‘Only Jubilee house is not in crisis; Ghanaians are suffering’ – Suhuyini

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‘Only Jubilee house is not in crisis; Ghanaians are suffering’ – Suhuyini

Tamale North MP, Alhassan Suhuyini, has accused the government of being insensitive to the plight of Ghanaians.

According to him, Ghanaians are struggling with little or no social intervention policies to help mitigate the numerous challenges brought on by the economy.

Speaking in an Interview on Citi TV’s Face to Face, Mr. Suhuyini said “Only the Flagstaff house is not in crisis”.

The Member of Parliament said the only people who are not experiencing the current economic hardship in the country are staff and people directly connected to seat of Government.

The Tamale North MP cited the recent media reports on the Trade Union Congress’ [TUC] opposition to Government’s decision to construct the National Cathedral as evidence of an insensitive government.

“TUC is complaining, TUC says the Economy is hard and they are shocked that the President thinks building a cathedral should be his priority. This is the second statement from TUC, the first one was about the conditions of service for Ghanaian workers.”

Mr. Suhuyini explained that the current banking crisis and its related impact on Ghana’s financial sector has worsened the condition of living of Ghanaians.

“According to the latest survey, we are told over 1 million people lost their jobs by the Statistical service from 2017 till now, and you can count the sectors, infact the distilleries are laying off  thousands…”

“You go to the financial sector and it is not just the collapsed banks, the financial sector in general is in crisis. People have lost jobs. People have lost investments. If you speak to them, they will tell you what their thoughts are. When you speak Paa Kwesi Ndoum he will tell you what he thinks about the bank of Ghana.”

Mr. Suhuyini also criticized the double track system currently being implemented by the NPP Government describing it as a policy that was not “well thought through”

He says the double-track system was implemented hastily by the NPP.

“Why do we have double-track? Because we are told we are in an emergency situation, how did we get into an emergency situation? By the foolhardy implementation of a policy that was not well thought through. With all the warning signals on the wall, they told us they were prepared only for us to get midway and we are told we are in an emergency situation”

By: Jude Duncan/citinewsroom.com/Ghana

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Akufo-Addo gov’t saved Ghana paper, not $7bn – Former Energy minister ridicules

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Former Energy minister has ridiculed government’s claim it saved the taxpayer $7bn after cancelling power purchase agreements deemed surplus to requirements

Emmanuel Amarh Kofi-Buah explained the agreements couldn’t have cost the country that much because they were non-binding.

“It doesn’t become effective until you send it to parliament.  They have not saved anything it is paper they are talking about.  Power Purchase Agreements are sheets of paper until that is really formalized” 

“What are you cancelling? That agreement is already cancelled it is out no effect” he told Evans Mensah on Joy News late evening analysis show PM Express Tuesday.

PM Express Armah Kofi Buah

The government has announced, it has terminated 11 power deals signed between Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) and private power producers and also rescheduled eight other agreements.

The justification given was that the agreements would increase excess capacity from over 530MW to 2,887 MW by 2021.

Government explained it cost $402m to terminate the projects to produce power. But it was worth it government explained, adding it would have been paying $586m for 13 years for power projects it would not need.

Lampooning the previous Mahama administration, the government declared a savings of  $7.619 billion over the 13 year period.

But the former Energy minister Kofi-Buah who is also NDC MP for Ellembelle constituency has called the announced cancellation a hoax.

He said the reviewed agreements is a sign of a short-sighted administration because government energy policy is to become a net exporter of power.

He said Nigeria needs 10,000MW which Ghana must seek to sell them power while it works to do same with Burkina Faso, Togo.

A visionary government, the NDC MP said, would invest in exporting power for cash. The former minister also argued the so-called excess power could prove critical to the Akufo-Addo administration’s ambitious industrialization policy.

The ‘one factory in every district’ policy needs power. 

