Court remands carpenter for robbery

Accra- An Accra Circuit Court on Friday remanded Kofi Amorin, a carpenter into Police custody for alleged robbery.

The accused pleaded not guilty and would reappear on February 23.

Chief Inspector K. Adu told the court that the complainant is a trader who resides in Tarkwa, in the Western Region.

He said on February 8, at about 04:30 hours the complainant arrived from Tarkwa and alighted at Tudu bus stop in Accra.

The Prosecution said the complainant removed a white envelope containing the sum of GH 1,110.00 cash from her handbag to put it into her brazier but accused together with two accomplices, yet to be arrested came from nowhere, confronted and attacked her.

He said the accused held the complainant’s right hand and forcibly attempted to collect the envelope, but during that struggle the envelope tore into two parts.

The accused managed to take part of the money amounting to GH 700.00 and bolted with his accomplices.

Chief Inspector Adu said a security officer, who witnessed the incident called the Police hotline and with the assistance of a Police Patrol Team, the accused was arrested a few metres from the scene.

He mentioned Alhassan and Disco as his accomplices.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Mason remanded for Defilement

Accra� Yaw Attah, a 27-year-old mason was on Friday remanded into Police custody for allegedly defiling an eleven-year-old girl at Glefe, near Dansoman. Charged with four counts of defilement, Attah pleaded not guilty.

He is to reappear on February 20th before the court presided over by Mrs Abena Oppong Adjin-Doku.

Prosecuting Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Adolphine Dzansi said the complainant is a trader and a father of the victim and both resides at Glefe, near Dansoman in Accra while Attah also resides in the same area.

DSP Dzansi said in August last year, the victim was playing with her younger sister in front of their house when Attah asked the victim to follow him.

Prosecution said the victim declined to follow but the accused lit a lighter and threatened to burn her.

This compelled the victim to oblige to Attah’s request. On reaching the accused’s room prosecution said Attah had sex with the victim and warned her not to inform anyone.

Prosecution said on November 11, last year, the victim went to remove a bed sheet from a drying line, during the process the accused saw her and for the second time invited the victim to his room he again threatened to burn her with a lighter. The victim out of fear allowed the accused defiled her.

According to prosecution on January 2, and 23 this year Attah had two sexual encounters with the victim and after each sexual encounter gives the victim GHC2.00.

Prosecution said the victim after the sexual encounters experienced pains and reported this to her mother before the complainant got wind of it.

On January 26, this year, the complainant reported the incident to the Domestic Violence and Victims Support Unit at Dansoman where a medical report form was issued to the victim to seek medical care.

Prosecution said on February 3, this year the Police arrested the accused.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Minority reacts to the President’s statement

Accra- The Minority in Parliament has slammed the State of the Nation Address (SONA), delivered by President Akufo-Addo, for lacking inspiration and woefully failing to offer hope to suffering Ghanaians.

According to them, the SONA was a far cry from the realities that Ghanaians have been forced to live with since the NPP assumed office.

As usual he was high on flowery rhetoric but short on the substance that speaks to the aspirations and lived experiences of our people.

Mr Haruna Iddrisu, Minority Leader speaking at a press conference in Parliament stated that the Minority was compelled to straighten the record and present the true State of the Nation in order to jolt the President and his NPP administration into reality and to compel them to fashion out urgent appropriate responses to the needs of Ghanaians.

He said the President’s statement sought to paint a rosy picture of the Ghanaian economy. He recounted a number of macro-economic indices such as the growth rate and inflation, which he says, are pointing in the right direction and shows that the economy is on the right track.

He said the President rather predictably failed to give a proper account of the trajectory of these indices and the history behind them as this would have revealed the fact that they are not attributable to any exceptional economic management strategy by his government, but rather the product of hard work put in by the erstwhile Mahama administration.

Mr Iddrisu also stated that as far back as the middle of 2016, several international financial institutions had projected that Ghana’s economy was going to grow by over seven percent and close to nine percent in 2018.

He said the World Bank, IMF, the Economist Intelligence Unit among others all indicated that additional production of oil from the TEN and SANKOFA fields starting from the last quarter of 2016 was going to result in high growth rates in 2017 and 2018.

This was also going to be achieved on the back of the fiscal consolidation measures adopted by the Mahama administration under the Extended Credit Facility of the IMF to correct the slippages of previous years.

He said the attribution of the growth rate of 2017 and projections for 2018 to the economic management of the NPP is therefore misleading and paints an inaccurate picture of the true situation.

Needless to say this growth has not been accompanied by commensurate job creation-a reason why up to a million youth in Ghana are unemployed he added.

Mr Iddrisu also stated that regarding the public debt situation, the President last year pegged the total public debt at GH 122.3 billion yet failed yesterday to give a corresponding figure for this year.

