Zambian delegation studies Guinness Ghana’s local raw material programme

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A delegation from Zambia’s Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry has paid a working visit to Guinness Ghana Breweries Limited (GGBL) to learn from the company’s much-touted Local Raw Material (LRM) programme.

The LRM initiative is GGBL’s shared value programme which was commenced in 2012 and sustainably sources local raw materials for the production of some of its flagship drinks like Malta Guinness, Top Malt, Star Beer, Guinness Foreign Extra Stout and Ruut Extra Premium.

The delegation, led by the Permanent Secretary Mrs. Kayula Siame was in Ghana to explore the commercialization of cassava, the implementation of industrial yards and also understand the agricultural supply and value chains under the LRM programme to possibly replicate in Zambia.

Speaking about the visit, Kayula Siame said her team has picked valuable lessons that they can use to transform lives in Zambia as well.

“In Zambia, we are also implementing something similar and for us, our main goal is the cassava value chain and how we can commercialise it in Zambia. We find the progress in Ghana as an impressive sustainable sourcing example and value creation strategy”, she added.

“We recently introduced our local content strategy in Zambia and the Ghana case study is something we would like to share with a number of companies back home as a way of supporting our industrialization drive as a country”, she said.

Agri-business Development Lead at GGBL, Stephen K. Ghansah, who explained the programme to the Zambian delegation said farmers and sourcing communities are central in GGBL’s sourcing strategy to ensure the business’ operations are generating the required positive impact.

“Our clearly defined strategy and vision is to generate long-term business value with locally and sustainably sourced raw materials which meet quality standards and have a positive impact on the communities and environment in which we operate”, he said.

“Over the last few years, we have expanded our supplier base. From the initial 3 regions we began with, we are proud to say that our LRM initiative currently has footprints in 8 regions in Ghana”, he added.

GGBL’s LRM programme has so far benefited more than 25,000 local farmers and impacting over 175,000 lives across Ghana. Presently, the business uses 48% of local raw materials in the production of its premium brands and has an ambition to step change it to 70% by 2020.

 

 

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PMMC reserves 30% of refined gold to local jewelers

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PMMC reserves 30% of refined gold to local jewelers

The Precious Minerals Marketing Company (PMMC) is reviewing its strategy to make available, gold and diamond needed by jewelers in the country.

This also forms part of efforts to sustain the jewelry industry.

The move follows complaints by players in the industry over their difficulty in accessing raw materials needed for their operations.

In an interview with Citi Business News, the Managing Director of the Precious Minerals Marketing Company, Kwadjo Opare Hammond, disclosed that government will soon roll out a policy that will entitle jewelers in the country to 30 percent refined gold in the country.

“I don’t want to give any timelines but there is going to be a major policy announcement that may be made by the President and that will be made very clear to Ghanaians. So let’s hold our fire for a while but I want to assure you that once the sector minister made mention of this intended policy, it will come into force soon. It is seriously being considered by the current government as part of our value addition policy that thirty percent of the gold that is manufactured in this country is going to be set aside for use by the local jewelers as well as for export,” he explained.

Mr. Opare Hammond made these comments to Citi Business News at the sidelines of a stakeholder meeting between the PMMC and operators in the jewelry industry.

He also stated that the PMMC is doing all it can to strengthen assaying processes for effective collection of all statutory revenue due the state.

“A lot of people are taking gold out of this country without it passing through the right channels that is through the assay center that PMMC has set up at the airport. Now to be able to do this, we are coming out with one major measure in which we are going to have a single channel through which every gold that is leaving this country will pass through.”

On his part, the National President of the Federation of Ghana Jewelers and Gold Smiths, Shallovern Srodah called for a review of the laws governing the jewelry industry in Ghana.

“The law for the jewellery industry needs to be made clear. We can even argue that we are trading under the Trade and Industry Ministry but what does that ministry say about the jewellery industry, there is nothing in their books on the law about the jewellery industry so the laws need to be made clear”.

The event was on the theme; forging a partnership for our mutual benefit and national development.