Kofi-Buah said Ghana’s first government, the CPP administration under Kwame Nkrumah was criticised for wasting Ghana’s money in constructing Akosombo Dam to produce more power than the country needed.

Rejecting the government’s explanation that it would cost over $400m to cancel some agreements, the former Energy minister said there is no need to pay the companies when they have not started building the power projects.

Emmanuel Armah Kofi-Buah challenged government to list all the companies whose agreement with ECG has been cancelled.

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Debate for NDC national executive aspirants starts on Wednesday, October 17

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The Centre for Social Democracy (CSD-Ghana) in partnership with the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES) is to organize pre-election candidate debates for aspirants in the upcoming NDC National Executive Elections.

The novelty, which starts on Wednesday, October 17, seeks to promote a healthy competition among aspirants to explicitly explain their idea to delegates and also engender internal democracy within the NDC.

The members of the Debate Advisory Board are Mr Lee Ocran, Professor Jane-Naana Opoku-Agyemang, Dr Benjamin Kumbuor, Dr. Michael Kpessah-Whyte, and Dr. Zenator Rawlings.

Speaking at the launch of the debate in Accra on Monday, Mr Michael Nii Abbey, Programmes Coordinator at FES Ghana, said the debate sought to test the leadership capabilities of contestants and their ability to hold their own against one another and communicate coherent ideas in connection with the thematic issues.

He noted that it would test the candidate’s composure under pressure and ability to articulate their thoughts, to the rank and file of the Party

Mr Abbey said the debate, would test the ability of candidates on characteristics including meanness of spirit, ability to listen, willingness to improvise, humour and goodwill.

“The debate will not place a premium on articulateness. This is because not all well-spoken candidates, who could speak most clearly and most quickly, think more clearly,” he said.

“There are many people who think clearly but speak slowly while acting quickly; this debate is equally interested in such candidates. It seeks to unravel the ability of candidates to withstand the challenges of the position they are seeking.”

Touching on the partnership, he stated that participation in the debate would be strictly by invitation and that the Debate Technical Committee of CSD would work out the modalities for the debate and would be validated by the Debate Advisory Board.

He said to reach many people the debate would be widely publicized via radio, televised and streamed live on Facebook.

Mr Abbey recalled that globally, pre-election candidate debates were becoming an integral part of democracy and that over sixty countries across the world had developed a debate tradition.

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It is no news if you save $50m on AMERI renegotiation – Adam Mutawakil suggests

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The Minority is adopting a wait and see attitude as Energy Minister John Peter Amewu brags over a supposed $50million savings made after a second attempt at renegotiating the controversial AMERI deal.

Ranking member on the Energy Committee Adam Mutawakilu said it will be no news at all if indeed it is true that government had saved $50million from the original agreement.

However, they are waiting patiently for the minister to bring the renegotiated deal to Parliament so they can scrutinize it and draw their own conclusions.

According to him, the former Energy Minister Boakye Agyarko had made similar claims of savings in the Novation agreement-the first attempt at renegotiation- only to lose his job after it turned out that the renegotiated deal was a rip-off.

He said once Amewu brings the new Ameri deal to Parliament they will be able to make objective assessment of the content.

John Peter Amewu had told Joy News Editor Evans Mensah that his office had had a successful renegotiation of the $510m Ameri power deal signed under the erstwhile John Mahama government in 2015.

He said the new deal will be taken to cabinet and will be brought to Parliament to replace the Novation agreement which the former Energy Minister Boakye Agyarko had brought to Parliament under an executive order.  

The novation agreement was the NPP government’s first attempt at renegotiating an Ameri deal it criticized while in opposition and accused the then government of inflating the price of the contract by over $150million.

Not long after Novation agreement was submitted to Parliament came criticisms from civil society organization some of whom said the renegotiated agreement was worse than the original agreement which was bad enough.

This forced the government to make a u-turn but not without a casualty. Agyarko had to lose his job after allegedly presiding over a bad renegotiation.

