• Akufo-Addo’s August 4 Founders’ Day proposal receives mixed reation

    Ghana may not be doing well economically with the number of public holidays that the country has.

    This follows a proposal by President Akufo-Addo to make August 4 and September 21 as Public Holidays.

    Speaking to Radio Ghana, the Head of Finance, School of Business of the University of Cape Coast, Dr. John Gati said for a country like Ghana which has a lot of economic challenges compared to the advanced countries, the number of holidays will not augur well for the country.

    However, he said if the hospitality industry is well developed such holidays will also boost revenue.

    Meanwhile, the President of the Ghana Association of Writers and Chairman of the National Media Commission, Nana Kwesi Gyan Apenteng has bemoaned the situation where religious activities are taking over important national holidays with no religious linkages.

    Nana Gyan Apenteng said instead of the youth and other members of society actively involving themselves in the observation of important holidays such as Republic Day, Independence Day and AU Day and deliberating on their significance, they are pulled into religious engagements on such days.

    In an interview with Radio Ghana in the wake of the announcement that the President is proposing the legislation of two more public holidays, Nana Gyan Apenteng said holidays have very historical, social and religious significance.

    However, the CPP has rejected proposals by the President Akufo-Addo to move the Founder’s Day from 21st September to August 4 and also to expand the day to cover more people who played major roles in Ghana’s independence.

    A Former Deputy Leader of the CPP, Rodalyne Ayarna has reacted sharply to President Akufo-Addo’s August 4 Founder’s Day proposal saying she disagrees with it.

    Madam Ayarna says she stand by the fact that there is only one Founder for Ghana, and history should remain so.

    She accuses President Akufo-Addo of perpetrating a family agenda to “distort Ghana’s history.”

    Source: gbcghana.com

  • SSNIT scandal hits $81m

    The amount involved in the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) scandal has reportedly hit over $81 million.

    DAILY GUIDE learnt that preliminary information being gathered by the security agencies is showing that the total amount involved in the troubled SSNIT biometric project dubbed, ‘Operation Business Suite,’ popularly called (OBS), may even go higher.

    The head of the OBS Project, John Hagan Mensah, a confidant of the immediate past SSNIT Director-General, Ernest Thompson, is reportedly in the grips of the security agencies assisting in the investigation.

    Public outrage

    The scandal sparked public outrage when it emerged that about $72 million was used for the OBS project, which has now reached $81 million as investigations continue.

    Some of the faces behind the scandal are also beginning to unravel.

    In what can be seen as a clear case of conflict of interest, a source has told DAILY GUIDE that the head of the troubled OBS is allegedly in a relationship with the vendor, whose company was contracted to install the OBS software.

    Bidding cost

    The contract had been awarded to Perfect Business System/ Silver Lake Consortium, whose CEO is Juliet Kramah, in 2011 during the Mills/Mahama-led National Democratic Congress (NDC) administration. There was an initial bidding cost of $27,610,791, but by 2016 the total cost had ballooned to $66 million, later $72 million and now $81 million – and still counting, perhaps.

    The cost, according to SSNIT sources, may go up further after the audit by PriceWater House.

    Bizarrely, after its installation, the OBS software is not running as expected, although the whopping amount was paid for it. SSNIT sometimes resorts to manual registration instead of electronic because of reported deficiencies in the OBS system.

    According to sources, the biometric features which are unique to every individual had been compromised, allowing access to biometric data of another person.

    Perfect Business System was one of the highest bidders but SSNIT settled on it, apparently looking down on lower bidders with potential value for money indicators.

    Unconfirmed sources say the Perfect Business System boss is believed to have strong links with the powerful former first family; and it is alleged that invoices emanating from the private firm appeared to have gone through without any serious queries at the Trust.

    Last gap payments

    According to the sources, Ernest Thompson, on December 9, last year, allegedly ordered the payment of $9 million to Perfect Business Systems after the NDC had lost the election in 2016 and was on its way out of power.

    It was alleged that SSNIT agreed to pay $4 per card that was to be issued to pensioners in the contract but the amount increased miraculously to $7 and the Trust ended up paying the private company $7.1 million for one million cards.

    DAILY GUIDE learned that the whole project was not based on SSNIT’s requirement and that the vendor reportedly came in with an already-prepared provident fund system in order to modify it for SSNIT, which runs social security.

