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Latest Ghana Web News - 05.05.2012

Daily Ghanaweb News


- NPP is Using Ghana’s Oil as Collateral to

  Seek International Support for Campaign-

  Asiedu Nketia
- Brazil to finance Tamale Intl Airport project
- Two dead in Konkomba-Bimoba clashes
- Ghana hosting 13,000 refugees and 12,000

  asylum seekers
- Kufour, Otumfuo grabbed plush residential

- Cocoa purchasing clerk commits suicide

  in kitchen
- PPP launches 2012 Election campaign


NPP is Using Ghana’s Oil as Collateral to Seek International Support for Campaign- Asiedu Nketia
*  Source: GNA

The National Democratic Congress (NDC) on Friday expressed worry about the intermittent power outages in the country and blamed the New Patriotic Party (NPP) for the current deficit in the nation’s energy supply.

The NDC alleged that the NPP in its eight year-term in office was negligent and failed to give the needed attention to the energy sector.

Mr. Johnson Asiedu-Nketiah, NDC General Secretary, raised the concern at a durbar to inaugurate a renovated Zonal office of the party at Badu in the Tain District of Brong-Ahafo Region.

The work, which cost GH¢4,000 was solely funded by Lieutenant Colonel Enoch Kwame Tweneboah Donkor, Ghana’s Ambassador to La Cote D’Ivoire.

Mr. Asiedu-Nketiah explained that when the NDC Government assumed office in 2009, it realized that the NPP had abandoned the Tema, Aboadze and Asorgli Power Plant projects, initially designed by the previous NDC administrations to augment electricity power generation from the Akosombo Dam.

He said “works at the three projects sites were left to rust,” and that the Government had no other option than to look for alternative funding to revive these projects.

Mr. Asiedu-Nketiah said the NPP administration canceled the agreement between Ghana and Nigeria on the West African Gas Pipeline Project, and entered into another agreement which brought execution of the project into a standstill,

He expressed worry that Parliament had still not approved the 3 billion dollar loan facility which the Government intended to secure from China as the Minority in Parliament played partisan politics with the deal.

Mr. Asiedu-Nketiah explained that Government initially requested for only 1 billion dollar loan from the Chinese Government but because of the long standing relationship between Ghana and China, the latter decided to grant additional 2 billion dollars.

He said the main purpose of the loan was to help Ghana to go into gas production in larger quantities to supplement national electricity generation.

Mr. Asiedu-Nketiah said notwithstanding all these problems, the Government had put in place steps to ensure that work on the Bui Hydro-Electric Power project was completed on schedule.

He said Ghana would depend on the energy sector for rapid economic growth and that with the onset of the Bui power supply in 2013, the people would witness massive infrastructural development and better standards of living.

Mr. Asiedu-Nketiah touched on the current rising price of cement, and alleged that the NPP had connived with some retailers to sell the product at exorbitant prices.

He said currently the commodity was being sold at GH¢15.25 by the manufacturing companies and Government was doing everything possible to ensure that vendors would sell the product at the normal price.

The NDC General Secretary said Ghanaians would do a great disservice to themselves and their children if they vote for the NPP in the December polls as the NPP was using Ghana’s oil as collateral to seek international support for their campaign.

He said the NDC Government had used its first term in office to lay a solid foundation for development, and advised Ghanaians to retain the NDC in the upcoming general election to facilitate rapid economic growth in 2013.

Mr. Asiedu-Nketiah observed that all the gains made so far and steps put in place by the NDC to improve on the living conditions of Ghanaians in 2013, would be fruitless if they hand-over power to the NPP in the polls.


Brazil to finance Tamale Intl Airport project
* Source: GNA

The government of Brazil has approved a request from Ghana for an urgent consideration of financing for the Tamale International Airport project.

The project is estimated to cost US$174 million.

Responding to the Vice President John Mahama’s request in a bilateral meeting in Brasilia last week, the Brazilian authorities said the request is feasible and are ready to urgently finalise discussions.

A Brazilian Infrastructure Development Company, Queiroz Galvao, will handle the construction which is to be financed by Brazil’s national EXIM bank, BNDES. Queiroz Galvao has already signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Ministry of Transport, and completed the necessary designs and phasing for the works.

Mr. Mahama said the Tamale International Airport, which will be managed by the Ghana Airport Company Limited, will be self-financing and will repay the financing from its operations.

He therefore requested the Brazilian authorities to unlock the financing of the project from the ongoing discussions of a Master Facility Agreement (MFA), to be handled as a single-purpose project.

The construction of the International Airport in Tamale will be the fulfillment of a major campaign promise by President John Atta Mills, but will be part of the policy to transform the savanna regions of Ghana with a view to bridging the inequalities between the North and South.

According to Mr. Mahama, the project will start with the expansion of the runway to accommodate large body Aircrafts and also the construction of an international standard terminal building. The next phase will be the provision of ancillary services including hangers, maintenance area, catering and ground handling. The last phase will be the construction of a cargo village targeting fresh fruit farmers that are setting up camp in the Savanna regions and the various processing companies being set up in the area.

