Click left (logo), and read latest GhanaWeb News, at  website!  Or - Read below 2012, November News


VISIT also - Ghana`s Tourism Home Page No1

>>> <<<

Latest Ghana News  of  9.11.2012 - November 

United States to support Ghana's poultry industry - Story 1

United States to support Ghana's poultry industry - Story 2
Sack me if you can - Nyaunu dares NDC
‘Killer’ Melcom Building Owner Uncovered
How CID Boss Sold Cocaine Exhibit In Open Market- DSP Tehoda Reveals
and unedited petition by DSP Tehoda
NPP administration performed poorly in terms of housing delivery-Minister
Ghana designs new national tourism development plan
Corporal punishment still prevalent in schools
Task force to deal with illegal mining
Teshie Nungua to enjoy clean, safe water
Lee Ocran dumps luxury car; Blows $24,000 on new model
Detained Argentine trainingsship crew threaten to open fire
Amissah-Arthur lacks ‘swag’ – Kwesi Pratt
Court places injunction on three buildings located at Achimota

Rawlings Breaks Nana Addo’s Heart
NPP looted Ghana for 8 years-Ablakwa
River-god Stops $2m Project
'Remove LPG subsidies'

Latest GhanaWeb News:

United States to support Ghana's poultry industry

Under President Kufuor, parliament had to scrap tariffs on poultry imports because the U.S. blacklisted Ghana for unfair trade practices. Now, after our poultry industry has collapsed, what are they saying?

A man was driving down the road and noticed a three legged chicken racing along beside his car. When he looked at the speedometer he realized that the chicken was running over 75 miles per hour. The amazed driver followed the chicken for several miles until the chicken turned down a gravel road. The driver followed the chicken to a huge poultry farm. All around the farm there were three legged chickens as far as the eye could see. The driver stopped his car and then seeing the farmer feeding the chickens he asked him about the three legged chickens. "Well you see," started the farmer, "I am a genetic engineer and the leg is my favorite piece of chicken. It is also the favorite piece of my wife and my son. I got tired of having everybody fighting over the leg at dinner so I just developed a chicken with enough legs for us all." "What a great idea!, "said the driver, "How do these three legged chickens taste?" "Well, "said the scientific farmer, "I don't know. I've never been able to catch one!


United States to support Ghana's poultry industry

Source: GNA

The United States of America Poultry and Egg Export Council (USAPEEC) on Thursday announced its readiness to collaborate with the Ghanaian Poultry Industry to support the sector to improve poultry production and consumption.

The support package would include education and training as well as linking players in the industry to companies to establish poultry product processing plants to prevent losses.

Dr Mark Lobstein Director of Technical Service at the USAPEEC made this known in an interview with the Ghana News Agency in Atlanta.

The interview was held on the side lines of an educational tour to the USA organised by the USAPEEC and the US Embassy in Ghana for a 12-member Ghanaian delegation comprising poultry and veterinary officials from the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, members of the Poultry Farmers Association and journalists.

As part of the tour the group will visit farms, poultry sales outlets, hatcheries and cold stores to familiarise themselves with the best practice in the poultry industry and deliberate on how effective collaboration can help the business to grow.

Dr Lobstein said as the first step of the Councils commitment, a fact finding exercise had been completed and a delegation was in Ghana in February last year to meet stakeholders, during which a number of issues were discussed.

He said the move would make the industry vibrant to be able to reduce unemployment and also make the product dependable, reliable and affordable.

“After this stage, we will raise funds from our stakeholders by presenting the various issues to them and appeal to them to support the Ghanaian industry since it will be on a mutual benefit to both countries. This will be done through seminars to expose them to some of the challenges,” he said.

The last step he explained would be implementation of the various issues as well as sustainability.

He praised Ghana for upholding high standard of poultry practices.

Dr Frances Hammond, Chairman of the Greater Accra Poultry Farmers Association called for the subsidisation of poultry feed which is one of the major challenges facing the industry.

Some of the concerns the Ghanaian delegation trumpeted was the high fat content of US poultry products exported to Ghana.


Sack me if you can - Nyaunu dares NDC

Source: Radio XYZ Online

Incumbent Lower Manya Member of Parliament Michael Teye Nyaunu has called the bluff of his party over a threat to sack him and 22 others who have gone independent.

The 23 of them filed to contest as independent parliamentary candidates following some misunderstanding that characterized their Parliamentary primaries in the ruling NDC.

The Party has given them up to a week to rescind their decision or get kicked out of the party.

He has dared the party to carry out what he described as a belated action which he believes portends dire consequences for the party in the December polls.

“For me I think it is belated, we have just one month for voting and now you are coming out to say you have expelled me. It is definitely not in the interest of the party.

“There is something wrong what they are about to doand I am not perturbed at allI am not shaken in any way” Teye Nyaunu said.


