The President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has released a list of 46 ministers for his second term, but without Gloria Akuffo, former Attorney General and Minister for Justice, Samuel Atta-Akyea, former Minister for Works and Housing, as well as former Minister for Railways Development, Joe Ghartey.
The others who could not make the list include Cynthia Morrision, former Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection, former the Minister for Local Government and Rural Development, Hajia Alima Mahama, and Kwamena Duncan and Ishmael Ashittey, former Central and Greater Accra Regional ministers respectively.
The 46 ministers designated for the second term of President Akufo-Addo are Albert Kan Dapaah – National Security, Ken Ofori-Atta – Finance, Alan Kyerematen -Trade and Industry, Dominic Nitiwul – Defence, Ambrose Dery – Interior.
Others are Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey – Foreign Affairs & Regional Integration, Godfred Dame -Attorney General and Minister for Justice, Dan Botwe – Local Government, Decentralisation & Rural Development, Osei-Kyei Mensah-Bonsu – Parliamentary Affairs, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful -Communications and Digitisations.
The list continues: Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto – Food and Agriculture, Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh – Energy, Dr Yaw Osei Adutwum – Education, Kwaku Agyemang Manu – Health, Samuel Abdulai Jinapor – Lands and Natural Resources, Kwasi Amoak-Atta – Roads and Highways, Francis Asenso Boakye and Freda Prempeh – Works and Housing, Kwaku Ofori Asiamah – Transport.
Others are Mavis Hawa Koomson – Fisheries and Aquaculture Development, John Peter Amewu – Railway Development, Cecilia Abena Dapaah – Sanitation and Water Resources, Awal Mohammed – Tourism, Arts and Culture, Sarah Adwoa Safo – Gender, Children and Social Protection, Ebenezer Kojo Kum – Chieftaincy and Religious Affairs, Dr Kwaku Afriyie -Environment, Science, Technology & Innovation, Ignatius Baffour Awuah – Employment, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah – Information, Mustapha Yussif – Youth and Sports, and Joseph Cudjoe -Public Enterprises.
The remaining 16 are for the regions. They are George Boakye – Ahafo, Simon-Osei-Mensah -Ashanti, Justina Owusu-Banahene – Bono, Adu Gyan – Bono East, Justina Marigold Assan -Central, Seth Acheampong – Eastern, Henry Quartey – Greater Accra, Shani Alhassan Saibu -Northern.
The rest are Yidana Zakaria – North East, Joseph Makubu – Oti, Saeed Muhazu Jibril – Savannah, Stephen Yakubu – Upper East, Dr Hafiz Bin Salih – Upper West, Dr Archibald Yao Letsa – Volta, Kwabena Okyere Darko Mensah – Western, and Richard Obeng – Western North.
Unlike the previous 36 and 126 ministries and ministers respectively under the first term, the new administration of President Akufo-Addo would be made up of 28 ministries, and not more than 85 ministers, including deputies.
The above information, which The Chronicle picked intelligence on and reported same within this week, has been confirmed in a statement Jubilee House issued yesterday, earlier before the list was made public.
The release was under the signature of the acting Director of Communications at the Presidency, Eugene Kofi Bentum Arhin.
The statement indicated further that seven ministries, namely Aviation, Business Development, Inner City and Zongo Development, Monitoring and Evaluation, Planning, Regional Re-organisation and Development, and Special Development Initiative “have been realigned.”
Jubilee House explained in the statement that the President had effected this realignment because, virtually all those special-purpose ministries had achieved the purposes for which they were established.
Explaining further, the statement said that a Co-ordinator had been appointed to supervise activities of the Inner City and Zongo Development, which has been brought under the Presidency. The Co-ordinator would also exercise oversight responsibility over the Zongo Development Fund.
The Ministry for Local Government and Rural Development has been renamed Ministry of
Local Government, Decentralisation and Rural Development, which will be tasked with
overseeing the outstanding activities of Dan Botwe’s Regional Re-Organisation and
Hawa Koomson’s Special Development Initiatives, as well as Monitoring and Evaluation
Ministry will be co-ordinated from the Presidency.
The Aviation Ministry will be merged with the Transport Ministry, the Presidency said in the
statement, adding that the Ministry of Planning would be subsumed under the Ministry of Finance.
The Business Development Ministry is to be merged with the Ministry of Trade and Industry.
Eugene Arhin, who has been maintained as the Director of Communications at the Presidency,
added in the statement “A new Minister for Energy is to be appointed, who will be assisted by deputy ministers, one of whom will be an indigene of the Western Region.
Again, the office of the Senior Minister, which was occupied by Yaw Osafo-Maafo, has also been abolished.
Eugene Arhin said in the statement that the President intends to appoint a Minister for Public Enterprises, “who will be operating directly under the ambit of the Presidency, and not from a ministry.”
The Minister will oversee a major restructuring of the entire state-owned enterprises sector to improve the productivity and profitability of the sector, he added.
Though there will be a substantive Minister for Works and Housing, a Minister of State has been nominated, and if approved by Parliament, would be assigned to this ministry for special focus on issues of affordable mass housing.
