We only suspended operations of toll collection, not the law – Roads Ministry

The Roads and Highways Ministry has clarified that the directive for the cessation of the collection of tolls on public roads was not to set aside the laws for toll collection.

According to the Ministry, the directive was to the effect of stopping the operational duties of toll collection due to some unfortunate events that occurred at various toll booths on Wednesday.

The Ministry in a statement explained that many road users insisted on not paying road tolls, and that some even engaged in near fisticuffs with toll collectors on Wednesday after the Ministry of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta announced before Parliament that the government had abolished road tolls.

“Unfortunately, the Minister of Finance’s statement either got misunderstood or misinterpreted by some motorists, as many of them deemed the statement as having immediate effect and therefore decided not to pay the road and bridge tolls. The insistence of the toll collected to have the tolls paid caused serious confusion and in some cases, resulted in fisticuffs and damage to lives and property,” the statement said.

The Ministry said the decision of Kwesi Amoako-Atta to direct the suspension of the collection of tolls was therefore to “avert further unfortunate incidents.”

“The Ministry wish to assure that the action taken was to suspend the operationalization of the collection of the tolls and not to suspend the law,” the statement clarified.

The statement however did not state specifically if the cessation was going to be reversed as directed by Parliament.

Earlier today, Thursday, November 18, 2021, parliament took issue with the ministry’s directive.

The Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin explained that the instruction by the Roads Minister was illegal and must be immediately withdrawn.

He argued that although the cessation of tolls on public roads was announced in the 2022 budget, it remains a proposal until Parliament approves it.

He said until then, the Minister had no right or legal basis to issue directives for road tolls, which are a source of government revenue approved by Parliament, to be stopped.

“It is a proposal they [government] are presenting to us for us to approve, and it takes effect on January 1, 2022, to December 31, 2022… Until this budget is approved, all what is contained in the budget are proposals. We have the authority to approve it… Until that has been approved, nobody has the authority to start implementing something that does not exist,” he said.

He warned that the Minister could be charged for contempt of Parliament if he does not reverse the order.

Meanwhile, the Majority Chief Whip in Parliament, Frank Annoh-Dompreh, says the Speaker’s directive to the Roads and Highways Minister to reverse the cessation of the collection road tolls is an error.

He insists the Speaker, Alban Bagbin, does not have the “persona” in this regard making it wrong for him to give such an order as though that is the official position of Parliament.

“Based on standards and the standing orders of the House, the Speaker cannot rule on his own authority and say that he is directing. The Speaker is not above the House, he is not a Member of Parliament, so the Speaker’s ruling is to convey the position of the house. So to start, we think that the Speaker erred in his ruling and he should consider it again”, he told the media.

The Majority Leader and Minister for Parliamentary Affairs, Osei Kyei Mensah-Bonsu had given the same reasons the Ministry is now giving for the decision when he spoke in Parliament on Thursday.

Source: Modern Ghana

BECE candidates in Sekondi-Takoradi confident of excellent performance

Takoradi,– It was all joy as the week-long Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) ended successfully at all centres in the Western Region with candidates having high expectations of performing excellently.

The students walked out of their examination halls after the final ICT Paper Friday morning with beaming smiles to begin the jubilation.

The Ghana News Agency (GNA) visited some of the examination centres in the Sekondi-Takoradi Metropolis and observed that some students were sprinkling powder on themselves amidst shouting and dancing.

Students of St. Paul Basic School, who wrote their examination at the GSTS Centre, described the papers as “relatively cool” but appealed to the examiners to be lenient.

Master Emanuel Aggrey, the Head Prefect of the School, said they wanted to set a good record, as the first batch to write the BECE, by passing very well.

Students of the Bishop Essuah Memorial School also expressed gratitude to God for seeing them through the examination without any challenge.

A few students of the Air Force School complex, who wrote their examination at the Bompeh Centre, also could not help but express their excitement.

“We are even on our way to the school premises for a little jubilation and afterward seek advice from our teachers to guide us on our stay at home,” a student added.

Ms Geraldine Rule, a student of Naval-West School, said she expected to pass well to make it to her preferred senior high schools.

The examination, which commenced on Monday, November 15, saw a total of 40,464 candidates comprising 20,504 males and 19,960 females from 1,195 schools in the region writing the papers at 131 centres.

