Akufo-Addo to commission NABCO recruits today

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President Nana Akufo-Addo will today, Wednesday, officially commission recruits for the Nation Builders Corps (NABCO) initiative.

The program seeks to employ 100,000 of the country’s graduate youth in various sectors of the economy.

Today’s event will see the beneficiaries who went through successful interviews placed to start working.

Finding jobs for the country’s youth was one of the major campaign promises of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) in the run-up to the 2016 elections.

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Critics of government have however said the NABCO initiative is not sustainable.

But government insists NABCO, which is one of its many interventions will help deal with youth unemployment.

About NABCO

President Akufo-Addo launched the Nation Builder’s Corps as an alternative job creation opportunity for the country’s jobless graduates.

The programme is expected to create 100,000 jobs in seven sectors of the economy including health, education, agriculture, and ICT.

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It also forms part of government’s commitment towards addressing the high unemployment in the country.

The programme, which will be managed by the office of the President, will focus on alleviating shortfalls in public service delivery.

The beneficiaries will be engaged for three years and they are expected to earn a monthly stipend of GH¢700 each.

The modules are Feed Ghana, Educate Ghana, Revenue Ghana, Heal Ghana, Enterprise Ghana, Digitise Ghana and Governance Ghana.

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Trainee nurses, midwives kick against NABCO

But the Ghana Nurses and Midwife Trainees Association, are unhappy with the programme saying government should employ them permanently instead of recruiting them on NABCO.

In May, the Public Relations Officer of the Association, Akugri Gaddafi, stated on Eyewitness News that the remuneration package for nurses in the programme is unfair, suggesting that newly-employed certificate nurses earn about 1, 100 cedis, while diploma and degree nurses earn between 1, 600 cedis and 1, 800 cedis, all much higher than the 700 cedis persons employed under the scheme are set to earn.

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We’re doing in 20 months what hasn’t been done in 61 years – Bawumia

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Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, has reiterated the government’s resolve to transform Ghana within the shortest possible time through the implementation of policies and programmes designed to make Ghana a modern economy.

According to him, after just 20 months in office, the Akufo-Addo Presidency has done more to digitize and formalize the Ghanaian economy and society than what has pertained in Ghana for several years.

“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.”

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“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,” the Vice President 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 16th October, 2018.

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 the government was committed to moving Ghana beyond aid while creating the environment for the growth of the private sector.

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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.

“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,” the Vice President disclosed.

read: Akufo-Addo to commission NABCO recruits today

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 rest assured that we are poised to achieve even more.

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Over 1000 jobs to be created as PMMC constructs gold refinery

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Government is expected to create over 1000 jobs in 2019 in the mining sector with the construction of a state-owned gold refinery.

The refinery which is expected to cost some $20 million is a public-private partnership between Precious Minerals Marketing Company Ltd (PMMC), and Ghana Royal Gold Limited Company.

Deputy Minister of Lands and Natural Resources Benito Owusu Bio tells JoyBusiness, the move is expected to end the era of exporting raw gold out of Ghana. 

“The commitment is to ensure that, the foreign partner comes in with the financial commitment and funding to buy the gold from the local market and refine before is exported which should increase the foreign exchange. But whatever profits that they make, PMMC which has shares in equity by providing the Land for the construction will get 20%. 

With the structure being on the premises of the PMMC, they have been tasked to ensure that the local content policy is adhered to strictly. For instance, there will be more Ghanaians especially the artisans will get jobs right from the construction stage until the refinery begins operations in 2019.”

Mr Owusu Bio added that “this is expected to create over 1000 jobs for Ghanaians because these locals will be trained which includes technology transfer from the foreign partners.”

Construction work of the refinery is expected to be completed in May 2019 with full operation expected to kick-start in July 2019.

The facility when completed will help reduce the volume of gold exported annually by at least 50 per cent.

Although Ghana is one of the top 10 gold producing countries in the world with estimated production at 92 metric tonnes per year, its quest to add value to the raw gold has not yet been realized.

Meanwhile, the Chief Executive Officer of the PMMC, Dr Kwadwo Opare-Hammond, is confident that the facility will boost the country’s revenue from gold export.

According to him, when the refinery is completed, the PMMC will make sure that only refined gold would be exported out of Ghana and be used for Ghana’s jewellery industry.

“Once we have the refinery up and running, it would ensure that the gold that leaves this country would come through the refinery before it is taken out.

The contractor has assured that construction will be completed by April 2019, and hopefully with the setting up of the equipment, by the first of July 2019 the refinery would take off,” Mr Opare Hammend disclosed,

But the contractors of the facility are optimistic about meeting the 2019 deadline.

Data available shows that, Ghana produces between 400 and 600 kilograms of gold every day, however, this is exported in its raw form.

In 2017 for instance, the value of gold produced according to the Ghana Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative GHEITI, was 4,919 million dollars, a 17 per cent increase from the figure recorded in 2015.

