Tag Archives: ghana

COVID-19: We target to vaccinate 17.6m – Nana Akufo-Addo

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The president said the Food and Drugs Authority would use its established processes for granting emergency-use-authorisation for each vaccine in Ghana.

Ghana is on course to get at least 17.6 million people vaccinated against COVID-19 pandemic by the end of June, President Nana Akufo-Addo has said.

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In a televised speech late Sunday, he said the government is working with bilateral and multilateral partners to achieve its aim to vaccinate the entire population.

President of Ghana, Nana Akufo-Addo reveals number of individuals to be vaccinated against COVID-19 as infections persist.

“I indicated our intention to procure our first consignment of the COVID vaccines within the first half of this year,’’ Akufo-Addo said.

“Much work has been done toward the realisation of this.’’

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The president said the Food and Drugs Authority would use its established processes for granting emergency-use-authorisation for each vaccine in Ghana.

“The earliest vaccine will be in the country by March,’’ he said.

“We aim to vaccinate the entire population, with an initial target of 20 million people,’’ Akufo-Addo said.

“I assure you that only vaccines evaluated and declared as safe-for-use in Ghana will be administered.’’

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The president said the government would continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation, urging citizens to fully embrace the safety protocols.

Police personnel have been deployed across the country to enforce preventive measures such as the wearing of face masks in public.

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#Newsworthy

COVID-19: Ghana, again offer Citizens free electricity

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He also said that the gesture is part of the government’s extended COVID-19 electricity relief.

The government of Ghana has yet again offered free electricity units to lifeline customers for three months.

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The managing director of the Electricity Company of Ghana Limited, Kwame Agyeman-Budu, made this known in a statement on Tuesday.

He said the initiative will absorb 100 per cent electricity bills of the lifeline customers from January to March.

“Customers on non-smart prepaid meters will have to swipe or insert their cards in their meters before they visit the vending points to recharge, in order to receive their free units for each month.

“Lifeline Postpaid Customers: With regards to postpaid lifeline customers, their bills for January, February and March 2021 will indicate the GoG absorption of their lifeline consumption.

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“Management wishes to assure lifeline customers and stakeholders that it is resolved to implement this directive to the letter. Customers are advised to contact ECG District offices with any challenge for a resolution.”

Lifeline customers are those who consume less electricity compared to some consumers who use multiple phases.

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#Newsworthy

Ghana Election: Olusegun Obasanjo react to Reelection of Akufo-Addo

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The former President said Akufo-Addo’s reelection is a testimony of his performance in office.

Former Nigerian President, Olusegun Obasanjo, has sent a letter to the President of Ghana, Nana Akufo-Addo, congratulating him over his reelection.

In a letter dated December 10, 2020, Obasanjo said, “Let me hasten to congratulate you, the government, and the people of Ghana on the successful conduct of the Ghanaian general elections held on the 7 December 2020.”

He expressed optimism that the president-elect will remain as enthusiastic, as energetic, as focused, and as committed as he has been in the last four years in serving the people of Ghana and the rest of Africa.

While praying that God will grant him more success in his second term, Obasanjo appealed to the Ghanaian President to “be magnanimous in victory, unite the nation, and bring all hands on deck for the growth, development and progress of Ghana.”

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On the deadly coronavirus pandemic, Obasanjo encouraged Akufo-Addo to take leadership and explore all available to secure safe, effective, available, and affordable COVID-19 vaccines for all Ghanaians and their African brothers and sisters.

“But in doing so, I urge you not to lose sight of your determination to have a “Ghana beyond aid,” Obasanjo said.

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#Newsworthy

Ghana Election: Five dead as violence erupt

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Monday’s presidential and parliamentary vote has been viewed by observers as generally free and fair.

Five people have been killed in election-related violence in Ghana, police said Wednesday, casting a shadow over a country hailed for its stable democracy.

The deaths were reported as early results confirmed a tight race for the presidency and Ghana’s neighbours urged political camps to uphold a peaceful outcome after trading heated accusations.

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“Sixty-one electoral and post-electoral incidents nationwide” were reported, the police said in a statement.

Of these, 21 “are true cases of electoral violence, six of which involve gunshots resulting in the death of five.”

The electoral commission published results from seven out of the country’s 16 regions, pointing to a narrow lead by opposition candidate John Mahama over outgoing president Nana Akufo-Addo.

But Mahama late Tuesday accused Akufo-Addo of showing “credentials that are very undemocratic” and harnessing the military to sway the outcome.

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“You cannot use the military to try and overturn some of the results in constituencies that we have won. We will resist any attempts to subvert the sovereign will of the Ghanaian people,” the 62-year-old former president said.

He made the accusations after rumours circulated on social media that he had conceded defeat.

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Hours earlier, the presidency — releasing an unofficial tally — claimed Akufo-Addo was ahead with 52.25 percent of the vote, against Mahama’s 46.44 percent.

Information Minister Kojo Oppong Nkrumah told a press conference that allegations of intimidation by soldiers were false.

He also bluntly rejected Mahama’s claim that his party had won a majority, of 140 seats, in the 275-member parliament.

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“No candidates at this stage should undermine the work of the EC (electoral commission), it is irresponsible and it would endanger the peace of this country,” Oppong Nkrumah warned.