‘Killer’ Melcom Building Owner Uncovered

Source: Pius K. Dogbey/The Republic

Investigations conducted by The Republic into the possible causes of the collapsed six-storey building that used to house the Achimota Branch of the popular department store in the country, Melcom, on Wednesday morning, has revealed that the accident is largely due to the inferior quality of materials used in construction and the mean nature of its owner.

Information gathered by this paper confirmed that the building has no permit from the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and other relevant institutions that are vest with technical and professional oversight of such construction works in the country.

According to a Glass Glazer who gave his name only as Nicholas, and worked on the building during its construction stages, the land upon which the building used to stand is a wet land thus, requiring special attention by the constructors, but this basic requirement was ignored while work went on at a cheetah’s pace.
He also confirmed allegations of the quality of materials used in constructing the building saying, the owner, one Nana Kwasi Buodu, is a mean man by nature and will not spend his money buying anything of high quality for any of his numerous building projects all over the country.

Nicholas further revealed that, Kwasi Buodu owns the biggest filling station in the Kumasi Metropolis, the Asokwa Mobil Station, which got gutted by fire after the Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG), station exploded a few years ago and claimed a couple of lives.
He is further cited for owning an eight storey building just behind the filling station, which got confiscated by the then J.J Rawlings government for not acquiring the necessary permits, and on a more serious grounds that the building did not meet the standard requirements for such a huge project like that.

Information also has it that, Nana Kwasi Buodu is currently battling a court case brought against him by some of the constructors and workers who executed the collapsed Melcom building project for not paying what is rightly due them. This suggests that, the man does not pay due diligence to the quality of materials used in his projects and the incentives paid to his workers for quality delivery.

According to Nicholas, the common man on the street, who does not have any knowledge in construction engineering, can tell from the onset that the pillars raised for the building are not strong and big enough to support the weight of the building, more or less, the people and materials that will be occupying it.
He therefore said it did not come to him as a surprise when news broke out on Wednesday morning about the collapsed building. “I always foresee it coming and I was not surprise it happened that faithful on Wednesday” he said.

Asked why he did not report to the appropriate authorities about the realities on the ground, our source said, Nana Buodu is a major financier of the New Patriotic Party and has his way through the ranks and files of the party, thus, making him very influential. He therefore does not see the sense in a small boy like him (Nicholas) taking Nana on.
Nana Kwasi Buodu, who happens to be the chief of Agric-Nzema in Kumasi, is also reported to be the owner and resides in the building that houses the Standard Chartered Bank, just close to the collapsed Melcom shopping complex.

Before work begun on the collapsed six storey building, the place was originally owned by one Nana Heema, who used it as a block factory. She later constructed on the plot, three stores and a toilet, meant for the workers use, but was later turned to a public toilet due to the number of outsiders who troop to patronise the facility.

She was allegedly contacted by Nana Buodu who expressed interest in buying the plot for a bigger construction project and promised to offer the ground floor to her when the project is completed, but this proposal was turned down by Nana Heema. Later, Buodu allegedly used his political connections to take the land away from its original owner.

He then begun building the six-storey building on the plot and upon completion, the place was rented out to the Melcom retail shop operators until the unfortunate incident on Wednesday morning, without fulfilling his promise of giving the ground floor to the rightful owner of the land.
It is therefore a laudable idea for the President, John Dramani Mahama, to constitute a committee to look into the possible causes leading to the collapsed of the building and the persons found culpable should not go unpunished since people’s lives are at stake.

Expert Engineer, Clement Kojo Amole whose opinion was sorted by The Republic noted that the mode of collapse of the building is a clear indication of poor material quality and wrong sizes of reinforcement coupled with poor quality of Supervision.
“A physical examination of debris reveals that the collapse was progressive from mid-height of the building”, intimated Mr. Amole who is also a member of the Ghana Civil Engineers Association.


How CID Boss Sold Cocaine Exhibit In Open Market- DSP Tehoda Reveals
and unedited petition by DSP Tehoda

Source: The New Crusading Guide

Almost three(3) months since the interdicted Deputy Superintendent of the Police (DSP) service, Gifty Mawuenyega-Tehoda, petitioned the presidency, in which she accused the Deputy Director General of Criminal Investigation Department (CID), ACP Vincent Dedzo, as being the man who allegedly swapped the cocaine for baking Soda, in the famous cocaine-turn-baking- Soda puzzle, the security service have remained silent on arresting and prosecuting the security capo.

In the petition dated, September 25, 2012, which was intercepted by this paper at the presidency, the woman who has been bandied about by the security agencies as the brain behind the swapping of the cocaine revealed how the exhibit was stolen from police custody and sold in the open market.

At the time (2008), the petition disclosed, ACP Vincent Dedzo was the Head of the Narcotics Unit of the CID and “After stealing the cocaine from a safe, whose key was in his exclusive possession, he handed it over to a junior officer by name Mensah Cudjoe, who handed it over to a dealer by name Cantonna. It ended up in the market for the value of Nineteen Thousand Dollars (US$19,000.00).”