But some Gold experts believe this value of gold can be ten times higher if it is refined. 

As part of the Akufo-Addo government’s plans to achieve its target, this private partnership agreement would better the lots of government as Ghana remains one of the 10 gold producing countries in the world with production over the last three years pegged at 92 metric tonnes per year.

Although the history of the country in gold production dates back to over 100 years, the quest to add value to the raw gold has remained only a dream.
 

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Nigerian sentenced for assaulting teachers

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law

David Simon Chukwu, 45, a Nigerian based in Dzodze in the Volta Region has been sentenced to a fine of GH¢1, 800.00 by an Aflao Circuit Court for assaulting a teacher of the Roman Catholic Central Basic School at Dzodze, in the Ketu North Municipality.

He pleaded guilty to being on premises for unlawful purpose and assault of public officer and was fined GH¢600.00 and GH¢1, 200.00, or go to jail for three and six months respectively in default’.

Both sentences run consecutively.

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Chukwu however pleaded not guilty to the third charge – also assault of public officer, and the Court, presided over by Mr. Ali Baba Abature, adjourned the case, remanding him in police custody till October 17, this year for the prosecution to prove his guilt on the third charge.

Mr. Michael Akemo, a Detective Police Inspector of Aflao told the court that the complainants, Ben Dzata and Godwin Dzelu, headmaster and Teacher respectively of the RC Central Basic School both resided at Dzodze, where the suspect, a trader also resided.

He said at about 1230 hours after the school’s second break on Tuesday October 9, this year, a pupil reported to Mr Dzelu, the class six teacher that he was referred to as a bastard by another pupil-Felicia Chukwu, Chukwu’s daughter.

Mr Akemo said Mr Dzelu sent for Felicia Chukwu, a class four pupil, but she refused to show up, prompting Mr Dzelu to follow up and met her at a portion of the compound where he whipped her for refusing to answer his call.

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Felicia Chukwu sneaked home and called his father, who fuming with anger, stormed the class of the teacher who was then busily teaching and angrily demanded to know from him why he should whip his daughter.

The teacher approached Chukwu to explain the issues to him, but the suspect rather gave him a hefty slap on his left cheek in the full glare of his pupils, and when the teacher drew back, he (Chukwu) pursued him fuming.

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The issue attracted other teachers and pupils of the school, resulting in total confusion, during which the headmaster, Mr. Dzata, drew closer to Chukwu, to appeal to him to stop the advance, but Chukwu held him by the hand and swung him off resulting in him (headmaster) crashing his forehead against one of the windows there.

Mr Akemo said the headmaster in the process sustained a swollen forehead while the class teacher had tenderness of the cheek and the police, who were quickly called in, rescued the teachers and apprehended the suspect.

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Scam rocks NSS after registration of teachers on study leave

The 2018 year graduates group of University of Education Winneba Kumasi campus English class, has accused management of National Service secretariat (NSS) and management of University of Education Winneba Kumasi campus management of using their names and index numbers for fraud.

The group made up of 76 teachers who just completed their study leave in the university complain they never registered for national service however, their names and index numbers have been captured in the national service system which has been used by unknown people to do their service.

Speaking in an interview with Ultimate FM’s Isaac Justice Bediako, the group accused the national service secretariat and management of University of Education Winneba Kumasi Campus of being behind the scam.

“Look my brother we are teachers with over 15 years’ experience in the teaching profession. We did our national service after training college education therefore, we don’t qualify to do service again, and therefore we did not worry ourselves to register again because we are teachers on study leave. We are highly disappointed to note people are using our index numbers and our names to do service’’ he lamented.

According to the group several attempt to compel managers of the National Service Scheme to act on the matter has been unsuccessful.

“When we realised people are using our details for their national service, we reported the matter first to the national service secretariat office in Kumasi and later informed minister of Education Dr. Mathew Opoku Prempeh, Opoku Mensah Ashanti regional manager and Dr. Kingsly Nyarko board member of national service secretariat hoping that they will do something about it but we are yet to hear anything from them. For this reason we surely believe they are behind this scam” the group alleged.

The group revealed that, those using their detail to do national service are all working in the northern regions.

“We manage to speak to a number of the those impersonators using our details to secure national service job and their told us they registered through agents whom they paid an amount four and five hundred Ghana cedis for the registration but when they realised we were trucking them they have deactivated their mobile phone numbers’’ he noted.

Meanwhile Manager of the Ashanti regional branch of national service secretariat Mr. Opuku Mensah confirmed they have detected the fraud in the system and blame the development on the administration of the Winneba Kumasi campus.

“I think we should rather investigate the Winneba Kumasi campus for this scam, how did people get their index number and names of teachers on study leave to register for the national service?. I suspect insider from the school’s administration is behind this case. I can’t speak to you on record but am assuring you that this case will be investigated. In our next management level meeting that will be the agenda on the table. I will direct my secretary to write to national headquarters on the development’’ he assured.

