the interviewed applicants were employed through the process, while the remaining 170 plus were recruited through “protocol.”

All recruited staff were directed to have their medical report strictly from STC Clinic either in Accra or Kumasi at a cost of GHC 400.
A move Baah Mensa said is “…against the Public Service Statutes which guarantees the freedom of successful job applicant to access any government health facility across the country for medical examination,” and called on EOCO to investigate the matter.

Baah Mensa is said to have appeared before EOCO to substantiate his claims, but it is unclear when EOCO will officially invite Prof Twumasi for questioning if indeed his alleged directive contravenes any financial regulations.