The detective inspector further disclosed in the petition that, “When I was eventually released from the cells of the BNI, the Director of Operations, Pious Awolenga had a chat with me and told me that because of the hype of the case in the media, it was possible that people may come to whisper into my ears about how the cocaine got swapped. He asked that in case I chanced on any information, I should co-operate with them and make it available. Indeed, not quite long after my bail, some young men approached my pastor and indicated that they knew people in the cocaine underworld who had credible information on the missing cocaine.

She continued, in the petition which this paper is reliably informed is on the desk of the National Security Adviser, Brg. General Joseph Nunoo Mensah that, “I did not hesitate to line them up to the BNI operatives. In the course of time, they became informants. Through their assistance, they were able to bring the operatives into contact with sources in the cocaine underworld who volunteered startling and damning revelations”.

Armed with the foregoing intelligence, the operatives of the BNI, according to the petitioner, mounted surveillance on Mensah Cudjoe and, “One fine evening he was arrested in possession of 2 kilograms of cocaine. During interrogations, he traded information on past activities with ACP Vincent Dedzo”.

“He confessed to carrying cocaine for ACP Vincent Dedzo on 3 occasions, including the missing one. He confirmed that he indeed gave it to Cantonna. In respect of the two other occasions, he mentioned one Kwame Atta and one Adjei as recipients. It is pertinent to note that the four names which were floated by the informants as people who usually dealt with ACP Vincent Dedzo, in the cocaine business were all confirmed during the interrogation of ACP Vincent Dedzo’s courier, Mensah Cudjoe. These confession statements were made in the presence of two friends of Mensah Cudjoe”, DSP Tehoda disclosed in the petition.

When this paper later contacted DSP Tehoda, who seem shocked as to how the paper got a copy of the petition, to find out why she was now making the revelation in the petition public, she said she was quiet at the time because the BNI was still investigating and therefore, it would have been unprofessional on her part to have petitioned anybody.

Meanwhile, all attempts to reach ACP Vincent Dedzoe, to react to the allegation in the petition hit on a snag as his 0244… mobile phone was either switched off or out of coverage area.

Please see below to read the unedited petition by DSP Tehoda and stay tuned as this paper digs for more information on this story.

25th September, 2012

To His Excellency
President John Dramini Mahama
Office of the President of Ghana
The Castle - Osu

The National Security Advisor
Brg. General Joseph Nunoo Mensah
The Castle – Osu

Your Excellency,



I am a Ghanaian citizen by birth and nationality and a mother of two young children. I enlisted into the Ghana Police Service in the year 2000 and rose to the rank of a Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) in the year 2007.

Recently, I was served with a letter from a Central Disciplinary Board of the Police Service purporting to dismiss me from the Service pursuant to a purported review of a service enquiry. I find the circumstances leading to my dismissal and the procedures thereto adopted to be very unlawful, capricious and biased. Until the purported dismissal, I was the Deputy Commander of the Commercial Crime Unit of the Criminal Investigations Department (CID). I will endeavour to give a full account of events in this Petition.

On the 29th of December, 2011 I was invited to the offices of the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI) to assist in the investigation of a missing cocaine exhibit in a criminal trial involving one Nana Ama Martins.

Sir, you had at the time instructed that the BNI should conduct investigations into the matter to unearth what really happened.

Among all the officers and junior ranks investigated in connection with the missing cocaine, I was the only person detained in the cells of the BNI for a total of 45 days under very traumatizing conditions.

However, my only involvement with the case under reference, was the fact that, on a few occasions when Nana Ama Martins’ (the suspect in custody’s) families visited her from Kumasi, I used to ask my junior officers to bring her from the cells to the long room in the presence of the junior officers so that the family members could see her due to congestion in the cells. I must add that this is a practice all senior officers engage in without any ill motive.

Even though this was my only involved in the case, I was pushed in and out of Court and into the cells of the BNI. In fact I was portrayed to the whole world as the one responsible for the swapping of the cocaine exhibit with the connivance of some faceless people.

The Orchestration By The Criminals Investigation Department (CID) Of The Police Service
In the course of my prosecution for no offence committed the grand scheme by the CID to use me as a pawn to cover up obvious wrong doings within the set up dawned on me.

In the first place ACP Vincent Dedzo, who is the Deputy Director General of CID and for that matter my boss went and lied to the investigation panel that I approached him during a Peace Keeping Mission in Sudan that he should do something about Nana Ama Martins’ case.

This is a total falsehood but it helped to fortify the suspicion that I knew something about how the cocaine exhibit got swapped.