He said the Minority is certain that the President conveniently neglected to provide information on the country’s total debt as at end year 2017 because the figures would badly expose his pre-election propaganda about the subject.

He said official figures put out by the Monetary Policy Committee of the Bank of Ghana peg the public debt at GH 140 billion as of November, 2017. Additional borrowing between that period and now, coupled with the Energy Sector Bond of GH 4.7 billion which the IMF and World Bank classifies as public debt means that this would balloon to about GH 150 billion, representing an increase of about GH 30 billion over the January, 2017 figure or73 per cent of GDP.

Mr Iddrisu further stated that in the lead up to the 2016 elections, President Akufo-Addo and Dr Mahamudu Bawumia promised the youth of this country that an NPP administration would deliver jobs.

He said sadly, one year on, the President could not indicate how many jobs were created since the NPP government assumed office.

He said the true state of affairs in Ghana today is that the country’s young men and women face a grim future, and unfortunately, the attitude of President Akufo-Addo’s government gives neither assurance nor hope to inspire the possibility of a decent future for the youth.

Source: Ghana News Agency

CLOGSAG denies knowledge of additional one per cent NHIS deduction

Accra� The Civil and Local Government Staff Association, Ghana (CLOGSAG) has denied being part of any discussions on an additional one per cent deduction from workers’ salary to fund National Health Insurance Scheme NHIS.

It said: CLOGSAG will wish to state, unequivocally, that the Association has not been part of any discussions, on an additional one percent deduction from workers’ salary to fund NHIS.

It therefore implored its workers to go about their normal duties as usual and be assured that the Association would, at all time, work towards improvements in their welfare.

The denial was in statement signed by Mr Isaac Bampoe Addo, the Executive Secretary of CLOGSAG and copied to the Ghana News Agency on Friday.

It said CLOGSAG was very conversant with the mode of communication within the Civil and Local Government Services and currently, there has not been any letter or circular requiring public sector workers to contribute additional one per cent towards the funding of the NHIS.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Officials brief stakeholders on progress on aviation sector issues

Accra- Aviation officials have briefed operators in the Ghana’s aviation sector on steps being taken to address issues raised at the maiden Aviation Breakfast Meeting held last year.

Airline operators, represented by the Board of Airline Representatives (BAR), raised some key issues of concern to their operations at the maiden Breakfast meeting held in 2017.

The meeting organised by Aviation Ghana; an online aviation news portal, in conjunction with the Ministry of Aviation, was to serve as a platform for aviation stakeholders to deliberate and find solutions to the issues affecting them.

Mrs Cecilia Abena Dapaah, Minister for Aviation and her team, at the second edition of the Aviation Breakfast Meeting held in Accra, briefed stakeholders on steps being taken to address the issues, stressing that it was important in order to make the meetings relevant.

I want this to be the standard; when we meet and raise issues, they should be addressed so that it will not just be a talk-shop.

Among the issues raised by the BAR at the maiden meeting were: removal of import duties on aircraft spare parts, double taxation by Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs), high airport taxes, high cost of aviation fuel and the impact of harmattan on airline operations in Ghana.

Mrs Dapaah assured the BAR that the Ministry of Aviation was in talks with the Minister of Finance on the removal of the duties of import of aircraft parts and was hopeful of a favourable outcome.

We are to submit a memo to him for it to be favourably considered, she said.

On the issue of double taxation by MMDAs, she stated that airlines with two offices in different places could not have the second tax removed due to the structure of Ghana’s MMDAs and added that they could apply for some mitigation on the second instead.

They cannot remove the second levy, but they can mitigate it.

Mr John Attafuah, Managing Director of the Ghana Airports Company Limited (GACL) who addressed the issue of high airport taxes, noted that the high airport taxes were to help with investments in infrastructure.

He explained that Ghana had the second highest airport taxes in the sub-region, having been overtaken by Senegal last year.

He noted that the GACL was not proud of this fact; it needed the funds to invest in infrastructure such as the new Terminal -T3 being constructed.

The only way we can do that is by charging for the services we render. Mainly everything we take as airport charges have gone into financing Terminal 3.

He explained that government could not finance the project and the GACL had to prove they could repay the loan in order to get a government guarantee.

Once we’re able to clear that and bring down the cost of financing, we will be able to make a case to the Minister to speak with the Finance Minister, who will then make a case to Parliament for government to waive part of its revenue to ensure that we come down on the taxes.

Mr Dick Van Nieuwenhuyzen, Country Manager for Air France KLM, was however, not satisfied with the progress made in addressing issues, a year after they were raised.

He said cost of import duties and airport charges were rather increasing, with an extra $20 security tax added to the airport taxes, and further burdening airlines, whose profit margin were very thin to begin with, and eventually pass these costs unto passengers.

Source: Ghana News Agency