By: Anita Arthur/citibusinessnews.com/Ghana

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Local Firms Will Get Tax Waiver For Similar ‘StarTimes’ 300 Villages Project’ – Ursula

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Ursula Owusu-Ekuful

The government has assured that tax waivers await local companies that are also able to take up significant initiatives like the ‘300 villages satellite TV project’, being undertaken by Chinese multinational media company, StarTimes.

This would mean the local companies will be investing at least GHc3 million in equipment for such projects.

“The Chinese government is giving us equipment to the tune of about $3 million for the expansion of satellite TV to 300 communities in Ghana for free. As our counterpart support for this project, we have provided a tax waiver of GHc3 million to support this project,” the Communications Minister, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful said on the Citi Breakfast Show.

The tax waiver granted StarTimes was singled out for criticism amid the controversy over the expansion of Ghana’s Digital Terrestrial Television infrastructure.

The Ghana Independent Broadcasters Association (GIBA), accused the government of engaging in unfair trade practices with its tax waiver for StarTimes.

The NDC MP for Ningo-Prampram, Sam George, also criticized the government for furthering Chinese interests through the tax waiver.

But Mrs. Owusu-Ekuful refuted such assertions and assured that she was “willing to extend these same terms to any company which will provide the government and people of Ghana with these same facilities.”

“So if First Digital [a Ghanaian firm] is in the position to provide free terminal equipment to the tune of GHc3 million, I will provide them with access to 300 communities at the blink of an [eye] and go to Parliament and seek a tax waiver for them. Nobody is giving anybody preferential market access just because they are a foreign company.”

K-Net, a Ghanaian company, is also set to benefit from some relief from the government for its role in setting up the first phase of the DTT infrastructure.

The government first signed a $95 million deal with StarTimes to supply and install a platform for Ghana in 2012, but the contract was canceled due to funding concerns.

K-Net, a Ghanaian company, then stepped in 2015 to build the country’s DTT network platform at a cost of $82.4 million.

Mrs. Owusu-Ekuful said the government has agreed that it “will reimburse K-Net for all customs duties and charges that they have paid on the equipment they have imported for this platform.”

“So it is not an exclusive right granted to foreign companies as has been thrown out there. We are actively supporting K-NET by reimbursing them for the customs duties and charges that they have already paid,” the minister said.

-Citifmonline

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Local investors, financial firms commit GH₵2.5bn to 1D1F

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Local investors and financial institutions have so far committed about GH₵2.5 billion to support the One District, One Factory program of the government.

According to Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry Carlos Ahenkorah government is also expecting some $300 million from international partners.

He spoke to JoyBusiness after cutting the sod for the construction of a steel and metal manufacturing factory for B5 plus in the Prampram District.

“The One District, One Factory is a private ownership and government is only providing the enabling environment for the private sector. However, the government is trying hard to work out incentives for these investors to make the factories established,” Mr Ahenkorah said.

He added, “Right now Financial commitments locally are about 2.5 billion cedis but we’re looking at other financial institutions from outside.”

Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Carlos Ahenkorah after cutting the sod for the construction of the second factory under the 1D1F.
The factory, B5 plus will manufacture steel and building materials for the Ningo Prampram District in the Greater Accra region.

“I believe that this company has come to stay, the government will do anything to ensure that it is sustained,” Mr Ahenkorah said during the sod cutting. 
Chief Executive of B5 plus, Mike Thakwani disclosed that one major challenge affecting investors unto the program is land litigation.

“The land litigation is our biggest challenge in Ghana. I will request to the government agencies to critically look into these land litigation issues [and] investors will not shy away from developing in Ghana,” he noted.

The $18 million-factory will produce about 50,000 metric tons of steel to be exported to other neighbouring countries as well as for the domestic market.

 

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Gold Fields Ghana wins 2 awards for boosting local economy

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Gold mining company, Gold Fields Ghana, (GFG) received two awards for its efforts in promoting Ghanaian businesses and boosting the local economy at the maiden edition of the Ghana Procurement and Supply Chain Awards.