Again, when I was granted bail the second time by the High Court; I was rearrested the same hour. The rearrest was covertly executed and the operation was led by no other person than my own unit commander Superintendent Felix Mawusi. After my release on bail, that same hour, Supt. Mawusi who was waiting on the Court premises approached me with a request that the Inspector General of Police instructed that I should come back to the Headquarters to brief my superiors. This was after spending 17 traumatizing days in the BNI cells. I obliged, but to my amazement, when I got to the CID headquarters I was rather given a form to write what I knew about the missing cocaine exhibit; I wrote my statement. Thereafter I was whisked away to the BNI office and there I was told that I was being rearrested.

I had to spend the next 5 hours in the BNI reception before a preparation was made to receive me back into their cells. This I later learnt was because the BNI did not know that my own department would re-arrest me since they were not in charge of investigations. This orchestration by the CID made me spend additional 18 days in the cells of the BNI.

When my lawyers succeeded in obtaining bail for me for the 3rd time, the following day, I was informed of my interdiction by a handwritten note from my unit commander, the same Supt. Felix Mawusi and a request to hand over to a new deputy.

At the office to hand over, another aspect of the conspiracy was revealed to me. One Chief Inspector Anim brought a signal generated from the Director General, CID to my unit with the instruction to sign. That was the signal that contained the order of interdiction.

It stated clearly as follows: “with strong evidence from the BNI that you were actively involved in the swapping of the cocaine exhibit, you are hereby interdicted”.

When I wanted to make a photocopy of it, I was informed by the bearer that he was under a strict instruction not to allow me make a copy of it. Upon instruction from my lawyer I marked it “seen” and signed.

So, I was interdicted based on the interim report of the BNI which was quickly rejected by the same Director General of CID at a press conference as baseless and inconclusive.

It was based on the same views expressed by the Director General, CID (I believed) that is why ASP Adjei Tuadzra, who was also indicted jointly to be held responsible for the missing cocaine has been allowed to remain at post till today. The big question is why the Director-General (CID) did choose to base my interdiction on the so called baseless and inconclusive interim report of the BNI?

Surprisingly, after more than six months of proceeding to the trial Court, the BNI failed to produce the so called strong evidence to prove my involvement in the swapping of the cocaine exhibit.

Further Investigations and Damning Revelations

When I was eventually released from the cells of the BNI, the Director of Operations, Pious Awolenga had a chat with me and told me that because of the hype of the case in the media, it was possible that people may come to whisper into my ears about how the cocaine got swapped. He asked that in case I chanced on any information, I should co-operate with them and make it available. Indeed, not quite long after my bail, some young men approached my pastor and indicated that they knew people in the cocaine underworld who had credible information on the missing cocaine.

I did not hesitate to line them up to the BNI operatives. In the course of time, they became informants. Through their assistance, they were able to bring the operatives into contact with sources in the cocaine underworld who volunteered startling and damning revelations. According to the sources, it was Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Vincent Dedzo, the current Deputy Director-General of the CID, who stole the missing cocaine. At the time, that was the latter part of 2008, he was the Head of the Narcotics Unit of the CID.

After stealing the cocaine from a safe, whose key was in his exclusive possession, he handed it over to a junior officer by name Mensah Cudjoe, who handed it over to a dealer by name Cantonna. It ended up in the market for the value of Nineteen Thousand Dollars (US$19,000.00). These were the startling revelations from the informants, one of who claimed he had dealt in cocaine with ACP Vincent Dedzo since 2006.

Arrest of Mensah Cudjoe

Armed with the foregoing intelligence, the operatives of the BNI mounted surveillance on Mensah Cudjoe. One fine evening he was arrested in possession of 2 kilograms of cocaine. During interrogations, he traded information on past activities with ACP Vincent Dedzo. He confessed to carrying cocaine for ACP Vincent Dedzo on 3 occasions, including the missing one. He confirmed that he indeed gave it to Cantonna. In respect of the two other occasions, he mentioned one Kwame Atta and one Adjei as recipients. It is pertinent to note that the four names which were floated by the informants as people who usually dealt with ACP Vincent Dedzo, in the cocaine business were all confirmed during the interrogation of ACP Vincent Dedzo’s courier, Mensah Cudjoe. These confession statements were made in the presence of two friends of Mensah Cudjoe.

The Director-General of BNI Compromised His Position

The stage was set for the Director-General of BNI, Mr. Yaw Donkor to order the arrest of ACP Vincent Dedzo for interrogation and prosecution. He however refused to proceed. After knowing the truth, all that the Director-General could do was to recommend the suspension of the criminal proceedings against me. Till date, he has refused to make his findings public and to erase from the minds of the general public the notion that I was involved in the swapping of the cocaine exhibit.

Besides, by refusing to proceed against ACP Vincent Dedzo, he still has the leverage to orchestrate my removal from the Police Service by all kinds of maneuvering with the top hierarchy of the Service. All the maneuvering by ACP Vincent Dedzo to have me removed from the Ghana Police Service was to serve one purpose: That is to use me as a pawn and portray me as the one responsible for the swapping of the cocaine exhibit so as to divert attention from him as the main culprit.