The Sekondi Takoradi Metropolis had the highest number of candidates; 5,685 candidates made up of 2,807 males and 2,878 females, followed by Prestea Huni-Valley and Tarkwa Nsuaem.

The Western Regional Minister and Member of Parliament (MP) for Takoradi, Mr Kwabena Okyere Darko-Mensah, announced before the start of the examination that he would provide the best three students in Takoradi with free laptops.

Additionally, he would provide each of the best 10 students with a fully stocked chop-box in their first year at the senior high school.

Some of the students told the GNA that they were eyeing the Minister’s package.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Routine maintenance is in the interest of customers – ECG

Tema,- Mr Emmanuel Appoe, Tema Regional Engineer of the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG), has told customer that there was the need for planned maintenance at all times.

He said the less they planned for maintenance, the more outages will be experienced.

Mr Appoe who was interacting with some journalists at the Tema Sub-Station H, indicated that it was the resolve of the ECG to carry out planned maintenance on its primary stations regularly as a measure to prevent the equipment from developing faults.

He said some of the company’s equipment needed to be monitored and worked on before they developed challenges, stressing that the cost for repair for faults was always higher than planned maintenance.

He added that the ECG Tema Region, which spanned from Nungua Brigade, parts of Krobo, and Volta, as well as Ada and its surrounding areas, had 26 primary stations which needed to be maintained regularly.

Mr Appoe said it was his outfit’s regulations to maintain the stations twice a year, therefore their resolve to do regular maintenance at short intervals, to enable them to meet the needed plans for all the stations.

“The maintenance outage is to allow your power to be on for long, it is better that having no maintenance,” he said.

He added that; “it’s better to inform customers about outages to enable us do maintenance for some few hours than waiting for it to go off and now tracing the fault, and getting the needed resources for repairs.”

He therefore pleaded with customers within the ECG Tema Region to corporate with the company when announcements for scheduled maintenance was done.

Commenting on fuse and transformer copper stealing, he appealed to residents to be vigilant to prevent unscrupulous people from stealing them, saying the trend of stealing fuses had become escalated in Tema and was being extended to Volta.

Mr Appoe said the Tema Region had about 4,000 secondary substations supplying power to customers; therefore, it was virtually impossible to physically monitor all of them, therefore the need for residents to assist as the activities of the syndicate had adverse effect on their supply.

“When your light goes off don’t stay inside come out and check the transformer to help us apprehend such miscreants,” Mr Appoe stated.

Recounting an incident, he said in the past week, some of the miscreants went and off a transformer at Prampram, returned in the day with a vehicle and told people around that they were from ECG and had been asked to bring the transformer, they therefore succeeded in stealing the copper in it.

The Tema Regional ECG Engineer implored customers to always check the identity cards of persons who purported to be staff and take the details of the card before giving them access.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Women’s Premier League Super Cup and U-17 Champions League launched

The Ghana Football Association has launched the maiden Women’s Premier League Super Cup and the KGL U-17 Juvenile clubs Champions League in Accra.

The Super Cup seeks to put Women’s football on a higher pedestal as well, making it attractive and accessible to Ghanaians. The occasion was graced by prominent personalities within the football fraternity.

The Chairperson of the Women’s Premier Super Cup Committee Honourable Barbara Asher Ayisi, touched on the need for Corporate Ghana to show interest in Women’s football.

“The QIC Women’s Premier super cup is here to help us further develop female football in our dear country’’ she said.

‘’Our core mandate is to have a successful maiden tournament. We want this super cup to be the best in this country, so kindly come on board to support us, encourage and motivate our women.” She added.

President of Ghana Football Association, Kurt Edwin Simeon Okraku expressed his view on the new turn in Women’s football in Ghana.

He said, that the GFA was happy to launch the two new special products which is the women’s super-cup and KGL Foundation sponsored U-17 clubs champions League.

‘’Women’s football in Ghana is gathering so much momentum that with our commitment to strengthening the game, we envisage dominance at the world stage in the years to come’’

‘’I’m super excited about the QIC Women’s Premier super cup and I’m looking forward to attending all the games’’ President Simeon-Okraku added.

The Women’s Super-Cup which kicks off on Friday, November 25, 2021, will be played among the top four teams from the Southern and Northern Zones in last season’s Women’s Premier League.