Mahama and Akufo-Addo, 76, are old rivals who have faced off at the ballot box twice before.

Mahama was president for four years until 2016, before being succeeded by Akufo-Addo. Both of those elections were determined by small margins.

Despite the sharp words, Ghana has a history of electoral stability and grievances are typically pursued through the courts.

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Akufo-Addo and Mahama on Friday signed a symbolic peace pact, which the 15-nation regional bloc ECOWAS urged “all political parties and their leadership to respect.”

In a statement, the Economic Community of West African States said, “We appeal to political parties and their followers to refrain from any conduct that may undermine the successful conclusion of electoral process.”

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#Newsworthy

Ghana Election: John Dramani Mahama claims victory

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The incidents ranged from a civilian sighted driving a police vehicle in the Bono Region, a shooting incident in the Central Region to electoral officials tampering with ballot papers.

Ghana’s National Democratic Congress’ (NDC) presidential candidate Mr. John Dramani Mahama on Tuesday expressed appreciation to the country’s electorate “for voting for change”.

Voters across the country cast their votes in the presidential and parliamentary elections on Monday.

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Mahama, in another post, claimed that the party has won the majority of parliamentary seats in the elections.

He claimed that the NDC won the majority of seats in Parliament and thanked Ghanaians for voting for change.

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“Thank you for voting for change and giving the NDC a working majority in the next Parliament. Thank you Ghana,” he tweeted.

His party had earlier expressed the belief that it had won 141 parliamentary seats out of the 275 constituencies in Monday’s polls.

The party’s General Secretary, Mr. Johnson Asiedu Nketiah, said at a news conference on Monday that its tally showed that Mahama was also on course to win the presidential race.

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But, the New Patriotic Party’s General Secretary, Mr. John Boadu discredited the claim by the NDC.

According to him, the NPP won 137 seats out of the 275 parliamentary seats.

Boadu said: “But although we are in majority which is not very big, our presidential candidate, because of the good work he has done, has been able to gather more voters than most of our parliamentary candidates. Once again…, we are making the point that, whereas we do not wish to declare that we have won the presidential race, we can confidently say that Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has secured a clear incontestable margin ahead of his closest challenger, John Mahama.”

But, as at the time of going to the press, Akufo-Addo was leading with 5,826,549 votes (51.9%) of the votes collated against Mahama’s 5,220,563 votes (46.5%).

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Also against its earlier timeline, the country’s Electoral Commission postponed the declaration of the presidential and parliamentary election results until further notice.

According to a statement issued by the commission, the decision was to ensure accurate collation of the election results across the country.

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“The Electoral Commission informs the public that to ensure the collation of results at the Constituency and Regional Collation Centres across the country is accurate, the EC will extend its intended timeline for declaring 2020 Presidential election results,” the statement reads in part.

More than 24 hours after voting was closed, collation was still ongoing in some constituencies with some results yet to be confirmed as at yesterday evening.

The electoral commission said results of Monday’s presidential election will be released “as soon as they are received”.

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The commission said collation of results is currently ongoing in the country and urged Ghanaians and lovers of the country’s democracy to remain calm and patient.

In a statement titled, ‘Collation Of Election Results Proceeding Smoothly Across The Country’, also warned party representatives and supporters against declaring any results.

The Joint Operation Centre of the National Election Security Taskforce (NESTF) recorded 34 incidents nationwide at the close of polls Monday.

Director of the Public Affairs Directorate of the Ghana Police Service, Supt Sheilla Kessie Abayie-Buckman, in Accra yesterday, said in spite of the pockets of incidents, the elections had been largely peaceful, with few reports of incidents of crime or interferences across the country.

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In all, 17,027,641 people were certified to take part in yesterday’s polls in 38,622 polling stations in the 275 constituencies across the country.

The director said due to measures put in place and deployment of security agencies, the NESTF had projected zero incidents. However, it commended the public for their cooperation with pre-election security measures that were put in place and which were well executed on Election Day.

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#Newsworthy

Ghana moves for two-horse presidential race

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Before COVID-19, the economy had already struggled with debt servicing, a weak currency and rising inflation.

Ghanaians go to the polls on Monday in a contest that will revive old rivalries between incumbent President Nana Akufo-Addo and his predecessor, John Mahama.

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Ten other candidates, including three women, are vying for the nation’s top job, but the vote is essentially a fight between two foes who will be slugging it out for the third time.

More than 17 million people are registered to vote in the West African nation’s eighth consecutive poll since it returned to democracy nearly 30 years ago.

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The coronavirus pandemic has disrupted but not stopped campaigning for the elections, which are for parliament as well as the presidency.

“There are party events and activity everywhere to drum up support, the airwaves are full of party songs, but we are not seeing mass rallies as usual,” Kojo Asante, director for advocacy and policy engagement at the Ghana Center for Democratic Development, told AFP.

The presidential race is expected to be very close.

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Independent polls have predicted a slim win for Akufo-Addo, while his New Patriotic Party (NPP) is expected to have a lower majority in the 275-member legislature.

In 2012, Mahama narrowly defeated Akufo-Addo with 50.7 percent of the vote and in 2016, Akufo-Addo beat Mahama with 53.8 percent.