Even before the new deal will receive Cabinet and Parliamentary approval, the new Energy Minister is touting government’s achievements claiming it has saved $50 million from the original contract.

“This savings that we are doing now is just for two and half years. And so if we are saving almost $ 60 million in two and half years, if we are to work [for longer periods of time] it should tell you that we could be saving more than $100 million,” he justified the new deal.

But Mutawakilu is urging caution and at the same time downplaying any potential savings made out of the renegotiation.

He said Amewu must first bring the agreement to Parliament for scrutiny. It is only then that they can make an independent assessment of the new deal.

No news

He was categorical that even if government were to have saved $50million of the ameri deal it will be no news.

According to him, companies who wish to continue doing business with a new government make concessions by agreeing to a review of old contracts.

He said in 2009 when the NDC government came to power it renegotiated some contracts by the Kufuor led government, saved some 9 million cedis which they used for some development projects.

“Let the agreement come we will look at it. There may be other clauses in the addendum whereby government does not act that $50m will come to knot.

“If he is making some savings he should come with it and we will see how it goes because that is the same thing the former Minister made mention of over $400m will be saved with the Novation agreement and it came out that it was an agenda to rob the nation.

When he was asked if the $50million savings is not a testimony that the original deal signed by his government had been inflated, he stated: “That is not the case, if you follow politics [you will know] once a new government comes into power because these business people want to continue do business they might be concessions to certain review agreements,” he said.

“When we came in 2009 there was this power agreement, we renegotiated it, saved $9 million and that was used to construct the Kintampo sub-station.

He said in 2021 if the NDC comes into power it will renegotiate previous agreements and make savings.

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Gov’t doing things in 20 months that have not been done in 60yrs – Bawumia

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Vice President has reiterated the resolve of government to transform the country within the shortest possible time through the implementation of policies and programmes.

Dr Mahamudu Bawumia said after just 20 months in office, the Akufo-Addo government has done more to digitise and formalise the Ghanaian economy and society than what has pertained throughout Ghana’s 61 years of independence.

“The Akufo-Addo government is doing things, life-transforming activities and reforms, what we haven’t done as a nation over the past 61 years, in just in 20 months. We are implementing reforms that will provide the critical, soft infrastructure that will ensure that Ghana becomes a modern economy.

“In just 20 months, we have implemented policies and programmes designed to formalise the economy and make life easier for both the ordinary Ghanaian and businesses.

“For instance, today, through the use of technology, getting a Drivers’ Licence has been made easier and cut out the need to pay a middleman before accessing an essential service. This is certainly good for the ordinary Ghanaian and business.”

“This government is building a new, confident, modern Ghana through the use of technology and the implementation of critical reforms. We have delivered in this short period, and will continue to deliver in the coming days, months and years,” he maintains.

Vice President Bawumia touted the achievements of the Nana Akufo-Addo government in its short stay in office when he addressed participants at the UK-Ghana Investment Summit in Accra on Tuesday.

UK High Commissioner to Ghana, Ian Walker

Outlining a number of critical building blocks for formalisation such as ensuring unique identification (Ghana Card, to be rolled out nationwide soon), location (National Digital Property Addressing System-GhanaPostGPS implemented), seamless payment system (Mobile Payments Interoperability implemented), justice delivery (E-case tracking ongoing), improved access to education (Free SHS, E-education ongoing), and facilitating business operations (paperless port, E-registration of companies, etc), Vice President Bawumia maintained that government was committed to moving Ghana beyond aid while creating the space for the growth of the private sector.

Other reforms, such as a streamlined, online process for passport acquisition, digitisation of all land records, injecting transparency into the procurement processes by making all processes easily trackable online, and the ongoing development of a national Emergency Number linked with the emergency services, fire and police services, and designed to give a caller’s location for faster response times were all part of the jigsaw, Vice President Bawumia stated.