    Fund modification

    The provident fund modification was not SSNIT’s idea but the decision of the project manager and the private firm.

    The source said when SSNIT requested for thumb print devices that could scan all the ten fingers at once, the vendor provided a single finger device and therefore, a contributor registering needed to put the fingers on the device one at a time thereby wasting productive hours.

    “When staff complained, it was never provided. Meanwhile, SSNIT paid for the ten devices at a whopping cost,” he told this paper.

    Batch system

    The source said the vendor could not provide the OBS software but rather brought a batch system where a client could only see his/her data reflecting after a day, saying, “SSNIT staff cannot work 24 hours because every staff is asked to sign out of the system after 5pm else the whole SSNIT or that SSNIT branch cannot work the following day,” he added.

    There were several outstanding issues according to the source, that needed to be sorted out regarding the OBS project and anytime the company was asked to correct a defect they allegedly asked the Trust to pay hefty bills.

    This paper gathered that SSNIT caused the transfer of the well-qualified staff who had deep insight into the OBS project, and brought in the Director-General’s alleged lackeys, including the head of IT, Caleb K. Afaglo – who has been caught allegedly using fake degrees.

    Inflated cost

    It turned out that SSNIT paid a whopping $500,000 for a product that costs $16,000 on the world market under the OBS Project.

    Legal objection

    It even emerged that SSNIT’s senior corporate law officer, Jaezel Orleans-Lindsay, wrote to warn the Trust’s management against certain aspects of the contract that was being exploited by the private company.

    “What it means is that SSNIT will have to pay the annual SLA fee of $2,000,000 immediately upon signing the agreement (to cover for September 2014 to September 2015) and pay another $2,000,000 in September this year, when in effect it would have just received 9 months of service under the SLA instead of the contractual 2 years. This is objectionable!” the lawyer said in a letter to his bosses on January 16, 2016.

    Source: dailyguideafrica.com

  • Funding Free SHS with oil money not sustainable – Research Consultant

    Management and Research Consultant Laud Freeman has appealed to President Akufo Addo to reconsider his decision to fund the free SHS policy with proceeds from natural resources if he wants to sustain the policy.

    President Akufo-Addo has stated that his government will resort to proceeds from and other natural resources to fund the free Senior High School policy. The policy is to ensure that every student eligible to enter second cycle institution gains admission with free meals and tuition.

    “To ensure that no child is denied access to secondary education, we are removing one of the biggest obstacles that currently stand in their way, the cost of providing free secondary school education will be cheaper than the cost of the alternative of an uneducated and unskilled workforce that has the capacity to retard our development” The President stated at the launch of the policy.

    In justifying the decision, Nana Akufo Addo said Instead of the revenues from our mineral and oil resources ending up in the hands of a few people, the most equitable and progressive way of using these revenues is to educate and empower our population to strengthen our nation.

    But speaking at the Mfantsipim Old Boys Association’s (MOBA) Annual Engagement Series II on the theme, Delivering Quality Secondary Education in Ghana: A Paradigm Shift Needed, Management Consultant Laud E. Freeman noted that the natural commodities are subject to fluctuations in the world market prices and also they are finite exhaustible resources and therefore should not be the source of funding to the Free SHS policy if it must be sustained.

    He stated that if Ghana wants to sustain the much hyped free SHS policy with a dependable source of funding, then the Agriculture sector has the potential to provide the fund to sustain the policy for posterity to benefit.

    In explaining his recommendation, he said Ghana’s import bill on eight (8) basic food commodities stances at USD 2.2 billion per year. Apart from wheat all the remaining seven (7) basic food commodities can be produced locally in Ghana and even exported.

    This he said when considered will help generate sustainable and dependable funding for the SHS policy and even benefit generation yet on born.

    Mr Laud E. Freeman also added that, in as much as the government mostly depends on Private Public Partnership for a sustainable funding and quality delivery of a project to develop Ghana, the government must also consider the same procedure to fund the Free SHS policy.

    Source: primenewsghana.com

  • Kwesi Pratt blasts Bawumia for politicizing Free SHS

    The Managing Editor of the Insight Newspaper, Kwesi Pratt Jnr has lashed out at vice president Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia for taking a political twist to the implementation of the free SHS policy.