Brazil is already the sole buyer of the products of the PBC Shea Factory recently inaugurated in Buipe in the Northern region, while a number of Brazilian private sector agriculture companies are partnering with SADA and other local companies to set up commercial farms in the region.

Brazil’s Deputy Minister for Industry and External Commerce, Alexandro Teicheira, indicated that his government remains committed to its bilateral dealings with African countries, especially Ghana, and will work on the Project financing request once they receive a formal request to take out the project from the ongoing MFA discussions.

He also advised against Ghana’s attempt to amend the finalized proposal for the northern part of the Eastern Corridor Road. This he said is because it will lead to the reopening of the entire negotiations and delay the project.

Vice President Mahama returned to Ghana over the weekend.


Two dead in Konkomba-Bimoba clashes
* Source: Daily Graphic

Two persons are feared dead, while six others sustained gunshot wounds, during clashes between Konkombas and Bimobas at Kpamale, a village near Nankpanduri in the Bunkpurugu-Yunyoo District in the Northern Region.

The disturbances that occurred on Sunday night were caused by misunderstanding between some Konkombas and Bimobas over a piece of land meant for the construction of a school.

Both the Konkombas and the Bimobas claim ownership of the land.

The misunderstanding degenerated into violence, which was characterised by sporadic shootings and the burning down of houses. At the time of filing this report, about 30 houses had been razed down, while other property, including personal effects, had been destroyed.

No arrests have been made so far.

The Northern Regional Police Commander, Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCOP) Mr George Tuffour, told newsmen in Tamale that a combined team of military men and policemen was patrolling the area to bring the situation under control.

The deceased are yet to be identified, while four of the injured persons, who are currently receiving treatment at the Matthew Medical Centre at Nalerigu, have been identified as Peter Labic, Jubika Mintek, Peter Konnah and Kinasu Biisu.

DCOP Tuffour said the factions in the dispute later on started operating from the nearby bushes when they realised that there was heavy military and police presence in the area.

He said the combatants allegedly hid themselves in the bush, and when there were no security personnel on sight, they attacked one another and burnt houses.

The Deputy Northern Regional Minister, Mr San Nasamu Asabigi, and the Inspector-General of Police(IGP), Mr Paul Tawiah Quaye, who was on his maiden visit to Tamale, condemned the violence and expressed commitment to resolve the dispute for lasting peace to return to the area.

The land dispute between Konkombas and Bimobas has existed for decades, with the situation resulting in death and destruction of property.

For instance, in 1984, a chieftaincy and land dispute between Konkombas and Bimobas resulted in 60 deaths.

In 1985 and 1986, a similar chieftaincy and land dispute between the two ethnic groups claimed 78 lives.

For the same reasons, 26 people died in a conflict between the groups in 1986 and 1987. In 1989, 20 lives were claimed in a similar conflict.

In 2007, another conflict occurred in a community called Jimbali that claimed three lives, with a number of houses burnt down in the process.


Ghana hosting 13,000 refugees and 12,000 asylum seekers
* Source: GNA

There are 13,000 refugees and 12,000 asylum seekers currently living in the country, Mrs. Mavis Abo, Protection Associate, at the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) disclosed on Monday.

She expressed concern that commercial activities at the various refugee camps were contributing to environmental depletion, and advised Ghanaians to help revive the depleted environment.

Mrs. Abo was addressing more than 600 students at a forum, organised by the United Nations (UN) through the United Nation Information Center (UNIC) at Fiapre, near Sunyani, to mark this year’s World Environment Day celebration.

The forum dubbed: “joint UN system student outreach programme” was on the theme: “the youth and the environment.”

It was aimed at sensitizing the participants drawn from Sunyani Senior High, Twene Amanfo Senior High and Technical and Notre Damme Senior High Schools, on the causes and effects of climate change, global warming and other environmental challenges.

Mrs. Abo observed that continual use of land for farming and collecting firewood for cooking at refugee camps, adversely affected the environment.

She said that the UNHCR was currently collaborating with the Forestry Services Division to plant 1,800 tree seedlings to help revive the country’s forest.

Mrs Abo advised the students to plant tree seedlings in their various communities.

She said globally, there were 16 million refugees, 12 million stateless people and 26 million internally displaced people.

Mr. Godwin Cudjoe, National Programme Assistant in-charge of Natural Resources at the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), expressed worry about bush-fires and other unhealthy human practices that were gradually leading to desertification in some parts of the country.

He emphasized that the key mandate of the FAO to achieve food security would be a mirage if these unwarranted human practices were not controlled.

Mr. Cudjoe said, consequently, the FAO designed the national forestry plantation facility which gave birth to the Modify Tuangya System.

He explained that under this system, farmers were supported with logistics to plant varieties of tree seedlings, nurture and preserve them along their crops.

He said that currently, the FAO in partnership with the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, were undertaking projects aimed at developing best environmental practices.