Disputed outcome?
Many Ghanaians are worried that “vigilantes” hired by parties and deployed to provide security for politicians could cause problems at polling stations.

Ghana has traditionally managed to contain post-electoral violence and have a peaceful transition of power — a rarity in much of West Africa.

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Even so, there have been pre-election clashes and disagreements over the neutrality of the electoral commission, especially on the compilation of the new voters’ register.

“Tensions between the two main parties haven’t subsided and the stage is set for a potentially disputed outcome,” Sam Kwarkye, a senior researcher at the Institute for Security Studies wrote in a report.

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Asante is “cautiously optimistic” that the election will be peaceful, and welcomes the large pool of international and local election observers.

“Everybody wants the Ghana election to go well. We already have too many trouble spots in the region to deal with.”

The police say more than 62,000 personnel have been deployed.

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On the streets of Accra on Friday, there was little of the usual widespread wearing of party T-shirts as a sign of political allegiance. Activists distributed handbills and flyers to commuters and from door to door.

Potentials voters said they hoped for a peaceful election.

“I’ll be voting and I’ve already made up my mind. It’s a matter of continuity for me,” trader Gloria Tsotso Afoley, a mother of three, told AFP.

Student Abigail Lomotey told AFP “we need change. Absolutely change. Corruption has been rife over the past four years.”

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But 70-year-old retired Group Captain Francis Mensah said he would not vote because he could not “trust politicians anymore.”

Corruption issue
A key exporter of cocoa, oil and gold, Ghana saw its economy severely hit by the pandemic.

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Growth in the nation of 30 million people is expected to fall to 0.9 percent in 2020, the lowest in 30 years, according to the IMF, and a steep decline from 6.5 percent expansion in 2019.

Akufo-Addo has been given high marks for his handling of the pandemic and his record on education and on providing access to electricity.

But the 76-year-old has disappointed some in his performance on tackling graft — the key issue on which he was elected four years ago.

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Despite this, corruption is a difficult issue for Mahama, 62, to latch onto, as he himself left office under a cloud of sleaze allegations.

Mahama has also been criticised for poor economic decisions and racking up unsustainable debts.

But the skilled communicator has brushed aside the criticism, making ambitious promises to build infrastructure and modernise the country.

Another bold move by Mahama was picking former education minister Jane Naana Opoku-Agyemang as running mate, the first woman on the ticket of a major party.

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Akufo-Addo, as expected, opted for continuity, with current Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia as running mate.

Results of the vote could be announced within 24 hours after the polls close.

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#Newsworthy

COVID-19: Former Ghana president is dead.

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A flight lieutenant of the Ghanaian Air Force, Rawlings first staged a military coup as a young revolutionary on May 15, 1979, five weeks before scheduled elections to return the country to civilian rule.

Former President Jerry Rawlings of Ghana has died from complications of COVID-19.

According to NRM, the ex-president died at Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital in Accra, the capital of Ghana, on Thursday morning.

A military ruler, who later joined politics, Rawlings ruled Ghana from 1981 to 2001.

He led a military junta until 1992, and then served two terms as the democratically elected president of Ghana.

When it failed, he was imprisoned, publicly court-martialed, and sentenced to death.

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After initially handing power over to a civilian government, he took back control of the country on 31 December 1981 as the chairman of the Provisional National Defence Council (PNDC).

He then resigned from the military, founded the National Democratic Congress (NDC), and became the first president of the Fourth Republic.

He was re-elected in 1996 for four more years. After two terms in office, the limit according to the Ghanaian constitution, Rawlings endorsed his vice-president John Atta Mills as a presidential candidate in 2000.

He was born on June 22, 1947.


#Newsworthy…

EndSARs: Ghana leader, Akufo-Addo reacts to killings in Nigeria.

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The Chairman of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), stated this on his Twitter account while reacting to the shooting at Lekki tollgate, Lagos State.

Ghana President, Nana Akufo-Addo, on Wednesday noted that violence is not the way out to the demands of protesters in Nigeria.

“I join all well-meaning persons in calling for calm and the use of dialogue in resolving the #ENDSARS impasse in Nigeria.”

“I have spoken with President Muhammadu Buhari, who is committed to this end and has begun the processes that will lead to reform.”

“To the families who have lost their loved ones, I express my sincere condolences and I wish the injured a speedy recovery,’’ Akufo-Addo said.


#Newsworthy…

NUTAG protest Ghana’s refusal to open locked shops.

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Ghanaian authorities’ refusal to open the traders’ shops was despite several meetings between top officials of both governments of Nigeria and Ghana.

The Nigeria Union of Traders Association in Ghana (NUTAG) has carried out a peaceful protest over Ghanaian authorities’ refusal to open shops owned by Nigerians in that country.

The President of NUTAG, Chukwuemeka Nnaji, who led the protest, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in a telephone interview that Ghanaian authorities’ refused to open their shops since 2019.

He noted that the Ghanaian authorities’ refusal to open the traders’ shops was despite several meetings between top officials of both governments of Nigeria and Ghana.

He said that the protest was to press the Ghanaian authorities to open shops owned by Nigerians living in Ghana, to enable them tackle economic challenges amid COVID-19.