    Moments after the president launched the free SHS policy, the Vice President Dr. Bawumia took to his Facebook wall to tease his political opponents particularly the NDC for suggesting that the policy as an “election gimmick”, a “hoax” or “fraud”.

    “We thank God. They said it was impossible. They said it was an election gimmick. They said it was a hoax. Today, the impossible has become possible. Today, Free Senior High School education is here. We thank God for the vision and fortitude of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo… God bless our homeland Ghana”

    Meanwhile, the post seems to have angered veteran journalist and The Managing Editor of the insight Newspaper Kwesi Pratt Jnr.

    Speaking in an interview with Accra based Radio Gold, Mr. Pratt noted that, it was unacceptable for the vice president to defy the president’s order that the implementation should be devoid of politics.

    “I must say this…the President’s speech in launching the programme was extremely matured…I heard the President say that nobody should reduce this SHS programme to a propaganda war….unfortunately, it does not appear that many people in his government listened to him…because in that very moment, Vice President Bawumia, party communicators were dissing everybody; calling them all kinds of names…they didn’t listen to their own president and that is a problem…”

    Source: ghanacrusader.com

  • Mahama must be cautious not to fail again — NDC member

    A member of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) in the Ashanti Region, Alhaji Nuhu Alhassan Dicko, has urged former President John Dramani Mahama to be cautious not to fail again.

    Speaking to the Daily Graphic in an interview in Kumasi, Alhaji Dicko recalled that with a few months to the 2012 elections when the then President and Presidential Candidate of the NDC, John Evans Atta Mills, died, Mahama led the NDC to win the presidential election.

    However, he said, with the support base of the party and by dint of hard work, Mahama had the opportunity to lead the party in the 2016 election after serving for four years with all the evidence of development projects in place that pushed Ghana forward in the comity of nations, but he lost the 2016 election.

    Why the loss?

    Alhaji Dicko said the loss had since become “a big blow to the NDC as a political party” and almost every party member — from the first to the last person — has asked why the loss”.

    He said some NDC members began to allege that Mahama failed to win the 2016 election because he was misled by his team of administrators while others attributed the loss to an alleged mistake by the party hierarchy, the national executive.

    Report findings not communicated

    Alhaji Dicko expressed worry that findings of the Kwesi Botchwey Committee report had not been communicated to party members even if they would not be made public.

    He mentioned that most party members and sympathisers were calling on Mahama to stand again as Presidential Candidate of the NDC and re-contest the 2020 election as a presidential candidate.

    However, he said, if the findings of the report would not be communicated to party members for relevant issues to be addressed, calling for Mahama to lead the party would be inappropriate.

    He was of the belief that going back to the grass roots to explain the real issues to the people and winning back their confidence was more important than preparing towards Election 2020.

    This, he said, if not taken into consideration, could make Mahama fail for the second time as presidential candidate for the NDC party in 2020.

    Unity Walk & Recommendation

    Alhaji Dicko recommended that it was time for the NDC to place premium on the report of the Kwesi Botchwey Committee to enable them to prepare adequately towards Election 2020.

    He said a senior member of the NDC in the Ashanti Region and former Chief Executive of the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly (KMA), Mr Kojo Bonsu, organised the recent Unity Walk which took place in Tamale, knowing very well the issues in the NDC in the Ashanti Region and added that he should have been interested in solving those issues before thinking of any national issue.

    He said pulling the crowd to the street and other public places was not an assurance of addressing grievances of party members and winning an election.

    He recalled that in the last days to the 2016 elections, the NDC held a rally at the Accra Sports Stadium, the venue was filled to the rafters and there were a lot more outside the stadium yet in the end, the NDC lost.

    “These are times to rethink the reasons that culminated in the defeat of Mahama and the NDC in the 2016 elections. As a party, we need to learn lessons from the Kwesi Botchwey Committee report before we even think of Unity Walk and other national issues,” he concluded.

    Source: Graphic.com.gh

  • Establish structures to ensure peaceful transfer of power – Ato Dadzie

    A former Chief of Staff under the government of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) led by President Jerry John Rawlings, Nana Ato Dadzie, has urged African countries to establish clear regulations and administrative structures to ensure peaceful transfer of power.

