Bawku West District Assembly moves to improve on water and sanitation

Zebilla (U/E)- Mrs Victoria Ayamba, District Chief Executive for Bawku West, has announced some steps taken by the Assembly to improve on water and sanitation in the District.

Mrs Ayamba said this during the inspection and handing over of a six-unit classroom block and a ward for both male and female to the Binaba Health Center over the weekend at Binaba in the Bawku West District of the Upper East Region.

Mrs Ayamba said the Assembly has trained two staff to manage the Zebilla, Binaba and Sapelga water system so as to produce portable drinking water to address the acute water shortage that occasionally hits the area.

Mrs Ayamba said the Assembly has constructed a mechanized borehole for the Binaba market and other structures to aid traders to engage in ventures that would improve on their socio-economic lives.

She said to improve on the sanitation conditions in the area, the Assembly has renovated two toilet facilities for both male and female at the Binaba Health Center.

She said these facilities were secured through the Assembly’s share of the common fund adding that these were instituted to improve on the quality of livelihoods of the people in the area.

Mrs Ayamba said government has put in a number of interventions such as the Planting for Food and Jobs, Free Senior High School and the Nations Builders Corps among others to create viable employment for the people, and urged the constituents to support government to achieve these set goals.

The DCE urged residents in the area to be agents of change and support the Assembly to attain the open defecation free targets, crime free and a clean environment for unborn generations.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Danish company to produce bottles in Ghana using local materials

Accra- A Danish Company, ExoXpac, would next year launch a business initiative in Ghana to use coconut husks and pineapple wastes to produce bottles and food packs to substitute the use of plastics.

The ExoXpac, which specialises in converting biodegradable waste materials to useful products, would undertake the new technology, in collaboration with the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, to promote economic growth and employment in Ghana.

Madam Gove Degnbol, the Denmark Ambassador to Ghana, made this known when she led a Danish business delegation to pay a courtesy call on the Minister of Sanitation and Water Resources, Madam Cecilia Abena Dapaah, to finalise details of the initiative.

Madam Degnbol praised Ghana for her economic strides and said Denmark would share experiences with the country to transform the economy through technology and strengthen the technical cooperation between the two countries.

She gave the assurance that the technology would help turn the waste products around to solve some of the sanitation problems.

Madam Dapaah said the technology to be introduced had confirmed government’s commitment to making the private sector the driver of the One District One Factory Programme.

She said the country had made gains by achieving several targets under the Millennium Development Goals yet lagged behind in sanitation with its inherent health issues, hence the need to embrace the biodegradable technology to curb the plastic waste menace.

Mr Michael Michelsen, the Global Business Manager of EcoXpac, said he was proud to extend the new technology to Ghana and gave the assurance that the company would provide exceptional services to customers when it started operation.

Source: Ghana News Agency

First 1000 finishers of Millennium Marathon to receive special prizes

Accra- Mr. Ashim Morton, the Chief Executive Officer of Millennium Marathon Limited, has said, the first 1000 participants to finish the race would receive medals and other packages from Unilever Ghana.

He made this revelation at a press conference organized as part of the company’s revisit to the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) office in Accra.

The Millennium Marathon, billed for Saturday, September 22, is expected to see 2000 participants given surprise packages after the race.

It’s going to be harmonious and interesting event. There would be a shuttle to convey people from various places. I want everyone to be present at 5:30am because the race starts at 6am. The first 1000 to complete the race would receive medals and prizes.”

The race would also feature para athletes in a 21 kilometer and 5 kilometer race.

Ghana’s music superstar and ambassador of the Millennium marathon, Tic Tac, described the Millennium Marathon, as a good initiative, which needs to be supported.

Ace Journalist, Naa Ashokor also encouraged the public to register and participate in the race.

According to the organizers, registration was still in progress at the Accra Sports Stadium and other millennium marathon outfits.

The race would also feature dignitaries, Members of Parliament, celebrities and the media.

Source: Ghana News Agency

GJA launches 2017 Awards Committee

Accra- An eight-member Awards Committee has been inaugurated by the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) in Accra to select deserving journalists for the different categories of awards scheduled for October 27.

The Committee is chaired by Dr Doris Yaa Dartey, a Journalist/Development and Organisational Communications Consultant, with members including Mr Albert Sam, Journalist of the Year-1991, Mrs Tina Aforo-Yeboah, former Editor of Spectator, Mrs Betty Apau-Opong, the immediate past Director of Ghana Broadcasting Corporation, Mr Gabriel Bosompem, a former Journalist of TV3, and Mr Peter Martey Agbeko, the first Director of the Ghana International Press Centre.