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According to him, the shops owned by Nigerians under lock and key since past one year should be opened to enable the traders to return to normal businesses. He urged the Nigerian government to evacuate willing traders back to Nigeria.

Mr Nnaji said: “I am in talks in with my leader, Mr Ken Okoha, National President of Nigerian Traders, and he has assured us that he will take our case up to the highest level in Nigeria.

“In fact, plans are on for him to move to institutions that are related to trade; I have known him for five years now and I know what he is able to do.

“I am rest assured that the leadership of Nigerian traders are working towards achieving this goal; some of you, who still have funds, should also continue to help other traders.

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“Be law-abiding citizens, COVID-19 is still on and lots of businesses are affected; many of us are living from hand to mouth due to the downturn.

“If you do not have anything to do, stay at home; rest assured that at the end of October, if we are not evacuated, we will keep ourselves at the border.”

Receiving the traders, Easter Arewa, Charge de Affair of Nigeria High Commission in Ghana, said that government would remain committed to protecting Nigeria citizens.

According to her, the letter by Nigerian traders has been well received and their message will be conveyed to the highest authority.


#Newsworthy…

Ghana president react to maltreatment of Nigerians

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The Ghanaian Government has reacted to claims made by the Federal Government over the maltreatment of Nigerians in the country among other issues raised.

In a statement issued on Sunday, Ghana’s Minister of Information, Endkojo Oppong Nkrumah, said President Nana Akufo-Addo will engage with President Muhammadu Buhari to resolve the matters amicably.

While reiterating the country’s commitment to maintaining what could be described as warm relations between the two countries, Nkrumah said the move is necessary to guard against straining the diplomatic ties.

This comes two days after Nigeria’s Information Minister, Lai Mohammed said the Federal Government will no longer tolerate further maltreatment of its citizens in Ghana.

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 SEE FULL STATEMENT ISSUED BY THE GHANAIAN GOVERNMENT HERE:

                                                                       Republic of Ghana

                                                                  MINISTRY OF INFORMATION  PO. BOX M 41, ACCRA

Tel No: +233-(0)30-2227201

Fax No: +233-(0)30-2229786 EMAIL: info.m oi@moi.gov.gh

August 30, 2020

STATEMENT

The Government of Ghana notes, with concern, a statement, dated Friday, August 28, 2020, issued by the Ministry of Information and Culture and signed by the Federal Minister, Hon. Lai Mohammed, on behalf of the Federal Government of Nigeria, concerning current relations between Ghana and Nigeria.

Ghana remains committed to the maintenance of warm relations with all sister nations, particularly, for well-known historical reasons, with the Federal Republic of Nigeria, and will proceed to engage the Federal Government of Nigeria with a view to resolve comprehensively and exhaustively any matters that have the potential to sour relations between the two countries.

Ghana finds it imperative, however, from the onset, to state, for the public record, that the outline of issues by my Nigerian counterpart is not reflective of the developments in Ghana. Any protests, decisions or actions based on these reports will, thus, be unjustified.

We are obliged, therefore, as a first step, to provide our counterparts, as well as the Ghanaian and Nigerian publics, with a more reflective account of events, even as we pursue substantive diplomatic engagements to resolve matters.

(I) Accusation:

The seizure of the Nigerian Mission’s property located at No. 10, Barnes Road, Accra which has been used as diplomatic premises by the Nigerian Government for almost 50 years; and which action, is a serious breach of the Vienna Convention.

Response:

This statement is inaccurate. The transaction was a commercial arrangement between Thomas D. Hardy, a private citizen and the High Commission of Nigeria in Ghana on 23rd October 1959.

The terms of the Commercial Lease expired 46 years ago, without any evidence of renewal by the High Commission of Nigeria in Ghana. The Government of Ghana was not involved in the transaction and has not seized the property in question.

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(II) Accusation:

Also, even though the main reason given for the seizure of Federal Government property at No. 10 Barnes Road in Accra is the non-renewal of Lease after expiration, the Ghanaian authority did not give Nigeria the right of first refusal or the notice to renew the Lease. By contrast, the lease on some of the properties occupied by the Ghanaian Mission in Nigeria has long expired, yet such properties have not been seized.

Response: The Government of Ghana does not, did not and never owned the land, and has not been involved in the seizure of any property of the Nigerian High Commission in Ghana. The land in question is owned by the Osu Stool and managed by the Lands Commission.

In response to the claim that the lease on some of the properties owned by the Ghana Mission in Nigeria has long expired, it must be noted that the Government acquired a freehold land at Pope John Paul II Street in Abuja in 1989 through a commercial arrangement, and built the current structures on it. The staff of the Ghana High Commission in Abuja have been living there since the construction of the current structures.

(III) Accusation:

Demolition of the Nigerian Mission’s property located at No. 19/21 Julius Nyerere Street, East Ridge, Accra, which constitutes another serious breach of the Vienna Convention.

Response:

This statement is not factual. A search at the Lands Commission indicated that the Nigerian High Commission failed to complete the documentation process after paying for the land in the year 2000 A.D. The High Commission failed to acquire the Lease and Land Title Certificate, which constitute documentation for the said property, as well as a building permit for construction. In Ghana, land is owned not only by the Government, but also by Stools and Families.

