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28.10.2004 Press Review

ISD News File - Thursday, October 28, 2004

By ISD

PRESIDENT KUFUOR BEGINS TOUR OF ASHANTI REGION

President Kufuor has stated that although pockets of corruption still permeate certain parts of the public sector, every objective observer could easily deduce that he had delivered on his 2000 election promise to arrest the canker.

The President stated this at the Manhyia Palace in Kumasi yesterday, when he paid a courtesy call on the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, at the start of a six-day official visit to the Ashanti Region.

President Kufuor observed that the biggest area of corruption in the public sector had been with procurement and explained that the passage of the National Procurement Bill into law had given hope to the nation in the fight against corruption.

He also indicated that with the establishment of the Internal Audit Authority, the necessary checks would be readily available in the public sector to help eliminate fraudulent deals.

Responding, Otumfuo Osei Tutu said, the nation was looking for peace and development and commended the President for his initiatives to achieve results in those areas. He said, he was not commending the President because both of them are Asantes, but was only stating the reality.

The Asantehene said, Ghanaians are one people “and we should see ourselves as such, instead of attempts by self-seeking persons to divide us through tribal tendencies”.

VICE PRESIDENT TOURS DANGME WEST DISTRICT

The Vice President, Alhaji Aliu Mahama, yesterday said the country had reached a stage where violence free, civil and orthodox persuasive methods were needed to convince the electorate to vote in the interest of the various contesting political parties, instead of inciting them against one another.

Alhaji Mahama said this during a tour of communities in the Ningo/Prampram constituency in the Dangme West District of the Greater Accra Region.

He inspected ongoing constructional works on the Ningo bridge, schools and clinics, as well as other development projects and interacted with the chiefs, opinion leaders and NPP supporters in the communities.

The Vice President said, after stabilizing the prices of goods and services and achieving micro and macro stability, what was needed was peace and accelerated development.

The Paramount Chief of old Ningo, Nene Osrangbo Djangmah, commended the government for putting up a hospital in the district.

The Chief of Dawa, Nene Agborkey Duamor X, appealed to the government to establish a pepper processing factory in the area.

PRESIDENT KUFOR ENDS TOUR OF UPPER EAST REGION

President J. A. Kufuor has stated that the next term of the NPP government will be declared “Positive Change, Chapter Two” and will witness a massive socio-economic transformation of the country.

President Kufuor made the declaration, when he addressed a durbar of the chiefs and people of the Bolgatanga municipality on Tuesday to climax his three-day official visit to the Upper East Region.

He stressed that if the general public, including traditional authorities, had come to appreciate the good works of the NPP government in the first four years of its tenure, then Ghanaians should vote massively to return the party to power to continue with the good works.

MORE SUPPORT FOR RURAL DEVELOPMENT PROJECTS

The Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Mr. Kwadwo Adjei-Darko, has announced that the government has signed a $60 million credit agreement with the International Development Agency (IDA) of the World Bank towards the implementation of a new project, known as the Community-Based Rural Development (CB-RDP).

The CB-RDP is a follow-up to the Village Infrastructure Project (VIP) and aims at strengthening the capacity of rural communities to enhance their quality of life by improving their production assets, rural infrastructure and access to key support services from private and public sources.

Mr. Adjei-Darko, announced this when he addressed the annual review conference of regional ministers, metropolitan, municipal and regional district chief executives (MMDCEs) in Bolgatanga, in the Upper East Region.

PARLIAMENT APPROVES $40 MILLION LOAN FOR GAS PROJECT

Parliament yesterday approved an amount of $40 million as loan from the Republic of Nigeria as part funding of Ghana's equity in the West African Gas Pipeline Project.

Moving for the approval of the loan, the chairperson of the Finance Committee, Mr. Eugene Atta Agyepong, said in view of the importance of the project to Ghana and the soft terms of the loan, the committee recommended the adoption and approval of the loan.

Mr. Agyepong said, the committee took into consideration the fact that Ghana would repay the loan in five equal instalments of $8 million bi-annually, and observed that the loan did not attract any interest, which necessitated the need for the government to access the facility.

ECOWAS MISSION TO CHECK ON PREPARATION TOWARDS POLLS

A five-member delegation from the ECOWAS Secretariat led by Mr. Ouidi Naba, is in the country on a fact-funding mission to ascertain the level of preparedness of the Electoral Commission (EC) for the December polls.

Other members of the delegation are Mr. Bukari Bobbo of the ECOWAS Secretariat, Alhaji Mustapha Carayol of the Independent Electoral Commission of The Gambia, Mr. Edington Varmah of the Liberian Transitional Government and member of the ECOWAS Parliament, and Alhaji A. U. Abubakar of Nigeria.

Briefing the Graphic after interacting with the EC in Accra on Monday, Mr. Naba, who is also a member of the Council of Elders of ECOWAS, expressed optimism that the level of democratic awareness, coupled with the experience and expertise gained by the members of the commission, Ghana was prepared for the elections.

Mr. Naba said, as far as the legal backing that insulated electoral bodies in the sub-region was concerned, Ghana was in the forefront, adding that “we were satisfied with the working session that we had with officials of the EC because the members have experience in the electoral job”.

ANGLOGOLD ASHANTI PAYS ¢22.4 BILLION

AngloGold Ashanti has paid an interim dividend of $2.3 million about (¢22.4 billion to the government.

This is the first time in six years that the company has paid any dividend to shareholders.

The Minister of Mines, Mrs. Cecilia Bannerman, who received the cheque on behalf of the government, said that the merger of the erstwhile Ashanti Goldfields Company and AngloGold of South Africa was in the right direction, since it had begun to yield the necessary dividend.

Mrs. Bannerman said, the presentation of the dividend was significant, considering the pressure the government went through to find a suitable partner for AGC.

She expressed the hope that other mining companies would emulate AngloGold Ashanti's example and pay promptly their dividends.

The amount is said to be the highest dividend ever to be paid to the government by a mining company. The government currently holds about four per cent shares in AngloGold Ashanti.

GHANAIAN STUDENT WINS SECOND POSITION IN WORLD EXAMINATION

Mr. Joseph Obeng, 26-year-old student of the Standard Institute of Business and Computing (SIBCO) at Abesim, near Sunyani in the Brong Ahafo Region, has won a silver medal for placing second in the World Cost Accounting-Level three at Series Four 2003 Examinations.

Presenting the award at a short ceremony, the Brong Ahafo Regional Minister, Nana Kwadwo Seinti, said there was no magical power for succeeding in life rather than hard work and determination.

More than 80 countries worldwide took part in the examination, organised by the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry Examinations (LCCI) Board.

The Principal of the school, Mr. Kofi Adamper, said the school offered courses in accounting, secretarial, marketing and information technology for local and international examinations, adding that plans were far advanced to develop the school into a business-oriented tertiary institution.

SPORTS GHANA TELECOM SPONSORS PREMIER LEAGUE FOR ¢1.8 BILLION

Ghana Telecom (GT) has provided ¢1.8 billion in sponsorship for the remainder of the 2004 Premier League which is to be known as the GT Premier League with immediate effect.

COMMONWEALTH BOXING COUNCIL ANNUAL MEETING OPENS IN ACCRA

The Commonwealth Boxing Council (CBC) 50th Annual General Meeting (AGM) of directors, opens at the Accra International Conference Centre (AICC) today.

The meeting will bring together directors from Commonwealth member countries who will brainstorm on the development of the sport in the Commonwealth.

The three-day event will be under the theme: “50 years of commonwealth boxing past, present and future”.

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