GFG picked up the awards for Excellence in Procurement and Supply Chain (Mining), and Local Content and Supplier Development at a ceremony held in Accra.

More than 30 institutions and individuals were also recognised for their contributions to the industry with President Akufo-Addo receiving the Outstanding Leadership Award for his “visionary leadership and unflinching determination to transform procurement and supply chain thinking in Ghana”.

The Ghana Procurement and Supply Chain Awards seeks to honour companies and organisations that support the development of Ghanaian businesses by purchasing goods and services from them.

Gold Fields Ghana, which has operating mines in Tarkwa and Damang in the Western Region, says its local content strategy ensures that a significant amount of the company’s procurement expenditure goes to local contractors and suppliers.

In 2017, the company’s Tarkwa mine spent more than 90% of its total procurement expenditure on local suppliers.   

Gold Fields Ghana expresses the commitment to helping Ghanaian businesses thrive

According to the mining company, the construction of a Tailings Storage Facility, which is a capital intensive project, at its Tarkwa mine was undertaken by a Ghanaian firm in 2017.

Also, the rehabilitation of a 33-km public road that links Tarkwa and Damang has been awarded to three Ghanaian firms through the Ghana Highways Authority.

“At Gold Fields, we have a comprehensive supplier development programme which focuses on building the capacity of local suppliers,” said Theophilus Otchere, Head of Supply Chain for Gold Fields’ operations in Ghana.

Gold Fields Ghana says more than 1,773 local suppliers and contractors were engaged at its Tarkwa mine alone in 2017.

The company, which has been operating in the country for the past 25 years, says it is also committed to increasing procurement and sourcing labour from communities surrounding its operations.

“We see our efforts yielding results as local businesses continue to grow, labour skills are improved and more jobs are created,” Mr Otchere added.

Gold Fields Ghana believes that strengthening the local supply chain is critical to the development of local economies, as well as the broader Ghanaian economy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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DJs can’t be forced to play 80% local music – Hammer

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After the seemingly cold-shoulder given to top Ghanaian artistes by Nigerians during the Zylofon Naija Invasion concert, the need for Ghanaians to also patronise local content has been greatly echoed.

While some have advocated for local content to occupy 80 percent of the total space on local channels, Shatta Wale, one of the performers at the concert has called for 95 percent.

Contributing to the debate on Showbiz A-Z on Joy FM on Saturday at the 2018 edition of the Joy FM Back to School Fair, music producer, Hammer, stressed that Disc Jockeys (DJs) cannot be forced to play so much Ghanaian content simply because of an ongoing campaign.

The beat maker noted that DJs are at liberty to play what they consider good music and the mere fact that a song is locally produced does not mean it is of the required standard.

“You can’t force them to play what they don’t want to play. You can only force them to play if the music is great. We can’t just be dictators and say they should play 80 percent by force….You have to prove it,” he said.

Hammer argued out this point during the discussion with other panelists including Tic Tac, M.anifest, Sadiq Abdulai Abu and hosted by Nana Ashorkor at the Providence Events Centre.

He is of the view that emphasis on quality sounds in regards to mixing and mastering of tunes must be key aside the campaign to improve patronage of local music.

Musician Tic, former Tic Tac, however, disagreed to an extent.

The ‘Kwani Kwani’ hitmaker stated that the quality of a sound of music may not be standard considering the wide range of genres.

Tic adds that the quality of sound of a standard Afro Beats song from Nigeria cannot be compared to the quality of sound of a Pop song in the US.

Rapper M.anifest took a completely different direction on the argument. 

In his opinion, ‘good’ music can only be determined by the consumer.

 

 

 

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Banking sector cleansing is to build stronger local banks – Nana Addo

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Banking sector cleansing is to build stronger local banks – Nana Addo
President Nana Addo

President Nana Akufo-Addo has stated that his vision for the banking sector is to have few but stronger local banks which can compete with their foreign counterparts.

He has disputed claims suggesting that the administration is looking at creating avenues for foreign banks to thrive at the expense of local ones.

Many arguments seeking the interest of local banks have been put across following the revocation of licenses of seven local banks over the past one year.