Sir, your security chiefs have breached the trust reposed in them and this is the time to proceed against them decisively.

Allegation of Misconduct and my Purported Dismissal

Even though the top hierarchy of the Police Service knew the circumstances under which the cocaine exhibit got missing, they turned a blind eye to it. They tried to make a sacrifice of me and to divert attention from the main culprit. They became frustrated when the so called “strong evidence” based on which I was interdicted was not forthcoming in Court. They therefore hurriedly put up this allegation under section 17(k) of the Police Service Act, 1970 (Act 350) which is a residual (omnibus) section, to make up a case that calling for Nana Ama Martins on a few occasions to meet her relatives in the presence of junior officers was a conduct which tended to bring the Service into disrepute. And this allegation merits a DISMISSAL.

Sir, the offence of misconduct as contemplated in section 17(k) of Act 350 is not and can never be supported by the facts of my case.

Sir, I am appealing to your good offices to intervene in the matter as you have the legal basis to do so under the Constitution of the Republic of Ghana, 1992, the Police Service Act, 1970 (Act 350), and the fact that you have already shown interest in this matter by instructing the BNI to conduct investigations into the matter, when you were then the Vice President.

Sir, my case also provides a platform for you to instill discipline into both the Police Service and the Bureau of National Investigations by calling the erring officers to order.

Sir, you swore an Oath to defend the Constitution of the Republic of Ghana which guarantees equality before the law.

Sir, even though I am minded to go public with the information I have on this issue in order to clear my name and restore some integrity to my profession, I defer to your high office being hopeful that you will intervene for sanity to prevail in the security apparatus.

Thank you so very much, Your Excellency.

(DSP Gifty Mawuenyega-Tehoda)


NPP administration performed poorly in terms of housing delivery-Minister

Source: GNA

The Kufuor Administration has been criticized for performing poorly in terms of provision of houses for middle and low income earners.

Mr Enoch Teye Mensah, Minister of Water Resources, Works and Housing also disapproved of the alleged concentration of the former New Patriotic Party (NPP) regime on the selling of State houses including ministerial bungalows and Ghana Airways property to party members and cronies.

The Minister was addressing a press conference in Accra on Thursday in reaction to Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo’s alleged misleading statement he made during the Institute of Economic Affair’s Presidential Debate held in Tamale on October 30 in regard to housing.

Mr Mensah said Nana Addo’s claim that the National Democratic Congress had abandoned the affordable housing units the NPP started was false.

He blamed Nana Addo’s advisors for ill-informing him on the issue, stressing that “By making him quote 6,000 housing units instead of 4,720, they made him appear not to even know the total housing stock started by his own government,” he said.

Mr Mensah said currently, six different projects are being implemented by the Government to deliver a total of 20,368 housing units.

He said 168 housing units are being built in Tema for the Bureau of National Investigations, 5,000 Housing units at Kpone and 10,000 housing units at Amasaman.

The rest are 200 housing units, 5,000 housing units and the completion of 4,720 affordable housing units.

Mr Mensah said four projects are before parliament waiting for consent.

He said the projects would deliver 2,008 housing units for the security agencies and 9,120 housing units for public servants and other members of the public.

Mr Mensah called on the media to visit the projects sites to ascertain works being done.

He expressed dissatisfaction that none of the 4,720 housing units started by the NPP for the eight years they were in government was completed.

Mr Mensah said the projects were made up of 1,896 one-bedroom and 2,824 two-bedroom units.

“The stages of completion of these flats when we took office were as follows: Bortey-man, Nungua; 62 per cent completed, Kpone; 55 per cent completed, Asokore-Mampong; 61 per cent completed, Koforidua; 25 per cent completed, Tamale; 29 per cent completed and Wa; 7 per cent completed.”

Mr Mensah said currently, Ghana Armed Forces had been allocated 48 units at Borteyman to be completed while the State Housing Company is pre-financing the completion of 48 units at the Borteyman site.

Tema Development Corporation has proposed to purchase and complete 110 of the one bedroom units and 248 of two-bedroom at the Kpone Affordable site.

“Messrs DSC Infrastructure after further discussions has agreed to revise their proposal on the basis of Public, Private Partnerships. They are pursuing the option of using a local financial institution as an off-taker for the units they intend to complete,” he said.

Mr Mensah added that the Ministry advertised the sale of the units and the response had been overwhelming.

“It is therefore untrue that the project had been abandoned,” he added.

Mr Mensah used the occasion to commiserate with the families who lost their loved ones in the collapsed Achimota Melcom Shopping Mall which occurred on Wednesday November 7.

“Our prayers and thoughts are with the bereaved, injured and their families at this trying moment,” he said.