“The President has decided that there will be no deputy regional ministers. At an appropriate date, the President, in accordance with the Constitution, will submit to Parliament the list of all deputy ministers of state for its approval,” the Presidency announced.
The statement concluded that the President had met all the persons who would hold ministerial positions and congratulated them, with the expectation that Parliament would approve of them swiftly.
“To the former ministers, the President assured them of possible roles to be played in the larger governmental structure, and wished them the best of luck in their future endeavours,” the release ended.
The Bono Regional Deputy Communications Officer of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Mr. Eric Adjei, has called on the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the umbrella party to expel Samuel Koku Anyidoho.
The petitioner, explaining his position in a missive to the Chairman of the NEC, said the proposed expulsion was on the grounds of gross misconduct contrary to the express provisions of the constitution of the NDC, and for actions and inactions that are inimical to the progress of the party.
Mr. Adjei said the petition was grounded on many instances of ill-will speeches, accentuated by malice and calculated to subject the party to public ridicule.
According to the petitioner, Mr. Koku Anyidoho has consistently, on his official Twitter handle, made pronouncements which damage the reputation of the party, and mentioned various instances to buttress his (petitioner’s) point.
For instance, on January 16, 2021, Koku Anyidoho is said to have tweeted that he (Anyidaho) no longer speaks for the NDC, because Asiedu-Nketiah decreed to that effect, and wondered why some news portals continue refer to him as NDC Deputy General Secretary.
On January 10, 2021, the supposedly former NDC Deputy General Secretary reportedly tweeted that he would support President Akufo-Addo to succeed, for the fact that President Akufo-Addo is a product of the Nkrumah Ideological Institute.
Koku Anyidoho reportedly tweeted again on January 15, 2021 thus: “Ghana has a President and Vice President; Ghana has a Speaker of Parliament; We now have an NPP Majority Side of , as declared by the Speaker; Ghana has a Chief Justice: it is only sick minds that will say that Ghana is a banana Republic,” and further defended his utterances that he was still a ‘loyal NDC member’ who had a conscience.
The concerned NDC Communications Officer claimed the said tweets, which make it undoubtedly discernible as to how Koku Anyidoho has persistently denigrated the name of the NDC, were widely published by both the print and electronic media houses.
On the grounds of these acts of denigration, Eric Adjei has called for the expulsion or suspension of Koku Anyidoho based on the provisions of the Constitution of the NDC, referring specifically to articles 39 and 40, stressing that his (Anyidoho) attitude was contrary to the code and conduct and disciplinary code of the party.
According to the Bono Deputy Regional Communications Officer, article 39 provides that “Every party member shall faithfully comply with and ensure the unity and cohesion of the party at all times; defend the name of the party, as well as its decisions, and faithfully implement all lawful decisions of the party.”
He also referred to article 40 (8), which further provides that, “A Party member may be subjected or may be made to subject to Party discipline for breach of any of the provisions of this Constitution; anti-Party conduct or activities likely to embarrass party or bring the Party into hatred, ridicule, or contempt and thus recommended that Koku Anyidoho must be expelled, or suspended for a specific period or Removed from office and declared ineligibility to hold office or fined as provided by Article 40(9) to not only serve as a deterrent to other party members but ensure that there is discipline among members of the party at all times.”
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Former President John Dramani Mahama has filed a motion to stay proceedings of the Supreme Court to enable a determination of an application for a review of the decision of the court on January 19, 2021.
The fresh application filed yesterday is seeking that the Supreme Court revisits its decision that dismissed the petitioner of 2020 presidential election, Mr Mahama’s motion to serve interrogatories on the Electoral Commission (EC).
In the said application, Mr Mahama is urging the court that he has filed for review based on certain fundamental errors of law that the court committed in its ruling, hence led to miscarriage of justice.
“At the hearing of this application, Counsel will crave the indulgence of the court to refer to the statement of case in support of the application for review, particularly, to show that there are, indeed, serious matters of law that are to be determined in this review application, and I am likely to succeed, as the ruling of the court is manifestly in error,” he lamented.
It was also the petitioner’s case that although he had strong conviction that the interrogatories would ensure a speedily trial, the court has given certain orders, including that he, together with his witnesses, should file their witness statements and exhibits by midday yesterday for the hearing of the petition, from Tuesday, January 26.
Per advice by his counsel, Mr Tsatsu Tsikata, discovery processes such as interrogatories are normal pre-trail processes to limit the scope of a trial, and the review application will seek to recognise the right to have recourse to them.
“The denial to us of leave to serve interrogatories is a serious miscarriage of justice, which we expect to have remedied in the review,” he said. “For the hearing of the petition to proceed before the review is heard would cause irreparable harm to the conduct of our case, since I would have been denied the benefit of normal pre-trial processes.”
He went on to say his counsel had also served a request to admit facts on the EC (1st Respondent) and has not yet received a response to that, meanwhile, the request is necessary for the finalisation of their witness statement, yet they have been ordered to file witness statements.