CEO of the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC)

“In the area of health, processes are underway to ensure the speedy supply of urgently required blood and medication to isolated, hard-to-access communities through the use of drones. The processes should be completed soon, and I’m happy to say that Government is not paying a pesewa for this. It is being funded by the private sector,” he disclosed.

Vice President Bawumia urged the investor-community to take advantage of Ghana’s business-friendly environment to engage their Ghanaian counterparts to set up shop while pledging government’s commitment to staying the course of formalisation

“While we strive to make further efforts to make Ghana a leading business destination through the formalisation agenda, I will urge you to talk to your Ghanaian counterparts and explore ways we can work together to make Ghana better.

“Given what we have been able to do within this short period, you can be rest assured that we are poised to achieve even more.”

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Kweku Baako sues Kennedy Agyapong for GH₵25m

The Editor-In-Chief of the New Crusading Guide newspaper, Abdul Malik Kweku Baako, has sued the Member of Parliament (NPP) for Assin Central, Kennedy Ohene Agyapong, praying to the court to award him GH₵25,000,000.00 as general damages for defaming his character.

He is also praying to the court for perpetual injunction to restrain the maverick politician, his agents, assigns, and servants from further publishing any defamatory words against him.

Baako is further praying to the court to declare that the statements made by the Assin Central lawmaker in both Twi and English Language on some radio and television stations, notably, Net2 TV, Adom TV, Oman FM and Asempa FM, are defamatory.

He wants to the court to also award him exemplary damages for malicious conduct of Mr. Agyepong in defaming him.

In his statement of claim in the writ of summons filed at an Accra High Court, October 16, 2018, Baako avers that on July 18, 2018; July 24, 2018; July 25, 2018 and August 21, 2018 and on several occasions thereafter, Kennedy Agyapong caused to be published on Net2 TV, Adom FM, Oman FM and Asempa FM several statements against him which are defamatory.

He further avers that on July 18, 2018, on the Net2 TV station in a dialogue with the host, Abedi Anim, Mr. Agyepong said of him in both Twi and English Language that he is a “very corrupt guy”.

That notwithstanding, on same program, Mr. Agyepong also described him as being involved in galamsey than anybody in Ghana.

Baako further said even the call by the host of the program on Mr. Agyepong to make a rational and fact-based analysis could not deter him from making the disparaging comments.

He said by way of innuendo, the false and malicious utterances made by Mr. Agyepong meant and were naturally and ordinarily understood by right-thinking members of the society to mean that he:

  1. Lacks honesty and is possessed with the particularly bad moral of corruption which is not only an offence under the laws of Ghana but a canker that the State is putting in every effort to eliminate from its social fabric.
  2. Is engaging in an illegal act which destroys the environment and will not halt his activities despite the State and civil societies’ efforts to fight illegal mining in Ghana.
  3. Is a morally reprehensible person with malicious intents against his beloved country.

That Mr. Agyepong has also described him as someone who is highly materialistic and cannot be trusted.

These acts of Mr. Agyepong among others, Baako claims, have “drastically reduced his envied reputation into dishonour, contempt, and reproach, hence, his demand for GH₵25,000,000.00 as general damages among other claims.

VIDEO: Akua Donkor threatens Akufo Addo with a gun

Madam Akua Donkor of the Ghana Freedom Party (GFP), who has never hidden her dislike for President Akufo Addo must have scaled up her aversion for the latter as she’s being captured in a video threatening the President to step down.

In a video that has gone viral on social media, Madam Akua Donkor who has been described by many as the biggest joker in Ghanaian politics is seen holding pump action gun with rounds strapped around her shoulder asking President Akufo Addo.

“I’m very serious about what I’m saying, President Nana Akufo Addo must step down immediately. What he’s doing will not help him.” Akua Donkor threatened.

It is unclear what has triggered Akua Donkor’s threat to the President and what her next actions will be if the President does not resign as she calling for.