The demolition of the property was not carried out by agents of the Ghanaian Government, but by agents of the Osu Stool. Nonetheless, the Government of Ghana, valuing the relations between our two countries, has decided to restore the property, at its own cost, to its original state for the Nigerian High Commission, and has duly communicated same to the Nigerian Authorities. The Government of Ghana has also agreed to facilitate the proper acquisition of title by the Nigerian High Commission, as announced by Ghana’s Minister for Foreign Affairs at the time of the incident.

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(IV) Accusation:

Aggressive and incessant deportation of Nigerians from Ghana. Between January 2018 and February 2019, Eight Hundred and Twenty-Five (825) Nigerians were deported from Ghana.

Response:

This statement is not factual. In 2019, seven hundred (700) Nigerians, who were found to have been involved in criminal activities such as fraud, prostitution, armed robbery etc., were deported.

(V) Accusation:

Residency permit requirement, for which Ghana Immigration Service has placed huge fees far higher than the fees charged by the Nigerian Immigration Service. These include the compulsory non- citizen ID card (US$120, US$ 60 for yearly renewal); medical examinations, including for COVID-19 which is newly introduced (about US$ 120), and payment for residency permit (US$ 400 compared to the N700,000 being paid by Ghanaians for residency card in Nigeria).

Response:

It must be noted that all foreigners, who apply for resident permit in Ghana, pay same fees as stated above. These fees are not specific to Nigerians.

(VI) Accusation:

“Media war against Nigerians in Ghana. The negative reportage of issues concerning Nigerians resident in Ghana by the Ghanaian media is fuelling an emerging xenophobic attitude against Nigerian traders and Nigerians in general.

The immediate fallout is the incessant harassment and arrest of Nigerian traders and closure of their shops.”

Response:

The statement is not factual. There is no media war against Nigerians in Ghana.

There is also no negative reportage on Nigerian residents in Ghana by Ghanaian media, which could potentially lead to xenophobic attitude towards Nigerians, particularly Nigerian traders in Ghana.

No Nigerian trader has been arrested. The closure of shops was as a result of infractions on Ghanaian laws. Even then, those affected who are not only Nigerians, have been given ample time to regularise their documents. Furthermore, no Nigerian- owned shops are currently closed.

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On the contrary, the negative reportage has been against the Ghanaian Government from high places, (tweets by Foreign Minister of Nigeria and a Nigerian businessman, who appears to have political interests in Ghana), in Nigeria. This is inconsistent with established practice in our very good relations. The Press Release by the Information and Culture Minister of Nigeria is a clear departure from the manner in which officials of the two countries have related with each other in the past.

(VII) Accusation:

“Nigeria has time after time demonstrated its fidelity to the long cordial relations with Ghana. But indications especially in recent times, are that Nigeria’s stance is now being taken for granted and its citizens being made targets of harassment and objects of ridicule. This will no longer be tolerated under any guise.”

Response: Ghana has always demonstrated her commitment to excellent relations with Nigeria which is evidenced by the manner in which Ghanaian Government officials dealt with recent issues, which have had severe economic impact on our country.

Ghana did not resort to any media war. However, the Ghanaian Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Trade travelled to Abuja to try to resolve diplomatically the issue of closure of Nigerian borders, and to seek safe corridor for ECOWAS Trade Liberalisation Scheme (ETLS) exports from Ghana, all to no avail. It is expected that the response of Nigerian Authorities to situations that evolve in our relations should be guided by the merits of the matter and our mutual interests.

(VIII) Accusation:

That three hundred (300), six hundred (600) and two hundred and fifty (250) shops belonging to Nigerians were closed down in 2018, 2019 and 2020 respectively

Response:

Upon evidence that some individuals, including Ghanaians and non-Ghanaians, had been involved in various forms of trade, without complying with the laws and regulations of Ghana, several engagements and prior advice had been given to encourage compliance.

Ghana’s Minister for Trade and Industry personally intervened to ensure the reopening of closed shops, pending compliance with Ghana’s laws by their operators.

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Among other corrective measures, the Committee on Foreigners in Retail Trade, comprising representatives of various regulatory agencies and institutions in Ghana, was tasked with the responsibility of conducting inspections of retail shops in designated commercial districts in both Accra and Kumasi to ensure compliance with retail trade laws and regulations.

The compliance exercises conducted in the selected markets revealed gross violations of retail trade laws and regulations by Ghanaians and foreigners, including Nigerians. These violations included tax evasion, immigration offenses, trading in sub-standard products, violation of the Ghana Investment

Promotion Centre (GIPC) law, improper registration of firms, under-payment of business operating permits, falsification of documents, among others.

In all cases, non-compliant shop owners are given adequate notice to regularize their documents, before action is taken to close any shop/business.

It is an incontestable fact that there is widespread abuse and disregard for local laws and regulations governing retail trade by some foreigners, including Nigerians, which need to be addressed without discrimination. It is important to note that the compliance exercise under reference is not restricted to either ECOWAS nationals or Nigerians for that matter, but extend to all individuals engaged in retail trade, including Ghanaians.

(IX) Accusation:

Harsh and openly biased judicial trial and pronouncements of indiscriminately long jail terms for convicted Nigerians.