So far 78 have been rescued while nine others have been confirmed dead.

The Minister said the tragedy had reinforced Government’s desire to bring into effect the Ghana Building Code which had been finalized to be presented to cabinet.


Ghana designs new national tourism development plan

Source: GNA

A new 15-year National Tourism Development Plan aimed at properly positioning tourism in Ghana and help achieve the core objectives of the Ghana Shared Growth and Development Agenda (GSGDA), had been designed.

The plan, which takes effect from 2013 to 2027, was designed by a team of local and international consultants to replace the old 15-year national plan that guided tourism development and promotion in Ghana. The old plane elapsed three years ago.

Ms Akua Sena Dansua, Minister of Tourism, explained that the workshop was to validate the progress report and recommendation by the team which designed the Plan after a two-month review of Ghana’s tourism sector.

The team involving officials from United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) and Ghana Tourists Authority undertook the review.

Ms Dansua said the new plan focused on growth in key indicators including tourist arrivals, tourism receipts, contribution to GDP and employment as formerly outlined under the expired plan.

She said despite significant success like the passage of new Tourism Law, Act 817 and transformation of the Ghana Tourist Board into an Authority under the old plan, there were myriad of challenges that continued to negatively impact the sector.

Challenges like competition from other sectors such as oil and gas, poor quality services, poor marketing and promotion, inadequate skilled and qualified workforce, high rates and airfares, stringent visa regime, poor sanitation and heavy traffic necessitated the need to review the plan and develop concrete strategies, which would position the tourism sector at the competitive global arena.

She told the Ghana News Agency (GNA) in an interview that steps would be taken to implement the recommendations of the new Plan, which called for branding of Ghana’s tourism sector, consolidation of tourism sites, reducing barriers, expansion in underdeveloped tourism areas and capacity building of staff of the Ministry.

The Minister said the plan would also be submitted to Cabinet and Parliament for their approvals.

Dr Harsh Varma, Director, Technical Cooperation and Services (UNWTO) said Ghana had everything to become an ideal tourism destination globally so there was the need to review, adopt and implement the tourism master plan to expand the sector’s fortunes.

He stressed on the need for public-private cooperation to ensure that tourism in Ghana was developed to match international standards.

Mr Lionel Becherel, Leader of the team that designed the plan also stressed the need for Ghana to set up a unit to coordinate the implementation of the master plan after it had been adopted.


Corporal punishment still prevalent in schools

Source: GNA

Corporal punishment is prevalent in schools and homes in Ghana despite legal and administrative measures to discourage the practice.

Sylvester Kyei-Gyamfi, Head of Research and Advocacy Division of the Department of Children who made this known said it is the most used form of punishment.

He was speaking at a forum for teachers, parents, community heads and pupils on Wednesday at Abutia-Tegbleve, a farming community in Ho Municipality.

Mr Kyei-Gyamfi based his assertion on a survey carried out by the Department in 2008 in the Volta, Ashanti, Central, Northern and Western regions.

He said the situation is at variance with the trend in the world. Mr Kyei-Gyamfi said although some children had accepted the practice as normal it represents an abuse of their rights, adding that punishment with the prime motive to inflict pain is inhuman.

He said the practice is not the best, adding “you don’t punish children but you correct them”.

He said children who are products of such practices are often timid. Mr Kyei- Gyamfi said it had been proven that some kids are not doing well in school because of harshness of some teachers and the use of the cane.

He noted that canning hardened kids and turns some of them into liars. He expressed regret some teachers are flouting the regulation that allows only the head teacher to use the cane on pupils.

Mr Edwin Gamadeku, Volta Regional Director of the Department of Children said violent correctional methods generally are unproductive, against the laws and must be stopped.


Task force to deal with illegal mining

Source: GNA

The Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources has established Regional task forces to complement efforts of National Security to deal with the illegal mining situation in Ghana.

Mr. Mike Hammah, Minister of Lands and Natural Resources who made this known in Accra on Thursday said five task forces in Greater Accra, Eastern, Ashanti, Western and Central Regions are in operation.

The Ministry is collaborating with the Ministry of the Interior and the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies to help to deal with illegal mining operations.

He said his Ministry would also ensure that small scale mining remain the preserve of Ghanaians in accordance with the Minerals and Mining Act 2006 (Act 703).

Mr Hammah made this known during the Ministry’s turn at the Meet the Press series.

He said the Ministry had identified 77 areas, covering 4,653 kilometre s for investigation for alluvial and primary gold deposits, which would be parcelled to small –scale miners for exploration.

The Ministry would encourage the formation of small scale miners association to help manage small scale mining activities while the Mineral Commission would intensify its education on the formation of district mining committees.

So far two of the committees had been inaugurated in Tarkwa and Bolgatanga. Mr Hammah announced that government is providing equipment and financial support to small scale mining cooperatives to assist them to improve on their operations and to serve as a form of enticement for illegal miners to regularise their activities.