But speaking to the Ghanaian community in Rwanda, the President stressed that the new path should rather build a robust economy.

“The kind of process we are going through in Ghana when it took place in Nigeria has brought them down to about fourteen banks. There are now some of the biggest banks not just in Nigeria but in Africa; they are all over the place like Access, Zenith, UBA, among others,” he emphasized.

The President added, “And it is the process of consolidation and rationalization of the sector that took place in Nigeria under the central bank governor, Sanusi. We want to undertake that same exercise in Ghana so that at the end of the process, we can have few and strong banks, even if they are few, then we know they can compete the stronger foreign ones.”

From August 2017 to August 2018, seven banks the Beige Bank, uniBank, UT, Capital, Sovereign, Construction and Royal banks have had their licenses revoked.

The central bank has cited the managers of the bank for several breaches of the regulation guiding banks in Ghana.

The Bank of Ghana pumped more than ¢2billion to support uniBank founded by a former governor of the Bank of Ghana, Dr. Kwabena Duffour.

As it stands now, the consolidated bank is expected to let go about 1,700 workers out of the 3,700 staff it absorbed from the five banks.

Already it is emerging that the Consolidated bank will collapse about 98 branches out of the 191 branches it took over from the collapsed banks.

By: Pius Amihere Eduku/citibusinessnews.com/Ghana

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‘It makes no sense to deliberately collapse local banks ‘ – Akufo-Addo

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‘It makes no sense to deliberately collapse local banks ‘ – Akufo-Addo

President Akufo-Addo has said that his government is not on a deliberate mission to collapse the country’s indigenous banks.

Speaking for the first time on the recent shake-up in the banking sector that has resulted in the collapse of seven local banks, he said the moves are necessary to streamline the sector and strengthen it.

Addressing the Ghanaian community in Rwanda’s capital, Kigali on Thursday, the President said it would be “dangerous” for the country’s future if indigenous banks are pushed out of the Ghanaian economy.

The President expressed concern that the actions of the failed indigenous banks had cost the country some GH¢ 8 billion.

“The decision that the central bank has taken which has affected seven important indigenous banks who were being supported by the taxpayer through the Bank of Ghana, all together, the indebtedness of these seven banks amounted to 8 billion cedis,” he said.

In justifying the Bank of Ghana’s decision to consolidate five of the banks to become the fully state-owned Consolidated Bank of Ghana (CBG), and authorizing the GCB to take over two other banks, Akufo-Addo said if such actions and other measures put in place by the Central Bank are not taken, all other indigenous banks will collapse.

“We cannot have a situation where the dominant banks in our country are all foreign banks. It is very dangerous for our future if we allow that to happen. But if our own indigenous banks are performing poorly, at the end of the day, we do not take care, one by one, they will all go under.”

Akufo-Addo insisted that the government’s aim is to ensure a vibrant banking sector with strong participation of indigenous banks that will compete fairly with foreign banks.

“We are trying to make sure that the banking sector of our country has strong indigenous banks which can compete successfully with these foreign-owned banks. It is not a process to eliminate indigenous banks. It will not make sense to do that at all….I am a politician, I want the votes, but I think that I’m required first of all to do what I consider right for our people than worry myself about the impact of it on my political support.”

‘Ghana’s banking crisis’

Ghana’s banking sector is currently in crisis over the collapse of seven local banks within one year. The banks are UT and Capital Bank, both of which have been taken over by the state-owned GCB Bank.

The others are Beige Bank, Sovereign Bank, Construction Bank, uniBank, and Royal Bank, all of which have been consolidated into Consolidated Bank of Ghana.

The decision to collapse all the banks were primarily because they had all become highly insolvent as a result of various reasons including poor corporate governance decisions.

The receiver of uniBank, Beige Bank, Sovereign Bank, Construction Bank, Royal Bank, recently sued all 17 shareholders of uniBank over the repayment of a GHC 5.7 billion debt.

The GHC 5.7 billion debt, according to the receiver, was left by the shareholders.