These projects included “the fight against illegal logging and trade programme,” a four-year programme that sought to help improve forest governance in African, Caribbean and Pacific countries; by providing technical assistance and strengthening the ability of stakeholder groups supporting projects to improve forest law enforcement, forest governance and the legal timber trade, Mr. Cudjoe said.

Shoko Takemofo, climate change analyst at the United Nation Development Programme (UNDP), expressed concern about the alarming rate of desertification, especially in the Upper East, Upper West and Northern Regions.

She said the UNDP has undertaken a project to improve on the water management system in the three regions, and that farmers in Sisala East and Mamprusi West Districts had been provided with water pumps free of charge to pump water directly from rivers for dry season farming.

Reading materials on environmental management were presented to the participating schools.


Kufour, Otumfuo grabbed plush residential facilities for GHc 1,000
* Source: The True Statesman

The issue of land grabbing which was the order of the day in the previous New Patriotic party (NPP) regime continues to attract condemnation by many Ghanaians across the country as they hail the present government’s decision to review the policy by putting a stop to such “immorality”.

The NPP which believe in the philosophy of property owning democracy shared many government lands to themselves and cronies between 2001-2008 at plush residential areas virtually for free as prices were very low.

It may be recalled that, Jake Obetsebi Lamptey, current Chairman of the opposition NPP was sent to court by Dr. Omane Boamah and Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa in 2008 for grabbing a public property for his personal aggrandizement and prayed the court to stop any attempt made by Jake to acquire the property.

By a 6-3 majority decision however, the Supreme Court recently ruled in favour of the respondent. Cabinet in order to protect state lands for the future generations of this country decided not to continue with the sale of the land stating that "In the supreme interest of the people of Ghana, and taking cognisance of the Supreme Court ruling in the matter of Mr. Jake Obetsebi Lamptey's immoral acquisition of a State Property he occupied as a Minister of State."

A document intercepted by The True Statesman reveals how the NPP abused their office by selling lands to themselves and cronies not only in the nation’s capital (Accra) but Kumasi which is the second largest city in Ghana.

The paper can report authoritatively that, the likes of Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, former President Kufour, Kwadwo Okyere Mpiani, Barima Kwaku Dua, Prof. Yaw Boafo, Asiedu Poku/Michael Adubofour and Louisa Adubofour, Sampson Kwaku Boafo, Cecelia Appaigyei, Anthony Oteng Agyei, Osei Assibey, Cecelia Dapaah, Charles Osei inter alia all grabbed lands which were sold for either a thousand Ghana Cedis (GHc 1,000) and in some cases less in the Garden City (Kumasi) at plush residential areas which in the Mills led government’s own words is “immoral and unacceptable”.

The paper has noted that the NPP and their apparatchiks are only seeking political equalization by linking President Mills and others who acquired university lands under the Acheampong regime in the 1970’s.

The NPP communicators have on several platforms justified the many government lands they grabbed while in office and stated that President Mills also did same as a public officer.

The President himself has said severally that 50 plots of land were given to the University of Ghana, Legon, way back in 1976 when he was a Senior Lecturers at the Faculty of Law. The University then asked the lectures to ballot, and he was lucky to have been given plot seven to purchase. “It is therefore not true that I got the land because I was serving in government, I was not a member of the ruling party of the day. I was not a government appointee, as people are claiming,” he said.

The Re-development Policy which was introduced in 1999 was meant to sell those government lands that were idle to individuals through advertisement and proper procedures of land acquisition for onward intensive development.

The True Statesman


Cocoa purchasing clerk commits suicide in kitchen
* Source: GNA

Mark Ackah a 34-year-old purchasing clerk, alias Kromwell, mysteriously committed suicide in his kitchen.

The Western Regional Crime Officer, Mr. J. K. Abraham, who confirmed the tragedy to the Ghana News Agency (GNA) in Sekondi said Ackah was found hanging dead on May 30.

He said the deceased worked with Trans Royal Company at Boinso in the Aowin-Suaman District of the Western Region.

Mr Abraham said the deceased could not account for GH¢60,000 being money of 300 bags of cocoa he sold, belonging to the company.

He said the body of Ackah had been deposited at the Enchi District Hospital pending autopsy while police investigations were underway.


PPP launches 2012 Election campaign
* Source: GNA

The People’s Progressive Party (PPP) on Saturday launched its 2012 electioneering campaign at Elmina with an appeal to Ghanaians to give the party the mandate to rule the country.

The Party used the occasion to introduce its aspiring parliamentary candidates to the public.

Speaking at the launch, Dr. Paa Kwesi Ndoum, the flagbearer and founder of the Party, expressed regret that since 1992 the two main parties; National Democratic Congress and NPP had failed to perform and pleaded with Ghanaians to give the PPP a chance to rule.

He said the PPP when voted into power would transform the country into paradise and advised its supporters to work hard to bring the party to power.

In a related development, on Saturday at Cape Coast, Nana Brew Hammond, National Chairman of the party appealed to supporters to intensify their campaign to enable the people to vote for the party.


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