Response:

Ghana’s courts, at all material times, function independently, and with strict respect for the Laws of Ghana, regardless of the nationalities of accused persons. Judges neither convict nor sentence with a bias for or against nationalities. Nigerians and Ghanaians convicted for same offenses are not treated differently.

(X) Accusation:

Outrageous stipulations and amendments of the GIPC Act.

Response:

It is untrue that the law has been amended twice, and, accordingly, there is no 2018 GIPC Act. Further, the statement that a review of the Act has increased the minimum capital base for foreign owned businesses to US$1.00m is false.

Perhaps the reference is to sections 27 (2 & 3) of the GIPC Act and relate solely to persons who are not citizens but want to engage in retail trade or trading activities, which are otherwise restricted exclusively to Ghanaians. Accordingly,

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‘a person who is not a citizen may engage in a trading Enterprise if that person invests in the Enterprise, not less than One Million United States Dollars in cash or goods and services relevant to the investments. Trading includes purchasing and selling of imported goods and services. The amount does not relate to the broad universe of investors. We are also somewhat astonished to have the laws of a sovereign nation described as outrageous, especially since they have not attracted the rebuff or criticism of any regional organization, especially

ECOWAS.

The Federal Republic, on the other hand, is on record to have taken a number of steps in recent months, in pursuit of her national interests, which have gravely affected other countries in the Region. These include the closure of Nigeria’s Seme Krake Border from August 2019 to date and the issuance of executive orders by Nigeria’s Presidency, preventing foreigners from getting jobs which Nigerians can do, to mention a few. Ghana and other West African countries continue to believe redress to even actions like these can be sought, diplomatically, without resort to media statements and related activities that have the potential to aggravate further the situation.

The aforementioned notwithstanding, the President of the Republic of Ghana, H.E. Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, who values very much his excellent relations with the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, His Excellency Muhammadou Buhari, will engage President Buhari with a view to develop immediately a framework for validating claims of ill treatment of citizens of either country, and ensure citizens enjoy the full exercise of their rights, while respecting the sovereignty and laws of both countries. Ghana and Nigeria, as they have been doing, must continue to work together for a successful West Africa.

-ENDKOJO OPPONG NKRUMAH (MP)

MINISTER


#Newsworthy…

Just in: Buhari hails Wale Okediran as he emerge PAWA Sec-Gen

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President Muhammadu Buhari says the appointment of Dr Wale Okediran as the Secretary-General of Pan-African Writers Association (PAWA) is a testament to the excellent spirit in Nigerians.

A statement issued on Friday by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, quoted Buhari as saying that: “the appointment once again attests to the excellence exhibited by Nigerians in almost all areas of human endeavour.”

According to him, the appointment of the medical doctor-turned writer is a “round peg in a round hole,” as Dr Okediran has made name and reputation as a skilful writer and author of many books.

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The Nigerian leader, therefore, called on the PAWA Secretary-General, who will be staying in Ghana for his tenure of office, to continue representing the country well.

Okediran was a former President, Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA), and former member of the House of Representatives.

The appointment of the Nigerian writer followed the death of the founding Secretary-General of PAWA, Professor Atukwei Okai.

Okai’s demise had created a vacuum in the position for about two years before the appointment of Okediran.


#Newsworthy…

Ghana airports may reopen by September – Nana Akufo-Addo

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President Nana Akufo-Addo has indicated that Ghana’s international airport may reopen next month after measures are set in place to test arriving passengers for coronavirus.

“I know many still ask when our borders, especially our international airport, Kotoka International Airport, will be open,” Akufo-Addo said in a televised address late Sunday.

“Under my instructions, the Ministry of Aviation, the Ghana Civil Aviation Authority and the Ghana Airports Co. Ltd., have been working with the Ministry of Health and its agencies to ascertain our readiness to reopen our airport,” he said.

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“I want to ensure that we are in a position to test every single passenger that arrives in the country to avoid the spread of the virus,” he said.

“The outcome of that exercise will show us the way, and determine when we can reopen our border by air. I am hoping that, by God’s grace, we will be ready to do so by 1st September.”

President of Ghana, Nana Akufo-Addo speaks during the Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship forum 2018 in Lagos on October 25, 2018. (Noble Reporters Media / Adigun Michael Olamide)

Kotoka, located outside the capital Accra, was closed in March along with other border points in a bid to contain the spread of the virus. Schools were also shut and public gatherings banned.

Ghana, a country of 30 million people, has recorded 42,653 cases since March, 239 of them fatal.


#Newsworthy…

Rudeboy sends condolence to Shatta Bandle over Father’s death

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Nigerian singer, Paul Okoye widely known as Rudeboy consoles self-acclaimed richest man, Shatta Bandle over the death of his father who died on 20th July 2020.

Paul Okoye sympathizes with Shatta
Since the news broke, alot of celebrities and fans have sympathized with the Ghanaian Instagram socialite. Rudeboy, former member of the defunct group P Square is among-st the celebrities to extend their condolences.

Shatta Bandle via his social media page shared a screenshot of WhatsApp messages Rudeboy sent him on Snapchat which showed the singer encouraging him to be strong.