Ampem Darkoa Ladies, Prisons Ladies, Kumasi Sports Academy and Ashtown Ladies will represent the Northern Zone whilst Hasaacas Ladies, Berry Ladies, Soccer Intellectuals and Ladystrikers represent the Southern Zone.

The teams have been grouped into two – Ampem Darkoa, Soccer Intellectuals, Prisons and Berry Ladies making Group “A” while Hasaacas, Ladystrikers, Kumasi Sports Academy and Ashtown Ladies make Group “B”.

The league will be played simultaneously using the Madina Zurak Park and the McDan La Town Park.

The tournament will serve as a preparatory ground and additional incentive to clubs and players ahead of the 2021/2022 season which will commence in January 2022.

Source: Modern Ghana

Philanthropist support the construction of the National Cathedral

Kumasi,- A Kumasi based businessman and Philanthropist, Nana Baafour Yaw Agyei, has donated an amount of GH¢50000.00 to support the construction of the national cathedral.

Nana Agyei, Chief Executive Officer of Adjei Baafour and Sons Limited, said the amount was in response to the government’s appeal to individuals and organizations to help speed up the construction of the historic project.

He said he conceived the idea of supporting the project about a year ago and it was today that the Lord had made it possible for him to contribute his quota to build a sanctuary for the glory of God.

Nana Agyei said as a Christian, it was his utmost responsibility to support the project and called on all Christians to support the government to make the construction of the historic monument a reality.

Reverend Dr Kwabena Darko, Chairman of the Cathedral Fund Raising Committee who received the amount, said the President, Nana Akufo Addo was passionate about the construction of the cathedral because he made a promise to God about it.

He said he received back, as indicated in the Bible, adding that God would bless all those who donated generously to the construction of the cathedral.

Rev. Dr Darko said the Committee was keeping data of all those who were contributing to the project and praying daily that their efforts should not be in vain.

He urged Ghanaians to contribute to this worthy course and make it a reality, to the glorification of God.

Rev. Dr Steve Asante, Past President of the Ghana Baptist Convention and Rev. Dr Seth Frimpong Coleman, a Representative of the Christian Council of Ghana, all called on others to emulate the kind gesture of Nana Agyei.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Tecno unveils the latest spark series – The Tecno Spark 8

TECNO is one of the top mobile phone brands in Africa and the most popular choice for smartphone users on the Ghanaian market with the Spark series being one of the most sought-after models.

Following its predecessors currently dominating the Ghanaian market, TECNO has just introduced the Latest SPARK 8 series, which comes in two bold and youthful variants – SPARK 8P and SPARK 8.

The Spark 8P comes in an iconic design equipped with a side-mounted fingerprint, an ultra-clear 50MP main AI Quad Camera, and an 8MP selfie camera that brings more details to perfect moments. Respectively, the Spark 8 comes in a bold design equipped with a rear-mounted fingerprint, a 16MP main camera, and an 8MP selfie camera for clear and vivid pictures.

With its speedy octa-core processor, both the Spark 8P and Spark 8 are power-optimized by a 5000mAh powerhouse battery and come with a 128 GB ROM + 4 GB RAM,64 GB ROM + 4 GB RAM and 64 GB ROM +2GB RAM respectively.

Tecno Mobile’s latest smartphone, SPARK 8P, and Spark 8 bring a 6.58-inch and 6.2-inch HD+ resolution respectively as well as a DTS Stereo Sound Effect for the best cinematic audio experience.

Impressively, the Spark 8 series also comes with other amazing features including 1080P time-lapse photography, slo-mo feature, soplay music mix, AI bokeh effect, and many more.

Own the new TECNO Spark 8 series by visiting an accredited TECNO shop nationwide. Click on the link for an accredited shop near you: https://www.tecno-mobile.com/gh/stores/#/

Source: Ghana Web

Use your brain to rise above your disability – Eastwood Anaba

Bolgatanga,– Reverend Eastwood Anaba, President of the Eastwood Anaba Ministries (EAM), has encouraged Persons With Disabilities (PWDs) to rise above their challenges and use their brain to achieve higher heights in their lives.

He urged them to stop giving excuses and stop throwing their hands in despair, and live-in self-pity over their disabilities, “if one part of your body is dysfunctional, God has given you another part to complement it.

“The fact that you are in a wheelchair does not mean your brain is in a wheelchair, your eyes are not in a wheelchair, your spirit is not in a wheelchair, get up and save your family,” he said.

