Quick Read 30th May, 2006
1. BLOODY TRILLION; THAT'S THE PRICE WE PAY FOR CARNAGE ON OUR ROADS – Pgs. 1 & 3
About ¢1 trillion, representing two per cent of Ghana's Gross Domestic Product (GDP), is expended on the problems arising out of road-related accidents annually.
The Minister for Transportation, Dr Richard Anane, who revealed this did not give the breakdown of the expenditure but indicated that the chunk of the amount went into the consequences relating to human injuries.
Dr Anane stated this at the opening of a multi-sector training course on injury control and management in Kumasi yesterday.
The four-day course, organised by the Harbourview Injury Prevention and Research Centre, Seattle in the United States of America (USA), in collaboration with the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), is being attended by representatives from the police, the health and transport sectors, among others.
It is intended to improve injury control and management and also increase collaborative orientation in the multi-sector approach to injury prevention and trauma care.
2. SIC PRESENTS ¢10BN DIVIDEND TO GOVT – Pg. 24
The State Insurance Company (SIC) yesterday presented a cheque of ¢10 billion to the Government, representing its dividend for the year 2005.
Prof Ofori, however, said 2005 was very challenging since the company was really tested to the core as to how resilient and robust it could be in handling the unexpected. As a result, the company's claims settlement went up from ¢45.6 billion in 2004 to more than ¢92 billion in 2005.
The Minister for Finance, Mr Kwadwo Baah-Wiredu, in his remarks commended SIC for being able to increase its dividend to the Government.
He said the Government projected to collect about ¢163bn, representing returns on its investments, as dividend from both State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs) and Joint Venture Companies (JVCs).
The Minister said as of the beginning of the second quarter of this year, the state had received an amount of ¢32.1 billion.
3. VEEP CALLS ON CHURCHES TO PROVIDE MORE SOCIAL SERVICES – Pg. 25
The Vice-President, Alhaji Aliu Mahama, has urged the church to evolve comprehensive plans to provide more social and infrastructural services for rural communities, the poor and needy.
He made reference to the Old and New Testaments and said the two documents provided elaborate guidelines about assistance to the poor and needy.
Addressing thousands of Catholic faithfuls and others at the Navrongo Cathedral of the Roman Catholic Church during the launch of the celebration of the centenary of the church in northern Ghana, Alhaji Aliu Mahama challenged the church in particular and christians in general to join hands with the Government to introduce and support policies and programmes to eliminate the root causes of poverty, by improving the health, education, housing and legal rights of the poor.
4. GHANA, OTHERS TO BENEFIT FROM UK GRANT – Pg. 34
Ghana is one of the 20 African states to benefit from a $15 billion support from the United Kingdom towards the improvement of basic education over the next 10 years.
Ghana could benefit from between $300 and $500 million, Mr Kwadwo Baah-Wiredu, Minister for Finance and Economic Planning, told the Ghana News Agency in Accra on arrival from Abuja, Nigeria, where he attended a two-day conference of African Finance and Education Ministers as well as other stakeholders.
He said the money would also be used to improve the salaries of teachers and their training programmes adding that the pledge was opportune, as it offered Ghana a boost to raise the level of basic education in the country.
Mr Baah-Wiredu said Ghana was ready for the funds as the country had virtually satisfied all the requirements for the support.
THE GHANAIAN TIMES – TUESDAY, 30TH MAY, 2006
1. 5KG COCAINE GOES MISSING…TOP NARCOTICS OFFICIALS INTERDICTED - Pgs. 1 & 3
A three-member investigative team has been set up to probe the loss of 5 kgs of substance suspected to be cocaine from a consignment of 30 kgs intercepted in a Ghanaian registered fishing traveller, MV Benjamin on May 3.
Meanwhile, Col (Rtd) Isaac Akuoku, Executive Secretary of the Narcotics Control Board and Mr Ben Ndego, Head of Operations also of the board have been asked to proceed on leave pending the outcome of the investigations into the matter.
A statement by the Ministry of Information and National Orientation said the theft was reported to the Minister for the Interior, yesterday morning by the Narcotics Control Board, which had custody of the consignment.