Parliament is currently probing the matter to produce a report and make recommendations to avert a similar situation from recurring.

By: Sammi Wiafe & Jonas Nyabor/citinewsroom.com/Ghana

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Land-guards on rampage at Kokrobite

The Chief of Kokrobite in the Ga South Municipality of the Greater Accra Region, Nii Offei lII, has bemoaned the constant harassments and attacks meted out to innocent land developers, residents and building construction workers in the area by weapon-wielding land-guards on the blindside of the police.

According to the chief, who is also a victim of the land-guard attacks, land developers and their workers who go to their sites to work are often severely beaten by these ferocious land-guards.

Nii Ofei III made this worrying observation while speaking to journalists after sprinkling kpokpoi (a local Ga delicacy) on the streets of Kokrobite to mark this year’s Homowo festival.

He noted that these ‘notorious’ land-guards, numbering about twenty (20), often seen around various building sites within the Kokrobite enclave, destroy working materials including cement bags and building blocks.

The chief indicated that they [the land-guards] sometimes set ablaze structures and pull down buildings that were at the lintel level.

The land-guards, the chief of Kokrobite continued, also take monies and mobile phones belonging to land developers and their workers at the various sites.

“These land-guards who are sponsored by some known individuals whose names are withheld) for now, sometimes take away working tools including wheelbarrows, head pans, shovels amidst the destruction of bags of cement.

…They [the land- guards] further set building structures ablaze and destroy footings of developers as well as building blocks on sites,” Nii Ofei III said.

He also told journalists that some of the victims who are attacked sustain varied degrees of injuries as a result of the beatings they receive in the hands of the land-guards.

Nii Ofei III further lamented that he has been attacked on three occasions at his millennium city residence, adding that when he reported the matter, the police paid deaf ears to his complaints.

“My life is in danger, and this is my worry. Because what baffles me is the unprofessional behaviour of the police officers. The police would be called to arrest a citizen because he/she owes a neighbour, but when there is a theft and it is reported, they refuse to come,” he said.

He accused the station officer at Kokrobite police station and his men of becoming ‘paramount chiefs’ who were meddling in chieftaincy affairs instead of being peace-maintaining officers.

According to him, they condone with the land-guards and collect so-called “digging fees” from landowners.

To this end, Nii Ofei III called on the Inspector General of Police (IGP), David Asante-Appeatu, to clamp down on these land-guards to safeguard lives of residents and land developers in the area.

 

Story: Freeman KORYEKPOR AWLESU

Writer’s email: freeman.koryekpor@todaygh.com

Leave our school now! –MESKOSA warns Accountant

The Accounting Office of the Mepe St. Kizito Senior High Technical School (MSHTS) in the North Tongu District of the Volta Region has been rocked by massive acts of corruption, and abuse of accounting and procurement processes to the benefit of some top officials of the school. 

Information reaching Today coupled with a letter to all stakeholders and management of MSHTS by members of the Mepe St. Kizito Old Students and Association (MESKOSA), indicate that the continuous refusal of the Accountant of the school, Mr. Paul-Ray Kudese, to comply with a transfer directive by the Ghana Education Service (GES) is creating confusion in the school.

And per this GES directive, Mr Kudese has been transferred from MSHTS to the Anloga Zion College, in the same region

The letter by MESKOSA was written after a resolution was passed at an emergency meeting of MESKOSA held on August 25, 2018, which invoked the intervention of the media and stakeholders regarding the above subject.

The two-page letter, signed by the Acting President of the National Executive Committee of MESKOSA, Mr. Cornelius Tse Gakpetor, states that since assuming the position of MSHTS accountant some six years ago, Mr. Kudese has been transferred at least twice by GES over breaches of some procurement and accounting regulations.

In the wake of that, the letter made it clear that Mr. Kudease has remained defiant and showed no sign of compliance.

According to the letter, Mr. Kudese, who refuses transfer with impunity, pays his way out and makes it impossible for the new Accountant, Mr. Amos Gborglah who is posted by GES to replace him to assume office.

The letter indicated that his latest transfer came in February this year, but he blatantly refused to comply, thereby making his replacement that is on regular salary idle at home.

