Government releases funds to pay teachers’ arrears

Accra, The Ministry of Finance has released G4,172,313.23 for the payment of outstanding transfer grants, allowances and salary arrears for validated teachers engaged between January 2013 and December 2016.

Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia made the disclosure at the Fifth Quadrennial and 52nd National Delegates Conference of the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT) at Cape Coast on Thursday.

He said the release of the funds showed government’s commitment and demonstration to improve the working conditions of teachers.

”Government places a very high premium on education because a motivated teacher is committed to delivering on the vision of the President and the Government,” he stated.

The Vice President noted that the issue of validation and arrears of teachers had bedeviled the educational sector for years, with newly engaged teachers bemoaning the long delays they had to endure before receiving their salaries.

He, therefore, gave the assurance that the Government would do everything humanly possible to better the lives of teachers to ensure quality output.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Dr Spio-Garbrah courts media for presidential bid

Accra, Dr Ekwow Spio-Garbrah, a former Minister of Trade in the National Democratic Congress (NDC) government, has asked the media to partner him as he prepares to contest the flagbearership of the Party and recapture power in 2020.

At a media interaction in Accra on Wednesday evening, Dr Spio-Garbrah launched his Forward Agenda, which echoes his intention to contest the elections to aid him seek the highest office of the land.

This really is not a time of campaigning � it is simply a time to share our message of partnership, stewardship, service, commitment, nationalism and patriotism of sacrifice with all of you.

”And to pray that even as you examine us thoroughly in terms of all the things we have done well and the things we have not done so well, when you conclude with your examinations of those who wish to stand before you and offer themselves for leadership of our country through various political parties, you may, hopefully, come to the conclusion that Ekwow Spio-Garbrah is a man who may deserve the support of most Ghanaians to attain the highest office of this land in order to bring us to where we all will like to reach, he said.

He said the Forward Agenda was a grand plan to mobilise the grassroots to enable him to win the race this time, after his initial attempt in 1993 was unsuccessful.

Dr Spio-Garbrah said his Forward Agenda conveyed a message of sacrifice and commitment towards developing Ghana.

The Agenda, he said; “Is not one that can be led by just anybody. It is not just a matter of your talents, it is not a matter of the nature of your educational attainments or your financial capacity, it is the motivation in your spirit, which is very difficult to measure.”

He said the primary focus of public services or politics was not about making money or amassing wealth for oneself or for one’s family but about service, and that was why Ghanaians were often seen rejecting all those public servants in their electoral decisions.

So I’m just saying that this Forward Agenda that has been established to carry the message of sacrifice, of stewardship, of partnerships with many stakeholders and with commitment to the development of Ghana and Africa is not one that can be led by just anybody.

My exposure, experience and reputation in various capacities, both locally and internationally, makes me a better person to lead this Party and subsequently lead the country in the future and lift up the nation to a level that had never been attained, but is attainable.

It is for this knowledge that I have been privilege to experience and to observe and to see at first hand that should you wish to give me the opportunity to lead this party and hopefully to lead this country, that I know what it takes and what to do to solve most of the problems we talk about in Ghana, he said.

Brigadier General Joseph Nunoo Mensah, a Former National Security Adviser under the Mahama Government, urged the media to be truthful in their reportage and also ensure that they informed the people about the real happenings to enable them to make the right decisions and choices in life.

Dr Kwame Amporful, the Former Chief Executive Officer of Tema Oil Refinery, urged the media to rally behind the Forward Agenda to promote democracy.

Mr Ransford Tetteh, the Managing Director of Graphic Communication Group Limited, urged journalists to be fair, accurate and objective in their professional practice even when they believe in a certain course or conviction.

Meanwhile the NDC has started a reorganisation drive following their defeat in the 2016 Election.

The Party has indicated that it would elect its presidential candidate for the 2020 Election by the close of 2018 as the NDC Constitution stipulates that a flagbearer should be elected two years ahead of elections while the Party is in opposition.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Special Prosecutor will put public officers under scrutiny – Veep

Accra,Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, on Thursday, said the signing of the Special Prosecutor’s Bill by the President into law is a significant step and determination by government to fight corruption in the country.

He said the legislation would ensure that both the past and present public officers would be under the microscope and held accountable for their actions and inactions.

This, he said, would help the government to fight corruption and ensure the prudent use of the natural resources for the benefit of all.

Vice President Bawumia made the remarks at the 85th Annual Convention of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Mission in Ghana at Pomadze in the Greater Accra Region, on Thursday.

The event was on the theme: ”Ensuring a Disciplined Society: The Role of Religion”.

”The Special Prosecutor Act is going to be an instrument to help ensure discipline and am sure by the grace of Allah, when the President makes the appointment of the Special Prosecutor, we will see somebody who has the integrity and credibility to undertake this major task that the nation is waiting for.