Reverend Anaba made the call while preaching a sermon entitled “But he was a leper”, at a four-day open crusade dubbed “Bolga for Christ crusade and a day for help for persons with disabilities”, organised by the Christ to the Rural World Outreach Mission.

He told the congregation that some people immediately declared themselves useless as soon as they got into wheelchairs, emphasising that God in His infinite mercy gave them parts in their bodies to complement disabled parts for them to live normally.

He noted that Naaman in the Bible was the Commander of the Syrian Army but he was a leper, saying “Naaman refused to be counselled, he said I have leprosy but I will still lead an army, I will still be a man of value, I will still be a great man, I cannot be stopped.

“Naaman was a defiant leper. I don’t know what scar you are carrying in life, maybe you got an accident and they cut off one of your legs, or you were born blind, but no matter the setback you carry, I see you as an overcomer,” he encouraged the congregation.

Reverend Anaba, who is also a Senior Pastor at Desert Pastures, a branch Church of Fountain Gate Chapel in Bolgatanga, likened leprosy to all forms of challenges in the lives of people which prevented them from achieving their goals in life.

The EAM President challenged people in the Upper East Region to rise above excuses and not allow their situations, especially the lack of education and their place of origin to stop them from working to support and deliver their families from poverty.

“Being a Frafra, a Dagaati, Dagomba, a Kusaasi will not stop you. If your ways please God, you will stand before Kings. I declare that nothing will stop you in the name of Jesus,” Reverend Anaba told the congregation at the crusade.

The crusade attracted several people, especially the less privileged from across the Region and beyond, who also benefitted from medical screening, relief items including clothes, mattresses, cooking oils, food, buckets, soap among others from the Outreach Mission.

Apart from Reverend Anaba, other main preachers at the crusade were Reverend Steve Mensah, General Overseer of the Charismatic Evangelistic Ministry (CEM) in Accra and Pastor Matthew Ashimolowo, Senior Pastor of the Kingsway International Christian Centre (KICC) in London.

Source: Ghana News Agency

UPSA matriculates 1063 postgraduate students

Accra,- The University of Professional Studies, Accra (UPSA) on Friday matriculated 1063 postgraduate students for the 2021/2022 academic year, with a call on them to pursue academic excellence.

The 1063 Postgraduate students, including 16 Doctor of Philosophy, 28 Master of Philosophy, 659 Master of Business Administration (MBA), 321 Master of Arts and Master of Science, 39 MBA by Distance Learning, took the Matriculation Oath.

Out of the number, 581 were males and 482 females, a ratio of 55:45, representing a 20 percent increase over the previous year’s intake for the School of Graduate Studies.

Professor Abednego F.O. Amartey, Vice-chancellor, UPSA, in an address, said their enrolment at the University was the clearest attestation of the value of a degree from UPSA which would propel them to uphold professionalism at all times.

He said the University was highly reputed globally and represented the ultimate in scholarship, professionalism, excellence, credibility and high-quality education leading to their inevitable success.

He said their matriculation oaths did not only enjoin them to be of good behaviour, but it was a pledge and commitment to be disciplined and good ambassadors of the University.

The Vice-chancellor said: “I am committed to making your experience excellent with the support of our faculty and staff, and we promise to provide you with a unique student experience; one which you will value and one which we will constantly improve.”

He said the purpose of the University was not to equip students with an education, but with a broader spirit of intellectual inquiry, deep curiosity, resilience and the resources to make a difference in the world.

Prof Amartey noted that apart from matriculating the first batch of students enrolled onto its Master of Science in Procurement Management Programme, the University had been given authorization for the introduction of the Master of Science in Pensions Management programme expected to start in the later part of the 2021/2022 academic year.

Dr Kofi Ohene-Konadu, Chairman, UPSA Council, said the participation of the students in the matriculation must ignite their preparedness to engage in academic rigour the university offers.

He, therefore, urged the students to pursue excellence in their academic work by striking the right balance between academic work and other social and extra-curricular activities.

Dr Koryoe Ani-Wright, Registrar, administered the Matriculation Oath, while Ms Gifty Odoi, an MBA Accounting and Finance student, performed a symbolic signing of the Matricula on behalf of all postgraduate students.

Source: Ghana News Agency