    According to him, presidential transitions were “difficult periods,” hence, the need for “rules and regulations to guide the process.


    “Presidential transitions involve change in administration, change in style of governance and political ideology. Even established democracies have recorded some difficult transitions, therefore it would require agreed rules for orderly transfer of power in the event of a change in government,” he stated.

    Delivering a paper at the annual Nelson Mandela international roundtable on political development in Africa, he also called on current and future African leaders to adopt the virtues of the former South African leader.


    The public lecture, which was held last Thursday in Abuja, was on the theme: African Democracy: “Presidential Emergence Pattern, Political Conflicts and Peace Building Options.”

    The lecture was attended by dignitaries, including the Executive Governor of the Bauchi State, Muhammad Abubakar; the South African High Commissioner to Nigeria, Lulu Louis Mnguni; Ecowas Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace and Security; Halima Ahmed, and the Deputy Minority Whip of Nigeria Senate, Biodum Loujimi.

    “Mandela fought for peace and equality among all races and died for peace not only for his country but the whole world; the leadership of this peace icon is indeed worth emulating,” he added.

    Nana Dadzie, however, said some African countries lacked the experience to deal effectively with transition processes, as studies showed that “not less than 60 percent of post-electoral crises are transition based.”

    Post-election violence

    Citing instances of post-election violence in some African countries, he underscored the need for leaders to adopt a more peaceful approach to democratic transitions.

    “The new political experiment is yet to reach maturation in relation to the established political systems Africa aspires,” he said and added that “Presidential transitions are becoming undirected, and unsystematic, hence, the need for effective planning and management of the process.”

    Source: Graphic.com.gh

  • Ebony Reigns allegedly accused of doing ‘hard drugs’

    Undoubtedly, the 90’s Badgyal, Ebony Reigns is the hottest female artist in Ghana presently. Within the short span, she has been on the scene, she has released bangers upon bangers and has garnered a lot of followers.

    But Ebony is not always in the news because of her hit songs. She is always at the receiving end of criticism not only for her choice of words in her songs but also for her bad girl branding.

    Hardly will you see her in public that scandal won’t be created either because of her nude dressings all something erotic that she will be doing.

    Some people have accused her of negatively influencing the youth. Some have even branded her a pro$titute. It was based on this that Ebony took to Facebook in a Live Video last night to address her critics but what we saw was not only shocking but heartbreaking as well.

    In the video, some viewers alleged that Ebony Reigns was high on some hard drug and it was visible as she couldn’t even put her words together well. She was so high she could hardly speak.

    Explaining her reason for the video. Ebony said someone tweeted at her and called her a certified prostitute and she was there to clear the air and to let people know she doesn’t give a damn about what anyone says.

    So Ghpage.com ask these questions: Is this the beginning of the end for such a talented young actress? How could she meddle herself in hard drugs at this tender age of her career as it’s being alleged by her followers? Didn’t she learn anything from Mzbel’s confession that the bag girl brand killed her career?


  • Nollywood’s Mr Ibu to shoot a movie on xenophobia

    Popular Nollywood actor, Mr John Okafor aka Mr Ibu, says he is planning to shoot a movie highlighting the evils of xenophobia.

    Okafor, popularly known as Mr Ibu, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Johannesburg, South Africa, on Friday that majority of the actors would be South Africans while others would be drawn from Nigeria, Liberia, Kenya, Ghana and Botswana.

    He said that the script of the movie was being written by some gifted writers while planning and pre-production had commenced.

    “ I have plans to shoot a film on xenophobia. I will use mainly South African actors who will work with others from Nigeria, Ghana, Liberia, Kenya and Botswana.

    “ What I want to achieve in the movie is to turn the table around and help in promoting peace on the long run,’’ he said.

    Okafor also said that the film would be shot on locations in South Africa, Kenya and Botswana.

    “ The pre-production is on now. The scripting is also on. When I return to Nigeria, we will meet with the directors and technical crew to discuss the effects of the plot.

    “ When the plot impacts on our thinking, then we would have achieved something, ” he said.

    The actor said the next phase would be to visit the concerned countries for auditions to determine those eligible to act in the film.

    Okafor said that Nollywood movie industry was still growing and would achieve set targets.

    He also said he had done more than 300 movies since his debut in December, 1978.