”If you’re a public official who has been given the responsibility over the public purse and you’re interested in stealing the people’s money that is the highest form of indiscipline and unpatriotism that you can find.

”So as a nation, if we’re going to make sure the resources that God has given us are well utilised in the interest of the people, then this issue of corruption must be stamped out,” he emphasised.

The Vice President said the nation had been endowed with many natural resources, but due to widespread corruption and indiscipline, it had dragged back the development efforts of the nation, and, thus, culminating in poverty amongst the populace.

He said the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, five days ago, signed five bills into law, including the Office of the Special Prosecutor, the Coastal Development Authority, the Middle-belt Development Authority and Northern Development Authority and the Zongo Development.

This, he said, showed government’s determination to stamp out corruption and ensure discipline in the country, adding ”without discipline the nation would not move forward”.

Vice President Bawumia bemoaned indiscipline in the society, saying; ”Corruption can be found at all facets of the society so it cannot be placed at the doorsteps of religion therefore religious institutions has a major role to play in ensuring a disciplined society”.

Source: Ghana News Agency

AMA ready to promote boxing in Accra – Adjei Sowah

Accra, Mr Mohammed Adjei Sowah, Metropolitan Chief Executive of the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA), has reiterated efforts to promote boxing in Accra to unearth and develop young talents for the nation.

He said unearthing and developing talents at such level had been his passion since it was the only way future stars can be groomed for the country.

He also noted that it would help identify young stars for the promotion and growth of the sports and provide the platform for them to access their strengths and skills among their colleagues.

Mr Sowah made the call when the managers of Baby Jet Promotion, a boxing promotion syndicate, led by its President Mr Sammy Anim Addo and Emmanuel Tagoe, a boxer and holder of both the International Boxing Organisation (IBO) and the World Boxing Association (WBA) Lightweight International titles, paid a courtesy call on him with his title belts.

He said though Ghana abounds with a lot of boxing talents, especially at Bukom, in Accra, we are unable to tap and develop them to excel in international circles due to low support.

If the discipline does not receive the necessary support, it could die a slow death adding that, the AMA will do all it can to revive boxing in the country, he said.

He appealed to all stakeholders in the development of youth sports to appreciate the great value of boxing, by offering more incentives to ensure excellence in the sports.

Mr Anim Addo, manager of Baby Jet Promotions told the Ghana News Agency that, Mr Asamoah Gyan had done a lot for Accra, and that it was time for Accra to reciprocate the gesture, hence the call on the AMA for support.

He thanked the Mayor for his continuous support and the encouragement he gave to Emmanuel Tagoe to fully pursue and develop his talents.

Mr Sullyman Korley, Coach of Emmanuel Tagoe, told the GNA Sports that the Ministry of Youth and Sports must give adequate funding for the development and promotion of boxing in the country.

He said the organisation of boxing competitions requires adequate funding, in view of the financial commitments and the huge expenditure involved.

In his opinion, competitions be organised in the other regions to bring to unearth hidden talents and groomed to uplift the standard of boxing in the country.

Source: Ghana News Agency

NCCE undertakes tax education in AAK District

Cape Coast, The National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) in the Abura Asebu Kwamankese (AAK) District, has intensified its education on tax compliance and payment within some communities in the District.

Medium and small-scale businesses, especially those in the informal sector such as beauticians, market women, farmers, carpenters, GPRTU workers, religious groups and individuals were educated on the need to honestly pay their taxes.

They were also taken through the Rights of the Tax Payer, the Need to Pay Tax, the Importance of Taxes to the State, Types of Taxes and some behavioural aspects of tax collectors, which were unlawful and corruptible.

The nationwide campaign, which is being undertaken by the NCCE and the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) was to help raise sufficient revenue for the Government for development.

Mr Samuel Yaw Arhin, the District Director of NCCE, in an interview with the Ghana News Agency, implored the public to pay their tax to enable the Government to accomplish its educational, economic and other development programmes.

He said government’s intervention programmes such as the Free Senior High School Policy and the School Feeding programmes, Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty, and the National Health Insurance Scheme among others would require huge sums of money to implement.

He said the 1992 Constitution made it obligatory for all citizens and business organisations to declare their incomes correctly and honour their tax obligations adding that Ghanaians did not comply with that provision of the Constitution.

Chapter Six (6) Article 41, paragraph (j) of the 1992 Constitution, which enjoins citizens as a civic responsibility to declare their income honestly to the appropriate lawful agency � the Ghana Revenue Authority and to satisfy their tax obligation to support his statement he said.

Mr Arhin emphasised that payment of taxes was not only a civic duty but it was backed by law and that failure to meet one’s tax obligation attracted a fine, imprisonment or both.

He said no amount of tax was small and encouraged all to pay tax on any little business they engaged in for the country to develop.

In all, the NCCE took the tax education campaign to 52 communities within the AAK district.

Source: Ghana News Agency