A revolving fund of GH¢740,000.00 had been provided for small scale mining cooperatives and groups in Konongo-Odumasi, Ekom Yeya in Bibiani, Talensi-Nabdam in Bolgatanga and H& S Mining Group at Gomoa Ajumako had benefitted from it.

The Mineral Commission had also established 23,000 acres of oil palm plantation in five communities in the Prestea-Huni Valley District to help the people to find alternative livelihood apart from mining.

Mr Hammah said the Ministry organised workshops for members of the Judiciary to sensitise them on the effects of illegal mining on the environment and the need to pass deterrent sentences on convicts.

He announced that investment inflow for mining sector from 2009 to 2011 was 2.5 billion dollars whilst gold production increased consistently; 3.1 million ounces in 2009, 3.4 million ounces in 2010 and 3.6 million ounces in 2011, being the highest gold production ever in Ghana.

Tax on gold contributed one billion Ghana Cedis, representing 27.61 per cent of total collection of the Ghana Revenue Authority in 2011.

It also contributed 42 per cent of total merchandise export within the same period.

About 28,000 people were employed in the mining sector, while mineral royalties returned to the mining communities in the Western, Ashanti and Brong Ahafo Regions from 2009 to 2011 stood at GH¢41 million.

The corporate social responsibility programme of the mining companies stood at GH¢43 million within the same period.

Mr Hammah said six mining regulations had been passed by Parliament to operationalise the Minerals and Mining Act 2006 (Act 703).

The Ministry is facilitating the passage of the Mineral Development Fund Bill to help to address developmental issues in mining communities.

Corporate income tax increased from 25 per cent to 35 per cent while effective mineral royalty rate also increased from three per cent to five per cent. A proposal for a Windfall Tax is under consideration.


Teshie Nungua to enjoy clean, safe water

Source: GNA

The Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA), the political risk insurance arm of the World Bank Group, on Thursday announced supporting an investment to supply 60,000 cubic metres of potable water per day to Teshie Nungua near Accra.

A plant will be built on a 25-year build-own-operate-transfer basis and is expected to benefit approximately 500,000 people, an official statement made available to the Ghana News Agency in Accra stated.

Izumi Kobayashi, MIGAs Executive Vice President, said increased water supply is urgently needed in the project area and many residents lack access to safe drinking water.

“We are very pleased to be supporting this investment that will supply water to Accra’s residents and provide technical know-how in seawater treatment to build capacity in the country,” he stated.

MIGAs investment guarantees of $179.2 million are covering an equity investment and shareholder loan by Abengoa Group, an equity investment and shareholder loan by Daye Water Investment (Ghana), BV of the Netherlands; and a non-shareholder loan and interest-rate swap by Standard Bank of South Africa, Ltd.

The coverage is against the risks of transfer restriction, expropriation, breach of contract, and war and civil disturbance.

The project is expected to help bring Ghana a step closer toward its Millennium Development Goal target for water.

The country is only one of four in sub-Saharan Africa on track to meet the goal, but significant investment is required over the next 10 years to help Ghana meet the rising demand for water.

“We are pleased to be investing in a project that will increase the water supply and help reduce the prevalence of water and sanitation-related diseases, including cholera, that are currently affecting the area,” Mr. Takatsune Hirayama of Daye Water Investment (Ghana) stated.

It will also eliminate the need to purchase water from water trucks, which is expensive but has a doubtful quality.


Lee Ocran dumps luxury car; Blows $24,000 on new model

Source: The Daily Searchlight

Minister of Education Ambassador Lee Ocran has forced his ministry to spend an amount of $24,000.00 on a brand new Honda Accord for his use.

This is in spite of the fact that he already had at his disposal a 2011 registration Honda Accord which was being used by his immediate predecessor, Betty Mould Iddrisu.

Upon his assumption of office as Minister of Education, the social democrat Lee Ocran decided that there was no way on earth that he was going to sit in the vehicle that Betty Mould Iddurisu sat in, and so the state had to fork out more money to buy him a new car, even though Betty's car was less than a year old and virtually brand new.

Since his arrival, Betty's car has been sitting at the ministerial garage at the Ministry of Education, slowly gathering dirt and rotting.

When Daily Searchlight visited the ministry yesterday, Betty's car, GR2926-11, was still parked at the place where it has been parked for months, gathering dust.

However the current vehicle that Mr Ocran has acquired, GW9928-12, was not around.

Mr. Lee Ocran, the Minister of Education, has strenuously kicked against the free secondary education policy being promulgated by the New Patriotic Party (NPP) on the grounds that there is no money to implement it, and it has been suggested that with more prudent use of state funds, the policy could be achievable.

When he was called yesterday, Mr. Lee Ocran stated that he does not talk to the Daily Searchlight.