The statement signed by the minister, Kwamena Bartels, named the investigative team members as J.K. Mensah of the National Security Secretariat, Patrick Ampewuah of the Police Criminal Investigations Department and Alhaji Adam Malik of the Bureau of National Investigations.
It is to investigate the circumstances leading to the loss of the 5 kgs of cocaine and to recommend appropriate punitive measures against anyone of the board to have connived with the culprits. It is to submit its report to the minister for the interior within one week, the statement said.
Meanwhile, the President has approved the secondment of Mr Daniel Laryea Odai, Assistance Commissioner of police and Tema regional police commander to the Narcotics Control Board as acting Executive Secretary. He will be assisted by two deputies, Mr Ben Botwe, Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Food and Drugs Board and Mr Mark Ewuntomah of the Police intelligence and professional standard unit.
2. GHANA CELEBRATES PEACEKEEPING DAY - Pg. 3
A wreath-laying ceremony was held in Accra yesterday by the Ghana Armed Forces and the Ghana Police Service to mark the Fourth International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers.
This year, Ghana chose the theme, “Keeping the peace without arms”, to focus attention on the role of the military observers, who serve unarmed despite all the risks associated with peacekeeping.
As part of activities marking the day five Ghanaian peacekeepers were honoured, four of them posthumously, by the UN. The four are among 124 others being honoured world wide.
Deputy Minister for Defence, William Ofori Boafo, in his address stressed the need for the international community to find ways of removing the causes of conflict within and among nations.
3. NANA KONADU'S TRIAL ADJOURNED TO JUNE 15 – Pg. 4
A Fast Track High Court in Accra, yesterday adjourned to June 15, the case in which Nana Konadu Agyeman Rawlings, former first lady, and eight others are standing trial for their involvement in the divestiture of Nsawam Cannery Company.
This follows an application for stay of proceedings filed by the nine accused persons asking that a civil suit the Carridem Development Company has filed against the Divestiture Implementation Committee and the attorney-general should be determined before “this criminal action can go on”.
Nana Konadu is standing trial together with Emmanuel Agbodo, former Executive Secretary of the DIC, Thomas Benson Owusu, former DIC Accountant and Kwame Peprah, former Finance Minister and DIC Chairman.
The rest are Hanny Sherry Ayittey, Georgina Okaitey, Director/General Manager, George Mould, Director and Larry Adjetey, Director/Secretary, all of Carridem Development Company Limited (GDCL).
They have been charged with 30 counts of conspiracy, causing financial loss to a public body, intentionally causing loss to a public property, conspiracy to obtain public property by false statement and obtaining public property by false statement.
4. GJA SUGGESTS WAYS TO PROMOTE SMALL BUSINESS – Pg. 4
The problems inhibiting the growth of the small-scale business sector can be overcomed with the right policy direction and political goodwill, according to the findings of a survey report.
Dubbed “Using the media to promote small scale business concerns”, the survey was conducted under the auspices of the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) by its consultants, KAB Governance Consult.
A press release signed by GJA general secretary, Bright Kwame Blewu, identified some key challenges requiring governmental interventions.
They include access to credit, unfriendly business policies and inaction by district, municipal and metropolitan assemblies, multiplicity of tax, licensing and registration schemes and non participation of trade associations in the development of policies for the sector.
Others are influx of shoddy products arising out of trade liberalisation, weak regulatory and enforcement of standards, lack of industrial sites and poor utility services.
It urged the Government to take advantage of Ghana's debt relief to do more to reduce poverty in the country by addressing the concerns and challenges of small-scale business entrepreneurs scattered across the country and who have the potential to absorb some of the unemployed.
5. HORTICULTURISTS BUILD CAPACITY FOR EXPORTS – Pg. 4
Hope is in sight for smallholder horticultural farmers who cannot gain access to the global market to sell their produce.
A new project dubbed “Eurep CAP Option Two” has been launched to offer the necessary skills and capacity to small-holder farming groups to effectively implement internal control systems conforming to international standards and enable them to gain access to the global market.
It will ensure that the farmers adhere to best practices in the application of pesticides and conform to quality assurance measures required for international trade.
Launching the project, Clement Elledi, a Deputy Minister for Food and Agriculture, said the Government was making efforts at boosting export of horticultural products to generate foreign earnings for development.