The rest are Mr Kwasi Kpodo, Financial Correspondent of Reuters News in Ghana and Mr Akwasi Agyeman, a Journalist with over 20 years’ experience.

The Chairman of the National Media Commission, Mr Gyan Appenteng, said no nation could thrive without the contribution of journalists and commended the Committee for accepting to work with the GJA.

He said the Committee members were men and women of integrity who were committed to ensuring deserving journalists were awarded.

He suggested that the Committee became a standing one for the GJA awards based on members’ experience and tenacity to duty.

Dr Dartey thanked the GJA Executive for the confidence reposed in them and said it was the first time all members were retained to serve a second term.

She, therefore, pledged the Committee’s dedication and commitment to delivering the task assigned to it.

Dr Dartey said the Committee would not toy with the confidence reposed in it but would work hard with integrity to deliver as expected.

Describing the assignment as delicate, she asked for the trust and support of all GJA members adding; With our collective experience, we will not let the GJA down.

Dr Dartey, who had served on the Committee for seven years, said it would work to meet the five-week deadline of declaring the award winners.

Mrs Audrey Dekalu, the Treasurer of the GJA, noted that the members of the Committee were retained because of the excellent work they did last year, within a two-week period, and commended them for that feat.

She said the GJA awards had come to stay and thus the experienced journalists on the Committee would help bring out winners who truly deserved.

The 23rd GJA Awards was launched on August 30, under the theme: State of Investigative Journalism, Boundaries of Privacy and Borders of Public Interest.

All entries should cover works published from January 1 to December 31, 2017.

Among the categories are best columnist, best morning show (TV/Radio), best student journalist, GJA/Kombla Dumor Most Promising Student Journalist, and Democracy and Peace-building media house.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Government orders forensic audit into BOST operations

Accra, The Government has ordered forensic audit into the operations of the Bulk Oil Storage and Transport Company (BOST) from the year 2013 to 2018.

Mr John-Peter Amewu, Minister of Energy, said this had been necessitated by the financial recklessness uncovered by a Presidential Committee tasked to look at the financial position of the company.

The Committee recently presented its report which spoke of the poor state of the company’s finances and blamed this on financial indiscipline and recklessness.

It cited the unprofitable tolling arrangement with the Tema Oil Refinery (TOR) Limited between year 2015 and 2016, under which the refinery processed crude oil on behalf of BOST at a fee

Mr Amewu told a press briefing in Accra, attended by Mr. Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, the Information Minister designate that per the arrangement, BOST procured its own crude oil and shipped it to the refinery for processing into refined petroleum products – gasoil, gasoline, LPG and then sold the products to the domestic and export markets.

He said the tolling of US$5.5 per metric tonne (M/T) was on the high side compared to the international average tolling fee of US$3.5 per MT.

Added to this was the higher than normal imported crude oil premium.

Mr. Amewu said the cost of processing the crude oil with all associated expenses in its procurements did not make the transaction profitable.

He added that during the tolling arrangement with TOR, yields received from the processed crude oil were lower than expected, thereby the sales (Gross Product Worth) from the refined products was far less than the cost of crude oil purchased.

The company therefore incurred losses from this transaction.

Again because of the BOST/TOR alliance, some traders dealing with BOST were deducting some of TOR’S old liabilities from proceeds of the exports BOST undertook during the period.

Mr. Amewu also spoke of trade losses resulting from under-recoveries and said it had a take or pay agreement with Trafigura and other traders, which far exceeded BOST’S capacity to sell to the market.

The net effect was that in times of price drops BOST incurred far more losses because it always held high stocks of petroleum products in its storage facilities, creating under-recoveries.

He touched on repayments of existing loans from trade receivables and said funds expected to be used for payment of product purchasers were used to repay loans.

BOST overheads were paid from trade receivables due to insufficient funds from its margin.

Mr Amewu said about 60 per cent of the funds from BOST margin payments was pledged for the repayment of the Standard Chartered Bank loan, adding that it was using part of its trade receivable to fund its daily operations (overhead cost of about GH300 million per annum).

This situation created a hole in its trade receivables.

Recent payments to Springfield Energy Limited, was one of many claims made by 16 Bulk Distribution Companies (BDCs) to BOST for product losses occurring between 2013 and 2016.

He said the total claims on BOST in respect of product losses by BDCs amounted to U$44 million.

The causes of such product losses needed to be established to determine records of the storage of those products, those responsible for loading the products, the financial receipts in respect of the products and utilization of the funds.

He said since 2013, BOST had been faced with serious financial crises due to mounting debts and financial indiscipline.

Source: Ghana News Agency