Paul Okoye sympathizes with Shatta
In 2019, Shatta Bandle featured in Rudeboy’s Audio Money music video when he visited Nigeria for the first time


#Newsworthy…

IG celeb, Shatta Bandle loses dad. [Photos]

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Instagram sensation, Shatta Bandle mourns after losing his father, Alhaji Idrissu to the cold hands of death.

Shatta Bandle took to his snapchat to confirmed the sad news.

Sharing a photo of his father, Shatta Bandle captioned: “RIP to my real father, dead today.”

NRM also gathered that his father has been battling unknown illness for some time but was receiving treatment until he passed away on Monday morning. Father to the Instagram sensation came up on social media for the first time after the Instagram star shared a photo describing him as lovely.

The photo which showed a striking resemblance between Shatta Bandle and his father went viral at the time. The unfortunate news is coming just a few days after Shatta Bandle joined AY Poyoo, Ablekuma Nanalace on a new song by former Ruff and Smooth member, Akhan, which is titled Blessings.


#Newsworthy…

Jay Gunz: US based Ghanaian rapper shot dead | Video

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The CCTV footage of the moment U.S based Ghanaian rapper Jay Gunz was shot dead has been released.

Jay Gunz was shot dead during a shoot out in his home in Bronx, New York on Sunday, July 5th 2020.

The footage was released by the New York Police Department, which reacted to the rappers death by releasing a video from the shootout.

The CCTV footage shows the moment Jay was attacked with two others in their home Bronx, New York. Sharing the video, the New York Police Department wrote;

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“On Sunday, July 5th, Police Officers from the 44 Precinct responded to a 911 call for a male shot at 306 East 171 Street.

“Upon arrival, they discovered three males with gunshot wounds. Two of the victims, later died from their injuries, while one remains hospitalized.”

Watch the video below;

The New York Police has called on people with any information about the killers with a promised cash reward.

Jay Gunz is originally from Sekondi and his mother is said to own a popular store in Bronx, New York.

Watch the video via the tweet below

Must Read

20-year-old, Rapper pop smoke killed in home invasion


#Newsworthy…

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COVID-19: Ghana president goes into isolation

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President of Ghana, Nana Akufo-Addo has gone into self-isolation for two weeks after one of his contacts tested positive.

The president went into isolation as a precautionary measure despite testing negative for COVID-19.

”President Nana Akufo-Addo will henceforth be working from the presidential villa in Accra, the country’s information minister confirmed in a statement released on Saturday”.

The statement read in part: “President Nana Akufo-Addo has gone into isolation after at least one person within his close circle tested positive for COVID-19.

President of Ghana, Nana Akufo-Addo

“(The president) has, as (of) today, tested negative, but has elected to take this measure out of the abundance of caution.”

Presently, Ghana has recorded more than 19,300 cases of coronavirus and 117 deaths.


#Newsworthy…

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EFCC goes after Nigerian fraudsters in Ghana

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Mr. Ibrahim Magu, Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), says many Nigerian are hiding in neighboring Ghana.

Speaking in Abuja on Friday, Magu said the commission was putting resources together to go after them and recover the country’s wealth stashed in that country.

The EFCC boss spoke when a delegation of the Chartered Institute of Public Resources Management and Politics (CIPRMP) visited the commission’s headquarters.

According to him, the EFCC is partnering with its counterpart in Ghana on the impending asset recovery operation.

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“Corruption is a borderless crime. We are putting our resources together to allow us go to Ghana without restrictions and recovery our stolen property back home.

“I am appealing to Nigerians to trust the Commission with relevant information about corrupt practices in the country.

“ There are a lot of looters hiding in Ghana. We are already talking, we will bring them back. We will go bring the assets back to the country,” he said.


#Newsworthy…

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Amid demolition, Ghana pledge to rebuild Nigerian Embassy

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Ghanaian government has vowed to rebuild the demolished part of the Nigerian High Commission building.

A few days ago, armed men invaded the consulate and demolished the building which was still under construction and meant for Nigerian High Commission staff.

Speaking to journalists on Thursday June 25, Ghana’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration Mrs Shirley Ayokor Botchewey said the demolished building will be restored to its original state.

Must Read;

Xenophobia: Ghana sends ‘Apology’ letter to Nigeria over destroyed houses

Botchewey further revealed that Nigeria paid for the land 20 years ago even though the High Commission could not produce the lease, land title certificate and building permit of the land.

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She disclosed that a committee consisting of officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ghana Police Service, National Security, and the Lands Commission had been constituted to investigate the unlawful demolition of the building, while also promising that the government of Ghana would actively engage the Nigeria government at the highest level, to address the impasse and help calm tensions in both countries.

The Minister said;

“The Land Commission will formerly inform the Osu Traditional Council that in August 2000, offer was made to High Commission of Nigeria, irrespective of the title of land in question.

“The offer was accepted by the High Commission and payment was made accordingly that constituted a contract.

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“The Land Commission will proceed to issue a Land Certificate to the High Commission of Nigeria, to regularise it’s ownership of the property in question.

“Ghana will take immediate steps to engage the Osu stool and all stakeholders on the impasse.

“Ghana will ensure that the demolished building is restored to its original state as soon as possible.