GNAT appeals to MMDAs to construct teachers’ bungalows

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The Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) have been urged to construct teachers’ bungalows in deprived communities to solve the residential accommodation problems facing them in the country.

This would motivate teachers to accept postings to work in rural communities to improve on the standard of education in those areas.

Mr. Ebenezer Asare-Baah, the Nkoranza District Secretary of the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT) gave the advice in an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA) at Nkoranza in the Brong-Ahafo Region.

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He noted that most teachers posted to rural areas refused due to lack of accommodation and bad road networks, and urged the MMDAs to tackle the problems.

Mr. Asare-Baah said with the provision of residential accommodation, teachers had no excuse to refuse postings to serve in rural areas.

More so, he added that the problem of lateness and absenteeism among teachers in deprived communities would also be addressed.

Mr. Asare-Baah regretted that during rainy seasons, many teachers serving in rural areas had to walk or ride bicycles for several kilometres to attend classes and expressed dissatisfaction about the contributions of Parent Teacher Associations towards the development of education in the Nkoranza Municipality and Nkoranza North District.

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He observed that ensuring quality education was a shared and collective responsibility and appealed to parents to support teachers and expressed concern over high teenage pregnancies and alcoholism among students in the two areas.

Mr. Asare-Baah also advised teachers to upgrade themselves to be able to cope with the various educational reforms the country was going through.

 

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Farmers were fairly compensated; they should allow the court to decide

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Farmers were fairly compensated; they should allow the court to decide – Newmont

Newmont Ghana has reaffirmed its commitment to fully engage with farmers in New Abirem to address concerns over their compensation packages.

This follows a demonstration by some farmers in the New Abirem District of the Eastern Region on Tuesday who are demanding better compensation from Newmont.

The demonstration, which started around 6:00 am saw the farmers block roads leading to the mining site at Adeisona, as they burnt car tyres to prevent the workers from going to the site.

Some farmers were eventually injured when police fired tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse them.

Speaking on Eyewitness News, Senior Director of Communications and External Relations at Newmont, Ama Bawuah, called on farmers seeking new and additional land and crop compensation, to allow the legal process to run its course, following earlier mediation efforts.

“We all very committed to engaging with all stakeholders. It is part of Newmont’s core value to engage with our communities and honour all our obligations to stakeholders. We look forward to a peaceful and amicable resolution of this issue. Whatever the court system decides, Newmont will abide by the court ruling.”

‘Farmers were not cheated.’

Ama Bawuah further indicated that though the farmers were fairly and fully adequately compensated, they decided to stage a demonstration demanding extra compensation packages.

“We engaged the land valuation board. We engaged with a reputable community valuer that was based on the agreement with all stakeholders, and we compensated fully and fairly, and the farmers decided to come back. They decided that the compensation they were paid was not enough, so they decided to come back. They have taken the issue to court based on their position on the matter, and we believe the court system will issue a judgment on their operation.”

Some five farmers who were part of the demonstration sustained injuries after police fired rubber bullets and tear gas to disperse them.

However, Newmont in a statement said the “police deployed personnel to ensure security and public order while protecting lives and property, following reports of intimidation and threats.”

“Unfortunately, some individuals have been confirmed to have sustained injuries and are being treated,” the statement added.

In July, the community group embarked on a similar demonstration against Newmont Ghana to express dissatisfaction with the ongoing legal process concerning their demands for land and crop compensation and employment, as well as allegations of building cracks from mine pit blasting.

Prior to this, the Company had been in mediation with the farmers led by an independent arbitrator.

The parties continued to engage on the matter through the mediation process until the case was sent back to court.

By: Marian Ansah/citinewsroom.com/Ghana

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Akufo-Addo commissions NaBCo beneficiaries today

The ceremony is expected to take place at the Independence square in Accra with some 100,000 beneficiaries passing out to begin work as government moves to tackle the unemployment situation among the youth.

According to the Information Minister designate Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, the organisers of the NaBCo programme do not want to burden all the beneficiaries with coming to the capital so the rest will be outdoored elsewhere.

On 1st May 2018, President Akufo-Addo, launched the Nation Builders Corps (NABCO), where over 100,000 young men and women will assist in the public sector service delivery needs of Ghana.

NABCO’s central focus, the President said, would be to create employment avenues and opportunities for young people who hold diplomas or degrees from accredited tertiary institutions, adding that “NABCO will enhance the dignity and self-esteem of our graduates, and will also present them with the added benefit of efficiency and effectiveness in the delivery of some essential public services.”

President Akufo-Addo was confident that by the time NABCO trainees exit the scheme, which is for a 3-year period, “the requisite work readiness skills and experience, often deemed a barrier to their employment as fresh graduates, would have been resolved.”