In June 2018, Akua Donkor filed a suit at the Supreme Court seeking the removal of President Akufo-Addo and Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia over the exposé in football corruption by Anas Aremeyaw Anas.

In her writ, Madam Donkor states that in the expose, the names of President Akufo-Addo and Vice President Bawumia were mentioned by the immediate past President of the Ghana Football Association (GFA), Mr Kwesi Nyantakyi, as people who could be influenced with money in the award of contracts.

She therefore wants the Supreme Court to order the Attorney-General, who was named as the defendant in the suit, to advice the two highest office holders in the country to step down.

According to her, the President and Vice President must step down to allow “fair” investigations into the claims of Mr Nyantakyi.

“An order of this honourable court directing the defendant to advise the President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and his Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia to step aside since their names were mentioned in the documentary video by investigative journalist, Anas Aremeyaw Anas,” she stated in her statement of claim.

 

Why do we allow this madness to continue? I think she should be arrested . Press 1 of you agree

Posted by Ameyaw Debrah on Tuesday, October 16, 2018

2020 Elections will be warfare – Fmr. Dep. Chief of Staff

A former deputy Chief of Staff John Osei Kofi says the 2020 elections will be warfare between the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the ruling New Patriotic Party.

According to him, the NDC will not allow itself to be intimidated by vigilante groups associated with the ruling party again.

“The empowered NPP vigilante group Delta  and Invisible forces in Ashanti also have brothers and family members who also belong to the NDC, so what is going to happen is that the NPP and NDC guys will like to protect themselves therefore there will be blue on blue, a military term which means brother on brother because of political interest,’’ he noted.

He said although such an action might threaten the security of the state, it is necessary for fairness in the polls.

“The national security has already been threatened  long ago by the NPP even when the NDC was in government, so as for national security it’s under serious threat, but one thing they have to know is that, in modern warfare  conflict, there’s no winner and everybody will face the pinch, hurt and people from both side will die .

“So am telling you it not necessary to entertain the Delta forces, the invisible forces and so on, the NDC could also put out forces”.

Meanwhile, former President John Dramani Mahama has described the 2020 general elections as a final match between him and familiar political rival, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.

Referring to the 2012 polls as “a title fight” and the 2016 elections as “a rematch”, Mahama called the 2020 polls “a decider” and predicted the tiebreaker would return him to the helm of government.

Mahama won in 2012 as a first-timer on the ticket of then governing National Democratic Congress (NDC), securing a 5,574,761 votes that represented 50.7%. Akufo-Addo, Ghana’s main opposition leader at the time and presidential candidate of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), got 5,248,898, representing 47.7%.

“They say, ‘Why are you bringing your former president? NDC, don’t you have people?’ And we say you, too, didn’t you have people? In 2008, you brought somebody. Professor Mills defeated him. You should have brought a fresh face.

“You brought him again in 2012. John Mahama defeated him. You should also have brought a fresh face. And you brought him again in 2016 and it’s only at that time he won. So, fine. He was defeated several times; you still brought him. And this is what you call a title fight,” Mahama told NDC delegates and supporters in the Bolgatanga Central Constituency during his just-ended tour of the Upper East region.

NDC communications very poor after changing “propaganda” title – Desoso

A National Vice Chairperson of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Anita Desoso says the party communications is at its lowest ebb after the party’s decision to change the Propaganda Secretary title to Communications Officer.

According to the outspoken politician who’s a former Deputy Propaganda Secretary, the former Propaganda secretariat made the party’s communications effective and easier, adding that propaganda was more of propagating messages and making the NDC’s identities known to its supporters.

Speaking on Asempa FM’s Ekosii Sen Monday Anita Desoso who’s National Organizer aspirant slammed the party hierarchy for succumbing to pressure from their political rival, the New Patriotic Party (NPP) to change the name.