“The High Commission of Nigeria will take appropriate steps to obtain building permit for the construction.”


#Newsworthy…

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Xenophobia: Ghana sends ‘Apology’ letter to Nigeria over destroyed houses

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Ghana’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs has apologised to the Nigerian government after the building housing high commission staff was demolished on Friday night.

In a press statement, the ministry said it viewed with concern the development, which is a breach of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations.

It expressed regrets over the demolition.

“While expressing regrets over the incident, the Ministry wishes to reassure the diplomatic community in Ghana and the Nigerian High Commission in particular that Ghana remains a law abiding country that upholds the principle of the rule of law”.

Officials will be visiting the Nigerian High Commission tomorrow to access the damage done to the property, one report said.

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The plot of land in dispute houses the residence of the Nigerian High commissioners residence and four other buildings

It was allocated to the Nigerian government in the sixties.

A portion of the land had remained undeveloped until eight years ago when building work began.

A Ghanaian businessman claims legitimate ownership of the land.

Nigeria and the Ghanaian governments resolved the ownership issue, when Nigeria paid fifty million Ghanaian cedis for the land.

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Building works commenced on a portion of the land after all approvals were sought and obtained from regulatory authorities.

Nigeria’s foreign minister Geoffrey Onyeama strongly condemned the demolition earlier today.

“We strongly condemn two outrageous criminal attacks in Accra, #Ghana, on a residential building in our diplomatic premises by unknown persons in which a bulldozer was used to demolish the building”, Onyeama tweeted.

“We are engaging the Ghanaian Government and demand urgent action to find the perpetrators and provide adequate protection for Nigerians and their property in Ghana”, he wrote.


#Newsworthy…

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COVID-19: 39 Ghana Returnees Quarantined In Lagos. [Nigeria]


Lagos State Government has quarantined 39 Nigerian evacuees from Ghana.

The returnees and 12 others from different West African countries were isolated in the Badagry area of the state and have begun the 14-day isolation supervised by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control.

The Nigerians in Diaspora Commission, who made this known on Sunday via Twitter, said the state government took up the cost of their quarantine period including lodging and feeding.

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“39 returnees who came from Ghana were brought in two luxury buses with registration numbers, Lagos LSD 614 YR and KTU 833XY.

“They arrived at about 3:30 a.m. from Ghana and other African nations and are currently on a 14-day quarantine. All the quarantine expenses paid for by the Lagos State Government,” NIDCOM tweeted.

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Meanwhile, the state Health Commissioner, Prof Akin Abayomi, has said three of the returnees recently evacuated from Dubai tested positive for coronavirus and have been moved to one of the state Isolation Centres.

Newsmen report that the NCDC on Saturday night announced 95 new infections in Lagos, bringing the total COVID-19 cases recorded in the state to 2,372 including 541 recoveries and 36 associated fatalities.


#Newsworthy…

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T.B Joshua help Ghana win U-20 World Cup in 2009 – See How.

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Prophet TB Joshua of the Synagogue Church of All Nations, SCOAN, is said to have played a role in helping Ghana win the 2009 FIFA Under-20 world cup in Egypt.

This is according to former Ghana U-20 midfielder, Gladson Awako, who stated that all the predictions given by TB Joshua concerning the competition came to pass.

Awako who played in the competition made this known while speaking on YAC Media’s Instagram live chat.

“During the 2009 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Egypt, we normally gathered around the centre to pray,” he said.

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“The coach usually made us speak to a man on the phone.

“He’ll put the phone on loudspeaker, so we could all hear and then pray and do what he says.

“Most of the things he said came to pass, especially the final.

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“He predicted that we would get an early red card and also told us how we would arrange the penalty takers.

“All that came to pass. Honestly, I did not know who it was until we won the cup, and they told us the man was TB Joshua.”


#Newsworthy…

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COVID-19: Ghana record 271 new cases week after lifting lockdown

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Ghana has recorded 271 cases of the novel coronavirus just in a week after President Nana Akufo-Addo lifted the lockdown in Accra and Kumasi.

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The cases which were confirmed on Sunday brings the total number of cases recorded in the country to 1,550.

Ghana Health Service (GHS) was quoted saying that while a total number of 11 people have died from the disease, 155 have recovered.

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The service said 62 percent of infected persons are male while 38 percent are female. It said 84 percent of the cases have no travel history.

Last week, Ghana President Nana Akufo-Addo lifted a three-week lockdown on the basis of “improved coronavirus testing.”

The Ghanaian president had said nonessential businesses in Accra and Kumasi could reopen but under guidelines of social distancing.

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He said Ghanaians should make use of face masks in public places.

“In view of our ability to undertake aggressive contact of infected persons, the enhancement of our capacity to test, the expansion in the numbers of our treatment and isolation centres, our better understanding of the dynamism of the virus, the ramping up our domestic capacity to produce our own personal protective equipment, sanitisers and medicines, the modest successes chalked at containing the spread of the virus in Accra and Kumasi, and the severe impact of the poor and vulnerable, I have taken the decision to life the three-week-old restriction on movements in the Greater Accra Metropolitan Area and Kasoa, and the Greater Kumasi Metropolitan Area and the contiguous districts, with effect from 1am on Monday, 20th April,” he had said.


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