On this score, Mr Mahama adds: “All the above constitute exceptional circumstances on the basis of which we respectively seek orders of the court staying the proceedings in this case until the determination of the application for review.”
He stressed that the court not staying proceedings would create the unfortunate impression that the review application had been pre-determined and no prejudice would be caused to the respondents by the grant of such leave.
The Tema Metropolitan Chief Executive says the assembly will take immediate steps to fumigate the Rhamaniyya Basic School, Community 11, where snakes reportedly crawl into the school.
The school shares a wall with a defunct snake shrine and grove, and the school’s authority thinks, though the snake shrine is defunct, there could be some unnoticed eggs that had hatched, consequently, producing snakes that crawl into the school compound either over the tall grove or a part of the broken school wall between the school and the shrine.
Hajia Zuweira Abubakr, the headmistress of Rhamaniyya Basic School, drew the attention of the Tema MCE and Education Director to the situation when she hosted the latter during a visit at the school to welcome first time school comers.
“I never knew of the snake shrine behind the school wall until, before the closure of schools as a result of the coronavirus, snakes crawled into the compound. The pupils and some teachers whispered to me of the shrine.
“Sometimes, while sitting under a tree on the school compound, a snake falls on the ground and glides away,” she described fearfully as she pointed to one of the trees on the compound.
To be sure of the narrative, Hajia’s guests moved towards the rear of the school where they noticed that part of the school’s concrete fence wall between it and the snake shrine and groove had broken.
“I hardly come towards this direction,” the headmistress said rather softly as she tried to double her steps away from the spot.
A certain young man, who claimed to be taking care of the defunct snake shrine, however, told a section of the media that the place used to be operated by a woman whose deity (snakes) was always consulted.
“But after her demise, the family came to collect all the snakes to a different location. What you see here are only the dilapidated buildings which had been sold to a Chinese investor. But for the covid which resulted in the lockdown and closure of our airports last year, I am sure the investor would have, by now, finished converting these properties into a different venture,” the caretaker explained.
He was emphatic, nonetheless, that there were no more snakes in the defunct shrine but did not dispute the fact that the wild reptiles might have laid eggs under stones, which had hatched, after about a year and few months the shrine was sold and abandoned.
Surprised at the news, Felix Mensah Nii Anang-La said the Tema Assembly would immediately despatch a team of environmental personnel to, firstly, fumigate the entire school.
Then, he said the broken walls of the school would quickly be reconstructed to prevent the pupils from sneaking into the grove or the dilapidated shrine.
“This school must be given the immediate attention to save our pupils and school’s authority. You can’t joke with snakes…they are not playing toys for pupils,” the Tema MCE explained.
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Educational institutions in Ghana were re-opened for the 2020/2021 Academic Year after ten months of closure, announced since March last year, in an attempt to contain the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The closure impacted, not only students, teachers and families, but also had far-reaching economic and societal consequences.
The re-opening of the academic calendar has seen most private schools take advantage of the situation to increase their fees for the 2020/2021 Academic Year, on the blind side of the Ghana Education Service (GES) and other stakeholders, a move that has raised concerns among parents and guardians.
Much as the long closure of the academic calendar comes with high social and economic costs, its impact is also particularly severe for school administrators as well as vulnerable families. It was, therefore, to the chagrin of parents and guardians that exorbitant fees were rolled out by most private schools for the 2020/2021 Academic Year.
The school administrators must bear in mind that parents and guardians were also affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The shock caused by the COVID-19 pandemic had considerable impacts on Ghanaian businesses, forcing many firms to cut costs by reducing staff hours, cutting wages, and, in some cases, laying off workers.
According to results from a new COVID-19 Business Tracker Survey conducted by the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS), in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the World Bank, shows that about 770,000 workers (25.7% of the total workforce) had their wages reduced, and about 42,000 employees laid off during the country’s COVID-19 partial lockdown. The pandemic also led to a reduction in working hours for close to 700,000 workers.
Generally, the results indicate that during the country’s COVID-19 partial lockdown, businesses received shocks in the supply and demand for goods and services. Close to 131,000 businesses had challenges accessing finance and expressed uncertainty in the business environment.
The results from the COVID-19 Business Tracker Survey show that nobody was spared the ravaging effects of the pandemic. Therefore, it will be unconscionable on the part of school administrators to recover their financial woes from unsuspecting parents and guardians, in the form of excessive school fees.
The Chronicle would also want to question whether the educational institutions were denied access to the Coronavirus Alleviation Programme established by the government to support businesses. It would be unfair if private schools were made to access the stimulus package and, yet, are charging increased fees with the pretext of economic inactivity during the lockdown period.
However, if the schools were not beneficiaries of the stimulus package, then the government must intervene to prevent them from fleecing parents and guardians who were also not spared the devastating effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Chronicle would like to suggest to the government that in order to lessen the impacts of COVID-19 on the citizenry, clear cut policies and programmes must be established to prevent shylocks from insisting on their pound of flesh at the peril of the vulnerable and marginalised families in society.
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