“…for about four months now the new Accountant (Bursar), Mr. Amos Gborglah, who has been transferred from Three King Special School at Battor Traditional Area by the GES to the MSHTS to replace Mr. Kudese has strangely ceased reporting to duty. While we await his resumption, our checks clearly revealed that Mr. Kudese has refused to hand over to him.

“We are at a loss why Mr. Kudese who was rejected by the community and transferred to Anloga Zion College was allowed to stay at the Cristal Hotel at Mafi-Addome at the expense of the school to still operate the accounts of the Mepe St. Kizito Senior High Technical School and would not hand over to the new Accountant (Bursar,” the letter stated.

It noted that Mr. Kudese was posted to the Volta Regional office of the GES, then to Three Town Senior High, Anloga Zion College and later to Comboni Technical and Vocational Institute at Sogakope in the Central Tongu District.

But For some bizarre reasons, the letter said Mr. Kudese turned down each of these offers by GES.

According to the letter, the audacity with which he defies the transfer directives of the GES casts doubts on the integrity of the service and the seriousness of its directives.

“As at today, Mr. Kudese has not returned a water metre he clandestinely misappropriated and relocated from the school’s boy’s dormitory to his rented house in town, as the school keeps paying the bills,” the letter alleged.

The letter disclosed that he single-handedly awarded the SIP-funded school fence wall project on the blindside of the school’s procurement committee and the board of governors without tender and in breaches of the procurement regulations.

Furthermore, the letter stated that Mr. Kudese was yet to account to the board of governors of the school on the school’s 25th Anniversary celebrations that took place four years ago and all committees set up to plan the event stand dissolved till date.

“In fact, he has never presented any income and expenditure account to the board since assuming office as school accountant,” it alleged.

For Mepe St. Kizito to be rescued and placed back on the path of progress, the letter appealed to the media and the stakeholders in education to force Mr. Kudese together with his allies to abide by the GES transfer directives.

The letter warned Mr. Kudese to cease being a signatory to the bank accounts of Mepe St Kizito, stop performing financial transactions for and on behalf of the school and handover to the new accountant, Amos Gborglah with urgent promptitude.

The letter also called for a forensic audit to be performed on the accounts of the school covering the tenure of Mr. Kudese.

When contacted by Today via telephone on Wednesday August 29, 2018, the new Accountant posted to the school, Mr. Amos Gborglah noted that he was transferred to the school on April 2018, but due to the persistent refusal of Mr. Kudese to hand over to him, “I am still hanging around the school without doing anything.”

“Though l report to the school every school hour to work on the accounting records of the school, Mr. Kudese has failed to hand the mantle to me and l even don’t have an office,” Mr. Gborglah noted.

In an interview with Today, the Headmaster of the school, Mr. Dey Abraham, noted that the issue of the community fighting Mr. Kudese for not abiding by the transfer directives of the GES and his involvement of financial and procurement irregularities have been there longtime before he was posted from the Oti Senior High School at Dambai to MSHTS in July this year.

“My brother, l came to meet these issues so lam working closely with the Volta Regional, North Tongu District Directorates of GES, MESKOSA, chiefs and stakeholders of the school to resolve the transfer and other pressing issues affecting the school,” Mr. Abraham stressed.

He therefore called on members of MESKOSA to exercise restraint since he was putting measures in place to correct the anomalies at the school.

Meanwhile, when Today reached Mr. Kudese via telephone on the issue, he simply said: “ln the first place, l want to tell you [referring to this reporter] that l am not supposed to speak to the media on this issue.”

He continued that “So when l seek approval from the North Tongu District Director of the Ghana Education Service, Mrs. Roda Abiba Ayittey and my Headmaster of Mepe St. Kizito Senior High Technical School, Mr. Dey Abraham and they tell me that l should talk to the media over the issue then l will call you to speak to you.”

 

 

Story: From Freeman KORYEKPOR AWLESU, MEPE, VOLTA REGION

Writer’s email: freeman.koryekpor@todaygh.com