Detained Argentine trainingsship crew threaten to open fire

Source: The Chronicle

Armed sailors on board the detained Argentine frigate, ARA Libertad, on Wednesday threatened to open fire on Ghana Ports and Harbors Authority (GPHA) officials, if they attempted to move the ship from berth 11 to berth six, at the Tema Port.

The Chronicle's investigations at the port revealed that the GPHA's action was a result of a motion they filed at the High Court, Commercial Division, for the frigate to be shifted from a commercial berth she had been occupying since October 2, 2012, when the detention order went into force.

According to the Authority, berth 11 at the Tema Port receives container vessels, and is considered one of the busiest quays, and for that matter, wanted her to be shifted to the nearby berth six, which is not part of the busy zones at the port.

Further investigations revealed that on hearing the directive, the managers of the vessel decided that they would not heed the order, and subsequently, their lawyer, Kizituo Beyuo from Fountain Chambers, wrote a letter to the GPHA indicating that the High Court, presided over by His Lordship Adjei-Frimpong, granted the GPHA's motion for a variation of the order of injunction, which was granted on 2nd October, 2012.

“The court ordered that the defendant's vessel, Fragata Libertad, currently at berth 11, Tema Port, be moved and kept at berth six. The defendant has since appealed to the Court of Appeal against the decision of His Lordship Adjei-Frimpong.

“By rule 27(3) of the Court of Appeal rules CI 19, there is an automatic stay of execution of the order by His Lordship Adjei-Frimpong for a period of seven days, immediately following the giving of the judgment or decision.

“This letter is to draw your attention to the above provision, in order that you do not take any steps in furtherance the order appealed against, which will render our client's appealed nugatory.”

But, by 0600 hours on Wednesday, the Ports Authority cut off the supply of electricity and water to the frigate, in preparation for the movement to berth six, when the unexpected happened.

At exactly 0615 hours, the Argentines lifted the gangway of the ship and emerged with self loading Rifles (SLR), threatening the ports officials, if they attempted to get on to the vessel, through any other means.

For hours, the situation remained tense, until the Argentine Ambassador to Nigeria, also responsible for Ghana, arrived at wharf to seek audience with the port officials to be allowed to get on board, but that did not materialize.

This is because the GPHA officials, in turn, demanded that before the gangway was lowered, the sailors on board the detained frigate and threatening to shoot must lay down their arms.

In the midst of the tense moments, the Flag officer Commanding (FOC) Eastern Naval Command, Commodore Akoto Bunso, came and intervened, and that at exactly 1545 hours on Wednesday, the gangway was lowered, but as soon the envoy got on board, the sailors lifted it to its former position.

The ambassador remained on board the detained frigate trying to speak to the armed crew, who only laid down their arms later in the evening.


Amissah-Arthur lacks ‘swag’ – Kwesi Pratt

Source: AdomFm

The Managing Editor of the Insight newspaper, Kwesi Pratt Jnr has described Vice President Paa Kwasi Amissah Arthur as lacking ‘swag’.

In the local parlance, a person with ‘Swag’ is someone whose body language exudes confidence and walks with style.

Analysing the recently held Institute of Economic Affairs-organised Vice Presidential Debate on Adom FM’s Dwaso Nsem morning show on November 8, 2012, Mr Pratt said Mr Amisssah Arthur, perhaps goaded by his handlers, attempted to portray himself as a person with the necessary swag but failed.

‘I watched Amissah-Arthur. Anyone who watched him could tell that he had been told that “charley, if you go do some swagger.” But he overdid it, and it did not fit him so that at a point, he appeared confused. Anybody who watched could tell he appeared a little confused; he was not comfortable with himself and his show, and it didn’t help him in the debate.’

NPP running mate Mahamudu Bawumia also came in for criticism, with Mr Pratt accusing him of focusing more on attacking the NDC instead of articulating his party’s policies and programmes.

‘I’m sure Bawumia’s handlers also told him to go and attack, so when he was asked questions, he was just talking about what NDC has done wrong. He spent less than ten percent of his time talking about the NPP and its programmes, and how it is going to resolve problems.

‘So I think both of them, their handlers did not help them at all.’


Court places injunction on three buildings located at Achimota

Source: GNA

The Accra District Court has placed interlocutory injunction on three buildings suspected to have beeg built without permit and belonging to Nana Kwesi Boadu, owner of the building housing Achimota branch of Melcom Shopping Mall.

This was contained in a letter signed by Mr Richard Adigbli, Court Registrar, and Ali Baba Bature, the Magistrate.

The buildings, which the court believe were of poor quality building materials is accommodating Achimota branches of Fidelity Bank, Standard Chartered Bank and the residence of Nana Boadu.

To this end, the court had ordered all the occupant of the buildings to evacuate upon receiving the letter which was issued on Thursday.

Fidelity Bank has begun the process of evacuating its assets from the building.

Addressing the press, Dr Alfred