    Mr Adetola Olubajo, President, Nigeria Union, said the body would partner with Okafor on a social cohesion programme.

    “ We are planning a programme aimed at creating synergy and social cohesion between Nigeria and South Africa.

    “ It will take place next year and we want Okafor to be part of it,” he said.

    Source: Nigeriafilms.com

  • No rush into motherhood – Naa Ashorkor

    By societal expectation, starting a family immediately after marriage is the norm, but for actress/TV presenter, Naa Ashorkor, young wives need to be given the chance to plan their way into motherhood.

    Naa Ashorkor, who recently gave birth to a baby boy, said the pressure for young couples to have children as soon as the rings are on their fingers does not help in planning for the future.

    She told the Graphic Showbiz in an interview that already she has to answer questions about when she is having a second baby.

    “It’s been less than three months since I gave birth but questions are coming on when my second baby will arrive. Sometimes, I find such questions interesting but I don’t allow them to get to me because I don’t think I’m too old to rush to have children.

    “That is the pressure many couples go through and I know many friends who are going through emotional trauma because they are just three years or even less in their marriage and everyone expects to hear the cry of a baby in their home,” she continued.

    Naa Ashorkor got married in 2014, and after two years of marriage and no baby, there was so much talk about her getting pregnant but the Perfect Picture actress said she did not allow that to get to her.

    Instead, she used such occasions to ask more questions about motherhood and also learn from the experiences of older women to help her prepare for a baby.

    “Motherhood is a full-time job on its own and in these modern times, taking care of a baby is no child’s play. Why would you rush to give birth when there are no provisions to make the child comfortable?

    “Sometimes, your work could even be a barrier and that is why despite our culture placing much value on child birth, we must give couples the power to decide when they are ready to bring children to this world,” she stressed.

    To back her argument, Naa said she sacrificed her job for seven months to have her baby. “These are some of the problems which confront you in making decisions and so you need to plan well.”

    Although she took time off radio and television to focus on motherhood, she wasn’t inactive. She told Showbiz she was busy working on her latest play, Bukom, for her April Productions House and her online marketing company, Jaanor.

    Already, she’s back on GHOne TV hosting her Tales from the Powder Room and would return to her radio duties as host of Starr FM’s mid-morning show, The Zone from October 2.

    “I miss being on air. It feels like forever and I’m looking forward to getting back to work full time,” she said.

    Even though she admitted to being indifferent to feminism, Naa Ashorkor, who will be celebrating her third wedding anniversary next month, advocated for women to confidently build and empower themselves to be relevant to the society saying, “marriage and childbirth don’t define any woman’s worth in the society”.

    Source: Graphic.com.gh

  • Aston Villa reject Jordan Ayew; proves Premier League quality at Swansea

    Aston Villa were happy to let Jordan Ayew go in January and he is making a positive impression at Swansea City.

    Back in the January transfer window, Aston Villa’s decision to swap Swansea City left-back Neil Taylor for misfiring attacker Jordan Ayew appeared to make sense.

    Villa needed reinforcements on the left of their defence with Jordan Amavi being relentlessly linked to a return to France with Marseille, a move he eventually made this summer via a season-long loan with an option to buy.

    Ayew, meanwhile, had fallen down the pecking order since Steve Bruce replaced Roberto Di Matteo at the helm and had not exactly shone when he was given the chance to impress.

    A new player in new surroundings

    Eight months on, however, Ayew looks a new player since swapping the Midlands for South Wales. The Ghanaian international may have scored once in just five Premier League starts for Swansea in 2017/18 but has consistently been one of their liveliest attacking players and a positive source of menace.

    He certainly would have come in handy for a Villa side who, prior to Saturday’s 3-0 win at Barnsley, had looked as toothless this season as they did for the majority of last.

    Now, with 19-year-old maverick Andre Green ruled out for a number of months and Jack Grealish also on the sidelines, Ayew’s pace, directness and general unpredictability could have come in handy for Steve Bruce.

    Instead, the former Lorient talisman has continued to prove that he does belong in the Premier League after impressing as a rare bright spark in a dismal Villa side during their 2015/16 relegation season.

    Bruce might not have seen much in Ayew but Swansea counterpart Paul Clement appears to be getting the best out of his gifted but erratic attacker.

    Source: GHANAsoccernet.com

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