“At our time the office was propaganda secretary but now it’s been changed to Communications officer and that has destroyed the party’s communications, because you have to propagate your message. We bowed to pressure from others and had to unfortunately change our name. When I was deputy to Fifi Kwetey, we worked so hard that we stayed over every midnight to see the next days newspapers headlines which are shown on TV. So that by morning time we’ll have adequate responses to every story about the NDC and spread it all over the place and our opponents the NPP will be accusing us of always engaging in propaganda. So I was not happy when the name was changed from propaganda to communications, why did we need to change our identity. To be frank the name change has left our communications very weak.”

She added: Every statement we put out was not mere propaganda they were backed by facts but we allowed others to pressurize us to change our identity and that is very bad. I wish we could go back, but the majority have voted for the name change so I have nothing to do.” 

 

Background

The Ken Dzirasah-led Constitutional Committee of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) steered a wide ranging constitutional review of the party’s constitution, expanding the highest decision making body of the party from the current less than 4,000 to nearly nearly 250,000.

Consequently, the highest decision making body endorsed the changes which include the changing of the Propaganda Secretary title to Communication Officers at the national, regional and constituency levels.

The changes were announced at the 8th national delegates congress of the party currently ongoing at the Baba Yara Sports Stadium in the Garden City of Kumasi in December 2014.

 

Did Mahama ‘dub’ campaign messages of Alabi, Spio?

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Supporters of National Democratic Congress (NDC) flagbearer hopefuls, Prof Joshua Alabi and Dr Spio Gabrah, are accusing former President John Mahama of stealing their campaign message.

Mr Mahama has been accused of stealing the promise to build decent regional and constituency offices for the party if elected as Presidential Candidates from the two contenders. 

The social media supporters shared poster messages and videos of the two hopefuls to counter the declaration made by the former President yesterday to build party offices. 

The banter follows two videos released Monday by the campaign teams of Joshua Alabi campaign and John Mama, in which both candidates promised to build party offices. 

Prof Joshua Alabi in the video broadcast said: “You, not having funding sources to organise the party, you, not having constituency offices, you, not enjoying power as grassroots, you told me, I listened, took notes. And I assure you that I have the solutions.” 

Within the same period, the campaign team of the former President released an audio-visual in which former President Mahama promised to construct party offices and provide platforms for the party youth to engage and learn from the experienced ones in the party. 

The Joshua Alabi supporters quickly described the promise of the former President as an afterthought, following the wide public opinion that he seems not to be talking about the issues affecting the NDC party members but concentrating his efforts on attacking the NPP government. 

Later in the evening, the John Mahama 2020 campaign team released a campaign poster in which the promise made earlier in the audio-visual is captured in black and white.Mahama campaign theft

However, the Spio Gabrah campaign team fired back with their old poster in which it captured the construction of party offices as the number one item on their seven-point agenda. 

Mahama campaign theft

Interestingly, the design and format used by the Spio Gabrah Campaign to lunch their 7-point agenda some weeks ago is the same as the one used by the Mahama Campaign for their poster yesterday.

The Spio Gabrah supporters on social media, therefore, slapped ‘COPIED’ on yesterday’s Mahama campaign artwork. 

Mahama campaign theft

On NewsFile analysis program last Saturday, the former President was found to be over concentrating on the government of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) instead of addressing the NDC delegates whose vote he needs to emerge as the Presidential Candidate.

 

Editor in Chief of the New Crusading Guide Newspaper, Abdul Malik Kweku Baako Jnr. believes former President John Mahama has lost focus in his campaign to become the flagbearer of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) going into the 2020 election.

He said although Mahama stands a better chance of winning the flagbearer position, his victory will be jeopardised if he pays little attention to delegates and recommendations of the Kwesi Botchwey Report.

“He will win hands down. I will be shocked if he loses this thing. Their focus should be on delegates and perhaps the Kwesi Botchwey report because they know the content. Something went wrong with the party machinery in terms of election 2016; so that should be the focus. If not, his campaign will suffer premature ejaculation before he wins the primary,” Baako added.

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